Magneto (Ian McKellen, X-Man Series) vs. General Zod (Terence Stamp, Superman II)
Magneto has a solid argument for wanting to destroy all non-mutants. The humans have tried to make anyone with mutant powers an endangered species. Why even try to get along with humans and hope that eventually they will arise to a higher level of understanding?
General Zod goes right for the American way of life, using his laser vision to change Mr. Rushmore to his image and making Superman bow before him.
Winner: Terence Stamp as General Zod
The Joker (Jack Nicholson, Batman) vs. The Joker (Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight)
Jack Nicholson’s Joker feels like you’re watching Jack’s evil twin. He’s menacing, but still fun to watch. Nicholson’s smiling demonic face can be seen in other films such as The Shining without the make-up. We feel in on the joke that Jack is playing the Joker.
Heath Ledger’s creepy performance of the Joker in The Dark Knight is not fun and games. Ledger’s handsome features are lost behind a terrifying demeanor and clown face. He is not a prankster; he is a full blown psychopath.
Winner: Heath Ledger as The Joker
Dr. Otto Octavious (Alfred Molina, Spider-man 2) vs The Penguin (Danny DeVito, Batman Returns)
Dr. Otto Octavious is basically a good person who after personal tragedy devotes himself to his work. His scientific breakthrough of radiation proof, highly skilled arms held to the body by a harness, becomes fused to his body. In adapting to his new circumstance, his brain reprograms itself to accommodate his new superhuman capabilities. The desire for power overwhelms him and he must destroy everything in his way. That includes Spider-man.
The Penguin as played by Danny DeVito is pure predator. Legions of penguins obey his every command. With a fish hanging from his mouth in his stronghold hidden in the sewer system, the Penguin gives us a slimy, creepy feeling. Dead fish and sewer smells attack your nose, even when you know that movies have sight and sound and no foul orders.
Winner: The Penguin
Create your own brackets of villains. There are so many more villains that could be added and pitted against each other, such as Gene Hackman as Lex Luther in Superman vs. Loki in the Avenger series, or all the different portrayals of Cat Woman in the various Batman films. You may even find it more entertaining than picking out college basketball teams.