9 Super Heroes Who Switched Sides
Nine good guys who could not help but be poisoned by the darkness they opposed.
We expect our heroes to be steadfast and true, acting without selfishness and hesitation to protect right against wrong. Unfortunately the realities of heroism prove far more complicated than that.
Sometimes physical and psychological attacks don’t just batter and bruise these champions; they leave scars that change them. And sometimes those changes lead into darkness.
Below, we look at good guys who could not help but be poisoned by the darkness they opposed.
Sometimes, in life, the accumulation of pain, disappointment, and grief can overwhelm us until we longer can believe in anything we used to. This seemed to be the case for Colossus. Following the death of his sister, another victim of the Legacy virus, he simply could find no more comfort in Xavier’s dream of peaceful equality. Thus, if one path seemed wrong, certainly Magneto’s must be right.
No matter how bad things have gotten for the Man Without Fear, he always had a code he clung to, rules that gave his rage against crime structure and focus. All that ended in Shadowland as he seized control of the Hand, consumed Hell’s Kitchen with his new headquarters and, most shockingly, seemingly murdered his longtime foe, Bullseye without a moment’s hesitation or remorse.
The Runaways came together with a simple goal: be better than their super villain parents. The team became their own surrogate family, utterly devoted and dedicated to one another—except it ended up a lie. Alex Wilder, the de facto leader, proved a turncoat who never stopped being loyal to his parents, a choice that nearly killed them all.
Originally given his abilities to destroy the Avengers, Wonder Man returned to his roots at one point by trying to destroy Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Driven too far by the calamities that bedeviled the Avengers for years, Simon Williams not only turned down possible membership but organized his own counter team to eradicate what he consider a clear and present danger.
Warren Worthington found himself getting it from all ends: a public relations nightmare, a business partner betrayer, and—worst of all—the amputation of his wings. Apocalypse sensed Angel’s hopelessness and offered him a chance to fly once more. Unable to resist, the broken hero emerged with new, metal wings and a new position as Death of the Four Horsemen.
The Shroud began his career in deep cover, pretending to be a crime boss to get close to and take down criminals. At some point, the fiction became too real and by the time Daredevil arrived back in San Francisco, Shroud had evidently long stopped pretending. The hero playing at being a villain to end crime had become a criminal hoping the people still saw him as a hero.
The Greenwich Guardian quickly took fledgling teen hero Gravity under his wing. While brusque and abrupt at times, Gravity still thought he had found himself a mentor. Instead, it turned out the Guardian had given up on his heroic aspirations some time ago to become the villainous Black Death and lure Gravity to an untimely demise.
Ultimate Reed Richards
The future seemed so bright. A teen Reed Richards with that much more time to invent and explore and change the world. But it all went so horribly awry. Disappearing amongst the carnage of Ultimatum, we next see him changed irrevocably. Richards now felt only one human should survive: himself.
Arguably the most dangerous and devastating hero gone bad of all-time, Jean Grey became perhaps the prototypical example in the Marvel Universe of power corrupting. Her turn to evil resulted in a planet-wide genocide and a scar on the moral psyche of the X-Men as a whole for years to come.
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