Marvel's Most Misguided: Villains With The Weirdest Motives

Benicio Del Toro as the Collector

The very nature of comics is to be outlandish. Amazing superpowers and unfathomable feats litter the pages of comics everywhere. The Marvel Comics Universe is no different, and it captures its readers with all kinds of adventures and battles between good, evil and the grey area between. With great superheroes come great super-villains and the conflicts they are locked in define sagas, eras and the fabric of the characters themselves. It's hard to imagine the stories Marvel Comics have without their iconic villains and their often relatable, albeit sinister, motives. This is not always the case, however, as not everyone has a credible reason for their villainy.

Sometimes there are villains who just don't make any sense. Why are they doing what they're doing? What was the point of their latest scheme? Are they aware of how ludicrous they are? These questions and more leave us scratching our heads. Even some of Marvel's most notorious villains are prone to bouts of nonsensical actions. It may be that a villain's motive is a little threadbare or they're simply not thinking logically about the situation at hand. While some act out of vendetta or pursuit of power, others simply act on a whim or with little to no planning. It's not just Earthbound villains either, the vast minds of the cosmos are also prone to a blunder or two in their plans of conquest. CBR put on its thinking cap and scrutinizes the weirdest motives of Marvel super-villains.

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Thanos having an obsession with death is, in itself, pretty weird. It's not until you unpack it further that it gets even more bananas. Not only does he covet death, he's fully in love with it. Everything Thanos does is to impress Mistress Death and finally earn her affection.

His pursuit of the Infinity Gauntlet and gathering of the Infinity Gems/Stones was all for the benefit of him trying to impress her. It didn't work, but that didn't stop him from upping the ante further and further. In the far future, King Thanos has attempted to wipe out nearly all other life in the galaxy to sate Mistress Death and he still falls short.



Sauron is an eccentric villain in that his motive is simple but also bamboozling. A brilliant scientist, he used his aptitude for biology to manipulate people's cellular structure, warping them into prehistoric creatures. He really respects dinosaurs and their natural abilities that much, he believes he's enhancing people.

There's a pretty famous panel in which he's confronted by Spider-Man about his motives. Peter asks him why he doesn't use his scientific mind to help cure diseases. He simply replies that he doesn't want to do that, he wants to turn people into dinosaurs. Points for his honesty and dedication to his dream at least.


There's nothing inherently wrong with The Collector's pursuits on a surface level. People collect things, people hoard things, it happens! The issue with The Collector is the context of what he collects and what that means for the rest of the Marvel Universe. He's not simply collecting harmless curiosities, after all.

No, The Collector collects all manner of things that are equal parts intriguing and sinister. From living beings to cosmic objects of untold power, he's collected a fair few resources others would give anything to obtain. The further issue is that when he collects these rare and powerful items, he rarely uses them unless it's used to collect something else. He could be the ruler of a galactic empire at the very least, but for some reason isn't.


There are several beings who are beholden to the pursuit of evolution in the Marvel Comics Universe. The Celestials want to ensure evolution across worlds progresses, Apocalypse wants evolution through survival of the fittest, but oddest of all is the High Evolutionary. The former apprentice of Mister Sinister has made himself a major player with his genetic manipulations.

Whenever someone comes into conflict with the High Evolutionary, they're often brought into conflict with his creations. Animal bipeds that can talk, strange horse-headed minions and other wacky creations come out of his facilities. Rather than refining evolution like the Celestials, he just appears to pursue evolutionary paths he thinks are personally interesting to himself.



Baron Blood's costume is the first questionable aspect of this old villain, but his motives are also a little off. To begin with, he lost out on his inheritance, with it going to his brother who was the first Union Jack. He decided to leave home after this and pursue his love of vampire lore. Of course, things aren't ever simple in the Marvel Universe and within weeks of his travels he was bitten by a real vampire, turning into one himself.

With his incredible new powers and extended lifespan, he set about exacting vengeance on Union Jack. When his brother retired he would hassle the next Union Jack and the next. First of all, it was his parents' fault he wasn't named in their inheritance and the other iterations of Union Jack had even less to do with his family's money. Let it go, man!



Annihilus is now a name that the galaxy fears. Though he has come to the aid of the universe against the likes of the sinister Caretakers, he once sought to subjugate all life in the positive universe. Hailing from the Negative Zone, his motive for unleashing his Annihilation Wave is surprisingly cowardly.

Annihilus didn't have much of a reason for the conquest other than the fact he wanted to end all life other than himself. Born with a great fear within, seeing everything around him as a potential threat, Annihilus came to the conclusion that he would never truly be safe until he was the only being left.


The Challenger was most recently seen in the Avengers: No Surrender story. This extremely powerful being was locked in a game of wits with The Grandmaster, but not for any grandiose reason. The battle waged, with the Avengers caught up in it, was something surprisingly petty.

The Challenger's issue is that he fancied himself as the Grandmaster, the Grandmaster of games. Games of chance, skill, you name it and he wanted to be the best at it. The Grandmaster was his only real competition and previously he had been cheated out of the title by his old friend. Now full of hate and his pride bruised, this villain is the result of a cosmic board game gone wrong.



Though since his introduction he's become less of a villain, Impossible Man was a true nuisance once. He decided to come to Earth and while here he managed to come into conflict with the Fantastic Four. A powerful being, Impossible Man was not easily removed from their lives, and he really did want to be in their lives.

The whole reason Impossible Man came to Earth was that he admired the team initially. His goal was simple in that he just wanted to be roommates with the team. It's not uncommon that people want to pick who they room with, but coming from another world and managing to rile up your potential new friends? Not the best case to put forward that you're a good housemate, Impossible Man.


Miles Warren is a gifted geneticist who specializes in cloning and replication. His most prolific recent plot was his work with the Spider-Queen to turn New York's citizens into Spider-Hybrids. Miles harbors a strange fascination for Spidey, he even knows Peter Parker is the wall-crawler. He doesn't much care about Parker's secret Identity, though, just his DNA.

Similar to the way Mr. Sinister is obsessed with Cyclops and Jean Grey's DNA, Miles is enthralled by Peter Parker. He's tried to clone Parker on numerous occasions but I often ends in failure or his creations being too dissimilar from the genuine article. You'd think he'd move on in his plots, but no, all he wants is that perfect Parker clone.



In the Mojoverse, ratings are king. Television/broadcast ratings, that is. In a world where viewers are bored easily, Mojo has to go to extremes to delight and entertain them. This usually involves him showcasing broadcasts that involve putting innocent people in danger. Showing a blatant disregard for life, Mojo cares only about his ratings.

Mojo also has an unhealthy obsession with the X-Men. The X-Men are his favorite super-team to pester and place in mortal danger. Though he has been defeated more than once by the mutants, he does not relent. He's a fan of making the X-Men re-live pivotal moments in their history, as lethal nostalgia drives up ratings!


Zzax is a being made completely out of electrical energy, and didn't really have a purpose to begin with. The being was able to take the electrical energy from things like power sockets and add to itself. It wasn't until General Thunderbolt Ross tried to use Zzzax to give him power to stop the Hulk that things got a little weird.

Taking some of the electrical charge of Ross' brain (yes, we know that's silly) Zzzax found sentience. The more human brains he absorbed, the smarter he became. With no real endgame, possibly because he wasn't smart enough to think of one yet, Zzzax's only motive was getting smarter through consuming the charge of people's brains.


An older villain, usually found bothering Hank Pym, the Living Eraser's designs on others aren't really that fleshed out. From another world entirely, he has the power to make people disappear as he erases them. What he actually does is take people away with his powers, snatching them.

He has tried to capture Hank Pym, The Wasp and even She-Hulk on one occasion. Though he failed to steal away anyone of note, it seems he simply tried to steal people because that's the most practical way his powers can be used for villainy. His desires and long term goals were never really explored, so this is one confusing bad guy.


Turner D. Century is a name and a half for a villain, but it links to his powers well. Growing up in an environment where he still believes it to the the turn of the century, when reality was presented to turner, he didn't like it one bit. Think about how Captain America would have been if he's rejected the modern world as fiercely as Turner here.

Disgusted at what he perceived to be a lack of traditional manners, Turner set out to be a villain. A reasonable reaction to bad manners, the villain would also need a fitting weapon. Turner operated a device that was able to take the life of anyone under the age of sixty-five. He was hoping to be left surrounded by older peers with more traditional values.


Flag smasher is a longtime thorn in the side of Steve Rogers and several others to hold the mantle of Captain America. He really dislikes the concept of countries and the laws that govern their borders. If it were up to Flag Smasher, there would be no borders, just one big unified Earth.

While that is a fine idea for someone to have on paper, as his ultimate goal is peace, he expresses his views terribly. Flag Smasher users extreme violence and villainy to try and get his point across. He has, so far, not been successful at tearing down any borders of note.



Chemistro is a brilliant mind and inventor of something a lot of people would like to own. He helped create an Alchemy gun, capable of converting items into things such as gold. The issue is that his employer fired Chemistro to hide the plans and use them for themselves.

Chemistro swore revenge from that day onward, trying to get his own back on his former employer for his dodgy dealings. The issue is, he never had his alchemy gun confiscated, so it's strange that he would be so bothered about revenge. All Chemistro needed to do was use the gun to sustain himself via alchemy, however he did not. A missed opportunity for sure.



Xemnu is a sinister creature from a far off world, capable of immense feats of strength. He also has hypnotic powers, making it possible for him to manipulate people and even possess them at times. Xemnu has the potential to be a real credible threat given its power set, though it is not yet the case.

The silliest thing that Xemnu has done followed his return to his home world. He unfortunately found that his people had been wiped out. Like any other reasonable being, he returned to Earth, with designs on using his hypnotic powers to steal a large portion of the infant population. He wanted to use the children to replace his fallen species, an idea that even in its first glance is a little silly.

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