The highly anticipated DC Comics film Suicide Squad is set to come out today. Despite some signs of trouble in paradise via early negative reviews, the hype levels still seem to be high. It’s completely understandable; this is the first time we’ve seen famous characters like Harley Quinn or Killer Croc on the big screen, in addition to the first time the legendary villain the Joker has appeared in a movie in almost eight years. The cast is star-studded, and the trailers have all been great (a stark contrast from the last DCEU film).
The biggest issue that Suicide Squad has is the subject matter. The team’s whole shtick is that it is made up of lesser villains. Harley and Deadshot are cool, but how are they going to get us to care about Slipknot and Captain Boomerang? The Suicide Squad may have some pretty lame villains in the ensemble, but even those pale in comparison to some of the downright comical groups of villains that have graced comics, TV, and movies through the years. In honor of Suicide Squad, here are the 15 Worst Supervillain Teams Of All Time.
This first entry on the list is a team that stars in one of the greatest and most hilarious comic arcs of the last decade. The Superior Foes of Spider-Man are a team of C and D-list villains composed of Shocker, Speed Demon, Overdrive, Beetle, The Living Brain, and their leader Boomerang. Branding themselves as the new “Sinister Six” (yeah right), things get off to a rocky start right off the bat as The Living Brain dies and the team suffers a humiliating defeat at the hands of Spider-Ock. In their second big outing, the Superior Foes are defeated handily by Owl, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage, but not before their leader attempts to murder one of his teammates. If that wasn’t poor enough leadership, Boomerang leaves the remaining three members of the team to die horrendously at the hands of a sinister crime lord just so he can make away with a highly-valued Dr. Doom portrait (we’re not kidding).
Even after all of the missteps and deception, Boomerang ends up having the painting stolen by a fellow Spidey villain, Chameleon. All of this may make for some hilarious stories, but the Superior Foes of Spider-Man are one of the most inept teams of baddies ever.
Both the film and the comics version of Kick-Ass 2 were received lukewarmly by fans of the series. The first Kick-Ass movie was a sleeper hit of 2010, as it hilariously skewered all of the clichés of modern superhero cinema by showing how disturbing and awful it would be to be a costumed hero in real life. The sequel tried to recapture lightning in a bottle by mocking the comic book team-up genre. In order to counter the hero group Justice Forever, Chris D’Amico (formerly Red Myst) establishes The Toxic Mega-C**ts, a team of rag-tag super villains such as Mother Russia, The Tumor, Black Death, and Ass-Kicker.
This group is, in a word, laughable. Seriously, their costumes look like things you’d pick up in the bargain bin of a big box store (let’s not even talk about D’Amico’s costume). What makes the Toxic Mega-C**ts so disturbing is that they go around brandishing these laughably bad costumes and names while committing atrocities like murdering children and decapitating animals. Look, the Kick-Ass series has always been about ultraviolence and edgy humor, but this failed attempt at satire in Kick-Ass 2 just makes for one of the most disgustingly bad super villain teams ever put on the page or screen.
Batman is no stranger to having his villains team up against him. Groups like the Court of Owls, the League of Assassins, and the Suicide Squad have faced off against the Dark Knight on a regular basis. However, the False Face Society has to be one of the saddest attempts at revenge on the Caped Crusader. Introduced in the ever-popular DC Animated Universe, this team consisted of Sportsmaster, Gorilla Boss, Black Spider, Bronze Tiger, Deadshot, Firefly, and the Phantasm.
Outside of the last three, who are these people, and what did Batman ever do to them? Whatever it was, apparently he got into their heads pretty bad; during each of the team members’ individual heists, they failed miserably when the Dark Knight showed up. Their boss, The Red Hood (not to be confused with Jason Todd), was so angered by the team’s ineptitude that he blew up their headquarters in a fit of rage. The worst part about the False Face Society is that the Phantasm, one of the coolest and most layered new villains introduced in the DCAU, was reduced to being a part of this C-list failure of a team.
Number 12 on our list is a team that's far from incompetent. No, the Crime Syndicate of America makes the list because it’s a shameless rip off of the Justice League. Yeah, we know that’s kind of the point of the whole parallel universe thing in DC Comics, but couldn’t there have been a little bit more variation to these characters? Ultraman, Super Woman, Owlman, Johnny Quick, and Power Ring are literally bizarro characters for their respective Justice League Members.
In the pre-Crisis on Infinite Earth days, the members of the Crime Syndicate had some small differences in their origins and powers: Johnny Quick got his powers from an augmented reality helmet, Power Ring received his ring from an ancient monk rather than an alien, Ultraman used Kryptonite as a stimulant, and Owlman had mild psychic powers. Post-Crisis, however, Owlman was just a super-skilled dude in a costume, Johnny Quick used “Speed Juice” to gain his abilities, and Ultraman finds out that Kryptonite is bad for him. Top it off with costumes that are exact riffs on the JLA, and you have a copycat team for the ages.
You know that group of nerds in high school who all band together and start bullying others, thinking it makes them look tough? That’s the Trio. Acting as the main antagonists in Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 6, this group was formed by Warren Mears, Jonathan Levinson, and Andrew Wells -- a tech genius, a sorcerer, and a demon summoner. Casually bonding over a board game, the three villains decide to combine their forces to take over Sunnydale High School and put an end to Buffy Summers once and for all.
These guys were pretty bad at their job; they were thwarted by the Slayer several times over the course of season 6, in addition to constantly fighting and bumbling their way through their ill-fated capers. The Trio eventually disbanded when Warren ran away and left the others to be arrested by the police. You know a team is bad when they spend the entire season as an antagonist and don’t receive an ounce of recognition from Sunnydale’s mystic underground!
We’ll be the first to admit, this idea behind the Serpent Society is a solid one. Snakes are a go-to name for badass characters such as COBRA, Solid Snake, Jake the Snake, and The Viper (just to name a few). In practice, however, the Serpent Society has been reduced to a joke in the Marvel Universe. In fact, back in 2014, when announcing the then-unamed Captain America 3, Marvel decided to give people a laugh and claim the film was titled Captain America: Serpent Society. Sheesh.
With a team based on serpents, you’d think the possibilities for unique powers would be off the charts! Like Anaconda, who has tentacles and constricts people! Or Asp, who…is psychic? Or Cottonmouth, who has…steel jaws. Sidewinder? He can teleport. What about Cobra, one of Thor’s main villains and the team leader? He has to have some cool powers, right? Well, he is a contortionist with super strength who shoots poisoned darts from his wrists. We’ll just go ahead and let you be the judge of that one.
Apparently picking up on the '90s trend of adding “z” to a group’s name to make them look more radical, X-Men villain Mister Sinister formed the Nasty Boyz in X-Factor #75. Composed of the mutants Slab, Gorgeous George, Hairbag, Ramrod, Ruckus, and Multiple Man, the Nasty Boyz are a team of supervillains that Sinister uses to frame an anti-mutant Presidential candidate as a mutant terrorist.
Take a look at those names. It’s almost like a slap in the face to all parties involved. You can really tell that Sinister had a singular goal in mind; who would care if any of these villains were killed off or taken into custody? Sinister usually runs around with the Marauders as his primary team, making it even more obvious that the Nasty Boyz were nothing more than pawns in his grand schemes.
Later on, they are recruited once again in order to assassinate one of the former Marauders. As expected, they are next to useless against the vastly superior opponent, letting the heroes of X-Factor take on their target while they painfully fail at trying to subdue her. Maybe there’s a reason Sinister sticks with his main group of henchmen.
Who in the world thought it was a good idea to make villains based on playing cards? And for them to go up against the Justice League, no less? The group consisted of King, Queen, Jack, Ten, and Ace (the cards needed for a royal flush in poker). The group uses their superior technologies to trick their foes and pull off their heists. For example, one of the members has a staff that can cast realistic illusions, while another has a super-strong exo-suit and another throws razor-sharp playing cards from their wrist.
In the DCAU, the Royal Flush Gang appear as villains in Batman Beyond, where they ride atop flying playing cards and have medieval English accents. The costumes, as you may have guessed, have a playing card motif; King, Queen, and Jack all dress up like their card counterparts, Ten wears a white jumpsuit with ten spades/clovers and the number “10” on it, and Ace has a large spade right in the middle of his chest. Words cannot describe how weird this team is.
With villains like Wizard, Medusa, Sandman, and Paste-Pot Pete, who wouldn’t tremble in fear at the sight of the Frightful Four? First appearing in Fantastic Four #36, this team of baddies was created to be the rivals of Marvel’s First Family. Obviously, it didn’t work out. Besides, since when is Sandman considered a FF villain? Also, Paste-Pot Pete? The villain who didn’t really have any powers, who instead used a synthetic paste as a weapon? Medusa is kind of a cool character once you get into her back story, but at the time she appeared to be just a woman with tentacle-like hair. The fourth member, Wizard, actually isn’t too bad; he can use his anti-gravity platforms to fly and lift up to 1,000 pounds while simultaneously shooting electric blasts out of his gauntlets.
But then there’s the costumes. Oh man, look at their costumes! That alone is enough to make them one of the more laughable villain groups in all of comics.
Led by Incredible Hulk villain The Ringmaster, the Circus of Crime was a small-time gang of criminals who faced off against Spider-Man, Hawkeye, Ant-Man, Daredevil, and countless other Marvel heroes. Aside from The Ringmaster, the original group featured Princess Python (a snake charmer who had a pet python), The Human Cannonball (who has the ability to use his body as a projectile), The Clown (an assassin), and The Great Gambonnos (acrobats).
Over the years, the Circus of Crime has seen other members come and go, including Teena the Fat Lady, Live Wire, Fire-Eater, and Tarrox the Tamer. If the initial group already sounded bad enough, the other members of the team banded together and kicked out The Ringmaster, whose power of hypnosis easily made him the strongest villain on the roster. Over the years, writers began to use the Circus of Crime as more of a punchline rather than a credible threat. We don’t blame them; this is a group that is extremely difficult to take seriously.
Killer Moth, Catman, Calendar Man, and Chancer were all Batman villains who felt that they had not received the proper respect from Gotham’s underworld. In order to rectify the situation, they banded together to form the aptly-named team The Misfits in order fix their poor reputation.
Their first grand scheme is to capture Jim Gordon, Bruce Wayne, and the Mayor of Gotham City. Surprisingly, they actually succeed in capturing all three of them! It was the keeping them hostage part where they failed. Bruce Wayne helps the other hostages escape and then easily dispatches all four of the members of the group as Batman. Killer Moth has always been seen as one of the worst Batman villains in existence, with Calendar Man and Catman joining him in the ranks at the bottom of the list. Even with the newly created and somewhat competent Chancer added to the group, putting all three of them together makes for a team that is quickly forgotten to the dustbin of comic book history.
With the same name recognition as the Superior Foes of Spider-Man without the comedic value, the Legion of Losers is probably Marvel’s worst supervillain team. The cover of the issue says it all -- Spider-Man exclaims “You’ve got to be kidding!” as four of his least intimidating foes rush at him. The Legion of Losers is a group that includes The Spot, The Kangaroo, Grizzly, and Gibbon. If that doesn’t make you quake in fear, we don’t know what will.
The Spot has the power to create portals, while The Kangaroo has super strength in his legs, Grizzly has an exoskeleton bear suit, and Gibbon is just a giant monkey with monkey-like abilities. This team is so sad that Spider-Man pretended to be defeated by them just to teach them a lesson about how much they were out of their league. After this confrontation, they all decided to give up their life of crime.
Wonder Woman has had some weird villains throughout her seventy-five year history, but nothing can be stranger than THEM! The entire purpose of this supervillain group (created in 1969) seems to be to warn readers about the danger of lesbians (as confirmed by the group's creator). Diana Prince discovers THEM when she is discussing the past of her friend Cathy Perkins. Cathy lived with her parents out in the country until she began to feel smothered and misunderstood. She ran away to the big city, where she could “think for herself,” and shacked up with a group of “hippies.”
Soon, her money and clothes began to disappear. Then, the hippies began to treat her like a dog, beating her and forcing her to wear a dog collar while she did chores. Cathy made her escape when she was alone with one of the hippies, who had taken some unknown pills and fallen asleep. THEM is only defeated when they are attacked by a group of men and Wonder Woman punches their leader in the face.
The fact that this group was even a thing is insane! All three members of THEM are typical stereotypes: one of them wears biker gear, the other wears a cowboy outfit, and the third dresses like a female pimp. There is SOOOO much symbolism going on here, and it’s really kind of messed up. THEM was a political creation of its time, and a disturbing one at that.
The Rainbow Raiders were a team of villains made to honor the Flash villain of the same name. Each member took on the name of a different color of the rainbow and each had their own set of unique powers. The only action they ever saw came when the Crime Syndicate of America attacked a S.T.A.R.S. lab out in the middle of Montana, disguised as their Justice League counterparts. When the Rainbow Raiders came on the scene to confront them, a large mob of citizens subdued them. Yes, these ferocious villains were taken down by a group of Montanans.
During the Blackest Night story line, the Rainbow Raiders feared their fate if the Black Lanterns got a hold of them. Instead of letting themselves be submitted to the pain and anguish that stood before them, they all committed suicide by drinking poison. At the end of the story arc, everyone that was killed who had an emotional connection to the DC heroes was brought back to life. The Rainbow Raiders hadn’t been around long enough to leave an impact on anyone the DC Universe, and thus stayed dead. Oops.
First appearing in Wonder Woman #141, the Academy of Arch Villains was something that was too ridiculous even for the world of Silver Age superheroes. The Academy is a large underworld organization who were offering a golden statue to anyone who can defeat Wonder Woman. In the singular issue of its existence, Angle Man, Mouse Man, and The Human Fireworks were the story’s main villains. Boy, were they something to take in. Just glancing at the costumes of the characters will tell you what you’re in for. Angle Man wears plain ol' green scuba gear. Mouse Man is a person in a laughably bad, yellow Teletubby-looking mouse costume. The Human Fireworks is…a large flat ball of flame with a face.
All three take their turns trying to defeat the Amazon heroine. Angle Man tries to lure her into a trap, from which she easily escapes. The Human Fireworks then squares off against Wonder Woman before being blown to bits by a meteor. Finally Mouse Man, who apparently possesses the power of shrinkage, uses the pendulum of a grandfather clock to hypnotize her into following him back to the academy. Once there, she immediately snaps out of it and proceeds to bring down the entire building on top of the Academy of Arch Villains. Worst. Supervillain Team. Ever.
Do you agree with our list? Are there worse villain teams you think should have been included instead? Leave us a comment to let us know!
Suicide Squad opens August 5, 2016.