Marvel supervillains are over the top and loving it. They cover a wide range; gods, mutants, and beings possessed of “phenomenal cosmic power.” The top five are all created by Jack Kirby with some help from Stan Lee and Joe Simon. Again, there are some television and film appearances by the villains.
10 Thanos – Jim Starlin created this cosmic villain in the mold of Darkseid in Iron Man #55 (February 1973.) The villain searched for the Cosmic Cube and is the ultimate Goth trying to date Mistress Death. He wrecked havoc in The Infinity Saga and The Infinity Gauntlet in the comics. Thanos appeared in the animated Silver Surfer voiced by Gary Krawford. Of course, he is shown at the end of The Avengers movie, oops did I spoil that one?
9 Sabretooth – the arch-enemy of Wolverine first appeared in Iron Fist #14 (August 1977) created by Chris Claremont and John Byrne. Sabretooth first appeared in the X-Men cartoon from 1992 to 1996. He is of course played by Tyler Mane in the first X-Men film (2000.) Sabretooth then threatens the young X-Men in X-Men: Evolution voiced by Michael Donovan. He then appears in the direct-to-video animated film, Hulk Vs. Wolverine (2009). Later, Sabretooth unfortunately ends up in the X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) movie played by Liev Schreiber. The part was less tooth and more campy.
8 Doctor Octopus – Doc Ock as he is fondly known was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko in Amazing Spider-Man #3 (July 1963.) Otto Octavius was a gifted scientist cursed with metallic tentacles grafted onto him by an accident. Octavius is an older man and he struck up a friendship with Aunt May in the comic books. Doctor Octopus first showed up on screen in the 60’s animated Spider-Man show voiced by Tom Harvey and Vernon Chapman. Efrem Zimbalist Jr. played Doc Ock from 1995 to 1997 in the Spider-Man cartoon. He was brilliantly played by Alfred Molina in Spider-Man 2 (2004) who brought a human side to the super villain. Peter MacNicol voiced the good doctor in the Spectacular Spider-Man animated show. The recent Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon has Doc Ock voiced by Tom Kenny.
7 Kingpin – Stan Lee and John Romita, Sr. introduced the Kingpin in Amazing Spider-Man #50 (July 1967). He has since become an arch-villain to Daredevil most notably in writer/artist Frank Miller’s comic book run. The Kingpin appeared first in a 1970 episode of the Spider-Man cartoon voiced by Tom Harvey. In the television movie, The Trial of the Incredible Hulk (1989) he was played by John Rhys-Davies, pre-Gimli and post Indiana Jones. The Spider-Man cartoon had the character voiced by Roscoe Lee Browne from 1995 to 1998. Of course, Wilson Fisk was given some gravitas played by Michael Clarke Duncan in Daredevil (2003) whom we lost recently. He portrayed the character again in the 2003 Spider-Man cartoon.
6 Green Goblin – Spider-Man’s greatest foe was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko Amazing Spider-Man #14 (July 1964.) In the comic books, Green Goblin is killed by his glider and then it is revealed recently that the Goblin formula slowly healed him. He made a move to replace S.H.I.E.L.D. with H.A.M.M.E.R., but his world domination plans are ended by the Avengers. The 60’s Spider-Man cartoon had the Green Goblin voiced by Len Carlson. The first episode of Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends was voiced by Dennis Marks. Steve Blum voices the Goblin in the Spectacular Spider-Man cartoon. William Dafoe played him in the Spider-Man film (2002) complete with helmet and goblin suit. Afterwards, he showed up in ghostly form in the sequels.
5 Red Skull – Captain America’s eternal foe, was created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, in Captain America Comics #7 (October 1941). Johann Schimdt emerged from the present like Cap and also from death many times until Steve Rogers recent return when he was seemingly destroyed. He was first realized in cartoon form in episodes of the Captain America segment of The Marvel Super Heroes 1960s animated series voiced by Paul Kligman, and from Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends (1981) voiced by Hans Conried. Unfortunately, on film, he was portrayed by Scott Paulin as an Italian dictator in Captain America (1990.) Hugo Weaving returns the character to a German super villain in Captain America: The First Avenger (2011.) Finally, the recent Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes has the Red Skull voiced by Steve Blum.
4 Magneto – Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created the leader of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants in X-Men #1 (September 1963.) Magneto was yet another villain who briefly turned good when he ended up running Xavier’s school and mentoring the New Mutants. He first appeared in the 1978 Fantastic Four cartoon voiced by John Stephenson. The long running X-Men cartoon had George Merner and David Hemblen voicing the Master of Magnetism from 1992 to 1996. He was played in the X-Men films, X-Men (2000), X2 (2003), and X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) by Sir Ian McKellan. Magneto was given a conflicted portrayal by Michael Fassbender in X-Men: First Class (2011.)
3 Loki – the Asgardian God of Mischief first appeared in modern comics with Journey into Mystery #85 (October 1962) created by Stan Lee, Larry Leiber, and Jack Kirby. Loki showed up in Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends voiced by John Stephenson. He is voiced by Graham McTavish in The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes cartoon and the direct-to-video Hulk vs. Thor. Young Loki appears in the direct-to-video cartoon, Thor: Tales of Asgard voiced by Rick Gomez. He was of course played by Tom Hiddleston in Thor (2011) and this year’s The Avengers. Hiddleston really makes both films shine with a conflicted villain in the first and a mastermind in the Whedon film.
2 Galactus – cosmic villainy is highlighted by the Devourer of Worlds created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in Fantastic Four #48 (March 1966). Galactus first appears in animated form in the 1967 Fantastic Four cartoon voiced by Ted Cassidy. He then showed up in a two part episode of the Fantastic Four 1994 cartoon voiced by Tony Jay. He is of course humanized by his herald, Silver Surfer, whom he co-starred with in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. Though the Surfer was brought to life by Doug Jones and the voice of Morpheus himself, Laurence Fishburne, disappointingly Galactus was just a CG cosmic cloud.
1 Doctor Doom – the ruler of faux European country Latveria and the FF’s greatest enemy was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in Fantastic Four #5 (July 1962). Every Marvel hero has faced Doom at one time. He has been destroyed, re-created, and recycled countless times. Victor von Doom first appears in the 1967 Fantastic Four cartoon voiced by Joseph Sirola. Then, John Stephenson played Doom in the 1978 Fantastic Four cartoon. Doom had appearance in both of the recent FF films played by Julian McMahon. He brought an over the top performance that ruined any kind of realism or threat to the character. Doctor Doom recently appeared in Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes cartoon portrayed by the actor with a name perfect for comic book roles, Lex Lang.