By John Coughlin
For this week’s Top Ten, we look at the greatest super villain teams in the Marvel Universe. For the purposes of this top ten, we are considering teams of super powered bad guys, not criminal organizations like Hydra or the Hand. Usually when compiling a top ten list, we consider the accomplishments of the various teams. Since villains never win, that can be hard to do. Let’s take a look at some villainous teams who should be very successful, but usually aren’t.
Honorable mentions: Mutant Liberation Front, Emissaries of Evil, the Wrecking Crew, The Cabal.
The Wrecking Crew being a part of the Masters of Evil and the Frightful Four kept them off the list. The Cabal was an alliance rather than a team, the Emmisaries of Evil were too short lived, and Rob Liefeld’s creation has “Zero” chance of making a top ten. So let’s look at who did make it.
Prominent Members: Sabretooth, Gambit, Mr. Sinister
The Marauders are a group of bloodthirsty mercenaries, formed by Gambit while he was working for Mr. Sinister. They were responsible for the massacre of the Morlocks. The Marauders have appeared sporadically since the Mutant Massacre, usually working for Mr. Sinister. While a formidable group, they seem to be more like Sinister’s lackeys than their own team.
9. Lethal Legion
Prominent members: Grim Reaper, Ultron, Count Nefaria
There have literally been legions of the Lethal Legion over the years. Lead by such villains as the Grim Reaper, Count Nefaria, Satannish, and… Porcupine, they’ve provided a consistent thorn in the side of the Avengers on both coasts. They could be a much more formidable team if they knew how to work together. A Legion composed of members past and present would be able to take on any Avengers team.
8. Circus of Crime
Prominent members: Ringmaster, Princess Python, Swordsman
Longevity and persistence are what put the Circus of Crime on the list. Their gimmick is usually the same; Ringmaster hypnotizes the audience, while the rest of the crew robs them. They’ve been around since WWII when Ringmaster’s father ran the show, and they’ve fought nearly every superhero in the Marvel Universe from Hawkeye to the Hulk.
Prominent Members: Scorpio, Taurus, Libra
The Zodiac is an international crime organization made up of twelve members who read their horoscope every day. There have been many incarnations of the Zodiac, from crime-lords to robots to pawns of Thanos, and most recently bothering Spider-Man. Whatever form these Astrology nuts take, they always make a formidable team, whether pulling the strings behind the scenes or fighting heroes one on one.
6. Frightful Four
Prominent Members:Wizard, Sandman, Trapster
The Wizard has put together a plethora of teams calling themselves the Frightful Four. Usually their plans put them in direct opposition to the Fantastic Four. This is a classic supervillain team that is basically an evil version of their counterparts. Their many lineups usually use this formula: Smart guy, strong guy, somebody else, girl.
5. Serpent Society
Prominent members: King Cobra, Diamondback, Viper
The Serpent Society aka Serpent Solutions aka Serpent Squad is made up of a bunch of snake lovers. These guys and girls dress up like snakes and commit crimes. They were the first group to provide health insurance and other benefits to their members. You try getting a job like that when you have a criminal record!
4. Hellfire Club
Prominent Members: Emma Frost, Sebastian Shaw, Selene
To most members, the Hellfire Club is a respectable social club. The inner circle however, is usually made up of bad guys who want to take over the world. This group has been responsible for many disasters including awakening the Phoenix force in Jean Grey. A highly organized, politically connected, and we’ll funded group, the Hellfire Club is a force to be reckoned with.
3. Sinister Six
Prominent members: Dr.Octopus, Mysterio, Kraven
Originally brought together by Dr.Octopus, the Sinister Six was composed to defeat Spider-Man once and for all. Of course that didn’t happen, but it did inspire multiple versions of the group including the Sinister Syndicate, and the Superior Foes of Spider-Man. This groups biggest accomplishment is usually proving just how ‘amazing’ Spider-Man really is.
2. Masters of Evil
Prominent Members: Baron Zemo, Enchantress, Mr.Hyde
The Masters of Evil are the definition of bad villains! Consisting of almost every villain who has ever crossed the Avengers path, this team should be unstoppable. At least ten different teams have been called the Masters of Evil, the most effective one destroyed the Avengers mansion and put Hercules in a coma. After the events of Onslaught when the MoE could have taken over the world unopposed what did they do? They became heroes.
1. Brotherhood of Evil Mutants
Prominent members: Magneto, Mystique, Blob
Coming in at number one is The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, sometimes known as the Brotherhood. This group of villains isn’t always as evil as their name suggests. Like a superhero team this is a band of individuals united in a common cause. Initially brought together by Magneto, they fight for their belief that mutants are superior to humans. This belief often puts them at odds with the X-Men who fight for the peaceful coexistence of mutants and humans. A purpose greater than money or power that is shared by every member is what makes The Brotherhood the greatest group of villains in the Marvel Universe.