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Comics 411: Superheroes Who Would Make Great Supervillains

February 15, 2023 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
Wolverine Image Credit: Marvel Comics

Welcome back! I’m Steve Gustafson and if you enjoy discussing anything comic book related, you’ve come to the right place. Each week we cover something in the industry and I always enjoy your input in the comment section below.

Previously on…

Last time we discussed Best Avengers Villains. Here’s what some of you had to say:

Al Lobama: “One of my favorite Avengers villain groups that always gets overlooked is the Legion of the Unliving. Maybe it’s because the group always has both a different leader and a different roster, but to me that’s what makes the group interesting. Whether it’s Immortus pulling a roster of heroes/villains out of the timestream before they died or the Grim Reaper literally raising former heroes/villains from the dead, there is so much potential a writer can mine out of the idea. I’d have to think that with we’ll be seeing this group in Kang Dynasty, and imagine the audience reaction when they see previously dead characters from the MCU come back to life……especially if one of them is Tony Stark!

A few years back Mark Waid and Barry Kitson did a retro Avengers miniseries where “Cap’s Kooky Quartet” fought the Frightful Four, and it was such a perfect pairing that I can’t believe it took someone that long to think of doing it. Some villains don’t reach their full potential until they switch heroes (Kingpin switching from Spider-Man to Daredevil, Mystique switching from Ms. Marvel to the X-Men, etc.), and the Frightful Four would probably be better served switching from B-Level FF villains to top level Avengers villains.

One set of villains that have great untapped potential that never gets realized is the Wrecking Crew. They’re always used as hired goons that only exist to show how tough a hero/group is when they defeat them, and no one besides the Wrecker is given any type of unique personality. But they can be so much more than that. Maybe expand the team by adding Absorbing Man and Titania, flesh out Bulldozer, Piledriver, and Thunderball as characters, give them a mastermind who can organize the team strategically instead of just being brute force with no direction, and they could really be a force to be reckoned with in a major storyline.”

MoMoney1985: “Themselves. Whether it was turning on each over politics in Civil War or Scarlett Witch killing her husband and Scott Lang and ripping the Avengers apart.”

Stromi: “Always loved the Zodiac group. Criminally underrated.”

Prez Gar: “The second Baron Zemo’s Masters of Evil. They raided Avengers Mansion, and managed to hospitalize Hercules.

Graviton, a frequent Avengers foe. And when he went against the West Coast team,he had a more personal interest in one Avengerm specifically Tigra,

And, of course, Loki. Without him, there would be no Avengers. Either in the comics or the MCU.”

The Old GRT: “The Phoenix force and to a lesser extent the X-Men.

The worst ‘villains’ are the ones that truest think they are right and how could you really argue with the power of the Phoenix force and the body of Scott Summers?”

tw75: “In terms of history I would go for Ultron or Thanos but Zemo definitely deserves a mention as Under Seige is one of my favourite stories of all time”

Maple Leaf Muscle: “Has to be Kang, doesn’t it?”

poopsadaisy: “Doctor Doom. Sure, he was originally an FF villain but he’s been a menace to the Avengers (and most of the major Marvel heroes) plenty of times”

Too many great comments to list! Thank you to everyone who commented last week!

This week we discuss…

Superheroes Who Would Make Great Supervillains
Years ago I had dreams of writing for Marvel or DC and submitted some scripts here and there. Outside some polite rejection letters it didn’t go anywhere but luckily I had 411mania to pour my thoughts into 14 years later (!!!!) here we are. 

One of the stories I put together featured turning a couple B-list heroes into A-list baddies. Let’s face it, we all love a good turn and both Marvel and DC have characters who could make some pretty impressive villains while changing their status in their respective universes.

Not every character would work, of course. Captain America’s Hydra run got plenty of press but was met with mixed reaction. Years ago they had Wonder Woman up and kill Maxell Lord and people felt that was a little too far for her. 

So let’s look at some characters I believe would work just fine as a supervillain and you share yours in the comments below. 

I know some will point out Namor already fits that bill but I’m talking straight bad guy, not an anti-hero like Sub-Mariner has become. I want Aquaman to declare war on the surface for their constant polluting, overfishing, and blatant disregard for the ocean. I want this guy to renounce his membership in the JLA and be able to go toe-to-toe with Superman. Think old school Roman god Neptune who no longer has patience with the mortals on the surface. 

This is an easy one, I know. The thing is, Wolverine shouldn’t really fit in with the X-Men. His style doesn’t work in a team setting and his loner vibe works best when he’s on his own. 

“bUt STevE! eVil WOlveRiNE iS JUst sABreToOtH!:

I get that but Wolverine can be more calculating and dangerous than Sabretooth. I know the recent X-run doesn’t open itself up to Wolverine turning against everyone but I’d love to see him split off and become a foe against the very team that used to rely on him for so long. Embrace his dark nature and turn that berserker rage against Scott and the gang. 

Yes, I know they’ve had Wolvie go rogue a number of times but I’d prefer he’d stay that way.  

I’ve always felt Firestorm should be a Superman villain. Give him a darker costume and instead of using the Ronnie Raymond/Martin Stein combo (or the number of others who have shared Firestorm), have two criminals inside, controlling one of the strongest beings on the planet. Written correctly, Firestorm could be a top antagonist straight out the gate. 

I felt DC really fumbled the ‘Armageddon 2001’ storyline that was going to turn Captain Atom bad (and fumbled it again in 2005-ish) but Firestorm is ripe to reinvent, power up, and set him on a path to take on Superman.
Martian ManhunterMartian Manhunter could be another awesome villain and another top level character who could challenge Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. A guy with his abilities is being wasted and they wouldn’t have to do much to make fans believe he’s down for the darkside. 

The Thing
Yes, Thing should be a villain. In the early days of the Fantastic Four he had issues with being a hero and with Reed and the rest of the family. They should have had him feel rejected and unappreciated and turned to Doctor Doom for help. Of course the good Doctor would do just enough to earn his loyalty and use him as a pawn against his old friends. He’d be an interesting second to Doom and a storyline about his fall from grace could still be worked in today. 

Alright, I’ve thrown out mine and now it’s your turn! See you in the comments. And have FUN with it! 

That’s all the time I have. See you next week!