The 10 Best Mercenaries In Marvel Comics

Hugh Jackman has set the MCU fandom abuzz by fueling rumors that he’ll return for Dead Pool 3. While not a ton is known about the third installation, it’s directed by FreeGuy‘s Shawn Levy and will no doubt be full of Ryan Reynolds’ sarcastic quips that made Deadpool a household name to a new generation of fans. But even though Deadpool may be the most popular, mercenary characters have always been a part of Marvel Comics, and some of the best heroes, anti-heroes, and villains have all been mercenaries at one time or another.

From fan-favorite goofballs like Deadpool to dreaded anti-heroes like The Punisher, the history of Marvel is littered with super-beings for hire, but only the best left an impression on readers and continue to be a force in the comics today.


10 copy cat

Copycat in Marvel Comics

Though the entirety of Marvel Comics is dotted with mercenaries, the X-Men franchise seems to be a fertile breeding ground for hired guns. Copycat has been all over the map through the years, and her complicated life took her through a lengthy period of mercenary work. A mutant with the power to assume anyone’s appearance, Copycat used her skill from her to stealthily execute her missions from her.

RELATED: 10 Marvel Characters Who Were Mercenaries Before Becoming Heroes

Closely tied to Deadpool, even marrying him at one point, Copycat’s legacy saw her love, and eventually hate the famous mercenary. Copycat’s powers de ella went beyond simple mimicry and actually allowed her to assume the powers of her prey which made her an even deadlier adversary when hired for a job.

9 barrage

Barrage looks on menacingly from Marvel Comics

Barrage may not be the first name that comes to mind when discussing Marvel mercenaries, but the evil mutant’s powers make him uniquely suited for his profession. Gifted with the ability to transform his forearms into energy weapons, Barrage’s abilities made him a deadly foe and a true force for evil.

Originally hired to serve Apocalypse as a member of the Dark Riders of the Storm, Barrage served whoever paid him well, and he was often involved with some of the best X-Men comic stories of the 1990s. The period of the ’90s was known for its over-the-top characters in the X-Men universe, and Barrage fit right in as an expert mercenary.

8 bone breaker

Bonebreaker bursts through a wall while firing a gun from Marvel comics

While many hired guns are imbued with superhuman powers from birth, Bonebreaker went the technological route to becoming a dangerous weapon. Enhanced with cybernetic technology, Bonebreaker’s abilities are limited merely by his technological imagination.

Most notable for his tank-like lower body, Bonebreaker can also augment his limbs into weapons whenever the situation calls for it. Often hounding Wolverine at the behest of various employers, Bonebreaker is one of the most powerful foes that has been dispatched by Logan. Despite frequently being put down by the clawed one, Bonebreaker nevertheless uses his technology from him to return again and again.

7 outlaw

Inez Temple AKA Outlaw tips her hat in Marvel comics

Inez Temple, aka. Outlaw, may have a generic set of powers, but she manages to put them to good use in her career as a mercenary. Temple was bullied mercilessly as a child for her mutant powers, and that motivated her to turn to a life of crime as a hired gun. Possessing superhuman strength and durability, Temple trained to be a stellar marksman as well.

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Running across Deadpool frequently in the comics, Outlaw often works jobs against the scarlet-clad mercenary, and occasionally tries to one-up him. Though she is n’t as brutal as some of her hired gun contemporaries, she is usually always a force to be reckoned with when she is hired to take someone out of her.

6 bulls eye

marvel bullseye

Most known as one of Daredevil’s best villains, the ruthless marksman known as Bullseye has turned up all throughout the Marvel Comics Universe. A brutal killer who enjoys his job, Bullseye specializes in thrown weapon attacks as opposed to using a firearm, a trait that he developed after nearly botching an early mission.

Bullseye is more dangerous than most of his assassin counterparts because he takes pleasure in killing, as opposed to a simple motivation of greed. He has run roughshod through the comics killing off major characters for money ⁠— and for fun.

5 Agent X

Cover art for Agent X Issue 12

As is often the case with many of Marvel’s mercenaries, Agent X’s biggest adversary was Deadpool, and hatred was his great motivator. Accidentally created when Black Swan used his psionic powers from him to save his life from him, Agent X was given many of Swan’s memories and abilities from him as well. Further training from Outlaw and Taskmaster made Agent X a dangerous adversary.

Forming the Agency X, Agent X went into business for himself and fought with and against many other notable Marvel hired guns. As if his training from him did n’t make him dangerous enough, his healing abilities and resistance to nearly every form of attack made him a nearly unstoppable killing machine.

4 crossbones

Daredevil Comic Crossbones Inferno

Generally regarded as one of Captain America’s best villains from the comics, the assassin Crossbones is the antithesis of the star-spangled hero. Brock Rumlow got his start as the leader of a violent street gang before graduating to a life of paid mercenary work. Though not gifted with any superhuman abilities, Crossbones’ ruthlessness is what puts him over the top.

Executing his assignments with brutal efficiency, Crossbones has never been afraid to take out anyone who stands in his way, and he has taken Cap to his limit on numerous occasions. Operating at peak human ability, Crossbones is not one to be underestimated when he is on the prowl, even when he goes up against superpowered heroes.

3 task master

Taskmaster pointing at someone.

Of all the Marvel mercenaries that have appeared over the years, Taskmaster has always been one of the most consistent villains to terrorize the comics universe. Originally an agent of SHIELD, Taskmaster gained the ability to mimic anyone’s fighting style and he eventually turned to a life of crime as a hired hand.

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Vexing nearly every notable Marvel hero over the years, Taskmaster not only executes his own jobs but has made lucrative career training other future assassins. Taskmaster may be a thrilling adversary, but his tragic backstory also makes him one of the most compelling villains in the entire Marvel canon.

two punisher

Frank Castle surrendering as guns have their red sights trained on him in The Punisher MAX

Debuting way back in the early 1970s as a one-off villain in The Amazing Spider-Man, it was clear that Frank Castle was going to make a huge splash in the future of Marvel Comics. A war veteran with a penchant for hard justice, Frank Castle assumed the moniker of the Punisher and took hit jobs that he executed with expert proficiency.

As the mood of the 1980s and ’90s comic world shifted, the Punisher transformed from a villain into a full-fledged anti-hero who still conducted his business with brutality and murder. Though he is still a mercenary, and his methods are violent, Castle often takes aim at organized crime and could be considered a force for good in some ways. Despite this, the Punisher often butts heads with Marvel’s more straight-laced heroes, and he’ll never fully shed the “anti” part of his anti-hero image from him.

1 dead pool

When it comes to Marvel characters who have changed drastically over time, Deadpool has perhaps had the biggest and most profound transformation. Making his debut as a ruthless mercenary created by the Weapon X program, Wade Wilson’s enhanced abilities made him the ultimate killing machine and he terrorized the Marvel Universe for years.

Running up against other notable assassins, Deadpool has always switched sides with relative ease, and is an anti-hero to his core. As the years have progressed, he has become a comedic figure in the comics, and his adventures often break the fourth wall in hilarious fashion. Even with his sillier incarnations of him, Deadpool is still a dangerous mercenary, and usually one of the most successful when it comes to completing whatever mission he is hired for.

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