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Top 10 Greatest Justice League Villains

VO: Matthew Wende
Written by Craig Butler These guys are the reason there’s a Justice League in the first place. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down the Top 10 Greatest Justice League Villains. For this list, we’re looking at the villains who have really given the Justice League a run for their money and who have a historically significant place in their long history. We’re considering villains who have fought the League in any of its many incarnations.
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These guys are the reason there’s a Justice League in the first place. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down the Top 10 Greatest Justice League Villains.

For this list, we’re looking at the villains who have really given the Justice League a run for their money and who have a historically significant place in their long history. We’re considering villains who have fought the League in any of its many incarnations.

#10: The Injustice League

If super-heroes band together to form a team… er… “league,” it makes sense that their foes would do the same. The Injustice League has been through several incarnations, starting out as a rather incompetent band that was exiled to Antarctica. Subsequent incarnations were more serious and featured heavy-hitters like Lex Luthor, Cheetah, and the Joker. Their goal was to soundly defeat the Justice League and give themselves free reign to conquer the world. You know, typical bad guy stuff – but with the talent and powers to pull it off. Fortunately, gatherings of super-villains almost never know how to really work together, and the League has been able to triumph again and again.

#9: Despero

An intergalactic tyrant, Despero goes back to the League’s early days. Ruler of the other-dimensional Kalanor, Despero’s one ambition is conquest – of anything and everything. He is helped in his ambition by his third eye, which gives him the ability to both read and control minds, as well as telekinesis. He also possesses regenerative powers, which make it difficult for him to be permanently destroyed. Ever since his initial defeat by the League, Despero has harbored a burning hatred for them. So far, at least, he hasn’t succeeded in annihilating them.

#8: Starro

Although retconning of the League’s origin has at times altered this, their very first villain was actually Starro the Conqueror. On the surface, it doesn’t look so menacing. After all, it’s just a gigantic starfish, right? Not so fast. This alien being possesses amazingly advanced mind control abilities. Using smaller drone-like versions of itself which take over the minds of any person they attach to, Starro is able to control massive amount of humans – and, by extension, metahumans. Starro’s encounters with the League have been relatively few and far between, although he has appeared elsewhere in the DC Universe. But when he does encounter the League, the event is always memorable.

#7: The Anti-Monitor

Introduce in the landmark “Crisis on Infinite Earths” storyline, the Anti-Monitor was a supremely powerful being who ruled the anti-matter universe – and was determined to destroy all the other universes. The Justice League was among the hundreds of heroes who helped defeat him during the Crisis. But it was during the New 52’s Darkseid War that he became one of the League’s most dangerous villains. The Anti-Monitor plotted to destroy Darkseid, for his own personal reasons – and the League and their friends and foes had to keep him from destroying all life in the process.

#6: Amazo

One of the League’s earliest foes, Amazo the android fought the heroes before Superman and Batman were regularly participating in their adventures. Created by the brilliant scientist Professor Ivo as part of his quest to gain immortality, Amazo had the ability to duplicate the powers of the heroes he fought. In essence, then, the League would fight a version of itself – but with all the powers rolled into one being. Over the years, Amazo has been recreated in several different forms – but each of them is designed to give the League a huge headache.

#5: The Crime Syndicate

After DC came up with Earth-One and Earth-Two, where slightly different versions of their heroes existed, the introduction of Earth-Three was inevitable. But on this Earth, the likes of Ultraman, Superwoman, Owlman, Johnny Quick and Power Ring were super-villains – and when they discovered their heroic counterparts on Earth-One, they attacked. The Crime Syndicate returned several times over the years. Even after the Crisis on Infinite Earths wiped out their Earth-Three selves, they survived as members of the anti-matter universe. As with Amazo, when the League fights The Crime Syndicate, it’s like they’re fighting themselves – which requires some strategic thinking in order for them to emerge victorious.

#4: Lex Luthor

Sure, he’s Superman’s arch-enemy, but he doesn’t limit his evil-doing to Metropolis. This incredibly rich super-genius has crossed paths with the League on many occasions. Aside from his efforts as a leader of the Injustice League, Luthor has also had some solo jousts with the team. His power and influence has time and again made him an incredibly formidable opponent for the League – one that can’t be defeated simply with super strength and laser vision.

#3: Vandal Savage
He may not have fancy powers or weapons to help him conquer the world, but he has patience and determination - and why not? He’s immortal and has been alive for thousands of years; he can outwait anybody. And since he has amassed enormous wealth, intelligence, tactical skills and power over his long lifetime, he has access to resources that make him a huge threat. Since he seemingly cannot be killed, there’s no real way for the Justice League to defeat him – just delay him. He strikes with all the power and force he can muster, but he knows that if he fails, he’ll always be able to try again.

#2: Brainiac

Another foe with a strong Superman connection, Brainiac is an artificial intelligence, with a heavy emphasis on the intelligence part. This remorseless, relentless fighting machine has changed appearances over the years but is always a cold, calculating being bent on adding to his collection, all in the name of furthering his knowledge of the universe. Whether he’s threatening to vivisect Aquaman or shrinking entire cities like Kandor for his collection, Brainiac is not to be messed with. He may just be a walking computer, but he is definitely not user-friendly.

#1: Darkseid

Some members of the Justice League are practically as powerful as gods. Darkseid really IS one. And not a nice one, either. The ruler of the hellish planet Apokolips, Darkseid has a burning hatred for Earth because we keep resisting him. He’s used to conquering and smashing his enemies, bringing multitudes under his demonic rule. But The Justice League and other Earth heroes somehow keep foiling his efforts. His ultimate goal is to acquire the Anti-Life Equation, which would grant him absolute control over all sentient beings, so it’s a good thing the members of the Justice League have continuously prevented that from happening.
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