I’ve heard it said, and I’m not sure I can disagree, that Marvel doesn’t have the best or most compelling villains in the Cinematic Universe. Some of that is that some of their best – Doctor Doom, Galactus, Magneto, Spider-Man’s rogues gallery – are all locked up in movie rights.
There’s been a lot of one-off villains, with various levels of comic history. But I think that they’re getting better, now that the heroes have been more established. And hopefully Thanos is awesome… But for now, my list of top 5 MCU villains.
Problem is… I don’t know if I can put them in an order to say who’s best. For one thing, the television show villains – who have been getting good – have a lot more time to breathe, to develop. They’re not a one-off problem. They’re people. Evil, messed up people. So let’s do the list chronologically, and in the comments, you tell me who you think is the best!
Definitely the king villain of Marvel Phase 1, and he’s now been in three movies and has thus been in the most developed of the movie villains. He’s well acted by Tom Hiddleston, powerful, and crazy to boot. Oh, and he’s not always evil or a villain – and it’s that complexity that makes him so good.
I’m interested to see what’s next for him, since last we saw him he’s pretending to be Odin and running Asgard!
Oh man, Daredevil was good. And so much of that had to do with Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin. Already one of the great Marvel villains, like Loki, it still meant that Kingpin was a character that was going to be hard to bring to the screen. They went slow with Kingpin, increasingly upping the ante and the violence and the paranoia. By the end? I wouldn’t want to mess with him.
I’m not quite sure where to put Ward in the chronology, since he’s an older character… but it’s only more recently in Agents of SHIELD that Ward has come into his own as a villain. After the first season reveal that he’d been Hydra the whole time – which finally validated his existence on the team, really, since he was kind of a duplication in skillset. Then again, first season of Agents of SHIELD had a lot of that.
Season two left us wondering if Ward could be redeemed, if he had changed, or if he was really just that far gone. But by the end, and into season three, he’s the head of a rebuilding Hydra, and a completely evil villain leader in his own right. We’ve reached the point that I believe it, I believe him as a villain. We’ve seen the progression, we’ve seen him get there. He wasn’t there day one, but they’ve taken us on a journey and at this point I think it’s paying off.
Okay, is Ultron on the list because I wanted there to be five? Maybe. Is he on the list because they work him through a whole ideology of evolution, armageddon, and the meaning of life? Possibly. Is he on the list because of James Spader? Ah, that’s the one. Maybe he was a one-off villain, but James Spader took him from birth to being killed by his son after trying to destroy the world Sephiroth-style with a meteor. Quite the journey.
We haven’t quite finished Jessica Jones yet, but OH MY GOSH David Tennant. I’ve seen comments with people saying that he maybe steals a bit too much of the show, and eh maybe. I think the rest has been great too. The character is oh, so evil and oh, so creepy. But Tennant? He delivers, and better than he did with his limited screen-time in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. We’re not really surprised that he did so well… but still. Oh man. That character. *shudder*