Take 10

Take 10: Evil Twins

The opposite numbers of Marvel heroes the Secret Cabal loves to see rear their nasty heads

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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. These days in the Dark Reign-dominated Marvel Universe, looks can be extremely deceiving. Wolves in sheep's clothing—or rather villains in heroes' costumes—have proliferated under the rule of Norman Osborn, making it difficult to tell the teams without a scorecard. For years the Marvel heroes have had to endure "evil twins" and twisted versions of themselves, but now those opposite numbers have taken center stage in books like DARK REIGN: THE SINISTER SPIDER-MAN and DARK WOLVERINE, both on sale now. The Secret Cabal dug into the past and present of the Marvel U to compile the following list of nefarious imposters and imitators. 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. THE STEEL SERPENT Opposite Number: Iron Fist Learn More About Him… here First Appearance: IRON FIST #4 (1976) Why He Makes the List: "Unlike some of the others you'll find on this list, Davos—aka the Steel Serpent, aka the Steel Phoenix—actually had a shot at being the good member of his twin set, but his selfishness and aggressive streak thwarted him then as it has time and again. Davos has tried to claim the Iron Fist he feels to be his birthright many times from Danny Rand, but he has never proven his rival's equal. At the moment, the former Serpent has apparently reformed and resigned himself to aiding Rand and the city of K'un-L'un, but you never know when jealousy will once again strike." – Secret Cabal member Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: IMMORTAL IRON FIST #4—Davos goes one-on-two with Iron Fists Danny Rand and Orson Randall!

9. HAWKEYE III (aka BULLSEYE) Opposite Number: Hawkeye Learn More About Him… here First Appearance: DAREDEVIL #131 (1976) Why He Makes the List: "If anybody in the Marvel Universe is less qualified to be a hero than Bullseye, we'd like to know who. Even though he's got a sweet gig posing as Hawkeye in Norman Osborn's Dark Avengers, this lunatic is still sneaking off to put arrows through the eye sockets of muggers and innocent victims alike. Bullseye as an Avenger is just fundamentally wrong—and that's what makes it so sinfully delightful. We feel Clint Barton's frustration at his role as Masked Marksman being usurped by this nutjob and can't wait for the comeuppance." – Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: BULLSEYE: GREATEST HITS #1—The origin of Bullseye!

8. DARK BEAST Opposite Number: Beast Learn More About Him… here First Appearance: X-MEN ALPHA #1 (1995) Why He Makes the List: "Without a doubt, Henry McCoy, aka the Beast, is one of the most beloved characters in Marvel history, what with his playful nature and charming intellect. How could any version of this true blue hero not be a guy you'd want to grab a drink with? The Age of Apocalypse answered that question, providing a McCoy who went down a dark path along with the rest of the world and replaced scientific curiosity with sadism, using his wit to cruelly taunt his victims rather than banter. Since coming to our world, the Dark Beast has replaced our own furry friend, trapping him behind a brick wall, and committed further atrocities in the name of science." – Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: EXCALIBUR #9 (2004)—Dark Beast shakes things up for Professor X and Magneto in Genosha!

7. CARNAGE Opposite Number: Spider-Man Learn More About Him… here First Appearance: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #344 (1991) Why He Makes the List: "If anyone ever lived up to their name it's this guy. Spidey thought he had it bad when jilted photojournalist Eddie Brock and the symbiote met over drinks and became Venom, but nobody was prepared for the spawn of said symbiote to merge with a literal serial killer. Carnage didn't waste time with motivations like revenge or stolen life-envy—he just wanted to have fun. Unfortunately, 'fun' for Carnage was killing. A lot. Mayhem wasn't enough, it was all about the body count." – Secret Cabal member RunawayJ Spotlight Comic: VENOM VS CARNAGE #1—Carnage takes on his "father" in a symbiote showdown!

6. THE MAGUS Opposite Number: Adam Warlock Learn More About Him… here First Appearance: STRANGE TALES #178 (1975) Why He Makes the List: "If you were an anomalous cosmic accident/alternate reality version of an Adam Warlock transported 5,000 years into the past, set down on the planet Sirus X and endlessly bombarded with philosophies and 'dark secrets' by Lord Chaos and Master Order, you'd be loony-bin material as well. Mr. Crazy-Pants spent the next five centuries ascending to near-godhood, forming his own church and biding his time until he could take down Adam Warlock. The twinsies have battled back and forth over the years and while the Magus is gone now, there's always the chance he and his evil afro will return one day!" – Secret Cabal member Agent_M Spotlight Comic: INFINITY WAR #1—The Magus emerges and declares war on the entire Marvel Universe!

5. CASSANDRA NOVA Opposite Number: Professor X Learn More About Her… here First Appearance: NEW X-MEN #121 (2002) Why She Makes the List: "Living emotional energy given corporeal form, Cassandra Nova's original physical body was actually killed by Professor X. In the womb! That they shared! Ew. Anyway, being a little different from mutants or even anything resembling a human, Cassandra survived, slowly rebuilding its body, only to attack decades later! The creepy, extra-evil, super-powerful baddie's been defeated, but she'll surely return, complete with prune-like features and icky, creepy powers." – Agent_M Spotlight Comic: NEW X-MEN #126 (2001)—In Professor X's body, Cassandra Nova makes her last stand against the X-Men!

4. ULTRON Opposite Number: Hank Pym Learn More About Him… here First Appearance: AVENGERS #54 (1968) Why He Makes the List: "Daddy issues? Check. Patterned after the brainwaves of a hero who was already conflicted and emotionally unstable? Check. Extremely powerful and keeps coming back for more? Check times 20! Ultron is the evil twin that won't go away and, unfortunately, gets more dangerous with each incarnation. And, is not afraid to show a little skin, as seen when he—er, it--became a 'she.' From the moment he was created, he's been one of, if not the, greatest enemies the Avengers have ever faced. And there is no denying that he brings out the best in the Earth's Mightiest. 'Ultron, we would have words with thee.' Indeed!" – RunawayJ Spotlight Comic: AVENGERS #67 (1969)—Ultron's back and he's deadlier than ever!

3. STRYFE Opposite Number: Cable Learn More About Him… here First Appearance: NEW MUTANTS #86 (1990) Why He Makes the List: "When a deranged clone of one of the world's most powerful mutants—who happens to be wearing body armor adorned with spikes and blades aplenty—yells, 'Stab your eyes!' you better believe he's gonna do it. Stryfe's an interesting 'evil twin,' as he's often come out on top when stacked up against Cable, the mutant he's cloned from. So Stryfe has Cable's good looks and mutant brain powers, no techno-organic virus crap and a heaping helping of insanity? I'd call that one a winner!" – Agent_M Spotlight Comic: CABLE #1 (1993)—In the far future, Stryfe forces Cable to make one of the most difficult decisions of his life!

2. DARK PHOENIX Opposite Number: Jean Grey Learn More About Her… here First Appearance: UNCANNY X-MEN #134 (1980) Why She Makes the List: "Doesn't get much more 'evil twin' than this, does it? I mean, a cosmic entity posing as Jean Grey freaks out, eats a planet, then almost gets the X-Men killed by the Hellfire Club and the Shi'Ar. And what's great about Dark Phoenix is that she has the possibility of returning again! After she has a shake for breakfast, a shake for lunch, and a sensible planet-sized dinner." – RunawayJ Spotlight Comic: UNCANNY X-MEN #135—Dark Phoenix crosses the line!

1. ANTI-VENOM Opposite Number: Spider-Man Learn More About Him… here First Appearance: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #299 (1988) Why He Makes the List: "Eddie Brock may not have been the first 'evil twin' in comics, but he has remained one of the most popular and well-known for two decades now. Whereas Spider-Man learned early on the lesson that with great power comes great responsibility, Eddie never held himself responsible for anything, and once he became Venom, he used his newfound power to take his revenge on all he felt did him wrong. Over the years, Venom—not Anti-Venom—has waffled the line between outright psychotic murderer and a deranged but well-intentioned defender of the innocent, but even on his best days, Brock represents a twisted mirror of all Peter Parker's efforts to redeem his youthful mistakes." – Annihilator882 Spotlight Comic: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #316—Bouncing back from his defeat at Spider-Man's hands in their first encounter, Venom returns!
 
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11 comments
The_Hobgoblin
The_Hobgoblin

Pretty nice list. I wish Carnage would have been number 2 however. :carnage:

squirrel
squirrel

KillJoy:your first guesses were on point. To me "evil twin" means both nemesis and tied in some intrinsic way.So:Baron Mordo and Dr. Strange were both protegés of the Ancient OneSabretooth is the apocryphal brother of WolverineVulcan is the older brother and sworn enemy of HavokFor your three:Mikhail Rasputin?Abomination or Leaderas for Ben Grimm, I'm totally stumped. Someone similar enough but evil and a nemesis?break it down

Nova1
Nova1

There is no way that Anti-Venom is number 1...I find that with Anti-Venom at 1 and Carnage being in this list it makes it look kind of like a joke. Anti-Venom, in my opinion, seems more like the "good twin" of Venom...while Carnage is Venom's child...not an evil twin of anyone.

noidontthinkso
noidontthinkso

Anti-venom is not at all the opposite of Spider-Man or the evil twin or whatever. that doesnt even make sense, he helped SM and was going after the bad guys. Original Venom doesnt even really make sense either because he always saw SM as the bad guy,and he also had his time on the right side of justice. Carnage fits much better but if your talking about evil twins how about Spidercide or kaine, whos closer than a clone?Spidercide was definetly all bad, and even know kaine went back and forth he was a dark peter parker for sure.

chriskilljoy
chriskilljoy

Red Skull up until the point of his "assassination" by Winter Soldier was existing in a clone of Cap! Also, Cap was created in response to Red Skull's existence ;)Lemme try your twins here:Dr. Strange-> Either Mordo or Dormammu I'd sayWolvie -> Sabretooth or Lady DeathstrikeHavok->VulcanLet's try these ones!ColossusHulkThing

squirrel
squirrel

Cassandra Nova should be #1. If only for the fact that she's the only one that actually is the professor's evil twin.Stryfe should be tied for second along with Dark Phoenix. They are both supremely evil.I like the inclusion of Davos / Steel Serpent, but only because his "twin" is Danny Rand. But he's not so much evil as a misdirected, whiny-bitch.Is it fair to have both Carnage and (Anti)-Venom (who I though was a great character and one of the only good story arcs in recent ASM keeeee-rap).The parallel between Hawkeye and Bullseye is too interesting and so list-worthy in my opinion.Missing (and I'll just post the good "twins" so you can guess who the evil ones are):Dr StrangeWolverineHavokAlso, wasn't the Red Skull subjected to some version of Cap's Super Soldier Serum? If so, he should be way up on that this list.

johnnysword
johnnysword

[quote@vengeance3000 Is Bullseye acutally Hawkeye's relative? That would be an awesome twist, it makes sense too.If its true, why hasn't been explored[/quote] He's not really his relative.

vengeance3000
vengeance3000

Is Bullseye acutally Hawkeye's relative? That would be an awesome twist, it makes sense too.If its true, why hasn't been explored