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Top 5 Live-Action Supervillains | Volume I

A richly written antagonist makes a story captivating and elevates a protagonist to the next level. His motives, goals, and actions make us question our morality. The superhero genre has dominated 21st-century cinema by giving us some of the most amazing superheroes vs supervillains battles we get to watch.

Today we look at the Top 5 Live-Action Supervillains.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

#5 Kingpin (Daredevil)

Vincent D’Onofrio as Kingpin | Property of Netflix Studios

Kingpin doesn’t take himself as a villain but as a hero who wants to make Hell’s Kitchen (NYC) a better place by any means necessary. He fits into the generic description of a “crime lord” but he sees himself as an activist. Vincent D’Onofrio shines with his portrayal of one of the most iconic comic book villains. This Kingpin wants absolute power over Hell’s Kitchen to establish order his way. He will sacrifice the lives of innocent people for the greater good of Hell’s Kitchen. It’s horrifying because it feels so real.

#4 Bane (The Dark Knight Rises)

Tom Hardy as Bane | Property of Warner Bros.

Bane is the self-proclaimed leader of a revolution against the rich and the corrupt, who he condemns for oppressing the people. Tom Hardy brings everything he has to the table to make his character legendary and terrifying. After defeating Batman and imprisoning him, Bane creates a terrifying environment in Gotham that draws parallels to the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution — when a series of massacres and numerous public executions took place in response to revolutionary fervor. He is not just the best physical match for the Dark Knight, he challenges every aspect of Batman’s ideology.

#3 Killmonger (Black Panther)

Michael B. Jordan as Killmonger | Property of Marvel Studios

Marvel Cinematic Universe has been critically and commercially successful but continuously lacked Supervillains with in-depth analysis and social commentary. Thanos was a great villain but he was the “Big Bad” of the entire Infinity Saga. However, Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger is the show stealer and a special character. Drawing parallels to Malcolm X, Killmonger is an African American liberator who wants to start a global revolution and sees himself as a hero of his own story. However, he blurs the line between an antihero and a supervillain. His character represents how the United States has failed its African American citizens and the African nations that have abandoned their descendants. Killmonger wants liberation but becomes what he hates; a colonizer.

#2 The Joker (The Dark Knight)

Heath Ledger as Joker | Property of Warner Bros.

This incarnation of the Clown Prince of Crime is cold-blooded, has no empathy, and has a sadistic sense of humor. The chaos he aims to spread everywhere reflects the state of his own mind. Many critics and fans thought having Heath Ledger playing Joker was a bad idea but Ledger stole the spotlight with the role of a lifetime. Just like his archenemy, The Joker has zero superpowers but still strikes fear in everyone with his bizarre actions. He isn’t looking for anything logical and he isn’t someone anyone can’t negotiate with. He just simply wants to watch the world burn. Watching the world burn gives him pleasure and feeds into his addiction. There is nothing horrifying than that.

#1 Homelander (The Boys)

Anthony Starr as Homelander | Property of Amazon Studios

He can wipe out an entire city at any given moment just to boost his ego. It’s insane to think someone can have the powers of Superman but have a state of mind like the Joker’s. Homelander is a supervillain to be reckoned with. Anthony Starr’s acting skills and Homelander’s story arc are a perfect match for each other. Homelander was raised as a lab rat and lacks social skills but is really good at acting as a role model and the perfect superhero for society. Sometimes, we just want to sympathize with him. But, also sometimes, he scares us and makes us hate him. He may be the world’s greatest superhero but the scariest character to ever appear on the screen.

Agree with our list? Disagree? Let us know what you think!

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Yusuf Ali

Yusuf Ali

Writer | Programmer | Data Analyst