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For other uses, see Supervillain (disambiguation).
Supervillains from Batman

A supervillain or supervillainess is a criminal variant of the villainous stock character archetype commonly found in comic books and usually possesses superhuman abilities.

They are sometimes used as foils to superheroes and other heroes. Whereas superheroes often wield fantastic powers, the supervillain possesses commensurate powers and abilities, and could present a daunting challenge to the hero. Even without actual physical, mystical, superhuman or superalien powers, the supervillain often possesses a genius intellect that allows him or her to draft complex schemes or create fantastic devices. Other common traits include a megalomaniac streak, and possession of considerable resources to help further their aims. Many supervillains share some typical characteristics of real world dictators, mobsters, and terrorists and often have aspirations of world domination or universal leadership.[1]

Superheroes and supervillains often mirror each other in their powers, abilities, or origins. In some cases, the only difference between the two is that the hero uses their extraordinary powers to help others, while the villain uses their powers for selfish, destructive or ruthless purposes.

Well-known supervillains[edit]

Lex Luthor, the Joker, Magneto, Doctor Doom, Darkseid, Norman Osborn, and Galactus are some well-known supervillains in popular culture and have been adapted to film and television.[2][3] Some notable examples of female comic book supervillains are Catwoman, Mystique, The Dark Phoenix, Harley Quinn, Emma Frost, Viper, Elektra, and Cheetah.[4]

Lex Luthor, the Joker, Catwoman, and Harley Quinn are examples of supervillains who do not posses superhuman abilities.

Supervillains are sometimes members of supervillain groups, such as the Sinister Six, the Brotherhood of Mutants, the Legion of Doom, the Suicide Squad, the Marauders, the Brotherhood of Evil, the Secret Society of Super Villains, and the Acolytes.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Eury & Misiroglu On The Supervillain Book". Comicon.Com. Retrieved 2012-05-09. 
  2. ^ "Joker tops supervillain poll". 2012-04-25. Retrieved 2012-05-09. 
  3. ^ "Top Ten Comic Book Super Villains". 2012-04-10. Retrieved 2012-05-09. 
  4. ^ "Lethal Ladies ; The 10 Best Female Supervillains". Retrieved 2013-10-22. 

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