Everyone loves a good team up, Spider-Man in particular has had entire titles based around his team ups in the past. Seeing two heroes work together to achieve a common goal, defeat a powerful villain or form a new team entirely is always exciting. Another part of the appeal with heroes working together is that sometimes it involves characters you wouldn’t usually see together. The X-Men and the Avengers are usually contained in their respective titles, save for a few characters with dual memberships to both teams. So if Moon Knight and Jubilee decided to team up, it would be a lot of fun and the fact it can happen is intriguing.
In the same vein of team ups you do not expect, there are times when both heroes and villains work together. Whether they are forced together or they genuinely see eye-to-eye, these odd couples occur. It could even be indicative of a change of alignment for either party, villains reform after befriending heroes and sometimes heroes are influenced to fall to the dark side. During Secret Invasion, we saw villains and heroes working together on a grand scale. Reasoning that crime could not be committed on a planet if it didn’t exist, villains arrived in New York to help protect the Earth from the Skrulls. Though temporary, the alliance was a real spectacle and genuinely fun to see. With that in mind, we’ll take a look at some of the forgotten team ups of heroes and villains, let’s see how many you remember!
20. WOLVERINE AND SABRETOOTH
These two beastly individuals do not like one another at the best of times, so working together seems impossible. While not entirely impossible, even when working together they find time to harm one another. Wolverine and Sabretooth’s rivalry is deep rooted and has been cultivated over decades.
Recently, Logan recruited Victor Creed to join his Weapon X team. Though the other team members had reservations about this, they two men proved they could work alongside each other. Their partnership turned out to be Logan grooming Sabretooth for a leadership role. Hoping that this would help Sabretooth make a change in lifestyle for the better, he eventually gave the reigns of the team to Creed.
19. THANOS AND THE THING
The Thing is no stranger to the villain gallery that exists in the Marvel cosmos. Due to his exploration of space alongside the Fantastic Four, Ben Grimm is well aware of Thanos and how dangerous he is. The Fantastic Four have even contributed to stopping several of Thanos’ sinister plots.
In one instance, however, Thanos helped The Thing escape from a mundane fate. During Secret Wars, Ben Grimm was transformed into a vast wall that kept God Emperor Doom’s domains safe from unspeakable horrors. Thanos stepped in and talked to Ben, reminding him who he was and that the world was not right, setting in motion the beginning of the end for Dr. Doom.
18. DR. DOOM AND DR. STRANGE
In the events prior to Secret Wars, the Marvel multiverse was collapsing. World upon world crashed into one another until none would remain. Many of the universe’s keenest minds came together to try and find a way to subvert the threat. Two of these minds were Dr. Strange and Dr. Doom. After exploring magical means and scientific means, options were running out.
Enlisting the help of Molecule Man, the two men set out to steal the power of the Beyonders, the cause of the incursions. They succeeded, beckoning in Battleworld and the reign of God Emperor Doom. In this new world, Strange was his right hand, a sheriff to his domain who upheld Doom’s law in accordance to the God’s will.
17. MAGNETO AND PROFESSOR X
The leaders of two opposing ideologies, Magneto and Professor X have spent a great deal of time trying to make each other see the other’s viewpoint. Magneto wants to punish humanity for their treatment of mutants and Xavier does not, opting for the path of least resistance. However, Magneto’s need to represent mutants and protect them has put him on the same team as Charles at times.
In some cases, when Xavier was believed to have perished, Magneto takes up leadership of the X-Men. Though their paths diverged, the two still respect one another and the mutants they represent. During and following House of M, the two older mutants helped support one another in preserving mutantkind.
16. ANT-MAN SECURITY SOLUTIONS
It’s no secret that Scott Lang began his foray into the superhero world whilst committing crime. While more of a Robin Hood type, a crime’s a crime in the eyes of the law. Scott managed to earn himself a criminal record early in his time in the Ant-Man suit. Due to this, he knows the value of reformation and second chances.
Ant-Man Security Solutions was an idea that came to Scott whilst ruminating on his job prospects in light of his record. Who better to secure premises than people who used to break into them? Ant-Man recruited several villains looking for a new path including Grizzly, Beetle and Whirlwind.
15. AGENT VENOM AND JACK O’LANTERN
While hosting the Venom symbiote, Flash Thompson was blackmailed into working for Crime Master. Whilst under the thumb of the villain, he was forced to work alongside Jack O’Lantern. The most sinister incarnation of Jack O’Lantern yet, Flash resented the appointment entirely.
Extremely sadistic and unreasonable, Jack would pester and bug Thompson to make sure he didn’t stray from his tasks. On a few occasions, the Venom symbiote itself lost its temper and tried to consume Jack, which only amused him. Flash also removed some of the villain’s teeth with a grenade in their first meeting, setting the tone for things to come.
14. IRON FIST AND DAVOS
Davos holds an immense amount of hatred for Danny Rand and indeed all outsiders who lay claim to the Iron Fist power. The son of Lei-Kung the Thunderer, Davos believed himself to be destined to be protector of Kun-Lun. When Danny succeeded in defeating Shou-Lao instead, Davos defected and joined the Crane Mother.
Though spending years working against the Iron Fist, when danger came from outside the heavenly cities, Davos had to make a choice. The Steel Serpent put his vendetta aside and teamed up with Danny to protect Kun-Lun, redeeming himself in the process. Davos now protects the chamber of Shou-Lao with the blessing of his father.
13. DRACULA AND THE X-MEN
The X-Men are no strangers to Dracula, the villain has given them some hassle a few times. On one such occasion, the Lord of Vampires tried to force Storm to marry him. However, the mutants would find that Dracula’s son was far more annoying than his father.
Seeking to usurp his father, Xarus engineered a biological weapon to convert civilians into vampires en masse. Dracula, the X-Men and even Blade teamed up to help restore order to the world of vampires. Unfortunately for the X-Men, Jubilee was turned into a vampire in one of the initial attacks by Xarus. Dracula granted her an amulet to help her cope with sunlight, a gesture of thanks to the X-Men.
12. HANK PYM AND ULTRON
For the longest time, Ultron was one of Hank Pym’s greatest regrets. The damage Ultron has done to the Avengers and even the universe cannot be ignored. However, following Rage of Ultron, both Ultron and Hank merged together. The horrific amalgamation recently had designs on obtaining the Infinity Stones.
It is believed that there is still some trace of Hank trapped in Ultron’s body, but Ultron denies this in a confrontation with Adam Warlock during Infinity Countdown. The two beings are not so much working together, but forced together. An unfortunate result of Hank’s final attempt to stop Ultron once and for all.
11. THOR AND LOKI
Thor and Loki swap between being allies and enemies quite often. The hot and cold nature of the brothers’ dealing with one another has also been reflected in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Though Loki resents Thor, in times of tumult, he can sometimes find it in him to help him.
One such event was in the final battle of Siege, where The Void was freed from Sentry and was about to destroy everything. Loki tried to intervene, empowering the Avengers using his Norn Stones. However, this was to no avail, with Loki losing his life. He was reincarnated as Kid Loki and would help Thor once more, freeing him from imprisonment by Odin to allow him the ability to defend Midgard in Fear Itself.
10. ANNIHILUS AND THE AVENGERS
There was a time when Annihilus was the largest threat to the Marvel Universe. Using his Cosmic Control Rod and his Annihilation Wave, he cut a path through the cosmos. He was eventually stopped by Nova and an alliance including the Guardians of the Galaxy and Super Skrull.
However, Annihilus returned in larvae form and regrew to his previous state. The villain would appear during the events of Infinity, as part of an intergalactic council alongside the largest nations across space. The alliance included the Avengers, representing earth and their goal was to try and stop the Builders from cleansing the universe.
9. NOVA AND CARNAGE
An event known as AXIS saw the Uncanny Avengers try and stop the Red Skull who was in possession of Charles Xavier’s brain. Magneto’s brutal defeat of the villain actually unlocked the psionic energy within him, unleashing Onslaught into the Marvel Universe once more. In order to stop Onslaught, Scarlet Witch reversed the alignments of the various heroes and villains present, Carnage being one of them.
What followed was Carnage trying to be a hero, running into a young Nova (Sam Alexander) and deciding to befriend him. This did not last, however, as the spell was reversed and Carnage went back to being the scary villain he once was. The knowledge he’d gained about Sam while he was good, saw him make an attempt on Sam’s family’s lives.
8. SPIDER-MAN AND VENOM
Venom and Spider-Man have teamed up numerous times across the years. Though the symbiote holds contempt for Parker, and Peter isn’t the biggest fan of the alien, they can sometimes do good work together. Additionally, when Venom’s wayward child Carnage gets involved, the two usually have to align to stop the sadistic villain.
The partnership’s success can also depend on the host of the symbiote and their feelings towards Spidey. Hosts like Eddie are often unpredictable and hosts like Mac Gargan only want to harm Spider-Man. Flash Thompson, however, admires the web-slinger and this allowed for more cohesive and dependable teamwork.
7. GALACTUS AND COSMIC GHOST RIDER
In one possible future Earth’s heroes are decimated by Thanos. He defeats them handily and leaves the world to burn, assuming everyone had fallen. Unbeknownst to him, there is a survivor. Filled with vitriol and revenge, Frank Castle makes a deal with Mephisto to host the Spirit of Vengeance to punish Thanos.
Unfortunately, by the time Frank returned to Earth, Thanos had left. Shortly after, Galactus arrives having barely survived a battle with the Mad Titan. Frank offers the Devourer of Worlds the Earth itself, and in return, he asks Galactus to make him his herald. The pair then set out across the universe to get their revenge on Thanos.
6. MR. NEGATIVE, CLOAK AND DAGGER
Mr. Negative, Cloak and Dagger all gained their powers from the same experimental substances, though Negative’s powers are a little more complicated. Though the individuals didn’t encounter each other again until a while after the event, they were forced to work together by Negative.
Mr. Negative used his corruption powers to seize control of the young heroes and have them act on his behalf. Using his own resources and Cloak and Dagger, he was able to carve out a share of the criminal underworld for himself. Briefly, Negative reverted to his kinder civilian form, Martin Li but the influenced duo reversed the change for him.
5. NAMOR AND THE CABAL
Before Secret Wars, the Illuminati tried everything to prevent the collapse of the multiverse. One of their methods was to destroy other worlds that were trying to incur on their own. Though after a few attempts, they reasoned this was too high a price to pay. Namor, however, disagreed and stole the technology used to end other worlds.
No stranger to disagreeing with the Illuminati (Namor left previously after refusing to help them send Hulk into space during Planet Hulk) he left to find allies more aligned with his vision. He found those allies in the Cabal, a group including Thanos and Black Swan, who delighted in burning other worlds.
4. SUPER SKRULL AND NOVA
Though Super Skrull had been mocked and shunned by his people for a number of years following his failings against the Fantastic Four, he would return during the events of Annihilation. Putting the abuse he’d received to the side, he set out to protect his people from the Annihilation Wave and later, Ultron.
Teaming up with Nova’s rag-tag team made from the remnants of the cosmic heroes, Skrull found redemption. He even found love during the conflict, forming a bond with an android who sadly gave her life for him in one of the final conflicts. With Nova’s help, he returned to his culture and became a representative for them in intergalactic affairs.
3. NORMAN OSBORN AND THE SENTRY
Norman Osborn is no slouch when manipulating people and situations for his own gain. He was able to take advantage of the final battle in Secret Invasion to dispatch the Skrull Queen, positioning himself as a national hero. From there he was made the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. and formed the Dark Avengers.
Not all of his Avengers were villains, however, with The Sentry remaining on the team. Norman managed to convince Bob Reynolds that he understood his difficulties with The Void and professed he could help Sentry control it. Due to this, Sentry agreed to work for Osborn, wanting to keep The Void at bay permanently.
2. DEATHLOK AND UNCANNY X-FORCE
The Marvel Universe has seemingly unlimited possible futures, one of those sees the rise of Deathloks. Heroes are converted into Deathloks in this grim future, mandated by an act similar to the Superhuman Registration Act. They arrive in the present day and attempt to take Fantomex’s artificial portable biome known as “The World.”
One Deathlok, who has overpowered his original mind’s violent tendencies with logic and reasoning, arrives to help Fantomex against his former brethren. Deathlok Prime succeeds in protecting The World and joins X-Force. He proved himself a steady ally to the X-Men overall, even becoming a lecturer at Logan’s Jean Grey School.
1. VICTOR AND THE RUNAWAYS
From his origin, Victor was designed to be the perfect supervillain. Everything about him, from his biological components to his mechanical aspects, were curated by his father, Ultron. Yes, that’s right, Ultron! The hate-filled android’s obsession with making a perfect being with the best aspects of tech and biological matter led him to create young Victor.
However, when Victor found himself falling in with the Runaways, his sinister beginnings were quickly overshadowed. Relating to the team, who also have evil parents, the group worked together to help Victor put his lineage aside and become a hero in his own right. Victor was even part of an Avengers team full of androids, alongside vision and even a Doombot.
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