Name: Masters of Evil
Founding Members: Baron Heinrich Zemo, Radioactive Man, Melter, and Black Knight
First Appearance: Avengers #6 (July, 1964)
Created By: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby
Did You Know: The Avengers member, Wonder Man, was once a member of the Masters of Evil
A Little History
The original Masters of Evil were assembled by Baron Heinrich Zemo as a measure of revenge against Captain America.
After the Second World War, Zemo, like most others thought his longtime enemy Captain America was dead. He was surprised to learn that not only had he survived but he had also joined a team of fellow superheroes known as The Avengers. Knowing full well that he could not best the Captain and his newfound friends, he enlisted the help of a few supervillains.
He did not do this haphazardly, however.
Instead of asking just anyone to join his cause, he carefully studied each member of The Avengers to learn their strengths and weaknesses. At the conclusion of his study, he asked villains who could individually pose a threat to one member of The Avengers.
These members, of course, included the Iron Man enemy, The Melter, Thor’s enemy, Radioactive Man, and Ant-Man and Wasp’s Enemy, Black Knight. Knowing that it would be difficult to simply ask each member to join his cause, he convinced each of them that individually they were weak but together, through their combined strength, they could defeat their foes. What the Masters of Evil didn’t realize was that Zemo did not care whether or not the team succeeded. His only interest was that he would get the chance to once and for all kill Captain America.
Over the years, the Masters of Evil have taken many shapes and sizes. Even though the team has changed and transformed its members, missions, and causes, one thing always remains the same…their combined hatred for The Avengers.