Super villains in the real world tend to be mundane, banal and boring creatures. They live in caves or suburban houses, running their not-quite-as-cool-as-the-movies schemes for profit. For the good stuff, one should turn to the magic of cinema. Here is where super villains really flourish with style and psychosis. Here are eight super villains that almost conquered the world.
Casanova Frankenstein, "Mystery Men"
In addition to having one of the best super villain names in the history of the form, the villain of the super hero action/comedy "Mystery Men" has one of the coolest super villain devices of them all: A Psychofrakulator, which disfigures and disintegrates everyone in its path. He's thwarted, of course, by the titular superteam, but he came close to conquering the world. Or at least Champion City.
Ernst Stavro Blofeld, "You Only Live Twice"
Some super villains are characterized by a flamboyance of style, which comes out of a desire for everyone to know who they are. Blofeld does not even show his face in some of the movies he appears in, preferring to dispatch other agents of SPECTRE to do his bidding in his quest for world domination.
Darth Vader, "Star Wars"
Sure, Darth Vader was nottrying to conquer OUR world, more a galaxy really far away a long time ago (or something like that), but just take a look at his cape if you are doubting that he is a super villain. And like all great super villains, he even got his own origin story in the form of the three "Star Wars" prequels.
Another quintessential super villain, The Red Skull represents a particular kind of real-world villainy: The Nazis. In the movie, he is not particuly loyal to Adolf and friends, but that does not make him any less evil. Luckily for the world, Cap defeats his scheme to reshape the world in his image using the Cosmic Cube, but he pays the price of being frozen and then thawed out 70 years later. The good news: He woke up in time to see "The Avengers."
Lex Luthor, "Superman"
Lex Luthor is perhaps the platonic ideal of the super villain, a guy who uses his emotional scars (and physical scars, if "premature baldness" counts as a scar) to drive his world conquering schemes. Luthor is also driven by that nigh universal human emotion: Jealousy. Namely, he is jealous of Superman, probably because he is always defeating Luthor's mad schemes. Even if, as in "Superman: The Movie," he has to fly around the world fast enough to turn back time in order to do it.
As world conquering schemes go, Magneto's in "X-Men" is almost benign. Living as a persecuted minority, he simply wants to turn all the members of a United Nations delegation into mutants, so they will be able to understand what it means to be one. Unfortunately, his mutation machine actually kills everyone it mutates, which would not be good for anybody, human or mutant. So, he does not get to conquer the world, but he does get to live in a sweet prison cell made out of glass.
Xander Drax, "The Phantom"
With a name like "Xander Drax," the character played by Treat Williams in "The Phantom" had pretty much no choice but to become a super villain. His plan for conquering the world involves the powerful "Skulls of Touganda" which he wants to use as some kind of superweapon. He is defeated by The Phantom, of course, but for a while there it really looked like we were all gonna be living in Xander's World.
Dracula, "Van Helsing"
Dracula has had to languish for more than a century with the moniker "villain," but he finally earned his "super" in "Van Helsing," thanks to a plot to commit werewolf genocide and consolidate his power over the world (apparently werewolves are the only beings on Earth who can kill Dracula on their own). His nemesis is Vatican superagent Abraham Van Helsing, so it's a sure thing he meets a grim end. Still, Dracula, you are a super villain now. Congrats.