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Top 10 Superheroes Turned Villains


Written by Thomas O'Connor Let’s be honest, it’s more fun being bad. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Superheroes Turned Villains. For this list we’re looking at our favorite times a comic book do-gooder turned to the dark side, trading in their heroic reputation for something more villainous. Have an idea you want to see made into a WatchMojo video? Check out our suggest page at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest and submit your idea.
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Let’s be honest, it’s more fun being bad. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Superheroes Turned Villains.

For this list we’re looking at our favorite times a comic book do-gooder turned to the dark side, trading in their heroic reputation for something more villainous.

#10: Cyclops


Life has not been particularly kind to Scott Summers, leader of the X-Men and mutant freedom fighter. After years fighting for mutant rights and enduring numerous hardships over the course of his superhero career, he eventually turned his back on his former idealism. After the mutant population was reduced to a fraction of its former number, Scott gathered the remaining mutants on an island haven called Utopia. But Scott grew increasingly paranoid and embittered, and eventually merged with the Phoenix Force, and when has that ever NOT ended with someone going full supervillain? To put a capper on his villainous turn, he even murdered his former mentor, Professor X.

#9: Sinestro


Once a valued and respected member of the Green Lantern Corps, this mustachioed alien went bad in a big way when his fellow Lanterns learned that he’d become the oppressive ruler of his home planet of Korugar. After discovering he’d turned the Green Lantern symbol into an icon of fear and oppression, the Corps promptly stripped him of his ring and status as a Lantern. He then found a new ring powered by the yellow energy of fear and became a recurring villain for the Lantern Corps. Years later he even started spreading his yellow rings around by forming his own Corps, one dedicated to overthrowing his green-uniformed former allies.

#8: Kid Marvelman


Marvelman, AKA Miracleman, and his family of allies, were British superheroes who first appeared way back in 1954. The series and its characters were later revamped by legendary writer Alan Moore, who took the once fun and friendly comics in a dark new direction. When it came to the main character’s teen sidekick, this meant turning the eager young hero into a violent psychopath. Naturally a pitched battle ensued between the former allies, one that left London in ruins. What it is about being a superhero’s teen sidekick that makes you turn evil is something we have yet to figure out, but this is far from the only example.

#7: Ultimate Reed Richards


The Ultimate Universe was intended to be a showcase of younger, cooler versions of Marvel’s most iconic characters to draw in new readers. In this alternate reality, the Fantastic Four were teenaged heroes rather than the adults that mainstream Marvel fans were familiar with. While things were all well and good for a while, this version of Reed eventually turned to evil after being rejected by his longtime girlfriend Sue Storm and learning that his universe was fated for destruction. Rebranding himself “The Maker” and sporting some iffy headwear, the newly evil Reed turned against his former friends, becoming one of the biggest villains in the now-defunct universe.

#6: Superboy Prime


He may wear the symbol of Earth’s greatest champion, but he’s about as far from the Man of Steel as you can get. A denizen of an alternate world known as Earth Prime, this hero-turned villain became unhinged when he spent years observing the DC universe’s slow descent down the path of darkness from the paradise dimension he’d seemingly retired to. As he watched the once proud heroes become darker, harsher and more morally compromised, he grew bitter and frustrated, eventually breaking out into the DC universe proper, at first to be a force for good, but eventually going on a warpath after encountering the other Superboy. In his defense, he was kinda right in thinking the DC universe had gotten a bit too edgy.

#5: The Hulk


Yet another evil alternate reality doppelganger of a well-known hero, this character finally answers the question “What if The Incredible Hulk were bald, evil, and a bit more fashion-conscious. Hailing from the post-apocalyptic dystopia of Earth-9200, this version of the Jade Giant known as The Maestro was one of the survivors of a massive nuclear war. Thanks to massive doses of radiation from nuclear fallout enhancing his strength and the fact that most other superhumans had been killed, he rose to power as absolute tyrant of the world. Because time travel is pretty common in the Marvel Universe, he’s even battled his somewhat more friendly counterpart on a number of occasions.

#4: Jason Todd


Getting beaten to a bloody pulp by The Joker and then blown up would make anyone go off the deep-end. The second character to hold the mantle of Robin, this former Boy Wonder met a gruesome end at the hands of The Joker, only to return decades later as a ruthless vigilante known as The Red Hood. With a harsher, more murder-y brand of justice than his former mentor Batman, he carved a bloody path through the Gotham underworld before being confronted and stopped by the Caped Crusader. The two eventually patched things up, but not before a number of violent and emotional confrontations between the former allies.

#3: Bucky Barnes


And speaking of kid sidekicks turned gun-toting baddies, Captain America’s former sidekick went down a dark path himself. After seemingly perishing in an explosion, Cap’s former ally was found by Russian agents and transformed into a ruthless assassin known as The Winter Soldier. Kept in cryostasis in between missions and outfitted with a cybernetic arm to replace the one he lost in the explosion, the former hero spent years as a trigger man for the Soviet Union. It took years before he was able to shake off his reprogramming once and for all, and even after getting back on the heroic path, his life as an assassin still haunts him.

#2: Hal Jordan


Once considered the greatest of the Green Lanterns, the Air Force hotshot turned space cop fell from grace in a big way. After seeing his home city destroyed, the soon-to-be ex-Green Lantern allowed himself to feel fear, which gave the evil entity known as Parallax a foothold in the hero’s mind. Gradually taken over by the ancient evil, he eventually turned against the Corps, taking all of the power of the Central Battery for himself after murdering many of his former allies. His dramatic fall from the heights of heroism to pure supervillainy remains one of the defining elements of this character’s adventures as one of DC’s biggest heroes.

#1: Jean Grey


As we covered a bit earlier, coming into contact with the cosmic entity known as the Phoenix Force rarely ends well for anyone. When this longtime member of the X-Men bonded with the cosmic being, it looked for a while like a blessing. But the evil mutant known as Mastermind began to manipulate her from behind the scenes, eventually breaking her control over the violent and powerful entity. The chaos that the unleashed Phoenix Force left in its wake cost billions of alien beings their lives when she caused a star to go supernova, putting more blood on her hands than almost any other Marvel villain.
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