If there is one negative that we must acknowledge about the MCU, it's that the villains can be a bit lackluster in quality and depth. Besides Loki, these villains, (aside from the Netflix series) have been one-and-done, forgettable characters. The driving force of Marvel films has been the terrifically assembled cast of heroes.
Unfortunately, early critic reviews of Captain America: Civil War have echoed these same sentiments, stating that the film's villain is again lackluster and forgettable. Why does Marvel have so many issues with developing good, rememberable MCU villains? The screenwriters for Civil War, Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus, gave us their perspective on the issue, and I think it's pretty hard not to agree with them.
Is Lack Of Development Time The Reason For These Forgettable Villains?
According to these two screenwriters, it's hard for Marvel to truly develop their villains' storylines, which leads to a villain that most people leave the theater forgetting about. Check out their exact quotes here from their sit-down with JoBlo:
"If you think about it, I get the criticism, but the early phases were all origin stories. It tends to create a similar villain. When it is no longer an origin story, I think you might have a little bit more freedom to create different villains. I’m sensitive to the problem. I get it. But it wasn’t the Robert Redford story, it was 'Captain America: Winter Soldier.' It wasn’t the Red Skull’s journey [in 'The First Avenger'], it was the journey of one guy going from ninety pound weakling to American hero and then going into the ice. So in a 120-minute movie it is difficult, and Thanos will possibly change that, but you want time spent. Excuse me for going on a tangent but I love the Marvel Netflix shows because you have so much more time to spend with your villains. It’s literally minutes and hours spent. We have 120-minutes and 'Jessica Jones' had how ever many it had."
The point of any superhero film, especially when doing an origin story, is to show the character's journey in becoming the hero that they are today. It's pretty hard to truly develop Red Skull when we are seeing the evolution of Steve Rogers as he morphs into Captain America. I definitely agree with their points and I think it is something we should consider when critiquing these films.
Which Villains Does The MCU Deserve Next?
With the screenwriters admitting the issues that their villains have, I think we could see some amazing villains come to light in the future. The MCU is so expansive and there are so many great villains that they could choose from. I think the key for most villains is to really show their dark side and illustrate their inner demons. Here are some awesome villains that the MCU deserves next to make up for past villains!
1. Kraven The Hunter
If you put Kraven into perspective, he is one of the sickest villains that Marvel has to offer. The former big game hunter turned Spider-Man hunter has one of the darkest backstories in Marvel history. I think a character like this, who is completely deranged and obviously twisted in the head, would completely change the narrative of bad MCU villains. They would have to focus much of the film on his inner demons, and I think that would be something incredibly enjoyable to watch.
Let me admit, I absolutely love Taskmaster. The mercenary villain has the power to mimic the physical movements of anyone and is one of the most deadly and emotionless killers in the Marvel universe. I think Marvel could do an amazing job with developing his character if they show just how twisted his mind is. While he is emotionless in killing, he is far from being completely void of all emotion. It was later revealed that he was a sleeper agent for S.H.I.E.L.D. and was hired by Nick Fury, so that is definitely something they could use to create a dynamic storyline. I think Taskmaster would make a perfect fit for what the MCU needs and what we as fans deserve!
With Marvel re-acquiring the rights to Spider-Man, I would love to see the MCU do something with Mysterio. A villain who does not posses any powers, but is a master illusionist, would create a very interesting dynamic for any MCU film. I could definitely see them doing some kind of noir-type film with Mysterio as they try to figure out just what the hell is going on. I think the MCU lacks a good mystery as of right now so why not dive into that with a character like Mysterio?
The MCU Deserves An Emotional, Solid Villain.
The MCU is in desperate need of a villain that can capture the emotion of the audience. Similar to what Heath Ledger did as The Joker, a good villain must make the audience feel as fearful as the heroes do onscreen. The MCU has yet to hit that mark but I believe that after Civil War, we will see an era of the great MCU villains. I think we are in the midst of something special and I can't wait to see what 'marvelous' things they have in store for us!