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After looking at the worst Marvel villains, I thought it might be interesting (and fair) to list some of DC's worst movie baddies.

Batman Forever

If you've ever wondered what Two-Face would have looked like in the old Adam West Batman TV series, then you might want to check out Batman Forever. To this day, it's a mystery how Joel Schumacher managed to get such a manic, over-the-top performance out of the typically deadpan Tommy Lee Jones who has never been this nutty. This Two-Face is not only far from sinister, he's basically a more purple version of The Joker and it's pretty clear that Tommy Lee Jones is trying too hard to pull off a Jack Nicholson and compete with Jim Carrey's even more OTT Riddler. A silly interpretation of one of the most tragic, creepy and interesting Batman villains.


If you haven't seen Supergirl, Selena is a wannabe witch who, through sheer coincidence, gets her hands on an alien sphere that gives her fancy powers for some reason. While Faye Dunaway does a good job as the character, Selena just feels like she's in a completely different movie like The Witches Of Eastwick or something. With Peter Cook, of all people, as her sidekick, she mostly just sits around in the same location during the entire movie and her motivations don't really make any sense. The only cool thing she does is send Supergirl into the Phantom Zone. 

Superman IV: The Quest For Peace

I'll admit I have a soft spot for Superman IV and Nuclear Man: he's kind of awesome. Even I can't deny how silly that character is, though. A Lex Luthor creation, Nuclear Man (Mark Pillow) is not only inexplicably born wearing the silliest of outfits but he is voiced by Gene Hackman, which is odd, and his powers are all over the place. Radioactive nails? Why the heck not. This is usually the only thing people remember from this Superman sequel, Nuclear Man himself embodying the overall wackiness of the movie. He's at least fun, however, which is more than I can say for...

Superman III

One could argue that this villain is not the worst thing about the mostly dire Superman III but I would say that, seeing as he's at the epicentre of the main stupid elements this film has to offer, it's all his fault. Not that I'm saying Robert Vaughn's performance is particularly bad: he's always good value, even when he's starring in below par movies. But this Ross Webster villain just feels like they couldn't get Gene Hackman to agree to another movie so they replaced Lex Luthor with some other dude who is exactly the same but boring. Because of Webster we get more unfunny Richard Pryor antics and a climax so ridiculous you can almost see Christopher Reeve's soul perishing on screen.

The Dark Knight Rises

An interesting, three-dimensional character in the comics, Talia Al Ghul is nothing more than a revenge-thirsty baddie with conflicting evil plans in Dark Knight Rises and she is disposed of in the most unimpressive way you could possibly imagine. Marion Cotillard does a fine job but the character comes off as petty and unfocused: is the plan to destroy Bruce Wayne/Batman? Is the plan to take over Gotham City or destroy it? Is it both? Wasn't her father's work to rebuild Gotham after burning it to the ground so shouldn't that have been the plan? This is a cool character to have in a Batman movie but Talia was not used to her fullest potential and that third act reveal falls sadly flat.

Green Lantern

One of the many complaints the Green Lantern movie received was the look of the main threat: Parallax. Reduced to a brownish, greenish CGI cloud, this character might as well have not been given a name. He is genuinely dangerous as he rampages through cities and causes mayhem in space but visually he's nothing but a lifeless blob, which is a shame. Not that he's particularly gorgeous in the comics but there had to be a more imaginative way to portray Parallax in a film.

Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice

Jesse Eisenberg gets a bad rep for his portrayal of Lex (or Alex?) Luthor in Batman V Superman but the real disappointment was Doomsday in that film. Made out of Zod's corpse and Luthor's blood, the villain is a big, lifeless CGI sprite who shows up for the final act of the movie and he single-handedly makes that ending anti-climactic. The heroes are throwing everything they've got at this animated creature which results in a golden cloud of blurry CGI and the, frankly unnecessary, death of Superman. There's simply nothing interesting or frightening about this character and him being in this movie feels like a rushed, last minute addition.

Batman & Robin

Casting Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr Freeze was always a bizarre choice seeing as all the other interpretations of the character up to that point were cold and sinister. What we got instead is Arnie spouting the worst ice puns you've ever heard with every single line he speaks while wearing an uncomfortable-looking metal suit (or a silver robe). In retrospect, it's tough to not love how over-the-top Schwarzenegger's performance is in Batman & Robin: he's at least having fun. The tragic nature of Victor Fries' story is still in there somewhere but this was more cartoonish nonsense in a movie that had plenty of that already.


Having Sharon Stone play a villain in a comic-book movie could actually be a cool idea but calling Catwoman a comic-book movie is a stretch, to say the least. The film is still one of the worst superhero movies ever made and this is partly because the villain, Laurel Hedare, has an evil plan that involves a killer make-up brand called "Beau-Line". There's something really lame and stupid about that and even an actress as good as Stone can't save the movie and her character from coming off as clueless. Hedare fights Catwoman at the end of the film and it's such a clumsily shot sequence that it's unintentionally very funny so there's always that, I guess.

Batman & Robin

Like Sharon Stone, I could see Uma Thurman play a decent villain, even a decent Poison Ivy! And yet, like Arnie, she is reduced to a pun-spouting, over-the-top cartoon in Batman & Robin. But unlike Mr Freeze, Poison Ivy is insufferable throughout: Thurman's performance is so bad it can get rather cringe-worthy at times. It's not all her fault, of course, as it's tough to find anyone to say lines like "My garden needs tending." in a threatening, convincing way. Plus the fact her costumes and haircuts are unashamedly ridiculous doesn't help. Add to that a mindless Bane who repeats whatever she says and does whatever she wants, sometimes wearing a hat, and you've got yourself one facepalm-worthy duo that could have easily been cut out of the movie entirely... for the better.  

Honourable mention goes to Lex Luthor in Superman II who feels like he's in the way and shouldn't be in the film at all, Judd Nelson's forgettable villainous turn in Steel and Anton Arcane in the Swamp Thing movies who looks like a rubber sasquatch. I'll be back next time with my Top 10 Best DC Movie Villains, feel free to share YOUR worst in the comments below.

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