It's not hard to see the appeal of having electricity as a superpower. It'd be incredibly handy to charge your phone without an outlet, and static electricity will be sure to make a rival look silly as a prank. But in the world of good versus evil, some comic book characters have more nefarious purposes up their energy-charged sleeves.
Electricity is a popular power for any type of character, but this list will focus on Marvel characters who have a history of picking the wrong side in a battle, or working for their own ends rather than the greater good. With that in mind, here's out top selection of baddies who will send tingles down your spine; you might even enjoy the ride.
Casual comic book readers may not know a lot about Supercharger, but what you should know is that he's no fan of costumed heroics. He is reportedly the son of a scientist obsessed with understanding how superheroes could change the basics of human biology. Supercharger helped his father in his quest, but a laboratory accident condemned Supercharger to live his life as a human battery.
Supercharger can absorb and store electrical energy to be expelled in a number of ways, including, but not limited to, lightning bolts and giving his opponents a painful jolt upon physical contact. He even carries a battery pack attached to gauntlets; always prepared for a fight. In his early exploits, Supercharger staged a terrorist attack on the television program "It's Amazing," by holding the audience and crew hostage. He was eventually defeated by Spider-Man, but he showed up once again as a part of the supervillain team Masters of Evil, led by Crimson Cowl.
14 LOST BOY
Lost Boy's real name might be confined to mystery for now, but his distinctive look and powers will not be forgotten. He first appeared in "Wolverine" #1, and was created by Paul Cornell and Ryan Stegman. Lost Boy wears a yellow hoodie with his bare chest exposed, tattooed with the words "I fight evil with evil." Adding punch to the phrase, he can emanate electrical currents from his hands, and he has control over the length and intensity of the current.
At the moment, Lost Boy works for the Offer, a crimelord who rounded up his own gang of superhumans which operates in New York City. They carry out a series of missions in order to further the Offer's criminal schemes, in exchange for something the Offer has for them. Lost Boy's own deal with the devil has not been made known, but it surely means trouble for the citizens of New York City.
Marabeth is one of the most effective killers on this list and given her disdain for humans, it'd be wise not to cross her. A mutant who is a fanatical believer in the Brotherhood, Marabeth works as a recruiter for the terrorist network. She has demonstrated bio-electrokinesis by controlling electrical currents from her own body, and generating incredible blasts of electricity from her hands. One of her most memorable stories is recruiting mutant Michael Asher to the Brotherhood's cause, even sleeping with him in order to seal the deal.
However, readers were shown how cold-blooded she could be while she slaughtered the "Goth Twins," Harold Silvermane and Joel. This was in an effort to prevent their planned school shooting, so it could be argued that this was all in the name of public safety. Still, the Brotherhood is more interested in preventing and punishing mutant persecution. The police also exist, but apparently Marabeth didn't count them as an option.
12 THE EEL
Otherwise known as Edward Lavell, the super-criminal is not the first to wear the name The Eel. It's not clear whether he found the original Eel costume, or merely duplicated it, as his background is shrouded in mystery. However, he makes quite an entrance with his insulated suit, which allows him to fire bolts of electricity at opponents. The suit also has a defense mechanism which protects Lavella from electrical attacks and secretes an oily substance that makes him almost impossible to hold physically.
Lavell got his start as an underling for the Maggia crime family, running into problems with Iron Fist as a result. He joined a few different supervillain teams over the years, most notably the New Enforcers under Blood Rose, and the Masters of Evil under the second incarnation of Crimson Cowl. He's also worked contrary to notable villains, once framing Mr. Hyde for murder and working for a rival of Hammerhead when he was trying to gain control of the Lifeline Tablet.
11 IVAN KRONOV
When you're talking about supervillains with electricity-based powers, you're going to run into tons of Electros. One of the earliest characters with this moniker was an opponent of Captain America and Bucky Barnes in "Captain America Comics" #78, from 1954. Back when the Red Scare was all the rage in comics, Ivan Kronov was a Russian agent who gave himself over for experimentation in the hopes of bringing down Captain America.
The result was Electro, a being who is able to carry a nearly lethal electrical charge in his body for a 24-hour period before needing to recharge. This electricity can be disrupted, but he has proved to be almost unkillable after recharging his body and brought back from the dead. This was done at the behest of his comrade, Albert Malik, who was posing as the Red Skull. This Electro was last seen attacking the United Nations building in New York, but this Electro may come back to fight another day.
John DeZoan started his career as a supervillain as regular top-shelf crazy: a serial killer on death row. A freak accident during his execution overloaded the systems in the electrical chair, reacting with the sedatives in his bloodstream. As a result, Deadzone can use his electrical energy to overload the pain and pleasure synapses in his opponent, and thereby completely incapacitating them. He's often depicted as an enemy of Moon Knight, and stole his set of adamantium truncheons the night of Deadzone's rebirth.
At his execution, DeZoan is presumed dead, but Deadzone manages to escape by brutally murdering every person left in the room. Deadzone spends most of his time attacking local gangs, most notably that of Spider-Man's rival, Tombstone. When Deadzone attack's Tombstone's limousine, Moon Knight works as his body double to prevent the murder. But Tombstone makes a grab for Deadzone anyway and offers Moon Knight a deal. Moon Knight tries to prevent the killing, but eventually gives into the violence by brutally pummeling Deadzone until the villain is taken into custody.
Spasm is what's called a "Warpie" -- a being created by a reality warp created by Mad Jim Jaspers when he tried to take over Great Britain. Spasm and other Warpies make up a group of petty thieves called the Parasites, working under Uncle Lex. This group works within the Captain Britain universe, and work as a part of a Dickensian child gang for the new century.
Spasm followed the call of Siren, an immortal child, and he follows Uncle Lex blindly. He's able to generate electricity in order to shock and paralyze his opponents, but his distinctive look of bulging eyes and blue skin make him hard to miss. Despite working with the Parasites, he doesn't demonstrate any kind of affection for them, especially in the wake of Snap's untimely death when a jewelry heist went wrong. When some of the Parasites try to leave the team, Spasm remains loyal to Uncle Lex, and tries to kill the escaping Quill with his electrical powers. However, Spasm accidentally put his hands in water and ends up electrocuting himself, leaving his current condition unknown.
Pn'zo might be the most assuredly alien villain Marvel has ever created, especially given that it's unknown whether Pn'zo is his proper name or the name of his species. He got his start as a criminal, but Pn'zo was captured by the Shi'ar and recruited in Vulcan's Imperial Guard. He made a formidable warrior as an electrical and mechanically-based creature with long, serpentine tentacles that give out electric shocks. He can generate this electrical energy in many forms, from electrical bubbles that allow him to teleport to good old-fashioned electrical blasts.
However, Pn'zo has been defeated before. When he injured Marvel Girl, Pn'zo was sliced in half by the Phoenix Blade wielded by Korvus. After he was healed, Pn'zo was seen fighting alongside the Praetorians against the Nova Corps. He was captured with his fellow soldiers, and imprisoned along with them for their war crimes. He appears to be wholly motivated by the pursuit of money, and this greediness can make him easy to manipulate.
Wendy Sherman, otherwise known as Stinger, is one of the more tragic entries on this list. She was originally a member of Apocalypse's first strike team, the Alliance of Evil. However, her youth made her more reckless than ruthless with her powers as she has only killed by accident. Stinger is classified as a Level 3 threat by Cable, with the ability to generate electrical blasts as low-energy as static to devastating lightning bolts.
In her time under Apocalypse, Stinger was forced to take large doses of the Source's mutant enhancement energies, which gave her increased capabilities. However, in Stinger's case, the doses became highly addictive, making the receiver crave the energies constantly in order to survive. Stinger also spent time in Utopia, sometimes lashing out in fear of an impending attack on mutantkind. Stinger develops a kind of attraction to Iceman, and he's able to calm her down during her outbursts.
6 CHARLOTTE WITTER
Charlotte Witter isn't the first Spider-Woman, and she isn't even the first Spider-Woman to work contrary to the law, but she makes an impression all the same. Witter is the granddaughter of famed clairvoyant Madame Webb, but became a reputable fashion designer who dealt in illegal markets. This put her in contact with Dr. Octopus, who experimented on her to exploit her latent psychic powers. She became a monstrous human-spider hybrid conditioned to obey Dr. Octopus' every command.
She orchestrated several attacks on other women using the name Spider-Woman in order to absorb their powers, and use them in order to defeat Spider-Man. This allowed Witter to gain an immense range of powers. What got her on this list, though, is her ability to generate bio-electric "venom blasts" to incapacitate her opponents. Witter was eventually defeated by Mattie Franklin, current holder of the Spider-Woman title. When she wasn't under the control of Dr. Octopus' programming, Witter expressed remorse for what she'd done; unfortunately, though, that couldn't save her.
Shockwave began his life as Lancaster Sneed, a British spy who suffered catastrophic injuries and rebuilt himself with metal plates. He was discharged from the service, and found a way to encase himself in an experimental exoskeleton which gave him superhuman powers. The suit is able to generate electric blasts, as well as provide armor and superhuman strength.
Shockwave started his criminal career as a freelance spy, but he has also been a member of several supervillain teams. He partnered with the robot Brynocki to battle Shang Chi and Leiko Wu, attacked Avengers West Coast, and joined the Masters of Evil under Crimson Cowl. Shockwave was also one of the supervillains that planned to leave the country in the time leading up to Civil War, but was recruited into the Initiative instead. Shockwave also attempted to capture Tony Stark when he was a fugitive from Norman Osborn, but was defeated when Stark, ironically, electrocuted him.
Veranke is the Skrull empress who masterminded "Secret Invasion," propelled by a religious prophecy that foretold the end of the Skrull empire. She wrestled power from Dorrek VI, and infiltrated the Avengers in the guise of Spider-Woman Jessica Drew. She has the shapeshifting abilities of the rest of the Skrulls, but a ritual allowed her to gain Drew's powers and memories. One of the ones Veranke held onto was bio-electric blasts that affect human nervous systems. Their potency ranges depending on Veranke's needs, from a bolt meant to stun to killing a grown man in the same way as a lightning bolt.
In the climax of "Secret Invasion," Veranke was shot dead by Norman Osborn, causing the Skrull infrastructure to splinter and allow their defeat and capture. She was last seen gambling for her resurrection when Hercules' journeyed to Hades' Underworld, and was part of Pluto's jury in Zeus' trial.
Allison Dillon is the daughter of the most famous Electro in comic book history, Max Dillon, and inherited his powers of electrical generation and manipulation. However, Allison didn't see much of her father growing up. He was forbidden to see her by her mother Marilyn, when they discovered that a slight difference in their electrical fields would cause burns.
When Marilyn died of cancer when Allison was still young, she bounced around foster homes and decided to follow in her father's footsteps. She designed a costume similar to Electro's, and named herself Aftershock. She attempted to rob a jewelry store, but was defeated by Spider-Girl. Electro caught wind of his daughter's activities, and engineered a reunion with his long-lost child. Father and daughter decided to start a new life together and try to overcome their inability to touch. Since that day, Aftershock the supervillain has not returned to her criminal ways.
2 BARON VON BLITZSCHLAG
A comic supervillain list wouldn't be complete without at least one bonafide Nazi, and Wernher von Blitzschlag certainly fits the bill. The Baron worked for the Nazi regime as a geneticist and is the creator of Nazi super-agents Master Man, Woman Warrior and Vunder Knight. But his experiments didn't stop there.
The Baron experimented on himself in order to have electrokinesis powers to an unknown degree. His abilities include electrical absorption, enhancing his physical condition, and even bypassing the physical altogether by becoming a sentient electrical form of pure energy. The Baron popped up once again after "Civil War," and was recruited by the Initiative to create superhumans. However, the Baron worked alongside heroes like Hank Pym in order to perform an autopsy on MVP, much to Pym's chagrin. He used this opportunity to clone MVP's body to create the Scarlet Spiders, who look to the Baron as a kind of father figure.
Max Dillon may be the second Electro on this list, but he's certainly the most enduring. He's one of Spider-Man's most frequent enemies, but tends to join the rogues gallery of other supervillain teams than plan his own criminal schemes. Dillon was constantly brow-beaten by his overprotective mother during his youth, and worked as a lineman for an electrical company. When he got his powers and started committing crimes as Electro, he was initially suspected of being an alter-ego for Spider-Man. On the outset of his quest, Dillon suffered a series of humiliating defeats at the hands of Peter Parker.
Electro is also famous for making up one sixth of the supervillain team, the Sinister Six. This team attempted to attack Spider-Man at once from different locations in an effort to divide his attention and bring about his defeat, but all six ended up back in prison. That didn't stop Dillon from reappearing in other incarnations of the Sinister Six throughout the years.
Who is your favorite shocking villain? Let us know in the comments!