For every memorable superhero in the comic book world, there’s an even more interesting villain waiting for the right time to strike. Since the dawn of the superhero comic in the ‘30s, writers and artists have had to keep coming up with new and better villains for these do-gooders to fight on a monthly basis. Like Professor Moriarty in the old Sherlock Holmes stories or Blofeld in the James Bond series, a good villain can elevate a story, raise the stakes, and make us cheer even louder for the hero.

The conflict between good and evil is fundamental in storytelling, and when the heroes and villains have super strength and futuristic gadgets, the action and drama only gets bigger. These battles keep us coming back to superhero comics every week, and this entire month DC Entertainment is dedicating all of its books to the company’s best villains.

In an initiative known as "Villains Month," all 52 DC comics are focusing on a different foe throughout September, including The Joker, Captain Cold, Deadshot, Darkseid, and more. As the heroes watch helplessly from the sidelines, we’re primed to get insight into some of the most twisted minds in comics like never before. So as DC pays tribute to its biggest and baddest, we’re taking a trip on the dark side with our countdown of The 25 Greatest Comic Book Villains of All Time.

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