Justice League Villains Ranked: From Darkseid to Starro

The Justice League of DC Comics boasts the membership of some of the world’s most recognizable super heroes. Of course there’s the Trinity — Wonder Woman, Superman, and Batman — but over the years there have been alien warriors, galactic defenders, and even an antihero or two.

Individually, these DC super heroes have faced dangerous enemies. But as a collective, a league of the planet’s most capable protectors, they have battled some truly terrifying super-villains. Unlike Lex Luthor or Brainiac, these weren’t just criminals with a vendetta or a fancy suit. These figures were beings who sought to end the world as we know it.

On a scale of 1 Boom Tube to 5, let’s take a look at how these baddies match up against each other. You’ll get to know the most formidable super-villains of the Justice League, from Darkseid and Starro to … Superman?


Starro

1 Boom / 5

You know what they say, first the worst — and Starro is definitely up there. While Starro the Conqueror is arguably one of the more nonsensical antagonists in DC Comics, he was also the first villain that the Justice League faced together. For that alone, he merits mentioning.

As an intergalactic conqueror, Starro’s reach (in every sense of the word) is impressive. He has controlled the minds of the Justice League and is capable of nearly limitless asexual reproduction through the use of spores. However, Starro is defeated time and again by pretty ordinary means, such as quicklime, extreme cold, and, in the case of last year’s The Suicide Squad, an army of rats.


Queen Bee

2 Booms / 5

While there have been multiple iterations of Queen Bee, including the nefarious sister duo from Bialya, the original Queen Bee remains the most dangerous. Like Starro before, Queen Bee entraps her victims through the use of mind control by way of a hypno-pollen. Also known as Zazzala of the planet Korll, Queen Bee is not to be underestimated.

In addition to her hypnotic methods, Queen Bee has surprising physical strength. During battle, she even overpowered the usually unstoppable Apokoliptian warrior Big Barda. Later, she also established an international criminal network called the H.I.V.E. Zazzala’s many talents are often recruited for various super-villain groups.


Doctor Destiny

2 Booms / 5

Many villains get their start committing petty crime. For Doctor Destiny, this was the case. In that respect he might be easy to overlook as a JLA villain. However, from the very start, the devices he engineered were diabolical in their design. Destiny’s inventions exploited the Justice League’s various powers and weaknesses, notably a beam that depletes a person’s willpower and is charged through Kryptonite and later the Materioptikon. This device granted Destiny control over his enemies’ dreams as well as the nature of reality itself, drawing its power from Morpheus’ Dreamstone.

In some ways, it could even be said that the Justice League itself created the super-villain version of Doctor Destiny. They resorted to fracturing his psyche to defeat him, leading to his descent into insanity and his frequent use of unhinged dream worlds to punish his enemies. Better sleep with one eye open, Justice Leaguers.


Sinestro

3 Booms / 5

The only thing more tragic than a villain is a villain who could’ve been a hero. When he was saved from an ambush by a Green Lantern, Sinestro decided not to give up his newfound power. He let this Green Lantern die so that he could keep the ring, leading to Sinestro’s appointment as his planet’s Guardian and the eventual instructor of Hal Jordan, Earth’s Green Lantern. Over time, Sinestro’s protection became a dictatorship. He was brought to trial by the Guardians of Oa but that’s when the trouble really started.

Thinking they would teach him a lesson, the Guardians banished Sinestro to an antimatter world called Qward. There, Sinestro’s resentment only grew until he allied with the Weaponers of Qward to create a yellow power ring. With the power of fear, a natural opposite of the Green Lantern’s willpower, Sinestro became a true super-villain. He used the yellow ring’s fear to unleash Parallax, corrupt Hal Jordan, and undermine the Green Lanterns’ mission of peace. Sinestro also founded the Sinestro Corps, a legion of fear-mongering users of yellow power. Though he would occasionally aid the Green Lantern Corps, Sinestro is perpetually drawn toward fear. His very presence guarantees that there will always be yellow in the universe.


Darkseid

4 Booms / 5

Any mention of villainy within the DC Omniverse eventually returns to Darkseid because Darkseid is … well, you know. As the ruler of Apokolips, Darkseid patiently bides his time until Earth and its heroes inevitably make themselves vulnerable to his destruction. He seeks the Anti-Life Equation, a formula that would obliterate all free will. From his seat of absolute tyranny, Darkseid commands hordes of Parademons as well as his personal guard, the Female Furies led by Granny Goodness. Basically, Darkseid is the picture next to the dictionary entry for “annihilation.”

So you might be asking, only 4 Booms? For the tyrant who can withstand Superman’s power and whose Omega Beams destroy planets and defy the Speed Force? The despot whose only vision in life is to enslave the entire universe in a never-ending hellscape? Well, yeah, because even Darkseid was eventually defeated by…


Grail

4.5 Booms / 5

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and, in this case, the whole orchard is rotten. Grail is the daughter of Darkseid. Her mother, Myrina, was an Amazonian assassin. The result of this most unholy union, Grail, is an Amazonian/New God hybrid destined for destruction.

Grail eventually allied herself with the Anti-Monitor (more on him in a bit) so that she could wage war against her father. She brought the entire Justice League closer to death than they had ever been. In fact, though the entire Green Lantern Corps and Wonder Woman fought valiantly against her, Grail actually won this war — she successfully enabled the death of Darkseid at the hands of the Anti-Monitor. She even defied her all-powerful ally and stole from him the Anti-Life Equation. With this power, she resurrected her father as an infant and her lingering presence in the universe spells out inevitable doom. For Grail, a source of utter destruction is merely a means to an end.


Perpetua / The Anti-Monitor

5 Booms / 5

Only a truly terrible duo of super-villains could bring about the collapse of all realities, as well as any hope of comprehensible storytelling. The Crisis on Infinite Earths arc redefined the entire DC Comics landscape, tearing apart the minds of readers and throwing their favorite characters across timelines and into chaos.

During the original arc, the Anti-Monitor emerged as the main adversary. He’s a being completely opposite of the Monitor, who had been trying to prevent the Crisis. The Anti-Monitor controls the Antimatter Universe where good is evil and evil is good, which is just as bad as it sounds. This cosmic entity sets in motion a series of cataclysmic events leading to the death of Supergirl and the loss of multiple universes.

Later, his mother Perpetua was revealed as The Hand behind Crisis, as she is the most feared being in the entire Omniverse. She wields Crisis Energy, which are in opposition to The Seven Forces of the Universe. Perpetua easily destroys the Justice League (for a time), manipulates Lex Luthor, and allies herself with The Batman Who Laughs. Her treachery is unprecedented and her power is a primordial source of absolute disorder. Talk about a yikes.


Superman

5 Booms / 5

Sometimes the betrayal of a friend stings far more than the jab of an enemy. And for the Justice League, this happened with none other than Superman — though not in the way people might think. When Doomsday, the prehistoric monstrosity of Krypton, murdered Superman, the world lost its universal symbol of hope for a whole year. But thanks to Kryptonian rebirthing technology and a certain black suit, the Man of Steel managed to return.

His black suit, compared to the traditional red-and-blue getup, could absorb more solar energy. As a result, this black suit assisted in Superman’s recovery. Many might see this inversion of his regular colors as a dark rebirth, but actually Superman’s ultimate betrayal occurs in an Elseworld. The video game Injustice: Gods Among Us (and the recent animated film Injustice) explored what would happen if Superman’s spirit were completely broken. After the Joker tricks Superman into killing a pregnant Lois Lane as well as bombing Metropolis, Superman spirals onto a path of totalitarianism and divides the Justice League in the process. The road to recovery in this instance took much more than a suit for any hope to be found.


When a group such as the Justice League exists, composed of some of the greatest super heroes around, it only follows that their super-villains would be capable of omniverse-shattering destruction. While the day is (usually) saved, that doesn’t mean the above super-villains haven’t made a considerable dent in the fabric of space and time.

Which Justice League super-villain is your favorite? Tell us why in the comments and don’t forget to Let Your Geek Sideshow!