The walls at Ravencroft and Arkham Asylum are lined with insane villains. Whether or not all of these characters have been officially diagnosed, their costumed antics made it more than a little easy for their lawyers to get them off on the insanity defense. However, the legal system in the DC Universe is starting to seem a little out of control itself for continuously believing Arkham Asylum can hold the Joker (seriously, that clown is terrifying).
There are unpredictable villains who seem deranged but aren't, and then there are actual villains with mental illnesses. Some villains suffer from real-world illnesses like dissociative identity disorder, while others, like the aforementioned Joker, have been diagnosed with fictional illnesses like "super sanity." While there's no way to objectively measure which of these villains is the craziest, through an analysis of their various exploits and beliefs, hopefully, it will be clear which villain is the craziest of them all.
- Photo: DC Comics
The Joker is the prototypical crazy supervillain. He has been described before, by super-scribe Grant Morrison, as being "super sane." This basically means the Joker has no fixed personality; instead, every single day, he wakes up and decides who he wants to be. This theory works to account for why he's sometimes a silly gangster and other times a psycho killer willing to sleep under Commissioner Gordon's bed for weeks.
The Joker has spent just as much time inside the cells at Arkham Asylum as he has outside. His outlook on life is nothing less than bizarre. He knows exactly who Batman really is but refuses to out the hero, knowing it would ultimately do nothing but spoil his fun. Everything is a game to him, and that's pretty wild.Unhinged villain?
- Photo: Marvel Comics
For years, Venom reigned as one of the most psychotic and harsh Spider-Man villains. Then, Cletus Kasady, AKA Carnage, came along and was so good at being bad that, in contrast, Venom became something of an anti-hero.
Before acquiring the Venom symbiote, Eddie Brock was a simple photographer, and look at how bad he got. In contrast, before Carnage touched a symbiote, Cletus Kasady was already a deranged serial killer.
Kasady's life has always been hard. He was literally born into a psychiatric institution, as his mother was a patient at Ravencroft when she gave birth to him. Without his parents to raise him, Kasady was raised by his abusive grandmother. The abuse led to Kasady slaying his own grandmother by pushing her down the stairs. Now, as Carnage, Kasady has slain literally hundreds of people.Unhinged villain?
- Photo: Marvel Comics
Norman Osborn was a cunning businessman who was obsessed with gaining wealth and power. At one point, he got his hands on a formula intended to give him superhuman abilities, and while it did, it also slowly began to chip away at his brain. He became the Green Goblin but eventually lost his memory of ever being a supervillain. This is where he got really deranged, and the Green Goblin personality manifested as a split personality inside of Osborn's brain. His initial skirmishes with Spider-Man culminated with Osborn slaying Peter's girlfriend, Gwen Stacy before ultimately perishing himself.
Osborn's life is one of tragedy. He's eternally caught between the duality of his own mind. There is truly a part of him that wants to be a good father to Harry, but that side is constantly at odds with the crazed Goblin portion of his being that seeks nothing but villainy and destruction.Unhinged villain?
- Photo: DC Comics
Victor Zsasz is best known for the multitude of tally marks carved into his skin and covering the entirety of his body. The really gruesome part? Every single tally represents a life Zsasz took.
Zsasz's criminal career has a wild beginning. He was born into a wealthy family and became the CEO of a successful company. Although, after his parents' demise, he spiraled into a deep depression and planned on taking his life. While contemplating jumping from a bridge, an unhoused man attempted to mug him. Zsasz takes his knife, and the subsequent fear in the man's eyes gave Zsasz a new reason for existing.
Zsasz saw his terminations as ultimately helping his targets. He felt he was liberating them from life.Unhinged villain?