James T Kirk wrote:
Does it really seem that reasonable though that a complete psychopath like this would become a Starfleet Admiral?
I don't see where all admirals have always been corrupt or evil. Admiral Hanson from Best of Both Worlds seemed alright. And the blonde admiral from TNG seemed normal enough.
This guy is just a bit over the top imo.
He wasn't a psychopath per se. The events of the first film pushed him over the edge and he thought it was a reasonable response. Remember:
ONE ship destroyed the planet Vulcan and was minutes away from doing the same to Earth in the 2009 film.
(NOTHING like this ever occurred in the prime timeline during this era. The closet incident was in "The Doomsday Machine" -- but it never made it to the Federation core worlds, and once Kirk defeated it, a usable method to destroy any future ones wandering around was available.)
Marcus was indeed misguided; but he was responding to a situation that wiped out one founding world and came very close to wiping out Earth.