What makes a great super villain? Some would say it can be determined by the number of evil deeds they have committed, however, others might disagree claiming that it depends upon how evil the deeds are.
The comic universe has seen countless villains from all worlds, however, not all of them make the list of the most powerful super villains.
Here I have composed a list of the 25 most powerful super villains of all time based on numerous factors such as intelligence, morality, taste for vengeance, and more.
Top 25 Most Powerful Super Villains
Powers: telepathy, teleportation, shapeshifting, and immortality
Apocalypse was born in ancient Egypt by the name of En Sabah Nur, a name which translates to ‘The First One’ in the native language.
Abandoned as a child because of his unique appearance, he grew vengeful and honed his skills to conquer civilizations.
He became worshipped as a god (eventually becoming known as Lord Apocalypse) and used his powers to make civilizations fight amongst themselves.
Powers: super-strength, stamina, and speed
Thanos was born on Titan, one of the many moons of Saturn, to a peaceful family who was unlike anything he was soon to become.
He was fascinated with genetics and death from an early age, and this led to his unhealthy obsession with experimenting on other Titans.
He soon came to possess the DNA of the Eternals and Deviants which made him the most powerful Titan.
Powers: telekineses, time alteration, telepathy, and creation of interdimensional portals
Galactus’ origin story began when his universe was coming to an end.
He merged with the Cosmic Egg, thus being reborn into the mighty Galactus. His power is derived from devouring worlds, specifically those inhabited.
Because of his power, Galactus is commonly referred to as a force rather than an individual.
Phoenix Force (Marvel)
Powers: precognition, telepathy, and psychokinesis
Phoenix Force is known as the child of the universe because he was manifested by the very force of life. Thus, he is immortal, invincible, and everlasting.
His power allows him to destroy, regrow, and cut universes- just one component of his purpose.
Spectre made his first appearance in More Fun Comics in the year 1940. He is unique in the sense that he is not only referred to as an individual but as an accumulation of several villains across the DC universe. As such, his capabilities encompass those of all gods.
Spectre was originally a police detective by the name of Jim Corrigan.
He was murdered by criminals which led to his entrance into the underworld. In his time there, his desires for justice were heard by an un-named voice (presumed to be God) and he was revived with superpowers.
He used these powers to gain his revenge and soon became the feared Spectre.
Powers: flight, telepathy, immortality, and agility
Darkseid was born to powerful dictator Yuga Khan, ruler of Apokolips. His obsession with the throne led to an assassination on his brother and this thirst for blood soon become dastardly.
The subjects of Apokolips knew nothing of their new ruler beside his immense sadism and hatred.
Loki’s powers are derived entirely from his existence as a god.
Born to the Frost Giant King on the planet of Jotunheim, Loki did not meet his father’s expectations and was soon cast away from the only family he had ever known.
He was left in a temple to die, however, he was adopted by King Odin in the aftermath of a battle, a rather ironic turn of events. His cruel childhood led him on a quest to utter domination and destruction.
Powers: intelligence, strength, and ergokinesis
Ultron was the result of experimentation in the field of robotics by Hank Pym. However, the experiment took an unexpected turn, resulting in a highly intelligent and genocidal machine bent on exterminating the human race.
He soon gained enmity with the Avengers and was destroyed several times, but was able to rebuild himself as needed.
Doctor Doom (Marvel)
Powers: super strength, intelligence, and mind swap
Dr. Doom was born in Latveria and raised by a group of gypsies after losing his parents at a tender age.
His thirst for revenge developed into a desire for knowledge; he was able to attend Empire State University under a full scholarship.
In his time at the university, he became involved in experiments in the field of extradimensional research.
One fatal experiment resulted in his expulsion from the school, however, the events that were to follow ensured that he would become the new king of Latveria.
Powers: generate and control magnetic fields
Magneto was born and raised in Germany to a Jewish family during the era of the Holocaust.
His family was brutally murdered, however, he survived and became caught in the middle of the mutant war.
Powers: super strength, speed, durability, and invulnerability
Doomsday was born on the planet Krypton years before humanoid domination.
He became Superman’s imperfect twin, however, he was determined to destroy Superman. Over the series, he has survived numerous deaths.
Powers: psychic omnipotence
Onslaught was created from the minds of two mutants (Charles Xavier and Magneto) when Charles Xavier used his powers to reduce magneto to a catatonic state.
However, a small portion of their consciousness merged to form a new persona: Onslaught.
Powers: superhuman senses, manipulation of energy, and cosmic power
Akhenaten was born a prince in Thebes, Egypt, where his actions in his adulthood later resulted in a curse from the Egyptian gods. He was abducted by the Celestial Order as one of the chosen representatives.
In his time with the order, he was trained in cosmic energy and soon accumulated immense power.
Powers: technopathy, telekinesis, transfer consciousness, and super strength
Brainiac’s origin story is not consistent; there have been many theories, however, writers cannot seem to agree on just one.
Some of the few theories go as follows: last survivor of his race, created as a computer, or a supernova in humanoid form.
Red Skull (Marvel)
Powers: hand-to-hand and superhuman combat
Red Skull was born to a family in unfortunate circumstances. His father was a constant drunk who abused his wife on a regular basis, ultimately leading to her death.
The loss of his wife was too much to bear and he attempted to drown Red Skull, however, the child was saved and spent the rest of his childhood and early adolescence in the streets.
He later worked in a hotel where Adolf Hitler was living and became the Nazi embodiment.
Lex Luthor (DC)
Powers: expert engineer, energy projection, advanced weaponry, and astonishing technological prowess
Luthor was a successful, but not honest businessman. He aimed to create a financial empire through means of bribery, murder, and other questionable actions.
His popularity made him an idol and adored role model until Superman stole the spotlight. Luthor has since been attempting to destroy Superman at any cost.
Powers: super strength, flight, and shapeshifting
Magus was born as Adam Worlock in the most unique of ways: emerging from a cocoon. He was made by a group of humans called Enclave aiming to create a race of flawless humans.
His entrance to Earth resulted in hatred for the human race and he destroyed his creators.
Powers: super strength and immortality
Dweller-in-Darkness‘ origin is not widely known, as he is one of the Fear Lords. His power is derived from feeding on the fear of living beings.
Powers: energy control, shapeshifting, and ability to ‘will’ death or resurrection
Being one of the oldest beings in the universe, there is very little known about the origin story of Grandmaster. However, he is of the few survivors of his race after the Big Bang.
Powers: time travel, historical scholar, force-field projection, and more
A meeting with his ancestor, Doctor Doom, inspired Kang to create a powered armor suit for himself. This suit became the source of his power, leading him to become a very powerful force on the alternate Earth.
One of his best feats is the manipulation of the Avengers to capture multiple superhumans.
Drax the Destroyer (Marvel)
Powers: resilience, energy projection, flight, and enhanced strength
Drax was created by Kronos in an attempt to assassinate Thanos. However, he was unable to do this and focused on other events such as Ultron’s attack on Kree-space and the Annihilation Wave. He soon became a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Powers: immense mystical abilities
Like most almighty powerful beings, Cyttorak’s origin is a mystery. Cyttorak was once revered on Earth but for unknown reasons, was banished to an alternate dimension called Crimson Cosmos.
Powers: super strength, durability, and speed
Imperiex was born on the planet Apokolips and raised in a gladiator lifestyle. He began to modify his body until no aspect of his native self remained. He now takes on the form of energy concealed in an armor suit.
Powers: channeling chi, powerful martial arts
Mandarin’s origin is not known, however, some comics lean towards a hypothetical scenario in which he was born to a British mother and Chinese father.
The Chinese government held a special interest in him and spent a fortune training him in combat. Some time later, he came upon an abandoned space ship and after looking through the remains, he found new technology that would soon give him his new identity as the Mandarin.
Black Adam (DC)
Powers: multilingualism and egyptology
Black Adam’s story begun when we first spoke the word, ‘Shazam.’ He was blessed with powers from all six Egyptian gods.
However, his newfound power carried great responsibility and this often kept him away from his family. His family was eventually assassinated and thus, he began seeking revenge.