So, first allow me to give you guys some context regarding my chosen title. Villains; the definition provided by Google being 'a character whose evil actions or motives are important to the plot.', yet the villain in a film/play/novel is usually referred to as an antagonist as well, right? Definition: 'a person who actively opposes or is hostile to someone or something.'
For me, those are two very different definitions for the people everyone wants to call the "bad guy" in a film. i'll be honest though, they're similar; like, villain, antagonist, same thing. Villain just sounds cooler.
I took it upon myself to pick out some of the faces that appear when you search marvel Villains and hit enter on Google Images. Behold:
I then took it upon myself to figure out who were actually villains here. And then finally, the misunderstood characters. I'll explain:
In the first picture I've shown the "antagonists" of certain films, but in the second photo, the people who I would deem as actual villains. Iron Monger: Obadiah Stane tried to steal Stark tech, then went on to try and kill him, taking no consideration for other human casualties along the way, evil. Whiplash, another one out for Stark, hacking Hammer tech, turning suits into drones, tried to kill him, and caused a lot of human casualties, evil. Ronan the Accuser, literally tried to take down a planet with power gem, evil, very evil.
So to the far right I feel like we have the misunderstood ones, and I say misunderstood because I have no clue what other word fits.
Loki: The adopted frost giant, who took it extremely personally. I can empathize with the guy, finding out you're the adopted child of the enemy, and also why that is the reason you always lived in your sibling's shadow, that must hurt. In his perspective, his end goal is to rule Asgard, or Midgard (Earth) because, the way he sees it, he's just as much the ruler as his brother, Thor. He worked just as hard, but felt as if it was in vain (but yeah, he's a tad evil, but gotta love him).
Ultron: Designed as a peace keeping program, identified that the biggest element towards the Earth's destruction was humans or our ways of humanity. "Everybody creates the things they dread. Men of peace create engines of war, invaders create avengers" such a beautiful quote if I'm honest, because he is so true. It really makes you question ourselves... I remember a quote from Loki from the first Avengers film, "You lie and kill in the service of liars and killers. You pretend to be separate, to have your own code, something that makes up for the horrors.", both 'villains' pretty much set the record straight, humans kill humans. So was Ultron really wrong? Human extinction, replaced by little Visions all over the place would be a better Earth, just not for us.
The Winter Soldier: You say that Bucky is the main villain of Captain America 2, and you will very quickly annoy a few fans. Poor Bucky was brainwashed into doing work for Hydra, literally for about 70 years. Captain Rodgers saved him from the Hydra base, only to fall from a train travelling across a mountain and be experimented on further and cryogenically frozen. He didn't just lose his way, it was stolen from him.
Magneto: I've been waiting for this one. Magneto doesn't even come into the category of misunderstood. Between Magneto and Professor X, they represent Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcom X during the Civil Rights movement (1963). Magneto shared a dream with Malcom X in terms of their people's fight for respect, whereas Prefessor X shared the dream of uniting all men like Martin Luther King Jr. did. How could you measure who would be the villain in that situation?
If we go by the definition of antagonist (which we have to, because all four characters here are not evil) who is being hostile? Let's say it's Batman and Ironman, would that make them then the villains of their respective films? And if yes, wouldn't that make Superman and Cap the opposition of two recognized heroes, making them the villains? Confusing and complicated I know, but feel free to let me know in the comments below, share your opinions, any questions, criticisms - hit me up!
You Either Die A Hero Or You Live Long Enough To See Yourself Become The Villian.