The MCU boasts its fair share of complex superheroes, offering long-gestating character arcs fleshed out in standalone installments and major mash-ups (with a few exceptions). Fans witnessed Tony Stark traverse the murky waters of egotism before stumbling upon selflessness. We also got to see Black Widow relinquish her self-serving spy tendencies in favor of familial bonds. And the list goes on. But, who is the best MCU villain?
While the heroes have been written with strong attention to detail, the same cannot be said for all of the MCU’s villains. This is not to say that MCU villains are boring or uninteresting; rather, some seem to lack motivation or adequate narrative foundations. All have been enjoyable, but are all worthy of adulation?
When it comes down to it, MCU enthusiasts tend to direct attention to three major villains when trying to determine the best of the bunch. While The Age Of Ultron made for an action-packed and suspenseful cinematic spectacle, its villain doesn’t make the top of this list. So, let’s highlight the cream of the crop.
When reading through discussions concerning the best MCU villain and favorite MCU villains, Killmonger draws a lot of attention, as he boasts a strong origin story and his motivations in Black Panther are boiling at the surface. When discussing the best villains, fan stated the following:
Killmonger, hands down.
Killmonger because he was a bad*ss and you understand his point of view and he’s a great villain to understand in today’s society.
Killmonger grabbed the audience’s attention and offered up a reason for being beyond his status as the film’s threat. While the MCU has been said to have a “villain problem,” Killmonger completely defied the norms and expectations inherent to the universe.
If Thanos wasn’t an impressive villain, the MCU would have failed its entire epic Avengers saga; thus, his presence on the list should come as no surprise. It was vital for Marvel to get this one right. Considering Thanos actually won against the Avengers, he is on a different level than the others. Fans often note Thanos as the obvious choice. Seemingly a bit ashamed of the fact, fans stated the following:
…My favorite is Thanos, but that’s too obvious.
Thanos because he’s Thanos. Simple.
Thanos was on a twisted mission to eliminate half the population and had convinced himself that he was the hero. He felt he was the savior. His sheer conviction and strategic mindset paired with the madness of his ideologies made for an all-too-relatable situation.
Vulture, as most MCU fans agree, was an incredibly well-written character with an incredible actor at the center; it was nearly impossible for Michael Keeton’s Vulture to be anything but amazing. One fan, though acknowledging Thanos’ greatness, stated the following:
Oh I loved Thanos. The 6 year build up was worth the wait . But vulture, imo, was the better villain because he’s so human. His initial motivation and his moral code at the end of the film ( could have easily revealed his secret to Scorpion) were well hashed for such limited screen time.
Vulture, though only on the screen for brief moments at a time, accomplished so much. One fan, agreeing with the above sentiment, stated:
Vulture was the best villain. He had real motivations. He was doing things that a real person would do. He was a 100% realistic, fleshed out character with a completely believable backstory and motivations that make absolute sense.
Thanos, Killmonger, and Vulture take the top prizes when it comes to MCU villainy; however, if you count Loki, he gives them all a run for their money. The question is: where does Loki fall on the hero-villain spectrum?
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