Marvel: 10 So-Called Heroes Who Are Only Good For Their Own Selfish Reasons – CBR – Comic Book Resources

These so-called Marvel heroes have selfish reasons for fighting evil & saving others.
Being a hero in any comic book universe is a test of commitment and faith, particularly in Marvel Comics. Being Spider-Man and having to go toe-to-toe with Doctor Doom usually means taking a brutal beating in the name of saving the world. No one does that unless they’re in the game for the right reasons.
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That being said, there are more than a few Marvel heroes who do things for their own selfish reasons. In some cases, they can just barely be called heroes. Their motivations, their actions, and their goals just are not in line with what makes a hero a hero.
The sometimes King of Atlantis has switched back and forth between being a hero and a villain more times than anyone can keep track of. Ultimately, Namor does what’s best for him and him alone, often backing up his decisions by saying they’re what’s best for Atlantis.
His most selfish actions have often been related to Sue Storm, aka the Invisible Woman. His infatuation with her has regularly led to him trying to come between her and her husband, Mister Fantastic. Those are not the actions of a hero, though Mister Fantastic hasn’t done himself any favors in this area either.
As one of the most powerful Mutants on Earth, Charles Xavier knew that his fellow Mutants needed a safe space to call their own. That’s why he created a school to protect and train them, building a team called the X-Men to fight for them.
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But he also named his own school and superhero team after himself, and then he started leading a group of teenagers into battle against incredibly powerful foes. Any good that Professor X has done has been a byproduct of him boosting his own ego.
Reed Richards has long been respected as one of the smartest people in Marvel Comics and rightfully so. His brilliance is almost unparalleled in any comic book universe. Unfortunately, his arrogance is equally massive and overwhelming.
It was this arrogance that led to his closest friends and family being in an accident that could have killed them. Lucky for them, they gained amazing powers instead. Even worse than the accident, Mister Fantastic regularly ignores his wife and kids to further his own scientific pursuits.
For years, Gambit has been a regular member of various X-Men teams. He is a master thief, an accomplished hand-to-hand combatant, and a powerful Mutant. But his reasons for joining the good guys were suspicious.
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He helped Mister Sinister and the Marauders slaughter the Morlocks in the tunnels under New York. Gambit joined the X-Men to atone for those sins. And if he wasn’t so in love with Rogue, no one really knows how long he would have stuck around.
The reality is that Black Cat can be hard to define as a hero or a villain. Her actions are based on what benefits her the most at that moment. That often leads to Black Cat doing heroic things, though she usually finds ways to steal a diamond along the way.
What makes her interesting is the fact that she’s aware of her selfishness and thoroughly embraces it. That’s what makes her such a successful thief. And when she was a devoted hero, it was purely because she was in love with Spider-Man.
Johnny Storm was one of the members of the mission Reed Richards put together that ended with everyone getting superpowers. Johnny became the Human Torch. He’s now highly respected as a member of the Fantastic Four and has made great personal sacrifices over the years.
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But there are few people in Marvel Comics who bask in the fame that comes with being a superhero more than Johnny Storm. He wants to be famous so badly that it has been known to override his own common sense.
If there’s one defining quality that Hank Pym has, it’s that he seems to be overly concerned with proving how smart he is to people. Feeling inferior to other great minds of Marvel Comics like Reed Richards and Tony Stark has pushed him to do some really ignorant things.
The worst of the worst is the creation of Ultron, an artificial lifeform that has plagued the entire universe and consistently been one of the Avengers’ greatest villains. Pym’s combination of arrogance and ego with his inferiority complex has led to one of the worst decisions of all time.
General “Thunderbolt” Ross is easily the worst father-in-law of all time. Bruce Banner and Betty Ross have been married since 1981, though it’s hard to say what their actual marital status is, given how many times they’ve both died and been resurrected.
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Regardless, General Ross has spent most of that time trying to hunt Banner down. He even ends up becoming the Red Hulk to further those goals. This selfish obsession has destroyed most aspects of his personal life, leaving his relationship with his daughter largely in ruins.
While Iron Man’s origins have changed slightly over the years, the basics remain the same. Injured in a combat situation, billionaire industrialist, inventor, and futurist Tony Stark built his first suit of armor to survive his injuries and escape.
Doing what he had to do to survive was not technically selfish. But it stands that he never would have become a hero if a direct need hadn’t forced him to do so. Tony originally had no intentions to save the world. He just wanted to stay alive. Everything else that came after was a byproduct of that decision.
Calling the Punisher a hero is basically impossible at this point. The man is, for all intents and purposes, a mass murderer if not a serial killer. Murder has become a compulsion for him at this point, as evidenced by his execution of two villains during the first Civil War event. Frank can’t help himself.
Punisher got into the game to get revenge on the people who murdered his family. There was no purpose other than a selfish desire for vengeance at all costs. And his tunnel vision has led him down a path he can never come back from.
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Ian Goodwillie is a freelance writer based out of Saskatoon, SK, Canada. He has a BA in English Literature from the University of Saskatchewan and completed the Writing Program at Vancouver Film School. More importantly, Ian is also a wrestling fan, comic book reader, video game player, and photographer. He loves to write and writes about what he loves. Ian’s also an unrepentant, unapologetic Cougar Town fan, a show he will defend until the day he dies. Follow him on Twitter at @ThePrairieGeek.

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