I’m using some wrestling terminology for this one folks. Face Heel Turn is when someone good (a face) turns bad (a heel), and Heel Face Turn is the same thing from the opposite side (A bad guy turning good). While there are some people who regularly flirt between good and bad (Damian Hellstrom and Catwoman for example), the plan here is to stick with those who made the switch and haven’t really bounced back. We are going to talk about a few of the guys who’ve done that throughout comics.
Clint Barton (Hawkeye/Ronin): Heel Face Turn
Clint Barton before his time as an Avenger, was often spent in traveling circuses (specifically Carson Carnival of Travelling Wonders). His mentor was the international criminal Trickshot, and was also friends with the original Swordsman (who was also a criminal). Initially Clint turned down the invitation to crime from Swordsman but still had no idea about Trickshot. Eventually he got convinced to raid another criminal’s operation by Trickshot, which resulted in Clint severely wounding one of the bodyguards (which was found out later to be Clint’s brother Barney). Eventually he saw Iron Man save lives and decided to be a vigilante himself. Unfortunately while disguised, he got mistaken for a criminal and chased down. He returned to crime at the urging of Black Widow (who was undercover as a criminal at the time) and initially tried to fight Iron Man and the Avengers. He eventually felt regret and instead tried to join the Avengers. To do this, he broke into Avengers Mansion, convinced Jarvis to play along, and impressed the team. Iron Man vouched for him, and Clint (as Hawkeye, and for a period as Ronin) became one of the most valued members of the Avengers, even helping Vision lead the West Coast Avengers.
Harleen Quinzel (Harley Quinn): Heel Face Turn
Harley Quinn was once the sidekick to psychopathic Batman villain Joker. A highly intelligent psychologist, she donned the appearance of a harlequin. She was also the lover of Joker, though the relationship was very abusive and a victim of Stockholm Syndrome. Eventually, she moved on, and went to New York City. Here, she decided to help people out instead of terrorizing them… though, terrorizing people just came naturally. She formed a “Gang of Harley’s” to help her out, and they are basically a group of vigilantes who do the right thing (while destroying stuff, because fires and explosives are fun). There is a small group of friends including Eggy (Egg Fu, former Wonder Woman villain), Tony (is a midget who works for a freakshow), Red Tool (Future time traveler originally sent to kill Harley), and there are regular appearances by Poison Ivy and Power Girl (as friends and allies). She regularly works with the police department for handling certain things that the police couldn’t easily do. The Penguin is a recurring villain of hers.
Alex Wilder: Face Heel Turn
Our first former hero turned villain, Alex Wilder, was a former member of the young hero group Runaways. He has a genius level intellect, and uses that as a strategist, to make plans, and manipulate people. With the other Runaways, he fought the villain group The Pride (who included their parents). Eventually he got killed, and there was a failed resurrection attempt of him. Later on, Damian Hellstrom (Prince of Hell) resurrected him in exchange for his services. This lead him to be part of the Young Masters (Norman Osborn’s evil version of the Young Avengers). At one point, he became a Luke Cage and Iron Fist villain as he was going around framing reformed villains and promising untold power to gain control of a large portion of the New York underground.
Victor Creed (Sabretooth): Heel Face Turn
The infamous Sabretooth. While he still has struggles with his morality, he is making an active attempt at being on the right side of things. Savage, bloodthirsty, ruthless. Three words you don’t usually use to describe someone trying to do the right thing. But for most of his career, he was a killer. Not out of necessity. Mostly out of boredom. But when the Axis event came around, the morality of most beings was switched. Turning villains to heroes, and heroes to villains. During that time, Sabretooth understood why Wolverine tried to atone, and mentioned how “I have a lot more blood on my hands than he ever had.” Sabretooth has been helping Old Man Logan, Warpath, and a few others deemed as the “Weapon X” team, hunting down bad guys. He has recently taken lead of that team, and done one thing that even the X-Men never could. Sat down, and talked with Omega Red, and offered to help him get better rather than just attacking him.