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Supervillains are often used as foils to present a daunting challenge to a superhero. In instances where the supervillain does not have superhuman, mystical, or alien powers, the supervillain may possess a genius intellect or a skill set that allows them to draft complex schemes or commit crimes in a way normal humans cannot. Other traits may include megalomania and possession of considerable resources to further their aims. Many supervillains share some typical characteristics of real world dictators, gangsters, and terrorists, with aspirations of world domination or universal leadership.
The Joker, Lex Luthor, Magneto, Doctor Doom, Darkseid, Venom, Ra's al Ghul, Deathstroke and Thanos are some notable male comic book supervillains and have been adapted to film and television. Some notable examples of female supervillains are the Catwoman, Mystique, Harley Quinn, Talia al Ghul, Poison Ivy, Hela and Dark Phoenix.
Just like superheroes, supervillains are sometimes members of supervillain groups, such as the Sinister Six, the Suicide Squad, the Brotherhood of Mutants, the Injustice League, the Legion of Doom, and the Masters of Evil.
Stephen Moffat and Mark Gatiss have claimed to regard James Moriarty as a super villain because he too posses genius level intelligence and powers of observation and deduction setting him above ordinary people to the point where only he can pose a credible threat to Sherlock Holmes. And because Moriarty is a successful, sociopathic antagonist.
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