As anyone who has followed comics for long enough knows, one of the most important aspects of a superhero is the villains. Mark Gruenwald once said that every solo superhero should have at least 12 good supervillains, so that they could theoretically have a different good villain each month without repetition. Obviously, not a whole lot of superheroes can actually meet those high standards, but one of the go-to ideas that comic book writers have used over the years was to create evil versions of the main superhero.
Here, we will count down the greatest instances of evil version of superheroes in comic book history. Note: we’re talking about characters who were specifically created to be opposites of established characters, not retroactive stuff like Chris Claremont having Sabreooth and Wolverine meet a decade into Sabretooth’s comic book career. In addition, we’re not counting Bizarro as an “evil version” of Superman, since Bizarro isn’t really evil. Otherwise, enjoy!
15. IRON MONGER
Almost as soon as Iron Man began appearing in his own feature in “Tales of Suspense,” Marvel introduced other armored villains to fight him. When you have an armored hero, that’s just plain logical. Especially in the early days of Marvel when the bad guys were typically Communist, it was easy to have a Soviet villain in a suit of armor. Both the Crimson Dynamo and the Titanium Man served Iron Man well as recurring villains. Similarly, since Tony Stark was a business leader, it made sense to introduce evil businessmen as well, like Justin Hammer, who supplied supervillains with powers for a cut of their takings.
However, with Obadiah Stane, Denny O’Neill managed to combine both ideas into one. When Tony Stark was dealing with a relapse into alcoholism, rival industrialist Obadiah Stane bought Stark International right out from beneath Stark’s feet. When Stark finally got sober and introduced a brand-new Iron Man suit, Stane also developed his own armor, calling himself the Iron Monger. Despite being out-muscled, Iron Man’s experience won the day and Iron Monger responded by killing himself.