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Take 10: Avengers Foes

The most dangerous threats to ever face Earth’s Mightiest Heroes

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Every week, a secret cabal of Marvel staffers gathers to discuss the best of the best when it comes to the House of Ideas. If you're going to call yourselves "Earth's Mightiest Heroes," you've got to expect you'll be facing the worst villains around, a lesson the Avengers know all too well. From time-travelling despots and robotic rogues to armies of super villains and even circuses of crime, the Avengers have put every manner of menace down for the count. This week, the Secret Cabal tallies the worst of the worst when it comes to Earth's Mightiest Baddies. For each entry you get the quick rundown as well as a special spotlight comic courtesy of Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited. As always, these picks reflect the personal choices of the Secret Cabal, not the official opinion of Marvel or Marvel.com, and can be considered subjective at best. Enjoy!
 

10. ZODIAC Learn More About Them… here First Appearance: AVENGERS #72 (1970) Why They Make the List: "A team defined by the astrological signs they represented, this team of 12 villains is comprised of a rotating group always plagues the Avengers, no matter what the month. The most notable incarnation was founded by Nick Fury's brother, which spelled trouble for everyone involved. There is a new Zodiac rising in Dark Reign, and it remains to be seen what this new sign will bring!" – Secret Cabal member RunawayJ Spotlight Comic: AVENGERS v1 #72—Scorpio strikes!

9. KORVAC First Appearance: GIANT-SIZE DEFENDERS #3 (1975) Why He Makes the List: "It gets complicated trying to explain Michael Korvac. What's not difficult to explain is that he was able to kill the entire Avengers roster, only to raise them back from the dead. This cosmic threat is best feared rather than explained…" – RunawayJ Spotlight Comic: AVENGERS v1 #177—Korvac kills the Avengers!

8. THE WRECKING CREW Learn More About Them… here First Appearance: DEFENDERS #17 (1974) Why They Make the List: "They're a bunch of big, burly dudes with construction site-themed names and costumes who also happen to have powers granted—by accident—from the Asgardian Norn Queen Karnilla. What's not to love?! Seriously, Wrecker, Bulldozer, Piledriver and Thunderball—the only member with a PhD—may seem like a goofy group, but they have enough power to level cities—which they've done—take down Thor and the Avengers—which they've done—and eat lots of red meat without getting sick—which, surely they've done. Plus, magically-powered crowbars are just plain awesome." – Secret Cabal member Agent_M Spotlight Comic: AVENGERS v3 #16—An amped up Wrecking Crew goes against the Avengers, Arkon and Thundra!

7. BARON HEINRICH ZEMO Learn More About Him… here First Appearance: AVENGERS #4 (1964) Why He Makes the List: "Before the Avengers were even a pipe dream in the founders' collective consciousness, the first Baron Zemo altered their history in a major way by hurling Captain America into suspended animation—where Earth's Mightiest would later find him—and seemingly killing his partner, Bucky. When he old foe returned as the newest Avenger, Zemo once again left his mark on the team by founding the Masters of Evil, a group that would plague them for years." – Secret Cabal member Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: AVENGERS v1 #4—Zemo changes the course of Captain America and Bucky's destinies for good!

6. MORGANA LE FAY Learn More About Her… here First Appearance: BLACK KNIGHT COMICS #1 (1955) Why She Makes the List: "One of history's first femme fatales, Morgana Le Fay—or Morgan, depending what kind of mood she's in—once transformed the entire Marvel Universe into her own private Camelot and the Avengers into her personal guard. Unfortunately for Morgana, Captain America and some of his compatriots broke her spell, ending her dream of medieval mastery. Still, Morgana poses a consistent threat and even took Norman Osborn's Dark Avengers down a peg recently." – Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: AVENGERS v3 #2—Morgana Le Fay remakes the world—and the Avengers—in her image!

5. THE SKRULLS Learn More About Them… here First Appearance: FANTASTIC FOUR #2 (1962) Why They Make the List: "Though they started out Fantastic Four villains, their ambitions to claim Earth as their own pretty much guaranteed the Skrulls would clash with the Avengers eventually, and boy did they. Our heroes crushed the green guys' hopes of settling their most ancient score by squashing the Kree-Skrull War. During 'Secret Invasion,' the Skrulls turned the lives of the Avengers upside down and killed founding member the Wasp. There's no love lost here and that makes for good comics." – Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: SECRET INVASION #1—The Skrulls launch their ultimate strike against Earth's Mightiest Heroes!

4. BARON HELMUT ZEMO Learn More About Him… here First Appearance: Captain America #168 (1973) Why He Makes the List: "While many of the names on this list have spent years opposing the Avengers in fruitless schemes, Helmut Zemo has really only gone up against Earth's Mightiest a couple times, but he has made them count. During the 'Under Siege' campaign, he organized the largest Masters of Evil group ever and succeeded in destroying Avengers Mansion as well as shaking the team's confidence and moral center. Years later, he took advantage of the Onslaught crisis to establish the Thunderbolts and nearly get the world's leaders to hand him the keys to all the castles. Quality, not quantity." – Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: THUNDERBOLTS #100—Zemo versus Photon in a showdown with the universe at stake!

3. KANG Learn More About Him… here First Appearance: AVENGERS #8 (1964) Why He Makes the List: "Kang is no ordinary 'super villain.' He lives up to his billing as a conqueror having bent not just countries or even planets, but entire eras to his will. His empire encompasses entire timelines. And yet for all he has accomplished, Kang just can't seem to get one over on the Avengers—and it drives him nuts. This is a man of vast intellect, incredible power and near-unlimited resources who still can't achieve his ultimate goal. He's a terrifying figure, but the Avengers' ability to triumph over him time and time again only helps to build their legend—until the day they can't…" – Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: AVENGERS FOREVER #9—The history of Kang as recalled by the man himself!

2. THE MASTERS OF EVIL Learn More About Them… here First Appearance: AVENGERS #6 (1964) Why They Make the List: "From the inception of the Avengers, this group has kept Earth's Mightiest on their toes. Though ultimately thwarted in their grand plans, the Masters lived up to their name in one of the greatest stories in the history of the Avengers, 'Under Siege,' where they put several of our heroes on their backs and in the hospital! Despite being currently disbanded, the Masters are sure to rise up again, and I fear for the Avengers on that day!" – RunawayJ Spotlight Comic: AVENGERS v1 #6—Baron Zemo assembles the original Masters of Evil!

1. ULTRON Learn More About Him… here First Appearance: AVENGERS #54 (1968) Why He Makes the List: "Aside from zombies and clowns, robots may be the scariest creatures ever devised. Soul-less killing machines bent on crushing humanity? Yikes, right? You won't find a scarier, more deadly robot than Ultron. Created by Hank Pym as an experiment with artificial intelligence, Ultron actually shares the same brain patterns as Pym. But along with advanced intelligence, the spark of life also gifted Ultron with hatred. A burning, unending hatred for all things fleshy. You have to hand it to Ultron. He/it's used that hatred as motivation to continuously improve and reinvent him/itself. Over the years he's wiped out entire countries, crippled S.H.I.E.L.D. and even expanded to space. Luckily the Avengers and other teams—because really, only a heavy-duty crew can handle Ultron—have stopped Ultron time and again. But, well, you know Ultron will be back. Ultron always comes back." – Agent_M Spotlight Comic: AVENGERS v1 #201—Ultron returns! Not a subscriber to Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited yet? Join now! Check out the official Marvel Shop for your favorite Marvel Heroes! Download episodes of "X-Men: Evolution" and "Wolverine and the X-Men" now on iTunes!

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Comments

4 comments
johnnysword
johnnysword

Yeah, I can't believe there's no Loki on this list. If he's not #1, he's #2 right after Ultron. You'd think that they'd have at least put Loki on the list since it would be a chance to promote the Mighty Avengers title.

wyvern9
wyvern9

Loki frigin STARTED the Avengers. If that doesn't make for an awsome villain(es), I don't know what would. Still, a pretty good list.

Bram
Bram

No Loki? :S See, right there is where I start not taking this list serious...

Cardinal2000
Cardinal2000

How is Korvac number 9 but the wrecking crew are number 8? Iron Fist beat the wrecking crew! I know he only appeared briefly but those stories (Korvac Saga) were awesome. He should be much higher, and ditch Morgana please. Where is the Squadron Supreme/Sinister? That's a massive miss!