Although DC is better known for its superhero team-ups, Marvel had plenty of iconic duos of its own. Here’s a look at 10 great team-ups between heroes and villains that have graced the comic panels, but these are partnerships, not teams or mentorships.
10 HEROES: Spider-man And Daredevil
The two rough NYC background poor kids came to both love the city they grew up in, got fantastic powers at young ages, and share a love for swinging on rooftops. Spider-man and Daredevil have teamed up several times throughout the years, and the two have made a great connection in that time.
Though Peter Parker has great chemistry with virtually everyone in the Marvel universe, his bond with Matt Murdock has had the best results. Daredevil is dark and brooding, whereas Spidey tends to be more optimistic and quippy. Both of their rogues’ galleries tend to crossover with each other, and they both have contentious dynamics with The Punisher.
9 VILLAINS: Apocalypse And Mister Sinister
Apocalypse and Mister Sinister both see each other as means to an end, and neither is particularly eager to work together. Yet they always do, because they both see the bigger picture for the goals they want to achieve. Seeing as how Apocalpyse was the one to give Mister Sinister his powers, it makes sense that he did so with a motive, and Mister Sinister sort of owes him for it, too. They both approach genocide a bit differently; Apocalypse wants it to be purely Darwinian, and Mister Sinister wants to perfect it to a sort of systematic science of his own making and engineering.
8 HEROES: Wolverine And Captain America
Captain America and Wolverine are often portrayed as fellow World War II veterans, seeing as Cap was frozen in ice for decades and unthawed, and Wolverine has an extended lifespan. The two are pretty opposite on the surface in every aspect. Steve Rogers is a clean-cut all-American boy scout with a clear moral code, dressed in red,white, and-blue from head to toe, while Wolverine is a short and angry Canadian pottymouth who suffers from PTSD and memory loss with a penchant for violence and regret. When the two come across each other though, the mutual urge to help others always shines through, and the fact that they were both experimented on in the same program makes for a common thread they share the experience of.
7 VILLAINS: Kingpin And Bullseye
Though Kingpin technically hires Bullseye rather than work with him, they both share a mutual disdain for Daredevil. When these two villains team-up, it spells massive trouble for the likes of Spider-man, Daredevil, or The Punisher at any given time. Kingpin is a master strategist and a huge man with a powerful punch, and Bullseye is an unpredictable and deadly master assassin. Seeing the serious and pensive Kingpin keep the rowdy and insane Bullseye in line is always an impressive feat.
6 HEROES: Deadpool And Cable
Deadpool is a complete joke and Cable takes himself way too seriously despite having the most convoluted and silly backstory ever. The two work perfectly off one another, with Cable playing the straight man to Deadpool’s comedian. The two share an incredibly diverse array of weaponry and a love for violence, and both have complicated relationships with the X-Men. Deadpool and Cable are Marvel’s answer to DC’s iconic buddy team, Booster Gold and Blue Beetle, and a pretty good answer, at that.
5 VILLAINS: Loki And Mephisto
It’s very strange that these two haven’t come across each other more often, because their backgrounds are so similar. Think of this entry as a “hey, we should get together more often” kind of situation. They’ve met, and they’ve interacted directly or indirectly, but it needs to be seen more.
Marvel’s answer to The Devil and Marvel’s trickster god are both mischievous and devious foes who love to taunt their victims and employ illusions, lies, and deceit at every turn. They constantly grin and they’re pretty sore losers, so they should try and team-up sometime (while scheming behind each other’s backs).
4 HEROES: Luke Cage And Iron Fist
The Heroes For Hire are an almost inseparable duo at this point, but each has their own rich backstory separate from one another. Luke Cage has unbreakable skin and super strength, Iron Fist has…well, a pretty good punch and mastery of martial arts. The banter and similarities that the two street fighting heroes share makes for great chemistry, and the differences between the mystical Eastern approach Iron Fist takes and the down to Earth and gritty boxing that Luke Cage engages in works keep things engaging.
3 VILLAINS: Venom And Carnage
This is technically a father (mother?) and son team up, as the Carnage symbiote is an offspring of the Venom symbiote. Likewise, it’s technically also 4 entities, not just two, but for all intents and purposes, it’ll count as two. Eddie Brock and Cletus Kassidy were both cellmates in the same prison, and the two are incredibly different men. Brock is a brooding and bitter man bent on a personal vendetta, and Kassidy is a sadistic and happy-go-lucky serial killer with no endgame. Naturally, their symbiotes reflect their personalities, and when the two of them are both in costume, things get violent and scary fast.
2 HEROES: Professor X And Magneto
This entry is a bit of a cheat, seeing as how Magneto is kind of a genocidal villain, but when he’s on his best behavior, he’s a great person, and that great side is what made him and Charles Xavier such great friends to begin with. Their differing approach to overcoming the mutant struggle was reminiscent of the different factions in the Civil Rights era, and the occasional willingness to compromise or even work together makes for an amazing dynamic. It’s especially easy to root for Magneto whenever he decides to dunk on Red Skull, seeing as Magneto was a Holocaust survivor, and Red Skull was a Nazi.
1 VILLAINS: Doctor Doom and Klaw
Doctor Doom famously likes to work alone, only teaming up when situations absolutely require it. But sometimes, karma can catch up to the villainous doctor, and the results are hilarious. In the original “Secret Wars” storyline, Dr. Doom comes across the essence of the sound-based villain, Ulysses Klaue, who turned into sheer energy before the events of the story. Doom reconstructs Klaw, though Klaw is a bit batty and nonsensical. Doom manipulates and berates Klaw, but uses him to help sap the power of the Beyonder. The god-like Doom keeps Klaw around for company, seeing as he’s bored, and the ever strange company would be Doom’s undoing, as the Beyonder would posses Klaw and steal back his power. It’s not the team-up of a lifetime, but seeing Dr. Doom clearly admit to some loneliness and have a ridiculous friend to talk with was great.
Whether they be heroes or villains, team-ups are an iconic part of comics. Here are the best team-ups in Marvel.