Published January 25, 2019

8 Most Dangerous Prisons in the Marvel Universe

Go inside Marvel’s most famous jails.


The Big House

The Big House boasts all the “benefits” of a maximum security facility with nearly none of the space! Super villains get bombarded by Pym particles and shrunk to miniature dimensions before being incarcerated in the correctional institute. Fully functional and small enough to be palmed. What else could one ask for in a prison?


The infamous Negative Zone prison/abduction holding space that came together during Civil War. The brain child of Tony Stark, Reed Richards, and Hank Pym, it had disaster written all over it from the start. First, a PR nightmare and then destroyed by Blastaar, this place proved to be anything but the cure its creators imagined it to be.

Crossmoor Prison

Glancing across the pond a moment, we see how law enforcement in that Greatest of Britains works. The former Crossmoor has been graded an Ultimate Security prison—think A-plus in British or Maximum Security and then some in U.S. classifications—and contains both general population and psychiatric institutes on the same campus.



Created to better address those super villains who needed not just programs to reform their criminal ways but mental health services as well. Before long, the board fired head doctor Ashley Kafka and Head of Security John Jameson due to breakouts and controversial treatments. Currently the facility focuses less on super villains in specific and more on criminals with mental illness in general.

Ryker's Island

Based, unsurprisingly, on New York City’s real life Riker’s Island—the largest correctional institute in New York—this facility was the Raft’s less super villain focused neighbor. If you commit a crime in the Marvel Universe and lack a certain level of power or get your powers through some kind of mechanical means, this almost certainly will be where you end up.

The Raft

Conceived as the premier facility for super villain incarceration in the United States, this island facility has instead ended up nearly as bad as 42, as noted earlier. A prison break there ended up being responsible for bringing the Avengers back together to deal with its escaped inhabitants. Later, the Superior Spider-Man used it as his own secret jail, another black mark for the institute. 


 Seagate Prison

The prison that gave birth to Luke Cage. This facility allowed and promoted the illegal experiments that gave Power Man his powers. Still operational today despite its reputation for a place where the inmates may be used in immoral and unlawful science experiments, “Little Alcatraz” might somehow be the worst of a bad bunch.

The Vault

The Raft before the Raft, if you will. A maximum security facility devoted entirely to the many super-powered criminals of the Marvel Universe, it actually fared better than most of the other prisons on the list. Unfortunately, since its destruction nothing the prison industrial complex of the MU has created to replace it yet has managed to live up to this one’s—albeit severely mixed—track record.