Superhero comics and movies have always proven that it takes a good villain to make a good hero. Mutants and Masterminds is just the same. The better the villain, the more heroic your heroes, the more engaging the battles, and the more fun your sessions. So let's take some time to share our who's who of villainy. Brag about their powers, gloat over their successes, lament their defeats, and just generally inspire both players and GMs alike to new levels of naughtiness. I'll kick us off with my top 3:
Aaron Ohm was the son of industrialist Eric Ohm and when this rebellious teen finds out about Ohm's Industries new prototype combat suit he just had to steal it. Thunderpunch wore a suit that absorbed latent static electricity and used it to power its destructive capabilities particularly a large gauntlet on the right hand. Thunderpunch was your run of the mill small time villain until he faked his own kidnapping in order to extort millions in ransom from his wealthy father. When the resident superhero team, the Freedom Fighters, arrived on the scene, they quickly "rescued" him and defeated a henchman wearing the Thunderpunch suit. Afterwards, he was offered to join the team as a sidekick. Aaron proposed rebuilding the broken Thunderpunch suit since he had no suit of his own. The Freedom Fighters thought it was an excellent idea, and so the "hero" Ion was born. For months he maintained a double identity as his new hero persona Ion and the villain Thunderpunch in a rebuilt suit that "mysteriously" incorporated some of the Freedom Fighters own technology. During that time he discovered all of the identities and weaknesses of the Freedom Fighters in addition to enacting several schemes, which included briefly taking over Freedom City (Not related to the official setting) and framing his father as the villain Thunderpunch. In the end, when it came time for Thunderpunch to use all of his knowledge to kill the Freedom Fighters, they were able to overcome Ion's betrayal and survive the encounter. Unfortunately, Thunderpunch was killed by a telekinetically controlled stalagmite to the face, ending his scheming forever.
Though Revenant was only appeared in two sessions, he may be the most horrible and feared of all of my group's villains. One of the members of the Freedom Fighters was a blind psychic named Psyking. Psyking never had very strong control of his powers (see: Uncontrollable flaw) but trained to use them for good after his mother was killed by street thugs. Well on one adventure involving demons, time travel, and dimension hopping the Freedom Fighters were banished to an alternate reality. In this reality, Freedom City was on the brink of destruction and ruled over by three factions of supers. The Freedom Fighters had never existed and instead due to the usual one small alteration, everything had been propelled down this darkest timeline. The most incredible and evil of all these changes, was the villain Revenant, an alternate version of the hero Psyking. Completely crazy and having embraced his lack of control of his powers, Revenant was a powerful psychic who wore an even more emo version of Kylo Ren's getup. He would make himself invisible to the minds of his enemies, read their minds, and bring up their most painful and horrific memories, playing on their insecurities. During his brief appearance, Revenant killed the alternate timeline fiance of one of the Freedom Fighters, doomed the city to destruction by an atmospheric heatwave, kidnapped not one but two members of the Freedom Fighters, and impersonated his alternate self. In the end, Revenant's schemes were uncovered and he was thrown into a pit before having several cars thrown on top of him. However, even after escaping the alternate reality, the Freedom Fighters still worry he might have somehow survived or worse yet that Psyking might one day snap and turn into the monster they all feared.
My group's latest campaign is a sequel to the original Freedom Fighters campaign featuring a new generation of heroes training to get ready for the big leagues (think Young Justice or Teen Titans). The Freedom Fighters is now a training team for young heroes that has split into two different teams, Team Freedom and Team Fighters. Our campaign follows Team Fighters, and by far and away their greatest villain has been Brainstorm. Brainstorm is your classic evil alien scientist who has come to Earth to experiment on the local fauna. A tall and thin, blue-skinned and wrinkled, Brainstorm got his name from the top of his head. There a glass case covered his head from which his brain was visible. The electric synapses from his brain fire off erratically at times and bounce off the edge of the glass case. Utterly brilliant and unquestionably mad, Brainstorm has been caught twice now in the middle of experimenting on humans. He has personally tortured the same member of Team Fighters twice, had one of his minions fire an SMG point blank into one the Fighters he had strapped to his operating table, and took and NPC member of the team and removed several limbs to build a monsterous cyborg version of her. Everytime he has easily escaped the clumsy attempts by Team Fighters to bring him in. He is known to have connections of crime synidcate that is smuggling alien goods onto Earth and is currently working to sabotage to the first ever Superhero Olympics. All around a particuraly nasty fellow with a hilarious nasally, rasping voice that my group loves to do impressions of.