Where would supervillains be without their henchmen and henchwomen? Would it be as enjoyable to wreak havoc and plot world domination if there was no one to share a sadistic chuckle with along the way? Action movies would be a lot shorter if the hero could immediately confront their evil opponent without bureaucratic interference. That's where muscle-bound henchmen are so useful - their body mass acts as a human shield between the hero and his inevitable final confrontation.
Carrying out a villainous scheme requires genius-level intelligence, and, while some baddies are equipped with their own powers, many are skinny, fat, old, or saddled with British accents. In any case, they can't always be bothered to get their own hands dirty. A physically powerful henchperson is invaluable to the success of any evil mission. Action movie rules dictate that all lead henchmen must be neutralized or eliminated before the hero can have a legitimate crack at the big bad.
These talented underlings come in such a colorful array of powers and personas, it almost seems a pity to waste them as mere stepping stones. It's time for these massive warriors to put aside their pawn status and step into the spotlight. Let's take away the villains, take away the heroes, and see what these henchmen are made of on their own. Of course, to measure their exact worth in battle, we'll need to pit them against each other; so check out their stats, weigh their strengths and weaknesses, and vote up which muscle-bound henchman you think would win in a fight.
Jaws ('The Spy Who Loved Me' & 'Moonraker')Photo: The Spy Who Loved Me / United Artists
How Big Is He? At 7 feet 2 inches, Jaws's unusual size allows him to project menace without saying a word. It's not until the end of the second movie that we even hear his voice. Perhaps his razor-sharp, steel-fitted teeth interfere with conversation, but even if his mouth weren't a bulletproof device capable of tearing apart ski-lift cables, or ripping out someone's throat, his size and strength would make him nearly undefeatable. Unable to compete with Jaws physically, Bond has to get particularly creative to outmaneuver this henchman's many termination attempts.
Who Does He Hench For? Jaws is a mercenary who acts as chief henchman to Karl Stromberg in the first film, and Hugo Drax in the second. We don't know how Jaws met either of his bosses, but considering he can survive plane crashes, shark attacks, and rubble falling off Egyptian temples, it's easy to see why he would be a useful addition to any evil team.
Strongest Moment: Jaws's resume is full of impressive physical feats, from crash-landing into a circus to lifting a boulder over his head (and dropping it on his foot). However, it really takes confidence in your own strength to turn the tables on an impending shark attack. At the end of an intense scuffle, Bond tosses Jaws into a tank occupied by a particularly hungry specimen. In a gross but fitting twist, Jaws beats the shark at his own game, biting into its flesh and sending ribbons of blood through the water.
Weakest Moment: Jaws is nearly indestructible, emerging from every situation unscathed with the same implacable grin. However, when his own safety is in question, Jaws has no qualms about switching sides. Further complicating things, he meets a pigtailed and bespectacled girl named Dolly and immediately falls in love. When Jaws realizes that Drax's plan to wipe out humanity - preserving only a small group of physically perfect specimens - doesn't include him or his girlfriend, he turns on his boss. After Drax goes down in an epic space entanglement, Jaws and Dolly find themselves alone hurtling toward Earth. Opening a bottle of champagne, Jaws speaks his only line: "Well, here's to us." Perhaps Jaws's weakest moment is falling in love.Still standing?
- Photo: 20th Century Fox
How Big Is She? Even after mutating, Angel Dust is only a few inches taller than the average woman. But at almost 200 pounds (played by mixed martial artist Gina Carano) she is more than adequately sized to fill the henchwoman heavy role.
Who Does She Hench For? According to established movie psychology, individuals burdened with intelligence and existential ennui often deal with the disappointments of life by turning super evil. The distinguished accent and educated bearing of Ajax makes it easy to spot the signs of this catastrophic coping mechanism. To complement all that pained British dignity, he has Angel Dust, an accomplice with a decidedly straightforward American energy. But powers and 'tude aside, the absolute ideal right-hand man/woman, for a villain, will have unconditional devotion for their chosen guru. Whether as a lover, mentor, or twisted parental figure, villains should never underestimate the power of personal connection when choosing their top followers. Though Ajax is an outright sadist, immune to pain as well as most other emotions, he treats Angel Dust well, and perhaps out of stray-dog gratitude, she repays him with unquestioned loyalty.
Strongest Moment: One quality that's plentiful among this set is rage-induced adrenaline. Conveniently for Angel Dust, it's this very hormone that activates her powers. When she is able to defeat Colossus, one of the strongest mutants in existence, the extent of these abilities becomes undeniable. But even with seemingly limitless strength, she doesn't mind employing some old-fashioned, unsportsmanlike trickery to gain the upper hand. During their showdown, Colossus points out that an undone strap has exposed a portion of her upper torso. She thanks him, and as he politely covers his eyes, she promptly sends him flying into a pile of scrap metal.
Weakest Moment: Until she is defeated, a henchwoman cannot be said to have any weaknesses. In a mutant world, with its hierarchy of powers, Angel Dust's victory over Colossus is truly impressive. Once defeated, Angel Dust begins to strangle him with a metal pipe. She is mere moments from ending him when Negasonic interrupts by causing a massive explosion. Colossus regains consciousness and carries them all to safety. It's unclear what happens to Angel Dust next. One can only assume she's still at large, looking for a fight. Still standing?
- Photo: United Artists
How Big Is He? Oddjob is a burly man whose natty jacket and vest combo hides an Olympic weightlifter's body. At 5 feet 10 inches, he is more realistically human-sized than some of the other entries on this list; however, his 285 pounds of mass and muscle put him well over the weight of an average NFL player. He may not possess mutant powers, but like the best henchman heavies, he also has superhuman strength.
Who Does He Hench For? Oddjob works for Auric Goldfinger, an international gold smuggler and all around gold enthusiast. Though the origins of their relationship are never explained, Oddjob is unusually loyal to him. Goldfinger is not fighting for any political ideology or greater cause, other than the increase of his own wealth, but Oddbjob is ready and willing to perish for his employer at a moment's notice. When Goldfinger seals Bond in a room with a time bomb, he leaves behind his top henchman to fend for himself. Oddjob takes this in stride, and never ruffling his signature blank-faced smile, remains hyper-focused on Goldfinger's interests. This lack of care for his own safety makes him among the most dangerous of henchmen; it means there's no limit to what he'll do.
Strongest Moment: Early on in the film, Oddjob makes a showy display of his strength; Bond tosses him a golf ball from his recent match with Goldfinger, and Oddjob responds by promptly squashing the ball with one bare hand. This is after we've just seen Oddball behead a stone statue with a toss of his razor-trimmed top hat. During the final showdown at Fort Knox, it quickly becomes apparent that Bond is no match for Oddjob's superhuman durability. Not only is he immune to 007's punches, but when the spy hurls a bullion brick at the villain, it bounces right off.
Weakest Moment: Even for a super-spy like James Bond, Oddball proves to be undefeatable in hand-to-hand combat. It takes a bit of trickery, and the use of that hat-weapon, for Bond to finally take down Oddjob via electrocution.Still standing?
Cull Obsidian ('Avengers: Infinity War')
How Big Is He? Cull Obsidian is by far the largest and strongest member of the Black Order - an impressive distinction among this group of highly skilled war machines. His ferocious eagerness for fighting more than makes up for his undeveloped intellect. Speaking only in snorts and grunts, he remains singlemindedly focused on the joys of wreaking carnage and destruction.
Who Does He Hench For? The Black Order, also known as "The Children of Thanos," is an elite fighting team that was formed using one of the more psychologically brilliant methods for assembling a team of henchmen: Stockholm Syndrome. As children, the individual members were recruited from planets conquered by Thanos. As Obsidian henches for his adopted father alongside a team of adopted siblings, it's no surprise that his brainwashed loyalty is utterly complete and unquestionable.
Strongest Moment: If he weren't already locked into his minion status, Obsidian could have been a formidable villain in his own right. He is top level in all the essential superpowers: size, strength, durability, and regeneration. If this weren't enough to achieve No. 1 henchman status, he is also a master combatant, skilled at wielding his own specialized weaponry. His multi-purpose chain hammer slams down on opponents in hand-to-hand combat, or shoots out to hit distant targets. This veritable Swiss Army knife of combat also has a deflector shield function, making it pretty much a perfect all-in-one bundle.
Weakest Moment: Cull's singleminded eagerness for fighting can make him reckless at times. His love of bloodshed for its own sake has him chomping at the bit every time a showdown is imminent. Because of his nearly unmatched size and strength, he doesn't need to put a lot of strategy into his maneuvers in order to come out victorious. However, due to this brutish lack of forethought, he earns himself the unusual henchman honor of being slain not once, but twice. During the Battle of Wakanda, the Hulk throws Obsidian into the city's protective forcefield. In an alternate timeline, Obsidian is brought back for the Battle of Earth, only to be defeated by one of the most simplistic finishing moves ever. In the blink of an eye, under Ant-Man's overgrown foot, Obsidian is squashed like a bug.Still standing?