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Top 10 Scariest Supervillains

VO: Adrian Sousa WRITTEN BY: Michael Wynands
They might live on the page, but they’ll follow you into your nightmares. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Scariest Supervillains. For this list, we’ll be looking at comic book supervillains who, through their appearance, actions, abilities or some combination of all three, inspire even greater fear than their peers.
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They might live on the page, but they’ll follow you into your nightmares. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Scariest Supervillains.

For this list, we’ll be looking at comic book supervillains who, through their appearance, actions, abilities or some combination of all three, inspire even greater fear than their peers.

#10: Victor Zsasz


In the world of comic books, there are no limits other than the human imagination. As such, comics are full of all manner of nightmarish characters, and yet… it’s sometimes the most realistic and grounded of villains that prove to be the most terrifying. Victor Zsasz doesn’t have superpowers or even a costume for that matter. He’s just a serial killer with a self-inflicted scar for every person he’s killed. And yet there are few Batman rogues who inspire greater fear. Why? Because there’s nothing surreal about Zsasz, and therefore there is equally nothing stopping him from stepping into our world and adding our lives to his tally.

#9: The Corinthian


Yes, a grounded, believable villain can be very scary, but there’s something to be said for a uniquely terrifying serial killer ripped straight from our nightmares. Let’s say, for example… a man with two hollow sockets full of razor-sharp teeth for eyes. Created by Neil Gaiman’s eponymous Sandman, aka Dream, the Corinthian was brought into being to serve as a reflection of the darkness in humanity’s heart. However, this living nightmare instead spent its time committing grisly murders. Part of what makes the Corinthian so scary is that he looks human - except for that one horrifying characteristic which makes him something else entirely.

#8: Mephisto


This otherworldly, super powerful villain may not be THE devil from Christian mythology, but he sure comes close. And really, is there any figure from religion that, throughout history, has done a better job of filling countless humans with dread and fear than Satan? Call him whatever you want, this demonic figure exists in Marvel comics to send shivers down your spine. He’s served as an adversary to the likes of Silver Surfer, Thor and was the villain who, in a much-maligned deal, took away Spider-Man’s marriage to Mary Jane. Ruling over his pocket dimension, he delights in torturing souls both living and dead.

#7: Nekron


Nekron has the ability to reunite you with someone you’ve lost, but the execution isn’t great. Think “Pet Sematary” but far, far worse. Nekron is the certainty of death embodied. He made his debut in the 1980s, but it was during the events of Blackest Night that he made the biggest impact by resurrecting countless heroes and allies to serve as his Black Lantern Corps. Imagine the pain of having your dearly departed return from the grave in a state of decay to mock, manipulate and basically tell you they never loved you. Nekron might be death incarnate, but he’s more accurately the ultimate agent of emotional devastation and psychological torture.

#6: Dormammu


This interdimensional villain has nearly limitless power. From the moment he debuted in 1964, Dormammu captivated readers; there’s something about his darkness that is both terrifying and intriguing. His mission is simple, he wishes to extend his dominion from his dimension to our own. Dormammu is the sort of villain who can lay out a plan spanning billions of years; if that doesn’t fill you with existential dread, we don’t know what will.

#5: Parallax


They say that there’s nothing to fear but fear itself. Well, true though that might be... the old idiom isn’t going to do you much good when you encounter this villain. Allow us to introduce you to fear itself - Parallax. Parallax is a cosmic parasite that serves as the living embodiment of fear. Old as time itself and single-minded in its purpose, this entity is an emotional plague. Throughout the history of the universe, it has led entire worlds to their self-destruction with its influence. Parallax, not unlike real-world fear, has the ability to enter and compromise even the most strong-willed minds. When it comes to facing fear itself… we’re petrified.

#4: Morbius


Cosmic entities and extradimensional beings are all well and good, but there are limits to just how scared one can feel facing these conceptual villains. Sometimes, a classic, earthly archetype that goes bump in the night is far more effective. Vampires… they want to suck your blood. And in the comics, there’s no villainous vamp more prominent than Morbius. In more recent years, he has become something of an antihero, but when he first debuted, Morbius freaking terrified Spider-Man readers. He brought horror to the pages of Marvel comics, a sinister presence that added a very different sort of creepy danger to the Marvel Universe.

#3: Scarecrow


Over at Marvel, the embodiment of fear is a cosmic force, but at DC, a man in a mask has managed to do the job just as well, if not better. Scarecrow might not have the same reach as Parallax, but from a reader perspective, the deranged Dr. Jonathan Crane arguably does a better job of getting under our skin. His costume has ranged from silly to seriously scary over the years, but add a dose of his patented fear toxin to your bloodstream and any iteration will have you screaming and weeping. Crane is the product of a tortured childhood, and now he passes along the psychological trauma to his victims.

#2: Carnage


Much like Morbius before him, Venom was an addition to Spider-Man’s rogues' gallery without precedent. Where Morbius played into our natural fear of the dark (and vulnerable necks), Venom preyed on our fears of the grotesque, as well as brutal animalistic violence. Then Carnage came along and suddenly… Venom looked tame. Carnage is a serial killer given the ability to bring his wildest, most disturbed fantasies to life. If you met him in real life, you’d instantly be paralyzed by fear. Honestly, the only thing holding Carnage back is his medium. Imagine if they gave the character his own R-rated horror film? You wouldn’t sleep for weeks.

#1: Joker


Batman’s arch nemesis is a walking, talking look into the human mind unhinged. He is deviant, illogical thought brought to life and let loose on humanity to show everyone just how pointless existence really is. The thing is, you can’t understand his mind unless you too are insane, and thus the only response you're left with is that of fear. Yes, the Joker has committed countless horrific acts, but the fear he inspires is so much more than the sum of his actions. It’s the way he walks, the way he talks, the way he smiles. Humans fear what they cannot understand, and the Joker is unknowable.
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