9 Most Sympathetic Villains Of The DCEU | ScreenRant

DC has become famous for its villains, which are as iconic as the superheroes that battle them. There are unapologetically evil villains such as The Joker and Darkseid that are undeniably effective. However, some of the most interesting villains are the ones that are the hardest to hate.

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The DC Extended Universe is no different, as it features a wide variety of sympathetic villains. From humans to aliens to beings from other dimensions, they all have reasons for committing atrocities that, though they do not excuse their deeds, make them a bit easier to understand.

9 Dr. Sivana

In the prologue of Shazam!, Thaddeus Sivana was shown to have been a somewhat nice child. However, that changed when the wizard Shazam not only gave him false hope of becoming a hero but judged him for making a mistake that most children would make. He teleported Thaddeus back to the car he stole him from.

This sent the boy into a frenzy that accidentally caused a car crash which paralyzed his father from the waist down. His brother would continue to lay blame upon Thaddeus, driving him to pursue the wizard to get his revenge. While he does grow up to be a murderous and heartless man, it's easy to see why he was pushed in this direction after the wizard broke his heart and his own family treated him poorly.

8 Steppenwolf

In Zack Snyder's Justice League, one of the biggest changes from the 2017 version was the treatment of Steppenwolf. He went from a bland and forgettable villain to one that was both intimidating and interesting. He was relentless in his conquering of worlds, slaughtering the innocent, but not simply because he's evil.

Suffering after betraying his own family, Steppenwolf owes his master thousands of worlds. All Steppenwolf wants is to return to Apokolips, and he's willing to destroy or enslave all life on Earth to get that.

7 General Zod

Zack Snyder's Man Of Steel shows that perspective can change everything about a villain's actions. To the viewers who follow Superman's point of view, General Zod is a heartless man who wants to kill the hero and reshape Earth thus killing all humans. The truth is that General Zod is a victim of the flaws of Krypton.

Like all people for centuries, Zod was created to serve one purpose for his people: to protect Krypton. From Zod's perspective, Henry Cavill's now-famous Superman is a traitor to his species, thus causing their near-extinction, and all Zod wants to do is fulfill the purpose for which he exists. To the Kryptonians that follow him, Zod is a hero trying to save their race, but, to humans, he's a monster.

6 Black Manta

Heroes tend to have a hand in creating their worst villains, and that is definitely the case in 2018's Aquaman. David Hyde and his pirate father battled Aquaman aboard a submarine, and it led to a massive torpedo pinning Hyde's father to the ground. Unlike other heroes, Aquaman refused to save him and let the ocean show mercy or not.

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Hyde would be the only one to escape, with his father dying in an explosion. This sets David Hyde off to turn himself into Aquaman's ultimate rival, Black Manta. Of course, Hyde was already a murderer as a pirate, but it's easy to see why he blames Aquaman for his father's death.

5 Starro The Conqueror

In the comics, Starro The Conqueror is a basic evil alien entity that wants to take over Earth and has battled the Justice League many times. In James Gunn's The Suicide Squad, Starro's origins are more tragic, as he was just an alien floating through space until humans abducted him and turned him into a science experiment.

For decades, Starro was held on Earth being tortured, experimented on, and even sexually molested by the Thinker. Nobody can really blame Starro for going on a rampage upon breaking out, but he still slaughters and infects innocents, leading the Suicide Squad to kill him. Even when he dies, Starro tragically states, "I was happy floating... staring at the stars."

4 Cheetah

Some people are willing to do anything to be seen, and, in the case of Barbara Minerva from Wonder Woman 1984, she was willing to give up her own humanity. All through her life, she was viewed as a lesser for people to walk over or bully, but that changed when Maxwell Lord granted her wish to be more like Diana Prince.

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This slowly made her descend into madness, becoming power drunk until finally making a wish to become an apex predator. Bullying is a real issue, and it can lead to the bullied becoming more destructive to themselves and others, thus making Cheetah a more realistic villain despite her supernatural powers.

3 Deadshot

While Floyd Lawton does end up assisting Rick Flag and saving the world from the Enchantress, he is not a hero. He is one of the DCEU's best anti-heroes, as he balances his love for his daughter and honor with his zero qualms when it comes to killing for money.

Deadshot earns his name through his ability to snipe a man from multiple angles and miles away. His innermost desires are to kill Batman after he took Deadshot away from his daughter, and, until the final act of 2016's Suicide Squad, he had little care for others besides his daughter.

2 Ocean Master

Born and raised in the sea, Orm from Aquaman has witnessed surface dwellers pollute the oceans that he calls his home, and it was a surface dweller that his mother betrayed Atlantis for, which led to her banishment. It's easy to see why Orm views humans as the villains and why he chooses to wage war against them as Ocean Master in a now-iconic performance by Patrick Wilson.

Ocean Master also felt betrayed by his own mother, considering that the eldest brother is the half-breed who was destined to challenge him for the throne of Atlantis. Ocean Master's realistic hatred for Aquaman made him one of the most compelling villains of the DCEU. He proved to be more than just an evil villain because he is willing to surrender once his mother talked him down in the end.

1 Maxwell Lord

Terrible things can come from those with the best intentions, and Maxwell Lord from Wonder Woman 1984 is the perfect example of that. He believes that people should not have to settle for good enough, and, like his tagline says, "life is good, but it can be better." That alone makes him admirable, wanting to give everyone what they want.

However, upon fusing with the Wishing Stone, each wish he grants comes with a terrible price—but that doesn't stop him from trying to grant everyone's wishes across the world, which would lead to disaster. Between his good intentions and his genuine love for his son, it's impossible to hate Maxwell Lord for trying to make the world a better place for everyone.

NEXT: 10 Villains Wonder Woman 1984 Sets Up For The Next Installment, Based On The Comics

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