All year long on Marvel.com, we’re celebrating Marvel’s 75th anniversary, and to fully appreciate the scope of that history, you need to go back to where it all began.
As anybody knows, a good hero only becomes great when they go up against insurmountable obstacles, meaning their antagonists better be every bit as formidable and intriguing as the champions they menace.
While the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, the Hulk, the Avengers and more burst on the scene in the 1960’s, they may have been forgotten had they simply faced the nameless saboteurs and spies of the Golden Age; instead, villains with not just awe-inspiring powers but multi-faceted motives, in many cases as sympathetic as any character’s, rose to challenge this pantheon.
This week, we count down our top 10 Marvel villains to debut during the 1960’s. Have your own thoughts? Let us know on Twitter using the hash tag #Marvel75!
First Appearance: AVENGERS (1963) #8
Why He’s #9: “Kang the Conqueror's first appearance was also his third appearance, because that's just the kind of guy he is, and was, and will be. The time-travelling villain comes from a far-future utopia that's just too boring for a man of his ambitions, so Kang travelled far and wide across the time stream, becoming Rama-Tut in his first and second appearances, and then Scarlet Centurion, Immortus, and even the teen hero Iron Lad. But first and foremost he is Kang, a zealous megalomaniac who was so inspired by Doctor Doom that he adopted a similar look with a mask and puffy green tunic.” – Andrew Wheeler
Digital Comics Spotlight: AVENGERS (1963) #23
First Appearance: SILVER SURFER (1968) #3
Why He’s Also #9: “The greatest trick Mephisto ever pulled was convincing the world that the fiery little pocket dimension he governed is Hell, and he its dark prince. That wicked widow’s peak first appeared in the winter of 1968, eager to prey upon the consternation of a Silver Surfer ready to sever all ties with humanity. An ever opportunistic negotiator, Mephisto made a name for himself as the ultimate broker in souls. His potency as a villain stems from his dealings with countless Marvel heroes at the lowest points in their lives, seizing upon their despair to clinch on sadistic deals, rending the fabric of time and rewriting history. Many so-called demons and hellish despots cut their sulfurous trail through Marvel lore, but Mephisto reigns as the most cunning and manipulative fiend to ever set off the sprinklers.” – Paul Montgomery
Digital Comics Spotlight: SILVER SURFER (1968) #8
Come back tomorrow to see two more entries on the list, share your thoughts on Twitter with the hash tag #Marvel75 and keep up on Marvel’s 75th anniversary celebration at marvel.com/75