Villains are a vital part of any good comic book. In fact, it can be argued that they are equally if not more important than their heroic counterparts. Afterall, what’s Batman without the Joker? How about the X-Men without Magneto? The motivations behind the madness of a good villain are also of great importance. The Joker is intriguing because of his motives. At times, they seem simple enough: He’s a psychopath who simply wants to create chaos. Other times, what drives him appears to be far deeper than that, almost like he’s attempting to make a broader statement about humanity itself. On the other hand, Magneto’s motives are straightforward. As a Holocaust survivor, he has seen the worst of humanity, and therefore wants mutant-kind to rule over them. However, some villains lack a certain sensibility to their own machinations. Here are five villains with terrible motives. 

The Riddler 

The Riddler is one of Batman’s oldest and most enduring villains. Let’s be honest though. His motivations for pursuing crime are less than usual. The obsessive-compulsive criminal mastermind is singularly focused on incorporating riddles into all of his criminal activities. Unfortunately for Edward Nygma, he’s always foiled by the world’s greatest detective, Batman. Rather than moving past this fact, Nygma has become obsessed with proving his intellectual superiority over his foe. Needless to say, in nearly 75 years of comic appearances, he hasn’t met his goal yet… 

The Collector 

Ever met a comic book collector, or any collector for that matter, who has run out of space in their home due to the hobby? The aptly named Collector is representative of what happens when the need to collect goes too far. Also known by the name Taneleer Tivan, the Collector is a being of immense power who basically picked up the hobby due to boredom. His wife gave up her own immortality billions of years ago after losing the will to live. To keep himself busy, Tivan decided to start collecting interesting and rare items throughout the universe. This eventually led to an obsessive need to collect things just for the sake of it.  


Ah, Sauron… No, I don’t mean the ruler of Mordor who created the one ring to rule Middle earth. I mean the mutated humanoid-Pteranodon always trying to rule the Savage Land. In his pre-mutated form, he was Dr. Karl Lykos, a brilliant hypnotherapist. As a boy, he was attacked by a mutated Pteranodon, which later led to him transforming into the Dino-hybrid Sauron. With his energy draining abilities, along with the power of hypnosis, Sauron’s ultimate goal is …to turn people into dinosaurs. Seriously, he admitted as much to Spider-Man… 


Here’s one that translates fairly well to the way the world currently is. The X-Men villain Mojo is an alien being from the planet Mojoworld. His entire race was driven insane by waves of energy from another dimension, which turned out to be television signals. Mojo rules over the Mojoverse, a pocket universe where he pits beings against one another in a twisted gladiator-like reality show. Mojo operates with only one motivation, better ratings.  

Doctor Doom 

This one may be controversial, as he’s generally regarded as one of the greatest villains in all of comics, but Doctor Doom has some ridiculously bad motives for being a supervillain. To sum it up, Doom is an intensely jealous individual whose ego stems from his own deep seeded insecurities as a human being. Doom’s primary motivation for becoming a supervillain was to prove that he was smarter than Reed Richards. In spite of the fact that Doom is one of the smartest beings in the entire Marvel Universe, and a sorcerer on par with Doctor Strange, he can never seem to let go of his envy and resentment towards Richards.