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The Smartest Comic Book Supervillains Of All Time

March 29, 2021 1.4k votes 165 voters 13.9k views17 items

List RulesVote up the villains smart enough to think their way out of any corner.

Most comic fans would agree Lex Luthor is the smartest supervillain in DC and Doctor Doom is the smartest supervillain in Marvel. But is that actually the case? They're certainly the most famous smart bad guys in their respective universes - but are either of them actually the smartest supervillain of all time? There are a lot of deep cuts out there that give both of these comic book heavyweights a run for their money. 

If Reed Richards is the smartest superhero (which he is), then it stands to reason that the Maker (an evil Reed Richards) is among the smartest supervillains - if not the actual smartest. Or what about Otto Octavius, a villain so smart he actually defeated his arch-nemesis and took over for Spider-Man? If Lex Luthor is so smart, why can't he ever seem to best Superman? It's about time it was declared once and for all who the smartest supervillain really is. 

  • Mister Sinister is the premier geneticist in the Marvel Universe and has managed to survive since his birth in the early 1800s. His habit of experimenting on children has more than earned him the Sinister in his name. Speaking of experimenting on mutant children, it was actually Sinister who created the ruby red glasses Scott Summers (Cyclops) must wear to keep his laser eyes in check. Sinister also managed to create a clone of Jean Grey that her consciousness later inhabited post-Phoenix Force disaster. 

    Mister Sinister turned himself into a mutant by splicing some of Thunderbird's DNA into his own. This allowed him a place in the new mutant nation of Krakoa, where he currently serves on the high council among mutant leaders like Charles Xavier, Magneto, and Apocalypse. 

    Super smart?
  • 6. The Maker

    The existence of Reed Richards means that no matter how smart the smartest villain is, the heroes will always be able to one-up them. Well, throw that idea out the window because the Maker is an evil Reed Richards from the Ultimate Universe (the birthplace of Miles Morales). 

    The Ultimate Reed Richards is almost more impressive than regular Reed. At age 10, this Reed Richards mastered interdimensional teleportation and sent a car across dimensions during a science fair. He eventually started the Fantastic Four, like normal Reed, but then things soured. He discovered his universe would end, so he faked his demise, eliminated his family, and became the Maker. 

    In one of his first schemes, the Maker put together a group known as the Children of Tomorrow. He constructed a dome in which time worked differently and spent 900 years learning and growing with his Children of Tomorrow. Their first act after leaving the dome was to utterly decimate Asgard, defeating Thor and slaying the Asgardians. 

    The Maker is a 12th-level intellect with an IQ of 247. 

    Super smart?
  • Otto Octavius, AKA the villainous Doc Ock, graduated from MIT and became an atomic researcher for the government. While there, he constructed his famed metal arms he was able to control with his mind. 

    Most fans see the Green Goblin as Spider-Man's arch-nemesis, but there's a great argument that the position is filled by Doctor Octopus. The Green Goblin may have succeeded in slaying Spider-Man's girlfriend, but Doc Ock succeeded in taking out Spider-Man himself. In Spider-Man #700, Doc Ock's mortal body is dying, so he switches bodies with Spider-Man (a genius thing to plan and pull off) and then slays the web-crawler. Doc Ock then decides to become a better Spider-Man than Peter Parker ever was, and he does it. He goes back to college to get Peter his doctorate and starts a billion-dollar tech company. 

    Super smart?
  • Hank McCoy is one of the smartest beings in the Marvel Universe. That simple fact is what makes the sheer idea of Dark Beast so terrifying. He's a being with all of McCoy's intelligence but none of the moral compass. 

    Dark Beast is from a universe where he never studied under Xavier. Instead, Dark Beast became a skilled geneticist working under Mister Sinister. He's responsible for the creation of his universe's Wolverine, and his own beastly appearance was a result of experimentation on himself. In one of his darker experiments, he turned all of the Power Pack siblings into a disgusting Cronenberg-style monster. 

    Super smart?