The Top 50 Fictional Villains of All Time, Day 4

Warning: This blog entry is full of spoilers so if you have not seen any of these characters in action…. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

“Darkness falls across the land…the midnight hour is close at hand…. Creatures crawl in search of blood…to terrorize your neighborhood.[1]”  These second to last batch of 50 greatest fictional villains always make fans laugh, cry and even scream in fear.

20. Wicked Witch of the West (Created by L. Frank Baum; Portrayed by Margaret Hamilton)

“I’ll get you my pretty and your little dog too” is one of cinema’s most memorable lines.  Everyone young or old who watched the 1939 The Wizard of Oz clearly remember Margaret Hamilton’s brilliant deliverance of this line. Between her performance of the main antagonist in the movie and the chemistry between her and her on-screen rival, Dorothy Gale (played by the late Judy Garland) has made the Wicked Witch of the West both terrifying and memorable after 72 years.

19. Thaal Sinestro (Created by John Broome & Gil Kane; Voiced by Ted Levine & Portrayed by Mark Strong)

One of Green Lantern’s vicious and strongest opponents is Thaal Sinestro.  This villain was not always evil; in fact Sinestro took Hal Jordan under his wing and mentored him as a Green Lantern.   However greed and his lust of power caused his downfall as an Emerald Guardian of the Universe and he was banished from the Green Lantern Corps.   Sinestro found a new emotion to channel: fear and thus he formed the Sinestro Corps.   Under DC Comics Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns, Sinestro has become a fiercer opponent to the Green Lantern Corps and was revealed as the mastermind behind Hal Jordan’s downfall in the highly successful mini-series Green Lantern: Rebirth.    Outside comics, Ted Levine voiced Green Lantern’s archrival for the DC Universe cartoon series Superman: The Animated Series, Justice League and Justice League Unlimited.  Meanwhile, moviegoers saw Mark Strong portray the treacherous Sinestro Corps founder in 2011’s critically panned Green Lantern.

18. Jafar (Created by Andreas Deja; Voiced by Jonathan Freeman)

Jafar is one of Disney’s greatest villains to come out of the 1990s.  This villainous vizier turned genie plotted to take over the fictional kingdom in Agrabah by using the Genie (voiced by Robin Williams)’s lamp.  However, the lamp fell into the hands of Aladdin, who the red-and-black-cladded evildoer nicknames him: “Street Rat.”  After his hench-parriot Iago captures the lamp, Jafar becomes the Genie’s new master and is made into a sultan and an all-powerful sorcerer.  In his final battle with Aladdin, he turns into a giant cobra and after some prodding from Aladdin; Jafar makes a crucial mistake and wishes to become a genie trapped in his lamp.  After the original movie, Jafar returned in the direct-to-video sequel Aladdin: Return of Jafar and made appearances in Fantasmic and the Kingdom Hearts video game series.   Jonathan Freeman, who voices Jafar, perfectly mixes calculating evil with insanity to become one of the fan-favorite Disney Villains.

17. Pennywise the Dancing Clown (Created by Stephen King; Portrayed by Tim Curry)

There is nothing funny about a demonic clown and both Stephen King and Tim Curry proved it.   When Stephen King published It in 1986, he introduced to a malevolent inter-dimensional character that exploits its’ victims’ fears.   This vile creature preferred its’ victims to be young children so the creature disguised itself as Pennywise the Dancing Clown to lure its’ victims into his clutches.   The book was so popular that a television mini-series was made starring Tim Curry as Pennywise.   Curry took the nightmarish clown to a whole new level of fright.   A word of caution, Curry’s portrayal of Pennywise will give viewers of Stephen King’s It nightmares so watch it in the daytime.

16. Sauron (Created by J.R.R. Tolkien)

The main villain in Tolkien’s classic Lord of the Rings is the vilest creature of Middle Earth named Sauron.  This every creature humanlike antagonist wanted to take over all of Middle Earth using one ring to rule over.  Sauron was defeated in the first fight over the fate of Middle Earth but with the help of his minion Saruman the White, he was resurrected in the form of “The Eye of Sauron” which overlooked Middle Earth.  In Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, Sauron had a nightmarish appearance from his “Black Knight” form in The Fellowship of the Ring to his dark evil eye in The Return of the King.

15. Bellatrix Lestrange (Created by J.K. Rowling; Portrayed by Helena Bonham Carter)

While He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named may have been the nastiest villain in the Harry Potter series, one of his faithful Death Eaters comes in a close second as second best villain.  The mad witch known as Bellatrix Lestrange made her debut in the fifth Harry Potter book: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and made a huge impact on both the characters and fans.  Lestrange drove supporting character Neville Longbottom’s parents insane and killed fan favorite character Sirius Black after an intense duel in the book’s finale.    Bellatrix met her end at the hands of the Weasley Matriarch after threatening to kill the family’s only daughter in the series finale.    British actress Helena Bonham Carter brought the vile Death Eater to life in the franchise’s final four films and stole several scenes every time she appeared in the films.

14. Loki (Created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber & Jack Kirby; Portrayed by Tom Hiddleston)

Known as the God of Mischief, Loki has plagued his adopted brother Thor and the entire Marvel Universe for nearly 50 years.  Some of his infamous moments include transforming his brother into a frog, initiated the events that to Ragnarok- the fall of Asgard and manipulated our final villain in this set to invade Oklahoma to get Asgard back into the heavens.   While Loki sacrificed himself to save everyone from the ultimate threat, he was reborn as a mischievous teenage boy who is causing trouble in Journey Into Mystery.  Outside of comics, Loki made his silver screen debut in this year’s Thor where British actor Tom Hiddleston played him.   Hiddleston did a tremendous job of portraying the God of Mischief that he will be the main villain the Avengers will be facing in their 2012 self-titled movie.

13. Borg Queen (Portrayed by Alice Kirge & Susanna Thompson)

Since their introduction in the Star Trek: The Next Generation, the Borg has been a force to be reckoned with in the Star Trek universe.  But it wasn’t until Star Trek: First Contact when fans were introduced to the leader of this alien empire: The Borg Queen.  What makes the Queen a terrific villain is that she preys on the innocence (i.e.: Data in First Contact) or trying to bring former members back into the Collective (i.e.: Seven of Nine in Star Trek Voyager), she wants the universe to speak in one language and mind which is Borg.    Both Alice Kirge and Susanna Thompson were incredible as the Borg Queen and brought different perspectives to the character.

12. Red Skull (Created by Joe Simon & Jack Kirby; Portrayed by Hugo Weaving)

Everyone hates the Nazis both real and fictional.  This infamous villain is Captain America’s archrival who wanted to assassinate Hitler and take over the Axis Powers to take over the world.  Of the comic book villains that made this countdown-none of them have been close to kill their adversary then the Red Skull.  When Captain America #25 came out in 2007, The Skull orchestrated the “assassination” of his arch foe.  However in the 2009-2010 mini-series Captain America: Reborn, the Skull revealed that he transported his nemesis’ mind to the time stream so that the Red Skull could take over Captain America’s body, which failed.   Recently, Hugo Weaving portrayed the dictatorial villain in Captain America: The First Avenger and did a terrific job playing the dastardly Red Skull.

11. Norman Osborn (Created by Stan Lee & Steve Dikto; Voiced by Neil Ross; Portrayed by Willem Dafoe)

Just like’s 100 Greatest Villains of All Time, this countdown features both the Red Skull and Norman Osborn back-to-back.    When Osborn’s malevolent alter-ego, the Green Goblin, made his debut in July 1964’s Amazing Spider-Man #14, who knew fans were going to meet his greatest nemesis.  Over the decades, Osborn killed Spider-Man’s first love Gwen Stacy and clone Ben Reilly; hid Aunt May for years from Peter and was responsible for ordering the death of Peter and Mary Jane’s unborn baby.  Under the penmanship of Marvel Comics top writers Brian Michael Bendis and Matt Fraction, Osborn became a force to reckoned with in the Marvel Universe.  From chasing Iron Man across the world and banishing the X-Men to an island off of San Francisco to forming his own group of Avengers and invading Asgard, Osborn was once a nightmare for Spider-Man but now considered an enemy to the entire Marvel Universe.      The Green Goblin made numerous appearances in other media but fans remember both Neil Ross, who voiced the Green Goblin in both the 1980s Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends and the 1990s Spider-Man: The Animated Series, and Willem Dafoe, who played the villain throughout the Sam Raimi Spider-Man film trilogy.

[1] Rod Temperton, Thriller rap, 1982


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