Marvel has been creating incredible characters for years now, with some of the best being their dangerous and intimidating villains. These villains have struck a chord with fans, with some becoming as popular as the heroes they face. While everyone knows the most powerful villains, the brains that make things happen, the goons in the Marvel Universe are sometimes as valued as the villains they work for.
Of course, not all henchmen were popular to begin with. Some of Marvel’s most beloved henchmen started low on the totem pole and rose through the ranks, gradually gaining fan appreciation and becoming an integral part of the Marvel Universe.
ten Deadpool went from One-Note mercenary to one of Marvel’s most beloved characters
Deadpool is known as one of Marvel’s funniest and most popular heroes, but it wasn’t always that way. At first, he was just some sort of generic New Mutants / X-Force villain, one who took advantage of his place in one of the most popular books of the early ’90s more than being a good character. . Over the years, the creators refined the character, making him the beloved icon that he would become.
While Deadpool was in the popular books, he was little more than a hired gun combat cable, an aspiring Deathstroke who would grow tremendously over the years, becoming more than a henchman.
9 Batroc The Leaper has a dedicated fan base
Batroc the Leaper is a Captain America B-list villain. A master of the French martial arts savate, Batroc has been a paid thorn on Captain America’s side for years. While not exactly a household name, he has a dedicated fan base, has appeared twice in the MCU, and is still an entertaining Captain America villain. While not on par with some of the other mercenaries, the fact that he has challenged Captain America so many times is impressive.
Batroc the Leaper is a pretty reliable hand. He gets paid, fights any hero he’s paid for, then moves on to the next job. His excellent fighting style and his nerve make him a wonderful villain.
8 Greycrow has gone from a murderous henchman to something more
The Marauders were Mister Sinister’s successful squad and one of the toughest members of the group was Greycrow. Greycrow’s powers allowed him to manipulate technology, allowing him to do just about anything out of anything else. He frequently uses this ability to create powerful weapons, making him a dangerous foe. Following his resurrection in Krakoa, Greycrow would join the Hellions in solving his problems.
Greycrow has grown in popularity since then, going from a murderous henchman to something better. Now that he’s a hero, he’s become a fan-favorite member of one of the best X-Men books.
7 Pyro moved from Brotherhood of Evil Mutants Stooge to Pirate
The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants is the most iconic team of Evil Mutants, and Pyro has been a member of the team through multiple roster changes. His powers allowed him to control, but not manifest, the flames and he used those powers as the team’s best long-term threat until his death from the Legacy virus.
After being resurrected in Krakoa, Pyro joined the Marauders, had his face tattooed, and became a pirate for the Hellfire Trading Corporation. He’s still essentially a henchman, but he works for the good guys and is much more popular.
6 Elektra started life as one of Kingpin’s greatest assassins
Elektra is another hero who started out as a henchman. After the death of her father, Elektra Natchios vowed revenge. Learning the ninja arts from Stick, she became a globetrotting assassin, eventually working for the Kingpin and facing her former college lover. Elektra took a long time to become really popular, but transcended its roots.
Creator Frank Miller had many plans for Elektra and those projects inspired her to reach the top. Now a heroine, she’s more popular and has worked with super-teams, SHIELD, and even took over as Daredevil.
5 The demolition team is one of the best henchmen on the B list
The Wrecking Crew consists of Wrecker, Thunderball, Piledriver and Bulldozer and they have been amazing henchmen for years. First going up against Thor, they would put on impressive performances against the hero before working for all manner of evil brains, becoming increasingly popular with fans over the years.
The Wrecking Crew has worked with the Masters of Evil, the Hood gang, and even the Superhero Initiative led by Norman Osborn. They’ve appeared in all kinds of books over the years and fans love them knowing they’re going to have an entertaining slugfest every time the Crew shows up.
4 Lady Deathstrike got the friction of Wolverine
Lady Deathstrike has mostly stayed on the mutant side of things, but that makes sense. His father, Lord Dark Wind, created the adamantium binding process which was stolen and used on Wolverine. Denied her birth rate, she vowed revenge and underwent a series of surgeries to become a cyborg powerful enough to face the Canadian mutant.
Lady Deathstrike would work pretty much for anyone who gave her the chance to fight Wolverine, fighting the X-Men multiple times and even fighting Captain America. Thanks to the fight against some of Marvel’s most popular characters, she transcended her simple debut in an issue of daredevil and became popular.
3 Taskmaster has edited several books
Taskmaster started out as a mercenary specializing in fighting the Avengers and has grown tremendously since then. His photographic reflexes allow him to copy the moves of anyone he fights, meaning he can use the moves of heroes like Cap, Hawkeye, etc. Eventually, he would open his own school of minions, imparting his wisdom to those who followed him.
Since then, Taskmaster has bounced back into the Marvel Universe, directing a miniseries and becoming quite iconic as a big henchman. His popularity trajectory has steadily increased and he is an icon for the henchmen of the Marvel Universe.
2 Bullseye is the best of the best
Bullseye started his life fighting Daredevil, but just like Elektra, Frank Miller had big plans for him. Able to turn anything into a weapon, Bullseye’s murder of Elektra made him special, and since then he has grown in popularity. Although he is known to fight Daredevil, he has also fought all manner of heroes and was a member of Norman Osborn’s Thunderbolts and Dark Avengers.
Bullseye is probably even more popular than Kingpin these days. The maniacal murderer is still a big bad guy and even though he does terrible things fans can’t get enough of him.
1 Sabretooth went from an inauspicious start to Wolverine’s biggest foe
Sabretooth was created in Iron Fist # 14, a first Chris Claremont / John Byrne collaboration, and appeared to be a unique villain. Claremont put the mutant assassin in Strange X-Men like a foil for Wolverine, and the rest is history. Working for the highest bidder, Sabretooth became one of Marvel’s main mercenaries, but what he really loved was tormenting Wolverine.
Sabretooth mingled with Wolverine and the two have had epic clashes over the years. Although he has become a star in his own right, his humble henchman roots will always be with him.
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