In reality, no hero is ever recognized without having to conquer a ‘hard to beat’ enemy or villain. Similarly, in the DC universe, the exception is not the case. The strongest of superheroes are only those that are able to beat the best DC villains after a grueling fight.
These villains, though often a thorn in the flesh of a perfectly functioning society, are in one or various ways the characters that bring thrill and excitement to the story as superheroes spend the rest of their lives trying to put them down or at best, keep them at bay. For any DC villain to ever have a chance against the strength and super-intellect of a DC superhero, they not only have to be smart but powerful and resilient to engage their opponent in long fights which sometimes only stop with the surrender or death of one of the parties.
In DC, there is no shortage of villain characters; from the cunning to the mysterious, super-intelligent, powerful and brutally strong villains, there is always a character to match a superhero strength for strength. In this article, we will focus squarely on DC villains who have over time proved themselves as the best in terms of their sheer strength and what they are capable of doing with it. The list below starts with the least powerful to the strongest of all.
Meet The Top 12 DC Villains
Bane is a fictional supervillain who is by no means the weakest of the lot. He is a creation of comic artists – Graham Nolan, Dennis O’Neil, Doug Moench, and Chuck Dixon. He was first introduced in January 1993 in Batman: Vengeance of Bane #1. Just like many other DC Villain characters, he is an adversary of the fictional superhero – Batman and a notable mention in his “central rogues gallery.” More to this, Bane is the son of another Batman’s enemy known as King Snake.
This supervillain is one of the best DC villains and is noted for his exceptional intelligence and monster strength. To his credit, Bane is the only villain to have conquered Batman mentally and physically. He once broke the fictional superhero’s back in Comic Knightfall. His attributes include his mastery of martial arts, hand-to-hand combat, genius-level intelligence, superhuman strength and his possession of the venom drug.
In the live-action Suicide Squad movie, Incubus was unleashed by his sister Enchantress to assist in her mission of conquering the world. When he began displaying his physical and mystical powers, he was a force to contend with. It had to take the combined strength of the Suicide Squad to bring the ancient immortal down. Nevertheless, he is no doubt one of the strongest DC villains.
For his backstory, Incubus is the brother of Nightshade both of whom are from a different worldly dimension known as Land of the Nightshades. He usurped power from his sister and started off as a villain exhibiting supernatural powers that made it possible for him to manifest any superhuman ability.
10. Ocean Master (Orm Marius)
Ocean Master is a DC antihero fictional supervillain character created by Nick Cardy and Bob Haney. We first got to know of him in September 1966 following his appearance in Aquaman #29. As a villain, his adversary is Aquaman, his half-brother who has superhuman strength and the ability to communicate with marine life. Ocean Master is an Atlantean with physical superhuman attributes that are above that of many other villains on this list. With his unique powers, he ultimately defeated the Aquaman in single combat they had in the ring of fire.
Orm’s abilities which distinguish him as one of the best Best DC villains by strength and power include his possession of magical powers, mystically-powered trident, and his military knowledge. As an Atlantean, he also has telepathic mind control over marine life, can survive in aquatic environments and has above human strength, stamina and physical endurance.
9. Black Adam
Just like Incubus, Black Adam’s power is from an ancient source. The DC villain was created by American comic author Otto Oscar Binder and his counterpart, American cartoonist and comic book artist – Charles Clarence Beck. Black Adam was first shown in December 1945 in the Fawcett Publication’s ‘The Marvel Family’.
The DC fictional supervillain who can be likened to Man of Steel is the archenemy of the DC superhero, Shazam. Black Adam got his powers from 6 Egyptian Gods named Shu, Heru, Amon, Zehuti, Aton, and Mehen. From these gods, the villain was got stamina and invulnerability (from Shu), speed and flight (from Heru), strength (Amon), genius-level intellect and wise judgment (from Zehuti), magical lightning and thunder control (from Aton), and unlimited courage and mastery of hand-to-hand combat (from Mehen). In addition to all these, Black Adam can survive without basic human needs.
Seeing all that he is capable of, there is no questioning why he is repeatedly listed as one of the best DC villains by sheer strength. On many occasions, Black Adam had embarked on large scale destruction of lives and properties but as always, there is always a superhero to put a stop to him.
8. General Zod
Krypton, where General Zod comes from, is a planet where its people have the same powers and abilities as Superman. Therefore being on the other side of the divide, General Zod is an enemy of Superman and is, in fact, one of his oldest nemeses.
The DC villain was designed by Robert Bernstein and was first introduced in Adventure Comics #283 in April 1961. His full name is Dru-Zod and he is a member of the military guild in Krypton. Ever since his introduction, Zod has continued to evolve before he came to be in the form we know the character as today. It is deserving to state that he simply kept on getting better matching superman’s power in every means possible as a Kryptonian. In DC, he is affiliated with the Suicide Squad and the Superman Revenge Squad. As one of Superman’s greatest and perpetual enemies, Zod is often listed alongside DC villains like Brainiac and Lex Luthor.
Like other strong and powerful DC villains in this list, General Zod also has his own unique abilities which are his heat vision, x-ray vision, and freezing breath. He is also a hard enemy to beat because of his repertoire of military tactics, speed, strength, and longevity.
In a realm where there is no life but rather death and darkness are the forms the beings in the realm exist in, Nekron reigns supreme as the embodiment of death itself and lord of the unliving. The supervillain was created by Joe Staton, Len Wein, and Mike W. Barr. He was first introduced in Tales of the Green Lantern Corps (vol. 1) #2 in June 2018.
Nekron’s powers, as depicted in DC films and comics, is beyond what words can explain. His existence predates life and the true sources of his powers still remain a mystery. Nekron has a unique and rare ability to draw and command the spirit of all those who are dead. However, his weakness is that he can’t exist in the land of the living.
Aside from what his name suggests, Brainiac is a lot more. His cyborg/android body enables him to have superhuman speed, longevity, and a regenerative ability. His psychic ability enables him to read minds, perform astral projections, telekinesis and matter manipulations. In addition to all these, he collects knowledge of all kinds including from aliens.
Brainiac is an adversary of Superman and noted for being responsible for stealing and shrinking the capital city (Kandor) of Superman’s planet – Krypton. He is considered the superhero’s second-deadliest enemy and it is obvious seeing what the character is capable of. Similarly, it is also not surprising seeing why the character always makes it on any list of the best DC villains. Brainiac was created by Al Plastino and Otto Binder. The DC comic character was first introduced in Action Comics #242 (July 1958).
Doomsday, the DC fictional supervillain, is apparently everything you would want to see in a villain. He is a monster, unstoppable, a giant wall of defense, invulnerable to attacks and in fact has the ability to adjust and adapt to any form of attack while in combat. He is also Superman’s match in any fight and he turned out to be the exact weapon Lex Luthor needed to advance his cause of destroying Superman and the rest of the Justice League.
The DC character is a creation of Dan Jurgens and was first briefly introduced in Superman: The Man of Steel #17 (November 1992) while his first full appearance was in Superman: The Man of Steel #18 (December 1992).
Doomsday is a prehistoric Kryptonian with abilities like its razor-sharp poisoned bone protrusions, regenerative healing ability, immense superhuman strength, speed, agility, and stamina. To tell you just how strong and powerful he is, when Doomsday faced off against Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, Superman had to sacrifice himself using a kryptonite spear before they were able to bring him down.
Anti-Monitor is a creation of Jerry Ordway, George Pérez and Marv Wolfman. The character was first seen in a cameo appearance in Crisis on Infinite Earths #2 (May 1985) while its first full appearance was in Crisis on Infinite Earths #6 (September 1985). As a supervillain, Anti-Monitor has near limitless cosmic power, can manipulate matter, reality and energy and at the same time has super strength and can live long.
He is reputed for the unfathomable destruction of lives during his reign and also the scores of superheroes he killed from every universe he visited.
In DC comics, Steppenwolf is one of the new gods. He is the uncle of Darkseid, great-uncle of Kalibak and Orion and Heggra’s brother, these are all DC supervillain comic characters. Steppenwolf was created by Jack Kirby and he made his debut appearance in New Gods #7 in February 1972.
Like every other supervillain, Steppenwolf and his “parademons” have the objective of conquering earth at any cost. He tried this in ancient times but failed because every tribe, superhero, god on earth, and the Green Lanterns Corps, united against him. After a long while, he also made another comeback and was almost successful but for the intervention of Superman. The villain then escaped through a Boom Tube and lives to fight another day.
As one of the best DC villains by sheer strength and power, Steppenwolf has superhuman strength, speed, stamina, and durability, he wears a battle armor, is skilled in combat and is immortal. He originated from DC’s comic book fictional planet called Apokolips and he is also a member of Darkseid’s Elite.
Darkseid is yet another powerful and evil supervillain from Apokolips. He has everything that is ominously desirable in a villain whose quest is to bring the universe under his control. The Apokoliptan is uniquely gifted in diverse ways – he has superhuman speed, stamina, endurance, and agility. Similarly, he is skilled in combat, can manipulate energy and matter, perform telekinesis, teleportation and with his omega powers, he can project Omega beams. In addition to all these, Darkseid is not just all muscle without brains; he is a genius-level tactician.
This monster, who is also called “Lucifer,” “God of Evil,” “Hades,” “Lord of Apokolips”, is a creation of Jack Kirby. He made a cameo appearance in Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #134 in November 1970 while his first full appearance was in Forever People #1 in February 1971.
In the family of supervillains, Darkseid is the father of Grail, Kalibak, Grayven, and Orion. He is an archenemy of the Justice League and he readily gives Superman a cold sweat whenever he is carrying out his evil machinations.
On this list of the best DC villains, the number one spot is the exclusive reserve of the god of war himself – Ares. He is no match for most superheroes as his powers are beyond what they can contend with. Ares is immensely powerful and more to this, he has the ability to control human minds through which he has been able to incite wars that achieve his aims.
He is a supervillain, a god, an adversary of superheroes – in particular, the nemesis of DC superhero Wonder Woman – and dread to mankind. He has an indestructible armor, kills with his presence and manipulates minds to start wars in his absence. Ares also has godly strength, complete mastery, and command over any weapon, has powers of necromancy, can project energy and manipulate the weather in addition to having superhuman speed, and stamina.