Every super hero needs a great super villain. While we follow the heroic adventures of the capes and tights brigade, there’s something about the bad guys that draws us in. Some of them are outright evil and some see themselves as the hero. It makes for a fascinating journey and the DC Universe is chock full of these premiere bad guys.
Writer Robert Greenberger explores life from a villains perspective in DC Comics Super Villains: 100 Greatest Moments. He digs into defining and often heinous acts of 74 bad guys big and small with artwork from the publisher’s 80 year history, including some very recent actions.
There are of course some villains you’d expect in this book. The Joker and Lex Luthor represent 12% of the moments with six each. It’s tough to get bigger than those two. Every corner of the DC Universe is represented in some way, from the street-level to the cosmic and everything in between.
I do have to wonder how Greenberger chose some of the moments shown in the book. For example, The Riddler has two: War with Cluemaster and The Man Behind Hush. Edward E. Nigma’s involvement in Hush is a must, but I’d argue that his actions during Zero Year would be a much greater moment in his career as a villain.
Similarly, Dr. Light’s memorable time comes in not with the horrible acts he committed during Identity Crisis, but by dying on Apokolips. This one is easier to explain as DC Comics Super Villains: 100 Greatest Moments is a coffee table book. You don’t necessarily want to talk about sexual assault in your living room.
It is interesting to see how recent this book gets with the inclusion of Rogol Zaar, the villain brought in during Brian Michael Bendis‘ debut on Superman and the Joker’s search for a wedding invitation in the pages of Batman. This gives you a glimpse as to some of the latest and greatest and shows just how longstanding some of these villains are. You can’t keep a good man down and the same can be said for bad guys.
DC Comics Super Villains: 100 Greatest Moments gives us a peek at the dark side of things. It’s full of memorable comics with some great artwork from some of the best in the business. Even the most die-hard fans probably haven’t read every single comic that DC has published, so it’s refreshing to flip through this and learn about some interesting tales I missed along the way. With the advent of ComiXology, it’s easy to look these up and dig into them deeper.
DC Comics Super Villains: 100 Greatest Moments from Chartwell Books is currently available at your local book store and Amazon.