A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library. ~Shelby Foote

Friday, June 03, 2005

Friday's List

Due to popular demand (okay, because Troy mentioned it and I thought it was a cool idea) the Friday List is back. As a starting point, here's Bravo's "Ultimate Supervillains" list:
20) Jabba the Hutt
19) Dracula
18) Clown
17) Bullseye
16) Syndrome
15) The Mummy
14) Magneto
13) James Bond Villains
12) Dr. Evil
11) Freddie Krueger
10) Hannibal Lecter
9) Dr. Doom
8) Doc Ock
7) The Riddler/The Penguin
6) Chucky
5) Darth Vader
4) The Terminator
3) The Joker
2) Lex Luthor
1) Green Goblin

Wow! What a horrible list! I thought their superhero list was pretty bad-- this is ridiculously bad. Let's start at #1-- The Green Goblin? What is Bravo's fixation with Spider Man? Are they owned by Sony (the studio that makes the Spider Man movies)? I'm not even sure I'd put the Green Goblin at #1 for Spider Man villains, much less #1 overall. Yikes!

Lex Luthor at 2? I never found Lex all that interesting. If he wasn't Superman's archfoe, I doubt he'd even make the top 20, much less the top 10. Maybe that's just me, but really I found Lex to be a pretty lame villain.

The Terminator? Umm... he was the bad guy in one movie. He was actually a good guy in the other two (I think-- I never actually saw #3). Can we even consider him a supervillain? How does he outstrip folks like Dracula, the Mummy, or even Freddy Krueger? Good grief.

Chucky? C'mon, I'll admit the guy is too young to have the reputation as an NFL coaching genius, and I'll grant you that the Raiders and the Bucaneers are two of my least favorite teams, but #6?... What? Oh... the stupid doll. Gotcha. Okay, still pretty ridiculous.

Hannibal Lecter? Cannibalism is pretty creepy, and Hopkins was brilliant in Silence of the Lambs (didn't see the pre/sequel thingie), but come on-- tenth? Top 50 sure, maybe the top 30, but he never cracks the top 25.

Dr. Evil? Parody. Which makes him even less viable as a villain than Austin Powers as a superhero.

Why do all the James Bond villains get lumped together, but the Batman and Spidey villains get separated out? And if you're listing the Penguin and the Riddler together, why not include some of the other interesting less known villains like Two Face?

Syndrome-- great villain, great movie. Please note the lack of a plural. One movie doesn't get you into the top 20. Sorry Buddy.

Bullseye? I dunno, maybe. I was never a big Daredevil fan, so maybe he rates this high.

Clown? Umm.... what? Is this the guy from Spawn, the guy from the Flash, or does it refer to all the evil clowns that have graced comics, cartoons, movies and tv shows? I honestly don't know, I didn't see the actual Bravo broadcast (I was so unimpressed with their superheroes show I didn't bother to see when the supervillains segment was on). If it is The Clown from Spawn, this is just silly, if it is Clown from the Flash, it is not quite as silly, but it's close. If it is all the evil clowns ever, than a case can be made that Clown should be higher in this list. Check out this list, for example. Add to that the clown from Poltergeist, the various Twilight Zone and Outer Reaches episodes that featured clowns, Harle Quin from Batman, and various others... and it's a pretty strong group.

Why is Dracula way the hell down at 19? That's perposterous. The vampire is one of the, if not the, oldest villains/evil beings in recorded human history.

Jabba the Hut? How long is he in those movies? Twenty minutes all together? Maybe he's a force, hah!, in the second (err... first) three movies which I haven't seen, but even so, I don't see him in the top 20. Biggest thing he had going for him was getting Leia on a leash. That by itself does get him close to the top 20, I have to admit.

Okay, now the ridiculously glaring oversights. HAVE THESE PEOPLE NEVER HEARD OF THE WEREWOLF? Is that possible? Even less likely, HAVE THESE PEOPLE NEVER HEARD OF FRANKENSTEIN'S MONSTER? That's like listing the greatest golfers of all-time and leaving off Jack Nicklaus, or listing the greatest empires of all-time and leaving off the Romans, or listing the worst dictators of all-time and leaving off Josef Stalin, or... well, you get the idea. The lack of the werewolf, and especially Frankenstein's monster, from this list just completely invalidates it, in my mind. Complete farce. This list was either put together in five minutes or by braindead studio synchophants. Probably both.

Okay, end of rant. Up next, my list. No real people (Stalin and Hitler are right out). Same general criteria as with superheroes-- appealing to me, long-lived, in a variety of media, and impact on society and popular culture. Also, no lame "All Bond villain" groupings. Some of the Bond villains were excellent. Some were so-so. A few were pretty lame. A villain is good enough on his/her own or not. Monsters/villains that have been played in different variations (vampires/Dracula, Frankenstein's monster, the Werewolf, etc.) over the years are not included in this prohibition. Does that seem wrong and arbitrary? Oh well, deal with it. Okay? Okay. Here goes:

25) Apocalypse
24) Doc Ock
23) Morgan le Fay and Mordred
22) Ghosts (kinda generic, I know, but there it is)
21) Michael Myers
20) Freddy Krueger
19) Shredder
18) Juggernaut
17) Lord Voldemort
16) Poison Ivy
15) Ming the Merciless
14) Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale
13) Goldfinger
12) Evil Clowns (aren't all clowns evil?)
11) The Undead (zombies and mummies and skeletons, oh my!)
10) Darth Vader
9) Green Goblin
8) Magneto
7) Werewolves
6) Kingpin
5) Lex Luthor
4) Dr. Doom
3) The Joker
2) Vampires/Dracula
1) Frankstein's Monster

No doubt I've forgotten someone terribly evil and villaneous and one of you will remind me, making me say DOH! to the surprise and consternation of those around me at the time. These are the villains that d/n make the cut, but which I considered: Dr. No, Harle Quinn, The Alien, Jason, Pinhead, Martians, and, the granddaddy of all villains, Satan. Really, Satan wins this thing hands down, but somehow he didn't seem to really fit the "feel" of the list. So, I left him out. Hopefully that doesn't cause me trouble down the road.

'K, there it is. Rip away!


I agree that IS a terrible list. When I think "SuperVillain" though, to be honest, the first one I think of is Darth Vader. And I'm not even a Star Wars ubergeek either. It's just the first one that comes to mind.

I'm also not sure I'd consider Frankenstein's monster a villain per se. A monster, absolutely, but a villain... er, I'm not so sure.

i agree with corribus..what did frankenstien's "monster" do to merit villian status..there is a difference between a monster and a villian

....next friday let's not be geeks ..let's be men...let's talk sports!!!!

our list could be the ESPN top 25 draft busts of the last 25 years...how can todd marinovich possibly be #3??..HE WAS THE 24TH PICK..what were people expecting??
Here’s a top twenty supervillians of all time list, based on the villains being “super” and being imaginary (being non-imaginary explains why Hillary Clinton and Janet Reno were left off the list.)
1. Dracula
Has any other villain captured the imagination or attention of this bloodsucker? Based loosely on a turk-fighter, no other villain so dominates the popular imagination.

2. Sauron
This bad boy hung around for thousands of years, causing death and misery and throwing entire nations into turmoil. Sort of a fallen angel, Sauron came within a cat’s whisker of conquering the world.

3. Darth Vader
You can’t really blame him for destroying Allderan (only a Star Wars geek could spell that correctly), but he did murder thousands. He was the butt-boy for an evil ruler, but was heard more than once to plot his master’s overthrow. His wickedest deed was slaughtering a roomful of children. Gained deathbed repentance, which some could argue precludes him from this list.

4. Morgan le Fay and Mordred
Destroyed a dream of a more liberal civilization, and plunged Europe into chaos and darkness for a thousand years. Yeah, these two are plenty evil.

5. Wicked Witch of the West
We’re bussing in a few ladies to make the list PC. This chick commanded flying evil monkeys. Now that’s scary. She turned good men into evil soldiers. Worst of all, she had a fetish for young girl’s footwear.

6. Magneto
Marvel Comics principal villain. Sort of a Messianic figure for a repressed species. Watched his family be slaughtered by Nazis, then turned around and did lots of slaughtering his self.

7. Green Goblin
Driven insane by the measures he took to acquire power. Killed Spiderman’s girlfriend, but after he got her pregnant with twins, and then kidnapped the twins and raised them to hate Spiderman. Twisted his own son into a monster.

8. Lord Voldemort
The head villain of the best-selling cultural earthquake Harry Potter. He’s confronted (and been defeated by) Harry Potter in several body and spirit forms. He intends to take over the planet and do some genocide and so some enslaving, and that’s just plain bad.

9. Loki
What can you say about a god who’ll turn on his own and invoke Ragnaroc, the twilight of the gods? It’s not every villain who gets to destroy the home of the gods.

10. Dr. Doom
You’ve conquered a tiny, backwards nation, no big deal. Heck, Castro did that. But… when you actually conquer the world a couple of times, and then give it back—whoa! You can trade punches with the most powerful superheroes out there. And you don’t hesitate to kill a subordinate who fails you. You, my friend, are evil!

11. Doc Ock
With an extra four steel and stretchy arms, and a good dose of insanity, imagine what you could do! Crime, mayhem, and with your scientific genius, arcane and horrific devices; the very world trembles when you get going!

12. The Penguin
I don’t care all the much for Batman villains, but they have earned their due. The Penguin and the Joker are part of the culture, like it or not. The Penguin earns the nod over the Joker for the pathos this miserable and deformed character lives with.

13. The Joker
All right, this one really annoys me. Come on; how many times can one villain break out of jail? How many times does he break out and kill a few more people? So, duh, Batman is responsible for those deaths, since he never administers “the final solution” to the Joker, who richly deserves it.

14. Kingpin
The ultimate gangster villain. Some may argue that Jabba the Hut deserves that title, but the Kingpin has been around longer, and he’s more urbane and sophisticated.

15. Frankenstein's Monster
Not really a villain, he’s a mirror. He (it?) shows us our fears and shortcomings.

16. Galactus
This guy eats planets. He regards the owners of those planets as little more than ants to be squished. That’s evil, that’s a villain.

17. James Bond Villains
They’re colorful, they’re unique, they usually posses vast financial resources or they can really kick butt.

18. The Mummy
The Mummy has terrorized us for nearly a century in movies, books, and magazines. The Mummy whispers to us: don’t mess with ancient and evil things. You can’t handle it.

19. Werewolf
A cautionary tale; the werewolf tells us that every one of us harbors a monster within, and we must be on guard against it.

20. Lillith
Apparently pissed off that Adam wanted to “do her” in the missionary position, she dumped him and fled. Made from the dust as was Adam, Lillith was the original feminist. She’s out there to this day, creating havoc and spreading evil.
I agree that Frankstein's monster isn't exactly a villain, but he is such an iconic figure... I dunno. Probably he shouldn't be #1. Maybe somewhere down around 10 or so. I also don't see Sauron up at #2. I like John's addition of the Wicked Witch of the West, though maybe not as high as 5.

Loki... hmmm... fascinating charcter, but he is a god. Sort of like Frankenstein's monster-- gray area. Interesting list, John.
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