For every good and decent team of superheroes destined to protect the galaxy whatever the cost, there's a bunch of villains who want to stop them in their tracks. Whether it's power, domination, or just annihilation they crave, Marvel has had its fair share of organizations that want nothing more than to watch the world burn.
There's something interesting about the motivations of evil, and when a select group of bad guys get together and threaten our favorite heroes, we can't help but enjoy it. We rank the 10 most evil teams in Marvel comics and pay tribute to the villains we love to hate.
A.I.M. was initially formed in the 1940s by Baron Wolfgang Von Strucker to create advanced weaponry for Hydra but ended up splintering off on its own when the terrorist group collapsed. Best known for creating the Cosmic Cube, A.I.M.'s group of scientists have built some of the most dangerous weapons of all time.
After building the cube, they altered the form of famed scientist Dr. George Tarleton to monitor the cube and improve its productivity, but after his ambition for knowledge and power grew too much, he ended up turning on A.I.M. to become the Mental Organism Designed Only For Killing - more commonly known as M.O.D.O.K.
9 The Frightful Four
There are many opposites in the Marvel Comics Universe, and the Fantastic Four have faced their evil equivalents many times. The Frightful Four are a team of villains led by the Wizard, intent on destroying Marvel's most famous family by any means necessary. Forming after Sandman and Trapster escaped prison, their main goal was to humiliate their mutual enemies.
They've had plenty of members since their formation, such as Electro, Blaastar, Sandman, and Klaw, but regardless of the line-up, they've never stopped in their quest to destroy the Fantastic Four. The Frightful Four have hypnotized the Thing to fight for their cause, stolen the Fantastic Four's Powers, and come close to killing them, but have never quite succeeded.
8 The Hand
Created by famed comic book legend Frank Miller, the Hand first appeared way back in 1981. A group of evil ninjas possessing supernatural powers, they've caused problems for countless heroes over the years. After forming an alliance with a clan who serve a demon known as "The Beast of the Hand," they became feared and revered in equal measure.
The Hand has been led by the likes of Daredevil and Kingpin, but one of their most feared leaders was Gorgon. They use their occult magic to raise the dead in order to fight by their side, and since their introduction into the comics, they've made zombies out of Elektra and Wolverine.
7 The Horsemen of Apocalypse
The powerful mutant warlord Apocalypse was best known for his dominance in the Age of Apocalypse storyline, and whilst he's a definite threat in the comics, so too are his Horsemen. They have helped their leader to wreak havoc on mankind and aided him in weeding out the weak so that only the fittest survive.
Whether they've joined the elite team of warriors willingly, or have been forced to do so, they always become more powerful as a result and fight for Apocalypse regardless of wanting to or not. Heroes like Hulk, Gambit, Polaris, and Angel have all been Horsemen, with the latter serving as Apocalypse's Archangel of Death.
Norman Osborn isn't the nicest of guys, and his ability to manipulate took shape in the form of H.A.M.M.E.R. after the Skrull invasion. Originally created to restore peace on Earth, they soon became a weapon for Osborn to harness the power he constantly craved.
They were led by the Dark Avengers - warped counterparts of Earth's Mightiest Heroes - such as Bullseye acting as Hawkeye, Venom acting as Spider-Man, and Osborn becoming the Iron Patriot - a twisted amalgamation of Iron Man and Captain America. H.A.M.M.E.R. manipulated the fear of the public, and have done many despicable things during their formation, such as the destruction of Broxton - a version of Asgard, and also formed an alliance with the Hand, A.I.M. and Hydra.
5 Sinister Six
Other than Norman Osborn, there hasn't been a greater threat to Spider-Man than the Sinister Six. Originally formed to battle Spidey after its members kept failing against him, the Sinister Six - led by Doctor Octopus - were more powerful, proving strength in numbers is a great mantra to live by.
Whilst they initially formed to take on Spider-Man, their thirst for power almost led to the destruction of Earth, amongst other dastardly plans for world domination. Notable members over the years have been Sandman, Venom, Kraven the Hunter, and Hobgoblin, but there have been other versions that didn't feature any of the original members, with one iteration battling Superior Spider-Man, who had Doc Ock's mind in Peter Parker's body.
4 The Hellfire Club
The Hellfire Club is an elitist organization formed of incredibly wealthy individuals with the goal of obtaining economic and political power within society. Whilst it offers many vices to its members, there are some within its ranks that seek benefits further than the hedonistic lifestyle the club provides, such as world domination as the Inner Circle.
Industrialist Sebastian Shaw and Emma Frost, along with the trial member Mastermind, were responsible for recruited Jean Grey possessed by the Phoenix to serve as their Black Queen, but due to Grey's immense power, she drove Mastermind insane. After things went horribly wrong, Shaw used his connections with Senator Kelly to create the Sentinels - an army of robots capable of killing all mutants.
3 Masters Of Evil
With a name like Masters of Evil, you've got to have something special to back it up. They caused one of The Avengers most famous defeats in the Avengers: Under Siege storyline, and have always been responsible for causing a plethora of problems for Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
Originally formed by Baron Zemo to combat Captain America, they've also been led by Doctor Octopus and Hank Pym's dangerous creation Ultron. They've fought the Thunderbolts and the Guardians of the Galaxy over the years, employing the likes of countless supervillains to do their bidding, such as Yellowjacket, Boomerang, Absorbing Man, Black Knight, and Whiplash.
2 Brotherhood of Evil Mutants
Whilst Charles Xavier wanted to create peace between humans and mutants, Magneto's vision was more extreme. This radical mutant alliance saw mutants as the dominant race and refused to let anybody get in their way. They have had different goals under their various forms, but they are more often than not focused on killing politicians who oppose mutants, and X-Men that try to stop them.
Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch were members before joining the Avengers, and others to be a part of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants have included Mystique, Toad, Rogue, Sabretooth, and Blob. Regardless of the line-up and whatever the goal, they're one of the most evil teams to exist within the Marvel Comics Universe.
Of all the devious and evil teams to exist within Marvel comics, Hydra top the lot. Its history is quite the story that spans millions of years, but the modern Hydra built by the evil Red Skull and Baron Wolfgang Von Strucker is the most common. Hydra is so dangerous, S.H.I.E.L.D. was formed to combat Hydra's plans for world domination. Many Hydra agents have infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D. over the years, causing significant damage to Nick Fury's organization.
During the shocking events of Secret Empire, it was revealed Captain America had been working for Hydra, albeit under mind control, and led a version of the Avengers consisting of superheroes like Vision, Scarlet Witch, and Deadpool. Their Hydra Oath of "cut off a limb, and two more shall take its place" has meant that Hydra will never fall, no matter how many times they're defeated.