The Institute of Evil first encountered the Squadron Supreme when the Grandmaster and Scarlet Centurion used them in a "game". It is unknown what the victor would win, and it is also unknown as to whether the individual members had been fought by members of the Squadron Supreme before, or whether they were spontaneously created by the Grandmaster, as he did when the Avengers fought the Squadron Sinister for the first time. Nevertheless, after the fight was over, the Institute of Evil decided to stick together.
The Institute of Evil were created by Mark Gruenwald and Bob Hall, and first appeared in Squadron Supreme #5.
The team appears to have had roughly the same roster over time, the only change being Mink leaving the team at some point. The members all seem to have gotten on quite well with each other, which is probably why none of them ever left the team. ... inspired by
- Shape ... inspired by the shapeshifting villain Clayface
- Quagmire ... inspired by the darkness-controlling Green Lantern villain Eclipso
- Ape X ... inspired by the Ultra-Humanite, the apex of humanity who had his brain transferred into the body of a giant white ape
- Foxfire ... inspired by the Green Lantern villain Star Sapphire
- Lamprey ... inspired by the Superman villain The Parasite
- Dr. Decibel ... inspired by the villain Sonar and his sonic weaponry
Major Story Arcs
The Utopia Principle
A few months after the Squadron Supreme took over America in a benevolent attempt to create a utopia, the Institute of Evil kidnapped their member Golden Archer, who had recently run away, and tortured him for information. The Archer revealed that Tom Thumb had recently created a device which could essentially brainwash criminals into becoming good, called a Behaviour Modifier, or B-Modder for short. The Institute of Evil then proceeded to capture the Squadron Supreme's friends and family, as they had recently revealed their identities to the world.
Using these hostages as leverage, the Institute broke into the Squadron's headquarters, planning to use the B-Modder to brainwash the Squadron into joining the Institute. The Squadron fought the Institute, but lost the fight anyway. However, it turned out that Tom Thumb had recently built a failsafe into the B-Modder so that it couldn't affect members of the Squadron Supreme. With this, the Squadron pretended that the Institute had succeeded, before attacking the Institute when they least suspected it, so that they would have the element of surprise this time.
With the Institute defeated, the Squadron used the B-Modder to make all of them members of the Squadron Supreme. Although this worked almost surprisingly well, Dr. Decibel and Quagmire were killed when Quagmire became comatose and his powers flared out of control. Ape X later turned catatonic as a result of a paradox in her B-Modding. The rest of the Institute later had their B-Modding undone, although Foxfire stayed loyal to the Squadron due to her love of Doctor Spectrum, and the treatment didn't work on Shape due to his low intellect. During the fight between the Squadron Supreme and Nighthawk's Redeemers, Foxfire was killed by Mink, and Lamprey was overloaded with energy by Doctor Spectrum and exploded.
No alternate versions of the Institute of Evil have been seen so far.