10 Comic Book Villains Whose Origins Are A Mystery

For some villains, mystery and ambiguity make them more sinister.

The Joker
DC Comics

Having an origin that is a bit ambiguous and something of a mystery works well for villains in general. Having people not know much about them, who they really are, or what they might do next can only work in the villains' favor. In fact, it adds to their menace because the rogue could be the person behind them in the grocery store, they could be a member of their own family, or even their best friend… and they may never know.

Ambiguity about the character has also allowed some of the older villains to shift and evolve with the changing times in ways that may have been more difficult to one that was tethered to a specific time period or historical event. It also allows a few of these characters to shift in tone from light-hearted and “family-friendly” to psychotically murderous, depending on the times, their mood and the creative teams.

It is amusing that because of the unknown nature of some of these characters, there are a few that may have started out as a villain but no longer fit into that description today, at least not in the traditional sense. They follow a code. It might be a code that only makes sense to them, but it’s a code that allows them to see nobility in the things they do. It’s up to society and the legal system to decide if they are misguided in that assumption.

10. Jack O’ Lantern

The Joker
Marvel Comics

The original Jack O’Lantern first appeared in Machine Man #19 but this unknown Jack made his debut in Venom #1 and was created by Rick Remender and Tony Moore. As a young boy, he fell under the tutelage of the Crime Master who taught him to be a master assassin. To prove his allegiance, Jack killed his parents. To add his own flair, he scooped out their brains and left a candle in their heads, making them resemble a Jack O’ Lantern.

Jack O’ Lantern battled both Eddie Brock's and Flash Thompson's Venom on numerous occasions, both alone and as part of the Savage Six, under the leadership of the Crime Master. Bored with his life, he followed Deadpool to Wakanda and attacked Wade and Black Panther. Jack was killed when the Merc shot him in the head.

Sent to Hell and transformed into a demon, Jack made regular attempts to usurp the Throne of Hell from Johnny Blaze. After repeated failures, the rogue was approached by Lilith who offered to resurrect him in her servitude. He agreed and was immediately angered that others had taken his mantle of Jack O’ Lantern. As part of his deal, he was sent to kill Danny Ketch. He tried to talk his way out of the fight but was immediately cut down and sent back to Hell.


John Wilson has been a comic book and pop culture fan his entire life. He has written for a number of websites on the subject over the years and is especially pleased to be at WhatCulture. John has written two comic books for Last Ember Press Studio and has recently self-published a children's book called "Blue." When not spending far too much time on the internet, John spends time with his lovely wife, Kim, their goofy dog, Tesla, and two very spoiled cats.