There are plenty of well-known male villains in the Marvel Universe such as Magneto, Thanos and Galactus; sometimes, supervillainesses get the short end of the stick. In fact, there is only a single female villain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s array of films: the space pirate Nebula, from 2014's Guardians of the Galaxy. This fact is discounting Fox’s X-men films, which have a female villain in nearly every film.
The truth though, is that there are some mean and super powerful women out there in the Marvel world, and we wanted to shine a spotlight on 10 of them. Many of these ladies rely on “conventional” means to get what they want - namely seduction and mind control - while others are just as badass as their male counterparts.
There have been talks around the media complaining about the lack of women leads and antagonists in Marvel films, and we hope that a few of these 10 get their fair share of movie spotlight in the future, because they deserve it.
10 Typhoid Mary
Typhoid Mary is a mentally ill former lover of Daredevil (and briefly with Deadpool), with psionic powers including telekinesis, hypnosis, and pyrokinesis, which allows her to set people in her immediate vacinity on fire. She is also a highly athletic martial artist. Typhoid Mary is a common pawn of the Kingpin.
One of the interesting aspects of Typhoid Mary is that she suffers from dissociative identity disorder, and has three distinct personalities. Her “Mary” is a quiet, timid pacifist. Her “Typhoid” persona is lustful and adventurous and violent. Her “Bloody Mary” persona is sadistic and hates all men. Her condition was accidentally caused by Matt Murdock (Daredevil), when he tracked a villain to a brothel and knocked Mary out of a window. From that moment, she vowed that no man would ever hurt her again.
One of the most popular supervillainesses in the Marvel Universe, Mystique first appeared, as Raven, in Ms Marvel #16 (1978), and two issues later as Mystique. The mutant shape-changer is thought to be over 100 years old, and is the father of Nightcrawler and the foster mother of Rogue.
As Raven Darkholme, she became a high official of the United States DoD, giving her access to military secrets that she could use for her own criminal enterprises. Being able to duplicate the appearance of any human, male or female, has made her one of the most resourceful villains in the Marvel world.
She can hide her age, has increased healing, and an immunity to drugs and poison. She is most commonly employed as Magneto’s right-hand woman in the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, and even started her own third incarnation of the group.
Synthea Schmidt, aka Sin, first appeared in Captain America #290 (1984). She is the daughter of the Captain’s archenemy, Red Skull. As an alias, Mother Superior, she led a group called the “Sisters of Sin,” where young girls were given psionic powers and were indoctrinated into Red Skull’s views.
During the Civil War, Sin helped villain Crossbones and a mind-altered Sharon Carter snipe and assassinate Steve Rogers (Captain America), though he was later found to be alive. To add to her pedigree, in another storyline she helped unearth the Hammer of Skadi, became Skadi, and freed the God of Fear, Serpent. She prepared an army of Nazis to take over the D.C. Capital, and she mortally wounded Bucky Barnes, the Captain America after Steve Rogers.
7 Lady Deathstrike
Yuriko Oyama, aka Lady Deathstrike, aka Deathstryke, is a primary foe of Wolverine’s and the X-Men, who first came onto the scene in Daredevil #197 in 1983. Her father, Lord Dark Wind, created the adamantium-bonding process forced upon Wolverine, and later bonded to Deathstryke’s own skeleton.
After her father’s adamantium-binding process was stolen, Yuriko’s father angrily scarred his children’s face. She then guided Daredevil to Lord Dark Wind (Kenji Oyama), and she killed her father just as he was about to kill Daredevil.
After her lover committed suicide following Dark Wind’s death, Yuriko did a 180 and became Lady Deathstrike and vowed to kill Wolverine, who she believed stole her father’s binding process. She was transformed into a cyborg with superhuman strength and adamantium claws of her own, so that she could be a match for Wolverine.
Nebula is an alien space pirate who has been a thorn in the Avengers side since first appearing in Avengers #257 (1985). She also appeared in the 2014 Guardians of the Galaxy film. Nebula almost became the most powerful person in the universe when she managed to release vast energy from an atomic compressor, which was absorbed by the Infinity Union and nearly destroyed all of reality. The Avengers managed to stop her.
She also stole the omnipotent Infinity Gauntlet from Thanos to try and take over the universe, but was stopped by a menagerie of famous heroes and villains, namely Adam Warlock, Doctor Strange, the Silver Surfer, Thor, the Hulk, Firelord, Doctor Doom, and Drax the Destroyer. She was later turned into a “living sculpture” of pain and death, by Thanos.
Selene is one of the long-lived mutants known as the Externals, and she has lived for 17,000 years. She began living in “modern times” in the ancient Roman Republic, and eventually became the Black Queen of a cult of her followers called the Hellfire Club. She is a very powerful sorceress with the ability to manipulate inanimate objects; use telekinesis and flame manipulation; she can warp reality; and she can assume a shadow form. She is considered a “psychic vampire,” being able to drain the life of others to extend her own.
Selene is primarily an adversary of the X-Men, X-Force, and Fantastic Four. In one scheme she brought Jean Grey into the Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club, which led to the intervention of the X-Men. Selene and her army of mutants led to the presumed deaths of many, including Magneto and Sebastian Shaw, the mortal injuries of Emma Frost, and the deaths of the Hellions.
4 Morgan Le Fay
Morgan Le Fay first appeared 60 years ago, in Black Knight #1 (1955). She is, of course, loosely based on the Morgan Le Fay of Arthurian legend. In the Marvel world, she is the half-faerie, half-sister of Arthur. Being elven makes her immortal, which in its own right is infinitely powerful. She has been an opponent of the Avengers, and of Spider-Woman. She, along with her lover Mordred, was a nemesis for the original Black Knight.
Le Fay was visited from the future by Doctor Doom - who became a general in her army in exchange for Le Fay wresting his mother’s soul from Hell. Iron Man defeated her, and Doom swore vengeance on him. She attempted to turn Earth into a dimension ruled by black magic, and it took the Avengers, Magnus the Sorcerer, Doctor Strange, and the Shroud to defeat her. Le Fay can control minds, can engage in astral projection, and can manipulate mystical energy. She is one of the greatest sorceresses in Earth’s history.
3 The Enchantress
The Enchantress, or Amora, is a powerful sorceress of Asgard who first appeared in Journey into Mystery #103 (1964). She has a nearly ageless physique of a goddess, and few can resist her beauty. A single kiss is enough to make a man her slave, and she is one of the most powerful mystics in Asgard or on Earth. Her powers are nearly limitless, and include mind control, telepathy, energy blasts, levitation, teleportation, dimension travel, transmutation, and time manipulation.
Amora is one of Thor’s greatest foes. She was sent by Odin to kill Thor’s human love interest, who he saw as a distraction, but failed. Odin exiled her to Earth, where she joined the Masters of Evil to fight the Avengers. With her spells, she managed to hypnotize Thor into attacking the other Avengers. She has also served as Loki’s lieutenant during his brief rule of Asgard. Time and time again, she posed a huge threat against humanity and Asgard.
2 Cassandra Nova
Cassandra Nova is a “mummudrai,” a parasitic life form born without a body on the astral plane. She first appeared in New X-Men #114 (2001), and is commonly associated with the X-Men. As a mummudrai, she became telepathically entangled with Charles Xavier, manipulated his DNA, and was given vast psionic powers, as well as the ability to create a body for herself.
Cassandra Nova was born at the same time as Charles Xavier, and copying his DNA to make her own body, effectively became his twin shadow sister. Her most infamous act came when she commanded an army of Sentinels and massacred 16 million mutants on the mutant homeland of Genosha. When captured at the X-Mansion, she broke free and easily defeated most of the X-Men, and she very nearly destroyed every mutant on Earth, by controlling and using Xavier’s own mind power.
1 Dark Phoenix
Many might disagree that Dark Phoenix belongs as a villain, since the Phoenix Force can possess anyone. But when the Phoenix Force augments with Jean Grey, and then becomes Dark Phoenix, she tops all other Marvel supervillainesses in terms of power. In outer space, the Phoenix Force noticed Jean Grey’s unlimited potential, and then saved her life when she was dying from radiation poisoning, attaching itself to her.
Her vast potential makes her a target for Mastermind, who projects illusions into Phoenix’s mind, and takes on the identity of the Hellfire Club’s Black Queen. After Mastermind’s psychic hold on Jean’s psyche breaks, the total power overwhelms Jean and she becomes Dark Phoenix.
Her claim to fame is causing a supernova and absorbing the energy of a nearby galaxy, killing billions. Jean Grey, while momentarily regaining her senses, kills herself after realizing that Plan Omega, under Shi’ar High Empress Lilandra’s orders, would consist of destroying the whole solar system in order to destroy Dark Phoenix.