Comics history has its fair share of awesome superhero teams, but there’s only a handful of those teams that became as iconic as DC’s Justice League. The team is comprised of the mightiest superheroes. Hence, they tend to face the mightiest supervillains. From brilliant humans going insane and aliens trying to conquer the world to primordial cosmic entities urging to destroy all existing realities, here’s the ultimate list of the 15 most powerful Justice League villains ever.
If you want to take down the entire Justice League, it would require a whole lot of superpowers to counter theirs, right? Well, not if you’re Prometheus. When it all began, he was just a human but with unfathomable brilliance of the mind—kind of like Batman gone rogue. Instead of using his talents for good, Prometheus wanted nothing but power.
And, yes, despite being only human, Prometheus was crafty enough to take down the entire Justice League once. He died, then came back, and there have been several versions of Prometheus since, but one thing always remains the same – he’s a die-hard Justice League enemy.
14. White Martians
DC and Marvel often have similar concepts for characters, developed slightly differently. I’d compare the White Martians with a mashup of Marvel’s Skrulls and Symbiotes – shapeshifting aliens capable of mimicking others to a tee, invading Earth, and being vulnerable to fire. However, DC’s White Martians look more like Ridley Scott’s aliens, but, you guessed it – white.
Martian Manhunter has been an integral part of the Justice League for a long time, but the White Martians don’t share his pacifistic worldviews. They aren’t so powerful individually, per se, but their shapeshifting abilities make them extremely dangerous.
Despero might not be the most recognizable or best-written DC supervillain ever, but he deserves a spot on this list for several reasons. First, he wasn’t the first villain the Justice League ever faced (more on that guy later), but he was the first supervillain that appeared in the very first issue of Justice League of America’s first-ever title comic book.
I’m honestly not sure if Despero looks menacing or ridiculous. He’s an alien with pink/red-ish skin, fins on top of his head, and a third eye in the middle of his forehead. But that’s not why he’s on the list. Despero is here because of his awesome mind-controlling powers.
He used them several times to corrupt the Justice League and its members and even threatened the entire DC Universe. He was apprehended and beaten every time, but still, being the first titular villain of the League, Despero had to be on this list.
12. Queen Bee
Maybe it’s just me, but Queen Bee was too frightening to me when I was a kid. To be fair, I was super-scared of bugs and insects, but still – Zazzala is a mighty foe that challenged the Justice League numerous times. After Queen Zazzala, there have been several iterations of this character, but the original Queen Bee is by far the most awesome version we’ve seen.
Queen Bee is an alien coming from a planet called Korli, and her abilities are vast. She can manipulate people’s minds with the use of hypnotic pollen, and that power proved powerful enough to control even the strongest individuals. Queen Bee is also quite strong physically and surprisingly intelligent when it comes to organized crime.
Zazzala has been a member of several supervillain teams, some of which I’ll mention on this list.
Sinestro’s story is heartbreaking for me because he had all the tools to become an amazing superhero. However, he chose another path – the path of fear and evil. When a Green Lantern saved him from certain death, Sinestro let him die in an ambush in order to get his ring and keep the power for himself. He remained on that planet, appointed as its Guardian.
Sinestro was later the teacher for Earth’s Green Lantern, Hal Jordan, but the power corrupted him into simply wanting more of it. After being banished to the anti-matter world, Sinestro developed a yellow ring – opposing Green Lantern’s willpower, Sinestro’s yellow ring harnesses the power of fear and inflicts it on others.
He was a thorn in the eye of the Justice League for a long time, using his powers to turn Green Lantern evil, unleash powerful cosmic entities on Earth, and much more. And, the worst part is – he wasn’t alone. Sinestro Corps is a group of yellow ring wielders ravaging the universe, instilling fear and panic wherever they go.
10. Doctor Destiny
Similar to Sinestro, Doctor Destiny rejoices in inducing fear into other people’s minds. However, he uses another method to achieve that – the victim’s dreams. Doctor Destiny started as nothing more than a small-time crook but eventually showed how brilliant he is. The devices he created often worked to exploit a superhero’s weakness, regardless of what it was.
He fought Justice League numerous times. One time, he developed an energy beam that rids a person of their willpower (incapacitating Green Lantern completely while damaging the others) while the beam was powered with Kryptonite.
To add to it, Doctor Destiny then has complete control over the victim’s dreams due to the use of a Dreamstone. He could even change reality itself to a certain degree. The worst part about him is that he wasn’t so diabolical before the Justice League tried to break his mind to defeat him.
Instead, all they got was an evil guy who was now also a lunatic who enjoyed nothing more but to punish his enemies with horrifying nightmares.
9. Injustice League
Every superhero team has its supervillain team opposition. For the Justice League, the most well-known such group, is the Injustice League. Throughout DC Comics’ history, there have been numerous iterations of the Injustice League, with various characters from their rogue gallery joining the party.
The name of the supervillain team changed depending on the members and the comic book storyline. Sometimes, they were the League of Doom, the Injustice Gang – but, eventually, the formal name Injustice League became canon.
At their best, the Injustice League incorporated some of the mightiest, coolest DC supervillains into one team, including names like the Joker, Captain Cold, Lex Luthor, Despero, and many more.
Now, this thing was scary. Amazo was an android created by a horribly sinister scientist called Professor Ivo. The android was almost indestructible physically, but his greatest power came from imitating the powers of his opponents. At one point, it meant Amazo had the powers of seven different Justice League members, taking the League out single-handedly.
Sure, the name is not quite amazing – pun intended – but the android was. Despite there being several reimagined versions of Amazo, each version was as deadly as they come. Imagine Superman, Flash, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman combined in an emotionless, robotic body designed to withstand unfathomable damage and have the urge to kill. That’s Amazo.
Later, Amazo was imagined as a virus that infected people and other beings, giving them superpowers and deadly intentions.
7. Secret Society Of Supervillains
Another team that deserves a spot on this list is known as the Secret Society of Supervillains. Like the Injustice League, we’ve seen several versions of the team and members coming and going. However, they have been consistently more dangerous for the Justice League specifically, so I ranked the Secret Society higher on this list.
Oh, did I mention the sheer ridiculous amount of power this team had? At one point, the members were Darkseid, Lex Luthor, Killer Frost, and Reverse-Flash, among others. Defeating either of those alone is incredibly hard, let alone when they team up. The Secret Society was originally gathered by Darkseid, and they even had their own comic book series in the 70s.
In the Forever Evil storyline, they even managed to conquer Earth and rule for a while, albeit with the help of another team that’s even higher on this list…
Say whatever you want, but Starro had to be on this list! Sure, the character is absolutely ridiculous, but he’s as iconic as any other Justice League villain ever created. Even more so, in fact, because Starro was the first enemy the League has ever faced, first appearing in Brave and the Bold #28.
Starro the Conqueror is a colossal alien resembling a starfish, with a huge eye in the middle, surrounded by razor-sharp teeth. Starro’s goal is to conquer all the worlds. The alien can create as many small star-shaped spawns as it wishes through the use of spores. All those small “Starros” are connected to the main alien with a hive mind.
The little stars latch onto your face, and Starro can then control your mind. He had done it to Justice League members, too. The alien is ever-returning and almost indestructible, but the ways it had been beaten throughout the comics are just as ridiculous as the character itself. Like, Starro travels the universe but doesn’t like when it gets cold – it hurts him.
5. Crime Syndicate Of America
This is the last supervillain team on this list, I promise – and it’s the most epic one if you ask me. Throughout comic book history, fans always wonder – well, what would happen if this superhero went bad? What would happen if the Justice League was not a superhero team but a supervillain team? Enter the Crime Syndicate of America.
The Crime Syndicate is actually the Justice League from another universe that found its way to ours. Superman, Batman, Flash, Wonder Woman – they are all evil supervillains in their respective universe and came here, where they faced their superhero counterparts.
They are the ones who helped the Secret Society conquer the world at one point, although it didn’t last long. What made them even more dangerous for the Justice League was that they looked pretty much the same, so it was hard to distinguish friend from foe. Superman fighting Superman, Flash fighting Flash – it doesn’t get much cooler than that!
I was at a loss when ranking numbers three and four on this list but ultimately went with the more popular character and number three. Grail is the daughter of Darkseid (you guessed it, he’s the number three), one of the most powerful enemies the Justice League had ever faced. Well, Grail might be even more powerful than her father.
Her mother was an Amazonian assassin called Myrina, and when you combined her powers with the New God powers of Darkseid, you got one of the most ominous, powerful supervillains of all time.
Grail even destroyed her father and had him killed, partnering with the Anti-Monitor to get him. And then, after the Anti-Monitor did what she needed of him, Grail betrayed him, too, and stole the Anti-Life Equation from him, becoming all the more powerful – resurrecting Darkseid as an infant to mold the super-powerful New god to her wishes.
She’s a menacing figure and one that will require the entire Justice League, at their best, to conquer.
Darkseid is, above and beyond, the most well-known Justice League supervillain of all time. He’s also one of the most powerful, being sort of an equivalent to Marvel’s Thanos, but even more powerful. The Justice League fought Darkseid countless times, directly or indirectly, with him sending out his forces as the ruler of the Apokolips.
Even in the DC Extended Universe, Darkseid was the main antagonist of Zack Snyder’s Justice League, and for a good reason. At his best, Darkseid is almost completely indestructible, and any planet he visits usually ends up in complete destruction and annihilation.
His goal is to find the Anti-Life Equation, squash all the free will in the universe, and enslave every living being under his tyranny. His daughter, Grail, did what he couldn’t for years, proving she might be the superior of the two, but Darkseid is simply the more iconic Justice League supervillain – hence, the higher position on the list.
Despite Darkseid being such a powerful presence throughout DC’s comic book history, there have been villains the Justice League has faced that are far beyond his scope of power. Most notably, one such supervillain is the Anti-Monitor. As the name suggests, the Anti-Monitor is the complete polar opposite of the Monitor. Both are omnipotent cosmic beings. One is trying to save all life and prevent the Infinite Crisis, while the other is, well, the opposite.
Anti-Monitor controls the Antimatter universe where values are inverted; good is evil, and vice versa. The Anti-Monitor’s goal is to destroy. Everything, everyone. Every universe in the multiverse, every planet, and every being. And the worst part is that the Anti-Monitor actually has the power to do so. So, how is such a powerful foe not the number one on this list?
Well, because of his mother.
As powerful as the Anti-Monitor is, he’s not the most powerful evil cosmic entity in existence. In fact, he wasn’t even the driving force behind the Crisis. We later learn that the Anti-Monitor’s mother, Perpetua, was the one pulling the strings behind all that destruction.
Perpetua is a primordial cosmic entity whose sole purpose is chaos, mayhem, and annihilation. She wields power known as the Crisis Energy – a power that opposes The Seven Forces of the Universe, all in one. When Perpetua faces the Justice League, she takes them out in a swipe.
Her power is primordial, and her vile nature is something that not even Darkseid or Anti-Monitor can match. All Perpetua wants is disorder, chaos, and total obliteration of everything. She may not have faced the Justice League many times, but even one is more than enough to rank her as the most powerful Justice League supervillain ever.