Unlikely heroes aren't an uncommon thing, one of the underlying themes of a lot of comics is that anyone can be a hero. However, more unlikely than the Average Joe becoming a hero, is an actual villain saving the day. Whether they've had a change of heart or it is simply an act aligned with their own goals, villains are not adverse to stepping in when the situation calls for it. The Marvel Universe is full of villains who have used their power, smarts and resources to do some good. There are those who even changed their alignment entirely, beginning as villains and walking the path to redemption. Some of your favorite heroes, like Rogue of the X-Men, began their careers as villains! In addition to all of that, pivotal moments in the history of Marvel Comics have been dictated by positive actions from usually negative individuals.
On the other side of the coin, sometimes heroes fall short of their obligations or act in a way that escalates a situation. Sometimes a hero will go into business for themselves, choosing their own gain over the greater good and in other instances, well intended actions go awry. While heroes are often, for lack of a better term, super, they are not infallible. Some of our favorite Marvel heroes make mistakes due to the fact that they are not perfect. From honest mistakes to falls from grace, superheroes often find themselves to be the catalyst for devastating events. CBR explores the actions of heroes and villains alike, to see which villains did what was best and paragons who inadvertently sewed disorder.
20 VILLAIN SAVED THE DAY: DOOM DEFIES THE BEYONDERS
In the lead up to Secret Wars, the entire Marvel multiverse was in grave peril. Worlds crashing into one another, all by the design of the Beyonders. While they saw the realities as theirs to play with, one individual refused to accept their fate.
The proud and determined Dr. Doom set out on a mission to avert the crisis with the help of Dr. Strange and Molecule Man. The scheme he hatched saw him steal the power of the Beyonders, becoming a God. Though he could not save the multiverse, he did protect vital components and characters, preserving them on a planet of this own design, Battleworld.
19 HERO MADE THINGS WORSE: NAMOR JOINS THE CABAL
While some sought to take the power of the Beyonders and others tried to use the Infinity Stones to resolve the collapse of the Multiverse, Namor's tactics were more aggressive. The Illuminati tried destroying other worlds to preserve their own but ceased this immoral task after a few outings. Namor thought they were on to something, and stole their tech.
Namor took the plan and the means to destroy other worlds to the Cabal, a sinister group who delighted in chaos. With self-preservation in mind, they set about razing planets across the multiverse. Namor soon saw what he had unleashed was inexcusable, and tried to stop them before the end of the universe.
18 VILLAIN SAVED THE DAY: NORMAN OSBORN TAKES DOWN THE SKRULLS
To the general public, and apparently the US government, Norman Osborn was responsible for stopping the Skrull invasion. While the former Green Goblin did do his part both on and off the battlefield, he wasn't the sole reason for their defeat. Regardless, he rallied his Thunderbolts and made the biggest statement of the invasion.
When the tide turned and the day was to be won, Norman got the final blow on the Skrull Queen. Broadcast live and direct to the world, Norman was the savior of humanity. The director of the Thunderbolts was honored greatly and replaced Tony Stark as head of S.H.I.E.L.D. later converting it into H.A.M.M.E.R.
17 HERO MADE THINGS WORSE: WORLD WAR HULK
Every hero involved in this situation managed to make things worse. The Illuminati fired Hulk into space, exiling him despite his services and friendship to their members. So, when he returned in World War Hulk, naturally he was enraged and wanted his revenge.
Hulk managed to make things worse for near enough everyone in his path by either direct or collateral damage. Not only that, but every hero's attempts to stop Banner only made him angrier, and the situation worse. Even heroes not involved in his initial exile were swept aside. For Earth's heroes, this was an ever-escalating mess until the Sentry intervened.
16 VILLAIN SAVED THE DAY: SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN VS. THE INHERITORS
Though it was the combined efforts of a multiversal army of Spider-Men, the battle against the Inheritors was one of Otto's finest hours. Believing himself to be the best Spider-Man possible, he set about with machinations to stop the vampiric villains. With the help of Spider-Cyborg, Otto handed the Inheritors their initial defeat in the war's early stages.
Otto saw the value in numbers early on in the conflict, hopping through time and the multiverse to amass Spider-warriors to his cause. Though abrasive and arrogant, he helped build a formidable fighting force. Otto was a credit to the mantle, though he was recently drawn back into conflict with the Inheritors in Spider-Geddon.
15 HERO MADE THINGS WORSE: IRON MAN CLONES THOR
When Tony Stark set out to get his fellow heroes and the general public on board with the Pro-Registration Act during Civil War, he knew he needed the buy-in of some big names. One name that would raise a lot of people's eyebrows, would have been Thor. The issue was that Thor was pro-occupied in Asgard, believed to have perished.
So, Tony did what any sane friend would do. He found some of Thor's hair and made a robot-clone hybrid to give the impression Thor was on-board with the Pro-Registration Act. The robot went haywire and used lethal force against Anti-Registration heroes, shaking the superhero community to the core. This was definitely not the kind of message Stark had intended to send.
14 VILLAIN SAVED THE DAY: THE HOOD RALLIES NEW YORK'S CRIMINALS
Similar to Norman Osborn during Secret Invasion, The Hood had a moment of heroics. Seeing that the Earth was beset by Skrull invaders, The Hood saw a need to intervene. The Skrulls made their intentions clear that they wanted to take the planet for themselves.
Without an Earth to commit crime on, business would dry up. Also, most of the criminals would perish, but money always comes first. Hood rallied the criminals of New York, from street-level associates to supervillains, and took to the battlefield to reinforce the heroes. This influence over his fellow underworld operatives would continue into Norman Osborn's Dark Reign.
13 HERO MADE THINGS WORSE: LEGION CREATES THE AGE OF X
Though it wasn't entirely his fault, Legion's mental state went awry and trapped just about all of the X-Men in a temporary pocket-dimension. The dimension was shown in the Age of X arc and detailed a world where all mutants lived in a fortress protected by a vast telekinetic shield, partly maintained by Legion himself.
This dimension showed a grim state of affairs, with mutants all but extinct. Cyclops was even used as a means to execute mutants before being freed and brought to the fortress. Eventually, mutants like Magneto and Rogue suspected the reality they existed in wasn't right, and eventually broke everyone free.
12 VILLAIN SAVED THE DAY: THANOS STANDS AGAINST THE CANCERVERSE
Not one to shy away from danger, the Mad Titan stood alongside some of the most powerful forces in the universe to repel the denizens of the Cancerverse. A universe of eldritch horror, where death itself has died and has no power there, parasitic beings twist and warp its subjects. Chief among these horrors is a dark reflection of the Avengers called the Revengers.
To seal the rift that the Cancerverse was using to pour into the 616 universe, Thanos, Nova, and Star-Lord willingly trapped themselves on the opposite side of the fault to seal it. Using a cosmic cube, the three unlikely allies succeeded, preventing corruption of the 616 universe.
11 HERO MADE THINGS WORSE: THE PHOENIX FIVE
In Avengers Vs. X-Men, the Phoenix Force was on its way to Earth to possess Hope Summers. While the Avengers saw this as a threat to the planet, as historically the entity has been a destructive force, the X-Men saw it as a new beginning. Though destructive, another key aspect of the Phoenix Force is rebirth.
The first hero to make the situation worse was Tony Stark, who while trying to stop the Phoenix, split it into five parts. Those parts occupied five of the X-Men and they became the Phoenix Five. With this vast power, they tried to make the world a better place, but were slowly corrupted over time, turning dictatorial.
10 VILLAIN SAVED THE DAY: MEPHISTO STOPS BLACKHEART
Mephisto rules over Hell and as such, you'd expect him to be pure evil. While he is just that, his son Blackheart is a little worse. Mephisto often does things to amuse himself and likes to remain in his own realm, as he is most powerful there. Blackheart, however, wanted to bring Hell to Earth and rule there instead.
Agent Venom, Ghost Rider, Red Hulk, and X-23 teamed up to prevent this, but they lost their lives in the process. Not to be outdone by his own son, Mephisto made a satanic pact with the heroes. He restored their lives and helped them defeat Blackheart, but they would owe him a terrible price.
9 HERO MADE THINGS WORSE: DR. STRANGE: DAMNATION
Dr. Strange doesn't always make the best decisions, though his intentions are usually good. One of his well-intended actions that went south was his restoration of Las Vegas. Devastated during the occupation of the US in Secret Empire, the city and its inhabitants had been destroyed.
Stephen used magic to raise the city back to prominence, at a price. Due to the gambling and debauchery in the city before its destruction, it has descended into Mephisto's realm. When Stephen restored it, he brought the denizens of Hell forth with it. It took the help of Ghost Rider, Iron Fist, Moon Knight, Blade, Elsa Bloodstone, Doctor Voodoo, and Man-Thing to save the day.
8 VILLAIN SAVED THE DAY: LOKI FREES THOR
During Fear Itself, Odin's sinister brother, Cul Borson, returned from his imprisonment to sew fear across the realms. He began his conquest on Midgard and Earth's heroes were having a hard time coping with the God of Fear. Luckily, a prophecy foretold his defeat, by none other than Thor Odinson.
The issue was, Odin saw the devastation on Midgard and sought to abandon it. When Thor protested, he had him imprisoned and forbidden to interfere. Loki, who at the time was trying to be a better person following his resurrection, freed Thor. Under cover of night, his younger brother spirited him away to Earth, to confront Cul.
7 HERO MADE THINGS WORSE: NEW WARRIORS TRIGGER CIVIL WAR
In an effort to get more eyes on their exploits, the New Warriors decided to opt for a change in format. Rather than simply being heroes for heroics' sake, they fancied themselves as potential media darlings. They took to the small screen and filmed their outings in a reality TV format.
This would prove to be their downfall, however, as eagerness for ratings made them foolish. Pushing the team to attack some out of work supervillains to drive up viewership, they came across Nitro. Nitro used his explosive powers to level a good portion of Stamford, Connecticut, sparking the Superhuman Registration debate.
6 VILLAIN SAVED THE DAY: SUPER SKRULL JOINS THE ANNIHILATION WAR
Though historically Super Skrull would be more likely to bother the Fantastic Four than save the universe, Kl'rt stepped up when the universe needed him. Exiled by his people for his failures against Earth's heroes, he was without purpose. Disenfranchised, he attempted to make a life for himself outside of Skrull space.
However, when Annihilus brought his Annihilation Wave to the universe in an effort to destroy all life, Kl'rt was brought into the conflict. He joined the resistance forces, helping defeat Annihilus and the Ultron-Phalanx that came to reap the vulnerable and weakened worlds thereafter. Kl'rt was welcomed back to his people for the heroics shown and made an ambassador.
5 HERO MADE THINGS WORSE: HANK PYM CREATES ULTRON
Using one's scientific aptitude to improve technologies and make the world a better place is an admirable quest. However, for one Hank Pym, this pursuit went horribly wrong. Hank accidentally created one of Marvel's most dangerous villains, the cold, unfeeling and lethal Ultron.
Seeking to improve the Earth by wiping out humanity, Ultron has continued to be a nuisance for the Avengers since he went rogue. Ultron has been a threat to the Avengers, the planet and even the entire universe at times. The robotic menace always finds a way to return, reminding Hank of his contribution to the ongoing tumult.
4 VILLAIN SAVED THE DAY: DAVOS PROTECTS K'UN-LUN
Davos and Danny Rand used to get on quite well, training alongside one another for the day one of them might become the Iron Fist. When it turned out to be Danny that was destined for the honor, jealousy and bitterness drove the two apart. Believing he had been robbed of his destiny, Davos defected to another of the Heavenly Cities, as an agent of the Crane Mother.
Davos would work against K'un-Lun in an effort to get his revenge. This was until, during a tournament between the capital cities of Heaven, K'un-Lun was put under threat by a corporation of Earth, seeking to break through to the mythical realm. Davos stood beside the other Immortal Weapons, fending off the invaders and regaining his place among the citizens of K'un-Lun.
3 HERO MADE THINGS WORSE: GAMORA COLLECTS THE INFINITY STONES
For a time, part of Gamora's soul was trapped in the world that exists within the Soul Stone. In order to retrieve the lost part of herself, she required the gathering of the Infinity Stones. The heroes of the universe, including her friends in the Guardians of the Galaxy, opposed this. They understood the dangers of the stones and advised assembling them was too dangerous.
Believing her friends' stance a betrayal, Gamora set about gathering the stones herself. She defeated several of the heroes and succeeded. With all of the stones, she became whole again, then folded the universe in on itself. She had created some sort of warp world, removing fifty percent of life in the universe, just like her father before her.
2 VILLAIN SAVED THE DAY: TOAD PROTECTS XAVIER'S STUDENTS
Wolverine wasn't the headmaster type, and this showed when he managed to get an entire class of students taken by the Hellfire Club. They'd also indoctrinated Paige Guthrie, who was a teacher at the time, to join them. Toad followed, resuming his janitor role at the new Hellfire school, because he was madly in love with Paige.
Eventually, Toad had enough, witnessing how the children were treated and how much the experience changed Paige, he snapped. Toad assisted in helping the children escape and even got the object of his affections to see a better path. Though he would lose his job and spiral back into villainy, this was a high point for the often overlooked mutant.
1 HERO MADE THINGS WORSE: NICK FURY PROVOKES LATVERIA
A while back, Nick Fury noticed something suspicious about New York's criminals. They'd received an alarming upgrade in tech, and he suspected that Latveria was supplying them with it. Fury took this hunch to the US Government, who rejected his proposal to investigate, as it would harm international relations.
Fury obviously went rogue and recruited a team of heroes to infiltrate the country and confront their then-leader, Lucia Von Bardas. During the mission, a castle collapsed on the leader during their conflict. Sometime later, a bio-augmented Lucia turned up in New York, threatening to detonate all of the enhanced tech being used by criminals in New York, causing a huge explosion.