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The Masters of Evil are a supervillain group who first appeared in Marvel Comics The Avengers #6.

Originally organized by escaped Nazi scientist Baron Heinrich Zemo to battle Captain America and the Avengers, the Masters of Evil are one of the Marvel Universe's first major ongoing alliances of supervillains. Constantly battling the Avengers, most of the Masters membership have a particular hatred of the supergroup. The Masters of Evil have regrouped several times under a few different leaders over the years. There have been eight incarnations of the group to date, led by Heinrich Zemo, Ultron, Egghead, Helmut Zemo, Doctor Octopus, Helmut Zemo in the guise of Citizen V, and the Crimson Cowl, respectively. The first, second, third, fifth, and seventh Masters teams are all disbanded. Helmut Zemo's Masters (the fourth) went underground and assumed a new guise as the celebrated super-heroic Thunderbolts team (listed as the sixth incarnation of the Masters), amassing resources and goodwill until such time as they were ready to conquer the world. During the Thunderbolts existence, The Crimson Cowl organized a new supervillain team to battle the mysterious overnight heroes. The fact that they dubbed themselves the Masters of Evil was of particular personal interest to Zemo. After many battles with the Thunderbolts, the Cowl's group remains at large. When Baron Zemo's plan was foiled by the return of the Avengers from their assumed graves, he escaped with a small core group of Thunderbolts. If these villains will return as a new incarnation of the Masters of Evil remains to be seen. The common goals of all the iterations of the team remain the same: the pursuit of criminal gain, and the assurance of that goal through the destruction of the Avengers.

What makes them the Masters?

The first Masters brought most of New York to a standstill with Zemo's Adhesive X, then captured the Avengers and held them for ransom. Egghead's Masters enacted a scheme that framed Avenger Henry Pym, making it look like he was their leader. One of the Masters greatest successes was when they captured the Avengers Mansion under Baron Helmut Zemo (as seen in Avengers #273-277). They caused heavy damage, destroyed most of the Avengers' personal belongings, administered a near-fatal beating on Avenger Hercules and sadistically tortured the Avengers' butler, Edwin Jarvis. Doctor Octopus set his Masters on the Avengers Mansion while the Infinity War occupied the team. Their goal of robbing the mansion of scientific equipment was foiled by the Guardians of the Galaxy, but not until after quite a bit of damage. The Thunderbolts/6th Masters tried and narrowly failed to take over the world, but only after enacting the greatest confidence scam in history. What more could you ask for in a group of supervillains?


Team Rosters

Masters of Evil I

Lead by Baron Heinrich Zemo
Enchantress
Executioner
Radioactive Man
Black Knight I
Melter

First appeared in Avengers #6


Masters of Evil II

Lead by Ultron
Klaw
Radioactive Man
Melter
Whirlwind

First appeared in Avengers #54


Masters of Evil III

Lead by Egghead
Moonstone
Scorpion
Radioactive Man
Tigershark
Beetle
Whirlwind
The Shocker

First appeared in Avengers #222


Masters of Evil IV

Lead by Baron Helmut Zemo
Moonstone
Goliath
Absorbing Man
Titania
Fixer
Mister Hyde
Tigershark
Wrecker
Thunderball
Bulldozer
Piledriver
Blackout
Screaming Mimi
Grey Gargoyle
Whirlwind
Yellowjacket II

First appeared in Avengers #270


Masters of Evil V

Lead by Doctor Octopus
Absorbing Man
Titania
Gargantua
Powderkeg
Puff Adder
Oddball
Jack Hammer
Yellowjacket II

First appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy #28


Masters of Evil VI / Thunderbolts

Lead by Baron Helmut Zemo / Citizen V
Fixer / Techno
Goliath / Atlas
Screaming Mimi / Songbird
Beetle / M.A.C.H.-I
Moonstone / Meteorite

First appeared in Thunderbolts #1


Masters of Evil VII

Lead by The Crimson Cowl
Man-Killer
Tigershark
Klaw
Cyclone II
Flying Tiger
M'Baku, the Man-Ape
Boomerang
Constrictor
Bison
Quicksand
Shockwave
Scorcher
Cardinal
Supercharger
Sunstroke
Shatterfist
The Eel
Dragonfly
Slyde
Joystick
Icemaster
Lodestone
Aqueduct
Blackwing

First appeared in Thunderbolts #3


Masters of Evil VIII

Lead by The Crimson Cowl
Black Mamba
Cardinal
Cyclone II
Gypsy Moth
Hydro-Man
Machinesmith
Man-Killer

First appeared in Thunderbolts #64

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