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 Top 15 Worst Heroes Becoming Villains Released April 6, 2009 Running time 24:26 Previous review Watchmen Review Next review Daredevil 305 Tagline 15 Heroes who should never have been bad guys. Link http://atopthefourthwall.com/top-15-worst-heroes-becoming-villains/

Linkara: Hello, and welcome to Atop the Fourth Wall, where bad comics burn. You know, there are a lot of things in the world that make me angry. Let's face it, there's a lot of horrible things going on in the world! Slavery still exists in the form of human trafficking, terrorists plot to kill innocent people, murderers and rapists can get away with their crimes over a tiny lapse of legal procedure, people suffer and die every day, starvation, disease, and acts of evil unimaginable haunt the nightmares and INHABIT THE DAILY REALITIES OF PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD! EVIL, BLOOD, RAPE, DEATH, DESTRUCTION, MURDER, PAIN, SUFFERING – IT JUST MAKES ME WANNA (voice turns demonic) DESTROY THE WORLD!!!! (intense orchestral hit, followed by Linkara continuing in a much calmer voice) Which is why it's probably a good thing that I don't have any superpowers. But for those who have superpowers and have to inhabit those things on a daily basis, it's a freakin' miracle that they don't just snap and try to destroy everything! But sometimes, in the most hackneyed, unoriginal, and downright stupid ways imaginable, heroes just turn bad. Now, these are just my own personal picks, but you're of course free to have your own. This... is the Top 15 Worst Heroes Becoming Villains!

(Cue the countdown intro, set, in this case, to Eartha Kitt's "I Want To Be Evil"; this is the interlude footage throughout the video)

## #15Edit

Linkara (v/o): Number 15: Heroes doing evil things.

Linkara: Okay, I'm cheating with this one, but the fact is that sometimes, heroes do things that are just villainous behavior for idiotic reasons that can flat-out ruin the character, but they don't become completely evil.

(A montage of images from the Spider-Man comic "One More Day" is shown, with the events in the comic being displayed as Linkara speaks of them)

Linkara (v/o): Take, for example, the always-classic "One More Day". Following the Marvel crossover event "Civil War", Spidey has revealed his true identity to the world and broke away from the pro-Registration side of the debate. When the crossover ended with the pro-Registration side winning, Spidey was basically the most recognizable face on the planet, and his loved ones were targets. So an assassin hired by the Kingpin tries to kill Spider-Man, but hits Aunt May instead. Spidey tries to go to every scientist and magician he knows to keep her alive, but apparently, bullet wounds are beyond the power of the Sorcerer Supreme. On a mystical Vision Quest thingy, Peter even talks to the soul of his Aunt May, who says he should let her die since she's led a good life. But instead, he makes it all about him and his guilt, and Mephisto appears to offer him the chance to save his aunt's life, but he has to sacrifice his marriage.

Linkara: Really, Mephisto? You're the lord of all evil, but you don't want their souls or something tangible? You want their "marriage" and their "love"? I think you need to rework your business plan on the whole "war against God" thing.

Linkara (v/o): Now, I could go on and on about how Casada is completely out of touch with reality with his argument about why Spider-Man needs to be single, but that's not why we're here. Making a deal with the literal devil to soothe your own guilty conscience against the wishes of your dying aunt is just villainous behavior. Flat-out wrong! But hey, Spidey's not alone in the "making stupidly immoral decisions" department.

(Cut to images of another comic, this one an issue of Devin Grayson's "Titans" series, featuring Jesse Quick)

Linkara (v/o): Take, for example, Jesse Quick, a speedster from the D.C. universe and a former member of my favorite team, the Titans. Under Devin Grayson's hands, she was a confident workaholic and second-in-command of the team and said proudly that she didn't want to be attached to a man because of her own independence. Then Devin Grayson left, Jay Farber took over, and Jesse Quick gets a stupid-looking costume, a whiny, bitchy attitude, and she has an affair with her mom's fiancee.

Linkara: Yeah, you heard me: she has an affair with her elderly mother's younger fiancee, even though she knows it's wrong!

(Cut to a title for a mock soap opera: "The Young and the Braindead - A Quinn Martin Production")

(Cut to more comic images, consisting of the Justice League doing mind wipes on others)

Linkara (v/o): Anyway, this part's getting too long, so let me just end it on some more villainous behavior: the Justice League doing a mind wipe on Dr. Light after he rapes Sue Dibny to make him less of a threat, and then mind-wiping Batman so he doesn't know they did it. If that isn't villainous behavior, I don't know what is. Dear Lord, "Identity Crisis" sucks!

## #14Edit

(Cut to a shot of a "New Teen Titans" comic)

Linkara (v/o): When your father's a demonic entity bent on conquering universe after universe, it makes for kind of a stressful childhood. Now, I've already explained Raven's backstory in my "Titans #1" review, but she's turned evil a couple of times now, and really, only the first time was any good.

(A panel of the comic in question is shown, depicting Raven in particular)

Linkara (v/o): After a lengthy buildup to the issue, with subtle art changes in her appearance, Raven turned evil and helped her father conquer Earth. However, she was eventually brought back to the light and purged of her father's influence. Well, kinda, because she KEEPS TURNING EVIL.

Linkara: Come on, writers! It stopped being dramatic when you gave her hair that'd make KISS blush through their makeup!

Linkara (v/o): When she fell off the wagon the second time, for some reason, her skin changed to pink, her hair became a life form unto itself, and she had black bands wrapped around her body.

Linkara: Because nothing says evil like black electrical tape!

Linkara (v/o): Raven, if at first you succeed, try over and over to recapture it and fail miserably.

## #13Edit

(A shot of the TV show Renegade starring Lorenzo Lamas is shown, before cutting to a Nightwing comic cover)

Linkara (v/o): No, not that Renegade. During Devin Grayson's run on Nightwing, she put the character through the ringer, trying create a classic "hero rises from the ashes" storyline, but it lasted well over two years, an editorial mandate with "Infinite Crisis" made her postpone her plans and rewrite over and over, and the end result was an irritating mess.

(Cut to shots of the comic)

Linkara (v/o): Dick Grayson, as a result of all the crap going on, decides to stop being a hero and joins forces with the mercenary Deathstroke. Why? Uh... Um... I dunno, magic? It is really not clear. Fortunately, by the end of the run, it was all cleared up, and most people just tried to forget about it. Nightwing becoming Renegade: I don't recall Lorenzo Lamas wearing a mask.

## #12Edit

(Cut to a shot of the comic "Superman: Secret Identity" by Kurt Busiek)

Linkara (v/o): Stop me if you've heard this one: a young man grows up on Earth, surrounded by stories of Superman, to the point where he's even named Clark Kent, only to discover that he himself is Superman. But enough about Kurt Busiek's awesome mini-series "Superman: Secret Identity".

(Cut to another Superman comic, this one involving Superman and Superboy)

Linkara (v/o): Instead, let's talk about Superboy-Prime. In 1985, when D.C. decided to condense all their alternate universes down into one universe, they decided that since Superboy had been such a prominent figure in the silver age, they needed a Superboy to be in it. So they cobbled together a quick story in another book that took place on Earth Prime. Earth Prime was the technique the writers used to tell goofy stories that took place on our Earth, where superheroes were limited to comic books. But then, Superman himself visits and discovers that a young man really did get sent to Krypton like him, thus becoming Superboy-Prime. However, moments after this revelation, Earth Prime – our Earth – gets destroyed by a wave of antimatter.

Linkara: Yeah, that wave of antimatter that completely annihilated our universe was a pain in the ass to clean up the next day, I'll tell you!

(Cut to another Superboy-Prime comic: "Crisis on Infinite Earths")

Linkara (v/o): So Superboy-Prime is left without a home. At the end of "Crisis on Infinite Earths", he and three other beings are left behind without a universe and retreat into an interdimensional heaven to spend the rest of their days. It was a satisfying conclusion to their stories. But then, twenty years later, we got a sequel story.

(Cut to shots of said Superboy-Prime sequel story: "Infinite Crisis")

Linkara (v/o): Now, despite some of the plot holes, I really liked "Infinite Crisis". It was epic, the buildup was incredible, and the artwork was phenomenal. But they decided to make Superboy-Prime a villain, and in theory, that's okay. He lost his home, his family, his girlfriend; it'd make anyone a touch sensitive. But the expression of his villainy is that instead of making him a dark, tragic, and restrained version of Superman, they make him a whiny, petulant little dork who kills indiscriminately and complains that the heroes of the D.C. universe are stupid because they're not the ones he grew up with.

Linkara: (incredulously) In essence, they made him a strawman version of a comic book fanboy. (leans forward) HA HA!

Linkara (v/o): And frankly, sometimes his dialogue was just ridiculous. I mean, listen to this...

(A montage of Superboy-Prime's dialogue in the comic is shown, with Linkara providing the voice)

Superboy-Prime: (shrill voice) I'll KILL you! I'LL KILL YOU TO DEATH!!! / I don't want this Earth. Bring back my Earth! Everything was better on my Earth!

Linkara (v/o): Even when he's trying to be menacing, he sounds whiny!

Superboy-Prime: I'll fly through OA at light speed. It'll restart the universe in a new Big Bang.

Linkara (v/o): Superboy-Prime, a prime example of a good idea turned to crap.

## #11Edit

Linkara (v/o): Number 11: Jason Todd.

(Cut to a Batman comic with Todd)

Linkara (v/o): Again, this is another character whose turn to villainy could have made for some really great stories. But the potential has long since been squandered. Jason Todd is the second Robin, a street punk who is recruited by Batman after he tried to swipe the front tires of the Batmobile.

Linkara: (as Batman) Criminals are a superstitious, cowardly lot, so let me take them into my cave and put them in tiny shorts to fight crime.

(Linkara then raises his index finger in the air, which triggers this sound...)

Singers: The Ambiguously Gay Duo!

Linkara (v/o): The character was really an asshole, and fans weren't happy with him, so he got killed off by the Joker. A few years ago, it was decided to resurrect the character. Now, to be fair, originally the idea was that it wasn't really him, but an alternate universe version of him. However, since they abandoned that plan for "Infinite Crisis", they got some halfway decent stories when he first came back, but since then, he's been completely underutilized as a real villain for Batman. He's still a whiny, arrogant punk, but now he's older. Jason Todd, you're irritating whether you're good or evil.

## #10Edit

Linkara (v/o): Number 10: Maxwell Lord.

(Cut to some shots of a Batman comic featuring Maxwell Lord)

Linkara (v/o): Now, Maxwell Lord was not a superhero per se, but he had superpowers. In the late '80s, the Justice League got a revamp with a slightly more humorous bent to them. A mover and shaker named Maxwell Lord joins up, and he has some psychic abilities that kind of push people into doing things that he wants them to do. Now, this mind-control stuff can be kind of villainous on its own, but hey, he's actually a good guy... or... at least we're supposed to believe he is. As it turns out, him being the financial agent and de facto spokesperson for the Justice League was all a convoluted plan to make the Justice League ineffectual, because super-powered beings are too powerful, and therefore, he wants to rid the planet of superheroes and supervillains so humankind can be the rightful owners of Earth's destiny!

Linkara: And again, he is a superpowered being.

Linkara (v/o): Super hypocrisy aside, this would be a dumb enough retcon for the character, but the problem is actually more that it blatantly disregards continuity. Why? Because the Martian Manhunter at one point has to scan his mind while he's unconscious, and this is the basis for an emotionally touching moment where he gives Lord a Justice League signal device, since he can clearly see he's a good guy and he truly cares for the League. Maxwell Lord almighty, you should've stayed a good guy.

## #9Edit

Linkara (v/o): Number 9: Hawk becomes Monarch.

(Cut to a cover of the D.C. comic "Armageddon 2001", showing the reveal of the supervillain Monarch)

Linkara (v/o): In 1991, D.C. released a crossover event throughout the annual issues of some of its most popular titles. It showed that in the far future of... um, 2001... a hero would become a villain called Monarch, who would kill all the superheroes and become the unchallenged despot of Earth. However, one man travels back in time to try to discover which hero it was and prevent his turn to evil. Now, all the hints pointed at the hero Captain Atom becoming Monarch, but then word got leaked out that Captain Atom would be the reveal, and D.C. said to themselves, "Crap! Well, there goes our big reveal!"

(Cut to a comic for another D.C. superhero, Hawk)

Linkara (v/o): "Ooh, wait! We'll change it to the hero named Hawk!"

Linkara: "Of course! Even though we've planted all these hints and we clearly show that it couldn't be Hawk, we'll do it anyway! Damn, we're good at our jobs!"

(Cut back to the "Armageddon 2001" comic)

Linkara (v/o): And of course, to accomplish this turn to evil, his partner, the woman called Dove, got killed in front of his eyes. (beat) By his future self. Yeah, it didn't make any sense reading it in context either. Hawk to Monarch, a royal shafting to Hawk and Dove.

## #8Edit

Linkara (v/o): Number 8: Captain Atom becomes Monarch.

Linkara: No, that isn't a typo. After they made Hawk into Monarch, a few years later, they changed their minds and made Captain Atom Monarch. Twice, in fact.

(Cut to a shot of a cover of the D.C. comic "Extreme Justice")

Linkara (v/o): The first time was in the utterly forgettable and idiotically-named series "Extreme Justice".

Linkara: (holds up index finger, speaking dramatically) Correcting our own mistakes!

(Suddenly, to an over-the-top guitar riff, words like "EXTREME!!!", "TEXT! WHOOO!", "EXTREME EDITING!" and "Revolution of the Mask at http://www.brainscancomics.com" pop up, while Linkara waves his arms around)

Linkara (v/o): When that failed to capture audiences, a few years ago, they did it AGAIN!

(Cut to the cover of another comic, "Captain Atom: Armageddon")

Linkara (v/o): Captain Atom went through a whole bunch of crap in his life, saving the world before going into the excellent "Captain Atom: Armageddon" miniseries...

(Cut to an image of still another Captain Atom comic, "Battle for Blood Haven")

Linkara (v/o): ...but then came back again in the really stupid miniseries, "Battle for Blood Haven", and was given the Monarch armor to contain his power. So, why did he become evil?

Linkara: Well, it was because... (struggles to think and closes his eyes doing so) uh... um... uh, du... EXTREEEEEEME!!

(Once again, he flails his arms around while the same text and guitar riff play again; cut back to the "Blood Haven" comic)

Linkara (v/o): What's really sad about this is that his appearances of Monarch really differ, depending on what book he was in. I actually thought for a while he was going to still be a good guy...

(Cut to the cover of the D.C. comic "Countdown", showing Monarch on the cover)

Linkara (v/o): ...but then he got into the idiocy that was "Countdown", and it just went downhill fast. Captain Atom to Monarch: D.C. rolled the dice and it sucked twice.

## #7Edit

Linkara: Madelyne Pryor was a clone of Jean Grey. That's really all the backstory I want to give on her, because trying to explain the backstory of Jean Grey is like trying to untangle a Gordian knot, blindfolded, upside-down, with both hands tied behind your back.

(Cut to a scene from an X-Men comic, showing Madelyne with Cyclops)

Linkara (v/o): She was in a relationship with Cyclops like the original Jean Grey. However, Cyclops, more or less being the same kind of asshole we saw in those Chuck Austin X-Men issues, immediately leaves Madelyne as soon as Jean Grey comes back to life the first time. This eventually leads to an elucidation which somehow makes her into the Goblin Queen. Yes, all because her husband left her.

Linkara: So, basically, comic books teach us that love ultimately leads to death, destruction and the devil. So in other words, love no one. Ever.

## #6Edit

Linkara (v/o): Number 6: Invisible Woman becomes Malice.

(Cut to a Fantastic Four comic where the Invisible Woman has turned into Malice)

Linkara (v/o): After Susan Storm's second child died stillborn, she was manipulated by a villain into becoming the evil Malice. And really, her most villainous act was beating up She-Hulk and the Human Torch. But the funny thing is that Malice is an example of a real problem when superheroines become evil: the costumes!

(Cut to some words displayed on a black screen: "E: Evil as measured in MegaVaders", "T: Temperature in Degree Celsius", and "R: Revealingness Level (1 is baseline - t-shirt and jeans)")

Linkara (v/o): Here's my mathematical theory on the subject. If we assume that evil is something that can be measured, in this case represented by the letter E, the amount of evil present in the person (the following equation pops up, $R=TxE(1 Evil=Stilt Man)$) directly correlates to the person's body temperature. Thus, when the amount of evil goes up, the body temperature goes up with it. Thus, superheroines must wear more revealing clothing.

(Then a second equation appears: $-R=TxE(1 Evil=Stilt Man)$)

Linkara (v/o): However, this theory creates the opposite effect when there is a Y-Chromosome present. In that case, they actually increase the amount of clothes they wear.

(Cut back to the Fantastic Four comic with Mr. Fantastic confronting Malice)

Linkara (v/o): In any case, what's really infuriating about Malice is how Reed Richards snaps her out of it.

Mr. Fantastic: Susan, we indulged your foolish female outbursts, but now is not the time for such games. SHUT UP!

Linkara (v/o): And he slaps her!

Linkara: The Invisible Woman, proving that sexism will always triumph over evil! (beat) Wait, what?

## #5Edit

(Cut to an image of a comic featuring Magneto)

Linkara (v/o): "But wait!" you say. "Wasn't Magneto already a villain?" Well, yes, he started out as one.

(A montage of images of comics are shown where Magneto is a good guy, before going back to being evil again)

Linkara (v/o): But during an event where Professor Xavier supposedly died, for a while, Magneto actually took charge of Xavier's school and tried to keep on with his oldest friend's beliefs, difficult as it was for him. However, as is the case with comic continuity, (starts speaking much more quickly) Magneto then also supposedly died, but then it turns out that he just faked his death by impersonating a new character. It was all some plan to take over the world and engage in hypocritical acts before he's killed again, but then it turns out that's not really him, and the character he made up was actually a real person who's still alive, so Magneto was actually some guy impersonating another guy impersonating another guy impersonating Magneto!

Linkara: (stares with his mouth open briefly) And comic companies wonder why it's so hard for new readers to get into comics.

Linkara (v/o): Magneto: turned evil, but then kinda not.

## #4Edit

Linkara (v/o): Number 4: The Scarlet Witch.

(Cut to a shot of the Scarlet Witch, using her powers on a variety of Marvel characters surrounding her)

Linkara (v/o): For the longest time, the Scarlet Witch was a mutant who could alter probability fields and later developed powers with chaos magic and the ability to alter reality. Then she had kids...

(Cut to a Scarlet Witch comic panel)

Linkara (v/o): ...but then it turned out the kids weren't real, just a manifestation of the disembodied soul of our old pal, Mephisto. Her memory of her children was erased to try to ease her pain, but later, she came to grips with the memories.

Linkara: Until Brian Michael Bendis came along and decided he had a better story to tell!

(Cut to shots of the comic "The Avengers Disassembled")

Linkara (v/o): So the company that's known for how it sticks to its continuity as best as it can, making entire issues to explain continuity problems, completely disregarded all previous continuity in a story called "Avengers Disassembled". It made the Scarlet Witch not remember her kids again – for no reason – revealed that, according to Doctor Strange, the source of her powers didn't exist – even though Doctor Strange himself had used the same source for a while – and made her so cuckoo that she killed a bunch of people and tried to rewrite all of reality.

Linkara: Yeah, it's kind of like the Amazons' attack of Marvel continuity.

Linkara (v/o): The Scarlet Witch: she's seeing red, but only because her character has been mistreated.

## #3Edit

Linkara (v/o): Number 3: Mary Marvel.

(Cut to a shot Mary Marvel on the cover of a Shazam comic)

Linkara (v/o): Ah, Mary, sweet innocent sister of Captain Marvel, who can still kick ass and take names.

Linkara: (idiot voice) Hey! I got an idea! Let's put her in a miniskirt and turn her evil!

(A page of this comic is shown)

Linkara (v/o): Okay, let's be fair. In the crossover event "Final Crisis", Grant Morrison told D.C. that he planned to make Mary Marvel evil, though not really by her own choice; she'd be possessed by a dark, evil entity. So, of course, D.C. decided to make it a plot element in "Countdown" that she chose to become evil, because she wanted power. And she chose it twice, even though she learned what a mistake it was the first time.

Linkara (v/o): As of this episode, Geoff Johns seems to be making it a priority to fix her, but we won't know if he succeeds until later this month. Otherwise, she's stuck wearing an outfit that even the Sultry Teenage Super-Foxes would say is a tad ridiculous. Mary Marvel: from zero to evil in 51 issues.

## #2Edit

Linkara (v/o): Number 2: Hal Jordan becomes Parallax.

(Cut to shots of a Green Lantern comic)

Linkara (v/o): A lot of superheroes have a home city that they operate out of, one which they have a deep appreciation for. So when your home city gets blown up by an alien despot, it can clearly ruin your weekend. To Hal Jordan, it was, needless to say, the most traumatic thing that could conceivably happen to him. SO HE GOES ON A KILLING SPREE AND MURDERS EVERYONE IN THE GREEN LANTERN CORP, COLLECTING THEIR POWER RINGS WHILE LAUGHING MANIACALLY TO GETTING EVERY BIT OF THEIR POWER!! (laughs evilly)

(Cut to the cover of another Green Lantern comic: "It All Ends Here", in which Green Lantern turns evil)

Linkara (v/o): Popular consciousness was that Hal Jordan was, well, boring, and D.C. wanted to revitalize the concept of Green Lantern, so they felt the best way was to remove the entire Green Lantern corp from the equation, turn Hal Jordan into a villain, and give the most powerful weapon in the universe over to a new character.

(Cut to a shot of said character)

Linkara (v/o): This new character, Kyle Rayner, did end up being a monumental success, but fans were still royally pissed at what had to be done to get him.

(Cut to a Green Lantern comic cover, showing the title character grinning menacingly as he holds all of the rings on his fingers)

Linkara (v/o): While the character may have been a bit of a stiff neck, he was ultimately as moral as Superman, and even with such an invent, it didn't make sense that he'd murder people he fought alongside for years. Well, over ten years later, an explanation was finally given.

(Cut to a shot of a giant space bug in the comic, while Linkara speaks of it)

Linkara (v/o): A giant space bug that fed off of fear itself, known as Parallax, had actually infected Hal and turned him evil.

Linkara: This is why I love superheroes, folks. (holds up index finger) Only in superhero comics does that explanation make any bit of sense.

Linkara (v/o): Hal Jordan: (imitates FDR) the only thing to fear is a giant yellow space bug that might turn you into a mass murdering psychopath.

## #1Edit

Linkara (v/o): And the number-one worst hero becoming a villain... Cassandra Cain, AKA Batgirl.

(Cut to a montage of shots of a Batgirl comic)

Linkara (v/o): Several years after Barbara Gordon was crippled by the Joker, a mute woman was introduced into the supporting cast of Batman. She never spoke, and in fact, she didn't understand a word anybody said. This is Cassandra Cain, raised by an assassin to be the ultimate killing machine. He had raised her in, quote-unquote, "the language of violence", never speaking to her, but constantly forcing her to go through training and physical hardship, to the point where he was even SHOOTING AT HER!!

Linkara: So yeah, Christmas dinners were kind of uncomfortable.

Linkara (v/o): Instead of speaking, Cassandra developed an understanding of human body language, so much so that she could predict her opponents' actions before they did them, as well as determine their emotions. When her father finally brought her to assassinate someone, she did, but when she read the body language of someone dying by her own hand, she realized how horrible killing was and made the choice to never kill again. And thus, she became Batgirl, maintaining a steady reader base for 80 issues.

Linkara: And since D.C. couldn't have a series that was actually doing marginally well, they cancelled it and made her a villain.

(Cut to shots of a Robin comic involving Cassandra)

Linkara (v/o): Enter Adam Beechen. Following "Infinite Crisis", all the stories in D.C.'s main line jumped ahead one year later, and Robin pursued a murder mystery where all signs pointed to Cassandra being the one responsible. Now, a lot of people thought this was a fake-out, since it was just so idiotic in its way of trying to paint her as a villain. And of course, in the end, it really was her. Suddenly, the woman who struggled to read the two words "It was" was not only proficient at writing Navajo, one of the most complex languages on the PLANET, but she was making grand villain speeches to Robin and telling her how she wanted him at her side to dispense murderous justice! And Robin could suddenly beat her up because he was using "no fighting style", which isn't how her abilities work!