Since it’s birth in 1939 as Timely Comics (the name change occurred in 1961), Marvel has created, and occasionally killed off, thousands of different characters. Some are heroes, some are normal people caught-up in a super-powered world, and the rest are villains.
Every story needs a good villain and, after nearly eight decades and over 12,000 characters, Marvel has produced some pretty awesome ones. Whether they’re super-powered or ultra-intelligent, diabolically evil or just morally ambiguous, here are some of Marvel’s best bad guys.
With the power to control magnetic fields — allowing him to fly and control metal — Max Eisenhardt (common aliases include Erik Lehnsherr and Magnus) has one of the most enviable mutant-based powers in the Marvel universe, especially when you consider how common metal is in today’s world and what you could do with a car-sized chunk of it. It’s enough to make anyone think they can take over the world!
But Magneto’s villainous lifestyle isn’t rooted in such superficial ambitions: after experiencing the cruelty of humans during the Holocaust, he wanted to protect mutants from the same fate. Unfortunately, his method of doing so involves killing humans, massive acts of destruction, separatism, and general terrorism. However, Magneto is capable of good, and has occasionally allied himself with the heroic X-Men to fight true evil. Between his tragic back-story and shifting alliances, Magneto has run the ethical gamut from super-villain to anti-hero, but his powers have always been mag-neat-o!
Amora the Enchantress
An extremely powerful sorceress from Asgard, Amora is driven by her thirst for power and her desire for revenge. She doesn’t mind taking the backseat to other villains if it means they underestimate her and she can manipulate them for her own ends. But, with Amora, the proverb “an enemy of an enemy is a friend” has never applied, and even when she betrays another villain, the heroes know better than to trust her. Her only weakness is Thor, and she’s proven she’ll go to any lengths to control him (she’s not obsessive at all – nope – and love potions totally aren’t creepy).
Power-hungry, obsessive, and insane, Norman Osborn was the head of the powerful Oscorp company and secretly the Green Goblin – one of Spider-Man’s most dangerous antagonists. Though Osborn was at one point unmasked and imprisoned, he eventually managed to take advantage of the aftermath of the superhero civil war and an alien invasion to discredit Tony Stark, gain control of the powerful military organization S.H.I.E.L.D (which he renamed H.A.M.M.E.R.), and become the Iron Patriot: a hero in the eyes of the nation, but just as villainous as ever. He also created the Dark Avengers, a group of supervillains dedicated to carrying out his orders.
International terrorist, assassin, skilled hand-to-hand combatant, and sometimes Magneto’s right-hand woman, Mystique (a.k.a. Raven Darkhölme) can change her form to resemble any person, mutant, or even animal, she wants. Her mutation also includes super-strength, agility, rapid healing, agelessness, and blue skin. A mutant supremacist and a former leader of the Brotherhood, Mystique has allied with and betrayed numerous people and institutions, including the American government, Professor X, and Norman Osborn, leading to some questions about where her loyalty really lies. (Hint: it’s to herself.)
Victor Von Doom, the genius, long-time rival of Mr. Fantastic, and one-time Dark Avenger rules the fictional country of Latveria with a literal iron fist. When he’s not making evil robots called Doombots, and sending them to attack other countries or the Fantastic Four, Victor likes practicing black magic. Doom’s mastery of both science and magic is very impressive, but his moral code isn’t: beyond the whole dictator-of-a-small-country-and-super-villain thing, when given an opportunity to go back in time and kill Hitler, he decided it would be too much of a hassle and didn’t bother.
Jonathan Melville writes on a variety of topics including comic books, Star Wars conventions, video games, magic the gathering, board games and other similar matters. Jonathan recommends Card Kingdom Magic Cards for those looking to build their MTG collection.
Image credit goes to Asso Pixiel.