As an iconic movie franchise, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has always centered around superheroes using their powers to establish justice in their worlds. However, Marvel’s storylines would lack balance without characters who aim to disturb that justice through evil acts. This is why MCU’s villains are always as vital to the plot as the heroes. Below, we have listed the top 5 best villains in Marvel’s six-decade-long history.
Most moviegoers with a casual interest in the Marvel Cinematic Univers became familiar with the mad titan in The Avengers’ post-credit scene. However, the iconic villain who owned the reality-altering Infinity Gauntlet has been a part of Marvel Comics for over five decades. Nowadays, he is well-known in pop culture as the cosmic villain who turned half the universe into dust with a mere snap of his fingers.
For several years, Loki was one of the most powerful villains in the Marvel Universe and an enemy to many major heroes, including his brother - the mighty Thor. His mischievous actions even led to the formation of the Avengers. As time passed, Loki became more of an anti-hero than an antagonist, repositioning himself as a god of stories rather than lies.
Doctor Doom is regarded as one of the most intelligent creatures in the Marvel Universe. Like all famous villains, his hubris is probably his greatest weakness. Apart from mastering science, Doom is one of the mightiest magic users in the Marvel world and a worthy opponent to Dr. Strange.
Although Jean Grey/Dark Phoenix was only a part of one central story ark (the Dark Phoenix Saga), she became the primary villain in one of the most successful X-Men stories ever produced. The shocking shift from Jean Grey’s initial status as a heroine to Dark Phoenix’s destruction of a whole galaxy cemented this character as one of the most remarkable Marvel villains.
Ever since his debut in Uncanny X-Men #1 in 1963, Magneto has been one of the most fascinating and multi-layered Marvel characters sitting on the fence between heroism and villainhood. His character is too complex to be regarded through the traditional lens of supervillain immorality. Magneto has recently established his place as a vital part of the mutant nation of Krakoa.
One of the main takeaways from Avengers: Infinity War is that Thanos is indeed one of the strongest and most terrifying villains in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. His cinematic depiction remains faithful to his comic book counterpart. However, this character is still far from invincible. Here are a few characters whose powers can surpass that of Thanos:
The Marvel fanbase is famous for sympathizing and relating to a good villain philosophy, and in this category, Loki and Thanos share the first place.
As the longest-running villain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Loki understandably has had the most screen time and story development to win the fandom’s hearts. From his first appearance in 2011’s Thor to his own Disney+ show, the god of mischief has come a long way to a beloved anti-hero status.
Although Loki undeniably committed a lot of wrongdoings, including murdering many people, he also joined his righteous brother Thor and other superheroes against more significant threats. The Loki series delves deeper into his morally ambiguous character and his redemption.
Thanos’ story of motivation and loss was arguably the highlight of “Avengers: Infinity War.” His home planet refused his suggestion to wipe out half the population in order to save the other half and subsequently died out, so he embarked on a mission to collect all the Infinity Stones and kill half the universe in the hope of securing a more resourceful future for the other half.
Heroes might be committed to doing the right thing, but villains are also essential in shaping Marvel comics and movies. The most famous supervillains create change and challenge the status quo in the Marvel Universe, making them worthy opponents of our beloved heroes.