These days, villains seem to be in fashion. Thanos and Killmonger have proved a big hit in the MCU, while fascination still surrounds Kylo Ren in the Star Wars saga. We’ve had a Chucky remake which has gone down a storm, whereas the Joker movie is due to hit screens in October. While that’s all very good, however, Brightburn has proved to be arguably the most refreshing take on an enhanced being yet.
Brightburn basically asks the question: what if Superman was evil? The answer is... a nightmare for whoever crosses his path (whether they love him or not). With that in mind, we now take a look at 10 heroes who would make for brilliant villains if they were to ever jump to the other side.
As strong beings go, barely anybody comes close to rivaling Hulk. It isn’t just because Bruce Banner turns into a big, green, destroying machine when angry. The fact is that, in his human form, he has a remarkable amount of intelligence. We saw recently in Avengers: Endgame that when he combines the two, he’s a formidable foe for his opponents.
But if he were to change sides, that would spell disaster. Hulk’s brutal nature means nobody would be safe from his rage while his brain would ensure he always stay one step ahead of his enemies.
Speaking of superheroes with remarkable strength and intelligence, Batman would also make a rather intimidating villain for even the strongest of superheroes. They’re not the only two things in his repertoire, though. He also has an array of gadgets and vehicles, an assortment of capable side-kicks, and the one thing every bad guy loves the most: money in abundance.
The Joker has been trying to drive Bruce Wayne insane for years because he knows that, if he succeeded, Gotham would fall. His no-kill rule has seen him toe the line but, in the Killing Joke, he laughs at a joke his adversary makes. This makes him fearful of one day descending into darkness, and the thought of him rampaging through Gotham, unshackled by his own rules, makes for a tantalizing prospect.
When you think of Ant-Man, you can’t help but think of Paul Rudd’s portrayal of Scott Lang in the MCU. Rudd has made Lang a comedic character, albeit one whose bravery often pays off in the heat of the battle. But if Lang were to be a bad guy, he would be nearly untraceable to track down due to his tiny size.
He could then do some pretty messed-up things by sneaking into people’s ears, up their nose, or inside other parts of the human body. He could also access locations that nobody else would, such as the headquarters of the world’s most powerful people. Ant-Man doesn’t seem so friendly now, does he?
Let’s face it: so brutal and bloodthirsty can Wolverine be that it’s borderline whether he’s a good guy anyway. The fact he works in tandem with both the X-Men and the Avengers (in the comics) means we know what side he’s really on. But there’s a part of him, buried deep within, that means he would make for a nightmare antagonist.
With his metallic claws, super strength, and stunning agility, it would be difficult for anybody to stop him. Some of the big superheroes from comic book lore have the power and potential to do it, but the rest would no doubt fall by his claw.
On the completely opposite side of the coin to Wolverine is Mr. Fantastic. While Logan is known for his brutality, Reeve Richards is famed for his slickness and style, as well as his super-flexible body. And, like Bruce Banner and Batman, he also has one hell of an intelligent brain.
When you combine his intelligence with his ability to shape his body into anything, it means he’d be a rather tricky opponent for any hero. He could literally keep some heroes at bay by extending his arm and placing a hand on their head to stop them from getting any closer. How on earth do you compete against someone you can’t even get anywhere near?
When Scarlet Witch was introduced to the MCU in 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, we saw glimpses of just how powerful she can be. Due to her powers, which come directly from the Mind Stone, she was able to produce some terrifying visions for the likes of Tony Stark, Thor, and Captain America to see. It was only once she chose to side with the Avengers against Ultron, rather than the other way round, that they were able to reign supreme.
Since then, she’s been toned down a bit, although did manage to use her powers to shackle Thanos during Avengers: Endgame’s final battle, which, given how powerful the Mad Titan is, is no small feat. There’s still much intrigue surrounding her but it’s good she’s on the right side.
So we mentioned that Brightburn was basically a what-if-Superman-turned-evil sort of blockbuster. But what if Clark Kent were to actually fight for the wrong side? Given his only weakness is Kryptonite, we think he’d be a nightmare for the good guys. Because, seriously, how much Kryptonite do you ever find lying around?
In 2017’s Justice League, Superman initially comes back from the dead full of rage and hellbent on fighting the likes of Batman, Wonder Woman, and the Flash. Thankfully, they’re able to bring him round in order to win their fight against Steppenwolf, but the sheer scope of his powers mean he’d be unstoppable if he chose to be. He can fly, he has remarkable strength, and he’s lightning quick, too. Throw into the mix his ability to shoot beams from his eyes and he would be virtually unstoppable.
The God of Lightning, unsurprisingly, makes this list. Think of the worst storm in the world, then imagine that it was being controlled by somebody. Frightening, right? Therefore, if Thor were to switch sides and turn his back on the good guys, they would certainly have their work cut out.
In the MCU, there’s no chance of Chris Hemsworth’s characters changing allegiances anytime soon. But if he were, just imagine the havoc he’d be able to cause. There isn’t an Avenger quite strong enough to take him down at the moment (though we imagine Captain Marvel would fancy her chances), and the fact he’s a god means very few people would come remotely close.
Charles Xavier is somebody who can control the minds of every single person on the planet through Cerebro, has enough influence to get most Mutants backing him, and has a vast amount of intelligence that would make even the Albert Einsteins and Stephen Hawkings of this world jealous. And those three reasons are why he’d make such an exciting villain.
Just the very first point alone would be enough to trouble every good guy on the planet. Imagine if you had the power to make people do your bidding? Yikes. His influence is another strength and means he would be able to placate and control anybody he wants.
The final superhero who would make an awesome supervillain to make this list is DC’s The Spectre. He’s not been seen on the big screen yet, and there’s most likely a good reason for that. The reason being that it would be one of the most one-sided battles in movie history.
The Spectre is the very embodiment of God himself, created as a response to Elipso, who had turned evil after his initial creation. He has pretty much no limitations whatsoever, being able to reshape reality, manipulate time and space, change matter, and punish those who he considers needs it. Batman, Wonder Woman and the rest of the Justice League have the power to defeat pretty much any foe in comic book history. But this is a battle we think even they, with their unique skill set, would lose.