Supervillains are often used as foils to present a daunting challenge to a superhero. In instances where the supervillain does not have superhuman, mystical, or alien powers, the supervillain may possess a genius intellect or a skill set that allows them to draft complex schemes or commit crimes in a way normal humans cannot. Other traits may include megalomania and possession of considerable resources to further their aims. Many supervillains share some typical characteristics of real world dictators, gangsters, and terrorists, with aspirations of world domination or universal leadership.
The first comic book super villain to be created was the Ultra-Humanite as an antagonist of Superman. The Joker, Lex Luthor, Green Goblin, Loki, Brainiac, Magneto, Doctor Doom, Darkseid, Venom, Ra's al Ghul, Deathstroke and Thanos are some notable male comic book supervillains and have been adapted to film and television. Some notable examples of female supervillains are the Catwoman, Mystique, Harley Quinn, Talia al Ghul, Poison Ivy, Hela and Dark Phoenix.
Just like superheroes, supervillains are sometimes members of supervillain groups, such as the Sinister Six, the Suicide Squad, the Brotherhood of Mutants, the Injustice League, the Legion of Doom, and the Masters of Evil.
In the documentary "A Study in Sherlock" Stephen Moffat and Mark Gatiss have claimed to regard James Moriarty as a supervillain because he too possesses genius level intelligence and powers of observation and deduction setting him above ordinary people to the point where only he can pose a credible threat to Sherlock Holmes.
The Aryan Brigade is a group of fictional supervillains in DC Comics. They were also known as the Purifiers of the Aryan Nation. The first version of the Aryan Brigade first appeared in Justice League Task Force #10 (March 1994) and were created by Michael Jan Friedman.Black Order (comics)
The Black Order is a fictional supervillain team appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.Brother Tode
Brother Tode is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.
The character is a Deviant with green skin and an oversized head. He was once the monarch of the Deviants, ruler of the Deviant Empire of Lemuria, husband of Queen Vira and father of Ranar.Dark Avengers
Dark Avengers is an American comic book series published by Marvel Comics. It is part of a series of titles that have featured various iterations of the superhero team the Avengers. Unusually, the series stars a version of the team that, unknown to the public in its fictional universe, contains several members who are supervillains disguised as established superheroes.Darkseid's Elite
Darkseid's Elite are supervillains and fictional characters created in Jack Kirby's Fourth World miniseries in DC Comics.Deep Six (DC Comics)
The Deep Six are a fictional team of half-humanoid comic book villains created by Jack Kirby as part of the Jack Kirby's Fourth World set of DC Comics titles. They first appeared in The New Gods #2 (April–May 1971).Doctor Light (Arthur Light)
Doctor Light is a bipartite character, comprising supervillain Arthur Light and superhero Jacob Finlay, appearing in comic books published by DC Comics.His stint as Doctor Light is concurrent with that of a superheroine using the same name and nearly identical costume, Kimiyo Hoshi. In 2009, Doctor Light was ranked as IGN's 84th Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time.Elementals (Marvel Comics)
The Elementals is a fictional organization appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.Factor Three
Factor Three is a short-lived supervillain subversive organization appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The group is usually depicted within the pages of The X-Men. It was led by the Mutant Master, who was secretly an alien from a race of beings from Sirius that resemble octopuses. It used various mind control methods to capture and train new agents, though some merely joined for profit. The Factor Three saga, as the storyline has become unofficially known in the years since, was one of the earliest multipart storylines in the team's history.Fatal Five
The Fatal Five are fictional characters, a supervillain team of the 30th century in the DC Comics universe. They were created by Jim Shooter and first appeared in Adventure Comics #352 (1967) as enemies of the Legion of Super-Heroes.Gorgilla
Gorgilla is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.Injustice League
The Injustice League is the name of two fictional supervillain teams appearing in comic books published by DC Comics.Lifter (comics)
Lifter (Ned Lathrop) is a fictional mutant supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. He was created by Jack Kirby in Captain America Annual #4 (1977).Mastermind (Jason Wyngarde)
Mastermind (Jason Wyngarde) is a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. He most often appears as an adversary of the X-Men. The original Mastermind was a mutant with the psionic ability to generate complex telepathic illusions at will that cause his victims to see whatever he wishes them to see. He was a founding member of the first Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and later a probationary member of the Lords Cardinal of the Hellfire Club, where he played an important role in "The Dark Phoenix Saga".
After Wyngarde's death from the Legacy Virus, his three daughters appeared, two of whom possessed his illusion-creating abilities (Martinique Jason uses his code name, while Regan Wyngarde calls herself Lady Mastermind) and third is the X-Man, Pixie.
In 2009, Mastermind was named IGN's 98th Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time.Nasty Boys
The Nasty Boys, sometimes referred to incorrectly as the Nasty Boyz, are a fictional group of supervillain mutants appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. This group exists in Marvel's shared universe, known as the Marvel Universe.
They are the personal strike force of X-Men and X-Factor nemesis Mister Sinister. The Nasty Boys should not be confused with the Marauders, who were a group of mercenaries brought together by Mister Sinister to specifically kill the Morlocks.Resistants
The Resistants, also known as Mutant Force, are a fictional supervillain group appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. They were originally the second incarnation of the Brotherhood of Mutants, but have become completely independent of the other incarnations of that group. They were originally gathered by Magneto.Sons of the Serpent
The Sons of the Serpent are a fictional supervillain group appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.Squadron Sinister
The Squadron Sinister is a fictional supervillain team appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The Squadron Sinister first appeared in the final panel of The Avengers #69 (October 1969), created by Roy Thomas and Sal Buscema. Squadron Sinister is a pastiche of DCs Justice League.Steppenwolf (comics)
Steppenwolf is a fictional supervillain appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. The character was created by Jack Kirby and made his first appearance in New Gods #7 (February 1972). Steppenwolf (which is German for "steppe wolf") is one of the New Gods, the uncle of the supervillain Darkseid, the brother of Heggra, the great-uncle of Kalibak and Orion, and a member of Darkseid's Elite.
The character made his live-action debut in Zack Snyder's Justice League film, played by Ciarán Hinds.