?One of the biggest trends in comics superhero circles these days seems to be, to use a wrestling term, the heel turn. Scarlet Witch is probably the most prevalent of the bunch, since she blew up Avengers mansion and un-mutated a huge number of mutants, but she’s not the only one. Wonder Man’s doing a kind of villainous thing over in the Avengers title, Daredevil is leading The Hand and taking things to extremes in Shadowland, a version of Captain Marvel basically destroyed the universe a few years ago (it got better), and the Mark Waid book Irredeemable is all about a Superman-type gone bad (and there are lots of Supermen gone bad out there, which is why he ain’t on this list).
But not every superhero has yet gotten his or her moment to shine in the supervillain spotlight, despite the fact that there are some out there who seem just perfect for the task of doing no-good out there. So we thought of a few we’d like to see get the chance to cackle and wring their hands sometime soon.
9) Reed Richards
?It may seem like being a superhero and being a supervillain are similar professions, but they kind of require different skill sets. Supervillainy is more about plotting and scheming while heroism is more about reaction and quick-wittedness in response to devious deeds. That’s why you need an ideas guy if you really want to make it in the supervillainy game. And Reed Richards has already proven he’s got the capacity for it, what with his creating an insane, murderous Thor clone during Civil War. But that was the result of good intentions gone bad; we’d like to see Mr. Fantastic’s incredible brain put toward some on-purpose evil-doing. And he’s obviously better at it than Dr. Doom.
?Ask any business jerk you know what the best thing to have to gain the upper hand over your competition is, and they’ll almost all say it’s information. And Oracle’s whole deal is that she’s got connections everywhere. She can hack into prison video surveillance, databases, encrypted dossiers, just about anything you can think of. As it is now, she does those things to help her colleagues in the Birds of Prey (and occasionally Batman) fight crime. But imagine how much crime she could commit with all that data. So much crime, you guys.
?Thor doesn’t fit our earlier criteria of being a schemer (that’s his brother Loki’s job, after all), but he fits another bill pretty well: He’s a god, for crying out loud. And he’s got a whole pantheon who would probably back him up on virtually anything he does, so he’d certainly have brute force on his side in any evil activities he saw fit to carry out. A few years ago, there was a storyline where Thor did some unfortunate stuff as ruler of Asgard, but that was more of a “heavy lies the crown” kind of story. We’d like to see him go all-out bad, if only to see the Marvel heroes go against a god without another god on their side.
?Magic. It’s crazy, right? You can do just about anything with it. And if power like Zatanna’s — with her mind-wiping abilities, huge store of runes and relics, and ability to heal herself from basically any injury — got into the wrong hands, well, who knows what could happen? Plus, she’s got a huge mansion in another dimension. Doesn’t that just scream supervillain? YES. IT DOES.
5) Doctor Strange
?And speaking of dimension-hopping magic users with mansions, Marvel’s former Sorcerer Supreme can astrally project himself just about anywhere, including the S.H.I.E.L.D. / H.A.M.M.E.R Helicarrier, summon demons, and use super-powerful, but corrupting dark magic. A villain that could send Cthulhu-esque monsters after people would be awesome — it’d make for a hell of a battle at the very least (no pun intended). And, I mean, he’s already got the collar for it.
?Lots of X-Men characters have done the whole heel turn thing in the past few decades — Professor X was part of Onslaught, Wolverine killed Northstar (though he was brainwashed at the time), and there’s the whole Phoenix thing, of course. But one that seems to have slipped through the eye of the needle is the member who seems to have been on virtually every X-Men team since the early ’80s: Storm. And boy, wouldn’t she be a good one? She can control the weather, for crying out loud. And she’s got a hell of a temper. Plus, her thief background sets up the heel turn pretty nicely. Seriously, X-Men, do it. You can make the check out to me.
?Grant Morrison said it best: Batman thinks of everything. He came up with a backup personality for himself, even. Villains have used Batman’s incredible planning and attention to detail against the Justice League before (see Mark Waid’s excellent “Tower of Babel” JLA story). And he’s taken down other heroes when he thought they had gone too far. But what about Batman, the master planner himself, with just straight-up bad intentions? It’s hard to imagine he’d want to kill people, but maybe imprisoning everyone or something. Possibly.
2) The Punisher
?Yes, the Punisher did kill the Marvel Universe in a What If? story back in 1995. But what if he went gunning after his fellow superheroes within Marvel continuinty? Sure, he’s always been at sort of cross-purposes with those heroes who aren’t much for his killing ways, but that’s more of a philosophical difference. A Punisher full-on vs. the heroes story would be boss (let’s get Garth Ennis to do it).
1) Jenny Sparks/Jenny Quantum
?These two Jennys are versions of the same character, so I’m counting them as one here. Jenny Sparks/Quantum is the very embodiment of her century. For Sparks, that meant she could control and turn into electricity. The young Ms. Quantum can alter reality itself. Their powers are specifically of their time. Which means they could really fuck up a lot of important stuff going on. The Authority has already kinda-sorta crossed the line of taking over the government. Why not go totally overboard with it?
Matt Wilson wrote a book about supervillains called Hate You Forever: How to Channel Your Rage into Effective Supervillainy, so he clearly knows everything there is to know about the topic.