Countless programs have tried to adapt the renewed sense of nationalism and xenophobia permeating the global political climate, but Agent Liberty stands as the best attempt.
Juxtaposed against the altruistic Supergirl and her message of unity, Ben Lockwood and his Children of Liberty pose an all to real threat to Earth’s alien population.
This character turns a mirror on the dark side of humanity, by exposing the violent endgame that exists when such isolationist sentiments reach their extremes.
Most of characters on this list made the cut thanks to their layered development and allegorical representation. Then there's Black Panther’s Klaue.
The lesser of that film’s two villains, Klaue makes the list thanks to Andy Serkis’s most unhinged performance to date. No one has perfected the art of acting with every inch of their being more so than Serkis.
In lesser hands, Klaue would’ve been a forgettable addition to Killmonger’s body count. Serkis brought an attention to detail, including that boss South African accent, that made Klaue unique in a film full of distinct figures.
This entry isn’t technically a supervillain, but the way Marvel and Netflix's relationship crumbled led to some pretty big disappointments.
Creative differences and structuring edicts brought the long reported issues between the two to a head this fall when Iron Fist, Luke Cage and Daredevil were cancelled. It’s clear that the upcoming seasons of The Punisher and Jessica Jones will undoubtedly be their last as well.
It’s just business, but such successful casualties can’t help but paint Netflix and Marvel in a frustrating light.
Cicada is a lesson in properly reinventing a character between mediums. Geoff Johns’ original creation rose to little more than an immortal force with a cult-like following that carried jagged daggers.
The Flash took the opportunity to provide Cicada a fresh backstory that informs his desire to rid the world of metahumans. The character’s live-action depiction carries an air of fallibility, letting his emotions rule him and overlooking the paradox in his purpose as he is a metahuman as well.
The duality of Khalil Payne remains one of the highlights of Black Lightning’s second season. The former track star’s fall from grace hit its apex during his attack on Garfield High, but, thankfully, something of the old Khalil still remained.
Khalil's rejection of Tobias and his relationship with Jennifer are truly heartfelt. However, Khalil still threads the needle between heroism and villainy. He may not be evil, but he's not good either.
Ghost is a better villain than Ant-Man and The Wasp deserved. That’s not to say that the film was bad, but the nuance within Ghost felt a bit out of place in such a comedic film.
Ghost's villainy is squarely based on saving her own life and her cardinal sin is poorly timed impatience. Her desperation is what makes the conflict work.
Even when she was at her most ruthless, we wanted Ghost to be saved. Plus, she had a pretty killer costume that we're still admiring.
No one wavered between playfully evil, outright campy, and subtly scary than Sabrina’s favorite teacher, Mary Wardwell.
In service of the Dark Lord, Ms. Wardwell conjured demons, summoned evil spirits and devoured humans while making it all look fun. Her feigned resistance to Sabrina’s more drastic plans make for some of the more humorous moments of the show while remaining some of the most subtly evil moments as well.
Also, how could anyone not love a witch who uses a gingerbread house to cast spells?
This man, this psychopath, is the largest victim of the disintegrating relationship between Marvel and Netflix.
No one should be surprised that the minds behind Daredevil were able to build Dex into the insanely accurate hitman Bullseye so well. They kind of have a track record. Watching Dex's fall was both shocking and engrossing.
Both Kingpin and Daredevil manipulated him for their own means, but Bullseye ultimately stands on his own. Our time with Dex may be over, but his story is one that won’t be forgotten.
Wilson Fisk continues to age like a fine wine. which he undoubtedly owns. Already regarded as one of the viscous crime lords within the street-level Marvel universe, Daredevil season 3 showcased his ability to manipulate.
Kingpin single-handedly deconstructed Dex, made the FBI his personal lapdogs. and successfully turned the city against Daredevil.
Even more engrossing was the evolution of Fisk's feelings for Vanessa. That sliver of humanity just couldn’t stay tucked away, and it made Fisk a truly superb villain.
It's extremely rare to see a villain so well-developed that audiences can identify and root for his cause with little regret. But Erik Killmonger is in a class of his own.
Black Panther's adversary stands as a commentary on the plight of black youth in a world where examples of positive representation are few and far between. His anger penetrates audiences. His motivation is justified. And his character popped off the screen.
Michael B. Jordan brought Killmonger to life and made fans cry at his pain. More strikingly, Killmonger wasn't necessarily wrong about anything. He was both sympathetic and malevolent. And he's our pick for the top villain of 2018.