In the world of wrestling, there’s a phrase for it: “Face Heel Turn.” It describes the moment when a fan-favorite (face) character suddenly changes his or her alignment to become a villain (heel) character, often accompanied by a pronounced change in behavior or appearance like Hulk Hogan’s black fringe of beard from the 90s. Though many superheroes were once villains, or at least antagonists for the heroes, it’s far more rare to find a hero who turns bad and stays that way (at least in Western cultures.) Even with all the “Dark Whomever” storylines we’ve seen since the Bronze Age, Bishop’s current status as de facto bad guy in X-Men consitutes the only active example I can think of, but it’s easy to come up with a host of really BAD examples of how NOT to make the concept work. (Dark Mary Marvel, for instance, was just flat out a bad idea, executed poorly and awkwardly.) Still, it’s fun to play “What If,” and given my druthers, I’d love to see a full-on villainous heel turn played out in comics, with Ninja Turtle Raphael topping my list of potential candidates. (I also have one front-line Avenger and a founding member of the JLA on my mental list of fascinating heel candidates…)
The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) is cool but crude, but also, strangely, a party dude, asking: What hero do you think has the makings of the best villain?