K: A Top Ten List About Bad Guys

With Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania just around the corner, we will finally get a full glimpse of the “other” Kang in all his glory. Kang… Kang… Hmmm, that name sounds a lot like some other fictional bad guys out there in the world…

Let’s name the Top Ten “K” Villains (who only have one syllable in their name)!

10) Klump
Donkey Kong Country

klump donkey kong country
He’s Klump. He’s Klump. He’s in my head.

A sergeant in King K. Rool’s kremling army, Klump appears in the very first stage of Donkey Kong Country. Apparently, a helmet and a tubby belly is all you need to be protected from Kong children. While Diddy Kong is unable to do any damage to Klump, Donkey Kong’s strength can conk him out in one fell swoop!

9) King
Mega Man and Bass

king mega man and bass
It’s good to be the King.

Talk about your all time backfires. When Dr. Wily built King to be a more powerful robot than his previous project, Bass, he didn’t expect that his creation would turn on him (you better get used to this, Wily). King, aptly, declares himself “King of Robots” and attempts to shape the world to his own liking. Don’t worry. He eventually learns his lesson and decides that maybe he should “fight for everlasting peace” instead.

8) Kane
Command & Conquer

kane command and conquer
Live actors? In my game? It’s more likely than you think! Kane played by Joseph David Kucan.

He ain’t here for a long time. He’s here for a real-time strategy game.

Actually, Kane *has* been on Earth for a very long time and has been essentially using a crazy religious cult that he founded in order to achieve his wildest ambitions. Not only that but he’s friends with Stalin… and he thinks he’s the Messiah. At least at class reunions it’s true when they tell him “you haven’t changed a bit!”

7) Kaa
The Jungle Book

kaa the jungle book disney
THE JUNGLE BOOK, Kaa, Mowgli, 1967, (c)Walt Disney Pictures/Courtesy: Everett Collection

The sinister snake of The Jungle Book, Kaa isn’t bad – he’s just drawn that way. But for real, a snake has to eat and when a young boy just happens to be passing by, who wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to snag a meal? Though, when was the last time you tried to lull your lunch into a manic state of hypnosis while simultaneously strangling it to death? Who knows – maybe I should try it!

6) Kain
Soul Reaver: Legacy of Kain

kain legacy of kain blood omen
“Conscience? You dare speak to me of conscience?!”

Bram Stoker’s Dracula denied his Lord after the love of his life was taken from him. Castlevania’s Dracula befell a similar fate. Edward Cullen was dying of the Spanish influenza. What tragic backstory drove Kain to vampirism? Well, he was denied a drink and then murdered outside a bar.

Kain was the main protagonist in Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain where he sought revenge on his assassins. A few thousand years laters, he’s doing pretty well for himself having set up a full-on vampiric empire in a decaying world (that he caused). When his lieutenant, Raziel, seemed to surpass Kain by growing a sweet set of wings, Kain threw Raziel into the Lake of the Dead.

Now the tables have turned, and Raziel has his shot at revenge. Kain’s just jealous, man, ’cause he ain’t got the moves!

5) Klaw/Klaue
Fantastic Four

klaw fantastic four marvel
Next time, Gadget! Next time!

It’s unlikely that we’ll see Klaw again in the current MCU, but anything is possible when you’ve got an infinite set of multiverses to explore!

Ulysses Klaue first appeared in Fantastic Four #53 way back in May of 1966. He had an unhealthy obsession with trying to acquire Vibranium and lead several attacks on Wakanda to try to get it. In his second attempt and as a last-ditch effort, he merged his body into a “sonic converter device” which miraculously turned him into “living sound.” Despite this new power, Mister Fantastic still managed to get the best of him.

As an aside, “Living Sound” would be a great title for a New Age music album.

4) Kong
King Kong

king kong universal
De plane! De plane!

The “Eighth Wonder of the World,” Kong got his name from the natives that lived on the island that he inhabited. Naturally, he wasn’t too thrilled when a bunch of greedy Americans decided to whisk him away to New York to put him on display. Kong did the most sensible thing he could think of when he escaped: kidnapped a beautiful woman and climbed to the top of a tower.

Of course, my favorite iteration of this gargantuan gorilla will always be this guy:

homer simpson bart simpson the simpsons
Homer Kong vs Bartzilla from Bart’s Nightmare

3) Kraid
Metroid series

kraid metroid
When you wish upon Brinstar…

Bored with his mediocre life as a construction worker, Kraid decides to liven things up by visiting a mysterious company called “Rekall” that can make dreams seem like a reality (essentially a reverse Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). Little did he know that this would kick off a thrilling psychological action/adventure where the line is blurred between fact and fiction. Oh wait, I’m thinking of Quaid.

quaid total recall
The look of someone who just saw three…eyes.

KRAID is a space pirate in the Metroid franchise who works alongside his partner Ridley to utilize the titular alien species as a deadly biological weapon. His appearance is almost always memorable as he ends up being one of the largest bosses to face off against Samus Aran.

Wait. Do we need a Total Recall/Metroid crossover? I think we do.

2) Krang
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

krang kraang teenage mutant ninja turtles
Shredder: You have a brilliant brain, Krang!
Krang: Of course. It’s all I really am.

Hailing from the vast expanses of Dimension X, Krang spends a majority of season 1 asking the Shredder for a body in the original 1980’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon. That’s right. On their own, the Krang race (“Kraang” in the 2012 Nickelodeon version) are just a bunch of brain-like creatures who use technology to navigate their surroundings.

With all the weird belching and glorping that Krang emits, though, I’d like to believe that he’s really just a disembodied brain that belongs to Rick.

Honorable Mentions:


krug heroscape
Move: 5, Range: 1, Dance: 10, Looks: 3.

This tumultuous troll towers terrifyingly over the sprawling self-created landscapes of the Heroscape board game. Players facing off against Krug will want to tackle him from afar; otherwise, one risks being smashed by his deadly double attack – which only gets worse as he takes more and more damage!

1) Khan
Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan

khan star trek 2 II wrath of khan
This is the fashion of the future that I’ve always wanted.

Who’s the number one character on my list? Everyone shout it with me, “Khaaaaaaaaaaaaan!”

Easily the best film in the Star Trek franchise, Ricardo Montalbán as Khan takes the cake as one of the greatest villains of all time.

There’s a certain amount of empathy that can be felt for this character after learning that he and his companions had been exiled to Ceti Alpha V for fifteen years by our main man, Captain James T. Kirk (not to be confused with Captain James B. Hook). The theme of “un-winnable situations” persists throughout, and tension continues to build as the two men try to outwit each other in an ongoing stalemate. Even when Kirk finally gains the upper hand, it comes at the price of a tremendous sacrifice from his crew. If you haven’t watched it yet, check out Wrath of Khan immediately!

Thanks for stopping by to check out my article. Do you agree with my choices? Can you think of any other single-syllable “K” villains? Leave me a reply and let me know! If you’re enjoying my content, consider following my blog or subscribing via e-mail to have articles delivered directly to you!

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Published by erichagmann

Arranger / Pianist / Vocalist / Educator / Gamer

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