What do you do once a dangerous supervillain is captured? The Marvel and DC Universes are constantly building or repairing their super-prisons in order to keep these deadly characters locked up. Somehow they always manage to escape, only to be captured once again after killing or causing destruction.
A common theme in both universes is to try to do something different with the captured villains. Villains fall into their old habits due to not having anything else going for them. Being a villain is all they know. They want luxuries out of life, as most people do. Being a bad guy is all they really know.
Because most supervillains have a powers and abilities, rather than continue to lock them up after each return visit, there has been the idea of using the villains to actually do good. As long as they can be given the proper incentive and are able to be controlled, it has been seen that the villains can be formed into a squad to perform dangerous missions. The villains are simply being used with rarely an actual guarantee that their sentence will be reduced for their good behavior. Is trying to use supervillains to do good the safe and right thing to do?== TEASER ==
In many ways, it makes sense. Why should taxpayers have to keep these super-criminals fed and entertained? If they can be used to do good things, how could that be bad? The idea that these villains are expendable is questionable. Many of them may be criminal scum but does that make it right to put their lives at risk for the goals of some high ranking government officials? How much information are they really given? Do they fully know the dangers they could face before going on these missions? It seems unlikely that they would be given full disclosure on why they are needed to perform the task being assigned to them.
There's also the manner in which they are kept in line. When you have individuals with insane powers, you can't just promise to reduce their sentence and hope they will embrace the notion of doing something good. The villains are usually injected with nanite technology. This technology can track the criminals and either provide pain or a way to shut down their bodies if they get out of line. Some (like those in the Suicide Squad) even have nanite bombs injected into them to keep them in line. This was often done without their consent. Is it a violation of their rights?
Can they trust that whoever is at the controls won't zap them in the middle of a mission so that there would be an unfortunate accident while in the field? We've seen in SUICIDE SQUAD where a villain might be needed to lay blame on if the situation goes sour. All that needs to be done is use one of the teammates as a decoy or patsy.
The other matter is trusting the villains. They may have to go on dangerous missions but that could be better than being locked up in a tiny cell and trying to survive recreational time with all the other deadly villains locked up. They may go through the motions and pretend that they truly do want to reform and earn their freedom. They could just be biding their time in order to escape long term incarceration.
Being part of a team also provides them with training that they could use later if they decide to return to a life of crime. Low level villains can be given the experience needed to make them a stronger and more dangerous villain. It's basically work experience for applying to their next criminal job, even if they are doing good things.
The main thing is safety for the public. Regardless of how much monitoring is done or technology used to keep them in line, there's always the possibility they will be able to escape. It would be hard to imagine that the general public would approve of supervillains being allowed to roam the streets, even if they're supposedly on a tight leash. There's simply too much of a danger should something go wrong. Too many lives are being put at risk under the hope that the entire monitoring process is being kept up to date. With all the technology in the hands of villains, it would only be a matter of time until someone else could gain access and liberate any incarcerated villains working in the field and help set them free.
There is always the chance that doing some good might actually rub off on them. We saw that with the original Thunderbolts. There's bound to be a great feeling of actually helping others and being appreciated. Feeling that they can do something that matters might be what they need to make them really want to redeem themselves.
Using captured villains to do the dangerous dirty work for the government in the hopes of helping others seems like a good idea. There just needs to be consent on the villains part and extreme safety protocols need to be put in place. If they are willing to take the risks and everyone can be sure they won't be able to escape and threaten others, there isn't a lot to lose. Even though they're villains, they still have rights that should be honored. If there's the chance that they actually want to continue to do good, the world will become a better place.