For over a decade, Marvel has made its way to the very top of the Hollywood food chain, releasing multiple movies every year, at least in the years without global pandemics. From the early experimentation time of Phase 1, through the unsure highs and lows of Phase 2, as far as possible up to the record-breaking renaissance of Phase 3, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has run the range of value.
Although the next phase of this astonishing franchise had been deferred for a bit, things seem to be picking up again with the recent release of Wandavision on Disney+.
Marvel has introduced more than 30 villains in 23 movies since Tony Stark faced off against Obadiah Stane, in the first Iron Man movie. However, the MCU has often been criticized for having a villain problem. Here we have listed 5 villains that were loved by the fans and 5 villains that were hated in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
10) Loved – Hela
She was introduced in 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok, Cate Blanchett’s Hela has established herself as one of the most powerful and dangerous villains in the entire MCU. She was able to not only hold Mjolnir, Thor’s hammer, but was also powerful enough to break it. Hela is the Goddess of Death and can utilize necromancy to revive the dead warriors of Asgard to do her offering and can show weapons like swords, axes, and daggers.
9) Hated – Malekith
Thor: The Dark World was an immense frustration to fans and the critics. Mainly due to the one-dimensional villain. Malekith is a dark-elf whose only goal is to plunge the world into darkness. Lack of fleshed-out, realistic, developed villains often disappoints the fans and Malekith is the perfect example of that. Fans were disappointed to see yet another generic villain who wants to destroy the world. Marvel did eventually fix this problem, but Malekith was not liked by many fans.
8) Loved – The Vulture
Michael Keaton has played comic book characters before, having portrayed the Dark Knight in Tim Burton’s Batman. He played The Vulture in 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming. Fans adored Keaton’s threatening and chilling depiction of The Vulture, particularly the scene in which he finds out that Peter Parker is Spider-Man. Fans are excited to have him back in Sony Universe’s upcoming film, Morbius.
7) Hated – The Yellowjacket
MCU often faces a huge criticism that the villains of the films have the same powers as the hero, but they’re just evil. Yellowjacket’s story arc seems to be directly inspired by that of the villain in the first Iron Man movie. Darren Cross is just an evil businessman and his suit provides the same abilities as the Ant-Man suit but he uses it for evil purposes.
6) Loved – Killmonger
Black Panther‘s Killmonger is yet another supervillain who has the same powers as the superhero but evil, but Killmonger had been developed so much that no one was upset. Erik Killmonger’s intentions were sensible because he was a victim of T’Chaka’s actions. He also convinced T’Challa to work for the betterment of his people rather than live in the shadows like all the Black Panthers before him.
5) Hated – Kaecilius
Kaecilius appeared in Doctor Strange, he never felt like a true bad guy. He was the estranged student of the Ancient One and the servant of Dormammu. The movie focused more on Doctor Strange’s character arc from arrogant, cocky genius to a powerful wizard which explains why villains were so underdeveloped.
4) Loved – Loki
Loki has a definitive deplorable backstory: a disregarded, adopted child who chooses the path of skulduggery to acquire his family’s attention. He has been more of an anti-villain in the recent MCU movies, but he played the antagonist in Thor and The Avengers.
Tom Hiddleston is all around loved for playing the God of Mischief, and Loki stays perhaps the most sensible and convincing characters in the MCU. Fans are eagerly waiting to see him return in the upcoming Disney+ series.
3) Hated – Whiplash
Mickey Rourke’s portrayal of the bird-loving scientist could have made for a creepy villain, but he turned out to be rather dull. In the comics, Whiplash has never been an imposing adversary of Iron Man. So when he was declared as the primary villain for Iron Man 2, fans were somewhat disappointed.
Russian scientist Ivan Vanko could’ve been Iron Man’s biggest enemy as he had the same amount of intellect as Tony Stark but ended up as a big joke.
2) Loved – Thanos
Thanos was first seen in the post-credits of the first Avengers movie, he had been revealed as the one pulling Loki’s strings. With one snap, he wiped out half of all life in the universe. In fact, he is the only villain on this list who actually accomplished his goal. His intentions, saving a universe running out of assets by sacrificing half of all life, are benevolent but disturbingly misguided.
1) Hated – The Mandarin (Aldrich Killian)
The shocking twist that Mandarin was just a timid actor never quite sat right with fans. Fans were expecting cunning, ruthless, and powerful, enigmatic leader of the Ten Rings terrorist organization but they instead got Aldrich Killian, a guy with dragon tattoos who breathes fire.
The villain’s intentions shifted from being a ruthless terrorist to a guy having a grudge against Stark. Fans will get to see the true Mandarin in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
Let us know about your favorite MCU villain in the comment section below!