14 Dominatingly Terrifying Justice League: The Animated Series Villains – Explored

    This is a wonderful age of television, with shows like The Flash, Arrow, and Agent Carter bringing the mind-blowing comic book experience back to the small screen. However, there was a show that did it much before they did! The animated shows produced by DC Universe had already established a name for themselves. Superman: The Animated Series, in particular, and Batman: The Animated Series, in particular, ensured that viewers were left wanting more. Warner Bros. did not miss out on this opportunity, and the animated Justice League series was born. On Cartoon Network, the show was highly popular, and it lasted over four years.

    The creators brought in some of DC Comics’ biggest heroes, including Batman and Superman, as well as The Flash, Wonder Woman, and Hawkgirl. They were not alone, though! The show also featured some of the DC universe’s most heinous and powerful villains in action. In this video, we have compiled a list of some of the most heinous animated villains who helped make this program unique.



    Amazo, or the Android, was a nanotechnological creation of Professor Ivo, and it allowed him to copy the characteristics and traits of people by simply looking at them. The evil Lex Luthor found him after Ivo’s death and manipulated him into working for him. He pitted him against the Justice League heroes and sent Amazo to steal fuel for him. This unique android broke into the facility without much trouble, and soon he was replicating the powers and qualities of Hawkgirl and Wonder Woman.

    He even acquired Flash’s super-speed and John Stewart’s power ring, and he became a force to be reckoned with. The combined forces of the heroes overpowered him, but when Superman showed up, Amazo was quick to emulate his mighty powers. However, this also opened up a chink in his armor because now he was vulnerable to Kryptonite. Batman exploited this when Amazo tried to assimilate his traits. 

    But Amazo continued growing in power, and along with Lex Luthor, he almost succeeded in finishing off the Justice League. J’onn J’onzz got into the action just in time and allowed the android to copy his power of telepathy. Now, Amazo could read Luthor’s mind, and he could see through his evil plans.

    The android savagely attacked Luthor, and disgusted with the Earth; he departed to explore the universe. He reappeared later, seeking some purpose in life, and after a brief confrontation with the Justice League, he teleported himself several light-years away. It is a good thing that Amazo was not an evil entity because, with his enhanced powers, he could have proved to be quite a handful for the heroes.

    Initially, he could replicate the superhuman powers and weaponry from the heroes, but his travels through the universe made him stronger. He evolved to a nigh-omnipotent state and now was invincible with his powers of telekinesis, teleportation, super-strength, and other such superpowers. Luthor rightly called him the most powerful creature in the universe. He also overcame his weaknesses in his evolved version, and thankfully destroying the Justice League was not actually his purpose!

    Doctor Destiny

    Doctor Destiny

    This enigmatic villain is the alter ego of John Dee, who was a low-level LexCorp employee. The Justice League found him responsible for guarding smuggled weapons in the warehouse of the company, and he was arrested. While he was in prison, he volunteered to be a part of an experimental ESP machine. During his sentence, he was the ideal prisoner who had peaceful relations with the Warden and the guards.

    However, he had a deep-rooted inferiority complex and wanted to be extremely powerful. He desired to defeat the Justice League so that all the other super-villains would admire him. His psychological stability was broken when he found out that his wife had found someone else, and he took advantage of a prison mutiny to sneak into the doctor’s lab. He exposed himself to the full power of the ESP machine, and it gave him extra-sensory power. 

    He escaped from the prison and tormented his wife in her dreams, pushing her to insanity, which finally led her to kill herself. This was when he called himself Doctor Destiny, and he started infiltrating the dreams of Justice League heroes, trapping them in the dream world. He exploited their deepest fears, and it was J’onn J’onzz to the rescue.

    He rescued the heroes telepathically, and they all fought Doctor Destiny in the dream world. Eventually, his spar with the Justice League did not end well. He accidentally injected himself with an overdose of a strong sedative and got trapped in his own dreams.

    However, one of his wishes did come true because later, he was drafted in to be a member of the Legion of Doom. When the organization split up, he sided with Lex Luthor’s faction. Finally, when Darkseid blew up the ship, Doctor Destiny was killed. He might not have been the strongest villain in terms of power, but his unique abilities had jeopardized the most powerful heroes!



    It is safe to say that Darkseid was the greatest enemy of the Justice League and also the most powerful. He was the absolute ruler of Apokolips and conquered several planets throughout the universe. He wishes to rule over the entire universe, and for this, he needs the cosmic power of the Anti-Life Equation.

    This will empower him to control all the existing life forms in the universe. He faces constant rivalry from the leader of New Genesis, Highfather. New Genesis is Apokolips’ sister planet, and they have been at war for thousands of years. Eventually, a truce was agreed upon, and both the leaders exchanged their infant children, raising them as their own. 

    This deterred Darkseid’s unending ambitions, and he did not want Highfather to interfere in his conquests. For this, he turned his attention to the Earth, a planet that had a potential rival in Superman. He wanted to see Superman’s powers for himself, and initially, he helped Intergang with weapons. He sent his trusted servant Desaad to finish off Superman, but the ploy failed.

    Later, when Darkseid launched a full-scale attack on the Earth, he easily defeated Superman in combat. It would have been an easy victory for Darkseid had Highfather and his armies not intervened. He stated that Earth was off-limits, and Darkseid had to retreat. This did not stop him from launching many more attacks on Superman.

    In fact, he even managed to brainwash the superhero on one occasion and sent him to lead an invasion on Earth. Even though Superman managed to break free of the spell, it did break the public faith in him. There are plenty of face-offs between the two, and Superman and Darkseid routinely fought each other.

    Darkseid’s incredible strength is only matched by Superman to some extent, and his greatest weapon is the deadly Omega Beam. These red beams of light from his eyes affect the target according to Darkseid’s wish, and an average individual would be disintegrated immediately. Even his evil mind is a potent weapon, capable of cooking up cunning schemes to fool the enemy. We remember him for his iconic lines and the ruthlessness that he brought to the table!



    When we think of super-villains, artificial intelligence doesn’t really come to mind! Brainiac did prove the conventions futile and became an arch-nemesis for Superman and the other heroes in the Justice League. Brainiac was a planetary-wide supercomputer of Krypton. Shortly before the planet was destroyed, Brainiac left and wandered around the galaxy in pursuit of knowledge.

    It continued gathering more and more knowledge but destroyed the sources to increase the value of that knowledge. Its intention was to do the same to the entire universe, and this brought Brainiac in conflict with Superman. Brainiac is programmed such that the survival of its knowledge is more important than the survival of people, and it acts accordingly. 

    When Brainiac made it to Earth, it did so under the pretense of a peaceful exchange of knowledge. It posed as a survivor of Krypton, but Superman soon got to know about the trail of destruction that it left behind. With Lex Luthor, Superman destroyed its ship and assumed that Brainiac was destroyed.

    But it had already downloaded a copy of its programming into LexCorp’s computers, and now one of these copies used it to construct a new body. It required Superman to pull off one of his heroic acts to save the day, but it was not the last we would see of Brainiac. It escaped into space once again and found its way to Apokolips. Darkseid struck a deal with Brainiac, promising to capture Superman in return for his planet to be spared. Once this dreadful alliance was thwarted, Brainiac was back fusing with Lex Luthor.

    It took another special effort to defeat Brainiac, but the powerful artificial intelligence was quite a capable foe! All its powers come from the bodies and constructs that it develops, and it functions exactly like a computer – storing data in its memory. Its ability to replicate its existence quickly made it very difficult to destroy it permanently. 



    Mongul was the tyrannical ruler of the War World. The inhabitants of this planet were terribly oppressed, and to take their minds off the poverty and wrongdoings, Mongul arranged a series of deathmatches. Gladiator-like battles took place, and according to the tradition it always ended with violent deaths.

    Mongul was a cunning strategist who could maintain a war-based society by manipulating his subjects. Superman and J’onn J’onzz were incapacitated by a freak accident in space, and the minions of Mongul dragged them to their planet.

    We witnessed the tyrant Mongul presiding over the combat zone, and a series of death matches took place. He was quick to recognize that Superman was a Kryptonian, and he forced him into combat against his undefeated champion Draaga. 

    Superman won the fight, but he refused to kill Draaga as per tradition. Mongul felt threatened by this display of defiance, and he was also worried about the public support that Superman was gathering. He arranged a personal duel with Superman and threatened to wipe out Draaga’s entire planet if Superman did not lose purposely.

    However, his plans fell flat because the planet-killing weapon was destroyed. Eventually, Draaga defeated Mongul and Superman made him the ruler of the War World, hoping that he would bring about a new era of peace and prosperity on the planet. Later, Mongul returned on the occasion of Superman’s birthday and attacked him with an alien parasite called Black Mercy that paralyzed him.

    When Batman and Wonder Woman arrived at his Arctic fortress to celebrate his birthday, they found that Superman was in a catatonic state. Mongul planned to rule the world in Superman’s absence, but once again, his plans fell apart. He was taken down by his own weapon and became paralyzed by the Black Mercy.

    His final fate is not revealed, but it is safe to assume that he is imprisoned and captured within his dream world. Although he never succeeded in his mission, Mongul was extremely powerful, and he possessed nearly Superman-level strength and durability. In fact, Superman was the only real threat to him on Earth, and Mongul had to be taken down with some really clever plans. 

    Vandal Savage

    Vandal Savage

    He was easily one of the most interesting villains in terms of origin. Vandal Savage lived 25000 years ago in a prehistoric world. His tribe witnessed a mysterious asteroid falling on the Earth, and the others ran away in fear. However, Vandal Savage walked up to it for its warmth and slept beside the rock throughout the night. The radiation and heat of the asteroid were not of Earthly nature, and it changed him forever.

    Soon he found out that unlike the rest of his tribesmen, he did not age. He remained exactly the same and developed some miraculous abilities and powers. Vandal Savage went on to gather as much knowledge as he could over the years, and he also had some physical advantages, such as his instant healing abilities. He became an immortal Metahuman who had an insatiable thirst for power. Naturally, the Justice League stood in his way.

    The first encounter between him and the Justice League took place when the latter found out that Vandal Savage tampered with history. He sent a gift of a technologically advanced laptop to his younger self during World War II, and he intended to take control of the Nazi German regime. He already knew about the future, and thus, the Axis powers defeated the Allies.

    Luckily enough, Green Lantern shielded everyone from the time distortion, and the League traveled back in time to prevent his evil plans. He showed up one more time in the 21st century, but his plans were never successful. We even witnessed Vandal Savage thirty thousand years into the future, where he was the only surviving human.

    This immortal being was a powerful enemy because there simply wasn’t any easy way to destroy him. He lived through the ages and had all the experience and knowledge that he acquired through all this time. His incredible healing abilities made sure that even the most fatal injuries would be healed in no time! 



    He was popularly known as Lord Orm, and he was the evil, sadistic brother of Aquaman. He hired Deadshot to finish off his brother so that he could rule over Atlantis. Lord Orm had plans of waging war against the surface-dwellers. Orm was so cunning that he used his own nephew as a tool to make sure Mera cooperated. He took him to this cliff near a volcano, where Aquaman was being held captive.

    He left them both to plummet to their deaths and blamed it on the surface-dwellers. This helped him earn his rightful inheritance to the throne.

    His sinister plans had something terrible in store for the Earth. He used the plutonium that he obtained from a US nuclear submarine to arm his deadly Doomsday Thermal Reactor. This was the most dreaded Atlantean weapon that was designed, and it could melt the polar ice caps.

    The entire planet could have been submerged had Aquaman not intervened. In a heroic act, he cut off his own hand to save his son and tried to disarm the weapon. The two brothers fought in an intense battle, and Orm seemed to win the fight initially. Luckily, the ice bridge on which they were fighting collapsed, and Orm fell to his death. Aquaman refused to help him, accepting the fate of his evil brother.

    In general, Orm is best-known as one of Aquaman’s archenemies. Time and time again, he has tried to usurp the throne from his brother, but he failed. Orm has physiology similar to his brother, and he can breathe underwater and navigate through the oceans. He is stronger than the other Atlanteans and almost an equal to Aquaman. When the trident is in his arsenal, he is even stronger. Overall, Orm was quite a potent villain in the show and one that caused enough trouble for Aquaman.



    This is not one individual but an entire civilization of space-faring, parasitic conquerors. They are ruled by a single, bulbous mass, and the actual origin of these shapeshifting creatures is not known. All that is revealed about the Imperium is that they emerge from the depths of space, and they thrive by preying on peaceful civilizations.

    Approximately a thousand years ago, they entered the Solar System and destroyed all traces of life on Mars. They absorbed and duplicated the powers and abilities of the Martians, and J’onn J’onzz was the only one who survived. Nerve gas was used to paralyze the Imperium, and they remained in that state for almost five hundred years. 

    Later, astronauts from the Earth released them unknowingly, and the Imperium made their way to invade Earth. They infiltrated the high-ranked positions and tried to convince the world to disarm its nuclear weapons, and the planet would be vulnerable to their attacks. They even set up factories that would pump out some kind of ionized gas that would block the Sun and cover the Earth in darkness. J’onn tried to attack one of the factories with some other heroes, and he was captured.

    However, Batman was alerted by him telepathically, and he reversed the process, clearing the darkness that had shrouded the Earth. When they were cornered, the Imperium flagship fled, and the remaining ones were left to die on this planet.

    These strange entities were mainly bipedal, and they fed off the psychic energy of other beings. They were capable of assimilating the traits of other species, and every encounter made them more powerful than before. The Imperium was vulnerable to sunlight because they were used to the absolute darkness in the depths of space. It has to be one of the creepiest sets of villains that had to be encountered by the heroes of the Justice League, and they were defeated just in time before they could destroy the planet. 



    Sinestro did not start off as a villain. In fact, he was a member of the Green Lantern Corps before becoming their greatest nemesis. Due to misuse of his powers, he was seen as unfit to wield the tremendous power of a Green Lantern, and his fellow Green Lanterns stripped him of his power ring.

    This stemmed enormous hate inside him, and it became worse when he obtained the yellow power ring. This ring was as powerful as the Green Lantern’s power ring, and Sinestro was now a formidable opponent. He swore to avenge his humiliation, and he was determined to destroy the Green Lantern Corps. He started hunting down the Green Lanterns one by one, and he also collected the rings of the ones who fell to him. 

    He tried to destroy the Justice League, but he was defeated in his attempt. One of his most ambitious plans was impersonating John Stewart and framing him as a criminal. He was almost successful before Stewart managed to defeat him with Static’s help. Sinestro also became a member of the Legion of Doom, and he was a part of a train robbery alongside Lex Luthor and Doctor Polaris.

    After the group split up, he sided with Luthor, and he even survived the fight between the two factions. When Darkseid attacked, he sided with his old allies once again, and for this help in defending the Earth, he was later given a five-minute head-start to run away.

    When he was equipped with his yellow ring, he had the same powers as the other members of the Green Lantern Corps. He could travel through space and project energy to attack his enemy. He also had the ability to use a powerful force field that could generate yellow energy constructs. Despite his run-ins with our heroes, it has to be said that Sinestro did help in the time of crisis while fighting Darkseid’s forces. 



    From a Kalanorian exile to the ruler of Kalanor, Despero had quite an exciting journey. His third eye was considered to be a deformity, and it got him exiled, but after he encountered the Flame of Py’tar, things became better for him. It provided him with incredible physical strength and mental powers, and his third eye now became a useful weapon.

    He used his mental power to subjugate the natives, and soon he became the ruler of Kalani. After becoming the ruler, he set up an empire and aspired to conquer the entire galaxy. His empire was called the Legion of the Third Eye, and he began his tyrannical rule. Anyone who opposed him was severely punished, and those who were not worthy of reading were banished.

    His conquests started soon after, and he used the energy of the flame to power his followers before he sent them to battle. He thought that word of his invincible forces would spread around the cosmos, and he wanted the Guardians of the Universe to step aside. For this, he tried to convince Green Lantern not to stop the inevitable.

    All this while, an underground resistance force was gaining strength right in his regime. They had support from Earth and managed to flee before Despero could hunt them down. John Stewart was captured in a battle against the heroes, but he managed to summon his power ring and broke free.

    After a vicious duel, John punched his third eye and sealed it shut. J’onn J’onzz jumped into the Flame of Py’tar and used it to communicate with the forces of Despero, informing them about his evil ways. Finally, Despero was destroyed, and his people had to rebuild the civilization once again. 



    This monstrous entity was created as a part of Project Cadmus, and it was designed to be a superior clone of Superman. Doomsday was created from a genetic sample by Emil Hamilton, and he was trained to have intense hate for Superman. There were brainwashing simulations that humiliated him, and it only enhanced his rage towards Superman.

    Doomsday was supposed to be the safety net – to be used if Superman went rogue ever again. However, it was becoming increasingly difficult to control such a powerful entity. Realizing the problems, he was locked up inside a rocket and blasted off into space.

    As you would expect, a rocket would not be enough to hold such extreme power. He broke free and used the rocket to head back to Earth. He went on a rampage near Metropolis, and the Justice Lords came in to stop him. While they were defeated, Doomsday was temporarily unsuccessful.

    He had another encounter with the Man of Steel, where he drove Superman to utter exhaustion after a long fight. He tried to lobotomize Doomsday using his heat vision but in vain. Doomsday was then trapped in molten lava, and later during an inquiry, everyone realized that he could not be changed. He would continue in his murderous ways, and he would always be determined to kill Superman.

    Thus, he was banished to the Phantom Zone! This powerful clone of Superman had all the strengths of the mighty superhero. His computer-like mind was way too powerful, and it could not be read by telepathic means.

    His combat skills were at par, if not superior to Superman, and he was almost invulnerable to attacks. Even if he was injured, he would heal very quickly. However, he did lack some of the exotic powers of Superman, such as his heat vision and freeze breath. This genetically altered Kryptonian was the closest thing we had to an evil Superman, and he was quite a handful! 



    Icthultu was also referred to as an old one, and this bloodthirsty God was once worshipped by the people of Thanagar. He possessed vast supernatural powers, and his tentacles could be used as whips. However, at one point, their culture rejected him, and they renounced the religion.

    This sadistic God constantly demanded sacrifice, and the people grew tired of his evil ways. After being rejected, he turned his attention towards Earth. King Poseidon made use of the mystical energy of the planet to form a trident that would banish the Old Ones from the planet. After Icthultu failed, he tried again after thousands of years. 

    This time around, Aquaman, Solomon Grundy, and Doctor Fate got together to perform a ritual that would prevent him from returning. Icthultu did materialize temporarily, but eventually, he was prevented from entering the Earth.

    It is said that the Justice League followed him to his dimension, and he was destroyed by the combined effort of Solomon Grundy and Hawkgirl. The Lovecraftian reference is hard to miss here, and the appearance of this evil God is bound to remind you of the monstrosity that Lovecraft had imagined! He looked like a giant green squid and had big bright yellow eyes with serpentine tentacles that also had eyes attached to them. 

    Justice Lords

    Justice Lords

    The Justice Lords existed in a parallel universe to that of the Justice League’s universe. They were the alternate universe version of the Justice League, and in this version, Flash went rogue. It all started following Lex Luthor’s unjust execution of the Flash, and the Justice Lords group also comprised of Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, and the others. Both Justice League and Justice Lords even had the same history.

    They weren’t essentially villains, but they did have a fascist form of governance that didn’t exactly portray them as the good guys. Superman presided over the organization after killing Luthor, and things began taking a darker turn. Free speech was non-existent and anyone with the slightest opposition was arrested and lobotomized by Superman’s heat vision.

    Any form of dissent was treated in a similar fashion and they were turned into peaceful and harmless versions of themselves. Many were locked up in Arkham Asylum, which was run by Joker, who had been turned harmless as well following the treatment.

    The two alternate universes came together when the Justice Lords managed to trick and capture the Justice League. They were imprisoned in the Justice Lords’ universe while they took their place in this world. However, the Justice League heroes managed to escape, and eventually, the Justice Lords were stripped of their powers and sent back to their own universe. This served as a good reminder to the Justice League that things could go terribly wrong if they went too far with the implementation of their power.

    DC never ceased to surprise the fans with some exceptional storylines, but even they had outdone themselves with this idea to have an alternate version of the Justice League that wouldn’t be the best of heroes!

    Legion of Doom

    Legion of Doom

    This was a supervillain organization that was orchestrated by Gorilla Grodd. He recruited several other supervillains just like the Justice League recruited heroes. However, while the Justice League could not pursue their own operations, Legion of Doom villains could go about their own lives. From robberies to other crimes, they were free to carry out their own missions and they could seek the services of the organization if they needed assistance. For every such summon, the respective villain would owe 25% of the profits from the endeavor.

    As you would expect, this notorious organization had several run-ins with the Justice League. After Gorilla Grodd, Lex Luthor took over the leadership, this coup was unopposed. However, later two factions developed because of Luthor’s obsession with resurrecting Brainiac. The likes of Atomic Skull, Cheetah, Bizarro, Evil Star, Doctor Destiny, and a few others supported Luthor, while Blockbuster, Copperhead, Key, Neutron, Silver Banshee, and many others sided with Gorilla Grodd.

    Luthor successfully crushed the opposition, and Gorilla Grodd was sent into the vacuum of space. But Luthor resurrected Darkseid, and things took a turn for the worse. The surviving members rushed to Earth to warn the Justice League about the invasion of Darkseid, and they teamed up to fight his evil forces. For this assistance, they were offered a five-minute headstart to get away!

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