Top 5 Retro Cartoon Villains

A couple weeks ago my friend Heather L. told me about Teletoon Retro Hall of Fame: Top 5 Villains, and I thought what a great idea for a blog post! When I think of all the media I consume I can see why villains are so crucial to the story. What would Superman do without Lex Luthor, spend all day saving people from lead paint poisoning? What then, fetch a cat out of a tree?! Let’s be real here, without the challenge of a villain, heroes would just get lazy, or perhaps go into retirement. Every story has a villain–it needs one. If our protagonists aren’t battling a flesh and blood villain they are racing against time or the elements of nature. The villain is the driving force of almost every story, and while I could mention all of the scheming evil doers, I am going to take a closer look at my Top Five Retro Cartoon Villains(in no particular order), because it all goes back to what we learned as children. Nostalgia wins.

Hexadecimal – Reboot

Hex is not just unstable; Hexadecimal is insane. A villain like this is the most difficult to defend against because her motivations are never clear. Bob can guard against Megabyte because we know what he wants: to infect the supercomputer and generally delete the sprites of Mainframe. We never know what Hex wants. Sometimes she just wants someone to play with, and other times her only thoughts are to destroy. Worst of all her emotions can change as quickly as she can change masks. We can see she is never truthful to her plan or to her own desires so she remains a wildcard. When Megabyte takes control of Mainframe the first thing he does is cage Hex up even though he is her brother. No one can ever trust or control her, so a truce can never be reached.

Dr. Claw – Inspector Gadget

First off, Doctor Claw is just creepy. The mechanical laugh and the iron gauntlet stroking MAD Cat maniacally is so off-putting; I didn’t know any kid who didn’t shudder the first time they saw that. Every time we see Dr. Claw there is an ominous feeling to it–there are thunderstorms raging in the background, the red and black colour scheme to all his vehicles, and the whole character is wrapped in mystery as we never see his face*. Unlike other villains in this list, Dr. Claw is featured in almost every episode of Inspector Gadget and therefore can be classified as a nemesis. This power struggle between the hero and villain is ever-present, as at the end of every episode Claw ends with a foreboding “I’ll get you next time, Gadget!”

*For the cartoon, they made action figures with his face.

Megatron – Transformers

Leader of the villainous Decepticons. Down to the bare essentials: Megatron is an evil robot. His primary weapon, a fusion cannon mounted on his arm, is his most menacing physical attribute. By far the scariest part of Megatron is that he has a team of Decepticons behind him, ready to battle for Earth’s energy sources. There isn’t a specific thing that makes Megatron a top villain, but it’s rather a combination of unsettling attributes – the chilling voice, his vengeance, and overall evil attitude that just won’t let up. How do you deprogram evil? Especially when evil like Megatron has no apparent weaknesses; the best the Autobots and Optimus Prime can do is foil his schemes. Megatron is a frightening villain because no one can stop him for good – not ever!

No Heart – Care Bears

Not one ounce of caring lives in No Heart, the notorious villain of the Care Bears. This villain is just plain mean, but how else would you act if love and care were painful to your very core? No Heart desires nothing other than world domination (very original), and he uses his amulet and animal shape-shifting ability to try to attain it. The weirdest thing about No Heart is not his odd henchman, Beastly, but the fact that he has an evil niece named Shreeky who he begrudgingly plots with. I was unaware that evil was a family business. Add that to the glowing red eyes and spooky eyebrows, all shaded by his purple hood, and you have a very creepy villain.
Two-Face – Batman: The Animated Series

Since we have a Joker-type personality already in this list (Hexadecimal) I thought let’s skip to the most unsettling character in the Batman universe: Harvey Dent, attorney at law. Someone who is so dedicated to justice in Gotham is turned into the very thing he wants to protect the city from: the villain Two-Face. Two-Face is conflicted right to the core: he is so indecisive about himself and what he wants that he needs to flip a coin to make even the most rudimentary of decisions. Like all of the Gotham villains he wants to get rich, cause mayhem and perhaps kill Batman in the process. Two-Face is a symbol of tragedy and that we really have no control in where life takes us. When Harvey Dent is introduced we watch him socialize with Bruce Wayne at a party, laugh with his wife and fight for justice. Then an accident rips that away and all he is left with is confusion. Two-Face is the villain we don’t want to fight–he is the villain we want to see make a recovery, even though we all know deep down that he never will.

There is my Top 5 Retro Cartoon Villains, what do you think? would you agree or choose differently? Let us know in the comments or vote on Teletoon, perhaps you are feeling chatty today and want to do both! I leave you with this awesome villain montage, until next time!

- Alice Quinn

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  • Anonymous

    omg Hexadecimal. I love her so much.

  • Anonymous

    omg Hexadecimal. I love her so much.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=515758035 Adam Samec

    What, no Cobra Commander?

    I see you went with some of the more kid friendly villains like No Heart. What about Gargamel from the smurfs? Or the evil band from Jem and the holograms (I think they were called the misfits)

    • Anonymous

      The problem is I never watched the Smurfs or  G.I.Joe so I would have to watch a large chunk of the series in order to justify my post. That is why my choices were perhaps limited, and I attempted to pick characters that ranged in their villainy 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=515758035 Adam Samec

    What, no Cobra Commander?

    I see you went with some of the more kid friendly villains like No Heart. What about Gargamel from the smurfs? Or the evil band from Jem and the holograms (I think they were called the misfits)

    • Anonymous

      The problem is I never watched the Smurfs or  G.I.Joe so I would have to watch a large chunk of the series in order to justify my post. That is why my choices were perhaps limited, and I attempted to pick characters that ranged in their villainy 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=515758035 Adam Samec

    Regardless, this was a great article Alice. Good work!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=515758035 Adam Samec

    Regardless, this was a great article Alice. Good work!

  • Jacob

    Fearless leader from Rocky and Bullwinkle?

  • Jacob

    Fearless leader from Rocky and Bullwinkle?