ByErin Estes, writer at
I am an aspiring novelist with a love for movies and anything Marvel. Writing is my passion, and movies are my obsession.
Erin Estes

Let me just start off by saying that I am not including any of Marvel's TV show villains. Those villains, like Kilgrave and Kingpin, had entire seasons to grow and develop. The villains in the movies have just a couple of hours to develop and show us who they are. So, this comparison will not include the villains from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Daredevil and Jessica Jones.
Because, let's be honest, Kingpin and Kilgrave are amazing.

What makes a good villain?

Presentation! - Megamind
Presentation! - Megamind

In my opinion, a good villain is someone who has purpose. They are driven. They believe what they are doing is the right thing. They believe that their way is right, and the world's is wrong. Maybe they are just power hungry, wanting fame and money.

Or possibly, they just want to see a world of peace.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has given us quite a few great villains, and a few not so great villains. How would they rank against the other? Well, that is why I am here to give my opinion.

Let's go down the list, shall we? From worst to best, I give you my top 5 Marvel villains.

5. Iron Monger

Fame, money, and power. This is what drives our first entry in the MCU's villain base, and the villain in the 5th spot in my list. Obadiah Stane thought he would have no problem getting what he wanted. Tony Stark was a pushover, until Stane pushed him over the edge and Tony became a problem.

For thirty years, I've been holding you up! I built this company up from nothing! Nothing's gonna stand in my way - least of all, *you*! - Obadiah Stane

This big-named company is what he wanted. It was made apparent to use that he had worked on building this company for many years.

He was an incredible villain because of his cunning and planning. He hadn't had the need to get rid of Tony until the invention of the Iron Man, but it didn't even phase him.

He had a plan. Stane rolled with the punches and kept striving to get to his goal.

4. Loki

The god of mischief, and get into mischief he does. Loki is in my number four spot. This Marvel villain is in Thor, The Avengers, Thor: The Dark World, and will appear in Thor: Ragnarok.

Don't be thwarted by Loki's dashingly good looks, the man is manipulative. He made me feel sorry for him. I shed tears over him. His cunning and charm makes him menacing, evil, and dangerous. He throws out the tears and you immediately feel bad for him.

You'd think we would have learned not to trust him by this point.

But no. That's not how Loki works. That is one of the reasons he is in my top 5.

So what is Loki's drive? What gets him up in the mornings? It is pretty obvious that there is one thing on our Frost Giant's mind, a throne. Last time we saw Loki, he seems to have gotten his wish.

Has Loki won? Has he gotten what he has been fighting for? It seems to be. His cunning and charm have gotten him to this point. But will it last when Thor finds out? We will just have to wait and see.


Cut off one head, two more shall take it's place.

There are two 'heads' of HYDRA that I wanted to be on my list, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that HYDRA as a whole needed to be on this list.

This is what Arnim Zola has to say about HYDRA in Captain America: The Winter Soldier:

"HYDRA was founded on the belief that humanity could not be trusted with its own freedom. What we did not realize is that if you try to take that freedom, they resist. The war taught us much. Humanity needed to surrender its freedom willingly..."

World domination. They believe that the world needed to be conquered to have peace. That is what this organization stands for. Peace isn't a bad thing to want at all, but how you try and achieve it is what determines whether you are a hero, or a villain. HYDRA wanted to accomplish it by world domination, which isn't the way to go. Two strong leaders of the organization show us how this doesn't work.

HYDRA was first seen in Captain America: The First Avenger. It was founded and lead by Red Skull.

This head of HYDRA reigned during World War II. He is the villain in Captain America: The First Avenger. To be honest, he was amazing until he took his mask off. His character was a strong leader, he wholeheartedly believed in what he was doing, and he was menacing. He disappears at the end of the movie, but I believe that we haven't seen the last of Red Skull.

Fast forward more than 70 years later, and we find out that HYDRA still exists. Everyone thought it had died with Red Skull.

Their ability to hide is one of the top things that has impressed me most about HYDRA.

They hid themselves from Nick Fury! How do you even accomplish that?

Alexander Pierce, head of S.H.I.E.L.D. and HYDRA in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. This is the man that kept his true alliance a secret from Director Fury. How can you be so evil and hide it that well? This organization was a large one, and menacing. It, and the many people that were/are a part of it, are in this third position because of their ability to work in the background, keep themselves hidden, and how close they were able to get to their goal.

2. Ultron

No strings to hold this sassy villain down. Ultron isn't afraid to do what he thinks is right to bring about world peace. In his opinion, this was to be achieved by wiping out the human race.

Similar to the previous villain, Ultron's main motive is to bring 'peace in our time'. He was created by Tony Stark using the gem in Loki's scepter, an Infinity Stone which Vision now holds.

He was able to get really close to beating the Avengers. Ultron is an incredible villain. He is that sort of villain that you understand where he is coming from. I had a hard time actually feeling against him at certain points. Ultron had moments where you knew he cared for people.

He sat and listened to the Twins' story about their childhood, and actually acted like he cared. A caring villain is an intimidating one. He could almost literally kill you with kindness. But he was just as menacing and cunning as he was kind.

Even though he wasn't able to achieve world peace by defeating the Avengers, he was still able to begin building up that tension that our top villain was able to expound upon.

1. Baron Zemo

*This next section contains SPOILERS for Captain America: Civil War*

Our most recent addition to the MCU villain base is Helmut Zemo. He, in my personal opinion, is the best villain we have seen so far.


The man is smart. He, unlike these other villains, knew he couldn't beat the Avengers. Physically, he can't, and he knew this. He didn't even try to. Instead, he attacked from a different angle.

He attacked them psychologically. He pitted them against each other. He expounded upon the turmoil that was built up from the Sokovia Accords. He played his cards right to help strengthen the wall between Stark and Rogers.

He was able to accomplish, to a certain extent, what he set out to do.

I knew I couldn't kill them. More powerful men than me have tried. But if I could get them to kill each other...

*SPOILER for Captain America: Civil War*

He was able to break up the Avengers. The original Avengers are no more. Will they all remain friends and work together again? Most likely, but as of right now, the Avengers have been destroyed. Trust has been broken, and friendships have fallen.

With what Zemo was able to do, he became one of Marvel's best villains so far. This is why I have him at the top. No one has been able to accomplish what he did in Captain America: Civil War.

Isn't there one more you are forgetting?

Ah yes, the illustrious Thanos.

No, I have not forgotten Marvel's biggest villain. The reason he isn't on my list yet is because we haven't really seen him in action. He has played his game of chess up in space, moving his various pieces, but he hasn't been the primary villain in any of the movies yet.

However, I am SUPER excited about what is coming. With the little end scene we got from Avengers: Age of Ultron, big things are on the way, and one of those things is Thanos. I believe we will see him again in the movies leading up to the Infinity War movies, but his true power might not be made known until then.


Who do you think is Marvel's best villain?


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