37 Marvel Cinematic Universe Villains, Ranked

“Oh my God fuck these writers.”

~You

picture of Marvel heroes

Our staff recently sat down to watch all the films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (or MCU, if you’re nasty) in chronological order because we decided that was one of the least destructive things a person could do after 11 months of complete isolation.

Now, we could, and should, have kept this fact to ourselves. “We binged 23 movies in the course of like two weeks” is less of a thing you advertise, and more a thing you hide to avoid a lot of “are you okay?” texts from concerned family and friends.

But we decided that we’d use this cry for help as an excuse to create the only kind of content we know—divisive content tailor-made to piss off notoriously volatile fan bases.

So let’s rank all the villains we can think of from the Marvel films. Some minor villains were left off the list, because who cares. And we briefly considered adding the Maximoff twins (we’re just now realizing how lazy it is that between them and Black Widow, the only Eastern European characters are named “Romanoff” and “Maximoff” but that’s a different article) because they literally were villains for, like, two scenes.

Anyway, we’ve likely left off a character you care about, and we’ve almost certainly placed someone on this list in a place that will make you feel pure rage, and we apologize for nothing. It’s a dumb article about fun movies based on silly comic books. Maybe just chill a bit, okay?

Anyway…onto the list.

37 (tie): Abomination/”Thunderbolt Ross” (The Incredible Hulk)

abomination ross

You really expect us to talk about the MCU movie that you’re most likely to have NOT watched? You literally just said, “Oh shit, I forgot about that, Ed Norton, right” as you suddenly remembered Norton playing Hulk for a half a minute before the powers that be decided they’d rather not deal with his ego? Listen, we’re here to write about Marvel villains, not to revisit the $150 million shrug that was, at best, a modest misuse of Jennifer Connelly’s talents.

By the way, Jennifer Connelly wasn’t in this movie. She was in the Ang Lee directed Hulk movie (not part of the MCU). Liv Tyler was in this one. There’s a 60% chance you didn’t remember that. We don’t blame you. This movie is the equivalent of a boiled chicken breast with no seasoning.

Anyway, you can choose between the two villains of this movie. Abomination took Tim Roth and turned him into a forgettable CGI monster, while General Ross apparently was the dad of Martin Freeman’s character in Black Panther and Civil War, but our staff literally watched this movie a week ago and don’t remember a damn thing about it. Let’s go onto more important villains.

35: Malekith (Thor: The Dark World)

malekith

Speaking of “fuck this movie” when was the last time you thought about Thor: The Dark World? Did Malekith even speak at any point in this movie? Does it matter?

34: Sonny Burch (Ant-Man and the Wasp)

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Listen, we love Walton Goggins as much as the next person (though maybe not as much as the producers of The Unicorn) but he has a pretty blah, pointless role in Ant-Man and the Wasp. Burch is a black-market technology dealer (and restaurateur?) who spends his handful of scenes in the movie trying to steal Hank Pym’s shrinkable lab. That’s pretty much it. He’s “scary” in that he hires people with guns and is a bad dude, but that’s about it.

Just saying, no one is walking out of the theater saying, “Man, that movie was great, but don’t you wish there was more Sonny Burch in this?”

33: Justin Hammer (Iron Man 2)

Justin Hammer holding gun

On one hand, Sam Rockwell is a treasure. On the other hand, Justin Hammer is about as intimidating as a business person whose ringtone is set to “Yakety Sax.” If you forgot about Iron Man 2  a.k.a. the third-worst-reviewed Marvel movie after Thor: The Dark World and The Incredible Hulk, fair! It’s kind of a forgettable movie, as far as massively expensive, relatively successful films go. By the way, while Iron Man 2 cost $200 million, it ended up making more money than Iron Man, which is wild.

(Iron Man 3, made twice as much, for what it’s worth).

Anyway, Justin Hammer is a wannabe Tony Stark, and while some think he’s vastly underrated, we’re of the opinion that bumbling businessmen with evil agendas aren’t exactly the most exciting bad guys.

32: Kaecilius (Doctor Strange)

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This one was such a missed opportunity. Mads Mikkelsen! Hannibal Lector himself! And while Mads was game in his role as the villain of Doctor Strange, the character, a zealot who wishes to essentially end existence in order to absolve the suffering of the human condition, never really feels that particularly remarkable or interesting. Really, the villains of Doctor Strange, for all their aplomb and weirdness, are also some of the most forgettable. Which is why Kaecilius is followed immediately by…

31: Dormammu (Doctor Strange)

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Dormammu is the ruler of the Dark Dimension, who has the ability to end existence in our universe, and was ultimately defeated by *checks notes* getting tired of killing Doctor Strange so much.

30: Ayesha (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2)

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As the Golden High Priestess of the Sovereign, Ayesha isn’t particularly intimidating or menacing. She controls an army of drone spaceships, and has a lot of money to pay for bounties, but her role in the second Guardians movie is largely for comedic value and as a convenient device to forward the film’s plot.

That said, she’s in a few memorably enjoyable scenes, and despite being one of the least dangerous villains, the jokes made at Ayesha’s expense is enough to nudge her up above some of the previous entries on this list.

29: Taserface (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2)

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We originally had this as high as 17 on our list, because we like villains who aren’t so much “villains” as they are “punchlines.” But at the end of the day, Taserface is pretty useless. He leads a coup that takes over Yondu’s crew, and gets constantly dunked on about his dumb name, and then gets blown up by Yandu’s whistle arrow thingy. Which, honestly, works for the movie, since the focus for the character was to make him “the dumbest character” of all time,

Like Ayesha in the same film, Taserface is not as powerful as just about any villain on this list, but moves up some slots as a comedic foil. Every time someone laughs at him for his chosen non de plume, an angel gets its wings.

28(tie): Cull Obsidian (Avengers: Endgame, Avengers: Infinity War)

27(tie): Corvus Glaive (Avengers: Endgame, Avengers: Infinity War)

26(tie): Ebony Maw (Avengers: Endgame, Avengers: Infinity War)

Iron-Studios-Avengers-Endgame-Black-Order-Statues-001-928x483

You didn’t bother to remember their names, but these are Thanos’ henchmen. They’re technically part of the Black Order, which is a group of powered individuals who were the adopted children of Thanos. But unlike Gamora, you probably didn’t know that they were considered Thanos’ adopted children until reading this article. They all sort of blend together as “weird looking alien dudes who are hard to kill and mess with the Avengers” which is why we’re lumping them all together.

Mostly.

25: Proxima Midnight (Avengers: Endgame, Avengers: Infinity War)

Proxima Midnight

Proxima Midnight gets a slight edge over her siblings because they actually gave her a badass name. We want to start a garage band called “Proxima Midnight and the Marvel Villains.”

24: Alexander Pierce (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Endgame)

alexander piercer

The whole purpose of this casting of Robert Redford as the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. who was secretly part of HYDRA was to lean into the “70’s style conspiracy theory movie” thing, which is a thing that 99% of people watchin this movie did not pick up on the first time, and which 100% of those 99% did not pick up on the second time. If you’re being honest with yourself, you forgot that Robert Redford was a part of the MCU.

23: Ava Starr/Ghost (Ant-Man and the Wasp)

ghost

Ghost has cool powers (can phase through just about anything) and a sympathetic backstory (she’s trying to save herself from constant pain and eventual death after her parents died in a quantum experiment that left her in this state). But they don’t really put a lot of effort into building this character into one you care about and sympathize with.

22: Yon-Rogg (Captain Marvel)

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If this was a list of “most handsome villains” Jude Law’s Captain Marvel villain would be a solid top three choice (along with Michael B. Jordan and Lee Pace, if you had to twist our arm for that full list.) But it’s not. It’s about best villains. And as far as villains go, Yon-Rogg isn’t even the most interesting or intense Kree villain in his own movie (sup, Ronan).

He’s not a bad villain, and he does the job he’s brought in to do (basically, to appear like the good guy, then become the bad guy, then help Carol Danvers awaken into Captain Marvel). But it’s not like he’s really that compelling or interesting. He’s just sort of…a dick.

21: Aldrich Killian (Iron Man 3)

Killian_(Infinitiverse)

If we’re being honest, the real villain of Iron Man 3 is the horrors of war, but let’s focus on Guy Pierce’s weird glowy explodey bad guy. He was glowy! He was explodey! He was ultimately kind of forgettable!

The bummer here is that the character had a solid foundation. The awkward, dorky scientist who gets dismissed and demeaned by Tony Stark, and uses that to fuel an obsessive search for “perfection” no matter the cost sounds pretty engaging on paper. And Guy Pierce is forever on our “can do no wrong” list because most of our staff saw Momento in high school, and that kind of impression sticks with you. But the film was more focused on Tony Stark battling his demons than making Killian into an actually fleshed-out, engaging villain.

Admittedly, the Tony-Stark-battling-his-demons thing is 100% why Iron Man 3 is one of the more underrated Marvel films, but it comes at the expense of the character arc of the actual villain. You know. the glowy explodey guy.

20: Ronan the Accuser (Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain Marvel)

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Full disclosure, this is probably like 5 or 6 spots higher on this list than it should be. But most of our staff has a crush on Lee Pace, so, you know, here we go. As far as homicidal mass-murdering aliens powerful enough to wield an infinity stone on their own go, he’s no Thanos, but he gets point for being one of the most powerful villains we’ve seen in the MCU. Hell, he’s one of only a handful of characters strong enough to wield an Infinity Stone.

Even if everything else about the character is kind of cut-and-dry “murderous zealot” that has to count for something.

19: Helmut Zemo (Captain America: Civil War)

Baron-Helmut-Zemo-from-Captain-America-Civil-War

A lot of people might have Zemo, the former leader of a Sokovian paramilitary death squad who schemed to take down the Avengers out of grief over the loss of his family during the events of Age of Ultron, higher on this list, and that’s fair. He killed the king of Wakanda, started a battle that crippled War Machine, and split the Avengers in half, all motivated by the loss of his entire family, one of the more heartbreaking origin stories of all the villains on this list.

But he also was kind of a dweeb? Like, no offence to Daniel Bruhl, who put in some WORK in Inglorious Basterds (did you just now realize he played that one film Nazi in that movie? That’s fine, this is a safe place) but his character never seemed all that impressive or menacing, even as he was doing some very serious puppet master work.

If there’s an item on this list you’re allowed to get mad at us, it’s this one, because if we watched Civil War a few more times, we’re sure we could see us jumping this into a top 10 spot. But for now, he’s below the “businessmen that wear a supervillain suit based on technology used by the protagonist” villains who take the next two spots on this list.

18: Darren Cross/Yellowjacket (Ant-Man)

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Let’s be clear—Corey Stoll is a fantastic actor. And his character in Ant-Man has a lot of potential. He felt betrayed and abandoned by his father figure, which drove him to try to match and surpass his hero’s successes—at any cost.

He also turns a guy into a bit of goo, and kills a lot of cute baby sheep with no remorse. And has a super-powerful militarized quantum suit that shoots lasers. All very strong villain moves.

But ultimately Cross landed into the problem Marvel has with most of their movies, when it comes to villains. They set a foundation of “this is why he is angry” but really don’t bother to build any emotional stakes for the characters. He just ends up being an evil dude, using the same kind of suit as the hero of the movie, to allow for a final showdown where the hero prevails. Sort of like…

17: Obadiah Stane (Iron Man)

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There are worse choices than Jeff Bridges for the first villain in the entire MCU. Bridges added an affability as well as menace to Stane, which perfectly suited his “you thought I was your friend, but I really was your enemy all along” story arc (that, now that we think about, is super common in Marvel movies?)

There are parts of this character that really work. His quiet menace when he encounters Pepper in his office. The whole “paralyzing people with a sonic device” thing. But at the end of the day, no one ever is like, “Oh right, Obadiah Stane. What a villain.” They’re like “Oh right, Jeff Bridges was the bad guy in the first Iron Man.”

16: Ulysses Klaue (Avengers: Age of Ultron, Black Panther)

Black-Panther-Ulysses-Klaue-Casino

Yo, is Gollum swole? In terms of screen time, Andy Serkis doesn’t get loads, parsed out between two movies. But, between getting his arm chopped off accidentally by Ultron to laughing through his interrogation before his ultimate demise, Klaue was one of the characters arguably having the most fun on screen.

And that shouldn’t diminish the impact Klaue had on the larger Marvel universe. His theft of vibranium from Wakanda resulted in the death of N’Jobu, the rise of Killmonger, and also the creation of Vision. The only reason he’s not higher on this list is that he was always sort of an ancillary bad guy. Never a proper super villain.

15: Red Skull (Captain America: The First Avenger, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame)

red skull

Red Skull would be fairly lower on this list if we were just going off of his role as the Nazi head of HYDRA in Captain America, but he does get some style points and a big boost for his seven decades forced to serve as the Stonekeeper of the Soul Stone.

By the way, we’ve avoided going too in depth with descriptions of some of these villains because we are not nearly steeped in Marvel lore enough to speak about the finer details of the characters, and the kind of people who would get pissed off about a slightly misstated fact are absolutely the kind of people reading this post just fucking furious. 

That said, we’ll do our best to describe why Red Skull ends up guarding the Soul Stone and basically daring people to like, throw family and friends off a cliff. Basically, at the end of Captain America, he touches the Tesseract with his bare hands. The Tesseract contains the Space Stone, which teleported him to Vormir, where he was cursed to guard the Soul Stone until someone would be willing to suffer the trials to claim it.

That’s probably just wrong enough that there are going to be eight angry “well actually” comments, but let’s move on.

14: Ego (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2)

ego

A living planet who goes around having sex with thousands of women and killing the subsequent children in his quest to destroy all life in the Universe that isn’t him is a pretty metal villain origin story. And being played by Kurt Russell helps push you further up this list.

The only reason Ego doesn’t crack the top ten is that he’s almost too powerful. You can’t really comprehend the full scope of his power, and the “basically a God” thing kind of makes it harder to really…identify with him in any meaningful way. The best villains have power, but also depth and something resembling relatability. Ego has the former, but not the latter.

13: Yondu (Guardians of the Galaxy, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2)

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This is as good of a point as any to point out that we definitely bump up “so-so” villains that turn into redemption stories, because it is 2021, and we’re going to do what we can to amplify whatever good vibes we can find, and Yondu’s redemption arc in the second Guardians movie is lovely.

As a mercenary who broke the Ravager code (by, *tugs at collar*, stealing kids) Yondu is a relatively light and mostly fun villain who, if we’re being honest, is more of a supporting anti-hero. Some might take issue with him being called a villain here, since he never ends up fighting on the wrong side in any of the films he’s in.

But that being said, his role as Peter Quill’s more-or-less adoptive father who ultimately gives everything to do right by his “son” is one of the more unexpectedly touching parts of the Marvel films, and Yondu’s ranking here reflects that.

12: Brock Rumlow/Crossbones (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Endgame)

Crossbones-640x427

Listen, Frank Grillo is a national treasure. So despite the fact that he was basically a sideshow single-serving baddy in Civil War, his role in Winter Soldier tends to be looked over.

It’s easy to forget how important The Winter Soldier was to the whole trajectory of the Marvel Universe. When the big “HYDRA reveal” happened, it changed everything. And anchoring that film was Grillo’s performance as Brock Rumlow, a.k.a. Crossbones. Grillo’s ability to be both charismatic and threatening played to the “friend turns foe” turn that made the movie really click.

And yes, he’s probably too high up on this list, but it’s Frank Grillo, and we’d rather die than besmirch Frank Grillo.

11: Trevor Slattery/The Mandarin (Iron Man 3)

mandarin

The reveal of The Mandarin manages to take a vaguely menacing but generally generic villain and make him so much more. As a mysterious terrorist, he’s fine. But as a drugged out actor just playing a role, with Ben Kingsley just having a meal with the part? That’s wonderful.

Now, you could argue that Aldrich Killian is really behind the Mandarin, and as such should be ranked higher as a result. But meh. We’ve decided it doesn’t work like that.

10: Ultron (Avengers: Age of Ultron)

age-of-ultron

Age of Ultron is a movie that’s starting to get some “underrated” consideration. That sentiment has been amplified by its importance as a companion piece to WandaVision, but one aspect of the film that actually works best is the use of its core villain, Ultron, the sentient AI “peacekeeping program” built by Tony Stark and driven by a desire to save humanity through evolution and, eventually, extermination.

Ultron works best when viewed through the lens of the (sort of resolved, sort of abandoned) core concept that Tony Stark was an accidental villain. Iron Man’s origin story was that of a brilliant man, filled with the hubris that only he can keep the world safe, so he created a weapon that, in his hands are safe, but could easily be used for evil. Ultron is the most extreme example of these tendencies going awry.

It’s through Ultron that we’re introduced to Wakanda. It’s because of Ultron, attempting to create a synthetic creature using vibranium, that Vision is born. Ultron’s actions in Sokovia lead to the death Helmut Zero’s family, which in turn motivates the entirety of the events of Civil War. And without Ultron, Wanda Romanoff would never have joined the avengers, Pietro would not have sacrificed himself, and the storyline of the entire MCU could have taken a drastically different direction.

While Age of Ultron is arguably the worst Avengers film, Ultron’s fingerprints can be seen all throughout the films that came after, and that’s good enough for a top-10 finish.

9: Quentin Beck/Mysterio (Spiderman: Far From Home)

spider-man-far-from-home-mysterio

When we listed off our top-three most handsome villains back in our write-up of Jude Law’s Yon-Rogg, we forgot that Jake Gyllenhaal was on our list. Should we just make that a top-4 list? Because Jake Gyllenhaal is very handsome, but most importantly he’s a great villain.

By now the “good buy appearing to mentor the hero before turning out to be evil and betraying them” is a Marvel trope that’s in, what, a majority of these films? At least 25%. But the reason why these films keep going back to that well is that A- it usually works and B- they center them around interesting characters played by great actors who aren’t afraid to chew on some scenery.

Mysterio was the creation of a former Stark Industries employee who uses his B.A.R.F. system (which first shows up as a “waste of money” in Civil War) as well as a team of writers and developers to create the illusion of being a superhero from a different multiverse in order to get Peter Parker to give him control of E.D.I.T.H. which has access to the Stark Industry database as well as a full cache of weapons.

Gyllenhaal plays Mysterio with a sort of manic glee, playing the “superhero” role with such earnestness that makes his heel turn into villainy all the more impactful. And also Jake is so handsome in this.

8: Grandmaster (Thor: Ragnarok)

grandmaster

Listen, we could say, “Wow, we were researching this article, and did you know that Grandmaster is the brother of the Collector, played by Benicio Del Toro, and the two of them were born shortly around the start of the universe? That’s interesting, we had no idea.”

But really, it’s Jeff Goldblum, being told to play a Marvel villain as Jeff Goldblum, and you really can’t ask for much more from a villain.

7: Nebula (Guardians of the Galaxy, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame)

nebula

At the end of Guardians of the Galaxy, Nebula would be toward the bottom of this list. But like Yandu, and one (arguably two) of the villains ahead of her, her turn into a complete, complex character working with “the good guys” skyrockets her towards the top of this list.

Nebula’s turn in Guardians Vol. 2 made her story sympathetic and tragic, and by the time she was beating Iron Man in paper football, she had defied the initial odds to become one of the more enjoyable characters in the MCU. She even managed to be the villain to force the final standoff in Endgame while also being the person to…kill that villain? Listen we still don’t 100% get the time travel that they use in these movies.

6: Adrian Toomes/Vulture (Spilderman: Homecoming)

vulture marvel

There are only two villains who managed to make more of an impact while manging to be interesting in just a single film, but we can say, very confidently, that every movie listing Marvel villains that has Vulture outside the top 10 are pure trash. Don’t trust them.

It’s kind of funny (or, like, how casting works) that Michael Keaton followed up his Oscar-nominated turn as the aging actor famous for playing the superhero “Birdman” by playing the villain named “The Vulture” three years later, but Vulture was one of the rare movie villains to be charming, menacing, funny, and, most importantly, well-motivated.

After putting everything into his salvage company to clean up after the Battle of New York, only to have the haul (and the money he put into his business) taken over by the government, Toomes ends up taking a small hall of alien technology, which he uses to create weapons, which he sells to support his family and his employees.

As time goes on, his morality corrodes from the very nature of his “work” and he ends up responsible for the death of many and, you know, tries to kill his daughter’s boyfriend (though, in his defense, it was after a very fatherly speech). But as a villain, Vulture was almost a sort of Robin Hood figure (steal from the Tony Starks to give to the…criminals. Okay that comparison doesn’t quite hold water. Let’s move on.)

5: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Ant-Man, Captain America: Civil War, Black Panther, Avengers: Endgame, Avengers: Infinity War)

barnes

We get it. Bucky Barnes spent barely any time as a villain, and spends much more time as an Avenger than as a bad guy…but actually, he didn’t. Even though he has about as much on screen time as a villain as Hannibal Lector had in Silence of the Lambs (kind of weird this is our second time mentioning Hannibal Lector in this Marvel article, but whatever) it’s easy to forget how much impact his character had as a villain. And also, Nebula/Yandu rule in effect, as he has been, and likely will continue to be, an important member of the Avengers.

But consider this. The Winter Soldier was a veteran of World War II, where he was a POW who was experimented on in an attempt to recreate the super serum of Captain America. When he’s saved, he continues to work with Captain America until he fell off a train into a, like, ravine? Off a bridge? Anyway, he survives due to the experiments he went through, he loses an arm, gets it replaced by a crazy metal one, eventually develops super powers, is brainwashed by HYDRA, and over seventy years is periodically woken from cryogenic freezing to assassinate people.

Among those was Tony Stark’s parents, almost Nick Fury. He directly and indirectly brought about the downfall of HYDRA (and S.H.I.E.L.D.), was a driving force behind Civil War, and managed to be one of the few outsiders to be allowed to live in Wakanda. You might not view him as a top-5 villain, but he’s got the CV.

4: Loki (Thor, The Avengers, Thor: The Dark World, Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame)

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Loki’s villain role in The Avengers after his, frankly, mostly forgettable work in Thor might have been the first time Marvel executives took a deep breath and realized, “Oh we smashed box office records using the bad guy from Thor? We’re going to make so much money.” Loki is one of the best villains because even when he’s not a villain, which is the redemption arc shit that we love to eat up (see Barnes/Yandu/Nebula) he’s still….kind of a villain?

It’s so easy to make a super strong bad guy that they almost always are boring. But Loki isn’t super strong. He’s a god, lowercase G obviously, and he’s impervious to most weapons outside of, um…Thanos murder, but that’s not where his menace comes from.

Loki is one of the best villains because of his cunning and his ability to read people.

Marvel is filled with flawed heroes. Tony Stark, Bruce Banner, Captain America are all inherently powerful characters (iron suit and super smarts, can turn into a shirtless death machine, um is strong and was given a pretty shield) but they also carry imperfections (ego, rage, not knowing who The Beatles are).

More often then not, the MCU doesn’t bother putting that nuance into their villains. That’s why Abomination, with his generic “strong powers”, is at the bottom of this list, while Loki, the immortal being with adoptive daddy issues, a thirst for mischief, the emotional capability for regret, and the tendency to self-serve until it’s no longer possible makes for such a nuanced, interesting villain.

He’s never been the villain you feared. But you’re always dying to see what he’s up to next.

3. Hela (Thor: Ragnarok)

hela

Honestly if we have to explain this one to you, we really don’t know how you made it this far into this article. Thor’s secret older sister, the Goddess of Death, played by Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett, takes out Thor’s eye, kills scores of Asgardians, and only could be defeated by the destruction of Asgard in its entirety.

All while just having a blast and rocking THIS look. We know some of you will be disappointed that we didn’t devote like, six paragraphs to her badassery, but sometimes a picture speaks a thousand words, you know?

2. N’Jadaka/Erik Stevens/Killmonger (Black Panther)

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So far, the only MCU film to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture was Black Panther. It was the first comic book movie to be nominated for Best Picture, which was pretty impressive until the following year when the fucking Joker got nomimated.

There are dozens of things that Black Panther did to elevate it from “a damn good comic book movie” to “critics calling it one of the best films of the year” and Michael B. Jordan’s role as the villain Killmonger certainly was one of them.

Here we had the perfect mix of a ruthless killing machine, forged by war and the childhood killing of his father, who uses brutal tactics to carry out his father’s ardent belief in an effort that ultimately was meant to help the disenfranchised. His dying words make for one of the most emotionally impactful monologues of any character in a comic book movie, period.

Also, and we said this before, Michael B. Jordan is so, so handsome in this. But you can’t accuse us of holding a beauty pageant, because our number one villain is anything but handsome.

1. Thanos (The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame)

thanos

This was inevitable.

Thanos seems like such a boring choice for the top villain in the MXU, but if you look at all the “villain-y” stats, you can see how many boxes he checks.

He’s arguably the most powerful being in the galaxy (at least he is referred to as such. We’d say Ego could beat him, being a planet and all, but he couldn’t even beat Peter Quill soooo). He’s able to wield every infinity stone at once, where most people get turned to dust just touching one.

Before Infinity War he had a history of straight up murdering millions if not billions of people across the galaxy. Then he wiped out trillions of people out of existence for five years.

He has the most powerful minions. A bunch of them are on this list. Even if they’re low on this list, because yawn, henchmen barely count as minions, it’s still a major supervillain move.

He was certain that the evil thing he was doing was actually the opposite of an evil thing, and the most compelling villains are ones who don’t think they’re a villain at all.

And ultimately almost every film in the MCU was built to justify meeting, battling, and eventually defeating Thanos. He was the engine that drove the machine. And so, he’s the greatest villain in all the Marvel movies.

At least until we get to see how WandaVision deals with Agatha.

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