Superman is a hero who has many problems when it comes to creating good villains and storylines. Superman is often seen as too powerful as there is almost no way that he can lose to someone without something like Kryptonite or magic being involved. However, there are a few villains that stand out.
Superman’s biggest villains include people who can match his strength with brains, like Lex Luthor, who are military tactical geniuses, like General Zod, or who are just pure evil and have no qualms about hurting innocents. When it comes to the greatest hero in DC Comics, his biggest villains are almost always pure evil.
Updated on September 17th, 2021 by George Chrysostomou: Superman has perhaps one of the most underrated rogues’ galleries in the history of DC Comics. While many of his foes are flawed, complex, and perhaps even misunderstood, plenty of them are just pure evil, or at the very least display signs of their villainy that no hero can ignore. With the hero’s villains constantly evolving, it’s appropriate to revisit the most dastardly of them all to find out who really stands out as the evilest Superman villains of all time.
Bizarro has been portrayed as pretty misunderstood in the past, which is why he isn’t usually ranked highly in terms of his villainy. While the premise of a back-to-front Man of Steel is almost laughable, this villain is very much the paradox of Superman in every conceivable way.
All of the Kryptonian’s heroism is therefore in theory replaced with an evil that even Bizarro himself struggles with. While his abilities might act as the opposite of Clark Kent’s, from the freeze vision to the flame breath, his logic is even more flawed as he tries to make decisions Superman would never even dream of, thus adding to his evil nature despite his sometimes anti-hero portrayal.
14 Manchester Black
Manchester Black has also had the anti-hero moniker planted on him in the past, but his methods are cruel and vicious. Seeking out his own perverted form of justice, Black will stop at nothing until he is sure the villainy of the world has been wiped out.
While his motivations might be the same as a vigilante, his bloodthirsty edge causes his tactics to verge on being completely evil. It’s an irony that’s not lost on Superman, who has tried to talk down Manchester Black in the past, only to make an enemy out of the killer.
13 Mr. Mxyzptlk
Mister Mxyzptlk takes great joy in messing with the heroes of Earth. As a 5th Dimensional Imp, the character has almost God-like abilities, which he enjoys showing off and utilizing to their most chaotic end. He is often malicious in his actions, usually seeking some kind of revenge, and does not care for the lives he endangers.
The scale of his evil has certainly varied, but there’s a sinister undertone to the fact that he’s willing to rid the world of its supers just so that he can have more fun with them. His ego only drives his fury, as it’s rare for someone to be able to match up to such a powerful creature making him one of the most unpredictable–and therefore dangerous–Superman villains.
Metallo is in many ways a one-dimensional Superman foe who boasts the power of Kryptonite to pose a genuine threat to the Man of Steel. The character’s obsession with killing Superman has led him to some dangerous alliances and created a number of deadly situations for innocent civilians.
Metallo is used by writers, more often than not, as a physical threat to Superman. His intentions are pure evil, as it is mainly purposeless death and destruction that the monster seeks to cause. He is even willing to completely wreck his own body for his reprehensible goals.
Toyman might just be one of Superman’s lamest villains, but there is a sadistic nature to the character that few can match. His own obsession with ridding the world of its superheroes is evil in its own right, but it’s Toyman’s methods that bring him to the next level.
To weaponize toys in the way he does is to show what kind of man Toyman really is. He has put children in the line of fire time and time again, seemingly not caring about the consequences of his actions. It’s one of the many reasons that Superman has been driven to extreme lengths to try to rectify the villainy at play when Toyman comes to town.
10 Lex Luthor
Lex Luthor is the hero of his own story. His goal is not to be a villain but is someone who wants to protect the world from the alien that is Superman. He went to all lengths to do this, from creating supervillains to do his dirty work for him to actually winning the election to become the President of the United States.
For someone who wants to be the hero of his own story, Luthor has done truly horrific things to reach that goal, proving to be one of the evilest humans on Earth and Superman’s most well-known adversary.
9 General Zod
General Zod is someone else who thinks he is the good guy in his story. He wanted to save his home planet of Krypton, but the way he went about it was the wrong direction, and he ended up arrested and locked in the Phantom Zone.
This turned Zod into a purely evil being who got out and wanted to find a new planet to turn into the new Krypton. His goal was conquest, and he had no problem killing anyone in his way to do so until he finally fell to Superman, thus getting cemented as one of the most famous Superman villains of all time.
Brainiac is a super-intelligent alien who travels the universe with one goal in mind; to collect a city from every planet, so there would be something left of that world in his possession when that planet dies.
He had the city of Kandor from Krypton and kept them captive in a jar on his ship until Superman finally got it back. Brainiac also tried to take Metropolis until Superman stopped him. Brainiac also has several formidable drones and has proven himself time and time again to be one of Superman’s deadliest enemies.
Doomsday is evil, but he has one thing that holds him in the middle of the ranking of Superman’s evilest villains. Doomsday was actually created to be evil and destructive.
Doomsday was born on Krypton, and every time he died, he ended up resurrected and then sent out to die again. The reason was that the scientist Bertron wanted to create the perfect weapon, and when resurrected, Doomsday couldn’t die the same way twice. Doomsday eventually made it to Earth and killed Superman, making him one of the hero’s most iconic foes.
6 The Anti-Monitor
The Anti-Monitor is one of the most powerful beings in the universe and almost destroyed the entire multiverse until all the heroes stood together to try to stop him.
His war, the Crisis on Infinite Earths, even killed Superman’s cousin Supergirl and it took Flash sacrificing his own life to stop him. He is as evil as they come, killing billions of people across the universe over his life and thus becoming a formidable Superman villain.
Superboy-Prime didn’t start as evil. He grew up as Clark Kent in a world without superheroes where he knew of Superman thanks to comic books. However, one day, Superman ended up on his Earth, and the two met. After this, Superboy developed powers and became a hero.
Anti-Monitor destroyed his Earth, and he ended up living in peace but imprisoned with three other heroes after that battle ended. He was psychologically changed by the experience, escaped, and went on a rampage, killing several heroes during Infinite Crisis before Superman finally stopped him.
Mongul is an alien world-conqueror who is the warlord of Warworld. He is one of the most brutal and vicious villains in Superman’s history. His goal is to use Black Mercy plants to incapacitate the opposition when he attacks planets and then conquers them, claiming them as his own.
He is known for the famous storyline where he used the Black Mercy plants to incapacitate Superman in one of the character’s best arcs, showing him what his life would be like if Krypton had survived. He also had children who carried on his evil plans.
3 Cyborg Superman
When Superman controversially and tragically died, four men replaced him. These men were Steel, Superboy, Eradicator, and Cyborg Superman. They all tried to take over the role of Superman, but none of them were up to the task.
However, out of these four, none were as evil as Cyborg Superman. His most despicable moment occurred when he attacked an injured Eradicator and allowed Mongul’s ship to crash into Coast City, killing millions of people in Green Lantern’s hometown. This is what turned Hal into the villain Parallax.
Parasite is a Superman villain who only has one purpose in life. He feeds on all energy of humans and absorbs it into his body. This allows him to drain all creatures of their energy by touching them, killing them, and taking their life force into his body.
This makes him not only one of the evilest of Superman’s villains, but he is also one of the most dangerous because no one is safe from his touch — not even Superman himself.
Darkseid is a villain for most of the DC Universe, and in the New 52, he was so powerful that the Justice League had to form to beat him. He also destroyed many heroes and was responsible for the death of Batman at one time.
However, he lines up closely to Superman in terms of power. Darkseid is a conqueror, ruling over Apokolips and looking to take over all other worlds as he wants the Anti-Life Equation so he can take over the entire universe and rule over all beings. That’s pretty unbeatable in terms of evil.
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