10. Professor Pyg (Gotham): Gotham really was such an underrated show. It’s a shame that most people overlook it because of its lackluster first season. The villains in particular were a fantastic aspect of the series. One of the best villains in the Batman prequel was Professor Pyg. While the character was a very obscure villain in the comics, Gotham brought him into live action to serve as one of the primary antagonists in the fourth season. Played to absolute perfection by Michael Cerveris, Professor Pyg torments Jim Gordon by killing several of the corrupt cops in the GCPD while showing a sick sense of admiration for Gordon himself. Not only does he kill the police officers, but he also cooks several innocent people into pies and forces Penguin and the other members of Gotham’s elite to eat them. Calling Professor Pyg sadistic would be an understatement. While he claims that he is doing this for the good of the city, it is obvious to everyone that he is just a psychopath. Cerveris is absolutely brilliant in the role and really brings what was just a minor villain in the comics to life. The reason that Professor Pyg isn’t higher on the list is because he was only in five episodes and was revealed to just be a hired assassin for Sofia Falcone. Regardless, Professor Pyg made a terrifying impression and the fact that he was able to do it for such a short amount of time was fantastic.
9. Prometheus (Arrow): Arrow’s fifth season is honestly what I consider to be the last great season from the entire Arrowverse (the first season of Superman and Lois barely qualifies as part of the Arrowverse). One of the main reasons that Arrow season 5 succeeded was because of the main villain Prometheus. Adrian Chase was an amazing character. This is thanks to both the writing and Josh Segarra’s fantastic performance. What made Prometheus so scary is that he was Oliver’s most intelligent adversary. He knew what Oliver would do and who he loved most. As he states, he was always ten steps ahead before Oliver knew what game they were even playing. His fighting style also matched Oliver and put the two on equal footing. Perhaps the most terrifying thing about Prometheus is that he is the only villain to mentally break Oliver. No other villain could do this, not even Deathstroke, who was Oliver’s greatest enemy. That fact alone made him a force to be reckoned with. If the resolution to the massive cliffhanger from season five wasn’t so underwhelming and pathetic, Prometheus would be much higher on the list. However, he still manages to take a spot for how good he is as a villain.
8. The Candlemaker (Doom Patrol): Some villains don’t need to be played by an actual actor to be scary. Even a CGI effect can prove to be just as terrifying. The Candlemaker was a villain that I had not ever seen before. I had no knowledge of him from the comics and I knew very little about what kind of role he would play in Doom Patrol’s second season. Once he was introduced, I was flat out stunned by how scary the character was. He was able to send chills down my spine even when he wasn’t on screen. The most dangerous imaginary friend of Niles Caulder’s daughter Dorothy, the Candlemaker is a demonic fire being who loved to cause carnage and chaos to everything around him. He can be summoned by Dorothy blowing out a candle, with him referring to it as a “wish.” He is the definitive reason as to why Niles locked Dorothy away and caused the accidents of the Doom Patrol to figure out a way to be immortal in order for him to get rid of the Candlemaker and be with Dorothy. You can understand Niles’ fear of the beast. There was no way of telling how one could defeat the Candlemaker as his powers kept growing as long as Dorothy grew up. It pains me that the resolution to the Candlemaker’s story was so underwhelming, otherwise he’d be in the top three. That being said, he was still a terrifying main villain and that opening scene of season two will still give me chills.
7. Omni-Man (Invincible): Invincible’s first season really seems like something special. I think the greatest thing about it is the main villain. The father of the main character of the series Mark Grayson/Invincible, Nolan Grayson/Omni-Man at first presents himself as a loving family man and superhero. However, Nolan is secretly an alien from a tyrannical planet with the goal of conquering the Earth. He will stop at nothing to accomplish that goal for his people, even if it means killing his family. The scariest thing about Omni-Man is his lack of emotions. There is no sadistic side to him. He doesn’t get joy out of killing people but he doesn’t hold any negative feelings about it either. He simply doesn’t care. All that matters to him is getting Earth ready for his planet’s conquest. He freely admits to his son that while he does love his wife Debbie, he sees her as more of a pet than anything else. Throughout the season Omni-Man commits several acts of murder, with his first victims being the most powerful superheroes in the world the Guardians of the Globe. When Mark tries to stop his father, Omni-Man gives his son the beating of a lifetime. This one sided fight is as vicious as it is tragic. At the last moment following the deaths of millions of people and Mark being savagely beaten, Omni-Man ultimately flees the planet when he realizes that his love for his son is too strong. JK Simmons gives the character a stone cold presence through his voice performance but brings a human side to the character. Omni-Man was such a highlight of Invincible season one and I’m looking forward to seeing how scary they can make the character when he returns.
6. Alpha (The Walking Dead): The Walking Dead is a show that’s full of flesh eating zombies. However, it’s always the human villains that prove to be the most dangerous. Whether it’s The Governor or Negan, someone is always there to cause trouble for our main characters. The villain I believe to be the most terrifying in particular is Samantha Morton’s character Alpha. The leader of the hostile group the Whisperers, Alpha is a psychotic warmongering cult leader who leads her people to travel among the dead by wearing the skins of the zombies. She controls her group with an iron fist and believes that the way of the other survivors needs to be destroyed. Alpha does everything in her power to destroy the civilization that our main characters built. With her hulking and equally terrifying right hand man Beta at her side, Alpha causes a great deal of havoc during the show’s ninth and tenth seasons. On top of being a creepy cult leader who murders her own followers almost as much as she kills innocent people, Alpha is also an extremely abusive mother. She tormented her daughter Lydia for nearly all of her life. She regularly beat her from all the way to when she was a toddler to when she is a teenager and murdered her husband when he wanted to take Lydia away from her when the apocalypse started. This was not because she truly loved Lydia, but because she wanted total control over her. Her last act before she is finally killed by Negan is an attempt to execute her own daughter for defecting to the side of the protagonists. Samatha Morton gave a chilling performance during her time on the show and remains my favorite villain in the entire series.
5. Kingpin (Daredevil): I have yet to see a villain who is as layered and complex as Wilson Fisk/The Kingpin in the 2015 Daredevil series. The archenemy of the man without fear is without a doubt his greatest opponent both physically and mentally. Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk is absolutely perfect. Unlike some of the other villains on this list, Kingpin has several sympathetic qualities. He’s arguably even the co-lead of Daredevil’s first season. His love for Vanessa is completely genuine and he would give up anything for her. It is his greatest weakness and he knows that but he does not let that get in the way of his relationship with her. On top of that, there is definitely a sense of honor surrounding Kingpin. There are absolutely horrible acts that he has committed but there are some depths that even he will not sink to, such as when he refused to forcefully take his favorite painting from a Holocaust survivor who it originally belonged to. However, just because Fisk is sympathetic, doesn’t mean that he is soft. He is still a brutal and ruthless crime lord who is willing to murder innocent people to achieve his goals. The most terrifying thing about the Kingpin is that you will not know who is in his pocket and who isn’t. This extends to even the police and the FBI. He only becomes more cruel following his defeat in season 1 and returns as an even more powerful foe in season three. Should Matt ever have to fight Fisk again, it will be interesting to see how much more of a threat the latter will be.
4. Zoom (The Flash): It’s hard to believe, but there was a time when The Flash was actually a good show. Not only that, but the main villain was actually scary and not a complete joke. Imagine my shock. In all seriousness, Zoom was a completely menacing villain and is hands down the scariest character from the entire Arrowverse. After witnessing his father gun down his mother during an argument, Hunter Zolomon grows up to be a serial killer who is turned into a speedster after the particle accelerator explosion. As Zoom, Hunter terrorizes Earth-2. He forms his own army of meta-human criminals and pretends to be Jay Garrick to give the people of Earth-2 hope before ripping it away from them. When he discovers Barry’s Earth, Zoom disguises himself as Jay to infiltrate Barry’s team and steal his speed. During this time, he forms a romantic relationship with Caitlin and eventually develops a creepy obsession with her. After being discovered, Zoom wreaks havoc across Central City, practically taking it over before Barry is able to take out his army. After murdering Barry’s father, Zoom attempts to destroy the entire multiverse before Barry stops him and he is transformed into the Black Flash by the Time Wraiths. Teddy Sears did a fantastic job as the character. While I’m sad that the show has basically forgotten about him, I suppose it’s rather a blessing that he has not come back given the quality of the series right now. Zoom was a terrifying villain and I doubt that The Flash or the Arrowverse will ever top him in terms of scares.
3. Kilgrave (Jessica Jones): I have been vocal on this website on how much I consider Kilgrave to be an amazing villain but that’s just because he really is one. David Tennant’s performance is just perfect, as is the writing for the character. The main villain of Jessica Jones may have only been the primary threat for the show’s first season but he easily left a lasting impression throughout the run of the series. An absolute sociopath, Kilgrave is able to get anything he wants simply by giving an order. His mind control power is unmatched and shows just how far he will go to achieve his goal of making Jessica Jones fall in love with him. Not only is Kilgrave sociopathic but he is also delusional. He is unable to see why what he did to Jessica and many other people was wrong and thinks that they are just being overdramatic. He only grows more unstable after Jessica’s constant rejection, with him instead opting to torment her or kill her as opposed to turning himself in and admitting his mistakes. What’s even scarier about Kilgrave’s mind control power is his impact on others. Most of his victims are left broken and that includes Jessica. Even after Jessica kills him, Kilgrave still manages to haunt her, which makes him even more of a terrifying presence. Kilgrave was a monster and the legacy that he left behind just makes him and what he did to so many innocent people all the more impactful.
2. Bullseye (Daredevil): It’s hard to look at the character of Bullseye and not cringe when remembering the mostly unintentionally comedic version portrayed by Colin Farrell in the 2003 Daredevil movie. However, the Daredevil tv series did what it does best and improved pretty much everything about him. Introduced as an unstable FBI agent with a fiery temper, Benjamin “Dex” Poindexter is tasked with guarding Wilson Fisk when he is placed under house arrest. This allows Fisk to play Dex like a fiddle and exploit his insecurities and violent behavior. While some villains who are easy to manipulate can be seen as pathetic, Dex is shown to be even more dangerous because of that weakness. He does not care about money, fame or power. He wants someone to guide him into finding his true self. That is what makes him so intense. In addition to that, Dex has shown himself to be a massive sadist since his childhood. He killed his kindhearted baseball coach for the sole reason of benching him so his teammates could have a turn to play and felt nothing but satisfaction after committing his first murder. When Dex puts on the fake Daredevil suit and goes around killing people to frame Matt, it is him unleashed at his full force. His throwing skills and hand to hand coordination make him a force to be reckoned with. Dex proves to be so unstable and sadistic that even Fisk is disturbed by him, such as when he murders the Holocaust survivor who owned Fisk’s favorite painting, an action that Kingpin himself found disgusting. Dex is easily the most terrifying villain from the Marvel Netflix shows and I sincerely hope that Wilson Bethel gets to come back to play Bullseye fully realized.
1. Homelander (The Boys): There really could not be anyone else. No matter how scary the villains on this list got, none of them have been nearly as depraved and as terrifying as Homelander. While the evil Superman archetype is nothing new, Homelander really has reinvented the meaning of it. Antony Starr gives the character a very arrogant and smug yet unstable and malicious portrayal vibe with him getting more cruel and violent with each episode that passes by. The scariest thing about Homelander is his unpredictability. At one moment he can be taunting his hated sworn enemy Billy Butcher for the loss of his wife but the next he can be forcing a depressed girl to jump off a building simply because he was in a bad mood. It takes very little to set Homelander off, and when he does get angry, you better pray that you are not in the same area as him. There is definitely something broken underneath Homelander’s arrogant persona. He grew up in a lab with nobody to love him and his status as the most famous superhero in the world is the only thing that is keeping him from destroying cities full of innocent people. In a twisted and unfortunate way, being encouraged to keep up his horrible behavior is the only thing that has been stopping him from becoming a super villain to the world (despite secretly being one already). At the moment Homelander also seems physically invincible. There is nothing that can kill him, which makes it all the more terrifying knowing what he can do. Throughout the run of The Boys, Homelander commits numerous atrocities such as abusing his son Ryan, killing every criminal that he comes across and most infamously letting a plane full of innocent people die. When Homelander truly snaps (not if, when), Butcher, Hughie, Starlight and the rest of the world are in for something they have never seen before. I don’t think anyone will ever top Homelander as the scariest comic book tv show villain. As a matter of fact, Homelander isn’t just the scariest villain in a comic book tv show. He is the scariest live action comic book villain of all time in my opinion.