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Top 10 Villain Signature Powers from Movies

VO: MW
Written by Garrett Alden Every great villain has their own unique styles, but these bad guys took it even further with their signature abilities! WatchMojo presents the Top 10 Signature Powers of Movie Villains! But which baddie will take the top spot on our list? Will it be Magneto, Freddy Krueger, or Darth Vader? Watch to find out! Watch on WatchMojo: WatchMojo.com Big thanks to by hulkfan for suggesting this idea, and to see how WatchMojo users voted, check out the suggest page here: https://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Movie+Villain+Signature+Attacks/+Powers
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Every good evildoer needs a good gimmick to stand out from the pack. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 movie villain signature powers.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the attacks and special abilities that are most associated with certain movie villains. While they may not be exclusive to these villains, these powers and moves are undeniably most closely associated with these sinister figures.

#10: Illusions – Loki

“Marvel Cinematic Universe” (2011-)


The adoptive younger brother of Thor and a former prince of Asgard, Loki is a clever villain whose penchant for deception is greatly aided by his signature ability – creating illusions. While he has used his powers to some rather benign ends, like making himself appear more impressive than he actually is, Loki’s illusions can equally serve as a dangerous weapon. He often utilizes them to distract his opponents to give him an opening to kill them, or else to impersonate other people; allowing him to infiltrate secure locations or even assume power. For such a duplicitous villain, it's the perfect powerset, and one which he has firmly claimed as his own onscreen.

#9: Nerve Strike – The Operative

“Serenity” (2005)


The Operative is a highly skilled assassin sent by an interplanetary government to go after River Tam and the crew of the Serenity. He likes to kill his opponents by paralyzing them with a jab to a nerve cluster in their back and then having them literally fall on his sword. However, this favored attack comes back to bite him later in the film when he tries it on Malcolm Reynolds, who injured that cluster and had it moved, preventing the paralysis and allowing him to get the drop on the pontificating Operative.

#8: Thermonuclear Breath – Godzilla

“Godzilla” franchise (1954-)


This enormous reptile is among cinema’s most iconic movie monsters. Although he isn’t always portrayed as a villain – sometimes coming across as an anti-hero or at least the lesser of two evils – Godzilla is still a monster responsible for wide scale death and destruction, and is the villain often enough that he qualifies for our list. His signature ability/attack is thermonuclear breath, also called atomic breath, which he discharges from his mouth like an enormous, nuclear-powered dragon; decimating his foes, buildings, and anything else that gets in his way.

#7: Avada Kedavra – Voldemort

“Harry Potter” franchise (2001-11)


Harry Potter’s archenemy, Voldemort is the semi-immortal dark lord dead set our killing the titular young wizard. His most deadly weapon is Avada Kedavra. Not to be mistaken with the far more mundane “Abra Kadabra,” Avada Kedavra is a curse with a characteristic green aura that causes instant death, and is one of several in the magical world of the series considered unforgivable. Although a number of Voldemort’s followers, the Death Eaters, also use this spell regularly to kill their foes, Voldemort’s use of it is so infamous that it has unquestionably become his signature move.

#6: Creating Copies of Himself – Agent Smith

“The Matrix” franchise (1999-2003)


The primary antagonist of “The Matrix” films, Agent Smith is a computer program within the eponymous simulated reality who frequently clashes against the hero, Neo. While he possesses a number of superhuman abilities, Smith only gains his signature power in the second film, after his return from apparent destruction in the first. Smith is able to overwrite himself onto humans and other programs, essentially creating identical copies of himself that he uses to acquire information, gain a numerical advantage, and acquire special abilities from his hosts. Smith’s viral capabilities eventually allow him to take over the entire Matrix and become a threat to the real world in the process.

#5: Inner Jaw/Mouth – Xenomorph

“Alien” franchise (1979-)


Xenomorphs, the titular alien species on which this franchise centers, have a number of distinctive characteristics, from their acidic blood to their long, spiny tails. But, we would argue that their most unique feature is the second mouth they have inside their larger one. Where most animals would have a tongue, Xenomorphs instead have a retractable appendage ending in a smaller mouth with its own set of teeth. Besides being all kinds of creepy, these inner mouths are sometimes used as a form of attack by the aliens, most often by piercing them through their prey’s skull.

#4: Liquid Metal – T-1000

“The Terminator” franchise (1991-)


Like every other Terminator created by the monolithic SkyNet, the T-1000 is an android designed to kill humans, particularly the future resistance leader John Connor. However, whereas most Terminators have robotic innards with a lot of moving parts, the T-1000 is composed of a “mimetic polyalloy”, or liquid metal. This material allows the T-1000 to shapeshift, which it can use to impersonate others, fit through spaces it wouldn’t otherwise be able to, and change its limbs into various close range melee weapons to attack its targets with. It’s an ability with a lot of utility, and it made the T-1000 a truly unforgettable villain.

#3: Dream Manipulation – Freddy Krueger

“A Nightmare on Elm Street” franchise (1984-2010)


Like several other horror movie serial killers, Freddy Krueger does his killing from beyond the grave. However, he manages to do so with a more unique method than most of his peers. As an agent of the dream demons, Krueger is able to enter his victims’ dreams to murder them, which also results in their death in real life. While he’s very fond of using his famous clawed glove to achieve this, Krueger can also alter the dreams he enters to result in the dreamer’s death, usually in some kind of ironic or amusingly twisted way that plays off their character.

#2: Metal Manipulation and Control of Magnetic Fields – Magneto

“X-Men” Franchise (2000-)


A staunch advocate of of not just mutant rights but mutant superiority, Erik Lehnsherr, a.k.a. Magneto, has, true to his name, the ability to manipulate magnetic fields, giving him control over metal. Most of the time, these abilities can come across like metal-specific telekinesis, as Magneto frequently uses his powers to move himself and metal objects through the air, often turning them into weapons or else stopping them from harming him. The most deadly aspect of Magneto’s powers is his ability to control the metal inside people’s bodies, so you’re plain out of luck if you have a metal plate, or an adamantium skeleton.

#1: Force Choke – Darth Vader

“Star Wars” franchise (1977-)


The dark side of the Force offers many powerful and menacing abilities favored by its various practitioners, such as the Force Lightning used by Emperor Palpatine. However, the trademark move of the most iconic of Sith, Darth Vader, is the one that claims our top spot. All Force users can move things with their minds, but Vader uses it to cut off the air supply of those who displease or fail him. It’s most often applied to a blundering subordinate, but he has also Force choked his own wife, so it seems no one is safe from Vader’s wrath - or his signature way of expressing it.
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