Nearly 10 years after claiming responsibility for the tragedy on September 11, Osama bin Laden, arguably the most notorious supervillain of our time, finally met his demise in an epic gun battle in Pakistan yesterday. From what has been reported, the showdown matched in intensity the storied rivalry Bin Laden's death now puts to rest.
Over here at Clutch, this got us thinking about how some other super baddies ultimately bit the big one. Here are seven of our favorites.
7. Kevin in "Sin City"
Kicking things off is the darkest selection on our list. Elijah Wood plays this mute serial killer with perfect creepiness. He looks like an evil Harry Potter with razor nails and lightning reflexes. But anti-hero Marv gets the jump on him, cuts off his limbs and ties him to a tree so Kevin's own pet wolf can eat him--an ironic end for a man who cannibalized countless women. Kevin just smirks silently the entire time.
6. Wicked Witch of the West in "The Wizard of Oz"
Admittedly an odd choice, but you must consider the Wicked Witch's death on a historical level. She had to be one of the first supervillains on the big screen. She personified evil. Her flying monkeys alone were enough to give children nightmares. And yet it was a bucket of water that ultimately did her in.
5. Green Goblin in "Spider-Man"
These days, most arch nemeses in superhero films don't die. Their future is left uncertain for possible sequels. However, Sam Raimi awesomely kills off Green Goblin, impaling him with his own hovercraft. He even stays evil to the end, trying to kill Peter Parker, unlike his successor, "Spider-Man 2"'s Doc Ock, who sacrifices his life for the good of the city. Lame.
4. The Joker in "Batman"
After seeing Heath Ledger's Joker, Jack Nicholson's portrayal seems cartoonish. But that has more to do with Ledger's abilities than Nicholson's shortcomings. Still, when this 1989 movie came out, everyone loved this Joker and its final battle scene, in which the Nicholson keeps the one-liners coming even while getting pummeled by Batman. Plus, he actually dies here. ("The Dark Knight" leaves its Joker dangling, literally.)
3. Darth Vader in "Return of the Jedi"
When a villain tries to redeem himself before death, it usually comes off as cheesy. Yet somehow it seems appropriate when Vader sacrifices himself to save his son Luke and kill Emperor Palpatine. Sure, he himself has been trying to kill Luke throughout all three "Star Wars" movies, but that father instinct has to kick in at some point, right? Happy Father's Day!
2. Adolf Hitler in "Inglourious Basterds"
Quentin Tarantino rewrites history and gives the biggest real-life supervillain of the 20th century the brutal execution he deserved. All of the high-ranking Nazi party members are trapped in a theater when the owner, Shosanna, cuts into the film to tell them they're going to be killed by a Jew. The doors lock, the fire blazes, the Basterds gun down Hitler and as many cronies as they can before everything explodes.
1. Hans Gruber in "Die Hard"
Gruber may be small in scope compared to the evilness of others above. However, just like the Wicked Witch's death scene, once you see the movie, you'll never forget Gruber's final moments. Already shot by McClane and dangling off a skyscraper, Gruber attempts to drag Holly McClane with him. That's followed by the best slow motion fall ever. Alan Rickman deserves an award.