Killer Croc is a living urban legend, the Black Lantern Corps are superpowered zombies, and the Scarecrow's entire schtick is freaking people out. It’s really easy making them scary, but today let's talk about some villains that you never expected to give you a giant case of the wiggins. The mildest of spoiler warnings for what lies ahead.
In 'Superfriends,' Toyman looked a like a court jester and live action depictions have ranged in looks, all with distinctive jackets and impressive coifs. And while he's always at least a little bit creepy, no version is creepier than the DCAU Toyman. First appearing in the 4th episode of Superman: The Animated Series, titled "Fun and Games," we've never seen his real face because he wears a giant, smiling doll head over it (one that seemingly grows in size with every appearance). And if that weren't bad enough, his childish voice echoes disturbingly inside its bulbous expanse.
"The Boy Who Knew Her Secret" is not the first Wonder Woman two-parter that shows Diana tangling with aliens that mess with people's minds, but it is certainly the more disturbing one of the two. Diana must travel to Crystal Lake (this episode predates that movie series about the camp, so isn't that a creepy coincidence?) after getting reports of objects landing from space. These objects are relatively small silver pyramids that compel people to touch them. Once contact is made, the entity hijacks that person's body. When we're shown the pyramid post-swap, we see the warped faces of the victims whose eyes dart about in panic, confusion, and perhaps pain. It's a story filled with tension and paranoia and I will never, ever forget those twisted pyramid faces ever in my life.
Victor Fries is perhaps is one of the more tragic villains as his desperation to save his wife was the motivation for all of his actions. His initial Batman: The Animated Series design was appropriately haunting, but not necessarily scary. However, in The New Batman Adventures episode "Cold Comfort" his own deteriorating cryogenic condition, further personal tragedy, and decreasing empathy led to even more tragedy and an unexpectedly horrific evolution into an immortal talking head in a jar. One that moves around on robot spider legs. Because of course. That shudder you experienced isn't from the cold, it's from the creepiness.
It's a computer. How scary can a computer be? Ha. Ha, ha. This computer in Superman III is responsible for scarring at least two generations of kids who never saw what happened in the big Boss Battle coming.
Speaking of computers, this is another great story about how artificial intelligence can quickly decide that what's best for people is there being less people. But in Batman: The Animated Series episode "Heart of Steel," Not only is H.A.R.D.A.C.'s reach very far thanks to technology being everywhere, there could be more androids floating around after its defeat and no one would ever know. The cold handshake you just had? Is it because the office air conditioning is always set to "meat locker" or…?