Although most once tended to hold the opinion that DC outmatched their rivals Marvel in the villain department, the company's resurgent presence over the last two decades has brought parity between both publishers. The House of Ideas has a dependable cast of devilish evil-doers to play with, and they're just as good as those at DC.
Naturally, given the Marvel universe has been going for close to sixty years now, it makes sense that their villains have also bested their heroic counterparts on more than one occasion. Sometimes, however, their smartest decision actually ends up revolving around their decision to use their gifts for good, which also happens to be a more common occurrence at Marvel than at DC.
It may even be fair to say that Marvel actually possesses the lion's share of incredibly smart villains. There's Doctor Doom, The Maker (an evil alternate version of Mister Fantastic), and on a somewhat less cosmic scale you have the likes of Wilson Fisk and Doctor Octopus, both of whom have managed the occasional - and devastating - victory over their closest adversaries.
And, just as it was with DC, there's just something about seeing a villain finally outwit their opponent that's so much more satisfying than the inverse scenario. The stakes are raised, and so is the pressure to deliver. Here are the best occasions where Marvel's bad guys came good on their scheming.