The DC universe can be a dangerous and terrifying place to find yourself. The pages of these comic books are filled with alien warlords, overpowered robots, and psychotic serial killers, all hell-bent on either ruling the universe or destroying it. There is hope within this dark universe, hope in the form of the superhero. These superpowered beings are there to protect us and stop the bad guys from getting what they want. With the likes of Superman, Batman, and friends, The Justice League is the epitome of good and they strive to protect everyone and save the world.
However, The Justice league and other heroes don’t always win. Sometimes the bad guys come out on top, or even if The Justice League manage to swoop in and save the day, these villains have already caused mass destruction and taken countless lives. With that in mind here are 15 of DC’s cruelest supervillains who have the highest bodycount.
15. Ra’s al Ghul
We start our list with a villain that wants to save humanity and the world. This may well sound like a noble cause, but the way in which Ra’s Al Ghul wants to achieve this isn’t. His desire is to purify humanity, which essentially means to kill a lot of us. Known as The Demon’s Head and leader of The League of Shadows, Ra’s Al Ghul has been walking the Earth for centuries, thanks to The Lazarus Pit which can restore anybody on the brink of death.
For this reason, Ra’s Al Ghul is particularly dangerous, as he has had centuries to hone his skills and knowledge. He often finds himself up against Batman as his schemes to kill people are intercepted by The Dark Knight. However, the two have a mutual respect for each other, so much so that Ra’s Al Ghul knows Batman’s secret identity but has sworn to never tell out of respect. Although Ra’s Al Ghul has yet to cause a planet wide destruction, he has certainly killed many people over the centuries and deserves a place on this list.
Gorilla Grodd has only one thing that fuels him and that’s his hatred for humanity. Being sick and tired of how humans have treated the animals in this world, particularly apes and monkeys, Grood wants the humans to pay – with their lives.
Powered by his hyper-intelligence and his ape strength, Grodd also possess psychic abilities and can control minds. Often being thwarted by The Flash, Grodd has done some truly dire things at the cost of many lives, including traveling back to the dinosaur era in order to wipe out mammals before they evolved, as well as brainwashing the hidden Gorilla City and making them start a war with the rest of the world. Gorilla Grodd has also been involved in some of the more devastating DC storylines with the help of fellow supervillains from the Injustice League.
Slade Wilson is one of the deadliest characters within the DC universe. Starting life out as a villain to the Teen Titans, Deathstroke soon went on to bigger and badder things. Being enhanced by a serum when he was in the army, Wilson became a super meta-human soldier with greatly enhanced physical abilities such as strength, agility, speed, and regenerative healing powers.
Once he had the serum, Wilson left the army and became a mercenary and killer for hire and is often referred to as the deadliest assassin on the planet. Although Deathstroke is not known for his mass killings or catastrophic acts against the world like many others on this list, Deathstroke is the perfect assassin and the amount of individuals he has killed is vast. Not only that but with his inclusion in the TV Arrow universe, plus the DC extended universe, Deathstroke’s death toll keeps climbing higher and higher and doesn’t look to be stopping anytime soon.
12. Vandal Savage
Vandal Savage is immortal and has been plaguing the world with his evil plans since the very beginning of recorded human history. In 50,000 BC, Savage was a caveman and leader of his blood tribe, that is until a meteor crashed near his home. Choosing to stay near the meteor, Savage became bathed in radiation which gave him a vast intellect as well as making him immortal and truly unkillable.
Over thousands of years, Savage has claimed to have both ruled and terrorized the world, each time using a different name. Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, and Vlad the Impaler are just a few. He has also claimed he was in fact the infamous serial killer Jack the Ripper, as well as claiming to be the personal adviser to some of history’s most evil men. Napoleon and Hitler are the two big ones. Given the fact that Savage has been around since pretty much the beginning of mankind, it’s difficult to say how many he’s actually killed. But if all his stories are true it could be in the millions if not billions. And that’s even before we come to present day and what he’s done to the superheroes of the DC universe.
11. The Joker
The Clown Prince of Crime is arguably one of the most famous villains, if not characters, in all of the comic book universes. The Joker is quite simply a big ball of chaos. Nobody is off limits for him, even his closest partners in crime can meet a sticky end if The Joker feels like it. Never satisfied with being a mundane or ordinary villain, The Joker lives his life in the middle of a storm. Although The Joker is frequently stopped, captured, or even beaten half to death, this doesn’t phase him as to him it’s all part of the game. A game in which he constantly plays to keep the boredom at bay.
Because of this The Joker is hard to predict and even harder to understand, especially for the Dark Knight himself. Not only that, but The Joker is very comfortable using any weapon he can get his hands on, whether that’s his comical hand buzzer or something more powerful like machine guns, bazookas, and even nuclear weapons.
Sometimes destiny can put you down the wrong path in life before your life even actually starts. This is what happened to Cheshire. Born Jade Nguyen, Cheshire’s life started out bad and then got a whole lot worse. Sold into slavery as a child, Cheshire freed herself as a young adult by killing her master and joining a guerrilla fighter and learning all the ways of an assassin, including how to use poisons, which she then dipped her fingernails in to make them into a deadly weapon.
Over the years, Cheshire’s body count has steadily risen as her assassin lifestyle has put her on par with the likes of Deathstroke and Lady Shiva. However, what really makes Cheshire the queen of the female supervillains is when she killed millions upon millions in one single act. After rescuing Deathstroke, the two got their hands on some nuclear weapons in order to blackmail the world. Not wanting to appear weak, Cheshire set them off in the Middle Eastern country of Qurac, obliterating the entire country and the people who lived there.
This pre-historic and simple creature has only one thing on his mind: destroy everything and everyone that you come into contact with. Born on the planet Krypton before the Kryptonian people dominated the world, Doomsday lived his early life in the hellish world in which only the strong survive. On top of that, Doomsday was also the result of a genetic experiment to create the perfect living being. All of which instilled a hatred of all living things within Doomsday as he became determined to destroy everything.
The most famous act that Doomsday ever performed is when he went up against Superman and the two beat each other to death, as well as levelling the city in the process. Away from his encounters with The Man of Steel, Doomsday has destroyed many cities and even several planets, including Bylon 4 and Calaton.
8. Lex Luther
The epitome of the intellectual (and shady) supervillain is Lex Luthor. Over the years, Lex Luthor has been many things, from successful businessman to supervillain, the president of the United States to even being Superman. It’s fair to say that Lex can put his hands and his mind to anything.
From Lex’s point of view, he would probably think of himself as a superhero as he strives to protect humanity from aliens, particularly Superman. Not being one to feel weak against such overpowered aliens and heroes, Lex uses his super intellect and his skills in manipulation to best his foes on countless occasions. It’s actually hard to gage just how many people have died at the hands of Lex, as more often than not he is behind the scenes and doesn’t like to get his hands dirty. But having been involved in some of the biggest and most deadly storylines within the DC universe, Lex’s body count could well be in the millions if not higher.
7. Black Adam
Within the pages of the comic books, each hero that comes to save the day seemingly must have an equal and opposite villain to face off with. The Flash has Zoom/Reverse Flash, The Green Lantern has Sinestro, and Shazam has Black Adam. Being granted the power of the Egyptian gods, Black Adam soon found that power corrupts you. Not content with overthrowing the Egyptian Pharaoh, Black Adam has also been on murderous rampages through most of the world’s countries and killed the entire population of the country Bialya. Black Adam has also become the violent dictator of the Kahndaq nation.
In more modern times, Black Adam is seen more as an anti-hero rather than an outright villain as he tries to atone for his crimes and has even helped to save the world a few times. However, this doesn’t take away from the fact that Black Adam is a killer and his body count is higher than most other villains in the DC universe.
Another of Superman’s great foes, and fellow resident of the planet Krypton, is Brainiac. Over the years there have been many different versions of Brainiac, each of them with a slightly different backstory and history. The most famous incarnation of Brainiac is that of a supercomputer that roams the galaxy and shrinks major cities to store them in jars and bottles. He does this for the sake of knowledge, to learn everything he can about everything. However, once he has obtained what he needed from these cities, he often destroys it killing millions and millions in the process.
Future storylines have also seen Brainiac fuse with Lex Luthor as they try to destroy The Justice League and rule the world. There was also an occasion in which Brainiac teamed up with Darkseid. Whichever storyline or version of Brainiac that you choose to read, the result is usually the same and that involves death and destruction to many beings.
Mongul is the vicious dictator of the planet known as warworld. In this world, Mongul captures beings from around the universe and pits them against each other in gladiator-style games just for his amusement. Not only has Mongul been responsible for the deaths of many beings after making them fight to the death, but he has also destroyed many civilizations and planets in the process.
The most devastating act that Mongul performed was when he captured Superman and made him take part in his games. But of course The Man of Steel managed to stop Mongul and overthrow him. Not being content with his defeat, Mongul took out his vengeance on Hal Jordan’s hometown of Coast City, destroying the entire town and all of its inhabitants which had a huge ripple effect that changed many characters and, in fact, the entire DC universe.
The comic book world is no stranger to delving into the world of mythology for inspiration. With both Marvel and DC using characters from the Norse, Roman, and Greek mythos to enhance their stories, these gods have become more associated with the comic books they now inhabit rather than the legends they started from.
The Greek god of war is a prime example of this, as he is one of the deadliest supervillains in the DC universe and a vital character within the Wonder Woman storyline. Ares probably has more blood on his hands than any other character, since his sole purpose is to create war. After all, if there wasn’t any wars then there wouldn’t be Ares. Not being content with just being an adversary to Wonder Woman, throughout his life Ares was responsible for many wars as well as taking over the underworld leader Hades and therefore being directly responsible for the deaths of many. He did however get what was coming to him, as after his death he appeared to Wonder Woman and told her that he was being tortured by everyone that has died during a war.
Parallax is one of the oldest entities in the universe and since time began, it has been roaming the stars going from planet to planet and making countless civilizations destroy themselves. Parallax is a parasitic entity that is the embodiment of fear itself and can possess and control any living being that doesn’t know how to control their fears.
For these reasons alone, Parallax is one of the most deadly beings in the universe but when you put that together with one of the most catastrophic events in modern DC times, then Parallax is a true supervillain. After Mongul destroyed Hal Jordan’s hometown of Coast City, Jordan took it badly and had a mental breakdown. He even recreated the city and its people using his ring to construct it but the guardians weren’t happy with this. So with Jordan now under the influence of Parallax, he goes to confront the guardians and kills every single one of them, and he also destroys the Green Lantern Corp.
The most infamous and deadly warlord in all of the DC universe is the fascist dictator Darkseid. Being the ruler of the planet Apokolips, Darkseid is ruthless and rules over his people as if they were his slaves. Never showing any mercy or forgiveness, Darkseid has destroyed and invaded many planets in the universe, each time causing the deaths of millions and millions of beings.
Not content with just ruling his own planet with an iron fist, Darkseid’s bigger plan is to wipe out free will and freedom from the entire universe. With strength and power in the same league as Superman, a massive army at his disposal, and his deadly Omega Beams which he can shoot from his eyes (and not even Superman can escape them), Darkseid is one of the deadliest and most terrifying characters in the universe. He only falls short of the number one spot because of someone even worse.
The number one entry on our list and the supervillain that has more blood on his hands than any other character in the DC universe, and maybe even in the Marvel universe too, is Anti-Monitor.
When the powerful scientist known as Krona travels back to the Big Bang in order to better understand creation, he accidentally creates the multiverse, and therefore, Anti-Monitor. With his Anti-Monitor cannon, Anti-Monitor sets about destroying every single planet and every single universe within the multiverse, which he accomplishes. Only leaving five, as he was eventually stopped by our favorite superheroes, Anti-Monitor was dangerously close to destroying all of creation. Although he was stopped in the end, Anti-Monitor still destroyed most of the multiverse which could range into the infinite mark and therefore has the highest body count of any character ever.