A lot of people say that the DC Universe films do their super villains way better than Marvel. This may be true, but that's not to say Marvel doesn't do good bad guys. We now have a total of 10 films in the MCU, and have had many villains in each film so as the title says I am ranking each villain from worst to best. I will not be counting characters like Ellen Brandt from Iron Man 3 or The Other from The Avengers and [Guardians of the Galaxy](movie:424073) because they didn't do anything at all in the films besides one fight scene or a confrontation with the other villains. Also, I know this may make people mad but, I am excluding Winter Soldier from this list because he is not a villain. He may have fought Steve, Natasha and Sam but he didn't do it willingly he was forced to do those things. This makes him an antagonist sure, but definitely not a villain. One more thing, this list is going to contain some spoilers for every film within the Marvel Cinematic Universe so SPOILER ALERT!
Malekith was the main villain in Thor: The Dark World, and man I left this film not caring one bit about this guy. No disrespect to the actor, Christopher Eccleston I thought he did a good job in the role but the character was so useless. He didn't leave an impact like a good villain should, all he did was fight Thor and Loki, get an upgrade by merging with The Aether, and then attempt to use The Aether to destroy the universe. Which is another thing, the movie doesn't explain why he hated everything so much, there has to be a reason why he was filled with so much anger but there is nothing told about this character, not in the prologue or in the 3 acts. All the reasons why Malekith sits at number 15.
14. Justin Hammer
Like I said about Eccleston, no disrespect to Sam Rockwell he was great in the role of Justin Hammer but the character himself sucked in my opinion. Maybe you weren't supposed to like him, then again there isn't too much to like Iron Man 2. This guy took the spotlight from Whiplash, who in my opinion was more interesting than this guy. All he wanted to do was be better than Tony Stark which in itself is pretty boring. He then makes a deal with Whiplash to kill Tony Stark so that way, the government pays big money for Hammer tech. Could have been really interesting, but it was just very boring in the end.
Guardians of the Galaxy is just a great movie overall, well acted, good story great visuals, but there were problems with the film. Korath was the loyal henchman to the films main villain, Ronan, but he didn't really do all that much. Granted I know what I said at the top, I wouldn't include certain characters, but the reason Korath is on this list is because he did more than a character like Batroc or Brandt. However he could have been used more, the reason I say this is because he got his own poster and yet he didn't do too much. He is a bounty hunter, he tasked with stopping The Guardians and he is genetically superior due to cybernetic enhancements. Let's look at the other villain Nebula, she is a bounty hunter, she is tasked with stopping The Guardians and she is genetically superior due to cybernetic enhancements. Also she is more important since she is in the sequel, when you look at it that way, was there any point for Korath to be in this film at all?
Were not quite done with Guardians yet, we have to talk about the films primary villain Ronan. Lee Pace did a very good job in this role, but this character was so bland and uninteresting. He certainly wasn't as bad as Malekith, but I didn't care about him that much because his motivation isn't talked about at all. He is pissed off because there was a big war between Xandar and the Kree empire and his dad, grandfather and great-grandfather all died during this war, but now that the war ended due to a peace treaty, he wants Xandar to be destroyed since he feels it isn't fair that his family died for nothing basically. Not a bad motive, one problem, it's only mentioned briefly once or maybe twice in the film. It is glanced over so quick that you really don't care and you see it as useless information. Moving on.
11. Aldrich Killian/"The Mandarin"
Another Iron Man villain, only this time his 'greatest villain' apparently. Now I'm not mad about the twist with The Mandarin or anything but this character was extremely dull and uninteresting. I hated this characters motive so much, Tony Stark didn't meet him as promised, so he decides to become a madman obsessed with killing him. Granted he was crippled at the time when Stark left him hanging, but still that is just ridiculous to me. I know it's a comic book film and I myself am a huge comic book fan, but since the films are trying to be realistic as possible this is just far fetched and dumb. Another issue I have is if this character was supposed to be the MCU's version of The Mandarin, they should have had an Asian actor since that is the characters ethnicity in the comics. I know he isn't The Mandarin now because of "All Hail The King", but for what they were trying to do, a white actor wasn't the best choice.
10. Emil Blonsky/Abomination
The Incredible Hulk is often shunned into a corner by many, since it has been deemed the most forgettable MCU film by fans. I personally enjoyed it, one of the best parts was Tim Roth as The Abomination. As a child he was my favorite Hulk villain, so seeing him on the big screen was awesome. Looking back on the film, I still think he was really cool and all, but his reason for becoming a bad guy is strange for lack of a better word. When he is just Emil Blonsky, spec ops soldier, he is injected with a similar serum that made Steve Rogers into Captain America, but this one had devastating results. At first he is faster, stronger and more agile. Then he starts healing very quick and his bones stick out and he becomes more like an animal. All he wants is to take down Bruce Banner, but he has to be like him in order to do so. He becomes very aggressive and now he wants more and more from the same serum. It sounds like he is addicted to this chemical which like I said is pretty strange. Like Ronan, not a lot is explained about this guy's motive, but they do make it more clear in this film.
Now were getting to the good ones. The mastermind behind the events of The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel has been building this guy up for a while now and since we know he will finally see some action in Avengers: Infinity War, he will probably appear in a few other films before hand. Although he has only sat in his throne and said something threatening to Ronan, Thanos had such a presence in Guardians of the Galaxy part of it went to Josh Brolin's kick ass performance and the other went to James Gunn's directing and how he put the scene together as a whole. I really look forward to seeing more of The Mad Titan in the future.
8. Obadiah Stane/Iron Monger
The first villain we ever got in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Obadiah Stane was Tony Stark's adviser (I think, I haven't seen the film in a while) and he worked closely with his father, Howard. When it was revealed that he was the one who set up the attack on Tony in the first place, I wasn't shocked since I knew he was the villain but it was done really well I thought. Part of it went to Robert Downey Jr's and Gwyneth Paltrow's performances they were really believable when it was revealed what Stane had done. As for the character himself, I loved him he was fun to watch and seeing Jeff Bridges fight Robert Downey Jr. in a massive suit of armor was the coolest thing ever in 2008.
7. Johann Schmidt/Red Skull
The arch-nemesis of Captain America, Red Skull was a pretty cool villain. His motivation was to try and prove to the world that humans could wield the power of the gods, unfortunately he wished to do so by destroying The Western Hemisphere of the world. Hugo Weaving was great in the role and it's a shame he doesn't want to return but then again it may be a bit hard to return after getting vaporized by the tesseract (ouch). My only complaint is that his face didn't look rough enough. His skull had no cracks or anything like that, it looked kind of fake to be honest. Other than that, cool bad guy.
6. Brock Rumlow
Crossbones is one of my favorite Captain America adversaries and when I heard he was gonna show up in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, I got really exited. When I saw this film I loved what they did with this character. He is an agent of SHIELD that often goes on missions with Cap and Black Widow and then of course the big twist, he is an agent of HYDRA and he is tasked with hunting down the heroes. I wasn't surprised that he was evil or anything, but I liked how it was more personal for Cap when Rumlow betrays him. He isn't an evil mastermind, just a soldier following orders. Clearly Marvel has plans for this character since he will be returning in Captain America: Civil War.
5. Ivan Vanko/Whiplash
I mentioned him back when I talked about Justin Hammer and I wasn't kidding, Whiplash has one of the best motives for being a villain in this franchise. Ivan Vanko's father, Anton Vanko was a scientist that worked closely with Howard Stark but when Stark accused Anton of stealing secrets for The Soviet Union he deported him back to Moscow. Years later he died and his son blamed Howard Stark, but since he was dead already Ivan went after Tony instead. The fight scenes between Iron Man and Whiplash were awesome but they were incredibly short which was one of my biggest complaints of the film. Other than that a solid villain all around.
The only female villain in The Marvel Cinematic Universe so far had a pretty large role in Guardians of the Galaxy and Karen Gillan's performance was good, a little to over the top at times, but good over all. And with James Gunn hinting that she will be back for more installments in this universe it's safe to say we may this bounty hunter fight her adopted father for The Infinity Gauntlet when the time comes in 2018-19. She was also pretty kick ass as well especially the last fight between her and Gamora. Can't wait to see more of her.
3. Alexander Pierce
By far, the most methodical villain in this universe, Pierce was a brilliant bad guy all around because throughout the film he kept on telling himself he was the good guy and that Project Insight was for the greater good. He was convinced this was the best decision and even tried to convince Nick Fury to side with him. The other great thing about him is that he pointed out how society is at a tipping point so he believes something horrible like genocide will make them listen and will bring order to the world. Sounds like a real world villain to me. Robert Redford was awesome in the movie and his performance being one of my favorites in the movie as a whole. Hopefully Baron Zemo can live up to this guy when the time comes.
No explanation is needed...
1. Arnim Zola
I did not see this twist coming at all, then again nobody did and that is what makes Arnim Zola the best villain ever. Only he was capable of pulling something like this off, but we didn't suspect it because we just thought Winter Soldier, Rumlow and Pierce were the main issues but we got blindsided by this awesome moment that will forever be the biggest twist in the MCU ever (for now). For the limited amount of screen time he had, Toby Jones did a kick ass job in the role. It's great that we are going to see more of him later on in flashbacks (Ant-Man, Agent Carter) so that way we will have a better explanation of what exactly he was planning since the very beginning.
Well that was my list guys, this is my opinion so if you disagree that is perfectly fine. This was also my first post, if it sucked that is probably why. Thanks for reading!