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Comics 411: Does DC Have Better Supervillains Than Marvel?

June 6, 2018 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
Marvel DC Villains

I’m Steve Gustafson and thanks for stopping by. Don’t forget to check out 411mania’s Comic Book Review Roundtable, every Thursday! Read up on the best reviews and let us know what you’re reading as well. Click to read the latest Comic Book Review Roundtable! Hunt for Wolverine: Mystery in Madripoor #1, Doomsday Clock #5, and more!

Now, on with the show!

Last week we discussed The Worst Batman Villains! Here’s what some of you had to say:

Sting Rey: “wow, surprised no one mentioned humpty dumpty, egghead, king tut, tweedle dee and tweedle dum or ratcatcher.

the major villain i never really cared for was the mad hatter. he just seemed too similar to scarecrow and dr strange.

however, i did like his portrayal in gotham.”

Lurkndog: “My vote for worst Batman villains goes out to all the serial killers, including the serial killer version of The Joker. Talk about a gimmick that’s been run into the ground hard. Try-hard edgelords, the lot of them. Also, mental illness is not a superpower.”

El Atomico: “I hated pretty much all Batman villains, they were usually just eccentric, oddly dressed weirdos with generic bank-robber type henchmen. i only liked Catwoman (of course) and I hated the Joker until the Killing Joke, then I thought he was badass.
Full disclosure: I stopped buying comics in the late 80’s/early 90’s. I hear they have done a better job with them lately, so that’s cool.”

George Nolan: “Of those I know, Condiment King and Maxie Zeus particularly stick out as rather horrible and seem to have already been mentioned.
-Clock King- This is the BTAS version. This incarnation was obsessed over time as such where he swore revenge on Gotham City’s mayor for failing to make a court date that drove him bankrupt. In one of his plots, he made use of a time manipulation device to try getting revenge on said mayor, which was quite out there for a plot by one of Batman’s foes in the animated series.
-Calendar Girl- A minor foe from TNBA who was a former model and actress that dressed up in different costumes depending on the theme or season for whatever crime she committed. As she couldn’t find work due to getting older in age, Calendar Girl chose to get revenge on her former employers and regularly donned masks to conceal her so-called flaws, thus her crimes are mainly driven by vanity. Her henchmen consisted of three well-muscled men dressed up like chippendales.

-Farmer Brown- Another minor TNBA foe who was a microbiologist with a farmer gimmick where he performed genetic experiments on various animals to turn them into mutants and unleashed them upon Gotham City in revenge for the city barring him from his experiments. Going along with the gimmick, the man is armed with an electric-charged pitchfork and his daughter, Emmylou, assists him in his crimes while gaining superhuman strength from taking beef steroids.”

SCGuy: “No condiment man or does he even count as a villain? I figured Kite Man would be on here, but I kind of like him more since the war of the jokes and riddles. That alone keeps him off the bottom of my list! Calendar man and I also liked Killer Moth, but that’s because of the Teen Titans.”

Michael L: “I disagree with the inclusion of Penguin, who is one of the iconic Batman supervillains, perhaps largely as he was one of the “big four” from the 60’s show (along with Joker, Riddler and Catwoman). The Danny Devito version in Batman Returns took the character down a few notches (more for the writing than Devito’s portrayal), but he was excellent in the Arkham games. Haven’t seen Gotham so I can’t judge that version of the character.

As for Firefly, it’s a solid character. No it’s not as iconic as the others, but it’s a pretty good B-level villain that represents a unique threat to Batman because of his focus on fire.

BTW, one of the Lego Batman games includes Killer Moth, with just about everyone else pointing out how lame the gimmick is.”

Mr.Greed: “The penguin is awesome. He is cunning, sophisticated and cold-blooded. In Penguin: Pain and Prejudice, he destroy the lives of those who cross, piece by piece and he doesn’t even have to touch them. The man is a great villain and I am sick of people bashing him because of his looks. Quite frankly, his appearance is part of his appeal. he uses it to lure people into a false sense of security, and then stabs them in the back when they are not looking. He thinks several steps ahead of everyone, and before he became the owner of the lounge, he was one of Batman’s most cunning foes. He even outwitted him a few times.

He can be played straight and serious (arkham games) campy and fun (60s batman tv show) or both (Batman TAS and Gotham).

Firefly is just as cool. The man is obsessed with fire and sees it as a lover. While not as Iconic as Penguin, he is extremely dangerous and very scary. You just have to look deeper into the character and you realise that they cooler than you think.

I would never put Penguin or Firefly on a worst villain list. Ten-eyed man and cluemaster on the other hand, I have no problem. They are truly rubbish.”

To read ALL the comments from the column, CLICK HERE! As always, thanks for the input!

This week we ask…

Does DC Have Better Supervillains Than Marvel?

I’ve been on a supervillain tear lately and thought it would be a nice wrap up to compare the baddies from Marvel against the evil doers of DC. A superhero is only as good as his rogue gallery but who gives us a better lineup: DC or Marvel?

I almost boiled this down to who has better rogues: Spider-Man or Batman as they’ve got the best baddies from their respective comic book universes. Spidey can brag about the Green Goblin, the Lizard, Dr. Octopus, Sandman, Venom, Electro, the Rhino, Mysterio, and the Vulture. I could even throw Kingpin in the mix. Even his b-level guys are entertaining like Hobgoblin, Carnage, Shocker, Kraven, and a host of others. His gallery is filled with opportunity and a mid-level supervillain could easily join the big leagues if given a good enough storyline.

Which is just like Batman’s. The Joker, the Penguin, Mr. Freeze, Catwoman, Two-Face, the Riddler, Scarecrow, Ra’s al-Ghul, Clayface, Killer Croc, Poison Ivy, and Harley Quinn. That’s a top notch crew, to be sure.

So how does the rest of the supervillains stack up? Marvel has plenty of heavy hitters to stack up. Dark Phoenix, Thanos, and Apocalypse come off as an unbeatable combo. Add in Loki, Dr. Doom, and Magneto, and I think you have your winner right there.

But DC can answer back with Darkseid, Doomsday, and Anti-Monitor. When it comes to brains, how can you miss with Brainiac, Ozymandias, and Lex Luthor?

Sprinkle in Red Skull, Ultron, and Bullseye for Marvel and you can counter with Sinestro, Reverse Flash, and Deathstroke.

I could go on and list a host of others but I think they match up pretty well. It comes down to what type of villain you prefer. I’m more of a street-level guy over cosmic baddies. I prefer supervillain teams over one-on-one. I think DC has better supervillain teams but give Marvel the edge when it comes to the best solo supervillain. On the flip of that, I think Batman has a better rogues gallery over Spider-Man.

What about you? Who has the better supervillains: DC or Marvel?

That’s all the time I have. Check out our Comic Book Reviews tomorrow and see you next week!