Thanos is intriguing. Who else?
July 23, 2009 5:35 PM   Subscribe

In your opinion, who are the best alien super-villains? Difficulty: I'm only interested in those that originated from comic books.

I'm not interested in the bad guy from a sci fi movie which was then turned into a comic book. I'm actually not interested in movie alien villains whatsoever, no matter where they came from. Just purely comic book based super-villains, that are alien-born (or alien-created.)

To repeat, they cannot be 100% Human. They can appear human, but not be earth-based or have 2 human parents.

Most importantly, they have to be really awesome bad guys with interesting personalities. I'm looking for actual individuals, not just a swarm of evil-intentioned creatures working under a hive mind.

This is for the basis of comparison on a project I'm working on, so if you can include your reasoning for WHY you think they made such awesome villains, I'd be very interested to know. (For example, I've always liked Thanos as a supervillain because he was genuinely in love with Death incarnate, thus killing thousands of people to prove his devotion to her.)

Thanks for indulging my geekdom, those of you who are not currently at Comic Con as we speak.
posted by np312 to Media & Arts (25 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

Rationale: He eats PLANETS.
posted by martens at 5:40 PM on July 23, 2009

Phoenix/Dark Phoenix, because (at least originally) the idea was that this was a cosmic entity that possesses and individual and leaves *billions* dead in its wake, and neither Jean Grey nor anyone on Earth had any idea what was really going on until off-worlders clued them in on the history of it, shortly before Jean's death. That's life: something you thought was really cool is actually a nightmare waiting to be identified, just before you suddenly die because of it.
posted by rahnefan at 5:45 PM on July 23, 2009

Does Mr. Mxyzptlk count as an alien?
posted by The World Famous at 5:53 PM on July 23, 2009

Venom, duh
posted by cyphill at 5:57 PM on July 23, 2009

Mojo, a foe of the X-men, just because he's based on the stereotypical tv executive and always thinking in terms of what's good for tv ratings of his home world.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:06 PM on July 23, 2009

Member of galactic police force (Green Lanterns) who was unique and admired at first for his love of order.
Turns out he pushed it too far, to the point of "Order at all costs".
Kicked out, jailed, breaks out and makes himself the arch-enemy of the Green Lanterns, with a weapon ("Yellow Lantern" Ring) they're powerless against.
Now they're doing all kinds of crazy crap with Red Lanterns and other colors, but he was around from the beginning, a model for the "I was one of the best of you; now I'm one of your greatest enemies" bad guy trope.
posted by penciltopper at 6:10 PM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

Sinestro. (And his army that runs on fear.)
The Anti-Monitor.* (The series that showed just show omnivorously wicked he could be.)
Mongul. (Featured in what could be one of the very best Alan Moore tales ever.) (And his weapon of choice.)
Parallax. (Responsible for turning one of the truest of DC heroes into a singularly heinous villain. At least for a little while.)
posted by grabbingsand at 6:17 PM on July 23, 2009

Do manga qualify? Piccolo Daimao, for example.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 6:26 PM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

i totally agree with grabbingsand on Sinestro - the character has evolved so much over the years and has so much depth. Mongul was the second name that popped into my head. as far as Galactus goes: yes, originally an alien (from the universe before ours), but now, since his rebirth as Galactus in our universe, he's pretty much a force of Nature/The Universe... so i don't know if that's what np312 is lookin fer. (or maybe he is, i don't know.) it's funny though, as this question was presented to me felt like a pop quiz, i've totally blanked out on other *favorites*. Annihilus and Blaastar come to mind off the bat... i haven't even busted out my DC Who's Whos or my Marvel Universes our yet. gimme a minute! great question np312.
posted by swindlehorne at 6:31 PM on July 23, 2009

Kneel before Zod!
posted by madmethods at 6:33 PM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

The Dire Wraiths were one of my favorites. Shape-shifters with long drill-like tongues who suck the brains of their victims thus gaining their memories. Way overdue for comeback.
posted by wfrgms at 6:34 PM on July 23, 2009

Oh definitely Galactus.
posted by The Michael The at 6:37 PM on July 23, 2009

It's been thirty years since I've read the comics so I can't really remember the details, but I always liked the Silver Surfer, because of his conflict. He didn't want to be the herald of Galactus, as I recall, but had no choice. Also, he was silver, and surfed between the stars. How cool is that?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:48 PM on July 23, 2009

Darkseid is.
posted by SPrintF at 6:57 PM on July 23, 2009

okay, it's starting to kick in: Brainiac! Darkseid! DeSaad! well, maybe not. technically they're gods, right? Doomsday... okay, not so much - devestating but 2-dimensional. who else? Mordru, right? he was an alien wasn't he? Psycho Man from the Microverse? nah, i'm losing it. um, ... aw crap. : )
posted by swindlehorne at 6:59 PM on July 23, 2009

He isn't from another planet, but he's definitely alien: the Sub-Mariner. Is he a villain? A hero? Both, kinda. Though as a member of the Invaders he certainly helped the Allies fight the Axis in WWII, that was really more to protect Atlantis than to help humanity. Prince Namor doesn't give a crap about humanity. He just wants us to leave Atlantis alone. But we don't. So he gets mad, and rises from the depths to kick our asses. He isn't necessarily EVIL, he just sees humans the way we, say. Nice idea, fish, but no one's weeping when you kill one.

*checks Namor's origin in Wikipedia*

Well, hell. Namor's half human. Maybe he barely makes the cut, based on your stated criteria.

Hmm. OK, since Galactus has already been mentioned, I'll toss out another Kirby creation: Ego, the Living Planet!

I love questions like this.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 7:00 PM on July 23, 2009

oops... i meant Brainiac ! ...and while i was thinking of that i always thought Super Skrull he still a villain. oh, right, i can always read the wiki. duh.
posted by swindlehorne at 7:02 PM on July 23, 2009

I came in to say Galactus, too.
posted by ocherdraco at 7:04 PM on July 23, 2009

i guess i'm still hooked on the Force of Nature/The Universe idea of Galactus. i just read the link to big G and it said IGN voted him the Greatest Super Villain of All Time, so perhaps i'm in the minority on this one, but i think if you're going to count someone like Galactus you might as well count The Celestials. i just think they fall more under the category of 'cosmic' than than they do 'alien'.

ps- i agree with BitterOldPunk: i love questions like this. and on the Ego the Living Planet mention.
posted by swindlehorne at 7:21 PM on July 23, 2009

I like Battle Beast from Invincible. Not only is he alien, but he's also an 80s reference.

Also, Octoboss.

Also, if you're not reading Invincible, you should be.
posted by Fleebnork at 8:14 PM on July 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

Galactus, Darkseid, Despero, Starro, Time Trapper, Thanos, Magus, Annihilus, Deathbird.
posted by lilnemo at 9:30 PM on July 23, 2009

What, no Fin Fang Foom? No Spragg the Living Hill?
posted by entropicamericana at 10:25 PM on July 23, 2009

I like Hellboy's Ogdru Jahad for their alien, lifeless, Lovecraftian threat. They are a Galactus you can't reason with or scare off with a Nullifier, always there, always waiting to end everything.

By a similar token, I like most of the New Gods already referenced. Again, humanity is just one little blip in their cosmic war, just pieces on the chessboard that Darkseid moves around to get back at New Genesis. I don't think that just the denizens of Apokolips are villains, but every one of the New Gods - their conflict is a threat to earth.

I'm not a big fan of alien villains that view humanity as something to deal or interact with. Doomsday, Super Skrull (or the Skrull in general, outside of the implications of the Kree-Skrull War, which could be akin to the New Gods conflict), the Viltrumites, and so on.

There are some exceptions to that, of course. Superman being key amongst them. Maybe I take a more Lutherish line, but the presence of Superman on Earth is a threat to humanity. Even if he doesn't decide to go all Red Son and put the entire world in a bottle and only uses his powers for good, his very existence holds humanity back. He prevents us from learning from our mistakes, could step in and usurp our achievements, and generally meddles.

But what do I know? I'm one of the seven people who actually liked all of the Earth X series.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:29 AM on July 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

Does Bizarro count? I don't even like most of the Superman comics, but Bizarro can be simultaneously funny and scary... youre never sure about what he might be thinking, or why, but he is dangerous.

Lobo? Did he come to Earth at all? Is he an alien if he doesn't? Not necessarily a villain, but a bad dude for sure.
posted by cmoj at 10:45 AM on July 24, 2009

Jim Starlin derived Thanos, Mongul, and Lord High Papal (from Dreadstar)--all big, oddly-colored uber-villains who had both great personal power and access to extraordinary armies and/or weapons--from Jack Kirby's Darkseid, so in a way they're all Darkseid's children. Starlin also created The Magus, an evil version of Adam Warlock, who began life as Him, in the pages of Fantastic Four, when Kirby was on the title. Given that Kirby also co-created Galactus, Annihilus and Blastaar in FF, and Ego in Thor, I'd argue that having The King on their birth certificate is almost a prerequisite for the type of cosmic villain that you're talking about. (I would eliminate Starro and the Celestials from the list, both because they don't (usually) have a personality, at least one we can comprehend, and Sinestro because he's basically just Hal Jordan's Evil Counterpart [warning: TVTropes] who's been recently promoted.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:00 AM on July 24, 2009

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