I just wanted to write this one, okay? I had a fun idea, so I decided to run with it. Then I found a way to make an entire Top 10 list out of it. And here it is.
Superheroes and supervillains tend to do a lot of drugs in the course of their adventures. But we're not here to talk about recreational drugs. So, no, you won't see that famous cover with Speedy shooting Heroin anywhere on this list.
We are talking specifically about superheroes and supervillains who gain or their powers through drug use, so none of these count: super-characters who just use drugs on the side (Speedy, Iron Man); characters who use drugs to augment their abilities in some way at some time (Beast, Batman); characters who became addicted to regular drugs prescribed because of injuries (Moon Knight, Batman again).
Once again, the following is a list of characters who became superpowerful because of drug use. Pills, powders, and injectable liquids! Let's talk about why every anti-drug PSA I see in comics makes me feel a bit weird.
Drug of Choice: Venom
Well, of course he has to be here.
Bane may be the most popular of the drug-powered villains. But most people don't know that Venom, the drug that powers Bane, actually predates the character. In a 1991 Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight arc, Batman fails to save a child from drowning because he isn't physically strong enough to help her. During his ensuing depression, he tries a super-steroid a scientist invented for experimental use.
The steroid, an early version of Venom, makes Batman incredibly strong, but he also becomes increasingly violent and full of rage. He eventually locks himself in the Batcave to detox from the drugs.
But Venom resurfaces in an injectable form when Bane shows up. His steady supply of Venom makes him incredibly strong and capable of great shows of force. He does retain his sharp mind, even while he's pumped up on the stuff, so it's likely the injected Venom is more refined and more effective than the pill form.
Either way, Bane is perhaps the most famous villain with a narcotics-based power, so it's fitting that he should open this list.