Is it possible to have a great hero without having a truly great villain for them to play off against? That's one of the longest burning questions amongst comic book aficionados.
Without a genuinely fantastic bad guy or gal to bounce off of, so often a hero can feel flat or readers can be left with an undoubted sense of predictability.
But it's one thing to be a great villain, and it's totally something else to be a heartless, clinical, brutal rogue who does nothing if not relish the evil antics they find themselves caught up in.
The world of comics is one brimming with great villains, and so many of those villains are ones who truly embrace their twisted mindset and evil intentions. Brutality is merely a day-to-day occurrence for these sorts - akin to making a coffee in the morning, or taking the dog out for a stroll - and that means horrible acts are carried out on eerily scary basis.
With all of that in mind, then, here are ten of the most outright brutal villains to have graced the comic book medium.