This feature was originally published on June 30, 2015.

Every comic book hero needs a villain—numerous villains, in fact. A hero requires a roster of troublemakers to keep things interesting in his hometown or particular sphere. But these problems are local; no matter how many lives these small-fry villains threaten, and no matter how much property they destroy, these villains tend to do “fixable” damage. They can terrorize a city, but they will not be able to level that city to the ground. They will not jeopardize the human race at large. They will not blow up planet Earth, or the solar system, or the galaxy, or the universe.

That is the job of the next-level comic book villains, the ones who go harder on the largest possible scale; the ones who defy superheroes and force them to make the harder choices. These are the un-killable bad dudes who like to think big. They have inconceivable amounts of strength, either physical or mental, and they’re using it for total annihilation. Heroes and villains alike will often band together to take these super-villains out—the greater good trumps personal grudges and resentments.

Here are The Toughest Comic Book Villains Of All Time. These villains pose a threat that is unknowable and difficult to comprehend, which is why they have captured readers’ imaginations for decades.