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Top 10 Marvel Cinematic Universe Villains

VO: Adrian Sousa WRITTEN BY: Joey Turner

Script written by Joey Turner

These villains are the best of the bad! From Ultron, to Vulture, to Loki, the MCU has no shortage of great bad guys. WatchMojo counts down the top villains in the MCU.

Special thanks to our users Godslayer79, Cameron MacLellan, Kyle Christine, Cam Gold, ninou78, adamgrunther@gmail.c, hulkfan, and Kyle18 for suggstion this idea! Check out the voting page at https://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+Ten+Marvel+Cinematic+Universe+Villains+


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Script written by Joey Turner

Top 10 Marvel Cinematic Universe Villains

Fans have called these baddies underdeveloped, but we think a good chunk of them still stand out. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Marvel Cinematic Universe Villains.

For this list, we’re taking a look at some of the best enemies ever to come out of the MCU- based on how memorable their performance was, how relatable they are… and how well their schemes played out. We’ll only be covering the movie villains, so television and Netflix baddies -like Kingpin and Kilgrave- are not eligible, no matter how memorable they may have been. Also, if you aren’t caught up, there WILL be spoilers.

#10: Obadiah Stane / Iron Monger

“Iron Man” (2008)
Obadiah Stane was the second-in-command at Stark Industries, and a “good friend” to both Howard and Tony Stark. Desperate to wrestle control of the company for himself, Stane tried everything he could think of to get rid of Tony, but that only amplified Tony’s plans to have Stark Industries stop producing weapons. In a desperate move, he finally builds and dons the Iron Monger armor for one last brawl with Iron Man – and loses. While the motivations of the MCU’s first villain aren’t exactly inspired, we have to give it up to the megalomaniac that inadvertently started this whole franchise. Plus, you can always count on Jeff Bridges to give a memorable performance.

#9: Johann Schmidt / Red Skull

“Captain America: The First Avenger” (2011)
Johann Schmidt was a valuable asset to the Nazi party. However, his lust for power prompted him to test a tainted super soldier serum on himself, which completely disfigured his head –earning him the unfortunate name, ‘Red Skull’. Eventually, Schmidt found the legendary Tesseract, harnessed its power to create unstoppable tools to conquer the world, and broke away from the Nazis to lead the modern incarnation of HYDRA. Red Skull might be lacking in the complexity department, but Hugo Weaving’s scenery chewing performance, and his pulp-inspired look, help make him stand out. You can’t get much more evil than a literal Super-Nazi.

#8: Ultron

“Avengers: Age of Ultron” (2015)
Using Loki’s scepter, Tony Stark tried to create an artificial intelligence that could help maintain peace across the Earth… but what he ended up making was a genocidal mess. As quickly as he was born, Ultron gained sentience, and the ability to evolve, build… and destroy. Unlike his comic counterpart, THIS Ultron isn’t driven purely on twisted logic, but rather egomaniacal beliefs. While the Avengers were able to stop him, the casualties and destruction from his rampage would haunt our heroes for another year, and practically tear the team apart, so his legacy lives on. That, coupled with the fact that he gets plenty of great lines, makes him one effective villain.

#7: Colonel Helmut Zemo

“Captain America: Civil War” (2016)
In the comics, Helmut was a purple mask-wielding German who followed in his father’s footsteps as the Baron Zemo. In Civil War, he’s a Sokovian colonel who lost everything during the Ultron attacks, and developed a bitter hatred towards the Avengers. Driven by revenge, Zemo worked from the shadows to frame Bucky, and dig up information from the past to achieve his ultimate goal – breaking the hero team apart from the inside. While drastically different from his original counterpart, Zemo still maintains the Baron’s scheming intellect –successfully orchestrating the final brawl between Cap and Iron Man. While he was eventually arrested, his devilish plot and understandable motivations make him a standout.

#6: Adrian Toomes / Vulture

“Spider-Man: Homecoming” (2017)
Toomes was the owner of a salvage company that picked up after the Avengers’ messes… until it was replaced by Tony Stark’s own Damage Control organization. Unemployed and desperate, he and his crew salvaged alien tech to sell as weapons on the black market – putting him on the super-criminal path. Vulture is one of the more relatable villains because he’s not some power-mad supervillain, but rather a businessman trying to support his family in a world that’s evolving too fast. During their final struggle, Spidey saves his life, so Vulture repays him by keeping his identity a secret from those who could benefit from it. You’ve gotta appreciate a villain with a code!

#5: Hela Odinsdottir

“Thor: Ragnarok” (2017)
In addition to being the Goddess of Death and Odin’s eldest daughter, Hela is the first major female MCU villain. She served her father’s side as Asgard’s executioner, but was banished due to her… enthusiastic bloodlust. Odin wanted to keep Hela a secret, but she returned upon his death, and wasted no time taking over. She obliterated Thor’s hammer, declared herself queen of Asgard, and prepared for global conquest –enslaving or slaughtering anyone who got in her way. The only way to end her unstoppable tyranny was by making the ultimate sacrifice – Asgard itself. Played excellently by Cate Blanchett, Hela is a villain who commands the screen with her presence.

#4: Sergeant James Buchanan "Bucky" Barnes / Winter Soldier

“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” (2014)
Bucky was Captain America’s loyal friend since childhood. On one fateful WWII mission however, he plummeted from a train to his apparent death. Turns out he survived, only to be brainwashed and made into one of HYDRA’s deadliest agents – the Winter Soldier. When he’s brought out of stasis to assassinate Nick Fury, we eventually learn that he’s been used as a covert hitman for decades. Thankfully, Cap eventually helps Bucky remember his old life, prompting him to leave and try to regain even more of his memories. A complex figure who blurs the lines between good and evil, and forces a wedge between heroes, Winter Soldier added a whole new dynamic to the MCU.

#3: Erik Stevens ‘N'Jadaka’ / Killmonger

“Black Panther” (2018)
Killmonger was the son of a traitorous Wakandan prince, who was killed by the previous Black Panther, T’Chaka. Since that day, Killmonger has been driven by one goal – seizing the Wakandan throne as the new Black Panther, and completing his father’s dream of arming their “oppressed brothers” with Wakandan weaponry. Though his approach is extreme, consider his position – he lost his father at a young age, and was left behind –hurt and alone; that stings worse than any of his self-inflicted scars. In the end, Killmonger dies peacefully, and his story inspires the Wakandans to connect with the outside world. Evil acts aside, he’s the sort of villain whose perspective you can understand.

#2: Thanos

“Avengers: Infinity War” (2018)
Beware the Mad Titan. Across his various limited appearances, Thanos has made his ultimate goal clear – find all six Infinity Stones, harness their power, and ultimately court Death herself. At first, he tries to rely on help from partners like Loki and Ronan in retrieving the Stones; but when they ultimately fail, Thanos accepts that if you want something done right, you do it yourself. While the warlord’s role was limited before Infinity War, his slow building story arc has already made him iconic within the franchise. Plus, he gets bonus points for inadvertently helping to create two of the franchise’s greatest superhero teams.

Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few marvelous honorable mentions.

Ivan Antonovich Vanko / Whiplash
“Iron Man 2” (2010)

Ronan the Accuser
“Guardians of the Galaxy” (2014)

Ego the Living Planet
“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” (2017)

#1: Loki Laufeyson

Marvel Cinematic Universe (2008-)
Taking the number one spot is unarguably the most developed villain in the MCU. Loki is Thor’s adopted brother, and the God of Mischief… an appropriate title since he’s a master manipulator. He can fool almost anyone –either with his charming personality and wordplay, or with a little magical assistance; and he’ll use any of these abilities to seize the throne, launch a full-scale invasion… and even cheat death. Despite all that, Loki’s motives aren’t pure evil – what he really wants is to prove his worth and escape his adoptive brother’s shadow. Who knows; with time, he COULD make for an even better anti-hero.


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