Open main menu

The Institute of Evil is a fictional organization appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.

Institute of Evil
Publication information
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceSquadron Supreme #5 (January 1986)
Created byMark Gruenwald
Bob Hall
In-story information
Doctor Decibel


Publication historyEdit

The Institute of Evil first appeared in Squadron Supreme #5 and was created by Mark Gruenwald and Bob Hall.

Fictional team historyEdit

The Institute of Evil existed in the Earth-712 universe and served as the Squadron Supreme’s arch-foes. The known members of the Institute of Evil included Ape-X (the leader), Doctor Decibel, Foxfire, Lamprey, Quagmire, and the Shape.

The Behavior Modification process invented by Squadron member Tom Thumb would prove to be the Institute of Evil's undoing. The Golden Archer used the machine to make fellow Squadron member Lady Lark obsessed with him. However, he couldn't stand her irrational behavior, so went for a walk and was captured by the Institute. They tortured the Archer until he revealed the Squadron's new base of operations. They then kidnapped the Squadron's family members and attacked their headquarters. They began ambushing Squadron members and using the behavior modification machines on them as they returned from their missions. The Institute then brought the Squadron back to their lair where the Golden Archer and their captive family members were held. The Squadron attacked, revealing that Tom Thumb had designed the process not to work on Squadron members, and defeated the Institute completely.[1]

The Institute of Evil's members were subjected to the Behavior Modification process, altering their personalities. The former super-criminals all became elected to full membership in the Squadron Supreme and aided them in their efforts to conquer the world in order to forcibly turn it into a utopia.[2]

Some Institute members did not fare so well as members of the Squadron. Ape-X suffered from a psychotic withdrawal from reality and fell into a coma, due to her behavior modification process. After saving twenty factory workers from a gas leakage, Quagmire went into a coma. In the hospital, he was sucked into the hole in his brain that is a portal into the dimension from which his dark matter originates, and Doctor Decibel suffocated in Quagmire's extra-dimensional slime.[3]

In time, Squadron Supreme member Nighthawk objected to the extreme methods the Squadron was using to achieve its goals, and left the group. Nighthawk formed a rebel group, known as the America Redeemers, to oppose the Squadron's "benevolent" tyranny. The Redeemers included other enemies of the Squadron, expelled Squadron member the Black Archer, as well as unknown superheroes that infiltrated the Squadron to help take it down. With the help of Master Menace, the Redeemers were able to reverse the Behavior Modification of Foxfire, Lamprey, and the Shape and recruited them into his group. These three agents also remained in the Squadron as double agents.[4]

When the Redeemers finally confronted the Squadron Supreme, an all-out battle broke out. Lamprey tried to absorb Doctor Spectrum’s power, but Doctor Spectrum was able to overload Lamprey's power which killed Lamprey. Foxfire, who had long been in love with Doctor Spectrum, tried to gain his approval by betraying Nighthawk, to allow the Squadron to win the fight. She used her powers to kill Nighthawk by blasting his heart and causing a massive coronary. Foxfire was then killed by fellow Redeemer Mink, who had been in love with Nighthawk. The death of Nighthawk caused the Squadron members to realize that they had become the very thing that they had intended to oppose, and thus ended the fight.[5]

The Shape was the only former member of the Institute of Evil that eventually chose to side with the Squadron Supreme, finding happiness in his new calling.[6]


  • Ape-X - An intelligent ape who is a loose pastiche of Gorilla Grodd.
  • Doctor Decibel - A criminal surgeon.
  • Foxfire -
  • Lamprey - A power-absorbing supervillain who is a pastiche of Parasite.
  • Mink - A criminal who is a pastiche for Catwoman.
  • Quagmire -
  • Shape - A supervillain who is loosely based on Plastic Man. Defected to the Squadron Supreme.


  1. ^ Squadron Supreme #5 (mini-series) (Jan. 1986)
  2. ^ Squadron Supreme #6 (mini-series) (Feb. 1986)
  3. ^ Squadron Supreme #10 (mini-series) (June 1986)
  4. ^ Squadron Supreme #11 (mini-series) (July 1986)
  5. ^ Squadron Supreme #12 (mini-series) (Aug. 1986)
  6. ^ Squadron Supreme: Death of a Universe (graphic novel) (1989)

External linksEdit