Off My Mind: Why Villains Need to Unite Against Superheroes

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Posted by G-Man (30641 posts) - - Show Bio

Superheroes are often seen as remarkable and dedicated individuals. They often give up elements of their personal life in order to put on a costume and risk their lives to defeat the evil forces determined to harm the world. They will make sacrifices and have made it their mission in life to protect innocent civilians.

As determined as the superheroes are, it could be argued that there are others that are more determined. Supervillains are the most stubborn people around. They will do anything and stop at nothing to try to fulfill their goal of world domination (or simply robbing a bank, depending on their ambition). Supervillains rarely win the fight against the hero yet they never give up. No matter how many times a supervillain is locked up, they always manage to escape or get released in order to continue their dastardly plans.

What supervillains need to do is get some better organization. They need to try to look at the bigger picture. Feelings of revenge need to be set aside in order to truly accomplish more than throwing a few punches with a hero and getting locked up. In order to finally win the battle, supervillains need to band together and make their plans on a much larger level.

== TEASER ==

Superheroes understand their own strengths and weaknesses. Despite having won battle after battle against the villains, they understand there are times when they can't do it all alone. They are (usually) not afraid to ask for help. This is where the superhero teams come in. With the world's greatest or mightiest heroes together, it will take a lot of firepower and skill to get past them. Villains have tried forming evil teams from time to time but the structure needs to be fortified.

Recently Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning have given us a twist to the Heroes for Hire idea with VILLAINS for Hire. When supervillains have tried to form evil teams before, it's not a lack of power or ability that allows them to be defeated, it's their egos. They all want to be in charge. They can't trust each other. Most likely they can't even stand each other. This is something you don't usually see on the superhero teams. They have better organization and are motivated by the common goal of doing the right thing as heroes.

The idea of a Villains for Hire team could work if handled properly. What supervillains really care about is money and respect. If someone with intelligence is acting as 'Control' over the villains, they could make sure those two elements are present.

When forming a well-balanced team, the different abilities need to be assessed and the need for certain members really depends on the mission. Captain America probably wouldn't send Ant-Man against Galactus. A set team is good as there are members around when a threat arises but the idea of having heroes (or villains) available for hire makes more sense. Individuals with certain abilities should be called upon and utilized based on need for each situation.

What happens when Doc Ock goes up against Spider-Man or when the Riddler tries outsmarting Batman? They get defeated. They each have remarkable skills and they could be put to better use in the right situation. Although Doc Ock has had some success when teaming with the Sinister Six, showing that sometimes there are strengths in numbers. He just needs to focus on someone that doesn't know all of his weaknesses.

Purple Man is trying his luck with the notion of Villains for Hire. The idea of having a network of bad guys willing to play a role in a bigger scheme has its benefits. He doesn't even have to get his hands dirty as he can simply sit back, coordinate everything and issue orders to those he hires.

Of course Deathstroke also had his own Villains for Hire team (when they took over the TITANS series).

It worked for a little bit but Deathstroke didn't show them enough respect and things blew up in his face.

Another good example is Calculator. He may be a brilliant guy but he was never taken seriously until he upped the stakes and started getting other deadly villains to work for him. He basically was the evil version of Barbara Gordon when she operated as Oracle. Calculator would provide plans and information that were almost guaranteed to help out the crooks. He charged them a fee of course but his help was worth it.

Fortunately the superheroes and innocent civilians of the comic worlds don't really have anything to worry about. No matter how well played the plans of evil-doers are, something always goes wrong. Greed and ego are often the cause for plans to go sour.

Villains just can't be trusted. If they can get put aside their petty differences and work together, they might actually have a chance of ruling the world.

Staff
#1 Posted by DXmagma (91 posts) - - Show Bio

I think Old man Logan is the best series to show what would happen if ALL villains teamed up and nothing went sour. It also made Mysterio a real threat for once.

#2 Posted by Dernman (14731 posts) - - Show Bio

If villains worked together the heroes would be in trouble. 
Also the Villains way outnumber the heroes.

#3 Posted by Cafeterialoca (1502 posts) - - Show Bio

What's with comicvine and it's obsession with villains?

#4 Posted by redhood21 (774 posts) - - Show Bio

There is one successful evil cabal of villains and they keep mailing Nicholas Cage movie scripts.

#5 Posted by InnerVenom123 (29499 posts) - - Show Bio

Their egos can't be put aside. That's the point.

#6 Posted by kamionero (312 posts) - - Show Bio

@redhood21 said:

There is one successful evil cabal of villains and they keep mailing Nicholas Cage movie scripts.

HAHAHA yes!!!

@DXmagma said:

I think Old man Logan is the best series to show what would happen if ALL villains teamed up and nothing went sour. It also made Mysterio a real threat for once.

I love when they use random, usually mediocre villains and they make them an actual threat. Dr. Light, Mysterio, its really cool when "lame" villains actually leave a big imprint on heroes.

#7 Edited by dewboy01 (1876 posts) - - Show Bio

Strengths in numbers my friends........ strengths in numbers.

#8 Posted by redhood21 (774 posts) - - Show Bio

strength in numbers indeed.

#9 Posted by clemj (817 posts) - - Show Bio

@DXmagma: i can't stop reading it

#10 Posted by LB70145 (191 posts) - - Show Bio

Super Villain Team-Up never works. Acts of Vengeance is the best example of this. They can do well in the beginning, but in the end things will fall apart. Villains are naturally prone to being loners and seldom work well in groups if at all. The Justice League Animated Series also have several arcs where this is very evident. The many Secret Societies and Injustice Leagues always end up failing to clinch the win. There is also the meta aspect of writers will never let villains win or at least win in the mainstream universe. And if the villains do win, it wouldn't be for very long i.e. Dark Reign. There should be a comic where the villains merely survive rather than "win". They get the money and all that stuff but they will try to limit civilian casualties and actual interaction with heroes.

#11 Posted by Sir_Deadpool (461 posts) - - Show Bio

great article. villains are more the individual fighter thats the problem i see in it. but teaming up wouldmake the chances for a win way higher. i would love seeing some villains kicking ass off heroes (especially superman)!

#12 Edited by leokearon (1759 posts) - - Show Bio

The villians need to create the MIghty Million

#13 Posted by Grim (2079 posts) - - Show Bio

@kamionero said:

@DXmagma said:

I think Old man Logan is the best series to show what would happen if ALL villains teamed up and nothing went sour. It also made Mysterio a real threat for once.

I love when they use random, usually mediocre villains and they make them an actual threat. Dr. Light, Mysterio, its really cool when "lame" villains actually leave a big imprint on heroes.

agreed. That was the sole reason i found Old Man Logan so appealing. because every villain was used super well.

#14 Posted by ssejllenrad (12847 posts) - - Show Bio
A testament to the success of united villains.
#15 Posted by Paracelsus (1504 posts) - - Show Bio

Could it work- my guess is YES, but in practical terms the average super villain(ess?) is far too egocentric to make a good "team player"(look at the Masters of Evil or the Sinister Six)-and besides there are other issues( remember the Acts of Vengeance storyline where Magneto refused to work with the Red Skull due to the former's Holocaust survivor background and the latter's commitment to Nazism-he even buried him alive!). |Heroes for all their respective issues( Arab -Israeli conflict for Sabra and the Arabian Knight, Cold War for the Avengers and FF and the Winter Guard)that divide them, understand that there are times when extraneous mattes need to be back burnered so to speak. Villains For Hire looks intriguing(BTW who IS the mysterious new female Death Stalker- is she a daughter or sister of the original DS?) but unless and until the bad guys/gals can get their act together as effectively as the Avengers, FF, X-Men et al, then they will ALWAYS be clobbered by the heroes!

Terry

#16 Posted by clemj (817 posts) - - Show Bio

@LB70145 : said There should be a comic where the villains merely survive rather than "win". They get the money and all that stuff but they will try to limit civilian casualties and actual interaction with heroes. With Steve mcNiven drawing

and Mark Millar writing that'll be a great idea!!!!

#17 Posted by CaptainGenisVell (292 posts) - - Show Bio

What about 'Wanted', they wiped out an entire planets worth of heroes and not only that made everyone forget about them, even changed the memories of some just to humiliate them. I think that is a greater success, making the world forget about heroes all together (as well as a mass genocide of them of course).

#18 Posted by Eyz (3095 posts) - - Show Bio

It often results in two ends, which are the reason the writers will resort to those teamups in the firs tplace.

Proving a considerable threat to the hero. From the hero's POT usually. When a character's been able to defeat all those villains easier each time in the past, they'll unite...only to prove the hero's worth, who will defeat them once more, probably using one's strenght against another's weakness.

Or from the villain's POT, proving how badass they are, usually only for the purpose of defeating an hero. (sinc ehaving only one villain "killing" an hero would serve to show how useless that hero was, giving him a last hurrah against a whole group will appease his fans)

@ssejllenrad said:

A testament to the success of united villains.

They're the best! Love the Crime Syndicate!!

#19 Posted by Lvenger (18316 posts) - - Show Bio

But that's the joy of seeing supervillain teams unravel. Villains are an arrogant, selfish bunch and no matter the structure or organisation of the team, each villain is looking out for number one. They want money, respect, power, to dominate or destroy the world and a plethora of other motives. As such, they can never unite towards a common goal since they don't have one. Despite differences on superhero teams, they are fighting for the common good, protection of the innocent and the upholding of the best moral principles and traits that humanity has come up with that allows them to put aside their differences and work together to combat evil. Thus, that is why good triumphs over evil in the end.

#20 Posted by fernandorf (2 posts) - - Show Bio

In real life, there's the organized crime, drug cartels, corruption networks and all. It annoys me so badly no writer can figure this out. Ok, villains are selfish and not exactly a cohesive bunch, but hell, they don't know how to commit crimes? How to organize themselves and making something really big happen? The human being is a friggin' social being (yeah, not all villains are humans, but I hope you get the point). Maybe the only things that forces them to work together are submission, lies, deception, like Loki, Dr. Doom, Luthor, Fisk and Osborn use so frequently. The "lesser" villains deserve to got their backs whipped so hard for not knowing how to make bad things.

#21 Posted by LordRequiem (1309 posts) - - Show Bio

The Revengers seem to have the right idea.

#22 Posted by nickthedevil (11596 posts) - - Show Bio

Well if you notice, all the BIG time villains are lone wolves... ultron, Dr. Doom, galactic (heralds?)... The list goes on... But they should really work together...

#23 Posted by NightFang (9871 posts) - - Show Bio

@Cafeterialoca said:

What's with comicvine and it's obsession with villains?

Villains make the heroes.

#24 Posted by Walker696 (984 posts) - - Show Bio

In my opinion the Hood had the right idea when it came to bringing villains together, he just had to many things going on at once and he couldn't maintain control, largely due to him relying on to much outside help (Norman and Loki). At this rate I'm wondering why the all powerful villains haven't teamed up to take down the heroes, I figure least they could do was kill them and then afterwards they could fight against themselves for the spoils of whats left. This was done in Old Man Logan and honestly had the Hulk's kids not pushed Wolverine so much then the villains would have stayed in control. I think the funniest thing is, that if the villains worked together they could win (rather easily at that). We saw how easy the Intelligencia worked against the best and brightest of Marvel's universe.

#25 Posted by VaizD (245 posts) - - Show Bio

@Cafeterialoca: Villains are fascinating. It's like playing a video game where you have the option to be evil. No one wants to be evil in real life (Okay, most sane people don't.), but we all have that little part of us that wants to see what it's like to walk on the other side without any real life ramifications. Comic book villains satisfy that.

Alright, so that didn't really answer the question, but it's a good reason people talk about villains so much. There's just a morbid curiosity to it.

#26 Posted by Lurkero (176 posts) - - Show Bio

No matter how many times a villainous group forms, the writer will have to think of some reason why they ultimately lose, even if they together have the power to defeat the heroes. The easiest way to do this is to utilize an ego complex that the heroes can take advantage of. Either that or the heroes use the power of friendship. It's basic storytelling really.

I am a fan of villain team-ups, but I know that they will lose so don't get too excited.

#27 Posted by ReVamp (22863 posts) - - Show Bio

Only one problem: We wouldn't have comics.

#28 Posted by Outside_85 (8128 posts) - - Show Bio

I will say it is the smart thing for villains to team up, but on the other hand it goes against their fundamental nature to do so.

Heroes are definitely a 'we' bunch, pretty much all of them (cept perhaps Booster Gold) are out there saving lives and putting their own on the line to protect society with little to nothing to gain by it save a 'thank you' and a headline on the local newspaper most of the time. As they are out to make everything better, they know that sometimes they have to work with others to make it so to be more effective.

Villains on the other hand are almost universally 'me' people, they are all out for personal gain, be it cash or their own planet, everything they do is for their own benefit. And putting such people in a group with other people who have the same goals as they do will result in less cooperation and more plotting about how to come out on top of this group when all it said and done and how to dispose of the competition.

Added, villains who do group regularly are usually at the bottom of the individual treat index, either too weak or stupid to be a treat on their own (see Fearsome Five) or the opposition is simply too great for them to manage alone (Fatal Five). Occasionally it will happen villains do band together for some reason, but its short lived and is usually a part of someone's greater plan (like Alex Luthor's Secret Society).

#29 Posted by BabyChooChoo (8 posts) - - Show Bio

I haven't read any other comments so I don't know if anyone else mentioned this, but as we saw with Old Man Logan, if the villains teamed up, things might be a little bit too easy...

#30 Posted by papad1992 (6822 posts) - - Show Bio

"Why do villains have to unite against superheroes?" Because superheroes unite against villains!! It's a double-bladed sword!!

#31 Posted by pspin (891 posts) - - Show Bio

The villains like Deathstroke, who normally do not have plans for world domination, would be the best for a vilain teamup because they have smaller (relativly) egos as opposed to Dr. Doom or Lex Luthor because Doom and Luthor thik the world already belongs to them and will backstab their partners to ensure they are the sole rulers. When it comes to people like Deathstroke, pay them enough and they wont have any problems

#32 Posted by The Stegman (23044 posts) - - Show Bio

Best successful villain teams? 
 
1. Crime Syndicate 
 
2. The Rogues 
 
3. Legion of Super villains 
 
4. Secret Six

#33 Posted by Mbecks14 (2068 posts) - - Show Bio

Worked for the Legion of Doom! Sometimes...

#34 Posted by zombietag (1489 posts) - - Show Bio
#35 Posted by wdchefdave (136 posts) - - Show Bio

Ego and greed makes a good super villain.   And, that is why they don't work well as a team. The Sinister Six always falls apart, and the Crime Syndicate has had the most success... only because if they don't play nice Ultraman will kill them! 
I'm not sure if the Squadron Supreme are good or evil these days.... or were they just a dream that Marvel had of DC!?!

#36 Posted by WarMachineMarkV (1214 posts) - - Show Bio

- I could see a long term team-up of villains, but it would be of a limited scale

- The "working class" villains who are really just after easy money and have had their heads kicked in enough already would have their egos in check enough to work together for mutual interest. The Hood and his crew were a good example until he decided to try to be a big leaguer and it all blew up. You would need blue collar villains with a blue collar leader like Taskmaster.

- The "world dominator" villains will just never work because they would all try to out-do and screw over one another to prove their superiority. These types also tend to have grand visions for themselves and their direction which tend to not mesh well with others who think in the same scope.

#37 Posted by Kairan1979 (16711 posts) - - Show Bio
@CaptainGenisVell said:

What about 'Wanted', they wiped out an entire planets worth of heroes and not only that made everyone forget about them, even changed the memories of some just to humiliate them. I think that is a greater success, making the world forget about heroes all together (as well as a mass genocide of them of course).

Only to start fighting against each other. How many of these villains were alive after the last issue of Wanted?
#38 Posted by Dedpool (299 posts) - - Show Bio

Young Justice has "The Light" and they're doing pretty good. Marvel has the Intelligencia, and the Cabal, DC's problems I think are the villains have too much ego.

#39 Posted by Icarusflies (12459 posts) - - Show Bio

HOORAY!!!! Calculator is finally getting some CV recognition! :D

Moderator
#40 Posted by waruikumo (357 posts) - - Show Bio

I really hope Villains for Hire riffs off some of the stuff Brubaker did with sleeper. That was such a wonderful villain book.

#41 Posted by dan1509 (183 posts) - - Show Bio

@DXmagma said:

I think Old man Logan is the best series to show what would happen if ALL villains teamed up and nothing went sour. It also made Mysterio a real threat for once.

Hear Hear :D

#42 Edited by lightsout (1822 posts) - - Show Bio

@fernandorf: I would say, that cartels & other crime "organizations" are hierarchies where each person's power is less & less the further down the 'pyramid' you go. That is in contrast to the article which is proposing teaming up villains who are all essentially "leaders" (top of the pyramid guys). In the real life crime groups everyone is human (& therefore equally physically powerful) and there's no instance of someone w/powers getting pissed that they have to take orders from someone without them. Also, to have a hierarchy that functions well (enough) there needs to be decreasing levels of dominance - personality wise (otherwise people'd be angry about their low rank -- which the super-villains in the proposed group definitely would be). That said, you could create some sort of villain-cartel where each level of villains had less power (or were at least more submissive) than the previous, it would work. Though that's different than an "evil Justice League" with a smaller number (7ish) of elite villains.

edit: WarMachineMarkV on pg 2 summed it up well.

#43 Posted by The Impersonator (5005 posts) - - Show Bio

@Cafeterialoca said:

What's with comicvine and it's obsession with villains?

Because the villains are such b@d-@$$e$. :P

#44 Posted by fernandorf (2 posts) - - Show Bio

@lightsout: I got your point, and agree. Reminds me of those Joker traps, where a bunch of boneheads works for him (and some much more complex cases). The powers are an important aspect, indeed. Using firearms makes real life evil plans go awry, imagine when a guy is able to smash people with his bare hands. This (the powers and the evil within) is what makes them know what is submission (and working acceptably well under this) and ignoring friendship and collective work (unaware of the profitable results). But, hum, even the Avengers, X-Men has some sort of "rank". Cyclops, Cap are their leaders. They have very developed leadership skills (including moral rewards, dealing with suggestions and haters, giving the right orders, endless hope, serenity when needed, fearless decisions, brilliant plans, raw power, and amazing actions in the clutch). Some villains have none, absolutely none leadership ability. Maybe is that me-first attitude.

Hey, don't mind if this doesn't make much sense. I'm quite off target here. It's just my ramblings.

#45 Posted by Omega Ray Jay (7583 posts) - - Show Bio

They really don't seem to do well on there own very often.

#46 Posted by Emperormeister734 (804 posts) - - Show Bio

its always awesome to see the villians unite to destroy theit common enemy. then there is the clashing of the superteams against each other

#47 Posted by AlwaysBeClothing (144 posts) - - Show Bio

I'd like to believe that if the villains got serious, Batman would start killing them all due to the loss of Jason Todd. Oh wait, that was a book already. In any case, there are some interesting end game stories that can be told.

#48 Posted by Standurd (12 posts) - - Show Bio

Didn't even mention Wanted in the article. thats the whole idea of the series.

#49 Posted by Cafeterialoca (1502 posts) - - Show Bio

@The Impersonator: EVERYONE in comics is a badass. Making a character not badass is refreshing.

#50 Posted by The Impersonator (5005 posts) - - Show Bio

@Cafeterialoca: I know. But I was just referring to the villains as bad guys. Hence, they are bad-@$$e$. =P

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