Now the first thing you're probably thinking is, "How is this article any different than any other MCU villain ranking article on the internet?" Well, as it happens, I use a completely different grading scale for ranking villains than most people do. Most people, when examining villains, take a look at their motivations and/or their tragic backstories to determine how "great" or "not so great" the villains are. I take a wildly different approach when it comes to how I perceive a villain and whether or not I like them as a character. While most focus on why the villains do what they do, I tend to focus more on how they do it. That is to say, I judge villains on the basis of how much style, charisma, and sense of humor they exhibit while committing their nefarious acts rather than focusing on what their motives are. So, all that being said, here is my top 5 list of Marvel villains!
5) Trevor Slattery (The Fake Mandarin) - Iron Man 3
Sense of Humor: 5/10
Yes, we all were a bit disappointed to learn that the Mandarin we thought we knew was actually just a patsy for a terrorist think tank, but fortunately, the Marvel One-Shot All Hail the King redeemed the character, informing us that the *REAL* Mandarin is still lurking out there someplace and did NOT appreciate the mockery of his name perpetrated by Aldrich Killian and Trevor Slattery. However, Trevor Slattery's take on the Mandarin had plenty to recommend him. While his fake Mandarin status was a significant disappointment, he still managed to be a unique and quite interesting character. Slattery wins definite style points because of his video broadcasts, as well as knowing how to rock sunglasses while wearing a kimono and a man bun, but the character's charisma was a bit of a letdown when he retreated out of his Mandarin persona. Slattery's sense of humor is a bit graphic for my tastes, but maybe that's because I'm picky.
4) Justin Hammer - Iron Man 2
Sense of Humor: 1/10
Justin Hammer is arguably one of the MCU's biggest showboats, at least as far as villains are concerned. Hammer wins the style category if for no other reason than his sick dance moves, which he proudly displays during his presentation at the Stark Expo.
Seriously, get Sam Rockwell on the phone. I want this dude to emcee all my parties from now on. As far as charisma, Hammer is very good at getting people to do things for him, but as for sense of humor, he fails on every conceivable level. Hammer's jokes aren't funny, and he certainly doesn't take jokes about him from others well.
3) Loki - Thor, Thor 2, Avengers
Sense of Humor: 8/10
Let's just be honest. Tom Hiddleston's Loki was absolutely perfect casting. Loki pretty much dominates the screen no matter who he's sharing the camera with. This being the case, it comes as a bit of a shock to realize that he's only been in three of the MCU films to this point. Loki wins definite style and charisma points, and his sense of humor is pretty hard to match as well. However, showmanship aside, there's not really a whole lot that Loki has to offer.
2) Darren Cross (Yellowjacket) - Ant-Man
Sense of Humor: 9/10
When I first saw Ant-Man in theaters, I left with the inescapable conclusion that Darren Cross was my favorite Marvel villain to date. Thus, I was more than a little put out that Marvel chose to kill off such a great character in his first movie. Cross loses a few style points for not flaunting the Yellowjacket's capabilities a bit more, but his obvious charisma and flair for the dramatic certainly make up for it. Although his sense of humor was the biggest factor drawing me to him, Cross was bumped down to the number two position as soon as I started watching Age of Ultron.
1) Ultron - Avengers: Age of Ultron
Sense of Humor: 10/10
Until I started Age of Ultron, if you had asked who my favorite MCU villain was, I'd have said Yellowjacket, but that was before I was introduced to Tony Stark's Chitauri Frankenstein. Ultron gets top marks for style because he is an even bigger showboat than his creator, which is a pretty incredible achievement in and of itself. Ultron's charisma is doled out in spades in this film, and his sense of humor rivals that of Tony Stark because the Avengers' answer to Skynet can crack more jokes in less time than even Mister Snarky Stark himself. Ultron loses a charisma point for using too many cultural references, but he more than makes up for it in his style and sense of humor.