The 11 Greatest Super Villains Not from Comics

By Steven Romano in Cartoons, Daily Lists, Movies, TV
Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at 6:00 am

Let it never be said that the best super villains come only from the pages of comic books.

In all fairness, given the state of the industry and the discerning tastes of the readership, it's a complicated affair nowadays to create a character who matches the depth and worldwide familiarity of the Joker, Lex Luthor or Venom - unless unabashed plagiarism doesn't exactly cause a personal crisis of conscience. But one has to remember that the same people behind the creation of these iconic sociopaths churned out plenty of ill-conceived disasters as well... like the Fiddler... and the stereotypically racist Egg Fu. Fortunately, there have been quite a few super villains from cartoons, movies and video games that, conceptually, blow these pieces of creative garbage right of the water, and even rival some of geek culture's most renowned. Read on for the 11 greatest super villains not from comics!

11) Mojo Jojo, The Powerpuff Girls

Due to the shortsightedness of product-marketing teams at the time and the series' flowery, saccharine-sweet facade, The Powerpuff Girls always seemed to belie the fact it was an entertaining, action-packed romp that appealed to a diverse demographic and wasn't used solely as a promotional vehicle for toys and other merchandise. The latter may be a moot point, but the cartoon still stands today as a staple of '90s nostalgia and a unique parody of the super hero genre. As such, it wouldn't have been a show without an assortment of villains to menace the Powerpuff Girls, and none stood out more than Mojo Jojo.

Mojo Jojo is what happens when you cross Dr. Doom with a chimpanzee: a genius, egomaniacal sociopath who also satisfies geek culture's appetite for simian-related humor. It's easy to like the character for his characteristic Japanese accent and proclivity for dramatic, long-winded oration, but the fact that he was inadvertently responsible for the creation of his greatest foes adds that dimension of complex irony seen in quality comic book-style storytelling. Plus, having Devo take time out of their busy schedule to belt out what amounts to a musical Mojo Jojo-centric ode is one of the greatest moments in geek history.



10) NegaDuck, Darkwing Duck

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Introducing a villain that's, by and large, a sinister doppelgänger of the hero has always been shaky territory where comics books, cartoons and such are concerned; most of the time they're quick to be dismissed as products of lazy writing. Having said that, it's easy to overlook Darkwing Duck's nemesis NegaDuck since, going by outward appearances alone, the only aspect that differentiates the two is the color of their respective costumes, and not much else. Of course, that's a pedestrian way to look at NegaDuck, especially when he has more substantial qualities that merit him a place in the hearts of Darkwing Duck fans everywhere.

Disney villains, whether they be from film or television, have wielded all manner of weaponry to potentially maim, burn or eviscerate the hero with at one point or another, but none hold a candle to NegaDuck's penchant for chainsaws -- quite possibly the most violent instrument of malicious intent ever to be depicted and used in a Disney production. Naturally, network censorship would have had a conniption over the mere notion of NegaDuck using his chainsaw to inflict bodily harm, so, no, there was never an episode wherein he sawed through Launchpad McQuack or Darkwing Duck like a plump Thanksgiving turkey.

Add to that his color scheme's uncanny resemblance to DC Comics' Reverse-Flash, and there's really no denying NegaDuck's popularity.

9) Evil the Cat, Earthworm Jim

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Earthworm Jim has a broad rogues gallery of super villains that range from the weird, downright evil or a bizarre combination of the two, with Evil the Cat occupying the aforementioned overlap. As straightforward and uninspired as his name may be, the feline hellspawn more than lives up to it in more ways than one, considering that he takes the form of an animal notorious for tearing up furniture and is indiscriminate about where they take a leak. Residing deep within the bowels of Heck, the hellish, fiery planet he calls home, Evil harasses the resident damned and Earthworm Jim with his endless army of rabid lawyers and omnipresent elevator music, two very real sources of human suffering that prove the existence of the devil's handiwork on our plane of existence. Despite his being the physical incarnation of the evil that troubles mankind, Evil (it's difficult writing this entry without the word evil becoming redundant) is as fallible as any other cat in that he's bound by the laws of his nine lives: once they're gone, they're gone.

8) Dr. Weird, Aqua Teen Hunger Force

The state of New Jersey already has it pretty rough, what with being a constant source of hurtful derision over its playing host to Pauly D/the Jersey Devil (they're basically the same thing at this point), troublesome white-tail deer population and scenic industrialized landscapes. Proving that things can indeed go from bad to worse, Aqua Teen Hunger Force went and introduced Dr. Weird: New Jersey's resident evil genius and all-around lunatic. Aided by his unwitting and unfortunate assistant Steve, Dr. Weird has been the mastermind behind quite a few of the foes - if they can even be labeled as such - that have at worst annoyed the members of Aqua Teen Hunger Force. In reality, targeting them was never his actual intention as the villains often escaped from his overtly penetrable laboratory of their own volition. His absent-minded negligence may qualify as an evil deed, but the fact that he willingly chooses to wear a costume that ostentatiously puts his man boobs on constant display is certainly the greatest crime against humanity.

7) Candle Jack, Freakazoid!

Even all the way back in the mid '90s, a.k.a. those golden days before image macros and Rage Comics permeated our culture, Candle Jack was a widespread meme well before it was popularized on the internet by 4chan, or when people learned that meme was actually a word in the English language. Following his first appearance on Freakazoid!, one couldn't attend a social gathering without someone saying "Did you say Candle Jack?," a reference to the villain's ability to be summoned anywhere at any given time by uttering his name. With so many people cracking the same joke, running it into the ground by the end of the week was commonplace, though the infinite cycle of comedic death and rebirth dictated it would be revived upon viewing a rerun of the particular episode.

While it has been a monotonous 18 years of incessant Candle Jack quips, the episode starring the ghostly villain oddly hasn't lost its humorous edge and holds up even today. However, the same can't be said for Candle Jack's tying up and spiriting away kids to God-knows-where, given that a character centered around child abduction just flies in the face of everything network censors wage war against.


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