10 Marvel Leaders Who Can’t Be Trusted | Popgen Tech


Marvel has introduced readers to some of the best leaders in comics. Heroes like Cyclops and Captain America are the gold standard for superhero teams, while Baron Zemo and Magneto do amazing jobs leading villains to victory. A good leader can take any group, turn them into adversaries, and lead even the weakest members to victory over the worst adversaries.

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Trust is essential to leadership, as team members must have faith in the person leading them into battle. Although Marvel has presented some trustworthy leaders, the comics have also introduced readers to some leaders who are not to be trusted, making it difficult for the people under them.

10/10 Mystique Is Out For Self And Destiny First and foremost

Mystique smiles in Marvel Comics' X-Men Black

Many Marvel villains have soft hearts, but that doesn’t stop them from doing terrible things. Mystique has always had a soft spot for her children and her husband Destiny, and that hasn’t stopped her from being a villain. Mystique also proves to be a good tactical leader, but the only person who has reason to trust her is Destiny. Others have to watch their own backs.

The only person Mystique won’t betray is Destiny. Even her children, Nightcrawler and Rogue, know better than to put so much faith in their mother. Mystique is a great leader as far as strategy is concerned, but everyone should be ready when she inevitably stabs them in the back.

9/10 Sebastian Shaw’s Greed Is The Only Thing About Him

Sebastian Shaw looked up at a starry sky

Sebastian Shaw leads the Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club, is a member of the Krakoan Quiet Council, and is a top executive at the Hellfire Trading Company. He ran Shaw Industries for many years, making a fortune in the business, even supplying the US government with Sentinels. Shaw is good at making money and amassing power, but he’s good at doing it for himself.

Shaw knows his way around the boardroom and on the battlefield, but he looks out for himself first and foremost. Anyone who thinks otherwise is in for a rude awakening. Shaw only sees other people as a means to an end and is not to be trusted.

8/10 Norman Osborn’s Time Leading HAMMER is flawed

Marvel Comics' Norman Osborn looks menacing in his Iron Patriot armor

Norman Osborn knows a thing or two about leadership, which is why his tenure as leader of the Thunderbolts has been so successful. He combined it enough to lead the team, which made it possible for him to kill the Skrull Queen and gain more power. Leading SHIELD and the Superhero Initiative, Osborn immediately solidified his power base.

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Norman Osborn leads the Dark Avengers well, but he can be erratic and manipulative. He cares more about satisfying his grudges and maintaining his power than anything else, which causes him to make silly mistakes. Osborn didn’t trust anyone on his team or the Cabal, and they all knew he would betray them at a moment’s notice for more power.

7/10 Loki is known for Deception and Lies

Loki from Thor 12 of Marvel Comics by Olivier Coipiel

Only the best Marvel villains fulfill their destiny. Loki conquered Asgard more than once, using a mixture of power and intelligence to claim the throne. However, his reigns were not built on people trusting his leadership or uniting under him because he was a good monarch. Loki is ruled by fear and lies.

The only time Loki was a credible leader was when he led the Young Avengers, but that was once in a lifetime that spanned millennia. Loki is a trickster god. He can be good when he needs to be, but his greatest power comes from deception and lies. He always defaults to that, in the end.

6/10 The Red Skull Only Cares About Success

Long live Hyrda!  Red-Skull leading the Agents of Hydra in a song from Marvel Comics

The Red Skull is Marvel’s most brutal villain for many reasons. To begin with, he was a Nazi. For decades, he tried to start a Fourth Reich, recruiting men and women into Hydra and other organizations he built to fulfill his twisted dreams. There is only one thing that can be trusted about Red Skull and that is the fact that he will sacrifice everything for victory.

Red Skull will take the lives of his troops cheaply if he thinks he can win. He would betray any of them if he thought it would bring him closer to victory. The fact that people still line up to serve the Red Skull is surprising, as he is a monster of the highest order.

5/10 Nick Fury Is The Perfect Spymaster

Marvel Comics' Nick Fury targets Wolverine, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage

Nick Fury leads SHIELD like no other. Calling him SHIELD’s best Director isn’t a stretch, as he wrote the book on the organization and ran it for decades. Fury has always fought for freedom, but he knows that being the leader of the spies means he has to make tough decisions. Often that involves keeping things from everyone around him.

Fury can’t be trusted, but that’s because it’s his job to lie. He won’t betray anyone or work for his own aggrandizement, but he will lie and hide things from the people around him if he has to. It’s nothing personal; just the cost of bringing who and what he is.

4/10 Iron Man’s Pragmatism Makes Him Untrustworthy

Iron Man in Marvel Comics.

Some Marvel heroes can’t be trusted, even some of the greatest of all time. Iron Man is a founding Avenger and a leader of the heroic community, but he is also a pragmatic engineer. He wants to solve problems in the most efficient way possible and sometimes those methods are not very heroic.

This caused Iron Man to do things that others would consider untrustworthy. Iron Man knows that not everyone he works with can make tough decisions, so he does. He also knew that many of them didn’t need to know about them, so he would keep them a secret.

3/10 Thor Can’t Be Trusted As A Leader

Thor Odinson from Marvel Comics

Thor is a great hero. He is a noble warrior and lies are anathema to him. However, trusting a leader goes beyond their loyalty. It takes trust that a hero will be good at their job, and that’s one area Thor lacks.

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Thor is great for leading a strike team against a strong opponent, but he lacks the intelligence of a leader. Every time he was king of Asgard, Thor eventually abdicated the throne because he wasn’t a leader; he is a warrior. Thor can command armies, but he can’t command anything else. It’s just not how he’s wired.

2/10 Professor X Has Done Bad Things To Keep His Secrets

Decades of teaching and mentoring the X-Men make Professor Xavier the ideal fantasy mentor.

Some Marvel heroes are known for their secrets, but few can keep them as well as Professor X. The best example of this is his second team of X-Men. Between the original X-Men and the All-New, All-Different team, Xavier and Cyclops trained a group of mutants assembled by Moira MacTaggert and sent them to Krakoa to rescue the original team. When they fail, Professor X erases their existence from everyone’s minds.

This wasn’t the only time Xavier hid something very important from his students. Professor X’s telepathy allows him to keep secrets from anyone, making them forget everything if he needs them. He will always do what is best for mutants, but to him the ends justify the means.

1/10 Beast embraces Amoral Pragmatism

Gorilla version of Beast wearing glasses in Marvel Comics

Marvel has some brutal heroes, but the most surprising is the Beast. He was once the X-Men’s comic relief scientist, a hero who did what was necessary but wore his heart on his sleeve. All that changed, and he became more pragmatic and amoral, especially since being put in control of Krakoa’s CIA, X-Force.

The Beast takes a page from the Nick Fury playbook in some ways, but it feels dirtier when he does it. He has passed the level where his actions are excusable and is becoming a monster. Beast became more like him Time of the Apocalypse himself than he would admit.

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