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Published March 14, 2019

Didja Know... The First Super Villain Team to Ever Face the Avengers

Didja Know digs into downright delightful details from across the merry Marvel Multiverse!

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Didja Know digs into the fun facts, strange stories, and divine details that helped build the hallowed halls of the House of Ideas!

Face front, effendi! A new Masters of Evil approach!

Where? Right there in the pulse-pounding pages of WEST COAST AVENGERS #9! And they ain’t sellin’ Girl Scout cookies—they mean business, bub!

West Coast Avengers (2018-) #9

Wait a second—"Who are the Masters of Evil," you inquire? Verily, your quixotic query falls upon our shell-like ears with the force of Thor’s hammer and we are duty-bound to respond! Keep reading!

Didja Know…who founded the original Masters of Evil?

Round about AVENGERS #6, that pesky perp named Baron Heinrich Zemo gathered together a triple-threat of terror-titans to give Earth’s Mightiest Heroes a run for their money. The Black Knight! The Melter! Radioactive Man! Their snazzy sobriquets surprised the Avengers at first, but in due course the heroes showed Zemo’s zany little band just who the real masters were!

Avengers (1963) #6

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But it didn’t end there (as these things often don’t). Zemo reached out to a couple o’ Asgardians called the Enchantress and the Executioner for some help in AVENGERS #7, and though the magical might of the dazzling yet dastardly duo might’ve made some other masters of menace appear formidable, hey, this is the Avengers we’re talkin’ about! The Masters of Evil met their match and then some, but that name? Nope, the Marvel Universe wasn’t quite done with it…

Didja Know…that where the father fails, the son may succeed?

Now, lots of crazy cut-ups have co-opted the Masters of Evil moniker, including such sinister stalwarts as Ultron, Egghead, Doctor Octopus, the Crimson Cowl, and Madame Masque, but for our hard-earned shekels no one really made the best go at it like Helmut Zemo, the son of none-other than the Masters’ founder, Heinrich. In fact, Zemo Jr. almost succeeded where daddy-o disappointed.

In the now-classic AVENGERS #270, Zemo set in motion a scheme to not only capture Avengers Mansion for his base of operations, but to lure the heroes into it to meet their doom. Who helped him in this small matter? Here’s the roster—take a deep breath—Absorbing Man, Blackout, the Fixer, Black Mamba, Goliath, the Grey Gargoyle, Mr. Hyde, Moonstone, Screaming Mimi, Tiger Shark, Whirlwind, Yellowjacket, Titania, and the whole blamed Wrecking Crew! Whew.

Avengers (1963) #270

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Okay, so with a vile, villainous line-up like that, how could the Avengers withstand such punishment? They almost didn’t, True Believers! But righteousness always prevails and Zemo’s new Masters of Evil took their lumps and the rest is history…and one of the greatest Avengers tales ever.

Didja Know…the Masters of Evil actually inspired spin-offs?

If nearly a dozen inky, icky incarnations of this criminal camp weren’t enough to leave you quakin’ in your little blue booties at night, chum, we haven’t yet begun to tell you about the scary spin-offs of the Masters of Evil! In fact, let’s do that now before we put this amazing article to bed…

Back in DARK REIGN: YOUNG AVENGERS #1, a shadowy version of the Young Avengers arose to challenge their youthful enthusiasm. Called the Young Masters—catchy, huh?—these kids answered to Norman Osborn and he had a lot to say at the time. And get this: the Young Masters all paraded around like kid copies of the original Masters of Evil! Oh, misspent youth…

Dark Reign: Young Avengers (2009) #1

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Then, in YOUNG ALLIES #1, the so-called Bastards of Evil reared their ugly, pointed heads and declared themselves the inheritors of a squad of famous of Super Villains. Led by Superior, who claimed to be the son of the larcenous Leader, the team consisted of Aftershock, Ember, Mortar, Singularity, and Warhead, the alleged offspring of—respectively—Electro, Pyro, the Grey Gargoyle, Graviton, and the Radioactive Man. Where they telling the truth? Who knows? Does anybody? We don’t! So sue us!

Peruse these eye-poppin' publications with Marvel Unlimited right now! Then visit your local comic shop to read WEST COAST AVENGERS #9 next Wednesday, March 20!

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