Originally Posted by Silvermoth
I would say it's because of that groan inducing name.
Cue 'Hurr durr if you don't like cheese don't like superheroes' comments but it's true, the name is fairly ridiculous. Take your fanboy hat off for a moment and think about what the average movie goer would think of it.
Plus there are other alternatives if you want a supervillain team to match the Avengers.
You're right, but it's all about how you play it.
Like, look at The Joker in The Dark Knight. All his talk about how the mob is pathetic because they only care about money, his "this city deserves a better class of criminal," it's pretty clear he's talking about super villains. This is a guy who fetishizes crime and social deviancy for their own sake and believes the world deserves to have criminals operating on the level of the great villains from stories. A character like that I could totally buy forming a group called The Masters of Evil.
Not so say that they should rip off The Dark Knight, but if they build up Zemo's motivations and personality the right way, a name like the Masters of Evil could work. Play him less like a bond villain and more like a serial killer who fantasizes about being a creature from nightmares operating on a global political scale and it would work pretty well.
Like, play Zemo as a seemingly harmless Eurotrash playboy grandson of a Nazi war criminal who has underworld ties. He seems like an air headed party boy who's only of note because of the dirty deeds his grandfather did and his low level criminal connections. Then you peel that back and we find out it's a Patrick Bateman deal: The shallow, promiscuous trust fund kid is a mask hiding an emotionally hollow sociopath with no sense of direction or purpose in his life, fueled only by a cold, gnawing frustration born from the shadow his grandfather's actions cast over the family and his own inability to escape it or to live up to anything worthwhile or find any meaning in the roles laid out for him by the life he was born into. Then, Captain America re-emerges, The Avengers become a thing, and he realizes that "old fashioned notions" of heroism and valor don't have to be relegated to the past, so much like Patrick Bateman worked out his existential crisis by becoming a serial killer, Zemo works out his by reinventing himself as a super villain and forming an anti-Avengers, becoming a post modern version of his war-criminal grandfather and finally finding a way to live up to the Zemo name.
I could see a guy like that calling his team the Masters of Evil.