The X-Files Antagonists Who Could Be Marvel Super Villains

By Michileen Martin | Published

x-files villain

The X-Files may be known best for aliens and conspiracy theories, but occasionally the show presented fans with more Earthbound bad guys with extraordinary abilities. Along with the more well known UFO mythology episodes, The X-Files had its “monster of the week stories,” where we can find the villains who could give any Marvel hero a rough day or two. Here are some of our favorite.

6. Cecil L’lvely In “Fire”

The X-Files Marvel

Any The X-Files fans introduced to Marvel’s Pyro in 2003’s X2: X-Men United were likely reminded of Cecil L’lvely (Mark Sheppard) from the early X-Files episode “Fire.” Like Aaron Stanford’s villain in X2 and 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand, Cecil has the gift of pyrokinesis — the ability to control fire.

Unlike Pyro, who becomes fully devoted to Ian McKellen’s Magneto, L’lvely’s reasons for using his abilities to kill are much more personal. While he appears to be working with the IRA, he seems much more motivated by his obsessions with the wives of his victims, as well the sense of power using his abilities gives him.

5. Eugene Tooms In “Squeeze” And “Tooms”

As the villain of only the third episode of The X-Files, Eugene Tooms (Doug Hutchinson) is quite literally the very first “monster of the week” in the series. First appearing in “Squeeze,” Tooms is a murderer who has lived literally for centuries, surviving by eating the livers of his victims. He has the ability to stretch and squeeze his body into impossible proportions, allowing him in and out of places he shouldn’t be able to navigate.

Tooms presents us with something of a challenge in finding a Marvel Comics counterpart because, surprisingly, most comic book characters with elasticity powers (e.g. Marvel’s Mister Fantastic, DC‘s Plastic Man and the Elongated Man) are good guys. But we’re not stumped completely. When it comes to his physical powers, The X-Files‘ first monster of the week is most like Marvel’s The Maker — an insane and seemingly immortal variant of Mister Fantastic from Earth-1610.

4. Darin Peter Oswald In “D.P.O.”

The X-Files Marvel

The Season 3 The X-Files episode “D.P.O.” doesn’t just give us a Marvel villain-esque bad guy, but early appearances of actors who would soon be much more well known. Giovanni Ribisi plays the titular bad guy who was given the ability to control electricity after a lightning strike, and Jack Black plays Darin’s doomed buddy Zero.

There’s no shortage of heroes or villains in the comics who can control electricity, but probably the most well known Marvel villain with that ability is Electro, who Jamie Foxx played in 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and later in 2021’s Spider-Man: No Way Home. We never see Darin hurling electricity quite as easily as Electro does, but Darin does call lightning down from the sky, including killing cows with it for fun.

3. Robert Modell In “Pusher” And “Kitsunegari”

When the otherwise mediocre Robert Patrick Modell (Robert Wisden) develops a brain tumor that grants him the ability to force people to do whatever he wants, he uses it to become a professional killer. Calling himself “Pusher” and using his power to force his victims to kill themselves, Modell is difficult for the authorities to capture because — among other reasons — the people he murders appear to have died by suicide.

Like this The X-Files villain, there are any number of good and bad guys in Marvel with psychic abilities that let them force their wills on others. But when it comes to Marvel, Pusher reminds us most of Purple Man, or Kilgrave as he’s called when he’s played by David Tennant in Jessica Jones.

Modell sees himself as something of a modern day samurai and so it seems doubtful he would use his ability to sexually assault women as Kilgrave does, but regardless they both have little or no regard with how the use of their abilities impacts their victims.

2. Eddie Van Blundht In “Small Potatoes”

The X-Files Marvel

Usually working on the other side of the camera, in the Season 4 episode “Small Potatoes,” The X-Files writer Darin Morgan plays Eddie Van Blundht. Born with the ability to make himself look like anyone he wants, Eddie uses that ability to make himself look like a bunch of local husbands and sexually assaults their unsuspecting wives.

Eddie’s abilities in The X-Files are not unlike those of the Marvel villain Chameleon, who is most often associated with Spider-Man and is expected to make his live-action film debut in next year’s Kraven the Hunter, played by Fred Hechinger. Unlike Eddie, the Chameleon is a professional criminal who either uses his abilities to perform his own schemes or hires himself out to other villains.

1. John Lee Roche In “Paper Hearts”

In “Paper Hearts,” convicted serial killer John Lee Roche (Tom Noonan) inexplicably develops the ability to enter the dreams of Fox Mulder (David Duchovny). Roche uses this power to manipulate Mulder and make him doubt his long held belief that it was aliens who abducted his sister.

It’s not a perfect fit but probably the closest this one-off The X-Files villain comes to a Marvel match is the much more powerful Nightmare. A Fear Lord who rules over his own section of the Dream Dimension, Nightmare is a constant problem for different Marvel heroes; chief among them Doctor Strange. Among his other powers, the ability of Nightmare to enter the dreams of his victims is probably the most well known.

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