noun. A wicked or evil person.
noun. A person who is tricked, swindled, or taken advantage of.
In light of the release of Marvel’s latest hit Guardians of the Galaxy, and the end of Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe approaching (Age of Ultron will be the last), it feels like a good moment to make a look back at MCU’s villains.
Because let’s face it: we all love villains (and some of us want to play one someday).
- Obadiah Stane
The villain of the first Iron Man film & the first Iron Monger in comicverse (& possibly the only one we will see on the big screen). In the film he is presented as Howard Stark’s business partner and Tony’s mentor after Howard’s death. It is later revealed that he arranged for Tony to be kidnapped and killed by the Ten Rings terrorist group so he could take full control of Stark Industries. You know the rest of the story.
Obadiah is an ambitious, vengeful man who wanted to take control over Stark Industries, even if that meant getting rid of Tony. He dies during the Chaos War storyline and Simon Steele takes his place as Iron Monger.
- Ivan Vanko/Whiplash
The Russian physicist and ex-convict, played by Mickey Rourke, who builds his own arc reactor-based weapon to get his revenge on the Stark family.
This character was a combination of Whiplash and Crimson Dynamo, both villains from Marvel comics. The newest Whiplash in comicverse, Anton Vanko, is based on Rourke’s version of the character, because he’s awesome like that.
- Red Skull
The Nazi agent/archenemy of Captain America. This might be the Marvel villain I fear the most. In fact, the Red Skull was ranked number 21 on Wizard Magazine’s Top 100 Greatest Villains Ever List, so yeah, big deal right here.
He was portrayed by Hugo Weaving, one of our geek lords, on Captain America: the First Avenger.
Red Skull, born Johann Schmidt, was a confidant of Adolf Hitler and was closely affiliated with Hydra. Some of his abilities include being a skilled hand-to-hand combat, strategic genius and political mastermind, and he managed to clone Captain America including the Super-Soldier serum.
Can you see why this one terrifies me?
Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without the one and only son of Laufey, Loki.
Portrayed by one of my personal favourites, Tom Hiddleston, Loki is the adopted son of Odin and Frigga. Best known as the God of Mischief, he is super mega jealous of his step-brother, Thor, and desires the throne of Asgard more than anything; and he is willing to do anything to get it.
Unlike Thor, Loki is thoughtful, manipulating and a great tactician. He is also a skilled magician: he can create illusions, copy himself and alter his appearance, as seen in Thor: The Dark World (I still get chills when I watch the end of that film!)
Created by Stan Lee, the Mandarin is a genius scientist and superhumanly skilled martial artist. His primary sources of power are ten power rings adapted from the alien technology he took from a crashed space ship.
Sadly, we didn’t get to see that greatness on the big screen; as you might or might not remember, on Iron Man 3 he was shown as the public leader of the Ten Rings terrorist cell to be later revealed as a fictional character invented by Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) and played by an actor called Trevor Slattery (Ben Kingsley).
Oh well, at least we laughed.
Malekith the Accursed, ruler of the Dark Elves of Svartalfheim and villain of the second Thor film, is played by one of our geek lords, Christopher Eccleston.
The abilities of this dark elf include superhuman strength, speed, agility, stamina, durability and magic ability to summon The Wild Hunt. He also has the ability to make you run for your life if you come across him.
- Alexander Pierce
Bow to king Robert Redford who played Alexander Pierce on Captain America: Winter Soldier.
Pierce was the head of the World Security Council and leader within SHIELD before it was revealed that he was the mastermind behind HYDRA and its operations within SHIELD.
Not only was he heavily involved with HYDRA and the manipulation of the Winter Soldier, but he also betrayed his friend, SHIELD’s Director, Nick Fury.
His last words were “Hail Hydra”. Traitor until the end.
The latest addition to the MCU: Ronan the Accuser, played by one of my favourites: Lee Pace.
This kree radical agrees to get one of the infinity gems for Thanos in exchange of him eradicating his mortal enemies: the Xandarians. But of course, there had to be some betrayal right there.
I won’t say more because I don’t want to spoil anything to those who haven’t watched Guardians of the Galaxy yet, but I’m 90% sure you will love him.
I mean, it’s Lee Pace playing a bad guy, what’s not to love?
So far, we’ve seen about 50 seconds of him, but he is going to be an important piece in future MCU films.
This guy right here wants the infinity gems so he can destroy the universe and he just won’t stop until he gets them. I mean, he even used Ronan to get the purple gem!
The infinity gems shown on the MCU so far are the tesseract, the aether and the orb or power stone from Guardians of the Galaxy. We have to wait a bit longer (and by ‘a bit’ I mean ‘until April’) to see if more of these stones will be revealed, first in Age of Ultron and then on Captain America 3.
So far these have been our main villains in the Marvel Cinematic Universe; some have become more popular thanks to the incredible portrayals (example given: Loki and Tom Hiddleston) and some others still have to wait a bit longer to truly show their power (I have faith in you, Thanos).
Are you ready to see which villains Marvel’s Phase 3 will bring?
And just to be sure it’s clear: the Winter Soldier is not a villain, he is a victim.
All right then.