Marvel Cinematic Universe Villains Ranked | The film magazine

Marvel Cinematic Universe Villains Ranked |  The film magazine

Who doesn’t love watching a big bad guy from a comic book movie be bad? Put your hand down, Captain America!

Over 14 years and 30 movies, the Marvel cinematic universe has thrown countless seemingly insurmountable obstacles and more than a few apocalyptic events at their lineup of superheroes seeking to save the world, the universe, and reality itself. Their villains are in charge of all of this; crazed scientists, treacherous government agents, brutal alien warlords, amoral industrialists, gods and monsters and everything in between, a The villain of the MCU it can be many things. Some were sadly the weakest elements in the films they appeared in, being generic, poorly served by the script, or misjudged in their performances, while others ended up being memorable highlights even above the costumed characters of the title.

There are often multiple antagonists in these superhero stories, so we’ve tried to stick to that a villain for MCU films. That’s except when he’s the same antagonist brought back in a sequel film and where there’s more than one threat to our heroes. In these cases, we focused on the most active villains or the masterminds of various evil plots.

This classification will be based on the level of threat various villains pose to our supremely skilled and miraculously super-powered heroes, the diabolical creativity of their respective master plans, and the sheer evil of their actions. Spoilers ahead!

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28. Malekith – Thor: The Dark World (2013)

“Look at my legacy, Algrim. I can barely remember a time before light.

A conquering dark elf with a vengeance against Asgard for a defeat in ancient times, Malekith is awakened and plots to extinguish the light across the universe (because his kind like the darkness of the void so much).

An extremely distinct and memorable comic book villain has become one of the most boring to ever antagonize a superhero movie. Whatever Christopher Eccleston was trying to do with playing him after spending many awkward hours in the makeup chair was lost in brutally compromised film editing and an all-round determination to live up to the “darkness” of the title.

Note: dark is not the same as cool.


27. Ivan Vanko/Whiplash – Iron Man 2 (2010)

“You come from a family of thieves and butchers and, like all guilty people, you try to rewrite your history”.

Whiplash is a Stark-hating, parrot-loving nuclear physicist/inventor with whips powered by arc reactors and an army of drones to exact his revenge.

Mickey Rourke landed a lot of jobs in quick succession as various shades of tough guy during this time. The wrestler this isn’t, and doesn’t try quite as hard as Ivan, delivering a barely passable Russian accent and playing with a toothpick as a poor substitute for more intricate characterization as he plots a vaguely defined Cold War-fueled revenge on Tony Stark and the Military Industrial Complex American.


26. Emil Blonsky/Abomination – The Incredible Hulk (2008)

“If I took what I have now and put it into a body I had ten years ago, it would be someone I wouldn’t want to fight.”

Abomination is an unstable British Black Ops asset who volunteers for a series of dangerous experimental super soldier treatments in order to capture the Hulk.

The Incredible Hulk it worked best when it was Marvel’s answer to Movies about universal monsters, but one of its weakest elements was having Blonsky as a villain. Roth is fine, but he wasn’t all that menacing, the character thinly sketched as a violent jerk with a superiority complex. When he finally transforms into his bony alter-ego green Abomination for a CG fight in Harlem, it becomes nearly impossible to care.

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25. Ava Starr/Ghost – Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

“It hurts. It always hurts.

The daughter of a scientist with an unnatural condition that causes her to painfully drift in and out of the physical realm, Ghost resorts to stealing Pymtech to survive.

Ghost is an admirable attempt to make something interesting out of a gimmicky physics-based villain. The character is let down not by Hannah John-Kamen’s engaging, tortured performance, but by her essential irrelevance to the film’s main plot and lack of significant enough screen time. It’s almost as if they only decided at the end of the day Ant-Man and the Wasp it should have an antagonist, and that may have been the wrong decision for this particular movie.


24. Ronan: Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

“I don’t remember killing your family. I doubt I’ll even remember killing you.

Ronan is a Kree fanatic courting war and gathering enough power to wipe out the planet Xandar from the galaxy.

Ronan, with his war paint, samurai helmet and big hammer has a strong appearance, and thanks to Lee Pace he is given a commanding presence and a booming voice. But you’d be hard pressed to argue that he had much in the way of depth as a character. He wants a weapon to destroy a planet because he’s from a warlike race and that’s it, even though Pace’s offended expression and confused “what are you doing?” as Star-Lord dances in front of him as he is trying to trigger an apocalypse it’s quite memorable.


23. Darren Cross/Yellow Jacket – Ant-Man (2015)

“Thought you could stop the future with a robbery?”

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Hank Pym’s ousted protégé and successor to his company, Yellowjacket seeks to weaponize and sell Pym’s dwindling technology to the highest bidder.

Marvel has a lot of villainous CEOs in their rogues gallery, and Corey Stoll brings a lot of fisticuffs arrogance to his portrayal of Darren Cross. He kills rivals and exterminates animal test subjects without a second thought, apparently motivated by Pym not sharing the secrets of his technology with him (although it’s actually because he likes to do so).

Cross has arguably the most gruesome villain death in the MCU thus far, and it’s more than he deserves.


22. Johann Schmidt/Red Skull – Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)

“I have seen the future, Captain! There are no flags!

The Red Skull is the head of Hydra, the Nazi science division, who plot to end the war and take over the world with weapons powered by the Tesseract.

Captain America’s greatest adversary from the comics has become a somewhat generic evildoer on the big screen. The explanation of his appearance – the super soldier serum that made Steve Rogers great worsened into Johann Schmidt – works well thematically, and Hugo Weaving’s drawling and superior delivery also hits the mark, but otherwise Red Skull he’s just a stronger-than-usually would-be world-conqueror who makes a more interesting, not-quite-evil reappearance in Infinite War.

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