What does it take to make a solid supervillain? To make a worthy opponent for a movie superhero, the supervillain needs both outsized powers or skills. And outsized ambition to use them for self-aggrandizement. A baroque sense of style is a plus, and so is a twisted backstory – though that’s not a must, since sometimes a supervillain is scarier when his (or her) evil nature can’t be explained away by past trauma.
Time and the audience will tell if the Mandarin, played by Ben Kingsley in the new Iron Man 3, gets to join the pantheon of classic comic-book movie supervillains. (Sure, he’s one of Iron Man’s most venerable opponents in the books, but on screen, he offers some surprises that may rankle purists.) Here are ten of the examples he has to live up to (down to?) if he wants to join the superhero movie supervillain hall of infamy.
Next The Joker