ByJerry Stark, writer at
Jerry Stark

Every Villain is the Hero of Their Own Story. What makes a villain great? His evil deeds? His menacing persona? How many times he's triumphed over his nemesis? Who is the most evil, tricky, and dangerous villain? Well, It's time for you to decide; who is the greatest Marvel villain of all-time?

Red Skull VS Doctor Doom

By far the oldest villain on this list, The Red Skull is emblematic of far too many aspects of villainy to list. Never wavering from the Nazi ideals he has espoused since WWII was still being waged, the Red Skull is the absolute counterpoint to Captain America, Marvel's moral center, and provides just about everybody someone to hate. Red Skull is at as high a profile now as he's ever been, even with other iconic stories, like Red Zone and the Death of Captain America under his belt.

Dr. Doom remains not just a fan favorite, but a creeping reminder of the evil that lurks in the Marvel Universe, ready to rear it's head at any opportunity. Doom is the smartest man in the Marvel Universe - yes, even smarter than his hated enemy Reed Richards - but like all great villains, his hubris blinds him to his own potential. Not content with mastering only science, Doom is also one of the most powerful magic users in the Marvel Universe, and was once considered a rival to Dr. Strange for the title of Sorcerer Supreme. Doom is almost always portrayed as the de facto leader of Marvel's villains in numerous media, and with good reason.


Red Skull VS. Doctor Doom

Loki VS Magneto

For many years, Loki was almost the primary villain of the Marvel universe, menacing not just his brother the mighty Thor, but many of Marvel's other big names, even leading to the formation of the Avengers. It is, therefore, appropriate that he also took that role in the Marvel cinematic universe, a turn that has made Tom Hiddleston a star, and made Loki almost more popular among some fans than the heroes he opposes.

Magneto has straddled the line between hero and villain over and over again since his introduction in the '60's, and his current status quo places him somewhere in the grey area between the two extremes, but in his villainous days Magneto has often been one of Marvel's most ruthless villains. It's Magneto's dichotomy that makes him so compelling, and so effective as a villain. It's hard not to sympathize with Magneto knowing his suffering at the hands of the Nazis, and understanding that his extreme views have often been pursued while attempting to build a future for mutant kind.


Loki VS. Magneto


In recent years, Norman Osborn has caused more trouble under his own name than that of his grinning, cackling alter ego, even taking over as one of America's top cops in Dark Reign, culminating in his comatose body somehow escaping its hospital bed after his defeat at the hands of the Avengers. Norman Osborn was secretly the Green Goblin, one of Spider-Man's greatest foes, and not only the man who killed Peter Parker's true love, Gwen Stacy, but also, in his secret identity, the father of Peter's best friend Harry Osborn.

Until fairly recently, the long-running but sometimes silly Dr.Octopus might have been considered a B-List villain at best, despite often functioning as Spider-Man's arch-enemy. Doc Ock has earned that title once again, enacting numerous schemes that threatened not only Spider-Man but the entire world, culminating in an act that almost no other villains in Marvel Comics have accomplished - he actually finished off his nemesis. As most of you know, Doc Ock's final scheme was transferring his consciousness into Peter Parker's body, trapping Peter's mind in Ock's own dying form. In this feat, he actually succeeded, going on to take over Peter's life, and his role as Spider-Man. While the outcome of Ock's master plan has yet to be fully realized, no other villain has ever defeated his arch-nemesis so thoroughly, and with such vitriol.


Green Goblin VS. Doctor Octopus

Thanos VS Galactus

Before catching the briefest glimpse of Thanos in the end credits of the Avengers film, most mainstream audiences probably hadn't even heard of the mad titan. But longtime Marvel readers know him as the cosmic badass who long possessed the reality-altering Infinity Gauntlet, and who slew half the universe, including many Marvel heroes, before his misdeeds were undone. He just closed out an appearnace in Infinity, where Thanos once again threatened the Earth in pursuit of his nefarious goals, Thanos will most likely rise to prominence as one of the villains in Marvel's upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy, part of its second wave of films.

Supposedly created when Jack Kirby and Stan Lee pondered what would happen if the Fantastic Four encountered God, the world-eating Galactus quickly became one of the greatest threats ever encountered in the Marvel Universe, often uniting various heroes and even villains when his boundless hunger draws him to the lifeforce rich Earth. While he appeared in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer in a form closer to his Ultimate Universe incarnation, the "real" Galactus has most recently attempted to devour the Ultimate Universe like a continuity-rich buffet in the "Cataclysm" set of mini-series. While mainstream audiences may never be able to accept him as a hundred foot tall guy with a "G" on his chest, Galactus remains one of Marvel's most iconic villains.


Thanos VS Galactus


Latest from our Creators