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"Ah, the rest of the team is here! Fantastic! Coran was calling to inform you that I have begun my greatest experiment: Galactic chaos! And I found the best way to incite disorder is to cut off the head—which is why I have decapitated the Galaxy Alliance. Chaos is already reigning here on Earth. My human lab rats are performing. I figured global chaos would make it nearly impossible for the Voltron Force to stop me, which you will inevitably attempt to do. See you soon!"
Maahox, Voltron Force, "Black"
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The Defender of the Universe has faced his fair share of diabolical enemies. The following are the worst.

Entries in each group are by release/publication date.

All spoilers are unmarked. You Have Been Warned!


Anime

GoLion
  • Emperor Daibazaal, the ruler of the Galran Empire, is a despotic conqueror, slaver and murderer. Seeking to expand his grasp across the Galaxy, Daibazaal conquers planets that will submit and destroys those that will not. The slaves taken are condemned to fight in gladiator arenas, or fed to the monsters on planet Galra for his amusement. Daibazaal has no hesitation at taking attractive slave women as concubines. One that he once favored once begged him to give better treatment to the slaves, for which he strangled her to death. Daibazaal and his son Sincline have a mutual loathing of one another and Daibazaal has no compunction trying to get him killed. Brutal, nasty, smug and cruel, Daibazaal is an example of an Evil Overlord at his worst.
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  • Prince Sincline, Daibazaal's son and eventual leader of the Galran armies, is introduced presenting his father with the severed heads of the leaders of worlds he had conquered. Sincline spearheads the invasion against the planet Altea, guarded by the robot GoLion and its five pilots. Initially honorable and chivalrous, Sincline reveals his true colors when he cheats in single combat and develops a fascination with Princess Fala, one of the pilots. His obsession carries over to abducting her cousin, Princess Amue, who resembles her greatly and abusing—possibly raping—her. Sincline is notorious for his rage at subordinates and failure is usually met with swift and painful death. With no loyalty to his father, Sincline tries to assassinate him, before pulling a successful coup where he forces Daibazaal to fight the heroes with the promise he'll be restored to the throne if he wins. Naturally, Sincline sabotages his father and lets Daibazaal die before hemming in GoLion with innocent prisoners in exploding capsules. When Galra is besieged, the new King Sincline slaughters his own subordinates who wish to surrender and has no compunction trying to kill Princess Amue. When his grandmother, Daibazaal's mother and adviser Witch Honerva opposes him in grief over Daibazaal's death, Sincline viciously kills her. He later takes a hostage to ensure his escape from Galra and tries to kill the heroes via bombardment, declaring that as long as he lives, Galra will never die.
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Comic Books

Devil's Due Publishing
  • Defender of the Universe (2003-2004): Born Lowman 77723, King Zarkon clawed his way up the hierarchy of the Drule Supremacy by backstabbing and assassinating everyone above him, eventually becoming the ruler of the Supremacy's Ninth Kingdom. During the first 35 years of his reign, Zarkon feigned benevolence and gained the trust of dozens of different worlds, all of which he ultimately betrayed and annexed, with one of the hardest hit planets being Arus. Zarkon razed Arus, used a Robeast to slaughter 117,000 of its inhabitants, and brutally executed its king and queen in front of their six-year-old daughter, Princess Allura. After the Voltron Lions are unearthed on Arus, Zarkon—when his and his son Prince Lotor's attempt at once again razing Arus is thwarted by the Voltron Force—has his spy within the Galactic Union confiscate the Lions so that they can be reverse-engineered for the benefit of the Ninth Kingdom. When the spy is exposed and arrested, Zarkon springs the man from custody so that he can personally murder him while informing him You Have Outlived Your Usefulness. Zarkon blames the recent failures of the Ninth Kingdom on Lotor, and when he catches Lotor sneaking around behind his back, Zarkon punishes him by subjecting him to a brutal beating.
  • A Legend Forged, by Josh Blaylock et al.: Empress Jain IX is the Sorcerous Overlord of the Drule Supremacy, a marauding empire which has conquered countless worlds with the backing of the dark goddess Sarga. Jain is introduced making a wizard watch as one of his planet's cities is destroyed; when the wizard refuses to kneel before her, Jain breaks his legs before incinerating him. When Sarga warns her about Voltron, Jain, having grown resentful of her reliance on Sarga's power, plots to find a way to banish and replace her with Voltron. After Voltron is discovered on Korrinoth, Jain orders that the entire planet be razed, and that any Korrinites who survive the bombardment be enslaved. During her ensuing invasion of Arus, Jain wounds her own long-lost daughter, Azahki. While Jain is initially distraught by this, she quickly gets over it, scornfully declaring that she should have murdered Azahki in the crib and that now she will die along with everyone else on Arus.

Dynamite Comics

  • Robotech/Voltron, by Tommy Yune, Bill Spangler, & Elmer Damaso: King Zarkon is the despotic ruler of Planet Doom who believes that it is his "holy destiny" to conquer or destroy all those who would oppose the Drule Empire. Zarkon sends his unknowing consort, an Arusian named Lora, and their son, Prince Lotor, on a diplomatic mission to Arus that turns out to be a cover for assassins to murder King Alfor and raze the Castle of Lions. Zarkon proceeds to take over Arus, and in his first public address to its people, he declares that they are now all his slaves and that he will kill ten of them a day until they find the missing Princess Allura. When Lora opposes this course of action, calling it needlessly cruel and liable to accomplish nothing other than making the Arusians hate him even more, Zarkon casually snaps her neck in front of Lotor, who is coldly ordered to dispose of his mother's body by Zarkon. After the Voltron Force disappears into the Robotech Universe, Zarkon lays siege to the now-defenseless Arus, reducing it to smoldering ruins to be annexed by the Drule Empire.
  • From the Ashes, by Cullen Bunn et al.: Haggar, when the Drule Armada was wiped out during its final battle with Voltron, resorted to unleashing a barrage of Robeasts to destroy the mecha and raze Arus. As Haggar fled the battle in a Sleeper Starship, the Robeasts died wrecking Voltron, killing every member of the Voltron Force besides Keith. Awakened from stasis two-hundred years later, Haggar joins a marauding band of Ra'hraaag, having their leader, Gr'rawr, help her acquire the "raw material" necessary to create three new Robeasts. Under Haggar's direction, Gr'rawr invades Arus, drawing out the new Voltron Force by massacring a city with his soldiers and the Robeasts. When Gr'rawr is incapacitated during the fight between Voltron and the Robeasts, Haggar forcibly mutates him into a mindless Robeast and assumes control of the Ra'hraaag, who chafe under of the command of a "manipulative psychopath" like Haggar. Renewing her assault on Arus, Haggar kills hundreds more with the Gr'rawr Robeast before being stopped by Voltron.

Western Animation

The Third Dimension
  • King Zarkon, in his quest to conquer the universe, committed atrocities like razing Lance's village, and assassinating King Alfor of Arus with the help of the witch Haggar, who Zarkon then betrayed, turning her into a withered old crone bound to serve him and his much-maligned son, Prince Lotor. After his Fleet of Doom was vanquished by the Voltron Force, Zarkon feigned repentance, and became the Galaxy Alliance's Minister of Peace. Spending years plotting from the shadows, Zarkon eventually sprung Lotor from prison and, acting through him and Haggar, restarted the conflict between the Galaxy Alliance and the Doom Empire. Zarkon's forces nearly ignite a war by interrupting a peace signing, leave eight billion people to die by sabotaging the Galaxy Alliance's attempt to save them from a supernova, and bring the Galaxy Alliance to its knees by forcing it to destroy Voltron under threat of wiping out all fifty billion inhabitants of the Troika Moons. With the Galaxy Alliance under his control, Zarkon becomes even more maniacal and ruthless, ordering the enslavement of dissidents, endangering the entire universe in order to get access to an extra dimensional power source, and betraying Haggar again by banishing her to the Dream Dimension to try and make himself look good and garner support from the other members of the Galaxy Alliance.

Voltron Force

  • Maahox, King Lotor's second-in-command, is a cyborg occultist who was exiled from his home planet of Calum for his experiments. After he and his partner Kala resurrect Lotor using Haggarium, Maahox betrays Kala by transforming her into a Robeast. While Maahox ostensibly serves Lotor, he is the one pulling the strings in their partnership and is the brains behind operations like draining the minds of the Baltons, nearly eradicating all life on Arus, and attempting to ignite a massive amount of volatile Haggarium just to see what would happen. When Sven gives him the Blue Lion in exchange for a cure for his and his infant son's Haggarium poisoning, Maahox reveals that there is no cure and that he intends to raise Sven's son as a test subject and Tyke Bomb. Eventually growing weary of Lotor, Maahox murders him and turns his castle into a massive Robeast whose power he tests by having it blow up Planet Doom. Declaring his intent to spread chaos and death throughout the universe simply for the sake of it, Maahox begins his rampage on Earth, leveling an entire city just to draw out the Voltron Force.
  • Sky Marshal Herbert Wade wanted nothing more than to be a member of the Voltron Force, but when the Lions rejected him due to sensing evil in his heart, Wade snapped and developed a pathological hatred of Voltron. After the Voltron Force toppled the Drule Empire, Wade forced the Lions to go berserk during a victory celebration, which turned everyone against them and caused them to be sealed away on the planet Arus. When the Voltron Force reassembles to combat the resurrected King Lotor, Wade usurps control of the Galaxy Alliance; while Wade publicly claims to have the Galaxy Alliance's best interests at heart, he privately confesses that he really only cares about money, power, and eliminating Voltron. Anyone who opposes Wade is condemned to the Void, a gulag whose inmates are routinely jettisoned into space for Wade's amusement. Along with enslaving, plundering, and razing worlds, Wade at one point hijacks Voltron, using it to try and destroy one of Earth's metropolises while ranting that its citizens all deserve to die for their veneration of Voltron. After being arrested, Wade is sprung from custody by the Kala Robeast, with which he willingly merges to create a monstrosity that poisons Daniel with Haggarium before nearly assimilating Voltron.

Legendary Defender

  • Commander Sendak, ever a ruthless Galra commander, truly came into his own after the death of his sovereign Zarkon. After Prince Lotor takes the throne, Sendak becomes the leader of his own splinter faction, the Fires of Purification. He leads an attack on a Galra shield base to expose an entire colony to lethal radiation out of pure spite for being passed over for the throne. Later locating Earth, Sendak kills the soldiers sent against him and begins bombing and razing cities until the world surrenders to him, whereupon the citizens are enslaved and forced into work camps to create new weapons. Obsessed with finding Voltron and punishing the Lions' Paladins, Sendak makes a deal to spare Earth in exchange for the Lions, only to double back on it, and forcing the Paladins and the treacherous Admiral Sanda to watch as he intends to exterminate Earth and the billions who live there. When Voltron finally arrives to oppose him, Sendak ruthlessly kills entire ships full of his own men to get at the Paladins, and refuses to let any of his own crew get to safety, consumed with his own ambition and spite and taking the worst excesses of Galra to their natural conclusion.

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