As comic books have shown this time and time again, leaders can be a scary thing. They can be a great thing for a group of survivors, school of gifted youngsters, or entire nation but at the same time, leaders can manipulate their followers and go all in on efforts to rule (or destroy) the world.
Not all are Captain America, Professor X or Rick Grimes.
Throughout comic book history, all kinds of leaders have risen to power and tried to take over Earth. Some of them hail from the big blue planet and others come from worlds and realms lightyears away.
Of course, comic book fans have come to love villains, as stories are often only as good as their antagonist. When villains rise to power and unleash their efforts toward world domination, the best of heroes comes out as the unite to save the world.
Let's take a look at some of the scariest leaders comic books have ever seen...
The menace stepped in the panels weilding a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire with a clear disconnection from any form of morals or humanity. He coldly selected a member of Rick's group to emphasize his leadership with by playing eeny-meeny-miny-moe and bashing in the skull of the unlucky "it."
Following his introduction, Negan displayed his disconnection from the world through derogatory language, remorseless murders, and clear manipulation without discrimation. Phrases packed with racist, sexist, and otherwise belittling remarks flew from his mouth left and right as he oppressed the communities around him until Rick Grimes rallied Alexandria, the Hilltop, and the Kingdom to take him down.
As the leader of a group called the Saviors, Negan is certainly one of the scariest villains on our list.prevnext
One of Tony Stark's biggest villains, the Mandarin has wreaked havoc on both Iron Man and the world. Don't let the version of the villain in Iron Man 3 fool you.
The argument of The Mandarin being to Iron Man what the Joker is to Batman is one which many comic fans would likely agree with.
The Mandarin is able to manipulate followers into serving him through mind control, among other powers provided to him by the Ten Rings of Power. The villain set his sights on Tony Stark and cultivated an army to take him down. Through use of satelites he destroyed Tony's home, using soldiers he held Tony hostage, and he has even teamed up with the likes of Doctor Doom.
The Mandarin makes the list because of his relentless hunger for revenge and willingness to do anything and everything to achieve. While most people were wise enough to stand against him, he qualifies as a leader through the mind control efforts.
His battles are not limited to Iron Man, though. He he battled Susan Storm and Reed Richards, the Hulk, and the Inhumans.prevnext
Lex Luthor goes down as one of the most manipulative and vengeful leaders in comic book history.
The frequent foe of Superman turned his hunger for power to an effort to achieve a position of power in political office. Luthor took on the role of President of the United States for a time in DC Comics. After capitalizing on a disaster in Gotham City, the villain found himself in the Oval Office.
Luthor's presidency resulted in Bruce Wayne's Wayne Enterprises cutting ties with the American government and posed a major threat to Superman's efforts in containing his villainy.
Luthor has, throughout comic book history, shown no remorse for his actions. His own sister does not trust him. He has a dark side which he often chooses not to hide and constantly sees Superman, one of the most noble heroes in comic book history, as a threat.prevnext
Readers know Amanda Waller as the mastermind of the Suicide Squad. She is ruthless in her controlling efforts of characters such as Killer Croc, Harley Quinn, Deadshot, King Shark, Rick Flag and some of DC Comics' biggest villains.
Ruling villains with an iron fist makes Amanda Waller terrifying should she ever choose to align herself with the bad guys. Still, her place on the ven diagram of good and evil lands somewhere in the middle as a shady history keeps her somewhere in the grey area.
That Waller often aligns her interests with those of DC Comics heroes does not mean her methods make her any less terrifying.prevnext
Hands down one of Marvel comics' scariest villains is a leader is the leader of a gang of space pirates bent of destroying every anything and everything he can.
Thanos, the Mad Titan, lives to serve his imaginary girlfriend Death. It is a twisted madness which makes Thanos a force to be wreckoned with in the Marvel Universe as he travels from planet to planet destroying populations to appease his love.
Yes, Thanos is in love with Death.
In the early 90's, Thanos was the star of Marvel's 60-issue Infinity Gauntlet which saw the Mad Titan rise to power by assembling the Infinity Gems for unlimited power. In fact, the purple giant managed to kill almost all of the Avengers before the Silver Surfer swiped the Gauntlet and handed it over to Nebula for the good guys' revenge.
In recent years, Marvel has expanded on Thanos' origins through stories such as Thanos Rising and The Thanos Imperative. Both stories display Thanos' blatant disregard for human and alien life, including his own family. His wishes to serve Death make him the scariest leader in Marvel Comics.prevnext
Anyone talking about scary leaders in comics would be remiss to leave Darkseid off of the list. So, here is a bonus slide with one of DC Comics' most powerful villains.
The tyrant ruler of Apokolips has invaded multiple Earths across the DC Comics multiverse and left death and destruction in his wake on each path.0comments
Early in his life, Darkseid began syphoning power from Gods for himself. The efforts were accompanied by lies and manipulation which cost several Gods' their lives, providing Uxas with his rise. Darkseid chose to bestow power upon his children and other soldiers which made his forces some of the most powerful in comic book history.
Darkseid's lack of remorse for life on Earth (or any planet, for that matter) and ability to round up followers to take on some of DC Comics' most powerful heroes in the Justice League earned him a spot of the list of scariest leaders in all of comics.prev