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: FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) #48
Why He’s #2: “The day Galactus came to Earth, everything changed. Though above concepts as good and evil, the god-like being who hungered for the life-energies of entire planets nevertheless found himself challenged by the inhabitants of the world he’d come to devour. Galactus possessed near-omnipotent powers and took whatever he desired from the universe, but the Fantastic Four stood in his way on more than one occasion, cutting off the life-giving energy he needed to continue his existence and forcing the eons-old star-traveler to seek out alternative solutions to his quest. To this day, the very thought of Galactus causes panic across an entire world, in anticipation of his arrival.” – Jim Beard
Digital Comics Spotlight: FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) #49
First Appearance: FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) #5
Why He’s Also #1: “Shakespearean in scope and grandeur, when Victor Von Doom arrived on the scene, he signaled that the villain game has completely and irrevocably changed.
“A complex collection of simmering resentment, suppressed inferiority, and unquenchable thirst for power, Doctor Doom demanded the attentions of his antagonists in a way unlike any other who had preceded him. He did not just commit crimes that the Fantastic Four felt compelled to stop; he showed up on their doorstep and tried to destroy them. Aggressively amoral, he made and broke alliances with impunity and manipulated everyone he came in contact with. He outwitted, even if just temporarily, the likes of Spider-Man, Namor, and, of course, Reed Richards. He seized the Power Cosmic from Silver Surfer and only lost it because he was unaware that Galactus has sealed the planet Earth in an invisible fence.
“And yet, through it all, Doom could not stop braying about his superiority, could not let go of his petty grievances. He could never be happy with good enough because he could never stop feeling hideous, scarred, and less than. Compensatory narcissism can be a dangerous beast, and the one enemy Doom consistently proved unable to defeat.” – Tim Stevens
Digital Comics Spotlight: FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) #57
Share your thoughts on Twitter with the hash tag #Marvel75 and keep up on Marvel’s 75th anniversary celebration at marvel.com/75