The Trickster: (narrating) “Oh. Oh God. Good going, Neron. Pick a guy no one wants to be in the room with. When villains want to scare each other, they tell Joker stories.” – Underworld Unleashed

What gives superheroes nightmares? For every brooding billionaire and godlike alien, there are dozens of depraved beings willing to kill for money or pleasure. Beings who would gladly burn cities, kick puppies, and tear your children in half. Not mere criminals, they are supervillains.

Some supervillains have standards, but not these five. These are the scariest supervillains.

Doomsday in Batman v Superman

Honorable Mention: The Spectre

Played by Mark Hamill and Gary Cole

Phantom Stranger: “Funny how Chill just happened to be under that crumbling ceiling when it came down.”
The Spectre: (coy smile) “I wouldn’t know anything about that.” Batman: The Brave and the Bold, “Chill of the Night!” (Season 2, episode 11)

Like we said in our scariest superhero countdown, The Spectre ain’t a hero.

A murdered cop named Jim Corrigan was made the host of the avenging angel Raguel. This being became known as The Spectre after he slaughtered Corrigan’s murderers using divine magic. The Spectre then embarked on a quest to punish sinners, with Raguel only kept in check by Corrigan’s morality.

The Spectre can warp reality and tortures his victims. While separated from Corrigan, he decided that magic was evil. He went on a crusade, butchering good and evil magic users. The Spectre’s crusade devastated the world and forced God Himself to bind The Spectre to a new host.

He may be an angel, but he’s not on their side.

5) Lex Luthor

Played by Gene Hackman, Kevin Spacey, and regrettably, Jesse Eisenberg

Lex Luthor: (Strangling a general) “ I know I promised not to waste my intellect on elaborate super-deathtraps. I know that. I looked in the mirror one morning and realized something, I’m getting older and he [Superman] isn’t. Something’s gotta be done about that, don’t you think? All-Star Superman

Lex Luthor is a billionaire crime lord who ran Metropolis. Nothing happened without him knowing about it. Then Superman appeared. Luthor faked a terrorist attack to meet Superman and tried to hire him. Superman refused and brought Luthor to the authorities. Luthor was out of jail within a day and swore revenge on Superman.

Lex Luthor created most of Superman’s rogues gallery. He founded the Legion of Doom and has held court with the insane A.I. Braniac and the alien god Darkseid. Luthor even became the President of the United States of America before trying to blow up the Earth. And all of this just because Lex Luthor really, really hates Superman.

Who needs powers when you’re a rich psychopath?

4) Magneto

Played by Ian Mckellan and Michael Fassbender

Magneto: “I’ve been at the mercy of men just following orders. Never again.” X-Men: First Class

Erik Lehnsherr is a mutant who can control metal. He first manifested his powers when he escaped from Auschwitz as a child. He was terrified by the idea of his fellow mutants having to go through their own Holocaust and resolved to conquer the world while humanity was still weakened.

Magneto is one of the most powerful mutants alive. Consider how much metal is around you. The circuitry in your computer, the silverware in the kitchen, those fillings in your teeth. He can control it all.

He may be one mutant, but he has humanity surrounded.

3) Venom

Played by Topher Grace and Tom Hardy

Eddie Brock: “Pete… He’s Spider-Man! Why didn’t I see it before?! I don’t have two enemies; I have one!”
Symbiote: We have one enemy! The Spider-Parker sought to destroy us too! Bond with us, Eddie Brock – mind, body and soul!”
Eddie Brock: “Yes.”
Symbiote: “And together, we will have our desire!”
Eddie Brock: “YES…!”
[The two bond, becoming Venom]
Venom: “ WE WILL HAVE VENGEANCE ON SPIDER-MAN !Spectacular Spider-Man, “Intervention”, (season 1, episode 12)

Spider-Man is one of the scariest superheroes, so is it surprising his stronger, evil counterpart is one of the scariest supervillains?

Eddie Brock was an unlucky journalist who broke a major story. He published an interview with a person posing as a serial killer called Sin-Eater. Spider-Man captured the real Sin-Eater and Eddie learned that he had interviewed a serial confessor. Eddie was fired for publishing the story, his wife left him, and to top off the crap sundae, Eddie learned he had cancer. So a bad day all around for Eddie.

Eddie went to a church and prepared to commit suicide. He was unaware that Spider-Man was also in the church until Spidey struck the church bell. The costume Spider-Man was wearing, actually an alien symbiote, fled from the noise and found Eddie. The Symbiote bonded to Eddie, giving him Spider-Man’s powers and memories. The pair took the name Venom and swore vengeance on Spider-Man.

Venom is an unholy cross between Spider-Man and John Carpenter’s The Thing. Be on the lookout for a Venom movie in 2018.

2) Doomsday

Played by Robin Atkin Downes and Michael Jai White

Superman: “I hear you people are having some trouble.”
Booster Gold: “ Trouble isn’t the word, Superman! I’m telling you right now, it’s like Doomsday is here! ” – The Death of Superman

Doomsday is the monster that killed Superman.

Doomsday was created by an alien scientist who wanted to create the ultimate life form. He succeeded and was killed by his creation. Doomsday rampaged throughout the universe before being restrained and trapped on a barren planet called Earth. Millennia later, Doomsday freed its arm and broke out of its prison.

The Justice League attacked Doomsday, and it beat them all with one arm literally tied behind its back. Superman arrived as the monster freed its other arm and really started fighting. The battle took them from Kansas to Metropolis and wore Superman down. He finally managed to kill Doomsday, but died from his wounds.

Killing Superman is more than enough reason to be considered a scary supervillain, but the story gets even better. Doomsday is immortal. He can resurrect himself and becomes immune to whatever killed him. There is no good reason Doomsday hasn’t destroyed the universe by now.

1) Scarecrow

Played by Cillian Murphy and Charlie Tahan

Scarecrow: “Everyone has something to lose.“
Blue Beetle: “Like you’re about to lose consciousness?”
Scarecrow: “I refer to your baby sister.” – Injustice 2

Scarecrow is the scariest supervillain, hence the name.

Dr. Jonathan Crane was raised by an abusive grandmother. Whenever she was angry, her trained crows attack him. Coupled with bullying in school, Crane snapped. He murdered his grandmother, disguised himself as a scarecrow, and murdered one of the school bullies.

Crane became obsessed with fear and studied psychology to understand how to use it as a weapon. He became a psychology teacher, but was fired when he  shot a student during a spirited lecture that included a demonstration with a gun. An outraged Crane created an experimental Fear Toxin, broke out his disguise, and terrorized Gotham City as the Scarecrow.

Scarecrow’s Fear Toxin causes terrifying hallucinations of the victim’s worst fears, which was perfect for Scarecrow’s study of fear. Scarecrow sampled enough of the toxin to became immune to fear. Not even super-powered zombies could frighten him. Scarecrow’s mastery of fear attracted a Yellow Lantern Ring to him, meaning he is the most terrifying being on Earth.

That’s the list. What supervillains scare you? Leave a commen- wait, what are you doing with that knife?! No! Arghhh …

Check out our list of the 5 scariest superheroes!

Batman: Arkham: Scarecrow (Batman (1940-2011))


Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only