During the Avengers & X-Men: AXIS event, we saw many of Marvel’s vilest villain embrace their light sides, but that didn’t stop them from getting up to plenty of mischief and mayhem in the months prior.
Evil takes on many threats in the Marvel Universe, from street kings (and queens) to tyrannical dictators to cosmic forces of destruction. Whether they desire power, riches, or simply to make other hurt, the cavalcade of bad guys (and gals) more than kept our heroes busy in 2014.
Beware Marvel.com’s list of the ten nastiest threats to menace Marvel this past year!
For several years, the ancient evil of Apocalypse has lay dormant in the frail form of Evan, aka Genesis, but AXIS brought back the mutant master of Darwinishm in a major way. Barely returned to his malevolent might and the eternal destroyer has already led the X-Men on a campaign of genocide and beaten Deadpool nearly to death.
9. The Minotaur
If Dario Agger can’t beat you in the boardroom, he’ll just beat you. The new CEO of Roxxon put himself on Thor’s radar by using his corporate assets to pillage the Thunder God’s adopted home of Broxton, driving Asgardia from Midgard, and then held his own against the Odinson horns-to-hammer. With a new Thor wielding Mjolnir, Agger’s ambition has only grown, and his arsenal remains diverse.
8. The Apocalypse Twins
Who can face down the combined might of Thor, Captain America, Wolverine, The Scarlet Witch, Rogue, Havok, and more? Uriel and Eimen, the Apocalypse Twins, that’s who. Combining their genetic power and the cruel teachings of Kang, this brother-sister combo annihilated not only the Unity Squad, but the Earth along with them. Only time travel and unlikely alliances brought down their careful plans.
7. Doctor Doom
Nobody proves the old adage “there’s no rest for the wicked” quite like Victor Von Doom. The ever-ambitious ruler of Latveria bounced back from an early defeat by Ant-Man and the FF by luring Valeria Richards to his side and testing himself against the likes of Loki, The Invisible Woman, and more. Doom’s long-game involving the Molecule Man will only be revealed when Time Runs Out.
6. The Inheritors
Morlun seemed bad enough, but now that we’ve met his family, he almost seems like a pushover. The introduction this year of Karn, Brix, Bora, Daemos, Jennix, Verna, and Solus on their murderous hunt across the multiverse claimed the lives of many spider totems. This clan comes off not just creepy and terrifyingly powerful, they’ve also got no table manners and play with their food.
Typically content to wait in line behind other terrorist organizations like HYDRA, the Advanced Idea Mechanics got crazy ambitious this year. Under the leadership of Scientist Supreme Andrew Forson and operating out of their sovereign island nation, the “beekeepers” held their own against the Avengers, nearly toppled S.H.I.E.L.D., and somehow maintained a sterling world profile in the process.
After his defeat at the hand of son Thane, we thought Thanos might lay low for a bit in his amber prison–but you can’t keep a Mad Titan down. Freed by Namor out of necessity, the cosmic nihilist skirmished with old foe Star-Lord before leading the new Cabal on a bloodthirsty campaign to annihilate parallel Earths, taking fiendish glee in his work. Thanos: one to watch in 2015…and beyond.
What didn’t Mystique do this year? She drugged Dazzler, infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D., and played the peacekeeping organization against the X-Men. She brokered a deal with HYDRA to buy Madripoor and now runs it as a twisted mutant haven. In her spare time, she taught the “Introduction to Evil” class at the Hellfire Academy. Moving forward, she contends with Wolverine’s legacy and her own ambition.
In 2014, the King of the Dark Elves branched out from just being a pain in Thor’s side, opting to make Iron Man’s life hell as well. The sinister sorcerer collected the rings of the Mandarin–and the previous wearers’ arms as well–and had ultimate power within his grasp before begin thwarted by the Armored Avenger. Plan B: He’s now allied with the Frost Giants in a campaign to freeze the planet.
1. The Red Skull
The Red Skull with the power of Charles Xavier poised a horrifying enough prospect, but then Magneto went and unwittingly unleashed the Red Onslaught. With the ability to bend any mind to his whim and enough hatred to fuel a dozen armies, the Skull seemed unstoppable; indeed it took all the Marvel Universe’s heroes and villains to thwart him…but how long can they really keep him down?