Photo By: Gage Skidmore


Once upon a time, it was easy to spot a villain from a work of fiction. Was this person mysterious and mustachioed? Did he swivel in his chair while stroking a malicious-looking cat? Times were simpler back then. If it was some dude tying a damsel to a wooden train track, there -- you’ve got your villain.

But in 2018, the notion of an easily defined villain is as obsolete as those wooden train tracks. Walter White and Tony Soprano shepherded in the age of the anti-hero, while stories like Wicked and Maleficent had left us sympathizing with classic baddies. Now villains are too complex to summarize or fence in. You can’t say all villains are power-hungry, have an evil laugh, or wear black. (Think of Dolores Umbridge and how she rocked the color pink. You at least have to give her that.)

But here’s what we can definitively say about villains: They’re more popular than ever. Our Villains community has grown a whopping 55% in three years. With over 60 million page views, it’s FANDOM’s 33rd most-visited community of 2018 so far, beating out powerhouses like the Call of Duty, Walking Dead, and Arrowverse communities.

What’s also mystifying is how much more popular villains are to their hero counterparts. On any given day, the Villains community gets 4-5 times more page views than our Heroes community. Villains like Voldemort, Darth Vader, and Michael Meyers don’t just beat out their hero counterparts, they smoke them.

So, here are the most-visited villains from across FANDOM’s entire site in 2018. Hopefully, you’ll see just how varied the definition of villain has become. They span all genders, colors (looking at you, Thanos), and more. So lean back in your swivel chair, and take a good look at the biggest baddies of 2018.



OK. What an utterly contemptible bastard. Jessica Jones’ nemesis and long-time abuser, David Tennant’s Kilgrave is a villain in the Viserys Targaryen mold (also on this list). Albeit one with a backstory in which his psychology is explored, meaning we have some explanation for his actions.

A misogynist and abuser (both sexually and psychologically) of women — as well as men, to be fair — he literally controls Jessica using his superpower of mind control. Under his spell, Jessica is coerced into sleeping with him — the series makes no bones about calling it what it is: rape — and she is manipulated into doing things for him that she wouldn’t ordinarily do. He even gets her to kill Luke Cage’s wife, Reva, which, unsurprisingly, later has tremendous repercussions for her relationship with Luke.

A sociopath through and through, Kilgrave lacks empathy, meaning he thinks nothing of using his powers to force countless innocents to commit unspeakable acts, or to bend to his will. There’s young Hope Shlottman, who he holds hostage and rapes repeatedly, then orders to kill her own parents. And the innocent newspaper seller who gets boiling coffee thrown in his face at Kilgrave’s behest.

Kilgrave is also a deranged stalker, of course, twistedly believing himself to be in love with Jones and wanting to get her back after she manages to break his hold over her and escape his clutches. Jones finally kills her tormentor by snapping his neck, a moment that had Jessica Jones fans everywhere rejoicing.

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Malcolm Merlyn

Malcolm Merlyn’s complicated relationship with Team Arrow is one of Arrow’s recurring plot elements. Sometimes enemy, sometimes ally, Malcolm is a charming thorn in Oliver Queen’s side. Their relationship as adversaries is complicated by the fact that Oliver’s sister, Thea, is Malcolm’s biological daughter. Malcolm is directly responsible for Oliver Queen being trapped on a deserted island and enduring five years of hell since he caused the Queen’s Gambit to be lost at sea. Without Malcolm, the Arrowverse itself would not exist.

Malcolm’s darkness began when his wife was murdered by Danny Brickwell, driving him to the League of Assassins and instilling in him the belief that the Glades neighborhood of Star City needed to be destroyed. His earthquake generator (because, of course, he has one) succeeded in leveling part of the Glades in an ambitious scheme that he called the Undertaking — which killed 500 people, including his son, Tommy. To be fair, he never intended Tommy to be a victim of his plot.

Malcolm always believes that what he’s doing is for the greater good and manages to convince himself that his way is the correct way. Malcolm’s sole redeeming quality is his love for his daughter, Thea. He’s not exactly the best father since he trained Thea to be a killer and brainwashed her to kill Sara Lance, but if anyone threatens her, then Malcolm will stop at nothing to ensure her safety.

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The Demogorgon

What happened to Barb was not necessarily the Demogorgon‘s fault. According to a fan theory that has heated up the internet faster than a toaster toasts an Eggo, the Demogorgon might not be an autonomous being at all. Redditor peters45 attests that “the monster is actually an extension of Eleven herself, and a physical manifestation of her troubled psyche.” That would explain their connection: they often mirror each other’s actions, and the monster doesn’t go after Eleven until their final showdown.

Plus, we already know that it was Eleven who opened the door between the Upside Down and Hawkins, releasing the Demogorgon’s havoc. (“I’m the monster,” she told her friends.) The Demogorgon is a clear front-runner as Stranger Thing’s main villain, but what if it’s Eleven, everyone’s favorite tea-cup badass, that’s driving the destruction in Hawkins?

No, what happened to Barb was not Eleven’s fault either. If the show is an allegory for trauma, the kind that splits someone into two, the real villain in Stranger Things is negligence. Dr. Brenner’s criminal negligence in the name of science. America’s paranoid and near-sighted negligence during the Cold War’s rush to beat its opponents at all costs. Even parental negligence. Seriously, where are the parents in Hawkins? They’ll leave no stone unturned for Will Byers, but when Barb goes missing, they’re all pooped out?! What happened to Barbara Holland was society’s fault.

Justice for Barb. Justice for Eleven. Justice for the Demogorgon. Justice for us all.

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There’s nothing like a good twist. Pretty Little Liars is full of them, including the fact that “Loser Mona” turned out to be the first in a long line of “A’s.” Mona is a classic case of what bullying can do to a person’s psyche.

Armed with genius-level intelligence, Mona is skilled in blackmail and manipulation, which when combined with years of bullying and torment make her a devious antagonist. Regardless of intention and a case of mistaken identity, it takes a lot of evil to hit someone in the head with a shovel when it’s not self-defense. Even if she didn’t drop the kill shot on Bethany, attempted murder is no joke.

But Mona’s story isn’t over, she returns in 2019 in Pretty Little Liars spinoff The Perfectionists.

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Ernesto de la Cruz

Upon first meeting Coco’s Ernesto de la Cruz, it’s hard not to be wowed by his charm. Audiences come to discover, however, that all that glitters is not gold; Ernesto is a duplicitous man who cut every corner to achieve his larger-than-life (and larger-than-afterlife) fame.

Ernesto’s most villainous moment — and, honestly, this should go without saying — occurred when he killed his best friend, Héctor by poisoning his chorizo. (Murder is one thing, but must you involve chorizo, the most delicious of sausages?)

There isn’t much salvaging your soul once you’ve meat-massacred someone, but Ernesto’s spiral into villainy continued: He stole Hector’s beautiful music, sung it as his own, and drained it of all its meaning. Hector’s heartfelt ballad, “Remember Me,” was dedicated to his daughter, Coco, whom he missed desperately while on the road. But with Hector gone (read: sausage-slaughtered), Ernesto watered the song down into some Vegas-style romp, showgirls and all. So, to reiterate, Ernesto poisoned Hector’s chorizo and his discography.

Coco’s young protagonist, Miguel, thinks his overbearing family is holding him back from his dreams of becoming a musician, but in the end, they’re what propels him forward. In life, we can’t do much that’s worth a damn without bolstering it with passion and love. As Ernesto de la Cruz and many villains on his list discovered, glory and fame are hollow without sincerity and without companionship. Was it really worth it to climb that ladder if, at every rung, you cheapened yourself? And once you’ve stolen that microphone, does anything you say have any meaning?

There’s no simple definition of a villain, and there’s no surefire way to avoid becoming one. That being said, keeping your loved ones close, speaking from the heart, and not poisoning another man’s chorizo are solid places to start.

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Darth Bane

Darth Bane is quite possibly the most important Dark Lord of the Sith in the Star Wars franchise who hasn’t appeared in any of the films. Master Yoda did encounter an illusory version of Bane in an episode of The Clone Wars, where he was voiced by none other than the Joker himself, Mark Hamill. But fear not, because he will probably be the star of a standalone film or television series any day now.

In the history of the Star Wars universe, Bane was one of many Sith who fought in the Jedi–Sith War a thousand years before the events of the films. Bane came out of the conflict with a singular revelation — the Sith were destroyed by infighting as much as they were destroyed by the Jedi. Their own lust for power turned them against one another in bids for power. Obviously, no one realized that a bunch of evil and power-hungry people convinced of their own superiority would have trouble getting along.

In response, Darth Bane formulated a new philosophy known as the Rule of Two. There would only be two Sith in existence at any one time — a Master to embody the power, and an apprentice to crave it. This legacy carried over to the era of the films to explain why there were only two Sith. Somehow, two Sith were more powerful than a couple of thousands of Jedi.

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Viserys Targaryen

While some Game of Thrones villains are driven to evil acts through the pursuit of power, or they’re demonstrably damaged, others are intimidating and fearsome, and others just plain psychopathic. Some, meanwhile, are simply utterly despicable. Viserys falls into the latter category.

The loathsome older brother of Game of Thrones shero, Daenerys, Viserys traded his sister essentially as a sex slave in exchange for an army from Jason Momoa’s Khal Drogo. The deal he struck ultimately backfired on him when Drogo fell in love with Dany and Viserys threatened him, fearful the Khal would renege on their bargain. Cue the memorable moment when Drogo kills Viserys with a crown of molten gold.

It was a moment that many watching at home would have audibly cheered. Not only was Viserys totally self-serving, he also sexually abused his sister. I mean, as if he couldn’t sink any lower in our estimations. He also demonstrated his contempt for women when he acted equally heinously towards another woman — Dany’s handmaiden Doreah. After getting his rocks off with her, he drags her by her hair to Daenerys in a fit of rage — at having been invited to dinner. To be fair, he did feel as if he’d been summoned rather than invited, which is enough to make anyone grasp the closest wench by the hair and storm off in anger, right? A truly vile antagonist with precisely zero redeeming qualities.

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Norman Bates

There have been multiple screen versions of Norman Bates. Anthony Perkins delivered one of the great celluloid performances as the character in 1960’s Psycho. Henry Thomas portrayed a younger version in Psycho IV. Vince Vaughn played a hulking Bates in a misguided shot-for-shot remake of the original. And most recently, Freddie Highmore played a teenage version of Norman in TV drama Bates Motel, which ran from 2013 to 2017 — which explains why this incarnation made the 2018 list.

Because Bates Motel lasted five seasons, Highmore got to truly inhabit the character, kicking off the series a shy, polite, likable 18-year-old, and ending it an intense 22-year-old killer driven mad by the memory of his dead mother, Norma.

The show’s fifth season kicked off two years after the passing of his dear mama, and we meet a Norman that seems happy, normal, and well-adjusted. But behind closed doors, he’s increasingly believing himself to be Norma. Resulting in an acting tour de force as Highmore plays Norman, Norman-as-Norma, and Norman-as-Norma-as-Norman.

With the finale fast approaching, the question became whether or not the show’s protagonist/antagonist was aware of his actions, or truly insane. With the writers — and Highmore — maintaining that ambiguity so we’re questioning his guilt right up until the end.

The Bates Motel conclusion managed to be both fitting and heartbreaking, Norman begging to be reunited with mother, and his brother making that dream a reality by killing him. A sorry end to a genuinely thought-provoking take on the material, and a version of Bates that deserves to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Perkins’ original.

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Lord Drakkon

Here is a brief list of universally cool things: dystopian alternate realities like the ’90s X-Men classics Age of Apocalypse or Days of Future Past, heroes turned villain, the Spider-Verse‘s universe-hopping, and Tommy the Green Ranger. Smash all of that together, and you get something mighty special: Lord Drakkon.

In the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers classic miniseries Green With Evil, the brainwashed Green Ranger is defeated by the Rangers, sees the light, and joins the team. In the Boom! Studios comics universe, an alternate version of these events plays out: in defeat, Tommy panics and chooses to flee, embracing fear and doubt. Eventually, he rejoins Rita and slowly embraces the darkness completely by replacing her and twisting the Ranger legacy into something terrible.

Drakkon is more than just a cool costume (and it is a very, very cool one). A sadistic and cruel dictator, he’s got a body count that stacks at least as tall as the Black Frog Ninjazord. Even stripped of his immense power, he’s still a sadistic and confident master of psychological warfare. But ultimately, he’s also just a front: one of the strongest choices the writers have made is revealing that in his home dimension, Drakkon sees himself as a young, fresh-faced, and ponytailed Tommy Oliver that still lives with his parents and longs to hang out at the juice bar. Drakkon isn’t just fueled by a power coin — he’s the rage and anger inside of most teenagers made manifest. A cautionary tale about how the choices we make when we’re the most vulnerable are often the ones that define us.

Drakkon has been the lynchpin for Power Rangers since he first appeared at the end of 2016. The Shattered Grid storyline, in which this twisted Tommy hunts Rangers across realities, has been a shot in the arm for the franchise, keeping the base pumped and bringing back older fans with the promise of a darker vision of the franchise they loved as kids. He’s appeared everywhere — comics, video games, youtube, and even in HyperForce, the franchise’s official RPG campaign on Twitch where Jason David Frank made a special guest appearance.

It’s one thing when a villain has the power and will to do their terrible deeds on screen and on the page. But the power to energize a million-dollar franchise? That takes a teenager with real attitude.

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We all know the story of the spaghetti-western drifter — the take-no-prisoners outlaw who blows through town with a gun on his hip. It’s a tale older than the Ol’ West itself. That was Westworlds mysterious legend, Wyatt. But when all-around good girl Dolores found out that she was an android and (bonus!) had been Wyatt all along, that was a bit more than your standard cowboy fare. That robot goodie-two-shoes murdered an entire town?!

Fans were shocked to discover that Dolores — the frontier girl so squeaky clean she made Bo Peep look like Jack the Ripper — had done all that pillaging and shooting and rootin’-tootin’ murdering. They were so bewildered that Wyatt’s page spiked 670% in page views in the two days after the grand reveal. That was by far the largest spike on Wyatt’s page (or Dolores’ for that matter). And you don’t have to be an omniscient android on the brink of self-discovery to understand why.

Society sets the standards we strive to, but it also tells us how to be bad. Advertisements and the media paint with broad strokes and inform the way we rebel. Men are meant to be aggressive. Women are prone to gossip. Teenagers are selfish and reckless. Every time you did something amoral — say you littered or started a rumor or, I don’t know, hijacked a locomotive heading west– were you the one in the driver’s seat? Or were you predisposed to that bad behavior?

We’ve all been Dolores, realizing we’re not as free-willed or autonomous as we’d like. Say you woke up tomorrow to discover you were the villain in your own story: was any of that within your control?

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Ronan the Accuser

Ronan the Accuser appears on this list for one reason: Captain Marvel. The character previously appeared onscreen as the antagonist in Guardians of the Galaxy four years prior, here the Kree-Nova War — in which most of Ronan’s family was wiped out — fueled his hatred for Xandar. And where he betrayed Thanos for control of the Power Stone.

Ronan wasn’t a classic villain, receiving very little screen time thanks to the introduction of the film’s many characters. Indeed, writer-director James Gunn even admitted, “There is some messy villain plot stuff in the first movie I’d like to deal with again. There was a committee working for Marvel at the time who had a lot of input, and that was primarily where it ended up. It just got a little messy.” The character, therefore, made very little impact, and was killed in underwhelming fashion following a dance-off with Star-Lord.

But now Ronan is back — thanks to the Captain Marvel movie playing out in the 1990s, when he was still very much alive. We might even see a less villainous take on the character. In the comics, Ronan is more of an anti-hero, at times even working alongside the Avengers and Inhumans. Early word from the Captain Marvel set suggests that he will be joining the title character in the “Starforce,” described as the SEAL Team Six of space.

Is Ronan, therefore, a force for good in the movie? Or does he have plans to betray Carol Danvers and her Starforce cohorts? We’ll have to wait until March 2019 to find out, but either way, Captain Marvel could be Ronan’s redemption.

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Serena Joy

Of all the villains in The Handmaid’s Tale, Yvonne Strahovski’s Serena Joy is one of the lesser aggressors, behind, say, husband Fred, and even Aunt Lydia. Not to mention all the men who run Gilead — wicked, misogynistic oppressors who enjoy having their cake and eating it. Like Game of Thrones’ Cersei Lannister, Serena Joy is a victim, oppressed by the patriarchy. Only now, finally, by the end of Season 2, she seems to be waking up to that fact.

Up to now, however, Serena has played her part in making life extremely difficult for Elisabeth Moss’s Offred, aka June. Wife of a high-ranking Gilead Commander, Joseph Fiennes’ rank Fred Waterford, Serena is unable to conceive. As per the new rules in a world where conception and birth rates have met an all-time low, Fred and Serena are assigned a Handmaid — a fertile woman with whom the couple carries out regular ritualistic sex, designed to be joyless and efficient and which amounts to legalized rape.

Though Serena Joy has long been an advocate of a more “traditional” way of doing things when it comes to family roles, and supported the creation of Gilead, the new way of things has left her feeling bitterly unhappy. She was unable to take on a leadership role after the coup, because she’s a woman, and the new society won’t let women “forget their real purpose” again.

When she discovered that the previous Handmaid had been sleeping with her husband behind her back, she struck such fear into the poor woman — who, as we saw with Offred, would have felt pressure to bow to the Commander’s wishes, and would have seen compliance as a way to a better existence — that she committed suicide. We see Serena Joy go out of her way to compound Offred’s misery, exhibit violent behavior towards her, and threaten the safety of Offred’s daughter, Hannah, in order to keep her in check.

With Serena Joy complicit in the creation and ongoing operation of Gilead and her treatment of June, she has certainly been guilty of terrible behavior, that’s for sure. But with Season 2 leaving off with Serena giving June her blessing to flee with baby Angela, it seems that Serena has now well and truly defected to the good side.

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Corvus Glaive

The thing we like most about Corvus Glaive is how relaxed he is when being unbelievably sadistic — like when he asks for a tribute to Thanos from a conquered race, something he describes as “a pittance, a portion.” This pittance ends up being the severed head of everyone between the ages of 16 and 22. The alternative? The obliteration of their entire race. 

While horrifying on multiple levels, Corvus Glaive treats the presenting the severed heads to Thanos as nothing more than an administrative task. Even worse, Glaive, like the rest of the Black Order, believe what he’s doing is right and just. A fanatical devotion to Thanos and his belief in bringing stability to the universe gives him the freedom to do some truly unspeakable acts.

Hopefully, Corvus Glaive will get the screen time he deserves in the next Avengers movie, especially since he may not be dead. True, getting skewered by Vision with your own weapon might send most beings to the afterlife, but Corvus Glaive is another matter.

His weapon (which puts the “Glaive” in Corvus Glaive) has a rather handy ability: the power to bring him back from the dead. As long as the Glaive itself is intact, then Corvus can come back from anything, even if he has been broken into atoms.

In Infinity War, he used his Glaive to surprise Vision, stopping the Avenger from phasing through it. This may be due to the Glaive’s ability to split atoms, meaning it can cut through anything in the universe, even a Hulk.

In addition to being a great fighter who can hold his own against multiple Avengers at once, Corvus Glaive is also a master tactician. We see this is during the final battle in Wakanda. As the battle intensifies outside, Corvus Glaive waits for Scarlet Witch to leave the Mind Stone unguarded. The moment she leaves to help the other Avengers, he swipes the stone with little resistance. Granted, Shuri’s quick thinking (and a bit of luck) ultimately foils his plan, but that was only a mere glimpse at what Corvus Glaive could become if he returns. 

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Emperor Palpatine

He is a phantom menace. He is the revenge of the Sith. He is Emperor Palpatine, the Sith Lord known as Darth Sidious. The original big bad of the Star Wars franchise, Palpatine is known to fans everywhere. Although he only had a fleeting mention as “the Emperor” in Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope, the film’s novelization established the story of the corrupt Senator Palpatine who manipulated his way into becoming the leader of the Galactic Republic only to transform it into the Galactic Empire. Those hints in the original trilogy inspired the story of the prequels, and have kept fans captivated for generations.

Palpatine’s time to shine was in the prequel trilogy, and while it’s been 13 years since the last of those films, he remains ever-present in the minds of fans. He’s Satan incarnate in the Star Wars universe. He’s pure evil, and he has no equal. Fans have been captivated by that for almost 40 years. Where does this pure evil come from? Star Wars offers no answers. Evil simply exists. It’s a corruption of nature. Where someone like Palpatine comes from doesn’t matter. All that matters is how you defeat it.

The Emperor is so popular that even more recent fan theories stem from him. One of the most popular was that the sequel trilogy’s Supreme Leader Snoke was actually Darth Plagueis, Palpatine’s Sith Master. While that theory didn’t pan out, it goes to show how far-reaching the Emperor’s legacy is in the minds of fans. He’s not a huge focus of Star Wars storytelling right now, but he resonates with fans to this day. He’ll always be the big bad of the Star Wars saga.

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Darth Nihilus

Darth Nihilus is one of the three Dark Lords who ruled the Sith in the game Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II. Nihilus is an enigma, a faceless mystery clad completely in black with his face hidden by a stark white mask. His intimidating presence casts a dark shadow across the entire game. Even Nihilus’s speech is unnatural, coming out as a series of unsettling noises that only his apprentice, Visas Marr, seems to truly understand.

Described as the Lord of Hunger, Nihilus craves Force energy after experiencing the activation of the Mass Shadow Generator on the planet Malachor V. He feeds on it in the same way a vampire likes to snack on blood. His lust for Force energy caused Nihilus to shed his physical body, and he became little more than a spirit who existed by being anchored to his mask and armor. He was still able to wield a lightsaber though, so that’s something.

Nihilus’ powers are so great that he devastated the planet Katarr, consuming its Force energy and killing the entirety of a Jedi conclave that had gathered on the planet. In one fell swoop, Nihilus managed to purge the galaxy of a large majority of its Jedi and he didn’t even need a clone army to do it!

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Proxima Midnight

“Father, we will not fail you.”

Proxima Midnight was just like Gamora. Her people were conquered and murdered by Thanos. The only difference, she drank the Kool-Aid. Midnight shows undying loyalty to Thanos and her husband, Corvus Glaive. She’s a true warrior and the fact that she can keep up with the likes of Black Widow and Captain America is part of what makes her character compelling.

One issue with henchmen is that they are often so far inferior to the protagonists that the fight scenes only work if they are quick or the hero has to play down to the other’s abilities. The genius behind Thanos and his children is that Thanos is so powerful that his followers are actually on par with his enemies.

Because of this, Ebony Maw, Glaive, and Midnight all possess powers that get the best of one or more MCU heroes at one time or another. Midnight and her husband even hold off Scarlet Witch and Vision, arguably the two most powerful Avengers. So much so that it seems strange that Cap and Black Widow are the ones that are able to do them in.

Black Widow: “We don’t want to kill you. But we will.”
Proxima Midnight: “You’ll never get the chance again.”

It’s this bit of foreshadowing that confirms that Midnight won’t last the whole movie. Though Black Widow doesn’t pull the trigger, she’s involved in one of the biggest pieces of fanservice in the movie. The “she’s not alone” scene when Okoye, Scarlet Witch, and Black Widow face off against Proxima, ending with her being telekinetically thrown into a thresher.

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We only recently got a glimpse of the cold-hearted Tatara in the most recent season of Tokyo Ghoul:re, but that doesn’t make him any less impactful. As one of the surviving members of the Chinese Ghoul organization, Chi She Lian, Tatara is second-in-command of the Aogiri Tree, an antagonistic terrorist organization that wants to make ghouls the dominant species.

A ruthless villain, Tatara has no problem leaving his fellow Aogiri members behind. After the auction incident, Ayato lashes out at Tatara for not rescuing the other Aogiri members. When his anger is met with a cold response, Ayato gets ready to attack. However, with breakneck speed, Tatara manages to catch Ayato — one of the strongest executives in the organization — off guard, placing a hand on Ayato’s head from behind, ready to kill him if he makes a move. It’s the type of flashy move you’d expect from Aogiri’s second-in-command.

Yet, it’s Tatara’s detached persona that makes him even more heinous. He cares little for his subordinates, even revealing during his argument with Ayato that he sees Aogiri members as nothing more than disposable pawns in his quest for dominance. It’s bad enough that Tatara has such a bad attitude, but when paired with his unbelievable power, he becomes an even bigger problem.

The extent of his powers is unknown. Not even the CCG, the federal agency that combats the Ghouls, knows his level, but he probably ranks SS or higher. Tatara’s only shown his abilities a few times, such as when he fought several veteran CCG agents on his own, including Kousuke Houji, the person who killed his former crew. Tatara came out of that battle completely unscathed and eerily calm, despite fighting the person that caused him so much pain.

The ability to maintain his composure keeps distractions, such as the deaths of others, from clouding his judgment. Tatara’s disdain towards human life and his lack of attachments work to his benefit, as it allows him to kill people without any hesitation, enabling him to stay focused on his goals. And although Tatara only appears in one episode of Tokyo Ghoul:re, which left fans wondering why he was left out, this doesn’t mean he’s unimportant. On the contrary, we’ve yet to see how significant and powerful he’ll become in the anime.

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Raditz cracking a villain list in 2018? How is that even possible?! He literally dies five episodes into Dragon Ball Z and is barely ever seen again outside of the games. But if you take a step back, it actually makes sense that Dragon Ball Z‘s first villain is still super relevant, despite appearing almost 30 years ago.

Even though many fans won’t claim Raditz as their favorite character, he was a much-needed disruptor that left an everlasting impression on the fandom to this day. Raditz kicked off the intergalactic race for the Dragon Balls, introduced the Saiyans, and unraveled Goku’s true origin. Imagine that. In the span of just a handful of episodes, he ripped apart everything fans thought they knew of kid Goku’s origin after years of watching Dragon Ball.

Despite being left off of the Dragon Ball FighterZ roster, he’s recently experienced a resurgence thanks to Team Four Star co-founder MasakoX and his popular What if Raditz Turned Good? series on YouTube. The 12-part series goes into great depth exploring what Raditz’s life would’ve been like if he’d come to Earth to make peace with his brother. These videos also helped MasakoX spawn the fan-made audio manga Dragon Ball R&R, which centers around Goten, Trunks, and Raditz’s daughter Ranch. The beautiful thing about this manga is seeing this evil Saiyan in a totally different light as a loving father as well as a caring brother and uncle. It’s certainly a far cry from his kidnapping days.

Even with these joyous videos from the Dragon Ball fandom, Raditz will always be remembered as the no-good brother who kidnapped Gohan and nearly killed Goku and Piccolo. And that’s okay. Because without him, the introduction to Dragon Ball Z wouldn’t be nearly as iconic.

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Mother Carmel

What could be evil about a loving woman setting up an orphanage to take in the misfits of society and children without anywhere else to go? What about if she was actually a child trafficker, selling these kids to fight in wars?

Carmel is a master manipulator without a conscience who is only concerned with money. Perhaps her greatest deception was when she stepped in to save four Giant Warrior Pirates from execution. She argued for peace between the races and that they must work together to prevent further wars. Unexpectedly, this convinced the Marines to spare the lives of the Giant Warrior Pirates and let them go. This earned the giants’ respect; they let her live on Elbaf and even built her a house for all the children.

All of this was a ruse, however; from the start, she had worked with the Marines to release the Giant Warrior Pirates. The Marines wanted her to provide them with more children and, specifically, giants. You’ve got to be brave to pull off a long con like that, especially while setting up an orphanage.

To Carmel, the orphanage was a business and the children were just a commodity. On the surface, Carmel was kind, loving, and fiercely protective of her children. In reality, she was just protecting her product — happy kids are easier to sell. Unsurprisingly, Carmel admits she can’t stand to not kids and thinks they’re all brats. Setting up and single-handedly running an orphanage while hating kids takes a truly wicked personality. To keep this up for over 50 years, however, shows how truly evil and money-driven Mother Carmel was.

Luckily, Mother Carmel’s reign of terror came to a fitting end when she was eaten by the child she did more for than anyone else, Big Mom.

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Ulysses Klaue

It takes a lot to be a memorable villain when you’re starring alongside a film-stealing Michael B. Jordan, but somehow, it’s a feat that Andy Serkis’ MCU character pulls off. Often unfairly forgotten when it comes to Marvel baddies, in this year’s Black Panther, Ulysses Klaue left his scorching, vibranium-shaped mark on the MCU.

A black market arms dealer who, ironically, loses one of his arms, Ulysses Klaue is one of the few Marvel villains who actually feels like a real person. OK, a deeply disturbed and twisted person, but compared to his peers — a fairly plausible one. While Thanos may have some semi-understandable motivations, his pompous nature and, well — the fact that he looks like a giant purple thumb — make him very much standard supervillain fodder. A demented South African gangster who wears a suit jacket? That’s pretty rad as it is. But a demented South African gangster who can shoot freaking energy blasts out of his arm? Iconic.

While he may have made his Marvel debut in the so-so Age of Ultron, thankfully, the role being carved out for Klaue down the line was worth it. It’s one that convinced Mr. Serkis to make a rare on-screen appearance outside of his motion-capture suit to turn in a brilliantly unhinged performance that’s just as hilarious as it is unsettling. It’s one that sees the menacing gangster seethe with anger in one moment and sing along to 80s classics the next. In other words, Klaue is basically Marvel’s more sociable version of the Joker. One who’d be better at parties.

When it comes to badass moments, not only does Mr. Klaue shoot blasts of energy at Wakandans while leaning out of a moving vehicle, he’s one of the few MCU villains to actually survive an encounter with another of Marvel’s big bads. OK, he may have lost his arm to Ultron, but still — he came off better than Loki did against Thanos. Sorry, Thor.

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Throughout the Star Wars: The Old Republic game and its many, many updates, Vitiate has gone by many names. Tenebrae. The Sith Emperor. Valkorion. It’s fair to say that he’s the big bad of the entire Old Republic MMORPG. Vitiate lived for over 1,500 years and manipulated galactic events behind the scenes like a chess grandmaster. Basically, if it happened during the Old Republic era, Vitiate probably had a hand in it.

Vitiate’s goal is really very simple — the annihilation of all life in the galaxy. He lacked empathy for anyone or anything. Performing a ritual that granted him immortality, Vitiate gathered 8,000 Sith Lords on his homeworld, drained their life essences, and totally crushed their minds and spirits. Vitiate became an immortal dark side spirit with the ability to possess beings, driven by a hunger for power and his desire to cheat death.

If you thought Palpatine was evil for creating an Empire with the sole purpose of ruling the galaxy with an iron fist, then guess again. Vitiate’s goal is to kill all the life in the entire galaxy simply to ensure his own immortality. At least Palpatine wanted someone around to kneel before him. Vitiate has no such plans for the galaxy.

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Gus Fring

Breaking Bad fans know Gus Fring as the antagonist for much of that series, a villain as charming as he was monstrous. Who toyed with Walter White until the show’s drug-dealing anti-hero finally got the upper hand, convincing Hector Salamanca to kill him via suicide bomb. But in 2017, prequel Better Call Saul introduced us to a younger, less powerful, but no less dangerous Gus in Season 3.

And his story continued in Season 4 this year, as Fring carefully navigated Albuquerque’s criminal underworld. The smiling face of evil — who very much hides in plain sight — Gus is a restauranteur, businessman, and philanthropist. Who also just happens to be building up a lucrative crystal meth business on the side.

Always one step ahead of his enemies, Gus maneuvered and manipulated those around him like pieces on a chess board this season, convincing Mike Ehrmantraut to build a drug lab below a laundromat, and forcing Nacho to do his dastardly bidding. By suffocating his associate Arturo in front of him. He ends the season ordering the death of innocent structural engineer Werner, a tragic end for a sweet man who made the mistake of crossing Gus Fring.

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Lucius Malfoy

“Oh, he’s very well connected, Lucius Malfoy…”

Lucius Malfoy is a classic, old-school villain of the Wizarding World. A known Death Eater, he has all the necessary qualities — a haughty, aristocratic manner which looks down on everyone, prejudices that breed contempt, deceitful manipulation for his own gain, and an almost obsessive fascination with dark artefacts. Not to mention his fabulous hair.

Jason Isaacs is in his element playing this unarguably menacing character, and his toxicity seeps through every moment he’s on screen, from his withering glares at the less wealthy Weasleys to his scornfully delivered insults against those that aren’t “pure blood.”

As slippery as he is sinister (even Voldemort calls him his “slippery friend”), it’s Lucius’ acts of willful deceit that make him so dangerous. Probably his most villainous moment was when he slipped the diary of Tom Riddle (aka Voldemort) into Ginny Weasley’s cauldron in The Chamber of Secrets, intending for an 11-year-old girl to purge the school of “mudbloods” and likely get murdered by a basilisk in the process. Now, that’s dark.

From bribing ministry officials to protect his reputation to constantly doing everything in his power to undermine Dumbledore’s liberal views, nearly all of Lucius’ actions in the series are clearly villainous. However, perhaps his worst crime is dragging the rest of his family into serving Voldemort. Putting Draco in the position where he has to kill Dumbledore and host Voldemort in their family home is just not fatherly. At all. This does, however, lead to his tenuously redeeming moment, which is abandoning Voldemort at the Battle of Hogwarts in favor of finding and protecting his own son in the end. We’re not sure that’s enough to forgive him for his continuing hatred of non-pure-bloods though, a fact confirmed in Broadway and the West End’s Cursed Child. Keep trying, Lucius.

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Hunter Zolomon is a serial killer, a speedster, and a psychopath. Not unlike Season 1’s Eobard Thawne (No. 60), Zolomon infiltrates Team Flash pretending to be someone he isn’t. Once again, the team is flustered and astonished when they discover Earth Two’s Jay Garrick is none other than Zoom himself, the villain they had been battling all along.

At this point of The Flash, it’s easy to see that they are leaning hard on the theme of betrayal. But while the plot is a little too similar to the first season, Zoom is at least as, if not more, disturbing than Thawne. After watching his father kill his mother in front of him, Zolomon began a downward spiral that ended with him being arrested on 23 counts of murder and sent to Saint Perez Mental Asylum.

As Zoom, Zolomon didn’t hesitate to murder countless metas and humans, as well as kidnapping Garrick (Earth Three’s Flash) and Jesse Wells. In the end, it’s Barry’s intelligence, not speed, that puts an end to Zoom’s destruction. Rather than go hand-to-hand with Zoom, Barry uses his knowledge of the Speed Force to allow the Time Wraiths to capture him, and we watch as he decays while being dragged away.

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Rowena MacLeod

There are plenty of monsters in Supernatural — wendigos, vampires, demons, rogue angels from an apocalypse world. Each has their own powerful abilities and each one poses a danger to the unsuspecting people of the world. But there is only one Rowena MacLeod. Despite not even appearing on screen until Season 10, the scheming sorceress quickly established herself as a powerful enemy to anybody standing against her.

As a natural witch (not one who learned magic or gained it through a demonic deal), hated mother of a King of Hell, and an outcast from the Grand Coven, Rowenna has a chip on her shoulder the size of Rhode Island and the power to take out her frustration on the people around her. Having survived decades, maybe centuries, with a seal placed on her true abilities, Rowena’s recently restored powers are enough to ensnare archangels and even tear holes between realities. Easing her way through immortality with quick cons and mind-bending spells, she is well-known for living a life of luxury at the expense of others.

It isn’t simply the power or sheer verve of her actions that makes every appearance of Rowenna special — it’s her unpredictable nature. Like Two-Face of Batman mythos, it’s impossible to tell which side she’s playing for. One misadventure began with her murdering corrupt business people only to actually be on a hunt for the reapers that arrived to collect their souls. And it was all a plot to force a meeting with the new Death to bargain for her son back so she can reaffirm her power over Hell.

One thing that you always have to bear in mind about the wicked witch is her one priority in the world: helping herself. Even if she’s helping the Winchesters fight the good fight from the first scene, there is nothing to stop her from turning around and stabbing them in the back just before the credits roll. No matter the promises she makes or the alliances she forges, Rowenna will double-cross everybody from gods to demons and everything in between to gain an advantage. And she will always do it with style.

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Ricardo Diaz

Taking on the role of the big bad for Season 6 of Arrow, Ricardo Diaz stands out from the usual crowd of villains lining up to take on the Green Arrow. He’s not out to destroy Star City, nor is he seeking revenge on Oliver Queen for any reason. Diaz just wants to take control of all the crime in Star City. Oh, and also the city itself. No half measures for this guy. Oliver Queen stands in Diaz’s way in more ways than one, both as the Green Arrow and the city’s mayor.

Diaz forms his own team of villains to go up against Team Arrow. His machinations fundamentally tear Team Arrow apart, turning them against each other. At the same time, Diaz manipulates everyone and corrupts Star City’s political infrastructure to serve him. Sure, Team Arrow manage to pull together long enough to stop him, but the cost is high. Diaz kills everyone’s favorite cop-turned-deputy mayor, Quentin Lance. Lance has always been high on the “Which Arrow Character Will Die” lists, but it’s Diaz who finally makes it happen.

The blows to Team Arrow don’t stop there. Diaz’s schemes result in Oliver Queen finally being unmasked as the Green Arrow and sentenced to life imprisonment. Of course, nearly every season someone seems to unmask him only to have it cleverly explained away, but this time it sticks. Team Arrow might have stopped Diaz, but they did not beat him completely. His plans are tatters, Diaz is now targeting Oliver Queen’s allies and loved ones. Diaz is not alone either — this time, he’s bringing the Longbow Hunters with him.

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Boba Fett

Boba Fett has been a Star Wars fan favorite character for 40 years. Ever since he made his debut in The Star Wars Holiday Special — yeah, that holiday special — he’s captivated the minds of fans everywhere. There’s a mystique to Boba Fett. Like Darth Vader before him, you want to know who and what is behind that mask. We’ve had glimpses, thanks especially to Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: The Clone Wars, but there’s still a big mystery to the man behind the Mandalorian armor that lasts to this day.

Boba’s not a big focus in the Star Wars franchise. At least, not anymore. There was a time, in the Expanded Universe that’s now known as the non-canon Star Wars Legends, when Boba was a major character. But ever since the Star Wars canon reboot of 2014, Boba has returned to his roots as a menacing but relatively unknowable bounty hunter. He still makes appearances here and there, and he’s certainly a force to be reckoned with, and that helps keep him in the minds of fans even after all these decades.

Although Boba seemingly met his end in Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi, Jon Favreau’s recently announced live-action TV series, The Mandalorian, hints at Boba’s legacy. Although Boba is not, as many fans believed, a Mandalorian himself, the titular character of The Mandalorian is said to be following in the footsteps of Boba. This will be sure to fuel even more Boba Fett stories.

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The Vampire Diaries has a knack for bringing in big bads that fans love to hate. Each holds their own place in fans’ hearts. However, one, in particular, stands out above the rest: the world’s very first immortal being, the over 2,000-year-old Silas.

Before becoming an immortal, he was a powerful witch. He had an entire cult that worshiped him and believed he could bring about “the end of all time.” When he became an immortal, Silas’ witch abilities were negated, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t a force to be reckoned with. As an immortal, Silas created powerful illusions, once even tricking Klaus, the Original Hybrid, into believing he was dying. Instilling fear in the series’ most-feared supernatural is no small feat and a testament to Silas’ character.

Some may not realize the impact that Silas has on the show. Silas becoming immortal inevitably led to the creation of doppelgängers and vampires. Being that most of our favorite characters are vampires, and Stefan and Elena, two-thirds of the series’ leads, are doppelgangers, The Vampire Diaries couldn’t have happened without Silas’ desire for immortality.

Silas has committed countless villainous acts, but his most heinous is when, after revealing he is the progenitor of the Salvatore bloodline, he shows Stefan his true form. He looks exactly like Stefan, making it impossible to tell them apart. With absolutely no remorse, Silas stabs Stefan, stuffs him into a safe, and tosses it into a quarry. Silas then proceeds to masquerade as Stefan for three months, fooling everyone closest to him, even his own brother. His blatant disregard for Stefan, a fan favorite, cemented his place in fans’ minds as one of the most notorious villains in The Vampire Diaries universe.

Silas has long been six feet under, but with a new spin-off series of both The Vampire Diaries and The Originals currently airing, interest in the villain and how he shaped The Vampire Diaries universe is greater than ever. The new series, titled Legacies, follows Hope, Klaus’ daughter, as she tries to become the best version of herself, in spite of her worst impulses. Even though Silas, the man inadvertently responsible for her creation, is dead, his legacy will loom over her and every vampire during their darkest moments.

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Think back to when you began Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, all of those hundreds of hours ago, and learned your very first shout at Bleak Falls Barrow. Do you remember that rush of power, the effects overwhelming your senses as you learned Fus Ro Dah? It felt incredibly unique to assume the role of the Dragonborn, or the Dovahkiin.

Enter Miraak, the first known Dragonborn — and suddenly, you realize you’re not as special as you originally thought.

Upon first meeting him at the Temple of Miraak, the Dovahkiin knows they’ve met their match. Miraak is a true master of dragons, able to absorb souls just like the Dragonborn, as well as bend them to his will. If you needed any more proof of what Miraak is capable of, the enthralled masses of Solstheim and their creepy chanting definitely help.

As you embark on your journey to learn the dragon shout Bend Will, you learn about Miraak’s dark past and close ties to Hermaeus Mora, the Daedric god of knowledge and memory. For those that haven’t had the opportunity to encounter Hermaeus Mora and his plane of Oblivion, Apocrypha, think large tentacles and Lovecraftian nightmare fuel. Miraak is similarly designed, with a Cthulhu-esque mask, a stamina-draining tentacle sword, and a staff which, you guessed it, summons tentacles.

His equipment and his slew of abilities make Miraak one of the more formidable foes in Elder Scrolls V, but it’s his claim of the Dragonborn name and foil to your player character that make Miraak an iconic villain. In many ways, he’s a great counterpart to any type of Dovahkiin. No matter your play style, he has a variety of shouts, an ever-extending life bar, and both long and short range weapons. And regardless of your character’s deeds, his cruelty and disregard for free will would set most Dovahkiin to action.

With Switch and PSVR editions of Skyrim hitting shelves late 2017, Miraak has been able to enter (or reenter) the nightmares of Dragonborn everywhere. And fighting a tentacle-wielding dragon-shouting ancient being in VR is definitely a memorable 2018 moment.

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Tywin Lannister

Tywin Lannister was the richest and most powerful man in Westeros. As the patriarch of the Lannister family, he used his calculated conniving to carve a path to the Iron Throne for his family. Though he never sat on the throne, his sheer influence and power effectively made him King. He was known for his unstaggering willpower and commitment to family, for better or worse.

Interestingly, in the books, Tywin’s actions are only witnessed and interpreted through the viewpoints of either Tyrion or Jaime. However, in the series, viewers receive a more well-rounded portrayal of Game of Thrones most ruthless villain.

A proud man, Tywin’s powerful status formed a huge part of his identity. As such, Tywin openly hated Tyrion. He thought Tyrion’s small stature and lascivious behavior brought shame onto the family name. Tywin’s wife, Joanna, died while giving birth to Tyrion, and Tywin has resented him for that ever since. After Tyrion came to the realization that Tywin killed the only woman he ever loved, Shea, he was pushed over the edge.

Tywin’s most satisfying on-screen moment came in the Season 4 episode “The Children.” Tyrion confronts Tywin on the toilet with a crossbow, ready to kill him in cold blood. This moment sees Tywin stripped of his class, dignity, armor, and entourage. It’s the first and last time in the series he appears truly vulnerable. Tyrion takes this opportunity to kill his father, finding closure after a lifetime of verbal abuse.

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Walter White

Walter White, aka Heisenberg, aka The One Who Knocks, aka “Bitch,” as in, “Yea, Bitch.”

OK, maybe not that last one.

In Breaking Bad, what some have called the best TV show ever (@ me), Bryan Cranston stars as Walter White, one of the most compelling characters in media. Walter White wasn’t the first protagonist to turn baddie, but he may have been the one that perfected the on-screen, slow-burn heel turn. The best part about Walter’s character is his unwillingness to accept the fact that he thoroughly enjoys being a badass.

While we get glimpses of it throughout the series in unforgettable quotes like, “You’re god damn, right” and “I am the one who knocks,” it’s not until the final episode when Walt finally admits to Skyler, “I did it for me. I liked it.” It’s at this moment when his transformation from likable chemistry teacher to a full-on villain is complete.

Walt does some pretty sinister stuff during the series, including poisoning a 6-year-old and killing Mike Ehrmantraut. But his most evil on-screen moment comes in the place we least want it to… his relationship with Jesse.

Ozymandias” may very well be Breaking Bad’s greatest episode. When Walt spots Jesse hiding and rats him out to the Nazis, it’s hard not to feel your heart sink into your chest. But the cherry on top is the call back to Season 3 when Walt finally admits to Jesse that he watched Jane overdose and choke on her own vomit — and, of course, did nothing about it.

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Mike Ehrmantraut

On paper, Better Call Saul is a bit of a bizarre proposition. Where Breaking Bad’s unpredictable arcs kept viewers constantly questioning how far Walter White’s pursuit for power would take him, from the very first second of Better Call Saul, we already know exactly what path Jimmy McGill would choose.

Yet, despite pulling fans in with the tragi-comedy of Jimmy’s downfall, it’s the show’s multi-layered exploration of Breaking Bad’s more mysterious characters that really enriches Vince Gilligan’s universe. And, let’s face it, there are few Albuquerqueans that come close to commanding the mystery and intrigue of Mr. Mike Ehrmantraut. Where this cold-hearted “fixer” almost managed to steal the show with just sporadic appearances in Breaking Bad, Gilligan’s prequel has sensibly shifted Ehrmantraut to center stage.

Much like Jimmy, Better Call Saul has given fans a reason to care for Mike, sending viewers on an emotionally charged journey with him that sees Mike slowly transition from bereaved father to ruthless cartel enforcer. What makes Mike such a brilliant villain, however, is that he’s always relatable. Sure, he’s employed by murderous drug dealers, but he’s only taking the cash in order to support his granddaughter.

Renowned for a steely stare that could intimidate even Gus Fring, his no-nonsense attitude, and the ability to outsmart (and even outfight) cartel members half his age; it’s not hard to see why fans are so smitten with this iconic, bald badass.

Despite Season 4 finally seeing the lovable Jimmy McGill transform into the morally questionable Goodman — it’s Mike Ehrmantraut who is arguably the show’s greatest villain. Despite being faced with difficult choices, he always seems to have enough empathy (and a healthy enough bank balance) to walk away. But despite that, his warped sense of duty sees him murder an innocent man with barely a moment’s hesitation. Forget the obvious baddies like Fring, 2018 is the year of the far more terrifying villains — one’s who still have a moral compass like Mike.

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The Lich

He’s quiet, gruesome-looking, and seeks to end all life throughout the multiverse. He is The Lich, and he’s Finn and Jake’s most recurring enemy on Adventure Time.

First introduced in Season 2, the Lich is a necromancer that sought to end all existence before being imprisoned by the hero Billy in the sap of the Candy Kingdom’s tree. Once freed, he immediately resumes his evil plans, only to be beaten by our heroes, Finn and Jake. But his ability to possess other people’s bodies allows him to escape permanent defeat time and time again.

The Lich is a truly terrifying opponent that even Finn fears to an extent, and very little actually scares Finn. Able to suck the life out of living beings with his breath, the Lich gives off a death-like aura. He also possesses powerful mind-control abilities and can take control of people through words alone. Considering how he rarely speaks as it is, this makes him pretty terrifying

The worst part, though, is that he’s skilled at fooling others. After his initial defeat at the hands of Finn, the Lich takes over Princess Bubblegum’s body, using her to manipulate Finn into gathering materials for the Lich to regain his strength. He even possesses the body of Finn’s hero, Billy, to get Finn and Jake to help him build a portal to the multiverse. A master manipulator never gets their hands dirty, they’ve got people for that. But getting the hero to carry out your villainous deeds is especially heinous.

Luckily, the Lich is so arrogant that he fails to see his enemies as serious threats — which is why heroes like Finn and Jake constantly beat him. His biggest plan, assembling an army of the worst criminals in the multiverse, ended up with him being transformed into a harmless child known as Sweet P. As of now, the original Lich is suppressed within Sweet P, but there are multiple versions of him throughout the multiverse. If the show hasn’t come to an end this year, we have no doubt that Finn and Jake would’ve encountered the Lich again.

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Count Olaf

Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events — first a 13-book series that began in 1999, then a 2004 movie, and currently a Netflix series — is a staple in every low-key goth kid’s life. It’s an uber-dark coming-of-age story about orphans, money, murder, and how isolating and lonely childhood can be. And at its center is the iconically villainous Count Olaf, with his intense unibrow and spotty facial hair.

Snicket’s macabre tale is embedded in the pop culture zeitgeist, but it got an extra spotlight this year when Netflix’s second season of ASOUE premiered. Olaf is one of children’s literature’s most popular and fascinating villains. He’s half-terrifying villain and half-fool. One minute Olaf is dressed in goofy disguises and putting on terrible plays, and the next he’s threatening to cut off baby Sunny Baudelaire’s toes. It’s a strange and scary juxtaposition that rings true for most people, but especially when you’re young and begin to see just how quickly authority figures can morph from harmless to monstrous.

But why, other than the current Netflix series, does Olaf have such pop culture staying power? Because he’s emblematic of a universal experience: A child’s first realization that some adults cannot be trusted. When you’re young, you expect adults to have answers; to help and guide you. Then some event, big or small, rips that comforting assumption away and you realize that most adults, most people, don’t have the answer — and worse, not all of them are good.

In a year of great political change and unrest, when we saw Generation Z — the youngest generation — begin to find their political legs on a very public stage. It’s no wonder Lemony Snicket’s core message rings especially true: You, like the Baudelaire orphans, have to find your own solution in order to defeat the Count Olafs of this world.

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The Akatsuki was a despicable bunch, but perhaps none deserves more hate than Hidan. We’re talking about a shinobi who defected from his home village of Yugakure because it became a peaceful tourist destination. On his way out, he slaughtered his neighbors and then promptly became a follower of Jashin, a religion that considers anything less than death and destruction a sin — meaning you actually have to pray for forgiveness when you fail to kill someone.

As expected, this becomes a recipe for disaster when Hidden Leaf shinobi Asuma Sarutobi, Shikamaru Nara, Kotetsu Hagane, and Izumo Kamizuki ambush Hidan and his equally criminal partner Kakuzu — giving us our first clear look at the horrors of Jashin. Wielding a three-bladed scythe, Hidan draws and ingests Asuma’s blood, kickstarting a bizarre Jashin ritual where he takes on a skeletal, grim reaper-like appearance and links his body to his victim’s like a voodoo doll.

We’re forced to watch as Hidan gleefully hurts himself, taking joy in the pain he and Asuma share. It’s a harrowing battle, but one we thought would end with Asuma, son of the flipping third Hokage, coming out on top. Instead, Hidan knocks the breath out of us by turning his blade on himself, piercing his own heart. By then, we, along with Shikamaru, have figured out how the trick works — you need to force Hidan out of his ritual circle to break the curse — but it was too late.

As we watched Asuma smoke one final cigarette, we couldn’t help but think about what would happen to his love Kurenai and their unborn daughter, Mirai, or his faithful student and mentee, Shikamaru. Eventually, Hidan meets as good an end as possible for an immortal at the hands of Shikamaru — all he had to do was blow him to bits, drop the bits into a pit, and bury him alive in a forest that only members of the Nara clan can access. No big deal, right?

Unfortunately, since Hidan is immortal, it’s possible that he’s still alive but slowly dying from malnutrition. If he does somehow manage to escape and find his way into Boruto, we can only hope that Mirai, now fully grown, will find a way to end his life for good as revenge for her father’s death. As for us, we’ll never forgive him for robbing us of the shinobi who taught us about the will of fire.

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Charlotte DiLaurentis

It’d be wiser to face Thanos’ snap than to take on Pretty Little Liars Charlotte DiLaurentis. At least with Thanos, you have a 50% chance for survival. If Charlotte, or “Big A” as she was later revealed to be, decides to sink her teeth into you, you have next to no chance, and you’d hardly see it coming.

Don’t believe us? Ask Emily, whom Charlotte put into a coffin and placed on a sawmill conveyer belt. Or Toby‘s home, which she blew up. Why not chat up Detective Wilden, whom Charlotte killed when he started to know too much?

Charlotte’s crowning achievement of mischief and evil was trapping the Liars in her creepy “dollhouse,” complete with eerie replicas of their childhood bedrooms and an all-too-functional morgue. And let’s not forget that Charlotte once called in a bomb threat just to get a few extra minutes for her school photo. And she didn’t even go to that particular school!

Kidnapping, murder, creepy doll play, and yearbook photo fraud? Thanos might have gone a bit crazy over balancing the universe, but Charlotte is villainous in her imbalance. Move over, Thanos. Charlotte DiLaurentis is the real Mad Titan around here, and she snapped a long time ago.

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Bryce Walker

All of the supernatural villains on this list — with their dark magic and superpowers and legions of ice zombies — pale in comparison to the central villain in 13 Reasons Why. Bryce Walker, the teenage rapist who evades both social and judicial justice, is a real person — and that makes him all the more terrifying. Most, if not all, women can immediately reference a Bryce Walker of their own; he’s the embodiment of rape culture.

Netflix’s 2017 teen soap was a runaway hit and struck a chord with young audiences, but came under fire for portraying sensitive subject matter, including sexual assault, substance abuse, and Hannah Baker’s graphic suicide. The second season premiered in May 2018 and didn’t pull any punches (though Netflix did release an exhaustive study on the show’s impact and updated its pre-episode warnings). It tackled bullying, self-harm, mental illness, and gun violence. But the most harrowing storyline was watching Bryce Walker’s victims testify against him, at immeasurable personal sacrifice, only to see him walk free and unrepentant.

In the season’s powerful finale, Jessica Davis — a survivor of Walker’s assaults — addresses the court directly, right before the judge reads Walker’s sentence. Walker sits in his carefully curated costume (crisp blue suit and non-prescription glasses) listening passively. Davis’ plea for punishment is gut-wrenching and morphs into a montage of the show’s leading women recounting their own memories of the men who assaulted them — Walker, other jocks at Liberty High, a work colleague, a youth pastor, a second cousin.

And still, Walker’s sentence is tiny: three months’ probation. By the end of the finale, he’s attending a school dance, victorious and unphased. It’s maddeningly unjust to see in a fictional TV show, but it’s absolutely terrifying because we’ve seen this exact sequence of events play out in real time. This year has given assault survivors an unprecedented platform to share their stories — but justice is slow at best, and entirely absent at worst. Bryce Walker’s trial is emblematic of what happens when women are asked to pour their hearts out, to rip themselves open in the hope that justice will be served. They’re often, like Bryce’s victims, left bleeding out as their assailant walks away, whole and untouched.

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“Wait, what is a Springtrap?”

I was standing in a Hot Topic, holding a Funko Pop of what looked like a cartoon undead robot Donnie Darko rabbit man. I had no clue what I was looking at, when I asked that question out loud to an employee. He rightfully gave me a look that was half customer service training and half pity — I recognized it immediately, as a former Hot Topic employee myself. He then explained that I was holding Springtrap, the villain of Five Nights at Freddy’s 3, a popular horror game. I, a former Hot Topic employee, realized that I had absolutely nothing in common with this young, new version of Hot Topic me.

My pop culture landscape is populated by unchanging icons. It’s dominated by undying IPs: Darth Vader, Pennywise, Thanos, and even Voldemort. Older geeks have complete ownership of these villains. Sure, you can play with our toys and join our fandom, but at the end of the day, these figures belong to us. We are the gatekeepers of the lore; we are the lovers of the stuff. Hot Topic used to be full of my stuff, but not these days. Springtrap and his dead unblinking stare represent a new lore that the older generation doesn’t own at all.

I’ve since learned that people who come face to face with Springtrap in Five Nights at Freddy’s scream for death. My first face-to-face meeting with this rabbit marked a similar experience: It was the first time I felt like an old, out-of-touch dude in pop culture. I’m not his gatekeeper; he’s not my stuff. This fandom didn’t need me. To me, that’s just as scary as a player racing against their inevitable Springtrap-fueled jumpscare murder.

That’s the importance of Springtrap and his peers, from the Purple Guy to Freddy himself. Designers have taken a visual that’s inherently off-putting — an animatronic bunny mascot suit — and given it a creepy spin: It is almost definitely going to murder you at any second. They’ve also built just enough lore around it to keep you emotionally invested. Springtrap just might be a pop culture character that will become a staple in this younger generation’s pop culture landscape.

It’s hard to gauge what Springtrap’s most villainous on-screen moments are. Is it the first time you spot him on camera? Is it the moment when he hovers outside the doorway, forcing you into one final gambit for survival? Is it that last jumpscare? They’re all simple and primally terrifying, which is why fans react so strongly to this horrifying death bunny. We older fans may not “get it” — but should we? Our parents didn’t understand Deadites and Ghostface, either.

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Stannis Baratheon

We can already hear the legions of Stannis stans arguing that he isn’t a real villain. With their stag flags in hand, they might’ve even rooted for the King of the Narrow Sea. “You can’t blame him entirely,” they’d say. “No Iron Throne candidate is perfect.”

And that’s true. Daenerys Targaryen proved her unwavering ruthlessness when she turned Dickon and Randyll into Tarly Calamari. Cersei is so cruel, her name is practically a synonym for torture. And, despite having murdered dozens (hundreds? thousands?) of people, Euron Greyjoy will go down in history for his criminal sleaze-baggery.

However, some of the most harrowing acts committed in the name of Westerosi power have been Stannis’. In fact, some of the most harrowing acts ever committed on television have been done by Stannis. This, of course, includes abandoning his daughter and his good friend in a basement prison and cosigning the murder of his younger brother by a smoke monster. RIP Renly.

Indisputably, Stannis’ point of no return was when he burned his daughter, Shireen, at the stake as a misguided sacrifice to a god that would ultimately forsake him. It was an unspeakable misstep that had many fans covering their eyes or pressing fast forward.

Sorry, Stannis. You can’t be considered the lesser of evils with fratricide and filicide under your chainmail belt. Welcome to FANDOM’s list of 100 villains, you stinkin’ stag. You absolutely deserve to be here.

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Reverse Flash

Eobard Thawne is a speedster from the future who is one of the Flash’s greatest enemies. That’s the short version. Unfortunately, things are rarely simple in the Arrowverse, especially when time-travel is thrown into the mix. The long version is that Thawne was obsessed with the Flash. He recreated the accident that created his hero and soon came to be the Flash’s greatest enemy — the Reverse-Flash. After learning the Flash’s real identity, Thawne time-traveled to the past in order to kill Barry Allen as a child. He did not succeed due to the intervention of a future version of Barry, but he did succeed in killing Barry’s mother, Nora Allen. The murder was blamed on Barry’s father, Henry.

Thawne lost his connection to the Speed Force and became stranded in the past. In a fit of cosmic irony, he ended up taking on the identity of Harrison Wells to ensure that the accident that created the Flash happened in the first place, so he could harness his speed to return to the future. Talk about a predestination paradox! Thawne ends up creating the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator explosion that gives Barry his powers and creates a large portion of meta-humans within the Arrowverse.

Becoming Barry’s mentor, Thawne trains him to be the Flash. Sure, it’s all for his own benefit, but there’s no doubting that he helped Barry to become the fastest man alive. Even being erased from existence cannot stop Thawne — his own ancestor kills himself to stop him! But Thawne is so essential to the timeline that remnants of him exist at key points in order to preserve its integrity.

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Grand Admiral Thrawn

Brilliant. Cunning. Calculating. Deadly. These are all characteristics that describe Grand Admiral Thrawn, one of the most sinister villains in the Star Wars franchise. Before he made his debut on the TV series Star Wars Rebels, Thrawn was already the main character of the Heir to the Empire trilogy — Timothy Zahn’s wildly popular Star Wars novels. The trilogy launched the modern Star Wars Expanded Universe — the official collection of all licensed Star Wars stories outside of the original films — and came to define many of the hundreds of books, comics, and games that followed. In Thrawn, fans found a villain and a story worthy of succeeding the villains of the original Star Wars film trilogy.

Fans have always loved Thrawn’s thorough and fascinating battle tactics. Winning alone is never enough to defeat an enemy; he wants to understand his enemies on a cultural level, from their history to their art, and use that knowledge against them. When Thrawn made the jump from page to screen in Rebels, so did this defining battle strategy. Thrawn spent an entire season learning about the fledgling Rebel Alliance and delivered them a crippling blow after learning all he could about their fleet, members, and culture. Thrawn is only ever defeated when he’s faced with an unknown and unexpected variable he can’t study and control; on Star Wars Rebels, that variable was the Jedi’s connection to the unexplained mysteries of the galaxy.

But what fuels Thrawn? Why does this alien from a distant world join the Empire, an autocracy to which he had no inherent loyalty? Every decision Thrawn makes is to better protect his people and home, the Chiss Ascendancy. The galaxy’s Unknown Regions are full of threats that could pose a danger both to the Empire and to his own people. Thrawn came to believe that only the Empire would be powerful enough to deal with those threats, so he helped Emperor Palpatine learn more about the Unknown Regions. It was his knowledge of the Unknown Regions that helped the shattered Empire find shelter there and rebuild as the First Order.

With influence that extends from the Clone Wars all the way to the war between the First Order and the Resistance, Thrawn’s made his mark on the Star Wars galaxy as one of the most influential villains in the canon. Between his ongoing book series and his uncertain fate on Star Wars Rebels, we surely have not seen the end of the sinister Grand Admiral Thrawn.

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When you have a cough, what do you usually do? Relax, take medicine, and wait for it to pass, right? Well, the same can’t be said for Grievous, a Kaleesh-turned-cyborg, whose perpetual coughing fits didn’t stop him from becoming one of the most feared names in the galaxy.

Trained in the Jedi arts by Dooku, Grievous’ cybernetics only enhanced his combat prowess. A skilled pilot who was able to wield four lightsabers at once, his skills led to an obsession: Kill any and all Jedi — Padawan, Knight, or Master — and take their lightsabers for himself. No slouch with a blaster, either, and with an endless droid army at his back, Grievous truly was a force to be reckoned with. As much a tactician as a fighter, he climbed the ranks and won his fair share of decisive victories during the Clone Wars as a general.

On all fronts, Grievous was nothing less than unstoppable. It wasn’t until a battle with Obi-Wan Kenobi — who he’d already fought and defeated several times over — on Utapau that he finally fell, and only after severely injuring Obi-Wan. With his inimitable fighting style and many triumphs, it’s no wonder that Grievous has gone down in Star Wars history as one of its most dangerous villains.

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If supernatural antagonists are your bag, there’s none more memorable than It. Usually defined by his appearance as Pennywise the Clown, Stephen King’s horror creation could well be responsible for the pathological fear of clowns that prevails in the modern era.

King’s 1986 novel reveals that the creature is a shapeshifting alien, billions of years old, that feeds on humans. It’s preference, and a major reason the being is so unsettling, is for children, largely because they’re easier to scare and manipulate. And what’s scarier than a being that can take the shape of your greatest fear?

In 2017, King’s novel made it to the screen for the first time since the 1990 TV miniseries starring Tim Curry as Pennywise. Andy Muschietti’s film — the first in a two-parter with the second film due out in 2019 — re-engaged audiences all over again.

In many horror films, slashers, in particular, a roster of people — adults — is often set up to be killed off, starting with the most morally questionable, giving some kind of justification for the kill and allowing, nay, encouraging the audience to take some pleasure in the character’s death. When it comes to It, the children are not only innocent, they’re also bullied and abused outcasts. There’s nothing that makes these kids deserving of what happens to them.

Consequently, the film is all the more disturbing — which explains why the story and its antagonist are still so popular today, and why the tale still resonates with fans. So much so, in fact, that Muschietti’s version, starring a chilling Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise, broke box office records to make it the highest-grossing horror film of all time.

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Father is the original Homunculus and a clone of Van Hohenheim, the father of Fullmetal Alchemist’s main characters, Edward and Alphonse. But before he became a superior being, Father was just an orb of dark matter in a flask. As a living Philosopher’s Stone — an alchemical object of power used to transmute elements —  and with Van Hohenheim’s DNA, Father transformed from an orb to an exact copy of Van Hohenheim.

As time passed, his thirst for both power and knowledge grew. Father eventually set his focus on gaining control of the Eye of God, hoping to absorb all its alchemic power to become a god himself. These new powers would free him from the physical laws of the universe that had restricted his freedom —  a restriction he’d been trying to escape ever since his days in the flask.

To gain his freedom, he needed the help of his Homunculi to create a Nationwide Transmutation Circle. To do this, they orchestrated wars and genocide, including the Ishval Civil War, which caused countless casualties on both sides. Things finally came to a head when State Alchemists were sent to the front lines to act as human weapons. This decision led to numerous deaths, making the land ripe for a Transmutation Circle. Many other regions would soon suffer the same fate as Ishval.

In addition to being a murderer who’s killed millions of people, Father is also deeply deceitful. He can sense human desires, and he uses that gift to deceive his allies to achieve his own goals. Even his children, the other Homunculi, are nothing but tools in his eyes.

Father is a prime example of a villain who seeks power just for the sake of it, and his disregard for human life makes him irredeemable. From beginning to end, fans know what they’re going to get with this villain: He never shies away from his own capacity for wrongdoing or deviates from a set plan. He’s pure evil, and nothing will get in his way — that’s why FMA fans love him.

Early this year, Netflix released a live-action adaptation movie, Fullmetal Alchemist, which chronicled the journey of the Elric brothers and their battles against the Homonculi. Unfortunately, Father wasn’t present in the live-action film as it only adapted the first chapters and a few iconic scenes of the anime. But hopefully, we’ll see him again in the future.

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Peter Pettigrew

Rare is the villain with absolutely no redeeming qualities, but rarer is a villain so wholly irredeemable as Peter Pettigrew. There are plenty of murderous Dark Wizards running around the Potterverse, but none show anywhere near the same cowardice and selfishness.

Pettigrew is directly responsible for so much of Harry Potter’s miserable upbringing: Pettigrew sold out James and Lily Potter to Voldemort (leading to their murder) and framed Sirius Black for the betrayal (cheating Harry out of a loving legal guardian) by murdering 12 Muggles (not really related to Harry but still mass murder). Pettigrew was at his most likable when he spent the next 12 years disguised in his Animagus as Scabbers, the Weasley family’s pet rat. His previous actions alone made him irredeemable, but then he’s forced out of hiding and straight-up resurrects the Dark Lord.

Every single action Pettigrew takes is motivated by self-interest — it’s his defining quality — and as a result, he’s a deeply unpopular character. Despite being the center of the greatest reveal in all of Harry Potter history (discovering that Scabbers the rat was actually an evil wizard shook a generation of young readers), he’s statistically the least popular of the four Marauders. Pettigrew’s Wikia page garnered fewer than 317,000 total views in 2018, as opposed to Sirius’ nearly 600,000 views. And why? Because Peter Pettigrew is a character study in human weakness.

Harry Potter is as much about politics as it is about magic. It’s a story about standing strong in the face of evil and doing the right thing over the easy thing, even if that means losing everything. Pettigrew is like a modern day Twitter rat, hiding behind his screen and refusing to join arms against a growing sea of immorality. He immediately caves under pressure; he’ll do anything to prioritize his own self-preservation over the greater good. It’s easy to hate Pettigrew, but deep down, he might be who we’re all secretly afraid of becoming.

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The Mad King

Daenerys’ dear old dad, Aerys II Targaryen, was a real piece of work. He’s a largely mysterious figure in the Game of Thrones landscape, and we’ve seen precious few glimpses of him on the show. But he looms so large that this year alone he was the 29th most visited Game of Thrones character (more popular than Bran, Gendry, and the whole Night’s Watch).

After going insane (likely due to the Targaryens’ insistence on marrying their direct relatives to keep the bloodline pure), the aptly nicknamed Mad King set events in motion that are still reverberating through all of Westeros: He gruesomely murdered Ned Stark’s father and brother (leading to Robert’s Rebellion) and tried to burn King’s Landing to the ground with wildfire (hello, Cersei) — and likely would have succeeded had Jaime Lannister, then a member of his Kingsguard, not stepped in and killed him (earning him his loathed nickname, Kingslayer). Aerys II is also the reason it took his daughter six whole seasons to get back across the Narrow Sea; she and Viserys were shipped off as children for safekeeping after Jaime killed their father.

Aerys has been dead for years, but he’s a fascinating villain to examine. He illustrates exactly what Dany has the potential to become: all-powerful and absolutely bonkers. There have been theories floating around for ages that even if Dany does win the Iron Throne, she might similarly lose her marbles thanks to her Targaryen genetics (Aerys married his own sister, and Dany is a product of that unhappy union). She’s aware of that potential and has repeatedly said she’s nothing like her father, but let’s not forget when she burned those Tarly boys alive without a second thought. There’s a thin line between ruthless ruler and Mad Queen — and with the show’s final season fast approaching, we have no idea which side she’ll land on.

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It’s impossible to not feel conflicted when it comes to the angriest Smurfette in the galaxy. On the one hand, Gamora can’t be trusted, is fueled entirely by rage, and just refuses to get her shit together and think about her actions rationally. On the other hand, her adoptive father Thanos killed her family and then tortured her both emotionally and physically — so we have to cut her some slack. Nebula’s most recent turns in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Avengers: Infinity War proved that she really did love Gamora, and when she found out her sister had died, Nebula’s face finally showed an emotion other than rage: She was heartbroken.

Nebula’s sole mission in life has been to kill Thanos. Yes, she’ll ally herself with true villains to do that (like Ronan the Accuser), but it’s all a means to the same end. And guess what? It turns out that she was right all along. All that time the Avengers spent fighting amongst themselves in Civil War seems laughable now that Thanos has killed half the known universe with a snap of his fingers. If they knew what was good for them, they would’ve been trying to kill Thanos alongside Nebula for years.

It’s incredibly likely we’ll see Nebula step up to the plate in a big way when Avengers 4 premieres next year. Having grown up with Thanos, Nebula might know more about the mysterious Soul Stone than anyone else. Plus, she has more reason to kill Thanos than ever. Maybe her rage, formerly her greatest hindrance in becoming any kind of hero, will be the thing that ends up giving her the power to finally defeat her awful dad and save the universe.

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Anakin Skywalker’s falling out with the Jedi and descent to the dark side of the Force may be Star Wars’ most famous villain origin story — but before Anakin, there was Dooku. Similarly disenchanted with the Jedi Order and the Galactic Republic, he turned to Darth Sidious for dark side tutelage and became Darth Tyranus.

In the Siths’ quest to dismantle peace in the galaxy, Sidious always played the puppet master, but it would be a disservice to Dooku to say he wasn’t instrumental in the eventual rise of the Empire. Leading the Separatist movement, Dooku was an important political target in the Clone Wars — for which he was largely responsible, having commissioned the creation of the clone army itself, the same army that would one day overthrow the Jedi and obliterate the Republic.

As a skilled practitioner of the dark side, Dooku himself was no pushover. Powerful enough to fend off Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin without breaking so much as a sweat, and subsequently holding his own against Yoda, his lightsaber skills and mastery of the Force were as real a threat as his devious plots. Though later beheaded by Anakin, who would replace him as Sidious’ apprentice, Dooku left a lasting impact on the Star Wars universe. Without him, Sidious may never have been able to acquire the galaxy-spanning influence that he did.

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When Dr. Gero combined the DNA from some of the world’s greatest fighters, including Goku and Vegeta, the mad scientist created Cell, the perfect warrior. But the perfect warrior came at a price: He needs to fuel himself in order to perform at full power, and that fuel requires absorbing other people and draining them of their life. Cell shows off this terrifying ability by traveling from town to town, consuming entire populations to power himself up. Like death personified, he passes through areas and wipes everyone out, leaving nothing but ghost towns in his wake.

One of the best villains in the Dragon Ball series, Cell is an unstoppable monster. The heroic DNA he possesses gives him an edge over his enemies, as he gains insight into their emotions, behavior, and fighting techniques. He uses this ability to physically and mentally attack our heroes — he constantly adapts and changes his fighting style while getting into his opponent’s head. The heroes don’t stand a chance against an enemy who knows their every move and thought; it’s like trying to fight themselves. Not even Super Saiyan Goku could defeat Cell. That simple fact alone cements Cell as one of the greatest Dragon Ball villains ever.

Even when the Z Fighters managed to gain the upper hand on Cell, he had another trick up his sleeve. In his most evil on-screen moment, Cell decided to wipe out all the Z Fighters — and Earth itself — in one blow by making himself explode. Goku ended up being the only casualty after choosing to sacrifice himself and transport Cell off the planet — but Cell survived Goku’s attack by regenerating from a single surviving cell. The Z Fighters did defeat Cell in the end, but Goku still died, devastating all of his fellow fighters.

Cell may still be dead, but he recently appeared in Dragon Ball Super as an apparition — a compilation of Goku and Krillin’s deepest fear, proving just how deeply Cell affected the heroes. His appearance on the show led to a resurgence in the character’s popularity. Cell left his mark on the Dragon Ball universe by showing fans how terrifying it can be when heroes’ powers are manipulated and used for evil.

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Born unable to see, hear, speak, or move — and cursed with a tricky to pronounce name — Bleach‘s Yhwach (You-Hav-Vach) seemingly had the odds stacked against him. But never underestimate the son of the Soul King, a literal god. Young Yhwach had a gift, anyone who touched him was healed whatever ailed them. What they didn’t know, however, was that this healing came at a price. Whenever a recipient of Yhwach’s healing dies, he gains all their knowledge, skills, and talents. So without lifting a finger, Yhwach became immensely powerful, and with a little bit of effort, he became the most powerful being ever.

Typical villains seek ultimate power and control, Yhwach wants those things as well. But he also has an interesting code of honor and understandable aims. Yhwach desires peace but only thinks it achievable by striking fear into people’s hearts. Surprisingly, Ykwach acts as a father-like figure to his subordinates — he never lies to them, shows them mercy, and discourages blind loyalty. While he treats his followers honorably, Yhwatch will sacrifice them and everything else to achieve his ultimate goal: reuniting all the realms to make life and death one, so people no longer have to fear death.

It’s an admirable goal, but it isn’t guaranteed to work. Plus, who’s to say the realms would be better off with Yhwach as a god. After all, we’re talking about the guy who threatened to take people’s lives when they’re feeling their happiest. And this isn’t some baseless threat, Yhwach can see the future, which means you can bet on him to carry out his promise.

Imagine how hard it would be to live your life with this threat looming over your shoulders. You’d flinch in fear any time happiness showed up uninvited. Any reasonable person would be driven insane. The best bit about this threat is that Yhwach can just put his feet up and watch you kill yourself with worry — what a genius.

We also have Yhwach to thank for the first (and hopefully not the last) Ichigo and Aizen team-up, enough said.

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