I’ll admit the Arrowverse definitely isn’t perfect. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy some parts of it. And among those aspects are some of the villains of the show. All four shows have a villain that really knocked it out of the park and some even outright stole the season. This article takes a look at my personal favorite Arrowverse villains from each show.
Arrow: Malcolm Merlyn aka The Dark Archer
Malcolm Merlyn aka the Dark Archer. Brought in as the first series-long villain in all of the Arrowverse, this guy kicked the villain streak off to an amazing start. John Barrowman played this character with such charisma with solid motivations from his debut and walking an interesting line between villain and anti-hero, which made him all the more compelling rather than confusing. The only downside is that he did overstay his welcome on the show he did go out well enough.
The Flash: Eobard Thawne aka The Reverse Flash
Eobard Thawne aka the Reverse Flash. Yeah no surprise here. Much like Malcolm Merlyn, this guy was a series long villain. Unlike Malcolm, this guy manages to steal the show every time he pops up even when he’s not the big bad and never has overstayed . He not only has an interesting dynamic with our main protagonist but also stirs many a mystery with the logistics of his manipulation of time travel with all sorts of twists and turns along the way. Tom Cavanagh manages to play this character with just the right amount of bone chill and silliness to the role that can make even the smallest scene with him amazing and really differentiate him from the revolving door of Harrison Wellses. And while Matt Letscher has faired just as well to make an impact and differentiate the two, he’s sadly gotten less time and I really want to see Barry confront Eobard in his true form. Come on Crisis on Infinite Earths. Make it happen!
Supergirl: Lex Luthor
If anyone were to tell me that Alan Harper from Two and a Half Men and Lenny Luthor from the worst Superman movie EVER could play Superman’s great nemesis I would probably die of laughter. While his appearance in the show was rather short before the season ended, Jon Cryer managed to give such a compelling performance with his relationship to Lena, his mother, the red daughter with a sense of charisma, fright, pomp, and superiority while also giving a very subtle sense of deviousness that stings even if you know his betrayal is coming. And even when he didn’t appear in the episodes you could still feel the impact of his evil plans in every moment and how he’s always a step ahead. And while Lena killed him in the end, it is heavily implied he’s not going to stay dead for long courtesy of the Monitor. Michael Rosenbaum of Smallville actually took to Twitter to commend Cryer on his performance and I daresay this version outdoes Jesse Eisenberg.
Legends of Tomorrow: Damien Darhk
Yes I know this guy debuted on Arrow but he’s far better here. Neal McDonough’s performance is the definition of a great comic book villain blending charisma and campiness, which blends perfectly into his role in this show and goes perfectly with the Legends: He’s a joke at first glance but has layers that really make him not only a threat but also a developed character particularly when it comes to the bond with his daughter Nora which plays into crafting a rather moving arc and in turn crafting a legitimate arc for Nora as well. Damien Darhk is a villain that is just so good at being evil you can’t help but admire him for it.
Who are your favorite Arrowverse villains? Any choices you disagree with? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!