Saturday, July 22, 2017

Ranking The MCU's Villains

The most common criticism of Marvel’s films is their lack of grim, colourless anti-heroes wordlessly killing their enemies while burdened with unimaginable angst…oh wait, hang on DC fans, nobody knocks Marvel for that.  Basically the only issue with the Marvel films is their lack of truly memorable villains, which may be part in parcel of Marvel’s plan to actually make their heroes the draw.  Still, given that all of “Phase Three” and essentially this entire decade is building towards every hero in a showdown with one ultimate villain, Marvel’s spotty track record creates some question as to what we’re going to get with Thanos.  Will he be awesome and worth the “every Avenger needs to be on hand” hype?  Or will he just be a Macguffin of a villain?

While some of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s foes have been pretty lacklustre, I feel like several have more than cut the mustard, hence this list to clarify things.  As a point of reference, this list comprises every “big bad” villain (or the biggest villains in cases of multiple foes) from each of the MCU films and each of its major TV series.  I could nitpick and add minor villains like henchmen or Garry Shandling’s Hydra-friendly senator, though for now we’ll just stick to the big headline enemies.  Some notes on my process…

* I’ve yet to watch the Iron Fist series, and I never saw the Edward Norton “Incredible Hulk” movie.  I don’t feel like I’m really missing out on either.
* Thanos doesn’t count since we haven’t really seen him in action yet.
* I’ll issue a blanker SPOILER ALERT for the list since obviously some of these villains don’t reveal themselves as villains until partway through the movies.  You shouldn’t be reading a list like this without at least a half-dozen Marvel films under your belt, duh!
* I guess this goes towards the SPOILER ALERT, but…I’m not counting Ben Kingsley’s Mandarin?  Should I?  I’m actually confused about that particular situation.
* Furthermore, some of these characters end up being heroes either later in the movie/TV season or in a later movie/TV season.  I’m kind of nitpicky about which ones I deem to be actual villains.  For instance, the Punisher is in opposition to Daredevil for much of that season, though I’m hard-pressed to really consider him a “villain.”

33. Ultron (James Spader), Avengers: Age Of Ultron
32. Anton Ivanov (Zach McGowan), Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
31. Ronan The Accuser (Lee Pace), Guardians Of The Galaxy
30. Johann Fennhoff (Ralph Brown), Agent Carter
29. Daniel Whitehall (Reed Diamond), Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
28. Diamondback (Erik LaRay Harvey), Luke Cage
27. Malekith (Christopher Eccleston), Thor: The Dark World
26. Eli Morrow (Jose Zuniga), Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
25. Whiplash (Mickey Rourke), Iron Man 2
24. Nebula (Karen Gillan), Guardians Of The Galaxy
23. Yellowjacket (Corey Stoll), Ant-Man
22. John Garrett (Bill Paxton), Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
21. Raina (Ruth Negga), Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
20. Jiaying (Dichen Lachman), Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
19. Aldrich Killian/Extremis/“The Mandarin” (Guy Pearce), Iron Man 3
18. Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen), Doctor Strange
17. Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell), Iron Man 2
16. The Red Skull (Hugo Weaving), Captain America: The First Avenger
15. Cottonmouth (Mahershala Ali), Luke Cage
14. Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges), Iron Man
13. Mariah Dillard (Alfre Woodard), Luke Cage
12. Whitney Frost/Madame Masque (Wynn Everett), Agent Carter
11. The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), Captain America: The Winter Soldier
10. Cal Johnson (Kyle MacLachlan), Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
9. Ego The Living Planet (Kurt Russell), Guardians Of The Galaxy, Vol. 2
8. Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford), Captain America: The Winter Soldier
7. The Vulture (Michael Keaton), Spider-Man: Homecoming
6. Grant Ward/Hive (Brett Dalton), Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
5. Helmut Zemo (Daniel Bruhl), Captain America: Civil War
4. Aida (Mallory Jansen), Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
3. Loki (Tom Hiddleston), Thor/The Avengers/Thor 2
2. Kingpin (Vincent D’Onofrio), Daredevil
1. Kilgrave/Purple Man (David Tennant), Jessica Jones

No comments: