By Stephen Ippolito | May 27th, 2020
After counting down my least favorite villains in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s now time for my favorite ones. In last week’s rankings there were really only 3 who stood out. With this top 5 however, the MCU has been fortunate enough to have more good villains than bad ones, so it was a lot tougher to choose. Without further of due, here are my top 5 favorite villains in the MCU.
5. Winter Soldier (Captain America: The Winter Soldier)
One of my favorite MCU films, if not my favorite, is Captain America: Winter Soldier. The story and action blew away the first Captain America film by far. My favorite character in the movie was the Winter Soldier (AKA Bucky Barnes), who was played by actor Sebastian Stan.
The brainwashed Barnes was not a guy you would want to mess with. With enhanced abilities and equipped with a metal arm, he can go toe to toe with Captain America. One of my favorite action scenes in all of the MCU is him having a brutal and fast pace street fight with Cap. After the film, Barnes breaks out of being brainwashed, and later fights along with the Avengers.
4. Loki (Thor, The Avengers)
Tom Hiddleston’s Loki was the MCU’s first great villain. His trickery and charismatic skills made him stand out during Phase 1. Like in the comics, he was the first villain that the Avengers faced, and he did not fail to disappoint. The low point of his evilness came when he murdered Phil Coulson right in front of Thor during The Avengers.
After Phase 1, Loki’s character went through somewhat of a change, which is why I don’t have him higher on this list. He would fight alongside Thor on occasions. Of course, Odinson always knew that Loki could turn on him, which he usually did. One of the things I’m excited about in Phase 4 is his series that will stream on Disney+.
3. Erik “Killmonger” Stevens (Black Panther)
I loved Michael B. Jordan’s portrayal of Erik “Killmonger” Stevens in Black Panther. His character was ruthless, smart, and determined to become the king of Wakanda, which he did. The ritual combat scene where he faces T’Challa is probably the most badass scene a villain has ever had in the MCU. During it he taunts T’Challa with “is this your king” line and then throws him off the cliff.
I also liked Stevens because while I didn’t agree with the execution of his masterplan, I did agree with what he wanted out of it. Which was for Wakanda to help people around the globe that were less fortunate than them. In the end, T’Challa also agreed with him because he set up outreach center’s throughout the world. This is something Wankanda’s leadership had always been against.
2. Hela (Thor: Ragnarok)
Hela in Thor: Ragnarok really scared me when she made her entrance into the MCU. Right off the bat, she showed just exactly how powerful she was by destroying Mjölnir. She then followed that up by killing the Warriors 3 and slaying all of Asgard’s army. In terms of making an entrance, no villain has done it like Hela did.
As the Goddess of death, she is one of the most powerful villains in the MCU. With the ability to manifest weapons from her body, she drives up her kill count to unthinkable numbers. She’s so strong that she dispatched Thor multiple times, even after he learns to use his lightning powers. Hela, no question is my second favorite villain to ever hit the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
1.Thanos (Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame)
Did you actually think that anybody other than the Mad Titan could be my top choice for favorite villain? Thanos has become popular that he is now being described as this generation’s Darth Vader. He was such a good villain that one of my biggest fears with the MCU going forward is that they will not be able to replace him.
In terms of qualifications, he really has it all. He can take down anyone physically in the MCU, which includes the Hulk. He’s ruthless enough to kill his stepdaughter just so he can acquire an Infinity Stone. And he’s determined enough to actually accomplish his goal, which was to wipe half of all life in the universe. All these reasons are why I have him as my favorite villain in the MCU.