To clarify, the phrase “Heel Turn” has its roots in the secret language of Kayfabe, used by wrestlers to communicate while keeping the audience engrossed in the story being told.  It’s particularly useful for fans of comics, though, given that half the Avengers started out as villains, and Magneto has cycled from bad to good so often, he can’t even remember his real name.  In recent years, the big superhero publishers have been pitting their heroes against one another (Convergence, Secret Wars, Final Crisis, Civil War, Batman V Superman et al.) as often as any bad types, but the idea of The Dadgum Batman or our friendly neighborhood Spidey going full-on villainous is a frightening one, leading us to today’s transformative query…

The MS-QOTD pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) was terrified by the grief-and-rage-induced tease of an amoral Doctor during ” The Waters Of Mars,” asking: Which stalwart heroic type would make for the most terrible villain after a heel turn?


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. My first instinct was to go with either Cap (remembering the What If..? for the Disassembled storyline), or with Hulk (somehow merging the Maestro, Joe Fixit and Kluh personas).

    Then I figure you had it right when you named the Batman.

    But, on deeper retrospect, I figure I’d go with Ben Grimm, the Thing. Not only does he have the power to take on nearly everyone (see Marvel-Two-In-One Annual #7), but he is so darn loved across the MU, the psychological impact would be devastating. You would never expect that when Aunt Petunia’s favoruite blue-eyed nephew slipped a rocky arm across your shoulders, he would really snap your neck like so much tinder…

    • Fear Itself showed him to be a rather forgettable villain. The thing(ugh) is, what makes Ben Grimm so great as a character is how fundamentally good and down to earth he is. Bad-guy Grimm is just a rocky Hulk.

  2. The Thing is a good call, sir!

    First I was thinking about obvious like Cap or Spider-Man but: worst would be Daredevil. With his sense of justice and belief in absolute good and evil (hes catholic, so that comes with it) he´d make pretty terrible villain. Unless people want to see Charles Manson-type serial killer satanist dressed in red.

    Also, Superman makes terribly overused and lazy villain and if I know anything about Frank Miller, we got pretty high chance of seeing it yet again next month when TDKR 3 begins.

  3. This is tough because most of my initial choices are characters that have either gone bad or were turned evil by magic, mind control or other means.

    I have to go with Chewbacca. He was a criminal, but he was never truly “bad” in the villainous sense. The idea of an angry Wookiee is scary enough, but the idea of an evil Wookiee… downright terrifying. I’m a little surprised they haven’t utilized the idea more than they have in the various Star Wars media (not Chewie specifically, just evil/bad/insane Wookiees). I’d rather face multiple packs of rabid dogs than a bad Chewie.

    And from something a little obscure, I think Nicholas de Brabant/Nick Knight would be pretty terrifying if he were to turn villainous. He was an almost 800 year old vampire with a really twisted Master, but he almost always held on to something of his humanity. If he were to turn bad, he has not only the power but the knowledge to do some truly horrific things. I honestly think he has the potential to be far more sadistic than LaCroix ever was.

  4. Mon-El. Considering all the character had to endure by spending 1,000 years in the Phantom Zone, I can’t think of a plausible scenario for a heel turn.

  5. My vote is for Oracle. Not just Batgirl, but Batgirl in her Oracle role. She’s sharp, ruthless when she has to be, has had pretty much unfettered access to tons of superheroic information, and has a pretty good sense of compassion as a good guy, which means as a bad guy, she has enough emotional intelligence to really strike for the heart. Bonus scary if she’s an insane bad guy, joining the ranks of the Arkhamites.

    Or Squirrel Girl, maybe.

  6. I agree with Oracle….or maybe Wonder Woman. As a Librarian Oracle s a Secret Mistress of the Universe. If one of us turns bad, it’s Really, Really Bad.

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