With the Wicked Witch of the West beating Hannibal Lecter, Alex DeLarge, and Darth Vader on Entertainment Weekly's list of the Top 20 Vilest Villains, I got to thinking, is she really the worst villain in all of Baum's writings?
Well, I can't think of twenty to rank, but... here's ten.
10. The Wicked Witch of the East from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and The Tin Woodman of Oz
At first, I thought maybe she was the worst, but then, I thought, maybe not. She definitely had an interesting way about her. Although she kept the Munchkins as her slaves, she didn't seem to be too cruel, unless someone got in the way of her interests. And she may have also made travel to the Emerald City (or possibly out of the Munchkin Country entirely) difficult or impossible. (The Yellow Brick Road was unquestionably in bad shape when Dorothy makes her journey.)
9. Don Miguel Del Borgitis/Ramon Ganza from The Flying Girl And Her Chum
Here's a guy who is permanently hiding out, and will kill, and steal, and claim he's perfectly in his rights. Definitely deserves a spot on the list.
8. Ugu The Shoemaker from The Lost Princess of Oz
Seriously, he kidnaps Ozma on the side, then hides her somewhere and then doesn't care what happens to her. How bad is that?
7. Mombi from The Marvelous Land of Oz
Whether or not Mombi acted alone or with an accomplice (since the two accounts of the event differ), her kidnapping of Ozma brought an end to the old monarchy of Oz.
6. The Awgwas from The Life & Adventures of Santa Claus
They almost killed Santa Claus. There.
5. Felix Marston from The Suicide of Kiaros
It is noted that Felix Marston is not the true name of the character, but this guy's story sticks out in Baum's works as the only bad guy who got away with his crime, with no one suspecting a thing.
The Mangaboos from Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz
The Mangaboos are practically zombies who are intelligent, and don't require the flesh of the living for sustenance. Cold, heartless, they want Dorothy, the Wizard, Zeb, and the animals with them dead.
3. The Wicked Witch of the West from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
You know she had to rank on here somewhere. And if you don't know why, go read the book again!
2. Prince Kara from The Last Egyptian
This villain has the distinction of being Baum's only villain who had the book named after him. Devious, treacherous, disloyal to his ancestors, and very rich, Kara really is a great villain. In fact, he's a lot like...
1. Roquat/Ruggedo, the first Nome King from Ozma of Oz, The Emerald City of Oz, Tik-Tok of Oz, and The Magic of Oz
Every reader of Baum's books finds the Nome King to be one of the best villains. Cunning and devious, he always wants things to go his way, and woe betide whoever tries to (or does) stop him!