The Marvel Cinematic Universe is the biggest cinematic universe in history and is only getting bigger. The over-arching story-line of the films is so big that they are broken down into phases, 3 so far. With a total of 20 films currently released there has been no shortage of villains to pluck from the comics, and in these posts I will be giving you a ranking of them all, phase by phase. Of course there are films have more than 1 villain, but I’m going with the bad guy who gets hands on with the hero. So let’s start with Phase 1:
5. Emil Blonsky (Abomination) – The Incredible Hulk
Yes, The Incredible Hulk is part of the MCU but you’d be forgiven for not knowing. So it comes as no surprise that the villain of this forgotten entry falls to the bottom of the list. There isn’t much to care about when it came to Tim Roth’s portrayal of Abomination; he was the obvious choice for Hulk’s first villain as he helps show the destruction that can be caused by the “enormous green rage monster.”
4. Ivan Vanko (Whiplash) – Iron Man 2
Another forgettable villain arose in the shape of Mickey Rourke’s Whiplash.
He just vanted his burd. There was nothing exciting about Whiplash; the character was boring and didn’t even look that villainous. It’s no surprise that with such a weak villain Iron Man 2 is not looked back on with fond memories.
3. Obadiah Stane (Iron Monger) – Iron Man
As the first villain in the MCU, Iron Monger needed to deliver and having Jeff Bridges in the role was perfect. He was a believable villain in his quest to take over Stark Industries and his villainy came from more than just his suit of armor, it came from the power his resources and intelligence held which made for the perfect threat to Tony Stark.
2. Johann Schmidt (Red Skull) – Captain America: The First Avenger
At first glance, Red Skull should be a lackluster villain. An evil ex-Nazi trying to take over the world, very cliche. But Hugo Weaving’s performance makes this character one of the more memorable villains to grace the MCU. Weaving alone helped make Captain America a better film. He was the perfect poison for the straight and true national hero to take on in his first film and helped us understand exactly who Captain America is.
1. Loki – Thor & Avengers
I don’t think anybody will be disagreeing with me on this one. There has not been a more complex villain in the Marvel films and nor has any been more beloved than the God of Mischief. His story in the first Thor could lead the story of many films on its own. Loki was crucial to the success of Marvel’s master plan, Avengers, as they needed a credible threat who could stand up to the combined might of the heroes. By the end of Avengers, Tom Hiddleston had cemented his place as a favourite character, not just a villain, for many of us.
I think this phase is going to be the easiest to rank of the 3. Loki is the most beloved villain in the entire MCU making him the obvious holder for first place. You could argue that Whiplash and Abomination could swap places and I wouldn’t disagree, they’re both awful. But how would you rank the Phase 1 villains? Let me know!