Poll Position: The villain’s the thing

Last week we took a look at who your favorite comic book super-hero is, someone who may or may not be considered "the greatest" by some segment of fandom, but who nonetheless holds the premier spot in your heart. Shockingly, Batman won.

This week I want to ask you the same question, but about villains:


Remember, this isn't about who the baddest of the bad-asses is or who the greatest villain EVAR is -- it's about your personal favorite, the one who you maybe like against all odds and even knowing maybe it's kind of stupid. But that's your guy! Last week the ones you all added were mostly very good, so I'll once again leave that option open this week. I appreciate in advance your continued self-editing!

Discussion to follow ...

  • Catwoman: Catwoman always had a sexy, naughty, dark temptress kind of vibe, even in the original Golden Age iteration. As the less grim female counterpoint to Batman, Selena Kyle had a strong allure. Plus, it's always nice when your arch villain's name rhymes with your own. Which makes you wonder why we never had the nefarious "Duperwoman" trying to vamp on Superman. Although come to think of it, "wily female trying to get Superman to marry him through deceit and/or trickery" role was already pretty crowded.

    But I digress! Catwoman, yes, she's hot, strong, and the equal of Batman. There's a lot to recommend her as a favorite, particularly since the roster of awesome female villains is rather short.

  • Cobra Commander: If you love G.I. Joe, you have to love Cobra Commander. I could have gone with The Baroness here as well, of course, but while she's undoubtedly popular (both among fans and in proprietors of skin-tight leather stores), it was always Cobra Commander that provided the kind of insane, off-kilter, wild-eyed histrionics that made both the cartoon and the comics hum along. Let's face it, most of the actual Joes are fairly boring, so they needed a larger-than-life foil, and the Commander definitely provided that.
  • Deathstroke: He's not really one of the huge universal-power level bad guys, but I always liked how personal that kept most of his stories. He was the villain you could understand, the guy who sometimes did the right thing even if it cost him, and who made a well-matched and intriguing counter to the main hero characters. I loved his vaguely Broadway-inspired costume, too, and that forked white beard. Just a cool looking, well developed character.
  • Dr. Doom: I will leave the argument for the Overlord of Latveria to his designated ambassador to these boards.
  • Galactus: I don't think I could vote for Galactus. His whole thing is to be an inscrutable force of nature, and inscrutable forces of nature rarely engender much devotion. I mean, you don't see a lot of "Hug a Tornado" shirts out there, do you?
  • Green Goblin: I always liked the original Green Goblin because he seemed like the perfect counterpart to Spider-Man, a villain for whom nothing seems to go right to fight a hero for whom nothing seems to go right. As a kid, I thought his bat-jet-surfboard-thing was awesome, and the exploding pumpkins were both inane and frightening at the same time. He had just enough horror elements to make him interesting without being macabre like the Scarecrow.
  • The Joker: He'll probably win this poll because BATMAN, but ... I don't know, for me he always fell into the same "Implacable and Inscrutable Force of Nature" category as Galactus. I never really related to him all that much.
  • Lex Luthor: What's not to love about a genius multimillionaire guy who fights Superman to get revenge for making him go bald? Come on, that's awesome! Or maybe it's just awesome if you're a kid who knows he's destined to be bald by the time he's 20, like I was, I don't know.
  • Magneto: Another one likely to take this poll, and far more worthy than the Joker in my book. He has a history you can relate to, he's actually gone over to the good side from time to time, he is incredibly powerful, and can fight the entire X-Man roster to a standstill even while whipping their ass from time to time in the moral ambiguity department. Plus, again, white hair.
  • MODOK: How do you not love a ginormous head with itty-bitty limbs flying around in a chair powered by farts? Wait, I'm getting a note from the editor -- apparently that chair is not powered by farts. Well, that stinks! Or something. Still, the point is, he's a gigantic head! With tiny limbs! And the worst haircut this side of Justin Bieber!
  • The Red Skull: Mostly I have the Red Skull on here because he's such a good foil for Captain America, but who wants to love a Nazi?
  • Shredder: I was actually never much of a TMNT fan, but I know a lot of you are so I put Shredder on here to represent the rodent contingent.
  • Sinestro: Absolutely the best Green Lantern villain. Plus I love the whole idea that if you have a hero with a stupid weakness -- before it was explained away as a lack of will or whatever, it was just "I can't affect anything yellow!", which is one of the all-time lamest vulnerabilities since "He's invulnerable but not to brains!" -- then you just go create an anti-version of that guy whose whole power is based on that vulnerability. If he can't affect yellow, make a Yellow Lantern, ipso facto! Or e pluribus unum, whatever, I'm not a Latin scholar, people!
  • Toy Man: I always felt like Toy Man was a subversive comment on how ridiculously overpowered and ludicrous Golden Age Superman was. "Look," the writers seemed to be saying, "Superman is so ridiculously overpowered you might as well be throwing toys at him. And then you should go buy these toys."
  • Venom: I never found Venom all that appealing, but clearly people love him. I invite you to make the case for him in comments.

So looking over that list, I'm no question going to have to choose MODOK. I mean, just look at the guy!

Sound off in comments and tell us who your favorite is, and why.