BRING ON THE BAD GUYS1 of 12One of the only complaints about Marvel’s cinematic universe are that some of the villains tend to get pushed to the wayside. And while this hasn’t done much to dampen the popularity of Marvel’s films, it has left audiences anxiously awaiting the arrival of a villain like Thanos in earnest.
After all, a hero is only as good as his villain. And if that’s the case, there’s still plenty of fodder to improve not just the movies, but their stars as well. With the big bad of DC’s cinematic universe, culminating in a pair of Justice League films, still up in the air, there are a lot of major roles to fill in upcoming superhero movies.
We’ve taken it upon ourselves to examine ten examples of villains who have yet to make it to the big screen – and who we think we probably should, hopefully sooner rather than later. So without further ado, here are the top ten comic book supervillains we want to see in movies.
SURTUR2 of 12The third Thor film, which we now know is Thor: Ragnarok, will have to move the dial on the threat level. Once you've already had the Frost Giants, the Destroyer, Loki and Malekith the Accursed, where do you go?
Bigger. Surtur, master of the Twilight Sword, Bane of Odin, presence in video games, etc. would be a swell antagonist. In fact, the climax of the Walt Simonson story involving Surtur features Odin, Thor and Loki in battle, meaning that you have emotional and thematic continuity from the climactic action of the first and second film. Synergy!
BRAINIAC3 of 12Come on, why hasn't this happened? Viewers totally accept alien villains for Superman, primarily because Superman is an alien hero. The Skull ship would certainly be an awesome visual, particularly if it involved bottled cities in the interior.
The character has been depicted multiple times in animation, and in the occasional video game. Oh, and he happened to be the big bad of Convergence, DC's summer event that reshaped its universe. It would take a 12th level intellect to figure out how we're going on six Superman films without the conqueror of Colu.
MODOK4 of 12OK, hear us out here. Yes, MODOK has become something of an iconic cult comedy figure among comic fans. His "I am science! I am genius! I am (sound of Thor's hammer hitting him in the face)" scene in the Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes animated series is nigh-legendary.
BUT! MODOK could be right up the alley of the Iron Man film franchise, should it continue beyond Iron Man 3. Consider how great Davros looks on Doctor Who, then realize that MODOK could be a similar sinister/insane/funny presence. Sure, he might not work as the main villain, but man, would he be fun to see.
LEX LUTHOR5 of 12Just kidding — sort of. Lex Luthor has, of course, been in plenty of live-action films up to an including 2006's Superman Returns; four in total at this point (you'll remember that he wisely avoided Superman III).
However, the film vision of Luthor has been fairly uneven. Twice we've seen him perpetrate grandiose schemes for land deals, and not once have we seen him as either his legit-to-the-outside-world CEO or green-suited armored incarnation. So there's still room for a more traditional, comic-informed version of Lex on screen — and with Jesse Eisenberg lined up to portray him in 2016’s Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice, here’s hoping for a version that Gene Hackman (beloved as his turn was) and Kevin Spacey weren’t given the screenplays to pull of.
DEATHSTROKE THE TERMINATOR6 of 12Granted, they'll never, ever, ever, be able to use the "Terminator" name for rather obvious reasons, but Deathstroke is a great villain, particularly if a new Batman franchise gets going.
The wrinkle against his chances of being a big-screen villain for DC is his prominent role in the Arrow television series, but it's not unfathomable that they could repeat him, especially since the movie and TV universes are separate for DC.
There are many ways to put Deathstroke on film as a central physical antagonist. A wide-ranging sequence demonstrating all of his various weapons would set him off as a unique figure, rather than just another hired gun. Perhaps they could even lift the monumental takedown Deathstroke did of the Justice League in Identity Crisis, and make him a formidable opponent.
ATROCITUS7 of 12When DC gives Green Lantern another shot in live-action a few years from now, they might want to think about more colors than green and yellow. When you consider GL's villains, Atrocitus, leader of the Red Lanterns, is pretty cinematic.
How can you not love a guy that vomits a napalm/acid plasma? OK, maybe that wouldn't make it past a PG-13 rating, but it's a good bet fans of David Cronenberg's The Fly would be pretty excited at the prospect. Throw in Atrocitus's sidekick, the Red Lantern cat Dex-Starr, and you have tumblr and imgur gold.
BLACK MANTA8 of 12Look, you're going to do an Aquaman movie, finally. You have basically two options for a main villain, Ocean Master or Black Manta. With Ocean Master being the lead villain in Throne of Atlantis, 2015's animated feature (and Black Manta on the side), just pull a switcheroo for the live action one.
Black Manta is vile, vicious, and full of vengeance. He is the stuff bad guy nightmares are made of.
MYSTERIO9 of 12For the last Marvel pick of the list, we're going to go with the vengeful F/X guy. Why? Spidey has a lengthy rogues gallery that has been thoroughly exploited in the recent Amazing Spider-Man 2 with one glaring, fishbowl-headed exception. There's something simultaneously goofy and great about that iconic helmet.
Not to mention the fact that someone built around special effects and illusions is perfect for a, you know, film.
DARKSEID10 of 12Now if you don’t want to see Darkseid – arguably DC’s greatest galactic-threat sized villain – go up against the Justice League in a $250 million dollar tent-pole extravaganza, you probably need to turn into your DCU fan club card now.
But here’s one potential problem with DC’s despotic alien with jagged facial features intent on conquering Earth and all life in the galaxy. As the Avengers 3 and 4 villain is Thanos – a despotic alien with jagged face intent on conquering Earth and all life in the galaxy – Darkseid could feel a little been-there-done that if he follows his Marvel doppelganger-to-a-degree into multiplexes within a year.
So this is a conditional pick. Thanos has already beat Darkseid to the screen, albeit in just a cameo and one scene so far. Here's where it gets crazy. Both Avengers: Infinity War and Justice League are being split into two parts. JL part 1 comes 6 months before the first Infinity War part, and the second Infinity War comes out 6 weeks before JL Part 2. Is that too much oversized otherworldly conqueror for the span of literally 1 year and 7 months? Could be, in which case we'd like to see...
...[SPOILERS from here on out]...
THE ANTI-MONITOR11 of 12C’mon, you knew we were going here, didn’t you?
Yes, the Anti-Monitor – scourge of the matter universe and newly-minted rival of Darkseid.
Okay, yeah, he’s just another alien being intent on conquering and destroying of life, but being essentially the opposite of matter and life as we understand it, he offers a slightly different wrinkle than Darkseid that a Justice League film could exploit for a unique spin.
His armored, giant appearance gives him a little visual freshness as well.
You can’t really go wrong with Darkseid or the Anti-Monitor if you need a extinction-level threat to gather the Justice League, but given the prominence DC is clearly intent on giving him over the next few years, we think he might be primed to take over Darkseid’s role as DC’s greatest threat to the universe and the villain we'd most like to see on the big screen.
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