When we think of superheroes, we picture strong, courageous beings who are larger than life. They fight for truth and justice, and charge selflessly into combat. In essence, these heroic do-gooders embody the highest qualities mere mortals can only hope to attain. However, occasionally, the good guys make a wrong turn on the path of righteousness and find themselves squarely in the camp of the villains. Whether by tragic circumstances or willful choice, these powerful heroes turned from their morals to a darker path. Let’s take a look through comics history at Powerful Superheroes Who Turned Evil!
Bucky Barnes (Winter Soldier)
At the close of World War II, Bucky Barnes is believed to have died in a plane explosion over the Atlantic Ocean. But Captain America’s former sidekick survives the explosion and is found by a Russian submarine then revived in Moscow. With a new bionic arm and Soviet programming, Bucky Barnes adopts the persona of the Winter Soldier, an enhanced soldier who engages in high-profile assassinations for the Russian government. He kills Wolverine’s wife in the 1970s and in the present day, launches a terrorist attack in Philadelphia.
Green Lantern (Hal Jordan)
After the destruction of his beloved Coast City by Mongul, Hal Jordan fell into a downward spiral of grief and self-doubt. During this time, a parasitic entity known as Parallax preyed on the Green Lantern’s vulnerable psychological state. Known as the embodiment of fear, Parallax manipulated Jordan into thinking he’d murdered his arch-nemesis Sinestro when in fact the two villains had used a construct to dupe the superhero. This deception coupled with the destruction of Coast City drove Green Lantern over the edge and he laid waste to Oa, the home planet of the Green Lantern Corps.
Easily one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel universe, Sentry is heralded as having the power of a million exploding suns. Fighting alongside the Avengers, he proved to be a valuable asset against the most fearsome threats to mankind. But Robert Reynolds always suffered a fractured mental state. A malicious entity known as the Void has often sought control of Sentry’s mind and in the limited series, Siege, finally did so. In a full-scale siege of Asgard, the Avengers fight back against Norman Osborn and his team of “dark” Avengers which includes the Void-possessed Sentry. Sentry single-handedly reduces Asgard to ruins and kills both Loki and Ares before Thor deals a killing blow to the maddened superhero.
Sometimes the most heroic and patriotic superheroes can fall from grace. Such is the case with Steve Rogers in a recent comic storyline where the first Avenger fell victim to the evil plans of his nemesis, Red Skull. After having the super-soldier serum sucked from his body by another villain, Steve Rogers lost his powers and rapidly aged into a 90-year old man. However, his powerless state would be short-lived when Kobik, a girl with reality-altering powers, restores Captain America to his former superhero glory. Unbeknownst to Cap, the girl was brainwashed by the Red Skull and her powers alter the Avenger’s memories. Captain America unwittingly becomes a sleeper agent for Hydra and enacts a plan to overthrow the American government.
Born in an alternate dimension called Earth-Prime, Kal-El was a teenage Kryptonian destined for the mantle of Superman, but his home world was decimated by the evil Anti-Monitor during the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths. Teaming up with the Superman of Earth-Two, Alexander Luthor, Jr. of Earth-Three, and numerous heroes of alternate worlds, he defeats the Anti-Monitor, but is forced to live in a paradise dimension where his angst and resentment grow. Prodded by his friend, Alexander Luthor, Superboy-Prime decides to escape the paradise dimension and alters the multiverse by doing so. He kills several heroes in the primary dimension and attacks the current Superboy because he considers them all inferior to the world he lost.