Best of 2011

Our Favorite Villains of 2011

Symbiotes, sociopaths, fallen heroes and more top our list of bad guys who shined over the past year

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The villains of 2011 followed many paths into darkness, as longtime devotees of evil competed with former champions twisted by circumstances beyond their control.

Threats of every type pervaded the Marvel Universe as the year wore on, from ancient gods of fear to fading criminals making a last grab at sinister glory. A dimension away in the Ultimate Comics Universe, good men fell to the foes that had long pursued them as well as their own inner torment.
With a new year upon us, Marvel.com casts an eye back to the men, women and monsters that plagued our heroes in 2011.

This list reflects a vote conducted by members of the Marvel.com editorial staff and should by no means be considered official ranking or representative of anything but their specific tastes

10. JUGGERNAUT

Appeared In:
THUNDERBOLTS, FEAR ITSELF: THE HOME FRONT, FEAR ITSELF: YOUTH IN REVOLT, UNCANNY X-MEN
2011 in Review: Cain Marko began his year looking to reform for his past misdeeds as a member of the Thunderbolts, but an unfortunately timed benching by Luke Cage and a mystical hammer from The Serpent derailed his hopes for redemption, transforming him into the destructive Kuurth of the Worthy. The out of control Juggernaut rampaged across the United States, facing his former T-Bolts teammates, Speedball, the Initiative and more, racking up massive property damage before reaching San Francisco and engaging his oldest foes, the X-Men, in terrifying combat.
Why He Makes the List:
We had our fingers crossed for Juggernaut, who has come so close to being a hero so many times, but fate always seems to conspire against him. Nonetheless, there’s an undeniable joy in watching Cain Marko unleashed, running full bore in an unstoppable line toward his objective, taking out ever hero in his path.
Digital Highlight:
THUNDERBOLTS #144—Juggernaut joins the Thunderbolts!

9. DAKEN

Appeared In:
DAKEN: DARK WOLVERINE, X-23
2011 in Review:
The son of Wolverine looked to one-up his father, conquering Madripoor and installing himself as head of organized crime on the island nation, ousting and humiliating Wolverine’s ally Tyger Tiger in the process. Following an altercation with his genetic relative X-23, Daken relocated to Los Angeles where he has become entangled with the unbalanced Marcus Roston and brought the Runaways out of hiding.
Why He Makes the List:
The most dangerous wolves hide in sheep’s clothing. Daken has been able to convince the Fantastic Four and now the Runaways he’s working the right side of the street, charming numerous others along the way as well, with many ending up on the fatal end of his tempestuous temper. Wolverine’s son has proven a charming monster that generally gets what he wants, often through subterfuge, but failing that, old fashioned violence.
Digital Highlight:
DAKEN: DARK WOLVERINE #1—Striking out on his own!

8. JACK O’LANTERN

Appeared In:
VENOM
2011 in Review:
The chief hitman for and adopted son of the latest Crime Master, the new Jack O’Lantern ran afoul of Venom this year, kidnapping his girlfriend, Betty Brant, and having his jack dislocated by a live grenade launched into his mouthpiece by his nemesis. Currently, the mismatched duo have embarked on a cross country road trip instigated by Crime Master, who has blackmailed Venom, and Jack O’Lantern has killed multiple civilians they’ve come into contact with unbeknownst to his companion.
Why He Makes the List:
We barely know Jack O’Lantern, but we already want to stay as far away from him as possible. His reckless, jaw-sacrificing attitude when it comes to taking on Venom may be one thing, but his gruesome habit of murder followed by ritualistic mutilation to make his victims look like his namesake—a technique he first put into practice on his own parents—elevates his sickness several degrees.
Digital Highlight:
GHOST RIDER (2006) #9—The final ride of a previous Jack O’Lantern!

7. DOCTOR OCTOPUS

Appeared In:
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, INVINCIBLE IRON MAN, AVENGERS ACADEMY
2011 in Review:
In between bouts with Spider-Man, Doctor Octopus tormented Iron Man by blackmailing him into trying to cure him in exchange for innocent lives and then embarrassed him when he could not accomplish the goal. He also led the Sinister Six in successful campaigns against the Avengers Academy, the Future Foundation and the Intelligencia as they geared up for a clearly larger agenda in 2012.
Why He Makes the List:
Desperate men do desperate things, but in the case of Doc Ock, having his tentacles up against the wall due to a disease that’s eating away at him has inspired him to new heights of success. In 2011 he earned true victories over Spider-Man, Iron Man, Hank Pym and others, accomplishing his objective and remaining free to continue pursuing his master plan. If Ock’s looking to go out with the bang he has promised, he’s well on his way.
Digital Highlight:
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #642—The final act of Doc Ock continues!

6. REED RICHARDS (ULTIMATE)

Appeared In: ULTIMATE COMICS DOOM, ULTIMATE COMICS ULTIMATES
2011 in Review:
Revealed as the mastermind behind a series of attacks on heroes and scientific installments, Reed Richards allied himself with aliens from the Negative Zone in an attack on Earth fended off by his former Fantastic Four teammates as well as the Ultimates, Spider-Man and more. Surviving the battle, a scarred Richards recuperated and genetically engineered a new super human race called the Children of Tomorrow and their home, the City, from which they destroyed Asgard.
Why He Makes the List:
For years we have wondered with frightened curiosity what would happen if Mister Fantastic went all the way bad, and in 2011 we got our answer after a fashion in the form of his young Ultimate counterpart. The combined strain of Sue Storm leaving him along with the cumulative damage of Ultimatum and his knowledge that it could have been prevented cracked Richards’ worldview and set him down his current path. Regardless of his atrocities—like eradicating an entire races of gods—we can’t help but wonder if Richards remains well-intentioned behind his new megalomaniacal exterior.
Digital Highlight:
ULTIMATE COMICS DOOM #2—The Ultimate Enemy revealed!

5. NORMAN OSBORN

Appeared In:
OSBORN, AVENGERS, NEW AVENGERS
2011 in Review:
Norman Osborn began the year behind bars, still incarcerated for his actions during Dark Reign, but that didn’t stop his influence from inspiring a cult of followers, some of whom conspired to free him, but initially just inspired him to stage a violent prison riot alongside a new group of allies as he held a terrified Norah Winters hostage to bear witness. Later, the coalition of AIM, HYDRA and The Hand would in fact break Osborn out and install him at the head of a reconstituted H.A.M.M.E.R., the resources of which he has used to form a new Dark Avengers and come after the real Avengers for imprisoning him under false pretenses.
Why He Makes the List: It speaks to Norman Osborn’s impressive cult of personality that he ignited an entire movement devoted to carrying out his skewed agenda without ever leaving his tiny cell. It also speaks to his unbelievable confidence bordering on arrogance that, when presented with an opportunity for freedom, he turned it down just to keep his adversaries guessing. Now free at last, with impressive backing and perhaps a more rational state of mind than ever before, he could be unstoppable—unless the Goblin gets hold again.
Digital Highlight:
OSBORN #1—An incarcerated Norman Osborn plots his next move!

4. CARNAGE

Appeared In:
CARNAGE, CARNAGE U.S.A.
2011 in Review:
The Carnage symbiote returned to Earth courtesy of an overly ambitious industrialist, who also made the mistake of saving Cletus Kasaday, the creature’s original host, last seen getting torn in half by The Sentry outside Earth’s atmosphere. Once Kasaday reclaimed his mantel as Carnage, he picked up where he left off, battling Spider-Man and Iron Man, killing several symbiote-powered security guards and generally terrorizing the populace of New York City before escaping. He has since resurfaced in rural America, where he has gained possession over an entire town, forcing them into depraved situations and drawing the Avengers in—only to take control of them as well.
Why He Makes the List:
Carnage doesn’t need to do much to make an impact. His smallest acts are overflowing with enough depravity to rival the grand gestures of a more powerful villain. His gleeful slaughter spree upon his “rebirth” left an immediate mark on our minds, but his latest actions with the poor town he has literally turned into his living puppets represent true horror. Watching Kasaday envelop a baby with his symbiote then turn it into a homicidal killing machine or force an elderly couple to “entertain” him leaves you feeling dirty—and wondering what he’ll do next.
Digital Highlight: CARNAGE #1—One of Spider-Man’s deadliest foes returns!

3. THE GREEN GOBLIN (ULTIMATE)

Appeared In:
ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN
2011 in Review:
Thought dead, Norman Osborn resurfaced in the deepest holding cell of the Triskelion and broke free, bringing together Electro, Kraven, Sandman, Doctor Octopus and Vulture for a campaign of terror that took advantage of a fragmented Ultimates team and tore up New York City. This would only prove a smokescreen, however, for the Goblin’s true goal of drawing out his archenemy, Spider-Man, and assaulting outside the home of his alter ego and family. After Peter Parker ran through Osborn’s pawns, the two rivals battled one-on-one and the Goblin finally dealt a death blow to his young foe, moments before succumbing himself with a smile on his face.
Why He Makes the List:
Since he first appeared on the scene and acquired the power of the Green Goblin, Norman Osborn has had a singular goal: Make Peter Parker pay for his perceived crimes. Escaping months of captivity, Osborn kept a razor sharp focus even when his allies temporarily lost theirs, hounding Spider-Man to his very door and dispatching of him right in front of those closest to him, ensuring they would suffer for some time to come. That Osborn perished as well means nothing; he accomplished his goal in the way most satisfying for him and horrid for his enemies.
Digital Highlight:
ULTIMATE SIX #1—Norman Osborn first gathers his Ultimate Six!

2. SIN

Appeared In:
CAPTAIN AMERICA, FEAR ITSELF, FEAR ITSELF: THE FEARLESS
2011 in Review:
The daughter of The Red Skull began her 2012 disrupting the trial of Bucky Barnes and played a role in sending that Captain America off to Russian prison, then followed up with an impressive encore, raising The Serpent from his imprisonment and unleashing Fear Itself on Earth as Skadi, one of his Worthy. During her time wielding the power of a god, Sin nearly killed Barnes and brought about the virtual destruction of Washington DC and New York City. Follow the Serpent’s fall, she has reunited with Crossbones and the Thule Society to try and regain her patron’s might.
Why She Makes the List:
When your dad’s The Red Skull, that’s a tough act to follow, but if ever the Marvel Universe had a villainous overachiever, it’s Sin. While it may have been The Serpent who tore up the planet with his campaign of fear, he would never have gotten the opportunity if not for the resourcefulness and determination to sow chaos that Sin embodies. Her love for anarchy and unpredictability has elevated her beyond a thorn in Captain America’s side to a threat everybody from the Avengers to Asgard needs to be wary of.
Digital Highlight:
CAPTAIN AMERICA #614—Sin targets the Statue of Liberty!

1. ARCHANGEL

Appeared In: UNCANNY X-FORCE
2011 in Review:
Warren Worthington III completed his transformation from Angel to Archangel to full-fledged heir to Apocalypse at the start of the year and things only got worse from there. He recruited Dark Beast, the Horsemen and Genocide to aid him in using technology purloined from both the Celestials and the World with the goal of reshaping Earth into a Darwinian landscape where only the strong would survive. At his worst, Archangel wiped out an entire town’s populace, staring an innocent child in the eyes as he pulled the “trigger.” It took X-Force, another dimension’s X-Men, much sleight of hand and tremendous sacrifice to stop this fallen hero’s twisted plans.
Why He Makes the List:
No evil stings so much as the one coming from a former friend. A founding member of the X-Men and one of the most beloved heroes across the Marvel Universe, Warren Worthington spent years battling and defeating his inner demons, but they overwhelmed him this year and brought much suffering to those who cared for him. That Archangel would coldly bring about wholesale death while offering a small boy empty reassurances hurt enough, but seeing the face of a once great man as he performed these actions twisted the knife. It also made Warren a fascinating portrait of warped morality and the power of love, as his friends and the woman who loved him persevered to save him even after all hope had clearly left the shell of this dark Angel.
Digital Highlight:
UNCANNY X-FORCE #3—Archangel’s dark side begins to show!

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Comments

5 comments
hawkeyed319
hawkeyed319

Archangel ABSOLUTELY deserves that first place. Bravo Marvel!

dhesi
dhesi

Mr Fantastic looks good as a villain and so is Norman Osborn

lgustec
lgustec

For me Norman Osborn is always on top of the list.

Xmen_Avengers
Xmen_Avengers

I think Loki should be number 1 but what ever.