The good guy always wins. This is basically the number one rule of children’s programming. The coyote will never catch roadrunner, Skeletor will never defeat He-Man, and Inspector Gadget will always foil Doctor Claw. It’s not a bad rule. In fact its entire purpose is to promote morality in children. If the bad guys won then wouldn’t they be encouraging bad behavior to our youth?
The problem with this rule is that the good characters were often either completely incompetent, total jerks, or just well…bland. As kids become more and more aware of their heroes’ flaws, they start seeing how arbitrary the good guy’s victory is. They might even begin to feel like the villain, with all his plotting, cool weapons, and henchmen might have even deserved the win.
From the moment of that observation kids can sometimes find themselves drawn to the villainous characters. Look around at epic cartoon shows, you’ll find that there is often just as big a fandom for the villains as there are for the heroes, and why not most of the time the are awesome. On that note Worst Cartoons Ever brings you our list of top 5 cartoon Villains.
#5: Beast Wars: Megatron
I know this will probably get me mutilated, but I consider this character the best Megatron in the Transformers franchise. With 3 different forms over the course of the show Megatron went from almost every boy’s favorite dinosaur, the T-Rex, to a freaking Dragon. With a great voice, a hilarious verbal tic, and a talent for double crosses, Megatron exuded evilness. He would match every heroic platitude he encountered with s smirk, a laugh, and a laser blast. He is a character that proves you don’t need to be a gravely voiced violent psycho to be an evil badass and for that he gets spot #5…yessss.
#4: MiB: Alpha
One of the few recurring villains from the old cartoon show: Men in Black. Alpha was one of MiB’s oldest and best agents…before he went rogue. When he is first introduced the other agents speak very hesitantly about him. There are few details other then he is a major threat. When we finally get our first glimpse of this legendary bad ass he’s a…..nice old man? Yup Alpha first appears as a very polite, very normal guy. It’s not until he is crossed that we see why he left MiB. The dude is freaking made of nightmares. Using some sort of alien technology he was able to meld his body with all kinds of killer aliens. He has claws, robot arms, giant jaws coming out of his stomach. The dude was like every monster you could imagine compacted into one body. In medium that tends to pull its punches when it comes to truly scary imagery, Alpha was a rare exception and for that he earns a spot on our top five list.
#3: Reboot: Megabyte
Megabyte was an evil computer virus who spent his life trying to destroy the city of Mainframe. Voiced by the amazing Tony Jay, Megabyte was one of the most hardcore villains on kid’s show. Spending most of the first season being a fairly harmless villain, Megabyte really broke out by the end of the show’s second season. How you might ask? He basically banished our main hero Bob to the inescapable hell of the Internet (Ha). He then took over half the town, forcing the remaining heroes to retreat. Finally after the disappearance of the hero’s one remaining Guardian, he turned his own sister into a super weapon. By the time our main characters were able to return to Mainframe, Megabyte was the ruler of the city. Megabyte was one of the few villains to actually achieve his goals. Whether he was fighting, scheming, or backstabbing all in sight Megabyte was without a doubt a badass villain.
#2: Avatar the Last Airbender: Azula
Azula is perhaps one of the most textbook cases of a sociopath to ever appear in a cartoon. Depicted as a completely emotionless fire bender, Azula was rarely anything but awesome. She conquered an entire nation, defeated a group of elite warriors, could summon lightning at her whim, and still managed to find time to hunt and torment her own brother. Azula also displayed a level of intelligence almost unseen in mainstream villains. She was smart enough to know that when a hero is charging his unbeatable attack, or transforming into his ultimate form…to freaking strike. She practically killed the Avatar by not waiting for him to enter his most powerful state. For that reason alone she earns a sport in the top three. The fact that she was an unrepentant psycho with drive and power earns here spot number two.
#1: Batman the Animated Series: The Joker
Honestly, if this is a surprise to anyone I’ll eat my freaking hat. This character is the true legacy of Mark Hamill. Forget Luke Skywalker, the Joker is without a doubt the best thing Hamill has ever done. While Nicholson and Ledger’s portrayals of the character are both great, Hamill is one who truly redefined the character for a generation of Batman fans. His voice combined with the great writing made this character terrifying and hilarious at the same time. Children and adults alike can find themselves disturbed by the menace of the character, but also smile every time he showed up. Joker episodes had a level of violence and fear that other villains could not hope to recreate. The animated Joker is the standard that animated villains should strive for. Popular, scary, and most of all fun as hell the Joker stands the tallest among villains.
If you have any recommendations for Villains, or just feel we were off base, Worst Cartoons Ever invites you to leave your own list on the comments section.