Top Five Marvel Cinematic Universe Villains

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.

Loki from Avengers

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.


Grant Ward

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.

Grant Ward


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*

Kilgrave Hail Hydra

22 responses to “Top Five Marvel Cinematic Universe Villains

  1. Kilgrave is easily the best for me. He’s the only one of these villains that I kept wanting to see more of whenever he was offscreen. His abilities are bad enough, but David Tennant provides all the same charisma he had in Doctor Who, only with a totally evil character, which makes him even more unsettling than he would otherwise be.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. For me the two best are Killgrave and Kingpin. I think Killgrave is the more chilling villain but Kingpin was so believable, and all through his back story, so well crafted. Haven’t watched Agents of shield although I plan to, but Loki just annoys me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, those two are so good… and I think it’s some of the reason that the Netflix Marvel shows have been so good! What’s great is the protagonists have also been excellent, so you get both!

      Sorry for Agents of SHIELD spoilers…

      Liked by 1 person

      • No worries I’ll try to forget them before we start watching it. I have friends who are worried about Disney owning Star Wars , but for me the way they’ve handled Marvel proves it will be good. (Hope I’m not proven wrong on 17th December. )

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yeah I think Marvel is a good sign for Star Wars… as is J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek. Good stuff. I am hopeful too… as is the entire Internet, it seems. It’s a new hope, if you will.

          Wait, can I take that pun back???

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I offer Dottie Underwood and Hydra as a whole (though Pierce was a particular well-written Hydra leader).

    I also have a soft spot for Ronan…it is too bad that he had to die so early.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. David Tenant is excellent as Kilgrave. I loved the way the show, in the beginning episodes, didn’t show his face and rarely his voice to build up the tension. It was chilling. Tennant’s performance was remarkable. I haven’t watched Daredevil yet, but I’ve heard excellent things about D’Onofrio’s performance as Kingpin.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Kilgrave is maybe the most haunting villain I’ve seen in a TV show. Tennant’s performance is chilling–my goosebumps had goosebumps.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I was quite upset when I first realized Tennant was Kilgrave because I was convinced Netflix was trying to kill my love for him. Now that I’ve finished the series, I realize it was worth it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love the Hail Hydra picture at the end. It’s a great list of top 5, it must be said. I can’t think of anybody else I could add to that list to be honest. No other villain really caught my attention.

    Liked by 1 person

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