There's an old saying that claims that it's good to be bad, but is that really true?
The bad guys are usually the ones that everybody in the comic books are afraid of and who are always remembered as the "cool" characters by fans. In fact, sometimes the villains of a comic book or a film franchise are seen as more memorable than the hero who is starring in the story!
When it comes to the Rogues Gallery, there is nobody who does it better than Marvel. Sure, DC has Batman's villains as well as some standouts from their other superhero titles, but within the pages of Marvel we've got the Rogues Gallery of Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, and the Avengers! Any one of those would be comparable to what DC has to offer!
It's not uncommon for bad guys in the world of comics to turn to the side of good and fight alongside their mortal enemies - even if only for a short period of time. Even though audiences see their slide back into the dark side coming a mile away, it's still fun to play the "what if?" card and see how our favorite villains would act if they were good guys.
Enter the world of fan art! With the advent of the internet, it is now easier than ever for fans to create and share new designs for their favorite evildoers. One particular subsection of fan art focuses on turning bad guys good and good guys bad.
Here are 20 Wicked Marvel Villains Reimagined As Superheroes.
20 Venom sans the Symbiote
Though the Green Goblin and Doc Ock are probably Spider-Man's greatest enemies, Venom is right up there in the conversation! E
ddie Brock was Peter Parker's rival at The Daily Bugle before joining with Spidey's old symbiote costume and becoming the infamous anti-hero who hungers for brains and scares the living daylights out of criminals.
What if Eddie Brock wanted to good without the help of the symbiote?
This art shows a younger version of Brock with long, blond hair.
Though he is more "punk" (he is wearing skinny jeans, after all), the character still has the iconic white spider adorning his chest and a white and black aesthetic.
Rather than an alien symbiote covering his face, this version of Venom by mangamie has a bandana with the design of the character's razor-sharp teeth.
19 The Not-So-Dark Phoenix
The Phoenix Force is perhaps the most powerful entity in all of Marvel comics. The cosmic being is so strong that even the likes of Galactus and Thanos tremble in fear when faced with its legendary flames. This makes it all the more insane that telepath Jean Grey is the force's host of choice! Thankfully, Professor X was able to lock it away for years - though not forever.
Though Phoenix has been a hero before, that time was extremely short-lived as Jean Grey quickly turned into the Dark Phoenix.
This piece of art by David Gozu reimagines what would have happened had Jean been able to control her powers without hiding them away. Gone is the iconic crimson and yellow color scheme, replaced with a pure white suit with golden trim.
18 The Red Skull Becomes Iron Man
Although fans had speculated for years that we hadn's seen the last of the Red Skull in the MCU, nobody could have predicted the way his cameo was going to play out in Avengers: Infinity War!
He has only appeared in two cinematic universe films so far (and only has a minute or two of screen time in one), Johann Schmidt is one of Marvel's more memorable movie villains. He's an SS officer whose methods are too extreme for his own regime. How much more moustache-twirlingly evil can you get?
This piece of fan art asks the question: what if Schmidt got ahold of Tony Stark's armor?
Heroforpain's mashup works surprisingly well, trading Red Skull's leather uniform for jet black armor. He even gets a Hydra green ARC Reactor and a sick crimson helmet that matches his skull quite well!
17 Loki x Tron
This is a crossover that we're shocked hasn't happened yet. Disney owns Marvel, and Tron is one of the company's cult hits.
Although 2010's Tron: Legacy was a flop at the box office and dashed any hopes for a franchise reboot, the sequel also developed a cult status as time went on. It seems like a match made in heaven - Marvel superheroes and supervillains decked out in the neon and black colors of Tron would make for some ultra-cool costume variants!
This particular piece of fan art reimagines Thor baddie Loki as a Tron-inspired superhero. Gone are the archaic and regal green robes and gaudy headpiece that the villain usually wears, replaced instead by a sleek black jumpsuit with neon green trimming.
To top it all off, Myoubichan replaced the iconic helmet with a HUD display and plasma-like horns!
16 What if The Juggernaut was on the X-Men?
As bad as the character's portrayal was in X-Men: The Last Stand, the Juggernaut was recently redeemed with his uncanny portrayal in Deadpool 2.
The step-brother of Professor Xavier, Cain Marko was given the powers of the deity Cyttorak when he came into contact with a magic gemstone. As a supervillain, the Juggernaut is arguably the most powerful force in all of Marvel. It usually takes the likes of the Hulk or the Thing to match him in pure brute force!
What if the X-Men were founded by Magneto, and not Professor X? If this were the case, the Juggernaut would be a hero and not a villain. Along with the rest of his teammates, he would be decked out in pure white armor, symbolizing a clean uniformity for Magneto's team - drawn here by David Tran.
Of course, being as powerful as he is, the character would still look as fierce as possible!
15 Ultron as a Good Brother
No matter the universe or alternate timeline within the Marvel universe, Ultron and Vision have origins that intertwine.
In the original comics, Vision was an evil minion created by Ultron who eventually turned to the side of good. Meanwhile, in the MCU, Vision was originally supposed to be the new Vibranium body for Ultron's consciousness until it was reprogrammed by Tony Stark and Bruce Banner with the Mind Stone.
This adorable fan creation pictures what would have happened if Ultron had served out its original purpose of being one of Earth's mightiest heroes.
Instead of arch enemies who understand the fruitless plight of humanity, they would be "brothers," both created by the MCU's smartest minds. Thor's hammer is a nice touch by KyomuRunA.
14 Hela teams up with Wonder Woman
2017 was the year of woman power in the world of superhero movies! Wonder Woman was a smash hit at the box office as well as with critics, and then Thor: Ragnarok came along to give us both Valkyrie and Hela.
Brought to life by the elegant Cate Blanchett, Hela was one of the MCU's better villains.
This comic by Daniel Kordek points out the similarities between the Wonder Woman and Thor universes, both of which are based on different real-world mythologies. Diana asks her new friend if she has ever met her Uncle Hades (the god of mortality in Greek Mythology), to which the Norse Goddess of mortality simply shrugs and says in a typically nonchalant way "Should I?"
13 Will Arnett as Bullseye
Okay, we'll admit that this is one of the weirder entries on this list.
Next to Hawkeye, Bullseye is the world's most accurate marksman. The Daredevil villain is able to use just about anything as a weapon; he can make even small items like pennies or thumbtacks travel at a fatal velocity and hit their mark from several meters away.
This reimagining by Needham-Comics shows him as a superhero played by Will Arnett.
It may sound odd at first, but think about it - Bullseye is known for being cocky, and who plays a cocky superhero better than the guy who played LEGO Batman and Gob?
The defining features of the villain are all still present. They are just shown in a more fun and lighthearted way.
12 Hipster Doc Ock
The character of Otto Octavius has the distinction of being one of Marvel's greatest comic book villains as well as one of the best Marvel villains put on screen.
Alfred Molina brilliantly portrayed the baddie in the original Spider-Man 2. Doc Ock is no stranger to being a hero, either. For a brief period of time, Octavius took control of Peter Parker's mind and became what he called the Superior Spider-Man.
This heroic version of Doc Ock by comicbookguy54321 gives him a more "hipster" vibe, with short brown hair, large-frame glasses, and dark scruff. The design is a perfect blend of classic - the color scheme and belt contraption are straight out of his original appearance - and the modern. Even Octavius' arms have been redesigned to look less menacing and more heroic.
11 Lady Carnage
Carnage is arguably the most sadistic and sinister villain from the pages of Marvel. The symbiote that spawned from Venom became paired with Cletus Kassidy, a demented serial criminal who was locked in the same cell as Eddie Brock.
Unlike Brock, who used his symbiote to fight crime and take revenge on Spider-Man, Kassidy used his bond with the alien to go on a violent rampage. It took the combined power of Spidey and Venom to even attempt to bring him down.
This DeviantArt picture reimagines the psycho murderer as a genderbent superhero.
Dclaret's "Lady Carnage" still appears to utilize the same symbiote as her villainous counterpart, but also has matching crimson hair and a look on her face that warns she is not to be messed with. She is given more heroic traits by being drawn in an anime style.
For the first two phases of the MCU, fans loved the Marvel movies but often criticized them for their lack of an intriguing villain. This all changed when we saw the likes of Loki, Hela, Thanos, and of course, Killmonger.
Played by Michael B. Jordan, this baddie from Black Panther took the world by storm, taking over as the rightful king of Wakanda before being brought down by T'Challa.
In this piece of fan art, the artist asks what could have happened if Killmonger not been such a radical, but instead turned to the side of good.
The mashup takes the face of the actor and superimposes it on one of the alternate costumes for Superman. Complete with some orangish-red light (like Killmonger's Panther suit), this reimagining is one that we all wish to see on screen!
9 Special Ops Green Goblin
Norman Osborn is the most iconic villain of the Spider-Man comics. The character has been antagonizing the Wall-crawler all the way back since 1964's Amazing Spider-Man #14.
Osborn has been a thorn in Spider-Man's side in every aspect of the word; he has used his power as a businessman to bully Peter and his companions financially, and has attacked Spider-Man's loved ones in costume as the Green Goblin time and time again.
This version of the character is akin to the end of Spider-Man 3, where the Green Goblin turned to the light side to help Spidey.
Green-mamba's art gives the newfound hero more of a "Special Ops" look, with military-like costume and a glider that is more like a jet plane. Even his undersuit was made to look more like a mesh armor than green skin.
8 Kraven Meets Cap
Whenever talk of a new Spider-Man film comes up, one of the first villains to be thrown into the fray seems to be Kraven the Hunter.
Kraven is one of the wallcrawler's most dangerous enemies as well as one of his most sadistic. The Kraven's Last Hunt story line is often considered to be one of the best story arcs in all of Spider-Man history. Not to mention, he's only in it for the sport of hunting Spider-Man!
This art by Stefan Tosheff takes the legendary hunter and blends him together with the Nomad costume Steve Rogers wears in Avengers: Infinity War. Though the makeover is sleek and simple, it still incorporates most of the character's original aesthetic with its teeth-like collar and tiger-eyed vest.
7 Baron Zemo: The First Avenger
As far as big screen bad guys are concerned, Helmut Zemo was definitely one of the more sympathetic. His MCU counterpart had a drastically different origin than in the comics. Zemo's family perished as a result of Ultron's attack on Sokovia and he wanted to make the Avengers pay for their reckless vigilantism. Sadly, the character's wonderful comic book costume never made it to the big screen.
This redesign by DarthDestruktor repackages Baron Zemo as a superhero in the MCU.
The character looks a lot like something straight out of The First Avenger.
Zemo is rocking the fur coat over combat boots and a kevlar vest. The artist also finally gave Zemo his comic book mask as a tactical ski mask complete with goggles that double as a communication device.
6 Loki Odinson, Protector of Asgard
It's going to be really difficult for the MCU to replicate the popularity of Loki. The former C-list villain is now a household name thanks to the charismatic performance of Tom Hiddleston. The actor is so charming and sly as the God of Mischief and Trickery that you can't not love him!
Over the last decade Loki has amassed a huge following from both the casual and hardcore fans alike. With massive popularity, comes lots and lots of fan art.
This piece in particular, by comicbookguy54321, shows Loki as Loki Odinson, a hero and the protector of Asgard - a role normally reserved for his brother, Thor. Though his costume isn't much changed from the comics, this interpretation is much more warrior-like and heroic than what we normally see.
5 Magneto as the Leader of the X-Men
Since the very first issue of X-Men, Magneto has been Charles Xavier's greatest foe as well as his best friend. The two both want the exact same thing - acceptance for mutants in this world - but the way they go about it is completely different. Xavier wants peace between humans and mutants, while Magneto believes that mutants are the superior race and should take over the planet from homo sapiens.
What if Magneto wasn't the "Malcolm X" in this situation, and took a more peaceful approach to mutant rights?
In this redesign by Chris Bachalo, Magneto is a member of the X-Men, with a sleek, simple, white and black garb to match.
There's just something awesome about seeing the X-Men's greatest enemy donning their logo on his belt!
4 Dormammu is a Medieval Sorcerer
Everybody remembers the "Dormammu, I've come to bargain!" scene from Doctor Strange.
The master of the dark dimension looks to be the Thanos of the Doctor Strange franchise. He appeared more as the puppet master behind the scenes, pulling the strings of the main villain and setting up the events of the first film. The character is the most powerful sorcerer in the Marvel universe and a consistent foe to Stephen Strange.
This epic piece of art by Jerad Marantz depicts Dormammu as a medieval wizard fighting for the side of good. He still maintains his intimidating appearance, but now the character looks more like an angry Groot than a world-conquering villain.
Perhaps the best touch in this piece of art are the planet-like structures that appear in the fiery abyss of the hero's head.
3 Steve Rogers and Johann Schmidt: BFFs?
Johann Shmidt and Steve Rogers are mortal enemies. Of course they are: Rogers is Captain America, the man who stands for everything under the banner of the Red, White, and Blue. Meanwhile, Shmidt was literally a Nazi. You don't get much more anti-American than that!
With a little bit of comic book convoluted plot, the two men have been locked in an ongoing battle for almost eighty years.
This lighthearted comic pictures an alternate univers in which Rogers and Shmidt aren't enemies, but close friends.
The art style from peponaki gives the characters an even goofier demeanor than the situation would call for normally. Cap looks like he stepped straight out of a Simpsons cartoon! The fact that Red Skull is giving the camera a confused look as if he doesn't understand what's going on only adds to the hilarity.
2 Thanos as a Member of the Nova Corps
Thanos is the be all, end all of Marvel villains. Although Galactus, Doctor Doom, and the Celestials may all be just as big of a threat to Marvel's heroes whenever Thanos shows up - usually with the Infinity Stones - you know things are about to go down!
The son of two Eternals, Thanos' mother thought he was evil from the start and attempted to end his life. She was unsuccessful, and we all know what happened from there.
This art poses the question: what would have happened if Thanos had been born as a normal child and joined the Nova Corps instead of going bad?
The redesign follows the color scheme of the Mad Titan's armor and even includes gauntlets that are made to look like dual Infinity Gauntlets!
1 Doctor Doom: The Greatest Hero of Them All
Victor von Doom is one of the great "What If?"s in Marvel comics. He isn't a stereotypical villain like Green Goblin or Galactus or Thanos. Doom is the leader of the fictional country of Latveria, and for the record, he is a good leader. The problem comes when he appears in America or comes up with a new scheme to take over the world.
If Doom was on the side of the heroes, he would be one of the greatest superheroes to have ever lived. Victor is one of Marvel's most intelligent minds. Pairing him with Reed Richards or Bruce Banner or Hank Pym would yield results the world could only dream of!
This redesign by kiborgalexic shows Victor as a normal character, sans a mask and his messed-up face, along with shiny white and gold armor.
What do you think of these villain redesigns? Would they make awesome superheroes? Let us know in the comments!