Have you ever wondered what the Marvelverse does with those they deem to be criminally Ravencroft Inmates insane? Well, I’m here to answer that question. While sometimes they seem to just get whisked off to regular prison, others get redirected to the Ravencroft inmates Institute for the Criminally Insane. This institute is a maximum-security prison and asylum for some of the most mentally unstable supervillains in the Marvelverse. It’s like the Marvel version of Arkham Asylum. Today we are going to look at some of those who have spent time in the institute as we count down the top 10 most dangerous Ravencroft Inmates.
Gregory Salinger wasn’t the first to hold the title. In fact, he was influenced to take up the mantle after serving time in prison and hearing stories of the original Foolkiller from his cellmate. He was later given his costume and from there adopted the mantle, finding inspiration in the story of the criminal. Where the original Foolkiller was a religious heretic…, punishing and killing those he believed behaved sinfully, Gregory had a different outlook when it came to what made one a fool.
He believed that those who were mediocre or materialistic deserved to be labeled fools and killed. While sometimes this put him in conflict with heroes, other times it put him in conflict with villains. At one point he almost killed himself, when after taking on Spider-Man he heard someone remark that anyone who tried to take on the hero was a fool.
Marcus Lyman turned villain after an attack on him and his wife left her dead and him with shrapnel lodged in his brain. The shrapnel altered his brain making him unable to connect with others and in effect turning him into a sociopath. Marcus became Massacre and started running around shooting and killing people. He even managed to shoot Spider-Man but Peter still was able to take him down, despite being depowered at the time.
The massacre was admitted to Ravencroft Inmates Institute. He was committed to comics in 2011 but managed to escape in 2013. However, he then came up against Superior Spider-Man which meant the end of the ultimate end for Massacre as he was shot and killed himself. Until of course he was later resurrected. Ends don’t have much weight after all in comics.
A villain we have yet to see in the MCU but who we were teased at getting when a Dimitri showed up in Spider-Man: Homecoming. However, this Dimitri Smerdyakov seemed to be working for SHIELD and has so far appeared fairly legit and not an undercover version of the comic book villain Chameleon, sadly. But time will tell if this changes. Chameleon is one of the oldest Spider-Man villains around, appearing in the very first issue of Amazing Spider-Man out of the 1960s, where he besmirched Spider-Man’s hero identity by performing crimes while in his guise.
Spider-Man was made more aggressive after learning that his parents were actually robots in disguise. Yes, that really happened. And as such when he ends up catching Chameleon, the event ends up bringing up repressed childhood trauma for Dmitri causing him to question his own identity and driving him insane. He was taken to Ravencroft Inmates but ended up later escaping after adopting the identity of a staff member, Doctor Ashley Kafka.
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Shriek has been known by a few aliases in the comics, though it has been clarified that she was born Frances Barrison. Her life of crime started as a drug dealer and it was during her time in that profession that she suffered a gunshot to the head which helped cause her to become psychotic. Carnage helped Shriek to escape and she joined him on his rampage and the two ended up becoming romantically involved. You know you are psychotic if you are interested in dating Cletus Kassady.
She has been in and out of Ravencroft Inmates a few times and was actually temporarily cured of her homicidal nature during her time at the institute though she later reverted to it after being used by the institute as a power source for the Carnage symbiote. Shriek is known for her ability to bring out dark thoughts and feelings in others and for her sonic beam which allows her to create blasts using sound waves.
Morpheus was one of a regular man named Robert Markham, suffering from insomnia who sought treatment for his condition from Marlene’s brother, Peter Jr. Alraune, who was a doctor. When using experimental treatment to cure the issue however, something went wrong. The normal man was transformed, finding that his insomnia had worsened, he also now could access and alter people’s dreams. Kind of like Freddy Kreuger. He used this power to take control of Marlene’s brother but eventually was defeated by Moon Knight.
Quinten Beck is known as a criminal mastermind and former special effects specialist, who uses his expertise to pull off heists and seek revenge on supers who stand in his way. During his time at Ravencroft Inmates, he ended up discovering that his obsession with special effects had made him ill, after being exposed to chemicals used in within his trade. He was told he had developed an inoperable brain tumor and lung cancer and that he only had a year to live.
Ravencroft released Quinten believing he no longer posed as a threat to anyone. And what did Quinten do? Immediately set to work on one last villainous plot with Daredevil as his target. I’m not sure what Ravencroft Inmates success rates are at this point but I imagine they would rival Arkham’s in how bad they are at successfully containing and curing villains.
04 Doctor Octopus
Doc Ock or Otto Octavius as he was known was once a very brilliant and sane scientist, though not without his issues. His mother always fussed over him while his father was physically abusive to him. When he was young, he fell in love but his mother refused to give the couple her blessing, believing the fellow scientist he had fallen for was not good enough for him.
This incident would lead to an argument that would result in his mother becoming estranged from him. The loss of his mother and his love, who had died–I know, very dramatic–left him distracted in his work, leading to the accident that would change his life forever and grant him brain-damaged but able to control his mechanical tentacles. The damage to his brain turned him criminally insane.
Bushman is one of the main villains for Moon Knight, a mercenary who worked alongside Marc Spector but left him for dead after Spector stood up to defend archaeologist Peter Alruane’s daughter, Marlene. From then on, the two became sworn enemies. Moon Knight once successfully sliced off Raul Bushman’s face and ended up killing him but he was later resurrected.
After his resurrection, he found himself once more in a fight with Moon Knight who was about to once again cut off Bushman’s face. But Bushman pleaded for mercy and was granted it by Spector. After his defeat, he ended up at the Ravencroft Inmates Institute.
Cletus Kassady was not always known at Carnage. There was a time when Cletus lost the symbiote. He was so distraught that he tried to convince others it was still with him, putting himself in harm’s way and taking on the damage as though to prove the symbiote was still there, “protecting him,” keeping him alive. This tactic resulted in Cletus suffering severe burns though the symbiote would later return to him, fixing his wounds.
He’s definitely one of the most criminally insane and dangerous within the institute. A deranged serial killer, his first kill was his grandmother at a young age. The first time he was a patient there, he was actually just a baby, as Cletus was in fact born within the walls of Ravencroft Inmates. Foreshadowing his destiny, perhaps.
01 Green Goblin
While Norman Osborn may not seem the most dangerous upon first look, he is definitely the most dangerous overall in terms of a long-term nemesis. Osborn has been the criminal mastermind behind some of the worst events in Spider-Man’s life causing him great pain. In fact, I think he enjoys inflicting pain upon Peter more than he would enjoy even killing him or just straight up defeating him. Torturing seems to be a hobby of his.
He was admitted to Ravencroft Inmates after he bonded with the Carnage symbiote and was defeated. Spider-Man managed to separate the symbiote from him, causing Norman to suffer a psychotic break wherein he actually believed he was Cletus Kassady. When visited by Spider-Man, he also confesses that he believes that it is not himself by Spider-Man who is Norman Osborn. The moral of the story here seems to be that insanity can be contagious when it comes to the Carnage symbiote.