<i>by George Marston, Newsarama Contributor</i> <p>Superheroes tend to run in packs the Avengers, the Justice League, and so many more so it's only fair that the villains do, too. <p>While they might not star in billion-plus dollar films or dozens of their own comic book series, we haven't forgotten the rogues, rapscallions and men and women of ill repute that have kept superhero comic books interesting for decades. <p>Neither have publishers or creators: Writer Rick Remender recently introduced a new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants in <i>Uncanny X-Force</i> (pictured) and a new Masters of Evil in <i>Secret Avengers</i>, the current incarnation of the Hellfire Club has continued to vex the Jean Grey School in <i>Wolverine and the X-Men</i>, the Rogues are getting involved once again in <i>The Flash</i>, and Geoff Johns has hinted that the Injustice Gang might play a role in the upcoming relaunch of <i>Justice League of America</i>. <p>So for our latest countdown, we've ranked the top 10 supervillains teams of all time from Marvel and DC Comics, looking at the best of the best when the worst of the worst get together. <p><li> <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/comics/10-best-female-supervillains.html>Lethal Ladies: The 10 Best Female Supervillains</a> <br><li> <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/comics/10-greatest-x-men-villains-120207.html>The 10 Greatest X-MEN Villains of ALL TIME!</a> <br><li> <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/comics/10-greatest-justice-league-villains-120126.html>The 10 Greatest JUSTICE LEAGUE Villains of ALL TIME!</a> <br><li> <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/comics/10-greatest-avengers-villains-120111.html>The 10 Greatest AVENGERS Villains of ALL TIME!</a> <br><li> <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/comics/10-best-batman-villains-111116.html>The 10 Greatest BATMAN Villains of ALL TIME!</a> <br><li> <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/comics/10-best-spider-man-villains-111108.html>The Ten Greatest SPIDER-MAN Villains of ALL-TIME!</a> <p><i>Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's <a href=http://www.facebook.com/Newsarama><b>FACEBOOK</b></a> and <a href=http://twitter.com/newsarama><b>TWITTER</b></a>!</i> <p>
Weighing in at around 20 members at any given time, the Legion of Super-Heroes are one of the largest and greatest super-teams of all time. Most of the members have been active as heroes since a very early age, and almost all of them have had their powers from birth. Considering a force with that much power, it takes an equal or greater force to challenge them. Enter the Legion of Super-Villains; in almost every way, the opposite number for their heroic counterpart. <p>The LoSV is composed of some of the greatest criminals of the 30th century, many of whom are possessed of the same, or similar powers of the Legionairres they challenge. While their membership has varied through the years, just like the Legion of Super-Heroes, the Legion of Super-Villains revolve around a core membership of three villains, Lightning Lord, Cosmic King, and Saturn Queen, whose powers mirror those of the three founding Legionairres; Lightning Lad, Cosmic Boy and Saturn Girl.
Unlike many of the teams on this list, the members of The Serpent Society rarely operate on their own, preferring instead to overwhelm their heroic nemeses with sheer numbers. Though they are primarily enemies of Captain America, The Serpent Society have gone up against foes like The Avengers, Spider-Man, Daredevil and numerous others. The members of the Serpent Society all possess identities based on different snakes, and their powers (sometimes loosely) correspond to those identities. <p>Numerous Serpents have come and gone from the society over the years, but members such as the mutated King Cobra, the deadly Black Mamba, the cybernetic Bushmaster, the size-changing Puff Adder, and the powerful Anaconda remain core members of the group. Former members that have gone on to notable careers on both sides of the hero/villain spectrum include Viper, Sidewinder, Princess Python and Diamondback.
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, and every coin has a flip side. The Fantastic Four are no different. They aren't their most well-known enemies, but the Frightful Four are certainly some of their most powerful foes. <p>Led by the both brilliant and evil Wizard, the Frightful Four have often included a handful of other villains that usually mirror the members of the Fantastic Four, relying on the elements of intelligence, strength, energy control, and body manipulation. Currently, the team is comprised of Wizard, Trapster, Hydro-Man and Titania, though many prominent villains have appeared among their ranks, including Sandman, Medusa, Thundra and Klaw. Most recently, a version of the team featured prominently in the series premiere of the <i>Ultimate Spider-Man</i> animated series.
Technically a mercenary squad, the Secret Six (at least in their modern incarnation) have always been comprised of current and former supervillains, and their methods usually set them at odds with various super-heroes. <p>The Secret Six hasn't yet appeared as a unit since the New 52 revamp, so it's hard to judge how they would relate to the current status quo but in recent years the team has served as a proving ground for villains that have been perceived as past their prime, or B-list at best. <p>Members rarely retire, but replacements are often necessary as members die in the line of action. The Secret Six have always revolved around Catman, Deadshot, Ragdoll and Scandal Savage, with the last two spots having been occupied at different times by a Parademon, Cheshire, Bane, the Mad Hatter, Harley Quinn, Knockout and the enigmatic Jeanette, a mythological Banshee.
Through their 50-plus year history, the Justice League of America has had a few different "opposite" teams, though none have been as literal of a match as the Crime Syndicate of America. Hailing from an alternate earth where everything is reversed, the CSA are twisted, evil versions of several core members of the Justice League who represent everything that the JLA stand against. <p>While there have often been various secondary members based on less prominent Justice Leaguers, the core members of the CSA are Ultraman, a violent, sociopathic version of Superman; Superwoman, a domineering, seething opposite to Wonder Woman; Owlman, the murderous, corrupt flipside of Batman; Johnny Quick, a drug-addicted, arrogant version of the Flash; and Power Ring, a weak-willed, cowardly counterpart to the Green Lantern.
Over the years, there have been various versions of the Injustice Gang and Injustice League, with perhaps their most iconic roster rearing its head during Grant Morrison's legendary run with the JLA. <p>Consisting of some of the most feared archenemies of the seven primary Justice League members, this version of the Injustice Gang nearly succeeded in defeating the entire JLA. Lead by Lex Luthor, the Gang consisted of the Joker, Dr. Light, Circe, Mirror Master, Ocean Master, and the alien Jemm, Son of Saturn. <p>This incarnation of the Injustice Gang was so powerful that their defeat came only because their Joker was secretly Plastic Man, who infiltrated the Gang as an operative of the Justice League.
In many ways, the Brotherhood are very similar to their classic enemies, the X-Men. Both are groups of mutants united behind a visionary leader, with the intent of preserving the mutant race. The similarities end when you consider their methods. <p>Though the lines have blurred since M-Day, the Brotherhood have often attempted to save mutantkind by eliminating or subjugating humanity, rather than attempting to peacefully co-exist. Originally founded by Magneto, the Brotherhood have been led by Mystique, Exodus and even Magneto's lackey (and current Jean Grey School janitor) Toad. Other notable mutants that have joined their cause include Mastermind, Blob, Sauron, Black Tom Cassidy, Avalanche, Sabretooth, Pyro and even the reformed villains and classic Avengers Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver.
While Flash's arch-enemies are less of a formal team and more of a "villain's union" than many on this list, they are nonetheless a collective of the Flash's most powerful individual foes who band together to get the best of the Scarlet Speedster. One of the most unique things about the Rogues is their <i>modus operandi</i>, which binds them together even when they are not operating as a team. Rogues follow a strict code of conduct, and will not grant membership to those villains who refuse their rules, believing that adherence to this code is what gives them an advantage over heroes, and even other villain groups. <p>The Rogues have, at various times, welcomed characters like the Trickster, Abra Kadabra, and the Pied Piper into their ranks, but the core members have almost always been Captain Cold, Mirror Master, Weather Wizard, Captain Boomerang and Heatwave.
Comprised of six of Spider-Man's most iconic villains (which six tends to vary with each incarnation), the Sinister Six are one of the most effective and dangerous villain teams ever. <p>Usually led by Doctor Octopus, the various incarnations of the team have challenged not only Spider-Man, but Iron Man, Captain America, the Fantastic Four and most recently, the Avengers. Despite their brute strength, cunning, and Doc Ock's great intelligence, the team's downfall has almost always been a lack of cohesion, as the egos of the members almost always clash when their chips are down. In addition to Doc Ock, traditional members include Electro, Sandman and Mysterio, with the last two spots on the team being taken up, at various times, by Kraven the Hunter, the Vulture, Hobgoblin, and Venom and have most recently been held by the Rhino and the Chameleon.
While there are some that are comprised of more recognizable members, very few villain teams are as successful, as dangerous and as feared as the Masters of Evil. <p>Formed by Baron Heinrich Zemo to take down the fledgling Avengers, the Masters of Evil have almost always relied on raw power over reputation, counting nearly as many members and former members as the Avengers themselves, though few Masters are as renowned as their heroic counterparts. Over the years, the team has been lead by villains like Ultron, Egghead and Dr. Octopus, with their most successful incarnations almost always united under one of the Barons Zemo. <p>It was under Heinrich's son Helmut that the Masters undertook their two most successful missions: Destroying Avengers Mansion, and later masquerading as the heroic Thunderbolts in a bid to gain the world's trust. There have rarely been any Masters of Evil since the formation of the Thunderbolts, but past members have included villains such as Radioactive Man, the Melter, the Black Knight, the Enchantress, the Executioner, Screaming Mimi, Moonstone, the Fixer, Klaw, Tigershark, the Wrecking Crew, the Beetle, Mr. Hyde, Absorbing Man, Titania, Goliath and Whirlwind.