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Top 10 Supervillain Introductions

VO: Dan Paradis
Written by Ryan Woods Memorable villains need memorable entrances. Welcome to and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Supervillain Introductions. For this list, we’ll be looking at the most chilling, dazzling, and unforgettable introductions of supervillains in film. We’ll be paying particular attention to scenes that capture the essence of a supervillain’s style, abilities, and attitude, as well as introductions that lend themselves to the tone and feel of the films they are a part of. Have an idea you want to see made into a WatchMojo video? Check out our suggest page at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest and submit your idea.

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Memorable villains need memorable entrances. Welcome to and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Supervillain Introductions.

For this list, we’re looking at the most chilling, dazzling, and unforgettable introductions of supervillains in film. We’ll be paying particular attention to scenes that capture the essence of a supervillain’s style, abilities, and attitude, as well as introductions that lend themselves to the tone of the films in which they appear.

#10: Green Goblin
“Spider-Man” (2002)
What better way to introduce your villainous alter ego than before a crowd of thousands at a New York fair? Rocketing through the skies on his trademark glider, Norman Osborn reveals his Green Goblin persona, commencing his swath of destruction with a few deadly pumpkin bombs. But soon, he has his first epic clash with Spider-Man. After manhandling a couple of policemen, the Green Goblin gets the upper hand on his web-slinging nemesis by using his glider’s extensive weaponry and his own newly acquired super strength. Although Spider-Man ends the fight after disabling the Goblin’s glider, the cackling emerald maniac certainly made a splash in his public debut.

#9: Red Skull
“Captain America: The First Avenger” (2011)
Making his grand reveal amidst a sea of flames as his Hydra base begins to explode; Red Skull’s initial meeting with Captain America is a spectacular sight to behold. As the two arch-rivals square off astride a balcony above a widening inferno, Johann Schmidt proves he’s far more than your average Nazi thug. He withstands a brutal right hook from Cap and makes a sizable dent in his shield with a single blow. After Dr. Zola separates the two, Schmidt tears off his prosthetic face and displays his true one, in all its macabre glory. With a gruesome unmasking befitting a horror movie villain, Red Skull steals the show with this dramatic introduction.

#8: General Zod
“Man of Steel” (2013)
Emerging from a cloud of smoke after his men slaughter the guards of Krypton’s council, General Zod makes an entrance suitable for a hardened military commander. It’s clear from the beginning that he’s not a fan of civilized debate, because he murders a council elder in cold blood to make sure everyone knows who’s in charge now. Having already accepted that Krypton is doomed, Zod asks Jor-El to help him rebuild their race elsewhere with only the bloodlines that Zod deems fit to survive. When Jor-El refuses, Zod has him taken away, demonstrating his unwillingness to compromise, which in turn is indicative of his despotic mindset.

#7: Loki
“The Avengers” (2012)
A massive step up from his first appearance in “Thor,” Loki blazes into “The Avengers” through a Tesseract portal. And from the moment we see his malevolent sneer; we know he’s got some bad things in mind for the people of Earth. Declining Nick Fury’s request to put down his weapon, Loki instead opts to massacre several S.H.I.E.L.D agents, brainwash both Hawkeye and Professor Selvig, and leave with the Cosmic Cube so he can commence his plans of world domination. This is a simple, but effective, scene that captures the danger, charm, and mischievous wit of Thor’s adopted brother.

#6: Ultron
“Avengers: Age of Ultron” (2015)
Heralded by an ear-splitting noise, Ultron’s first appearance in “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is perhaps the most frightening villain entrance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Stumbling into the Avengers’ get-together in the body of a decrepit drone, Ultron’s terrifying accusations against Earth’s Mightiest Heroes are made all the more unsettling when one realizes there’s plenty of truth behind them. Bolstered by the haunting voice of James Spader, Ultron’s initial challenge to the Avengers is a wicked combination of foreboding and dark humor, setting the stage for the carnage that ensues.

#5: Magneto
“X-Men: First Class” (2011)
Although Magneto is often portrayed as a villain in the “X-Men” franchise, few can deny he’s nowhere near as evil as the Nazis that murdered his family during the Holocaust. While searching for Sebastian Shaw in Argentina, Magneto comes across a bar that happens to be owned by a pair of Nazis and realizes they’re friends of his childhood tormentor. Upon revealing the number tattooed on his forearm in Auschwitz, Magneto decides to exact some sweet revenge on the war criminals before introducing himself in a suitably terrifying way, showing them and us how the Nazis’ cruelty transformed him.

#4: Winter Soldier
“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” (2014)
After Nick Fury narrowly escapes an assassination attempt by Hydra operatives disguised as cops, he finds himself headed straight towards an ominous figure in black who doesn’t seem all too concerned about the rapidly approaching vehicle. Effortlessly neutralizing Fury’s escape, the Winter Soldier calmly saunters towards his wounded prey like an emotionless murder machine and rips the door off of his reinforced SUV before discovering Fury has escaped. Despite the close call, this grim scene immediately tells the audience that the Winter Soldier is a force to be reckoned with and is more than a match for his old friend Captain America.

#3: Bane
“The Dark Knight Rises” (2012)
Getting captured on purpose can be risky, but Bane has the brains and brawn to pull it off. At the mercy of CIA agents, Bane maintains an eerie coolness during the tense situation as he candidly reveals his plan to crash the plane and escape with a nuclear physicist. As a second plane arrives to retrieve Bane and his associates, the masked psychopath displays his alarming strength by breaking his handcuffs with ease and holding on for dear life with one arm as his surroundings become vertical. Despite the exhilarating nature of the aircraft action, it’s the subtle hints to Bane’s madness and skill that immediately alert the audience to the threat he poses for Batman.

#2: Doctor Octopus
“Spider-Man 2” (2004)
What begins as a presumably light-hearted surgery scene rapidly devolves into sheer horror, as Otto Octavius is reborn as Doctor Octopus. As a team of doctors attempts to remove Doc Ock’s new mechanical limbs via power tools, it becomes terrifyingly clear that the arms have a mind of their own and are not willing to be separated from their creator. They work together like a quartet of horror movie monsters as they murder the doctors one by one. This scene is our first indication that whatever humor was to be found in the Doctor Octopus of the comics is not to be found in Alfred Molina’s tragic take on the iconic supervillain.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are some honorable mentions
- Shredder

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (1990)

- Syndrome

“The Incredibles” (2004)

- Apocalypse

“X-Men: Apocalypse” (2016)

#1: The Joker
“The Dark Knight” (2008)
Beginning as a fairly standard bank robbery scene, the Joker’s introduction in Christopher Nolan’s masterpiece is a slow burn that has one tremendous payoff. As the thieves’ greed gets the better of them and they begin to kill each other off, one remains silent as the heist goes off according to plan. After the timely intervention of a school bus and the elimination of its driver, a wounded bank manager asks the lone remaining thief what he believes in and gets an instantly classic answer. Lent incredible weight by Hans Zimmer’s score, the Joker’s introduction is a taste of the insanity and chaos that is to follow in “The Dark Knight.”

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