Six of the Best: MCU Villains

Every good superhero needs a great villain. Someone to rally against; to do battle with; to save the rest of us mere mortals from. The latest entry to phase two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness – sees the titular character potentially fighting a darker, more nefarious version of himself.

So what better time to reflect on all the “bad guys” that the MCU has given us over the past fourteen years. We’ve had men in suits, women with antlers and plenty of outcasts with axes to grind. They’ve caused conflict, chaos and utter carnage.

Our latest Six of the Best is only looking at villains from Marvel films – not the many TV series streaming on Disney Plus – so let us know who you have loved to hate in the comments, below.

In no particular order …

Killmonger MCU VillainsKillmonger – Black Panther

Michael B. Jordan plays Erik “Killmonger” Stevens in 2018’s Black Panther. He’s one of those rare superhero villains who manages to achieve layers of nuance. He’s not a straightforward “bad guy”. In fact, his desire to share Wakandan technology with oppressed people all over the world actually makes sense. Jordan adds his impressive physicality to the role – would you want to get in a fight with someone who has shoulder like that? – but also hints at vulnerability and emotion.

Thanos MCU VillainsThanos – Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: End Game

With one snap of his fingers, Thanos managed to wipe out half the population – including some of the Avengers. He took no shit and was not interested in a friendly discussion about where these bad feelings might be coming from. No character was spared any mercy as he punched and thumped his way through our favourite gang of heroes. Josh Brolin did some excellent voice work in creating the gravelly, slightly sinister Thanos burr.

Hela MCU VillainsHela – Thor: Ragnarok

A rare female villain in the MCU, Cate Blanchett gave Hela grace, poise and deadly charm. Clad in black leather and occasionally sporting some antlers, she is truly bad ass. She breaks the Mjolnir, for Odin’s sake! There’s not really too much to her story, other than her desire to reclaim the throne of Asgard, but Blanchett makes her a credible threat. She’s more than a match for Thor and Loki, in terms of strength and mischief.

Red Skull MCU VillainsRed Skull – Captain America: The First Avenger

It’s fair to say that Red Skull just looks like the quintessential movie villain. And to top of his scary appearance, he’s a Nazi scientist hell-bent on taking down Captain America. Hugo Weaving is delectably dangerous in the role, with his rich, snarling voice positively rippling with evil. He’s not only adept at hand-to-hand combat, but he’s strategically minded and incredibly clever, posing a real threat to Cap and the rest of humanity.

Mysterio MCU VIllainsMysterio – Spider-Man: Far From Home

Turning the entire world against Spider-Man is no mean feat, but Jake Gyllenhaal’s goldfish bowl wearing Mysterio managed exactly that. He spends so much of the film pretending to care about Peter Parker, empathising with his loneliness and uncertainties, making his “big reveal” as the villain even shittier. He’s a total con-artist, who plays around with “fake news” and timelines. Gyllenhaal pulls off the sweet and nurturing act every bit as well as Mysterio’s nastier, unfeeling side.

Loki MCU VillainsLoki – Thor and The Avengers

What Marvel villains list would be complete without the God of Mischief himself? Tom Hiddleston makes Loki both devious and charming. You can’t help but chuckle along at his cutting one liners, even if you’re not on his side. He’s calculated and thoroughly charismatic – and he’s a nightmare to pin down, as our superheroes quickly found out. Like Killmonger, his character is heavily layered and nuanced, making him an utterly compelling watch.

Mary Munoz
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