ByKory Glover, writer at
Professional Geek and Charmer. I mean c'mon, look at that hat and youthful smile
Kory Glover

Villains get a bad deal when it comes to the Cinematic Universe films. If you were to line up 100 Marvel fans and ask them the biggest problem with the films, probably close to a 100 percent of them would say that the villains are too one-dimensional or too bland or just too underwhelming. However, there might be a few MCU villains that fans are too quick to dismiss or may have just simply overlooked. With that said, these are the five Marvel Cinematic Universe villains that weren't as bad as you think they were. Let's start with:

5. Alexander Pierce — Captain America: Winter Soldier

Often forgotten as the main villain of , as he's often overshadowed by the titular character, people seem to forget that Alexander Pierce was one of the MCU's deadliest villains. This guy, along with the help of Arnim Zola, managed to secretly hide HYDRA deep within the darkest shadows of S.H.I.E.L.D. while also controlling one of the deadliest assassins on the planet, the Winter Soldier. Acting legend Robert Redford obviously brings a lot of weight to the role because he portrays Pierce as really kind and almost harmless, but when he wants to be mean, he'll backhand you until you see stars.

It's also fair to mention the fact that this is one villain who's plan essentially worked. Yeah, he didn't succeed in shooting a bunch of people from the sky, but he and the rest of HYDRA managed to take down and disassemble the organization of S.H.I.E.L.D. to the point that it would never be the same again. Think about that for second.

4. General Thaddeus Thunderbolt Ross — The Incredible Hulk

Also often forgotten as the villain of as most look at Emil Blonsky a.k.a Abomination as the main villain of the picture. However, most fans seem to forget that not only was General Ross practically the main villain of that movie, but he also had good a motivation and backstory to want to capture the and incarcerate him. We see in the opening that the Hulk can be difficult — almost impossible to control — as Bruce Banner first transforms into the green beast, rampages through the hospital and hospitalizes both General Ross and his daughter, Betty, who just happens to also be Bruce Banner's girlfriend.

You totally understand why Ross would want to capture and imprison the Hulk to eventually use the unstoppable rage monster as a weapon. It also helps that acting giant William Hurt portrays him with a lot of the stern intimidation and authority that this character needs. There's a reason they decided to bring this character back in Captain America: Civil War

3. Darren Cross / Yellowjacket — Ant-Man

A lot of fans disliked Darren Cross from because he was simply just another one-and-done villain to add to the other batch of bland villains we've seen before. However, a lot seemed to forget about Corey Stoll's intimidating and almost creepy portrayal of a man constantly on the brink of madness who will do anything to get himself and his company ahead. Almost every time you look at Darren you feel that he's just holding back a bunch of rage and can snap at any moment. We also understood where he came from, becoming obsessed with Hank Pym's pym particles, wanting to learn more from Hank and then ultimately being shunned by his only mentor for his obsession.

It's almost like Darren doesn't understand that he is slowly going mad and that he has crossed lines that he can never recover from — murder, kidnapping and making deadly deals with HYDRA. By the end of the film, he finally snaps and eventually had to be banished to the Quantum Realm.

2. Ultron — Avengers: Age Of Ultron

Now, I know that a lot of people had a lot of issues with how Ultron was portrayed in the second movie, and I'd be lying if I didn't feel the same way as well, but that doesn't mean that I can't appreciate what the film was trying to do with Ultron. Even though everyone, including myself, would have preferred if they stayed with the traditional deadpan, robotic personality that we were used to from the comics and the animated TV show, you can deny that the Frankenstein and Frankenstein's monster relationship they were building between Ultron and Tony Stark was kind of fascinating.

Instead of the traditional sort of jack-o'-lantern face and cold robotic personality, we get a much more Tony Stark type of villain who can be very eccentric, egotistical and even overly emotional at times. It's almost like Ultron was what Tony Stark could turn into if he ever crossed a line, an evil Iron Man. We might have been disappointed that Ultron wasn't exactly like his comic counterpart, but you can't deny that Marvel was trying an interesting new spin the character.

1. Diamondback / Willis Stryker — Luke Cage

It's a shame that some fans had issues with the latest Marvel Netflix series, because it's still a perfectly adequate and serviceable TV series. Yeah, it might not be as good as or , but it still offers plenty of cool action, interesting themes and great performances. A lot of fans had issues with the pacing of the story, others had issues with the ending, but most had issues with the villain, Willis Stryker a.k.a. Diamondback. A lot of people say that he was a little over the top, he was kind of silly, he didn't get a lot of screen time compared to the more publicized villain, Cottonmouth, but I think people are missing the bigger picture here.

Willis Stryker has a deeply tragic backstory that can totally make you understand his motives in Luke Cage and make you understand his resentment towards Luke. Stryker grew up with Luke Cage (back then known as Carl Lucas), as childhood best friends. These two were so close that Stryker even taught Carl how to fight at the local gym. However, what they didn't know was they were actually half-brothers, because Carl's preacher father was having an affair with Stryker's mother. This affair resulted in the birth of Willis and after Carl's father refused to leave his wife, Carl was born two years later.

Cut to years later, Stryker and Carl stole a Red Corvette for a joyride one night and were later arrested for the crime. Carl's father used his connections as the local preacher to have Carl acquitted of the crime so that he could join the marines. Stryker on the other hand, was abandoned by the father and sentence to juvenile detention. While in juvenile detention, Stryker was attacked by another inmate and ended up killing his attacker in self-defense. This lead to Stryker being tried as an adult and sentenced to prison. This eventually leads to Stryker building up a resentment and hatred for someone he used to call a close friend.

With such a in-depth and tragic backstory, you can't help but feel sorry for Stryker while he also manages to intimidate you with that slimy smile every time he puts someone into an early grave. But, you know, his costume was pretty silly, I guess.

Ever notice how this one thing always seems to happen to movie villains?


Do agree with the list? Which MCU villain do you think is the most underrated?


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