No matter how overused, the phrase “a hero is only as good as their villain” continues to ring true. In some ways, it’s never been more important than now. The number of comic book adaptations continues to grow, dipping further into a well that doesn’t necessarily have the medium’s best bad guys. Let’s face it, Ant-Man and the lesser comic book heroes don’t have very compelling villains. That’s why Ant-Man and the Wasp basically invented its own version of Ghost to use. A great villain is still the best way to give the hero a strong foundation and a worthy foe. Fortunately, 2018 delivered one of the better villainous crops in recent years.
The year saw many evildoers draw inspiration from real life, which allowed more humanity to emerge in them, both the good and the bad. This also gave writers and directors more opportunities to offer social commentary, at varying levels of heavy-handedness. Such an ability is needed when creating distinctive rivals that inevitably receive a well-deserved punch to the face. Unless Andy Serkis is in your back pocket.
Many of the year’s best TV villains were even able to improve the quality of their respective shows. A fresh face with a strong sense of purpose can do wonders for an ongoing series. That helped many TV shows this year, specifically within The CW’s Arrowverse.
2018 offered a wide variety of villains to root for and against, even at their most charismatic. With so many flavors to choose from, it was remarkably easy to find someone that catered to audiences’ varying tastes. Some villains were anchored in cultural opposition, while others had well-directed mania or a mutated sense of self-preservation. But they all did it with style, and they kept us entertained throughout the year.
An honorable mention goes to Thanos. The wielder of the Infinity Gauntlet was beautifully brought to life by Josh Brolin. Unfortunately, the problematic changes to his motivations didn’t fully justify the idea that Thanos’ plight was somehow relatable to audiences. However, we still feel that Brolin’s performance in Avengers: Infinity War deserves a congratulatory finger snap.
Now it’s time to review Superhero Hype’s Top 10 villains of 2018 in the gallery below. Who are your picks for 2018’s best bad guys? Let us know in the comment section!