I love comic books and everything remotely associated with them; the heroes, the villains, sidekicks, everyone! So much fun!
Best Villain Names (Because the Villain Is So Much Cooler Than the Hero)
Every hero needs an adversary. The name of a bad guy (or girl) may not say everything about them, but it definitely adds to the "cool factor" if you come up with a good one for them. Villains get a bad rap, but those of us who create stories know that the hero would be nothing without someone (or something) for them to match wits against. In every story or movie script I work on, I almost always focus on the villain first. In some cases, I don't even create the hero or heroine until after I've come up with a good adversary for them. Naming my foil is always a top priority.
As you may have guessed, this article will be useful to anyone wanting to come up with a good name for villains (whether appearing in a book, comic, movie, game, or even song). Now, there's no guarantee that the name you like for your villain isn't being used by someone else, so you need to be sure to do a little research if you plan on trademarking or copyrighting your character. Thanks for taking a look at my article, and I hope you at least find it a little useful.
Villainous Names for Both Guys and Girls
West End Bandit
Monster of Edbury Hill
Blue Collar Slayer
The Kingston Executioner
Five States Maniac
Austin Body Snatcher
I firmly believe that a story is only as good as the villain.
— Clive Barker
Tips on Naming Your Villain
- Have an appropriate name that meshes with the time period of your story. This won't be as important for super-villain-like names, but real names of serial killers, spies, etc. will take some consideration.
- A name that is easy to pronounce will be appreciated by your readers.
- Take the genre of your story into account. A horror villain's name will be quite different from an adversary in an action flick.
- Purposely misspelling your character's name is one way to make it different, but making it too different may be off-putting to your audience.
- Adversaries that are human and have human names are common in stories, but thought still needs to go into choosing a good first and last name. A solid name for your villain (along with a well-written one) will make them unforgettable to your audience.
Cool Villain Names for Guys
God of Mischief
The Axe Man
Ogre of the Smokies
North West Ripper
Terror Of Rayburn Lake
Chicken on a Chain
Man With No Name
Hip to be Square
Well Spoken Monster
Straight Jacket Strangler
If you have not been a villain at a certain point in time, you will never be a hero. And the day you are a hero, you may become a villain the next day.
— Carlos Ghosn
Cool Villain Names for Girls
Woman In Red
Black Widows of Colorado
Living Dead Girl
Some people call me a terrorist; I consider myself a teacher.
— Mandarin, Iron Man 3
Bad guys from fighting games often annoy me the most because we only usually get a superficially short origin story for the character. You can tell that a lot of thought went into creating how the villain looks, but because of the nature of such games, there is almost no time for their backstory.
Awesome Villain Names That Everyone Knows
Biff Tannen (Back to the Future)
The Wicked Witch of the West
Wilson Fisk (aka Kingpin)
The Cigarette Smoking Man
Syndrome (The Incredibles)
King Joffrey Baratheon
Verbal Kint (aka Keyser Soze)
Pazuzu (The Exorcist)
Mr. Joshua (Lethal Weapon)
Rowdy Roddy Piper
Jabba the Hutt
More Tips for Coming Up With a Cool Name for Your Bad Guy (or Girl)
- It's usually unwise to use multiple names for your villain unless confusion is the name of the game. You can use "known as names" in other countries as literal translations from a particular language for villains that are monsters, if you wish, but you do want your audience to know who you're talking about when the villain's name comes up.
- Feel free to take inspiration from your favorite movie, comic book, or TV show. Even the title of one of these can be a pretty cool villain name. Is "Clockwork Orange" cool enough of a name for your villain? Yes, please!
- Don't throw away name choices that you don't think are good enough, at least not at first; some of these names can grow on you after a while, even if used only as an alias.
She had always found villains more exciting than heroes. They had ambition... passion. They made the stories happen. Villains didn't fear death. No, they wrapped themselves in death like suits of armor! As she inhaled the school's graveyard smell, Agatha felt her blood rush. For like all villains, death didn't scare her. It made her feel alive.
— Soman Chainani, The School for Good and Evil
The Origin of Your Wrongdoer, Criminal, or Lawbreaker
A lot of writers and creators often overlook the origin story of their primary villain - this can be a big mistake. If your antagonist has to make key decisions at some point in the story, then they should always have as much of a backstory as your hero.
For a character to make important, life-changing decisions, they must have some kind of motivation; after all, it's our past that makes us all what we are today. It doesn't really matter if the person is good, evil, or something in between—your readers will relate with them more if they know why they do what they do. It's up to you to reveal the details as your film, story, or comic builds to the climax. The name of your bad girl (or guy) is a part of that origin.
Even More Great Villain Names
© 2017 Don
Any ideas on what to call your bad guy (or girl)?
Amira on August 13, 2020:
Anthony d. on August 03, 2020:
bloodmoon is a good one.
Jennifer on July 06, 2020:
This is so good and I love it
Read The Barry Stormblood series it hasn't come out yet though (Call me Barry) on July 02, 2020:
I love all of the creative names used and i got a few of my own like:
The Paradox,The Death Angel. I Still need a backstory for them and 3 other villains and 5 heros and their backstory someone please help me on this my book needs it.
Don (author) from Tennessee on June 29, 2020:
The thing is that without a good villain, the hero really doesn't have much to do.
Isaac on June 28, 2020:
i think heroes are less cool than villains
Don (author) from Tennessee on June 22, 2020:
Just remember that even the most generic character name can become hugely popular depending on how well the character is written.
RY on June 22, 2020:
Hey . , for your 'the figure' villain, how about his mother tried her hardest to raise him properly, while the father kept trying to turn him into a thief? And at a young age, his father made 'The Figure' watch as the father killed 'The Figure's' mother, completely turning 'The Figure' rotten. Then, a year later, 'The Figure' kills his father in vengeance for his mother, taking whatever his father's powers were, and changed his appearance to a random guy. He's been doing the same thing ever since, to anyone who has done wrong, even though the 'hero' can't figure (HAHA PUN) out why 'The Figure' kills so-called random people.
RY on June 22, 2020:
I was looking through these and was not really inspired to write anything good. I decided something like 'The Reaper', or 'Leviathan', or even 'Shadow'. Just simple ones that compel fear into people who read my book. Still writing though.
TJ on June 19, 2020:
These super villain names are AWESOME! And i pick Ripper as my supervillain name my superhero is KID-X and imo 7 years old but my superhero is a 14
Sapphirezzz on June 12, 2020:
manoli ravioli, that sounds a bit too edgelord-ish. maybe try something a bit more subtle, but not TOO subtle. "Dead Blood Slayer" sounds too edgy, like "Lord Explosion Murder." Maybe Bloodslayer could work well?
Destruction on June 12, 2020:
The name is a cool name but if they have to go undercover they can be called
Desk or Dessie
Sandgun45 on June 06, 2020:
These are all very good villian names, i have already used most of them and will use them for maybe a novel or somethin
Good villain name on June 04, 2020:
You could name a time-altering villain Paradox, and maybe tag something after that: Paradox Alpha, Paradox Void, Paradox Destroyer... Just some ideas.
Melvin on May 11, 2020:
It's dope I like it especially the male names
. on May 11, 2020:
I thought of a cool name - the figure. His power is to mimic powers and change his appearance. Can someone give me a backstory, perhaps?
Olivia on May 10, 2020:
Amber good villain name because her two oldest siblings bully her since she was child so she killed her oldest sister Sapphire she has 8 sisters she get up with so is Amber good villain name?
Mag on May 07, 2020:
How about D-stroy as a name? I know it sounds a little young and cartoony/cheesy, but if you write your character well, it could really work!
Anime Fanatic on May 06, 2020:
Someone who can turn back time— Eri. If you know, you know
. on May 06, 2020:
Hey, deathstroke. How about C.O.N.N.E.C.T.T.R.O.N. Sound good for a cyborg ninja?
Lost Sin on May 05, 2020:
a cyborg ninja would be Hex
Deathstroke on May 05, 2020:
Does anyone know a cool name for a cyborg ninja???
. on May 01, 2020:
The figure. He can change his form and mimic powers.
. on May 01, 2020:
The figure seems like a good name
Fractured Hearts on April 28, 2020:
what about Demention?
Annabelle on April 28, 2020:
How about the bride from Annabelle comes home
??? on April 27, 2020:
can someone tell me a good reaper name?
Fractured-Dreams on April 27, 2020:
That's hilarious. Love the Zenfro
Stolen on April 25, 2020:
I mixed a few together and got Zenfro
Omega on April 23, 2020:
I got Overkill, Bonehead, Crimson Typhoon, Inferno, Tesla Fang and The Black Pearl
Storm on April 23, 2020:
Anything for a fashion/designer themed villain?
poultry man on April 22, 2020:
i'm making a bird bros movie and these are my villains
1. professor pig
2. salmon ghost
3. the yoker
4. toy masker
does anyone have a name for someone who can turn back time
danceWdeath on April 22, 2020:
some names for time travelers could be:
Tick Tock (Like a clock)
The White Rabbit (from Alice and wonderland)
The Watchman (Outfit has a giant watch on it)
TheOneManShh on April 20, 2020:
Anyone got an idea for a time traveler...
caleb on April 20, 2020:
jaw ripper,hit and run,clockwork,soul stealer.
Anonymous on April 19, 2020:
Glitch, Arsenal, echo, sniper
snAp-dRagOn on April 19, 2020:
What about Doomsday? It might be a cool code name. His/her catchphrase could be: Don't test me, or tomorrow is Doomsday.
Might be cool, right?
Anonymous Person on April 17, 2020:
Cryptovex is a good name for a sci-fi or digital theme
TheSullenSiren on April 11, 2020:
Killjoy sounds awesome! Well, as awesome as an insane criminal can be.
he/she sounds like an incredible character with lots of reader intrigue.
cHaOs! on April 10, 2020:
Thanks, TheSullenSiren! I'm also thinking about making a antagonist called Killjoy just kills out of pure insanity.
Mag on April 08, 2020:
Well, it's this girl who wanted to get away from her abusive family, so she made a deal with a demon, and now it can take control of her body whenever she wants. I think by the end, the girl will have somehow taken control, or she will die and the demon will inhabit her body for eternity.
potato officer on April 07, 2020:
Yey :D and blood hungry do u mean art or just names?
Don (author) from Tennessee on April 02, 2020:
Who is really controlling who by the end of your story?
Mag on April 01, 2020:
Hey, so I'm looking for a good evil name for this girl who is controlled by a demon. Any Ideas?
♥BloodHungry♥ on March 31, 2020:
Hey can someone give a me a boy name for a "shadow man" type of drawing I need something good and interesting and the character he doesn't look fit from his appearance but really swift and mysterious and he hangs kids on the parents front doors.
Mag on March 29, 2020:
hey No Namer, you character's name could be Anti-Grav, or Float, or something along those lines.
Deianira on March 27, 2020:
Well, Deianira means "man destroyer" so if any of y'all wanna use that I'm cool with it.
Don (author) from Tennessee on March 27, 2020:
I would urge you to delve into why your villain likes violence. Is it because something violent happened to her or is she just inherently evil? Knowing the history and motivations of your villain will help you come up with a good name for them.
Poop on March 26, 2020:
Do you have any names for girls who murder people violently with lots of blood and flesh
Anonymous on March 24, 2020:
You should add Phantom
Dark angel on March 22, 2020:
It is for the best
No Namer on March 22, 2020:
Any suggestions for a name that fits a villain who defies the laws of gravity at will?
DeathStroke on March 20, 2020:
What's your current tag? Do you like specific genres of freaky?
ZELTRAX on March 19, 2020:
Im searching for a new game tag....according to me i like freaky characters,like bad guys with cool personality for example:(joker) but joker is very commonly used name tags nowadays so plz suggest me so good names
DoReDarkness on March 17, 2020:
That's some great advice!
DeathStroke on March 16, 2020:
Before you decide on a name, what's your villain's story? Why did they decided to be evil?Are they seeking revenge? Angry at the world for something? Just plain Crazy? You should decide those things before you decide the villain's code name.
TheSullenSiren on March 16, 2020:
That's an awesome idea!
DeathStroke on March 16, 2020:
Some suggestions for your character. If you wanted to do something ironic, you could do a color scheme. You know, any color that compliments the color crimson. Here's something I copied off google.
Crimson red is a very intense and exciting color. A small bit of crimson goes well with deep forest green & cream; deep navy blue & cream; black & cream; even a deep purple & cream. Anything dark & cool.
If you don't like colors, you could think about just names, like
DeathStroke (it's a great name!)
or more meaningful names:
Tanda (the seer of life and death)
Dabria (angel of death)
Ernaline (capable, serious, or battle to the death)
Just some names to think about. I know they aren't probably the names you were looking for, but they're meaningful in one way or another.
cHaOs! on March 16, 2020:
What about Bloody Mercy as an anti-hero? She only kills people who deserve it.
glitch_girl_ on March 12, 2020:
im writing mah first story and dont know what to call my villan. looked through your lists and i now need help choosing.either: static
iconic on March 01, 2020:
I need help for a villain name
I know there gonna cause the end of the world (blow up earth) and that there an assassin
I am writing a horror / adventure story
I know that there not going to be the main villain but there gonna play a big part (blowing up the earth)
iconic on March 01, 2020:
Savatar sounds like sabotage and the movie avatar
Crafty sounds like a creepy name
Don (author) from Tennessee on March 01, 2020:
What about "Splatter"? Someone who doesn't waste time is usually quite messy when killing others.
Eclipse on February 29, 2020:
The story I'm working on right now has several villans. But the most important is named Crimson. She is the daughter of an evil scientist. When she was small she accidentally drank a magical substance and it turned her into a superhuman. Then she started to use her powers for bad things and she almost destroyed a whole entire species of superhumans/creatures. I need a name for her partner, she's a well-trained assassin and she doesn't waste time. She's also really smart and good at making evil schemes. Can someone help me come up with a name for someone like that?
DeathStroke on February 19, 2020:
Why did you choose the name Hexi the Clown?
Emperor on February 19, 2020:
Tyborr The Demon King. Kust came up with it on the spot lol.
Don (author) from Tennessee on February 19, 2020:
An excellent name for a villain!
the clown girl from your nightmares on February 19, 2020:
i wish there was more... clown names here. like the one i use myself:
Hexi The Clown.
NAHUL on February 14, 2020:
NICE VERY USEFUL
Black demon on February 04, 2020:
I think that would be good
DeathStroke on February 04, 2020:
That is awesome! I love that! Only thing: She would have to wear gloves. Otherwise someone could easily identify her DNA print and track her down.
VallainGirl1 on February 03, 2020:
Thank you for your idea DeathStroke. What if instead of a typewriter letter, it's a handwritten letter written in what looks like red ink, and has no name as to who sent it. The letter might mysteriously appear on a piece of paper that is stuck in a notebook or diary? That actually sounds cool... nobody really knows how she does the things she does.
VILLAINSFOREVER1 on January 23, 2020:
My origin story...
Man somehow wandered into generator and toxic liquid spilt from it, giving him speed powers and also mind control and manipulation powers.
If anybody has questions, please reply.
DeathStroke on January 21, 2020:
Hey Villain Girl1!
That is SO cool! I love your idea! My only Notes are:
How about a message she types on a typewriter instead of an email? No one can trace a typed note, but if you get an email you can just check who the sender is... Plus, not everyone is constantly checking their email. But if a note is slipped in through their mail flap they receive it and are officially creeped out.
Just an idea... do whatever you want. Your idea, is officially AWESOME!
VillainGirl1 on January 20, 2020:
So basically if you get an Email from her, or see her in a dream, or hear her name three or more times in one day, it means your time is up, and she is coming for you. She is death's whisperer because she is said to be why people die, and she can influence what causes someone to die. She can sense when someone's time is up, because she hears a whisper in her ear or in her mind, it's as if death is whispering to her to tell her what she needs to do. When she feels the urge to kill, it is either her own conscience or it is the force of death contacting her. She can even draw on deaths energy, and that is how she is strengthened by death.
Olivia on January 17, 2020:
How about villain name Darkfire? I have character who villain her real name Astrid but she later becomes Darkfire which everyone fears her and Winter hero in my book.Winter younger sister of Darkfire but Darkfire is cruel towards her siblings and her children.Darkfire is similar to Blackfire from Teen Titans!!! So could Darkfire be good villain name?
Karma on January 16, 2020:
One day when Tina was 10 years old she was bullied she was bullied for three years till she was 13 she snapped and killed her bullies she couldn’t handle the grief of killing people so she ran away when she was 18 years old she kept on a killing spree through those years she was away she trained and trained to kill then she went after all superheroes knocking them out one by one till one finally killed her but she didn’t die she never died
Vrayar on January 13, 2020:
What would be a good name for a demon or phantom? (No gender). I was thinking Phantasm or Deverus but I want to see what other people can come up with.
DeathStroke on January 13, 2020:
My villain is my protagonist, the hero's the antagonist
DeathStroke on January 12, 2020:
So, my villain was born in Italy, at the age of five her parents were murdered and she was put into foster homes. She hated the families and pranked people until she was reassigned a family. When she got older (around 10ish. I might change the age) a man came to her and told her he had information about the people who killed her parents. He "adopts her" and teaches her to kill until she's 18. She becomes one of the most skilled assassins. The man finally tells her the info, and she kills him. She goes on an insane murder streak, and ends up fighting my hero.
Don (author) from Tennessee on January 11, 2020:
Scourge would make a great name for a bad guy (or girl).
Don (author) from Tennessee on January 11, 2020:
Start off by deciding on what kind of story you want to tell and what roll your villain will play in it. Just knowing those two things should give you a direction in which to go when coming up with a good name for him or her.
DeathStroke on January 11, 2020:
Hey, so I'm trying to make a story, and I am totally failing to think of any evil villain code names. Any suggestions?
Olivia on January 10, 2020:
Is Scourge good villain name because I have character named Edmund who a hybrid dragon becomes evil???
Quirky Keys on January 09, 2020:
Oh my gosh! I love the idea of Ak'zaar! But, why would they call Thana death's whisperer? Does she whisper to death? Is she an assassin? Does she have direct contact with Ak'zaar? I she his messenger/assasin? What's her story? Or does the public think she just looks really frail/fragile and close to death? (I mean no disrespect to your original idea, I think it's great)
VillainGirl1 on January 08, 2020:
Thank you for the suggestion Quirky Keys, I'll have to think on that. I had been trying to come up with something that people may call Thana. Something to do with death, because that is was her base power is (She can bring death to anyone with a single thought and is strengthened by death. She can also consume souls). People fear her, and that is why they gave her a nickname that I still need to figure out. Maybe Thanas home planet could be called Ak'zaar... (I can't believe that came to mind, I'm usually not creative. I hope that wasn't already created). Her family history might be like this... Her family was the royal family of one of the country's on Ak'zaar for over a hundred years. One day, a visitor came to the castle when her grandmother was the queen. He won her grandmother's trust then betrayed her, and eventually got her removed from the throne. For a few years her family lived in poverty, until they recovered just in time for survival. When Thana was born, Her family was surprised that she didn't look like anybody from anyone that had ever been in the family. Her family still loved her, but that's when her struggles began.
Maybe people might refer to her as Deaths Whisperer, but I don't know if that would work. What do you think about it?
Quirky Keys on December 29, 2019:
hi! I just wanna say that I love your idea for Thana! One question though. What planet does she come from? If you make up a backstory (not that you already haven't done that) about not just them but also their planet and/or family it makes it even more interesting. Take Supergirl for example! Everyone knows that she came from Krypton and that her home planet is gone. Some kids can relate to that. Try to give people something to relate to. You're already doing that I'm sure. I loved your character but I have one thing. This character sort of reminds me of Thanos (for all the marvel fans) so it might confuse people. I was thinking it might be better to choose a different name for Thana. Just so people aren't confused or think you're copying Thanos's story. What if Thana was her real name, but like Kara Danvers she has a different name for when she is being a vigilante or what not.
Elle Trik on December 22, 2019:
How about villians who all work separate, and may get stopped once by this hero or that until being stopped by 2 or more then 2 or more villians strike the same place and only one hero shows up and gets beat having track down the other hero(s) but the villains go separate the heroes form a team to beat the villians after they form a team. All the while the leader for the heroes is also the leader of the villians.
VillainGirl1 on December 18, 2019:
I had done some research on names for villains while trying to find a cool name for my female villain for a book series I am working on (still trying to finnish first book called "Discovery & Foes).
Here's one of the names I found: Thana
So basically, she grew up with people being afraid of her and was bullied a lot, all over the place in fact. She started off timid and trying to prove herself, but became bitter from all the hate she had been experiencing. At the age of 15, her parents died leaving her alone. The deaths of her parents left her sad and depressed, for she never knew how they died. Later she found out that they had been murdered by humans, who were not from her planet. She began to hate all humans, and they became her main targets. She would give them the option to die fighting, or die in their sleep. She would respect their decisions, though she always preferred if they chose battle. Later on, she will meet my main character in the series, Emelia. She is a hero with a dangerous evilside, and the first to show Thana kindness since the day her parents were murdered. She will become her first friend, but will Thana go good? Probably not. Thanas heart had been corrupted, she needs to get even with these humans.
Do you like it? Would this add a good twist to my story, where the hero befriends a well known, much feared villain? Is it a good backstory? Please reply and give me your thoughts.
Also, I like the name ideas and the quotes and tips. My favorite quote was the one from "The School for Good and Evil". I know that book, from what I read of it, the book was pretty good (I didn't read it all the way through though).
Sapphirezzz on December 18, 2019:
Don (author) from Tennessee on December 18, 2019:
Lots of cool names here. Thanks for sharing.
Sapphirezzz on December 15, 2019:
Well I've got some name ideas, and I hope you think they're cool.
Midnight Quartz (she forms crystals of any shape to penetrate enemies)
Prankstah (That's on purpose and her powers are just flat-out pranks, but with a powerful twist)
Bratty Catty (uses feline looks to attract kids, then scratches them)
Stardust (can form star images to make them real and attack the enemy)
Vulpes Vixen (uses magic and fox stuff)
Miss Mimic (takes looks and powers of others)
Glitch Witch (computer stuff, and can "glitch-e-port")
Together, they are the Damsels of Disharmony, or the Disharmony Damsels.
Don (author) from Tennessee on December 08, 2019:
An absolutely great name for a villain, and a power that I never thought of.
Serena Townsend on December 08, 2019:
I have this villain that can adjust the stars in the sky to make weapons and Damage others.
I was thinking of calling her Killer Galactic.
Would that work?
LOOSEMORALS on December 06, 2019:
I kinda like the Maze for a criminal name, like a serial killer who was experimented on in a maze and then escaped. So his name is maze to honor the reason he (or she) kills
Maze on December 04, 2019:
Hey, Mister Wrath... maybe a name u could use could be
Off-With-Her-Head! on December 04, 2019:
What's your idea for your hero? What's their gender? What are their moral biases? Do they prefer ramen bowls or Fro-yo?
CutThroatQueen on December 02, 2019:
Well, what are their personality traits? Like, are they morally conflicted? Do they have hidden secrets? Are they actually planning to join sides with the villain they have worked so hard to defeat?
Ghost Reaper on November 26, 2019:
I'm Naming my villain lots of different names but i don't know what to name my hero
Mister Wrath on November 19, 2019:
This name is for someone thats angry. Someone thats been pushed off of the edge, mad enough to be willing to do bad because they believe they were done wrong, and they suffered injustice in part of their life.