It could be said that the first supervillain was Professor Moriarty.
Supervillains are often depicted as seeking to commit spectacular crimes and/or rule the world through terror from their secret underground lair. Some supervillains like Magneto have laudable goals such as his desire to protect his people, mutants, from persecution, but his methods are so extreme and violent that superheroes have no choice but to oppose him.
Examples of fictional supervillains include:
This stereotype led to the real-life terrorist Osama bin Laden being portrayed in the media as if he was a supervillain. The Nazis are also depicted as supervillains in a range of fictional works, including the Indiana Jones stories.