2018 has been an amazing start for all things nerd. Movies, T.V, anime and video games seem to be at an all time high in terms of popularity among the masses (and shows no sign of slowing down). One of the biggest narratives in the “nerd realm” this year has been the Marvel Cinemtic Universe. February saw the release of the highly anticipated Black Panther film which has been critically acclaimed for treading new landscape not only in the superhero genre, but in the film industry as a whole. Originally scheduled for a May release date, Avengers Infinity War is also set to assemble in theaters this year on April 27th. This next Avengers movie may be the most anticipated film of the decade, which is said to be a culmination of the entire MCU to date as our heroes finally face The Mad Titan, Thanos. Ant-Man and The Wasp is also set to hit theaters this year in July, and seems to be following in the same comedic footsteps as its predecessor.
All of this is very exciting, but 2018 also marks the 10 year anniversary of the MCU, starting all the way back with Robert Downey Jr’s Iron Man in 2008. Since Infinity War is coming (very soon) I’ll list my 5 favorite MCU villains of the last 10 years, ranked worst to best.
5. Ultron (Avengers: Age of Ultron)
Coming in at number 5 on the list is Ultron, voiced brilliantly by the great James Spader. In my opinion Ultron has one of the most clever origin stories, where he basically serves as the physical manifestation of Tony Stark and Bruce Banner’s arrogance (and genius). With Loki’s newly recovered Scepter (aka the Mind Stone) from the first Avengers movie, Tony and Bruce attempt to use it to jump start the Ultron global peacekeeping program, which would basically be a robot that serves as Earth’s defense against intergalactic threats, allowing the heroes to retire. Things go wrong when Ultron figures that the only way to save the planet, is to kill every human being on Earth (might have a point there), leaving us extinct. He then attempts to pick up a whole city, and drop it on the Earth’s surface to cause global destruction. Oh and he kills Quicksilver.
4. Killmonger (Black Panther)
Arguably the best villain the MCU has seen in it’s 10 years of existence. Potrayed beautifully by actor Michael B Jordan, Killmonger is easily the most relatable, and colorful comic book villain to ever grace the big screen. From his tragic backstory growing up in Oakland, CA to his rise as the new King of Wakanda, Killmonger strikes the perfect balance between brains and charm, and can at times be outright terrifying. His intentions leave you almost rooting for him, and in my opinion has one of the best reasons for becoming a villain. The only reason he isnt higher up on this list is because he unfortunately has only been in one movie, and may not return for another 🙁 .
3. Ego (Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 2)
Locking up the 3rd spot on the list in none other than Ego, The Living Planet. Not much was known about Starlord’s father up until Guardians 2, and maybe it was best left unknown to the protagonist. The reconnection between Peter Quill and his long lost father is an emotional one, quickly reminding you that Quill has suffered great trauma with the absence of his father even going as far as to play traditional catch with Ego. The meeting quickly sours and turns into an emotional rollercoaster when its revealed that Ego wanted nothing more than to use Peter to fufill his “expansion” goal. If that wasnt enough to get you to hate him, he also reveals that he was the one who implanted the cancer that killed Starlord’s mother, which may be the biggest jaw dropper of the MCU to date.
2. The Vulture (Spiderman: Homecoming)
The 2nd spot on this list belongs to a villain of my favorite super hero, Adrian Toomes aka The Vulture (played by the goat Michael Keaton). I actually prefer this version of him as opposed to his comic book counterpart, which is often NOT the case with super hero movies. We find Toomes working as the leader of a salvage company cleaning up the destruction and debris left in the wake of the Avengers’ Fight for New York against the Chitauri invasion. Toomes and his crew are eventually relieved of their duties by a rival salvage company, owned by none other than Tony Stark. Toomes needing the money to provide for his family, steals some alien technology from the leftover waste and with his crew begin manufacturing weapons to steal from the more fortunate. The big twist of the movie comes when Peter Parker arrives at his dates house for the Homecoming school dance, and The Vulture answers the door (as he is the father of Spidey’s date). This scene gives us a strong emotional connection with the main antagonist as we see him in a very vulnerable state being a loving husband and a very involved father. Even though The Vultures intentions arent to take over the world, the contrast of him being a family man and a villain isenough to win audiences over.
1. Loki (Thor, Thor: The Dark World, Thor Ragnarok, Avengers, Avengers I.W)
Loki may be the most charismatic, entertaining and consistent comic book movie villain of all time. Appearing in (soon to be) 5 MCU films, Loki has made the most appearances by a villain and each one builds upon the character’s arc. Starting out as nothing more than a jealous step brother to Thor and step son to Odin, Loki’s scope and intentions soon grow as he joined forces with The Other, and The mad Titan Thanos to seize control of Earth with a Chitauri army. We then seen Loki flip flopping back and forth between anti-hero and villain as he helps Thor fight the Dark Elves in Thor 2, and helps Thor escape Sakar and stop Ragnarok from happening in Thor 3. Avengers Infinity War is right around the corner, and its safe to assume that Loki will relapse with the dark side once more when Thanos shows up for his Stones.