?Superheroes aren’t the only ones who occasionally jump the fence to the other side of the good/bad spectrum. Bad guys try their hands at being heroes every once in a while, too. For some, it even takes permanently. Hawkeye and Rogue got their starts as villains. The Riddler’s now a semi-reformed mystery solver. And Emma Frost was a major villain until she took up residence at Professor X’s School for Gifted Youngsters.
Others have merely dabbled — Magneto led the X-Men for a while, Catwoman straddles the hero/villain line on a daily basis, The Sandman remade himself into crime fighter for a minute there and even became a reserve Avenger — but not all supervillains have yet got the chance to try their hands at heroin’. Here’s some who we’d like to see try the blues and reds instead of the greens and purples.
?Nightcrawler’s shapeshifting mom spent some time as a member of the X-Men, but that turned out to be part of an elaborate plot to kill Mister Sinister using her adoptive daughter Rogue’s killing touch. But Mystique really has the powers and the chops to be a great hero — her shapeshifting abilities would help her to easily penetrate villain strongholds and she knows crazy kung fu, so that would have to help, too. Basically, she’d be a Morph/Changeling that wouldn’t be terrible.
?Batman said it himself: Criminals are a superstitious and cowardly lot. So what better way to fight them than by preying on their worst fears? Obviously, some heroes like Bats himself and the Spectre, already use fear to make criminals poop themselves, but Dr. Jonathan Crane would be able to corner the market on that trade.
7) Lex Luthor
?Strip away Luthor’s obsession with Superman (depending on the era, it may have been revenge-based or anger over Superman’s resistance to a bribe) as well as his occasional world domination plans, and what do you have? The smartest dude in the DC universe is what, with seemingly infinite resources available to him. He was even able to give people superpowers for a while. If he decided to turn those resources against crime, he could essentially be the DC Reed Richards without the stretchiness, but with a boss suit of flying armor.
6) Vandal Savage
?Vandal Savage has been alive for tens of thousands of years. He’ll be alive for thousands and thousands more. He’s had a lot of time to learn tactics, sciency stuff, and meet historical figures. Guys like Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark have only been alive 30-some years, and look at how well they use their life experience for heroing. Savage has got like 20,000 times that!
5) Doctor Doom
?He’s the monarch of a country. He’s got a time machine. He’s a super-genius. He went to hell and back to save his mother’s soul. He can make a seemingly infinite number of decoys of himself. He’s an incredibly skilled magic user. He’s basically the man every nerd wants to be. And if it wasn’t for his lifelong vendetta against Reed Richards, who knows? He could have used that incredible power to fight bank robbers or something. Okay, probably not, but a man can dream, right?
4) The Absorbing Man
?One thing about superheroes: You don’t want them to be too overpowered or inhuman. Yeah, Doctor Doom is super-awesome, for sure, but he’s about as big as you are going to want to go power and ego-wise before the character becomes unrelatable altogether. Crusher Creel is quite the opposite; he’s the most regular of guys who just happened to drink some secret Asgard potion and now (or at least, until recently) when he touches brick walls he becomes a brick wall himself. That’s pretty awesome, and he’d be a cool guy to sit down, have a beer with and talk about it if you didn’t have to worry that he might smash the place up in the process.
?Taskmaster crossed over into near-herodom when he trained Agent X, but that was more of a mercenary-type thing, which seems to be the dude’s speed. But his power — he can learn any fighting style just by observing someone’s movements — seems perfect for taking on crime, especially with all the recidivism endemic to the Marvel Universe. I mean, seriously, reform programs just don’t work there.
2) Composite Superman
?Composite Superman is one-half Superman, one-half Batman and has most of the members of the Legion of Superheroes’ powers. So he’s already most of the way there. If he can just get past the world domination stuff, he’ll be prepared.
1) Typhoid Mary
?You would think severe mental illness would be a real barrier to being a superhero, but there are lots of incredibly insane superheroes out there who seem to do just fine. So Typhoid Mary, with her pyrokinetic and mind-reading powers, along with a little bit of dissociative personality disorder, would only really need to have fallen in with a different crowd — maybe the X-Men rather than the Kingpin’s crew — and she could have been a pretty awesome hero. Better than Pyro, anyway.