Did you know that, once upon a time, the Fantastic Four was actually a team with its own book? More than that, it was even the first super hero comic book title of the Marvel Age of Comics, only being preceded by Captain America, Bucky, Namor, the Torch, and a couple of other heroes in Marvel’s super hero catalogue? It even had its own rogue’s gallery of really awesome villains?
Now I’m being facetious of course. The fame of the Fantastic Four is not so easily forgettable, even if Marvel seems afraid of it for some reason. Nixing the book to avoid aiding the cinematic competition in Josh Trank’s disastrous Fantastic Four, Marvel still has yet to bring back the world’s First Family of Heroes, opting instead to make eight Deadpool titles I guess.
Now, as a Luke Cage fan, I am willing to admit five years is a relatively small amount of time to be without a comic book title, but, in regards to the Fantastic Four, I’m not sure that the world has been without a book dedicated to them since their inception back in 1961.
But we’re here to celebrate their villains instead of lamenting their absence. So without further ado, let’s count down the Top 10 Fantastic Four Villains!
- The Mad Thinker
Mad scientists are something of a bottomless well in comic books. They’re something of a cliché even, but they are still quite often engaging characters. Julius, the Mad Thinker, is no different. He has ambition, a vision, and the courage to follow through with that vision.
Now, it’s a shame that his vision is flawed and even cruel, but those are fungible details. One of the best parts of the Mad Thinker trademark is his loyal android companion, the Awesome Android (or Andy for short). This is a robot which can mimic powers and has immense strength. He also a head shaped like a brick; simple but elegant I’d say.
The Thinker has challenged the FF, the Avengers, and the Hulk on many occasions over the years with nothing but his intellect and ingenuity. If that is not a good mad scientist, I don’t know what is.
A being of immense power from the Negative Zone, Blastaar has given the FF a run for its money on more than one occasion. Known as the Living Bomb-Burst, he is a large humanoid creature with the ability to put out unfathomable amounts of energy. He has been both a rival and a follower of the Negative Zone conqueror known as Annihilus.
Blastaar is one of the most powerful villains to ever threaten Earth’s heroes. He has the ability to conquer worlds, so he has made this his goal. He is a ferocious and ruthless foe who has challenged the Fantastic Four, the Avengers, the Nova Corps, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and many other defenders of the universe.
In a recent Fantastic Four tale written by Matt Fraction and drawn by Mark Bagley, it was revealed that his energy will only build up over time and will eventually cause him to explode in a blast of energy so large that it would end the universe. To solve this threat, the Fantastic Four took him back to the beginning of time, where his energies could disperse amongst the explosion of the Big Bang.
- Kl’rt, the Super-Skrull
A member of the shape-shifting Skrull race and imbued with the powers of the Fantastic Four, the Super-Skrull can literally match the FF beat for beat. He also proves the power of teamwork and the individual skills of the Fantastic Four, as he has yet to outright best them.
Kl’rt also played a pivotal role in the Kree-Skrull War. An exile at the time, the Super-Skrull brought Captain Mar-Vell, a hated enemy of the Skrull Empire and member of the Kree race, to the Skrull Emperor in hopes that he would accept him back into the fold.
The Super-Skrull also aided in the efforts against the Annihilation Wave, brought about by Annihilus to end all life in the positive universe. He almost lost his life in service to the cause, and the majority of Skrull worlds were destroyed in the war, leaving the entire race a species of exiles.
With cool powers and a great story, Kl’rt the Super-Skrull is definitely a worthy member of the Fantastic Four rogues gallery.
- The Wizard
Another mad scientist type, Bentley Wittman, the Wingless Wizard challenged the Fantastic Four of nothing but honest hubris and envy. The repeated defeats only made him more avid in his attempts to destroy them.
I don’t really know why he’s called “the Wingless Wizard,” and I can’t really find any reference material to explain that. Maybe it’s because he can fly without wings thanks to his jet boots? I don’t know.
He’s taken more of a comedic role in comics in recent years, and I’m actually okay with that. There’s something kind of charming about the hapless Wizard. He tries hard still, and his giving of his clone to the Future Foundation actually shows a degree of self-awareness that he’s not the best role model in the world. I feel for the Wizard and hope he keeps trying to achieve his villainous goals for years to come.
A super-strong woman from a world where women are in charge, Thundra has challenged the Fantastic Four and the Incredible Hulk on many occasions. She’s even been a member of the Wizard’s Frightful Four on more than one occasion.
Like many characters on this list so far, she is less nefarious these days than she once was. She’s become more of a heroic character and fostered a daughter named Lyra who is a mixture of her genes as well as the those of the Hulk himself.
She is strong-willed and has muscles that allow her to challenge the Strongest There Is, so what’s not to like about Thundra? She’s really cool and deserves to be on this list.
The Living Death that Walks, Annihilus is a being who fears death and dispenses it in spades. He originally feared that the Fantastic Four may be a potential death to him, thus beginning a longstanding feud between he and the FF as well as the Earth itself. He has since fought the Avengers, Captain Mar-Vell, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and the positive universe in its entirety.
The last of these is the most notable act of Annihilus. In a mad attempt to end all life, he used his insectoid Annihilation Wave to scour the positive universe of everything except himself. He was slain in this crusade by the Nova Prime known as Richard Rider.
He has since been reborn more than once, at one time supposedly killing the Human Torch, though Johnny Storm would later be found to have survived.
Annihilus is a threat to the universe itself on par with the likes of Thanos himself, and this makes him a very worthy opponent of the First Family of Heroes.
- Maximus the Mad
Like I said, I respect the mad scientist types, and they don’t get much madder than Maximus. And, yes, he’s more of a Inhumans villain. However, he and the rest of the Royal Family of the Inhumans first appeared in the Fantastic Four, and I’m not going to do an Inhumans Rogues list because, frankly, there’s just not enough interesting material there.
Anyway, Maximus is a delightfully mad schemer in the vain of Loki. Like Loki, he really hates his brother, the air to a dynasty of a powerful royal family. Okay, he’s a lot like Loki. However, there is a vicious sadism that separates him from the erstwhile brother of Thor. There’s also a coldness and cruelty to Black Bolt that helps make the relationship more interesting.
He’s evil, vicious, and conniving. This is what makes him yet another worthy villain of the Fantastic Four (and the Inhumans).
- Ronan the Accuser
A powerful member of the proud Kree race, Ronan is the high Accuser of the Kree Empire, making him the highest law in their society. He also has immense strength and a hammer that can bend reality to a small degree.
He almost brought the Kree-Skrull conflict to Earth, but he later joined in the coalition that challenged Annihilus during the Annihilation War. He later joined with Nova, Quasar, the Silver Surfer, and other cosmic heroes in the group known as the Annihilators, a group intended to be the strongest muscle available to defend the universe from the worst threats imaginable.
His powers have recently been augmented further by the Black Vortex, but this could not save Hala from the mad crusade of J’Son of Spartax. The Kree homeworld was destroyed, and he is a man without a home.
Like many others, he has made a turn to a more heroic side, and his intriguing character and massive strength land him a worthy place on this list.
- Galactus, Devourer of Worlds
A remnant of a universe that died before ours was born, the celestial Galactus has a hunger that is insatiable and can only be stayed by the consumption of the life force of planets.
He first faced the Fantastic Four with his herald, the Silver Surfer. This battle cost the Devourer his servant and drove him back. He has made attempts on the Earth since then, but he has become warier of challenging its heroes.
Notably the group known as the Ultimates managed to send Galactus back to the pod which brought him to this realm of existence and were able to change him into the Lifebringer. He is now known as Galactus, the Seeder of Worlds.
In either iteration, he is a powerful force of nature and yet more sign of the boundless creativity of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in those early days of Marvel Comics.
- Doctor Doom
Again, could it have been anyone else? Victor Von Doom is a fantastic rogue and the intellectual rival of Reed Richards himself.
He believes himself to be the only one worthy of ruling this world, but he is also deftly loyal to his homeland of Latveria. He is a master of science, but he has also dabbled in sorcery. He is a force to be reckoned with and has challenged, heroes, warriors, and the gods themselves.
He is not incapable of sympathy and is not needlessly cruel. He is very deliberate in his schemes. He is also madly in love with Susan Storm Richards.
He has recently taken up the mantle of Iron Man in the absence of Tony Stark, and he has even aligned himself with the Avengers. His endgame is yet to be known; perhaps Victor von Doom has truly turned over a new leaf.
Also, let’s show Paste Pot Pete aka the Trapster a little love. He has a weaponized glue gun. He’s just great.