Every now and again, supervillains will try a new outfit or modus operandi to thwart their do-gooding nemeses. Sometimes this tactic works, and the new schtick becomes part and parcel of a character's mythos. Other times, this change lasts 15 minutes and everyone forgets it ever happened. These are those times.
10.) Juggernaut is an ancient wizard
In the popular mind, the X-Men villain Juggernaut is a foul-mouthed brute who dresses as a giant metal strawberry.
But the character had yet to become a supervillain icon in the Sixties and Seventies, so writers gave him all sorts of non-muscular personality quirks, such as the ability to cast spells and a stint in another dimension that reduced him to one of those horrible apple-head dolls you see at craft fairs.
Writers have more or less stuck with the "gemstone-powered bodybuilder" motif since then. Who'd want to look at this guy all day?
9.) The Rainbow Raiders' (failed) attempt to go zombie
The Rainbow Raiders are an obscure group of color-themed Flash foes who never hit the big time. During the 2009 Blackest Night event, invincible undead supervillains began rising from the dead. Sick of being second-stringers, The Rainbow Raiders made a suicide pact and guzzled poison to join this necrotic army. Unfortunately, they fundamentally misunderstood how these resurrections worked, and their big return backfired hilariously.
8.) Shredder hulks out, dies immediately
At the end of 1991's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, the Shredder is so distraught about being defeated at a Vanilla Ice concert that he quaffs a container of volatile mutagen. Somehow this rapid evolution makes his pointy hat grow as well. Shredder celebrates his new form by promptly dropping a dock on himself. Vanilla Ice concerts tend to inspire such understandably self-destructive impulses.
7.) Dr. Doom's dead girlfriend suit
During the 2003 "Unthinkable" story arc in Fantastic Four, Dr. Doom makes a demonic pact — he will trade his first love for absolute mastery of the dark arts. He exchanges his metal costume for a suit magically weaved out of his dead squeeze's skin. Doom eventually dumped this rather foul costume after taking an unplanned vacation to the pits of Hell.
6.) Ultimate Onslaught is Professor X's new body armor
In the main Marvel Universe, the supervillain Onslaught is an unstoppable psionic entity constructed of Professor Charles Xavier and Magneto's psyches. But in the Ultimate Marvel Universe — an analogous parallel dimension — Onslaught is simply (and anticlimactically) a snazzy futuristic bodysuit Xavier dons for a few issues. Imagine if there was a Terminator reboot, but the T-800 was Sarah Connor's plucky talking baseball cap.
5.) Ultron is Iron Man is the Wasp
In the 2007 comic series Mighty Avengers, the evil robot Ultron uses a computer virus to overtake Iron Man's bio-organic components.
Thanks to some wonky programming, Tony Stark then morphs into a naked cyborg clone of his teammate The Wasp, a transformation that imaginably led to some awkwardly silent rides on the Quinjet.
4.) Lex Luthor becomes his own son
In the early 1990s, a cancer-ridden Lex Luthor transferred his consciousness to a strapping young clone body and masqueraded as his own illegitimate, Australian son. During this period, "Lex Junior" fell in with Supergirl and paraded around as a good guy. That is, until his clone body began to deteriorate. In typical supergenius fashion, Lex got out of this bind by selling his soul to a demon.
3.) A teenager buys Venom for $100 million
In Mark Millar's run on Marvel Knights: Spider-Man, Venom host Eddie Brock realizes he's dying of cancer, so he sells the alien symbiote at an black market auction. Mobster Don Fortunato buys the alien suit for $100 million as a gift for his goofy teenage son Angelo. During Angelo's first fight with Spider-Man, Venom tires of his new host. The alien abandons the teenager in mid-air, thus limiting Angelo's stint as Venom to a single issue.
2.) Skeletor is a Christmas hero
The He-Man Christmas Special was a watershed moment in the history of yuletide television, as it confirmed that even extradimensional barbarians celebrate X-Mas for reasons nobody gives a crap enough to explain. The best part of all this pap was when the Christmas spirit exorcised Skeletor into becoming He-Man's friend for a week.
1.) Thanos buys a monogrammed helicopter
In the 1979 Electric Company tie-in comic Spidey Super Stories #39, the death-worshiping despot known as Thanos — who is probably the evilest of evils in the Marvel Universe — tooled around New York City in a helicopter emblazoned with his own diabolic name.
It's worth mentioning that this comic was for younger readers, so everyone speaks like their IQs have suddenly plummeted 100 points.
Note that Thanos lost this fight simply because he was a clumsy bastard.
And he's booked by the NYPD. New York was a harsher place in the Seventies, man.