It's not that uncommon in comics for heroes to go bad. Whether it's just being misinformed, brainwashed in one way or another, replaced by an evil doppelganger, or just plain going crazy and deciding that maybe, just maybe, humanity isn't worth saving, these kinds of twists happen. Most of the time, it's fun to see what the evil versions of our beloved protectors look and act like. Over the years, Marvel heroes who've gone bad included Jean Grey, Archangel, Scarlet Witch, Captain America, just to name a few. But, while comic book writers and artists certainly come up with some fascinating concepts for these characters and stories, at times, the fans have even more elaborate and outlandish ideas. Plus, they can always mix Marvel and DC Comics characters to create some pretty exciting characters.
Talented fans have always enjoyed developing their original characters based on the official ones, and re-designing heroes to look like villains is something that has a special appeal. The possibilities are seemingly endless, which allows for a lot of surprising creations. While some artists decide to go for a more logical re-imagining, others opt to take their characters in unexpected directions. Either way, it's always interesting to see characters that we've known and loved for so many years in a completely different light. Well, as the saying goes, you either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain. Here are some Marvel heroes who have lived long enough for artists to turn them into villains.
20 RED LANTERN SCARLET WITCH
Life certainly hasn't been kind to Wanda Maximoff. Taken from her parents as a child, experimented on by the High Evolutionary, and then the whole ordeal she went through with the children she and Vision had, it’s more than enough to break anyone. Going through such traumatic experiences would inevitably cause one to grow angry and vengeful.
Which means Scarlet Witch is a good candidate for the Red Lantern. She’d certainly have enough pent-up anger, plus her outfit would match her new role. Artist Nick Perks gives us an idea what a Red Lantern version of Scarlet Witch would look like.
Nightcrawler may look a bit scary, but in reality, he’s actually a total cinnamon roll. The blue-skinned, devil-looking mutant could fool just about anyone if he decided to pretend to be a villain for a day. Just as Loki can so easily deceive everyone into believing he’s not doing whatever it is he’s doing for some personal gain, which is always the case.
RoryRochelle decided to mix these two together and create a truly villainous version of Nightcrawler. Well, as long as he looks the part, he might as well embrace the role altogether. Besides, Loki’s iconic costume looks pretty cool on Nightcrawler’s devilish blue body.
18 SEEING RED
The Red Lantern Corps was formed by Atrocitus of the Five Inversions who harnessed the red spectrum of light, which allowed him to empower the rage within him. Thus, the Red Lantern Ring was literally born out of anger and crystalized the blood of the Inversions. If you were to re-imagine a Marvel hero as a Red Lantern the first character that comes to mind is probably Wolverine.
The perpetually angry and unhinged clawed mutant is notorious for his short fuse and violent outbursts, making him the perfect candidate for Red Lantern. Artist Matt Sandbrook even created a look for this even angrier version of Wolverine.
17 BLACK PANTHER SYMBIOTE
With all the marvelous technology his little sister Shuri has equipped him with, Black Panther has arguably the most incredible costumes in the entire MCU -- yes, that includes Iron Man’s fancy new armor. Not only did Shuri make sure to make the suit extremely functional, but she’s also nailed the aesthetic side of the design.
It’s just an amazing costume and Chadwick Boseman looks devilishly handsome wearing it. Eugene Gore decided to give the iconic design a sinister makeover by merging Black Panther with the Symbiote. The result is a nicely incorporated, jarring version of the King of Wakanda.
16 SPIDER-MAN OSCORP SUIT
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we got a somewhat different origin story for everyone’s friendly neighborhood hero, Spider-Man. Peter Parker became a protégé of Tony Stark, who bequeathed him a pretty sweet Spidey suit to replace the one Peter made at home. In Avengers: Infinity War, Peter got to wear an even more advanced suit, the Iron Spider suit from the comics.
The artist behind the stunning design you see above, Zulkarnaen Hasan Basri, imagined an alternate reality in which Oscorp designed the Spider-Man suit. Perhaps, Peter would be a villain in this tale. The suit could certainly work for a villain.
15 DAREDEVIL SYMBIOTE
The Devil of Hell’s Kitchen is one of those heroes who look as if they should really be the villain of the story. The horned helmet, a mask that completely obscures Matt’s eyes, and not to mention his tendency to beat people up to the point of near demise, give Daredevil a villainous vibe.
Still, that wasn’t quite enough for some, so they have decided it was time for Matt Murdock to go full villain. In order to achieve this transformation, Argentinian artist Nico Quintas venomized the Man without Fear and the result is just as disturbing as you’d expect.
14 BLACK LANTERN MAR-VELL
Carol Danvers is coming to the MCU in a matter of months with the upcoming release of Captain Marvel. Whether Mar-Vell will make an appearance remains a mystery, in keeping with Marvel’s tradition of being very secretive about their films and plans.
What isn’t a mystery though, is a Black Lantern version of Mar-Vell. Gene Guilmette did an excellent job designing a striking look for Black Lantern Mar-Vell. In some weird amalgam universe, this imposing creature lurks in the shadows, ready to fulfill his purpose and eliminate all life. And he’s definitely not someone you’d want to encounter under any circumstances.
13 ROGUE AS MAGNETO
Rogue’s ability to absorb the powers of anyone she touches is certainly one of the most amazing mutant powers. Over the years, the Southern belle has used her ability to absorb the powers of a myriad of characters, including the one and only Carol Danvers.
A team of artists, Clayton Henry, Cole Brustad, and Blackmoonrose13, decided to create a fascinating version of Rogue with Magneto’s powers. She’s also adopted Magneto’s classic costume and helmet to complete her villain transformation. Magneto and Rogue have a rich history in the comics -- they were allies and even lovers, so this incarnation isn’t too farfetched.
"The Deadliest Woman in the Galaxy" is what her father, Thanos, called Gamora and he's not one to give meaningless compliments. This highly skilled assassin is well-known across the galaxy and has quite the rap sheet -- as evidenced by her prison suit in Guardians of the Galaxy.
Now picture someone with Gamora’s powers and abilities coming into contact with the Symbiote. Eugene Gore was obviously intrigued by this concept since he decided to create a symbiote version of Gamora. We don’t even need to imagine what she’d be capable of to be utterly scared out of our wits by merely looking at her.
11 HAIL HYDRA
We’ve all seen Captain America’s Hydra suit, but what about Iron Man? If, in some alternate universe, Tony Stark had somehow gotten involved with Hydra, what would his Iron Man armor look like? Well, luckily for us, we don’t have to leave that up to our own imaginations anymore. KT4MODDING took it upon himself to design a Hydra Iron Man armor, which looks insanely cool.
Replacing the trademark red with Hydra green immediately stands out. But the secret to a good design is in the details, and the detail that really sells this one is the Hydra logo on Iron Man’s arc reactor.
While this version of Star-Lord certainly looks menacing, it’s kind of hard to imagine Peter Quill ever being evil. Chris Pratt’s portrayal of the legendary outlaw is just so damn adorable and wholesome. However, one has to wonder how would the Symbiote affect Peter? Or, would Peter perhaps affect the Symbiote?
Well, we may never know for sure. But we do know how such a character would probably look. Artist Eugene Gore made sure we didn’t miss out on Star-Symbiote. The red eyes on Quill's mask always looked kind of sinister and coupled with the creepy teeth, the villain design is on-point.
9 BLACK LANTERN WAR MACHINE
In DC Comics, the Black Lantern Corps consists of deceased beings from all across the universe who fell into the domain of the dead. They serve the Lord of the Unliving, Nekron, and their purpose is to eliminate all life. So, not exactly a merry bunch of people.
Artist Simone Placchi created this incredible version of War Machine as one of the Black Lanterns. Of course, for this to actually happen, War Machine would have to perish, as he did during Civil War II. Still, the whole perishing part aside, the Black Lantern aesthetic is a good look for War Machine.
8 ROCKET SYMBIOTE
Rocket Raccoon may look like an adorable puppy, a sweet rabbit, or a trash panda, but we all know the illusion stops as soon as he starts talking. Rocket is known for having a temper, a foul mouth, and a penchant for stealing people’s artificial eyeballs and limbs. Small as he is, Rocket is pretty dangerous, especially if given access to weapons and technology.
Now, imagine if on top of that he also merged with the Symbiote. The result would undoubtedly be a demonic creature capable of unspeakable things. Thanks to Eugene Gore, we can put a face to that pesky little monster.
7 SPIDERS FOR HIRE
Peter Parker is such a good-hearted character. Despite all the hardships he goes through, all the evil he encounters, and all the pain he goes through, Spidey somehow manages to stay positive and lighthearted. It’s what makes Spider-Man, Spider-Man. It’s what makes us want to read Spider-Man comics and watch Spider-Man movies (no matter how many times they reboot them).
Well, imagine our surprise when we came upon this twisted bizarre version of Spider-Man. Joma Cueto's Spiders for Hire re-imagines Peter, Jessica Drew, and Eddie Brock as a band of mercenaries. Odd as this Spidey is, we love the new look the artist created for the characters so much so we wish these were real.
There truly is something insidious and yet mesmerizing about the Symbiote’s peculiar appearance. You can put that toothy and creepy grin on any character and instantly turn them into the evil incarnate. Artist John Tyler Christopher put that hypothesis to a test by redesigning some of the X-Men members Symbiote style.
Featured above, we can see the venomized versions of Storm, Warpath, Domino, and Jubilee. All of them look fittingly sinister, yet instantly recognizable. Christopher did an amazing job giving these heroes a villainous makeover, and the Symbiote, once again, didn’t fail to warp heroic characters into something horrific.
5 DEVIL PUNISHER
Matt Murdock and Frank Castle, while having similar goals, seldom see eye-to-eye when it comes to achieving those goals. This was made abundantly clear in the second season of Netflix’s Daredevil, which had at its core the conflict between Daredevil and Punisher. However, while Matt would maybe want to believe that he and Frank are nothing alike, there are definitely some similarities.
Perhaps if Matt were a slightly different man, his path would have aligned with that of Frank Castle. Artist Nikita Kaun even created this gorgeous costume for Daredevil’s transformation into Punisher. Who knew the mashup of these two outfits would look this fantastic?
4 SCARLET PHOENIX
The Phoenix Force is most commonly associated with Jean Grey. However, that is not to say that this dark and powerful entity hasn’t bonded with anyone else. On the contrary, during the "Avengers vs. X-Men" story arc, the Phoenix Force possessed Namor, Magik, Emma Frost, Cyclops, and Colossus -- dubbed the Phoenix Five.
Artist Dima Ivanov was asked to imagine what it would look like had the Phoenix Force decided to possess Scarlet Witch, and what you see above is the artist’s thrilling creation. Aside from looking fantastic, there’s no doubt in our mind that Scarlet Phoenix would be a most formidable character.
3 SPIDER ASSASSIN
Peter Parker is such an upbeat, positive, and noble person that it’s sometimes easy to forget how excruciatingly painful his life has been. He lost his parents at a very young age and was raised by his aunt and uncle until his uncle was senselessly taken from him. Uncle Ben’s demise prompted Peter to use his powers responsibly and to strive to help others.
But those same tragic events could have affected Peter differently. Instead of swearing to protect the innocent, Peter could have decided that people aren’t worth saving. Perhaps he’d even become a villain or an anti-hero of sorts. With this amazing fan art based on the a famou What If? story, naratani pays tribute to the evil side of Peter Parker.
Sony’s Venom film has inspired a lot of artists to re-imagine tons of comic book characters, Marvel and DC, as symbiote versions of themselves. Eugene Gore’s gallery is chock-full of venomized versions of our favorite heroes and villains, which we strongly recommend you check out.
One of the characters Eugene decided to turn into a symbiote is the Man without Fear, which is possibly his most impressive creation. The pointy devil horns combined with the symbiote’s particular facial, and especially mouth and teeth aesthetic really makes for one scary picture. Perhaps Matt should change his nickname to the Man Who Strikes Fear.
1 IRON SYMBIOTE
Thus far, we’ve had tons of Symbiote-inspired re-designs on this list. We’ve had cute characters turned into monstrosities, scary characters made even scarier, and now we have the best of the best -- Iron Man infected by the Symbiote. Designed by Zulkarnaen Jasan Basri, this version of Iron Man is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.
The Iron Man mask has now taken the shape of Venom’s signature, toothy grin. The eyes look twisted, as well as the rest of the armor, which indeed looks like a living organism. But the coolest detail has to be the spider symbol built around Tony’s arc reactor.