Friday, September 28, 2007


Everyone who reads comics knows that the heroes seem all that more heroic only because their villains are uber evil. The X-Men wouldn't be as cool without their arch-nemesis Magneto and his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Or powerhouses like Apocalypse, Sinister and the like. The Fantastic Four would be pretty hokey without Doctor Doom. The Avengers aren't quite the same without Ultron, Loki and Kang the Conqueror.

The Marvel Universe has a new crop of villains about to perform their dastardly deeds in comics!

We showcase the latest crop of villains to terrorize the Marvel Universe

By Ben Morse
Original illustration by Leonard Kirk and Kris Justice

Posted September 27, 2007 4:05 PM

Move over Magneto, hit the deck Doctor Doom—there’s a new breed of bad guy in the Marvel Universe. With the aforementioned pair lying low, the Kingpin ousted from power and most of the heroes focused on battling one another, a motley crew of also-rans, new faces and long-dormant threats has emerged to fill the vacuum of evil. And if registration made the Marvel U. a safer place, somebody forgot to tell these guys. Feast your eyes on the mural of malevolence below, then check out our scorecard on the newest ne’er-do-wells to menace your favorite heroes.

When the Red Skull needs his dirty deeds done dirt cheap, he turns to his newly minted, snake-themed goon squad: Cobra, Eel and Viper, led by his little girl, the sadistic Sin. While Skull and his inner circle scheme against Captain America, he leaves the rough stuff—like liberating longtime henchman and Sin’s lover, Crossbones—to the Serpents.

“As the Red Skull lines up his forces for a final assault on the governments and infrastructure of the world now that there’s no Captain America to oppose him, Sin will be in the thick of things as her daddy’s most enthusiastic enforcer and right-hand girl,” notes Captain America editor Tom Brevoort. “We’ll see what depths and lengths she’ll go to when push comes to shove.”

Iron Man’s greatest foe returns with a whole new bag of tricks—or rather, a whole new back of tricks, as he’s relocated his trademark rings of power into the discs of his spine. With a refreshed focus to go with his revitalized strength, the Mandarin aims to bring down not only his armored foe, but S.H.I.E.L.D., too.

“Operating beneath Tony Stark’s radar, the Mandarin has been quietly reinventing himself for the new millennium, co-opting Maya Hansen and continuing to develop the Extremis virus that gave Iron Man his new powers,” reveals Iron Man editor Brevoort. “Tony’s about to find himself in a world of troubles, all of which can be traced indirectly back to the Mandarin himself.”

The X-Men have found themselves under siege of late not only from familiar foes, but once-trusted friends as well. The Marauders combine the worst of both worlds, with former teammates like Gambit, Mystique and Sunfire standing shoulder to shoulder with sworn enemies Exodus, Random and Scalphunter.

“Gambit is going back to his roots in the worst possible way,” laments X-Men writer Mike Carey. “Hanging with Sinister and the Marauders—it’s like ‘Mutant Massacre’ all over again, except this time he’s got a really twisted agenda that’s all his own.”

An alien race of techno-organic parasites that chiefly menaced the X-Men and attempted to conquer the Shi’ar Empire, the Phalanx re-emerged in Annihilation: Conquest Prologue in a major way. Able to infect sentients like Gamora (pictured) and bend them to their will, the Phalanx pose a major threat to the Kree and their cosmic allies.

“Phalanx 2.0 has launched,” enthuses Annihilation: Conquest editor Bill Rosemann. “Why have they struck the Kree first? What are they after? Each week reveals more secrets and surprises.”

“The Phalanx are about as nasty as bad guys get,” concurs Annihilation: Conquest writer Dan Abnett. “They get inside you and make you a bad guy too.”

Daredevil thought that with the Kingpin cut down he’d have a chance to relax, but the Man Without Fear didn’t reckon on Mr. Fear making his chilling presence felt in such a big way. This harbinger of horror has been responsible for recent pitfalls in DD’s life, and seems to have nasty designs on Matt Murdock’s wife, Milla.

“With the Kingpin absent from Hell’s Kitchen, Mr. Fear sees this as an opportunity to not only silence Matt Murdock once and for all, but to also seize power,” says Daredevil editor Warren Simons. “Nature abhors a vacuum, as they say, and we’re going to see that vacuum wreak havoc with Daredevil’s life in the upcoming issues.”

Did you think Civil War would be the last time we’d see Tony Stark and company’s ill-fated cyborg God of Thunder clone? Soon the real Son of Odin will be wishing that were the case, and he’d never have to come face-to-familiar-face with his unbalanced and hugely powerful doppelganger.

Small-time thief Parker Robbins hit the jackpot during a heist when he came upon a mystical cloak that granted him superhuman powers. Initially using his new abilities to look out for his pregnant girlfriend and lowlife cousin, the Hood seized the opportunity in the wake of Civil War to become the “kingpin of supervillains” and take on the Avengers.

“The ‘kingpin of supervillains’ has gathered his forces and is finding his footing,” says New Avengers writer Brian Michael Bendis. “His plans are long and loose and much nastier than what the heroes are used to. This is a man who will take the fight to them. He is on the offensive, not the defensive.”

“The Hood’s taking advantage of the split the Registration Act has caused to consolidate power among the underworld,” elaborates Avengers editor Brevoort. “He’ll mess up one Marvel hero pretty badly in the coming months, just as a lesson to the entire community.”

An alien race of shape-shifters, the Skrull Empire was once a major force in the galaxy. Though their numbers dwindled in recent years because of galactic calamity, the Skrulls’ resolve for conquest has not wavered. The Skrulls achieve victory through cunning and guile, as seen in their recent takeover of Eletkra’s identity in New Avengers.

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