The world of comic books is filled with superpowered beings who save us all on a daily basis. Those heroes tend to be good and true and only use their powers to protect the world and save us all. However, with so many heroes roaming the streets, the world has a dark side to balance the light. For every brightly colored hero there is a darker counterpart that strives to destroy anything and everything. Whether these villains possess powers or not, the role of the villain is clear; destroy and kill as much as possible.
Some villains have their own agenda and reasons for doing what they do. Some want power and will do anything they can to get it, while others have a warped view of themselves and think they are the ones in the right and what they do is justified. Then there are those that are just straight up crazy. Whatever their reasons, the supervillain is a vital part of the comic book world as the heroes need a foe to face.
So here is a list of 15 supervillains in the Marvel and DC universe that have the highest body counts and don’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.
15. Green Goblin
We start our list with a villain that has been the thorn in Spider-Man’s side for many years. While The Green Goblin mantle has been used by both father and son, Norman and Harry Osborn, it’s Norman Osborne that is the true king of the Goblins and the deadliest.
While compared to many villains on this list, The Green Goblin may not have destroyed worlds or committed genocide, he still has caused a lot of death. Starting as a young child when he beat his own dog to death with a stick, Osborne has been racking up the deaths both as a businessman and as the Green Goblin.
Unleashing his inner psycho on the population, The Green Goblin has destroyed many buildings, prisons and laid carnage in the streets; all filled with innocent people that died as a result. Then of course there is the most famous and most damaging death for Spider-Man, when The Goblin killed his then girlfriend Gwen Stacey. He may not be the most powerful, but The Green Goblin certainly has plenty of blood on his hands.
14. The Joker
Next we turn to arguably one of the most famous villains in all of the comic book world. The clown prince of crime may not have the appetite or power for such things as world domination, but he is one mean and ruthless villain. What makes The Joker so deadly is that he is completely unpredictable. He never has a plan or any particular goals, he is just pure chaos and destruction. Even getting caught and spending time in Arkham never dampens The Joker’s lust for carnage, it’s all part of the game to him.
Because of his unpredictability, no one is safe from The Joker, not even the criminals that work for him or team up with him. His love of gadgets and quirky toys also adds to his level of danger as he is comfortable using anything from a simple hand buzzer to a machine gun or even a rocket launcher. As well as having a high body count to his name, The Joker has also been responsible for some major atrocities in the DC world; none more devastating the beating Jason Todd to death with a crowbar and crippling Barbara Gordon.
13. Red Skull
The Red Skull has been terrorizing the world since World War Two. Not even time or death can stop The Red Skull from his ambitions of dominating the planet, as well as making Captain America suffer as much as possible. Starting his career as one of the most powerful members of the Nazi party, and being responsible for some truly monstrous acts – such as destroying towns and villages as well as slaughtering many innocent people that were in his way – The Red Skull’s lust for power became so great that even the Nazis feared him.
After the war The Red Skull wanted more than to just rule the world. He often turns his attention to other worlds and seeks to destroy them. Wielding such power as the Cosmic Cube as well as other Infinity stones at one time or another, The Red Skull has caused so much death over the years that it could be hard to calculate just how many lives this man has taken.
A villain that has recently made his big screen debut in the MCU is Ultron. In the movie world, Ultron is created by Tony Stark in an effort to save the world, or at least keep it safe in his slightly controlling way. Ultron then decided that humanity had no place in the world and therefore should be eliminated. As well as a few individual deaths by his own hands, the climax of the movie saw Ultron lifting the whole country of Sovokia into the air in order to drop it on the world and cause a mass extinction. Although The Avengers were quick to evacuate the country, many innocent lives were still lost as a result.
However, in the comic book versions Ultron is a lot more direct and bloodier. Not only does Ultron tear The Avengers apart, including driving Hank Pym mad as a result of his part in creating him, Ultron also wipes out the population of entire countries as he strives to rid the world of humanity. Unlike the movie, it takes The Avengers a lot longer to stop Ultron in the comic books, which adds to Ultron’s body count.
It’s hard to see Magneto as an out and out villain as most of what he does comes from a place that is driven by good intentions. Having been a part of the Holocaust and having to watch his friends and family die because they were seen as different, every action that Magneto has taken since then can almost be justified. Not only living through World War Two but also being a part of a world in which mutants are treated differently and sometimes even seen as the enemy of us humans, all Magneto wants is for mutants to be equal. Or at least that’s how it started. His actions and motivations have changed over the years and resulted in many deaths of both mutant and human, which is why Magneto makes our list.
Not only has Magneto caused many problems for the X-Men such as poisoning Professor X’s mind, using Rouge as a beacon to turn humanity into mutants and even ripping Wolverine’s Adamantium skeleton from his body, Magneto has also attacked the world on several occasions, causing many innocent deaths. None more so than when he sent an electromagnetic pulse around the world which stopped all the world’s electrical systems, including hospitals and planes.
When you have a villain that can explode his body at will and then put himself back together again, you know that he is going to have one hell of a body count to his name. Maybe not the most well known of the Marvel villains but Nitro has had some pretty important parts in big story lines over the years. None more so than in the events that led up to Civil War.
In the comic book arc Civil War, Nitro is cornered by a group of superpowered beings known as The New Warriors. With Nitro having no way of escaping he blows himself up like a nuclear bomb and kills everyone in the vicinity, including the children in the nearby school as well as the residents of the town. Because of this the governments of the world wanted to register superpowered beings in order to keep them under control.
The evil and vicious dictator of the planet Apokolips, Darkseid has been terrorizing the DC universe for years. Driven by a desire to free the universe from its free will and ultimately rule everyone and everything, Darkseid has come up against The Justice League on several occasions and it’s the superheroes that are left worse for wear more often than not.
With the strength and physical abilities to rival, if not beat, Superman, Darkseid also has the use of his Omega Beams which he shoots from his eyes and can lock onto any target, moving or not. As well as ruling his own people with an iron fist, with his people having suffered with their lives in order for him to take control, Darkseid has also invaded other planets, decimating those planets’ population and caused countless wars which have resulted in a death toll that can reach right across the stars.
A bigger menace to the DC universe than even the likes of Darkseid is Parallax. Being created at the very beginning of time itself, Parallax is the embodiment of fear itself and has spent much of its creation going from world to world, casting fear over everyone and everything it comes into contact with and bringing many civilizations to its knees.
However, as Parallax is pure energy it has no form and therefore it needs a host to control and do its bidding. No host has been more devastating or caused more death than when Parallax possessed Hal Jordan. After Jordan’s hometown Coast City was destroyed he went into a spiral of depression which pushed him to the very brink of his sanity. So much so that Jordan, with the use of his ring, recreated people from the city just so he could speak with them. Then Parallax struck; taking control of Jordan’s mind and body Parallax killed all the Guardians and destroyed The Green Lantern Corp.
The villain that is responsible for bringing The Avengers together within the MCU, Loki’s anger and hatred towards Asgard, and especially his brother Thor, spills over into every other world and realm. This included sending the Destroyer to Earth in order to kill Thor, which resulted in many a bystander’s death. Not to mention leading an alien invasion to conquer Earth. Although he wasn’t successful, the invasion still resulted in New York almost being leveled and no doubt thousands of lives lost. The next instalment of the Thor movies will no doubt be based around the Ragnarok story line which saw Loki’s murder streak end the Norse gods.
Away from the MCU and back in the pages of the comic books, Loki’s vengeance is even more soaked in blood. The god of mischief has been the source of a few massacres and wars which have resulted in thousands upon thousands of deaths.
6. Dark Phoenix
One of the most powerful mutants on the X-Men team is Jean Grey. With her powers of telepathy and telekinesis, Jean Grey is on a level to rival Professor X and even Magneto. However, as an X-Man, Jean is usually the caring and nurturing member of the team. She never really uses the full potential of her power and is often seen as the mother of the group. That is until she invokes the full power of the ancient Phoenix Force and becomes Dark Phoenix. As Dark Phoenix she is not only one of the most powerful mutants but arguably one of the most powerful beings in the entire Marvel universe.
There have been many stories and rewrites that involved Dark Phoenix over the years, with each of them resulting in some catastrophic act performed by her. The most famous, and most devastating, is when Dark Phoenix needed to recharge her energy and power so she absorbed the entire energy from a star; causing a supernova that destroyed an entire planet and civilization which puts Dark Phoenix’s body count well into the billions!
The oldest known Mutant and another villain to recently get the movie treatment. Apocalypse has been destroying people and civilizations since ancient times, in which he posed as a god causing many nations to go to war with each other and resulted in a death toll to rival any villain. The full limits to his powers aren’t quite known but as well as possessing Hulk-like strength and invulnerability, Apocalypse can also manipulate matter and energy and heal himself faster than many Mutants as well as being telepathic and telekinetic. He has also been known to warp reality as well.
His powers alone are enough to make most people want to run away, but when you add his powers to his desire to dominate everything, then you have one super powered supervillain that will stop at nothing to achieve his goals. There have also been several alternate timelines in which Apocalypse has become lord and master of the world at the cost of billions of lives. So no matter which reality we read, Apocalypse is soaked in blood.
As we have seen from previous entries such as Darkseid and Apocalypse, some of the most deadly and dangerous villain are the overlords and dictators, and none come bigger or badder than Thanos. Soon Thanos will be making his full presence felt in the MCU with the up and coming Infinity Wars movies which will no doubt result in many deaths.
The path of Thanos follows a lot of other psychotic supervillains in that it all started from childhood in which he killed his family and fell in love with Death; who to him appeared as a woman. With his strange love affair and his taste for blood and power, Thanos soon wanted more and would kill anyone that got in his way. To make things worse for the universe, Thanos came into possession of the Infinity Gauntlet which not only increased his own power but meant he could wipe out a big chunk of the universe with just a gesture of his glove.
Thanos has also been responsible for killing most of the heroes within the Marvel universe, although many of these deaths have been reversed and restored. It still doesn’t take away the fact that Thanos is pretty much unstoppable.
3. Doctor Doom
Speaking of dictators and rulers, many people out there maybe surprised to see that Doctor Doom is the worst of them all. For anyone who only knows of Doctor Doom through the movies, then this will be a harsh wake up call to the truly shocking acts at the hands of Doom. Unfortunately for this complex and much underrated character, the movies have not done him and justice.
As a ruthless dictator to his people, Doctor Doom has also caused a lot of problems for the likes of The Fantastic Four and The Avengers. However, not content with just being the stereotypical villain, Doctor Doom goes one further and pretty much destroys everything and every universe. In the story arch Secret Wars, Doom destroys countless universes. Not only that but he takes the fragments of the decaying universe and creates his own kingdom which he names Battleworld. There he becomes ruler and emperor with an army of superpowered beings at his command. So many may say that Doctor Doom is just a villain for the Fantastic Four to battle, but because of his last act Doom has killed more people than any other character in any other comic book. With the possible exception of the next two.
Out of all the villains and world destroying bad guys that inhabit the DC multiverse, there is only one that takes the crown of being the worst and most destructive and that’s Anti-Monitor. Being formed as an accident when Kronas created the multiverse, Anti-Monitor burst into existence and became hell bent on destroying everything. Which he almost did.
Working his way through every universe, parallel and alternative, Anti-Monitor destroyed practically every one and only five remain. That means that Anti-Monitor could have destroyed an infinite number of worlds and universes before the heroes of the DC universe came together in order to stop him.
With all of time on his side, and his limitless power, Anti-Monitor is single handedly the worst villain in the DC universe and no one can even come close to his body count. Anti-Monitor stands alone when it comes to the shear volume of death on his hands.
Number one on our list is the planet eating monster known as Galactus. There maybe a good argument that DC’s Anti-Monitor should get the number one spot; after all he did destroy most of the multiverse. However, within this universe there isn’t anyone who has caused more death and destruction than Marvel’s Galactus.
So the number one spot goes to a being that is so ancient and beyond us mortals that his very existence is even above that of the gods. Galactus the destroyer not only kills and destroys but he eats planets. Moving from one world to the next, Galactus consumes the planet’s natural resources, including the inhabitants, until there is nothing left. When that is done he moves on to devour the next one.
Countless planets have fallen under Galactus’s hunger as he has been eating planets since the very creation of our universe. Because of the sheer volume that Galactus has consumed, we feel he is the worst villain in the comic book world with a body count that can’t be touched by any other being.
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