We all know that DC has had a tough time getting some footing in its own interconnected superhero universe, otherwise known as the DCEU. Eventually getting the message that superhero movies can be fun and include more colors than grey and black, the DCEU has finally pulled up from a steep nosedive.
Wonder Woman can be rightfully attributed for pulling the universe out of its grungy and messy funk, and it seems like Aquaman is on the same track, as its reviews have praised it for its cheesy and fantastical storyline. Shazam also looks to be following suit with a much lighter tone. It seems like producers and studio heads are finally listening to fan.
This leaves us to perform a post-mortem on the first experimental six years of the DCEUs villains, which also gives us an idea of who would be too powerful to include in the future. The stories need villains — but great ones are in short supply. Make a villain too weak or too strong, and the whole movie loses its balance. It's hard to make a great villain that is just the right amount of powerful and manages to service the story given to the current lineup of heroes.
With that said, here are the 12 Villains Too Powerful For The DCEU (And 8 Current Villains Way Too Weak).
20 Too Powerful: Mr. Mxyzptlk
Luckily for the DC universe, Mr. Mxyzptlk isn't trying to destroy planets or even cause mass destruction. He's just a nearly omnipotent deity that likes to toy with Superman for fun. He can be equated to a bored genie, similar to the character of Q in Star Trek: The Next Generation. He is one of the rare characters that has survived the golden age of comics and is still bothering Superman to this day.
Mr. Mxyzptlk is from another dimension, and can only be sent back if he is tricked into saving his nearly unpronounceable name backward. It's a fun little game to accomplish everytune he shows up, but for now, he would have little to challenge him in the DCEU.
19 Too Powerful: The Anti-Monitor
In comics, DC beat Marvel to the punch with the whole "erasing half of the population" shtick. In 1985, The Anti-Monitor attacked the entire DC multiverse, destroying one universe at a time with a wave of anti-matter energy. Universes were not just destroyed, though, they were wiped from existence as if they had never lived at all.
The Anti-Monitor was so powerful that all of the heroes and villains from the multiverse had to unite to take him on. In the end, all of the universes were merged into one, and all of the heroes' pasts were rebooted. The remaining survivors didn't remember anything that had happened. As it stands in the DCEU, we have a barely functional Justice League and a massively underpowered Suicide Squad. There's no way the current roster would be ready to take on the Anti-Monitor.
18 Too Weak: Steppenwolf
Steppenwolf was supposed to be the Justice League's big bad. However, most of the threat he posed was through his army of minions, the Parademons, who went after the League like flying monkeys.
Once the League disabled the Mother Boxes, and isolated Steppenwolf from his henchman, he folded like a cheap suit. Aquaman almost knocked him out with one punch and poke of his trident, while Superman and Wonder Woman took out his ax. That was enough to paralyze Steppenwolf with fear before his Parademons turned on him. However, did it take the whole Justice League to defeat this guy? Batman probably could have done it himself... unless Steppenwolf's mother's name was Martha.
17 Too Powerful: The Decreator
The Decreator is a pretty abstract villain, even by comic book standards. It is a force of nature, the opposite of creation. It seeks to destroy everything that has ever been created, and so far, it cannot be stopped -- it can only be slowed down. Unlike in the Marvel movie universe, the DCEU does not yet have any magical superheroes to protect it.
So far, DC's track record against supernatural villains has been mixed at best. The Suicide Squad took on two ancient gods, Enchantress and Incubus, but pretty much got their rear ends handed to them. If it hadn't been for Diablo, they would have been toast. Unless Dr. Fate or the Spectre show up anytime soon, the DCEU just can't handle this kind of threat.
16 Too Weak: Katana
There is a painful lack of character development when it comes to most of the villains in Suicide Squad, which ultimately harmed its attempt at a satisfying story. Deadshot and Harley Quinn get most of the love, leaving the remaining rogues gallery as a collection of caricatures at best.
Katana never even gets a dossier-style introduction from Amanda Waller. She just shows up midway through the movie, with someone explaining that her sword contains the souls of her victims. How this translates to increased fighting ability is yet to be seen. Sure, she's more than capable with a sword, which is at least useful in a fight, but against the likes of someone like General Zod or Ares, she is questionable at best.
15 Too Powerful: Lucifer Morningstar
Embellished a bit beyond the biblical version, Lucifer has a cosmic understanding that he is a fictional character. Similarly, he can see beyond the veil of other realities in the entire multiverse and rise above it all. For lack of better analogy, he understands that he is in the Matrix. Most deities consider him dangerous because of this forbidden wisdom.
As far as powers go, though, he can manipulate energy and matter at will. Because he is one of god's first creations, he cannot be destroyed. In the DC universe, he is neither good nor evil, but his actions may be interpreted either way, depending on one's point of view. He's just too smart to exist in the DCEU. He would need a superhero foil worthy of his efforts, perhaps someone like Constantine or Dr. Fate.
14 Too Weak: Captain Boomerang
The Captain Boomerang that exists in the CW Arrowverse is an awesome character. He can toss trick boomerangs out at the rate of a machine gun, bullseye all of them, and then jump around like a ninja, making him a formidable assassin against the likes of Green Arrow and The Flash.
By contrast, the Captain Boomerang we got in Suicide Squad is a strangely altered version of the character. If we're counting correctly, he throws less than five boomerangs in the whole movie, one of them being a camera drone boomerang. With this kind of track record, he shouldn't be called Captain Boomerang but instead Private Boomerang or Trainee Boomerang. Because of this, this guy just isn't up to par with the rest of DC's villains. In fact, Martha Kent could probably take him down.
13 Too Powerful: Brainiac
There's a reason why this guy is one of Superman's most dangerous villains. Brainiac has undergone multiple interpretations over the years, and the most recent incarnation tries to incorporate the most intimidating parts of all them. He's an alien, he consumes worlds, and he's smarter than nearly anyone else in the universe, barring an omnipotent deity.
This gives Brainiac the ability to create weapons of unimaginable destruction. If that weren't enough, he can also control all machines and computers with his mind. As it stands, Brainiac could simply show up on Earth, shut down the internet, and launch all nuclear missiles before anyone knew what happened. He's like Ultron on steroids. After a few more movies in the DCEU, he might prove to be a good villain, but the heroes aren't ready for him yet.
12 Too Weak: Harley Quinn
She's a crazy lady with a baseball bat. That's the extent of Harley Quinn's powers. Margot Robbie did an amazing job playing the character, as her portrayal was the highlight of Suicide Squad. However, it doesn't make sense why she's on the team in the first place. In the movie, Amanda Waller says, "I want to build a team of some very bad people who I think can do some good. Like fight the next war, defeat the next Superman....The next war will be fought with these metahumans. Ours, or theirs. We’re not the only ones kicking up rocks looking for them."
Harley Quinn can neither win a war nor go up against Superman. Also, mental illness isn't a superpower and neither is being the Joker's girlfriend. She may be able to aim a bat, but we haven't seen her do much more so far.
11 Too Powerful: Parallax
Parallax is another supervillain that is an abstraction recast into physical form. He (or it) is literally fear incarnate, manifested as a constantly morphing creature in the yellow color spectrum. In the much maligned Green Lantern movie, he was famously depicted as a formless cloud, which was less than intimidating. In the comics, though, he is a much more potent force, once possessing Hal Jordan and driving him completely insane and evil.
As a classic villain that belongs in Green Lantern's rogues gallery, he would be out of place in the current DCEU. Though the Green Lanterns make a brief cameo appearance in Earth's distant past in Justice League, we have no current Green Lantern hero yet. This will change Green Lantern Corps, however, which is planned to be released in 2020.
10 Too Weak: Slipknot
Slipknot has the most unfortunate introduction into villainy of any character in modern superhero movies. Already, his "superpower" was questionable, as it was explained that he was able to expertly climb walls and use weaponized ropes. However, he never got a chance demonstrate his expertise because he didn't believe he had a real bomb on him that would detonate if he disobeyed orders.
Story-wise, you could see it coming from a mile away. All of the other Suicide Squad members, except Katana, got a dossier-style intro that explained their history and powers. However, Slipknot didn't — he just showed up. Moviegoers quickly deduced that he would be the first to go since he didn't even deserve a backstory. Also, climbing and using ropes doesn't seem like it would help a fight against Enchantress, so he probably wouldn't have made it to the end of the movie anyway.
9 Too Powerful: Imperiex Prime
Imperiex Prime is in the same class as the Anti-Monitor and other cosmological villains that are bent on destroying the entire universe. In one epic storyline, it takes the combined and unlikely alliance of Superman, Mongol, Darkseid, Lex Luthor, and all of Earth's heroes to stop him from destroying everything. They resort to sending him back in time to the big bang in order to end him.
At this point, we're barely at a point in the DCEU where a few heroes can team up and form a semi-functional team. Hopefully, as the DCEU progresses, it will build up its heroes as Marvel did, and enable more epic stories to allow villains like Imperiex to appear. However, if he were to theoretically crash-land in the cinematic universe as it stands, he would decimate everyone.
8 Too Weak: Killer Croc
After Enchantress went rogue in Suicide Squad, Diablo was the only one left who had legit superpowers. That left a deficit of power that desperately needed to be filled, and Killer Croc could have helped fill it. Killer Croc, according to the comics, has several different origins that explain his appearance. However, one of the most intimidating versions of the character appears in the Arkham series of video games from Blizzard. There, he is a massive Hulk-like creature that swims like a torpedo, can see in the dark, and consumes human flesh.
However, the Suicide Squad version isn't nearly as powerful. He's just a guy with scaly skin who is slightly stronger than normal and an excellent swimmer. He could have been much more powerful, but instead, he's all bark and no bite.
7 Too Powerful: Darkseid
It's always refreshing to see a superhero fighting for stakes smaller than saving the universe. In Deadpool, the titular hero fights for personal revenge and to save his girlfriend. In Ant-Man vs. The Wasp, the duo try to rescue Janet van Dyne. However, Darkseid is an entirely different kind of threat.
Somewhere in the middle of Batman v Superman, Batman dreams that Darkseid and his Parademons have laid waste to the whole planet. He doesn't make an appearance directly, but Darkseid's "omega" symbol appears in his dream. With stakes this big, it's easy to lose any kind of character-base story and audiences might disengage altogether. It took 20 movies for Marvel to get to Infinity War, a confrontation with similar stakes that was earned. At this point, we barely know Wonder Woman, Superman, and Batman. It might be best to postpone the world-ending Darkseid for awhile.
6 Too Weak: Joker
It's tough to follow the performance of Heath Ledger as the Joker. Jared Leto actually had a fine interpretation based on the comics, but his character was cut from most of Suicide Squad. Meanwhile, Christopher Nolan's Joker was an anarchist who just wanted to watch the world burn. This made him particularly dangerous because he wasn't necessarily after money or fame -- he just wanted to tear down institutions.
However, the Joker who appeared in Suicide Squad just seems like a narcissistic criminal, interested in the good life, fancy cars, and questionable tattoos -- oh, and tormenting his girlfriend Harley Quinn, of course. He's a fun character, to be sure, but he doesn't seem insane, unpredictable, or powerful enough for the DCEU.
5 Too Powerful: Amazo
Amazo has a goofy name and a somewhat awkward appearance, but he is still definitely a formidable villain. Created by the evil Dr. Ivo to specifically counter the Justice League, Amazo can simulate all of their abilities. This makes him stronger than any one member of the Justice League, including Superman. In the comics, has been written to become a much more dangerous menace over the years.
It took Superman everything he had to defeat General Zod, a Kryptonian with identical powers to himself. Brute strength is not enough to take Amazo down, even with the whole League. When the they took on Steppenwolf, a being with much less power, they used pretty basic tactics. It would take a much more sophisticated strategy to contain a threat like Amazo.
4 Too Powerful: Starro
Starro has a special place in Justice League history, as he is the first supervillain that the League fought against as a team. Starro is a sophisticated alien entity, resembling a giant starfish. He can absorb massive amounts of energy and use spores (smaller copies of himself) to wrap themselves around the heads of other beings and put them under his mental control.
In this way, he is hard to contain, because he can spreads like a viral infection and utilizes innocent civilians and heroes alike. It's hard to put down the threat without hurting the people under Starro's control. In addition, Starro absorbs the mental abilities of those under his control, becoming exponentially smarter as he spreads. As his influence grows, he can change the physical natural environment around him. Perhaps Starro could eventually make an appearance in the DCEU, but not yet.
3 Too Weak: King Orm (Ocean Master)
The only advantage King Orm had against Aquaman in the movie was years of advanced combat training tactics and a trident that was apparently stronger than Aquaman's. However, physically, he is both smaller and weaker than Aquaman. He also lacks the ability to communicate with underwater creatures.
Once Aquaman became fully powered and wielded the original trident of King Atlan, poor King Orm didn't stand a chance. Armed with new confidence and the allegiance of The Trench and the virtually unstoppable sea monster Karathen, Aquaman could have easily retaken all of the kingdoms by force. Instead, Aquaman challenged King Orm to a public fight in which he easily beat him and destroyed his trident. As far as being a threat in the DCEU, King Orm has already been neutralized.
2 Too Powerful: Krona
Krona was originally a genius scientist from an ancient race who created a device to witness the dawn of the universe. However, this was forbidden knowledge, and the act of observing the beginning of everything caused the universe to splinter, creating the multiverse. Since then, Krona was banished and was converted into a being of pure energy. He has found a way to escape banishment and continue his experiments multiple times, though, which inevitably caused destruction on a massive scale.
Krona was the villain in a DC and Marvel crossover, and it took the combined power of the Avengers and Justice League to stop him. The Green Lanterns eventually destroyed him permanently. Krona is too big of a threa to be effectively countered in the current DCEU.
1 Too Powerful: Nekron
How does one confront an abstraction like a god that embodies the opposite of all life? Nekron's domain is the Land of Unliving. As such, he cannot be destroyed, merely stopped or returned to his own realm. Nekron was the main villain in the epic Green Lantern story "Darkest Night," in which he commanded an army of zombie superheroes. When he has minions, his scourge spreads like a zombie plague. At one point, he threatened the embodiment of life in the universe itself.
Nekron does have a weakness, though -- he needs an earthly body to act on this plane. If heroes can destroy his body, which is no easy task, then he will have to go back to his realm and find another way to return. Perhaps with the Green Lantern Corps and a few magical superheroes, the DCEU could handle Nekron, but not yet.
Are there any other villains too powerful for the DCEU or current ones too weak? Let us know in the comments!