POWER CORRUPTS!1 of 12
Heroes become villains pretty often (especially if you’re an X-Man), but sometimes a good-guy-gone-bad leaves a major impact.
Now, the DC Universe will be home to a team of good heroes gone bad as the Joker Who Laughs corrupts six DC heroes as a new Secret Six.
With some of those turncoats now revealed, we’re digging back into comic book history to look at ten other times superheroes became supervillains – or worse.
OMNI-MAN2 of 12
The Viltrumite alien race is not known for their heroes.
When they sent one of their own to Earth, he apparently came to take care of the humans as their greatest protector. As "Nolan Grayson," the alien visitor had a wife and a son, Mark.
Mark began his career as the superhero Invincible, excited to fight by his father's side. However, his father turned against him, revealed as the herald of the conquering race. Mark didn't take too kindly to the betrayal, and he took even less kindly to the severe, near-death beatdown daddy dearest gave him as a parting shot.
Omni-Man's betrayal wasn't as whole-hog as it looked though, and his story was far from over, with the character returning several times throughout the series, as both villain and hero. The ideal that he once represented even inspired his second son, Oliver, to take up the name "Kid Omni-Man" once he became a hero.
SUPERBOY PRIME3 of 12
Superboy Prime's story is somewhat familiar at first, with a young Kal-El being sent to Earth as Krypton is destroyed. However, this particular Earth doesn't have any superheroes.
It does have a DC Comics, and that company publishes the stories of many heroes, like Batman, Green Lantern, and the greatest hero of all, Superman!
When a baby boy is found by a family with the surname Kent, they name the boy Clark despite the father's misgivings. Clark then receives Superman memorabilia all his life, even sometimes getting picked on by his peers for his name. That is, until his powers kick in (conveniently while he's in a Superboy costume for Halloween).
After helping save the universe in Crisis on Infinite Earths, the Superboy from Earth-Prime is sent to a "paradise dimension" with his mentor Kal-L, his wife Lois, and Alexander Luthor from another Earth. Unfortunately, it wasn't a paradise to the young Clark. He went batty watching the heroes of the new Earth falling into darker and darker times, getting so angry that he punched his way through a wall of reality to break out of his prison (retconning DC history along the way).
What followed was an era of carnage at the hands of Superboy Prime as he tears across multiple realities, joining the villainous Yellow Lanterns and even menacing the Legion of Super-Heroes in the guise of the Time Trapper.
Superboy Prime hasn't been seen in a while, since he was last defeated by being imprisoned in the Source Wall.
JEAN LORING4 of 12
While not a superhero, Jean Loring's betrayal is certainly legendary.
In an extremely misguided attempt to repair her relationship with Ray Palmer, the Atom, Loring lost it. She thought that by hurting another hero's wife, Ray would want to take care of her again. Donning his shrink-belt, she hopped into the brain of Sue Dibny, wife of the Elongated Man. She only intended to hurt Sue, letting her recover while everything was hunky-dory with Ray, but kicked a little too hard.
Sue, and the baby she was carrying, died, and Jean did what any violent murderer in the situation would do - she burned the body and ran away.
Jean made matters worse throughout the story of Identity Crisis, directly leading to the death of Tim Drake (Robin)'s father, as well as the death of the villain Captain Boomerang.
Jean's descent into villainy doesn't end there, though. She later became the villain Eclipso, and finally, after being eaten by a shark, came back as a Black Lantern (damn dirty zombies!) and killed the hero Damage.
Jean hasn't returned since DC rebooted with Flashpoint, but Ray Palmer has and a brief scene in DC Universe: Rebirth suggest Identity Crisis and Loring's villain turn has been exorcised from continuity.
JASON TODD5 of 12
Oh, poor Jason.
Back in 1988, DC tried something a little different. Letting fans vote via a 900 number as to whether the second Robin would live or die, they found out comic book fans, while always claiming to hate senseless death, are actually quite bloodthirsty.
When the vote came in to kill off the character, DC followed through, letting the Joker beat him down and blow him up. Then our number 9 entry Superboy Prime punched reality, and Jason Todd came back to life.
Feeling betrayed by Batman for letting him die and for not avenging him by killing Joker, Jason decided to show him how he could do the job better.
While never going 100% down the villainous path, Todd's methods since his return have been less than heroic. He is more than willing to kill his enemies, from low-level thugs to supervillains.
While Jason has narrowly tiptoed the line of the righteous, since the advent of "The New 52" he's been chaotic good, so to speak, and and has continued his anti-hero career across multiple titles in recent years.
WOLVERINE6 of 12
James "Logan" Howlett has never been a very nice guy. Alive since 1882, Wolverine has fought for various armies, special forces units, and superhero teams, usually to do what it is he's best at - killing people.
But with a fractured mind from multiple wipes and memory implants, he has also been horribly susceptible to brainwashing. In fact, since the 1990s, Wolverine has been pitted against his friends in the X-Men not once, not twice, but numerous times.
The first was as Apocalypse's Horseman of Death, the next thanks to Hydra and the Hand, and finally when he was recently sent to hell, with his body possessed by a demon.
A few years later, Wolverine went deep-cover with a villainous organization in an attempt to take down a larger villainous organization, too.
A more recent memorable one is the reveal of "Old Man Logan" that he was tricked by Mysterio into massacring the entire X-Men crew, bringing about an age of villains led by Red Skull.
A bit of a "gimme" on this list, Wolverine technically hasn't gone bad of his own volition. However, his feral nature and willingness to kill when operating as a good guy certainly has something to do with it being so easy to turn him into a bad one.
TERRA and JERICHO7 of 12
The Teen Titans is not a place you want to be if you intend to never be betrayed.
In the New Teen Titans era, they were betrayed twice by members of their team, both of whom had close connections to Deathstroke the Terminator.
Terra was always intended to be a traitor by her creators Marv Wolfman and George Perez, unbeknownst to readers or her teammates. She was only with the team for a short time, soon revealing her secret alliance (and relationship...ew) with Deathstroke, helping him capture the team. With the help of Jericho, Deathstroke's son, the team broke free and her own rampage left her crushed under a building.
Jericho, however, also turned against the Titans. His betrayal wasn't caused by his father, but rather by Raven's father, the demon Trigon, who had souls from the demon world of Azarath possess the boy. He managed to fight them off for just a moment, giving Deathstroke enough time to kill him and set him free.
Like most comic book characters, he wouldn't stay dead, and has returned multiple times as both a villain, and more occasionally, a hero.
ALEX WILDER8 of 12
When the Runaways left behind their supervillain parents, the Pride, they vowed to help each other and never become like their parents. Unfortunately, one of them left behind a note to their parents stating that they'd never betray them, acting as a mole within the children.
After journeying together for some time, Alex, the de facto leader of the group, manipulates the entire team into being taken down and handing over their weapons to him. Armed with Chase's fistigons, Gert's telepathically controlled raptor Old Lace, and Nico's magical Staff of One, he easily takes down Karolina and reveals himself as the traitor.
He was actually paradoxically selfishly altruistic. With only 6 spots in a utopian new world available, he tries to secure them for himself, his parents, Nico (who he had a thing for), and her parents. Unfortunately, Nico is unwilling to give up all of her friends' lives for this promised paradise, and the recovered team works together to both take down Alex and destroy the sacrifice necessary to tame a fabled giant from another dimension, the Gibborim. Without the sacrifice, someone has to pay. Alex takes responsibility for the mess, and is zapped out of existence.
In typical comic book fashion, he got better - or at least is back from the dead, where he continues to play a role in the Marvel Universe.
HAL JORDAN9 of 12
At times, he's been called the greatest Green Lantern. At others, though, he's been their worst enemy.
In the storyline "Emerald Twilight," after the destruction of his hometown Coast City, Hal uses his ring to recreate the city and help him through his mourning process. The Guardians say that's a no-no, and he does what anyone would do in that situation: snaps, kills all his friends, steals all their power rings, and absorbs all of the power from the Central Power Battery of Oa.
Calling himself Parallax (which it turns out is the entity that embodies fear, and was locked away in the Central Power Battery), he continued his rampage, killing and severely injuring several others, until eventually being shot by Green Arrow and sacrificing his life to reignite Earth's Sun.
Of course, he was subsequently absolved of just about all culpability, returned to life and again became DC's main Green Lantern (a position he still holds, though he's about to take a turn as a Blackstar). But despite what followed, Hal's descent stands as one of the most controversial comic book events in superhero history.
JEAN GREY10 of 12
Jean Grey and the Phoenix are intertwined. When Jean Grey apparently died saving the rest of her team from a shuttle crash, she emerged from the depths of the ocean in X-Men #101 as The Phoenix, an incredibly powerful being.
She maintained her new power level as a hero for about two years, before the Hellfire Club started messing with her mind, guiding her toward, for lack of a better term, the dark side. Unfortunately, when Phoenix finally gives in to the idea of total power, she is far too powerful for the likes of Mastermind to control, and teleports to the far reaches of space. There, she eats a star, killing billions in the star system. Phoenix was brought back "down to Earth" by Xavier and the X-Men, only to then stand trial for genocide via the Shi'ar Empire.
In a battle between the X-Men and the Shi'ar Imperial Guard, Cyclops was injured, allowing Dark Phoenix to rise once more. When she gained control again, she destroyed herself with a Kree laser, dying forever (well, for six years).
The Phoenix Force has returned several times to menace the Marvel Universe with a variety of hosts, most recently resurrecting Jean Grey once more to attempt to use her body as a host - before being fully rejected by Jean once and for all.
STEVE ROGERS11 of 12
Under the power of the Red Skull's influence and thanks to the machinations of a sentient Cosmic Cube that re-wrote part of Steve Rogers' history, the one-time Captain America turned his back on the ideals of his homeland and became a secret agent of Hydra.
Worse, Rogers (now fully committed to Hydra thanks to his brain being messed with) launched an attack that overtook the United States, turning it into Hydra's "Secret Empire."
Following the return of the 'true' Steve Rogers from the realm inside the Cosmic Cube, evil Steve - or 'Stevil' - was soundly defeated and is now imprisoned inside a secret facility, not seen since the end of Secret Empire.
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