The Top Ten Comic Book Super-villains of 2016: Their Movies and Their Diagnoses


With Hollywood churning out record-breaking revenues from Superhero and Comic book movies, there’s not going to be any shortage of Marvel or DC Universe flicks in the near future. What’s more, is that with iconic heroes such as Spiderman and Batman being continuously re-invented every few years, there’s even more room now for such obscure superheroes as Aquaman and Deadpool. But what Hollywood soon found out from the Blockbuster Christopher Nolan franchise, is that fans are yearning for more of the dark, macabre twists and takes on comic book legends. Well, what’s darker than movies centered around bad guys? 2015 was a bit of a dry spell when compared with 2014, where Guardians of the Galaxy, X-Men Days of Future Past, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier were released. And 2015 saw Ant Man come to fruition (yes, Paul Rudd falling down a shower drain was a good scene). But that’s not going to be the case for 2016, where movies based on villains, anti-heroes, and even heroes turned villains will rule the box office.  With more focus shifting to the darker side of the eternal struggle, questions are sure to be raised by fans and critics alike, such as : “What’s wrong with that guy?” But as the Joker or Bane in the Batman franchise taught us, even bad guys have a story; and almost always, a mental health diagnosis. This list previews the villains to come and gives fans a brief synopsis of who these villains are, why they’re villains at all, and what exactly their issues really are.

#10: The Winter Soldier

Movie: Captain America: Civil War
Actor: Sebastian Stan
Diagnosis: Dissociative Fugue

Most of us remember the carnal executioner from the previous Captain America movie, The Winter Soldier, even if he can’t. The deadliest amnesiac of all time returns and this time in Captain America: Civil War. The Winter Soldier embraces a slightly diminished role and screen time for a chance at redemption and a possible alliance with Captain America. Though his allegiances are uncertain at this point in time, one thing isn’t; the Winter Soldier is a cold and calculated killing machine and super-villain, who has no idea of who he really is (thus the Dissociative Fugue diagnosis). Not knowing who you are is great for spies, super-villains, and anyone who needs a good alibi.

#9: Ajax

Movie: Deadpool
Actor: Ed Skrein
Diagnosis: Avoidant Personality Disorder

Though Ajax is a common household name in terms of cleaning products, few people, other than the comic book faithful and comic con fan base know of it’s true significance. Ajax is a famed Marvel super-villain, a hulk like monster, both super strong and super evil, and a member of the Weapon X program: Yes, the same Weapon X program that gave Wolverine his adamantium skeleton and now in the movie Deadpool, gives Deadpool his superhuman abilities. Ajax is obsessed with two things; revenge and power, leading to what promises to be a pretty intense showdown with Ryan Reynolds’s Deadpool. Ajax demonstrates severe mistrust of others, and while he does have an obsession over power, his burn wounds and genetic mutations make him extremely hypersensitive and emotionally distant (hence the avoidant personality disorder). If you are a fair-weather comic book fan and an occasional movie-goer, it’s still worth noting that the revenge factor in this movie is sure to be high, and that with super-human strength, a legendary temper and top notch British newcomer Ed Skrein playing the role, he’s a villain that is sure to gain notoriety as he entertains millions this upcoming February.

#8: Doomsday

Movie: Batman V. Superman
Actor: Michael Shannon
Diagnosis: Intermittent Explosive Disorder

The last time Superman faced this villain; he died. Since starring in the famed 1992 comic book “The Death of Superman”, Doomsday has done little else, other than lurk around comic cons and perhaps make an occasional Halloween or Birthday party appearance. That’s about to change in the upcoming Blockbuster Batman Vs. Superman, where once again Doomsday takes on the caped crusader; wait the man of steel, or both; yes both Batman and Superman; and is thus rescued from the annals of obscurity. For those unfamiliar with this villain, it’s a hulking behemoth with severe anger issues (hence the intermittent explosive disorder diagnosis) and a propensity for destroying everything.

#7: Iron Man

Movie: Captain America Civil War
Actor: Robert Downey Jr.
Diagnosis: Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

His house has been blown up, a hummer he was riding in was too, he’s been tortured, trapped, seen numerous people die, and forced to survive by charging electricity to a makeshift battery, inserted into a hole in his chest. There’s no doubt Iron Man suffers from PTSD, but how could he possibly be mis-diagnosed as a villain?   Well, when you start imprisoning your friends and witch hunting super humans, that’s a start. Plus anytime you find yourself trying to kill a WW2 veteran named Captain America, you’re, lets face it; a bad guy. Juxtaposed with Captain America in the third installment of Captain America films, Robert Downey Jr. helps the government imprison superheroes as enforcement of a Super hero registration act.   That’s clearly a step too far, even for a guy who drinks martinis for breakfast, creates weapons of mass destruction in his garage, and seduces anything with two legs and a skirt. It’s definitely going to be tough for a guy whose main weapon is a shield to contend with the Iron Man.

#6: Deadshot

Movie: Suicide Squad
Actor: Will Smith
Diagnosis: Major Depressive Disorder

It’s no wonder after losing his wife, kid, and accidentally killing his own brother, that his preoccupation with death landed him in the aptly named Suicide Squad. Dead shot is one of the oldest and most under-recognized villains in the DC universe, and since the early 50’s has been plaguing Batman with his impeccable aim and willingness to risk it all. Will Smith is no stranger to the big screen and unlike the previous television versions of this villain (Smallville, Arrow), which portrayed this sinister mercenary as more of a 90210 character donning a Zoro mask, Deadshot will finally come to fruition as a top class Super-villain.

#5: Batman

Movie: Superman V. Batman
Actor: Ben Affleck
Diagnosis: Schizoid Personality Disorder

It’s finally time for Alfred to raid the Wayne manor liquor cabinet: Batman’s a bad guy. Batman has always preferred to play dress up to playing house, and gadgets over girlfriends, keeping himself locked up in a castle by himself, or in a cave by himself, or in a giant elevator hidden in a freight container by himself, without close friends, personal relationships, whilst engaging in all kinds of shenanigans (Schizoid Personality ).   Lets face it, ever since Christian Bale’s resuscitation of the caped crusader, Batman has toted the line between anti-hero and super-hero, but it had to take Ben Affleck for Batman to finally go full vigilante on us; really DC Universe, Ben Affleck? Well, in any case, Batman Vs. Superman has Batman once again questioning his ethical guidelines, but this time, it seems as if his will isn’t quite as strong as that new steel bat suit, and even the age old “Thou shalt not kill” commandment that Batman always abides by, is discarded as he literally tries to kill Superman.

#4: Apocalypse

Movie: X-Men: Apocalypse
Actor: Oscar Isaac
Diagnosis: Schizotypal Personality Disorder

From Star Wars to Mutant Wars, Oscar Isaac has sure been busy. Playing an ancient demi-god bent on destroying earth probably won’t win him any Oscars, but should entertain us nonetheless. Apocalypse is actually the first super mutant and immortal; so should by definition, be hard to kill. What makes this interesting is that we know the X men will survive because it’s set in the 1980’s, meaning none of the main protagonists will die. In any case, a schizotypal super-villain (eccentric thinking, belief in special powers, lacking close friends, paranoid ideas, and flat emotions) with views of world destruction is always good fodder for popcorn and a night out.

#3: Lex Luthor

Movie: Batman V. Superman
Actor: Jesse Eisenberg
Diagnosis: Narcissistic Personality Disorder

It’s time for Mark Zuckerberg to show his true self. At least, the actor who portrayed Mark Zuckerberg in the movie, “The Social Network”. Jesse Eisenberg has always played a lovable, eccentric nerd, yet in this upcoming Batman V. Superman film, there is nothing lovable about him. Unlike previous Lex Luthors (Kevin Spacey, Gene Hackman), this one actually has hair! Jesse Eisenberg promises to revitalize the malevolent billionaire who is the prototypical narcissistic personality in that he has always envied Superman, lacks empathy, is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited power, and requires excessive admiration. As if pitting one superhero (Batman) against another (Superman) to do his dirty work wasn’t enough, this Lex Luthor takes it a step further and from the dead corpse of General Zod, creates something truly nasty. Enter the Flash, Aquaman, and Wonderwoman to confuse us all and overcrowd the Superhero party. Should be a great film, yet a true comics fan always cringes at the thought of too many superheroes in the same movie. Think of the Batman & Robin disaster of 1997, with Robin, Batman and Batgirl all entering the fray, while plot development and character story lines struggled to keep up.

#2: Harley Quinn

Movie: Suicide Squad
Actress: Margot Robbie
Diagnosis: Antisocial Personality Disorder

Finally a female super-villain that’s not actually a super-hero (Catwoman). The long anticipated big screen arrival of Harley Quinn should be of special interest to bloggers and readers of shrink tank, because Harley Quinn herself is a psychiatrist (Dr. Harleen Frances Quinzel). The back story to the dysfunctional love story between Harley and the Joker began when she agreed to analyze him during the Joker’s stay at Arkham asylum. People in general should know better than to lock themselves up in a room with the most diabolical and manipulative psychopath of all time (the Joker), and sure enough, Harley pays the the price, falls in love and becomes Joker’s girlfriend and accomplice. But it wasn’t her sessions that spawned her evolution to the dark side in the movie “Suicide Squad”, it was when Joker and his thugs take over the asylum and he warps her mind, with electro shock torture and his unique brand of persuasion. It’s worth noting that Harley Quinn is especially dangerous at hand to hand combat, has a brilliant yet warped mind, is good at acrobatics apparently (dangling from her cell in the movie) and never let her close to you with a baseball bat in her hand. Furthermore, Harley shows a high disregard for any laws or morals, loves breaking the law, hurting others and lacks empathy for any of her actions, thus fitting the mold of antisocial personality disorder. She’s basically a female joker, and that’s pretty awesome for anyone who loves a good villain.

#1: The Joker

Movie: Suicide Squad
Actor: Jared Leto
Diagnosis: Antisocial Personality Disorder

Was there any doubt who who’s number one? From Jack Nicholson to Heath Ledger’s Oscar winning performance, the Joker has always been, and in my opinion, will always be the number one villain of all time. There’s no villain that’s as captivating and as shocking as a psychopathic clown. What’s more is that his motivation stems from a desire for chaos and destruction, he’s not driven by revenge like Deadshot, or envy like Lex Luthor, not interested in money or power like the Penguin or other DC villains, his motivating factors as Heath Ledger in the Dark Knight put it are “Gasoline and dynamite”.   What’s even cooler about this movie, is that the villains are finally taking center stage, I mean it’s about time. Who didn’t think that Jack Nicholson’s Joker was more captivating than Michael Keaton’s Batman, who wasn’t glued to their seat hoping that Heath Ledger’s joker would get more screen time than Christian Bale, and who isn’t optimistic that Jared Leto won’t slay in this role? Jared Leto, the same guy who won an Oscar for playing a transgender dying of Aids (amazing performance by the way) and the lead singer of Thirty Seconds to Mars, is perhaps the only actor who could possibly dare follow Heath Ledger’s Joker.   In order for Jared Leto to even attempt this role, he admitted in an Empire Magazine article, that he had to take a full nose dive off of reality in order to assume the role, and “will probably be cooling down from this detachment for the rest of my life”. That kind of commitment that both Ledger and Leto showed, is both chilling and worthy of a ten dollar movie ticket at the very least.

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