The List: 10 best comic book movie villains

By Columbus Alive
From the July 19, 2012 edition

So, let’s see, any big movies coming out this weekend? Hmm … oh, there’s this “Dark Knight” thingy. Christopher Nolan wraps up his trilogy with a very, very important villain in Batman lore: Bane (played by Tom Hardy).

Bane seems destined to find a place among the best comic book movie villains ever. Here are my favorites as they stand now.

10. Lex Luthor in “Superman”

Gene Hackman’s Luthor had an ornery, comedic flair. He maybe wasn’t as cold and evil as Kevin Spacey’s reboot, but he was way more entertaining.

9. Kevin in “Sin City”

I wouldn’t have pegged Elijah Wood as villain material, but in the movie adaptation of Frank Miller’s “Sin City,” he sure was. Cannibalistic martial artist serial killer in Chuck Taylors? Yep.

8. Doctor Octopus in “Spider-Man 2”

Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock was helped by some pretty awesome effects for his mechanical tentacles, but he had movie villain experience. His first film role? The guide who abandons Indiana Jones in the opening of “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”

7. Gideon Gordon Graves in “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”

Scott’s final “evil ex” nemesis? Jason Schwartzman as a self-involved rich kid oozing douchiness. “You’re pretentious, this club sucks, I have beef. Let’s do it.”

6. Loki in “The Avengers”

Tom Hiddleston’s Loki got even better — and eviler — in Joss Whedon’s “Avengers” than he was in “Thor.” Sibling rivalry rules!

5. Richie Cusack in “A History of Violence”

OK, technically this is based on a graphic novel, but William Hurt’s creepy mob boss was the highlight of David Cronenberg’s highly touted flick.

4. Magneto in “X-Men”

Michael Fassbender did fine stepping into big shoes, but this nod goes to Sir Ian McKellen’s original. I mean, dude was Gandalf, too.

3. General Zod in “Superman 2”

“Kneel before Zod!” Terence Stamp led a trio of interplanetary baddies against Superman in a sequel that trumped the original.

2. The Joker in “Batman”

Jack Nicholson is always playing Jack Nicholson first and foremost, but he was indelible in Tim Burton’s first Batman movie. It was thought no one would top it, until …

1. The Joker in “The Dark Knight”

Heath Ledger topped it. Released after his death, his giddily anarchic take was what made this the best superhero movie ever.

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