Captain America is forced to turn against his own corrupt government when his old pal Bucky turns up as a brainwashed supersoldier. The Guardians of the Galaxy are a bunch of alien ne-er-do-wells who have trouble with a purple McGuffin and the alien warlord Thanos, and we also meet petty criminal Scott Lang, who inherits shrinking technology and becomes Ant-Man. But neither the Guardians nor Ant-Man have anything to do with the Avengers, who team up again to take down the cyber-consciousness Ultron, wrecking the country of Sokovia in the process.
The Big One. The Phases to end all Phases, until Phase 4. We meet Doctor Strange. He's a surgeon who can do magic, and his real name actually is Doctor Strange. From the scale of it and the size of the cast you might think this is Avengers 3 , by the way, but it isn't.
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Cap's guys are variously captured or go into hiding, while Thor and Hulk are busy battling Thor's sister, the goddess of death. They win, but fall foul of Thanos at the end that guy again! The Guardians have more fun in space unconnected to anything else, until they meet up with Thor. Everyone we have mentioned so far apart from Thanos teams up against Thanos, who is collecting all the McGuffins in order to wipe out half of all life in the universe for ill-considered reasons. Captain Marvel crash-lands on Earth in the s, meets Nick Fury and gives him a pager "for emergencies only", stops a Kree invasion and befriends the Skrulls.
The remaining Avengers band together five years after the Snap to go on a time travel heist in order to undo the Snap and bring everyone back. They're successful, but Thanos decides to cause some mayhem, leading Tony Stark to sacrifice himself to defeat the Mad Titan once and for all. Black Widow dies too and Captain America gets super old. Eight months later, Peter Parker is trying to deal with the death of his mentor and have a European vacation. Fury doesn't let him though and teams him up with Mysterio to defeat the Elementals — only problem is that Mysterio is behind it all.
In Jim Steranko began to write and draw stories featuring secret agent Nick Fury in the anthology book Strange Tales. Steranko was influenced in his work by James Bond films and the psychedelic and Op art movements, and the resulting stories melded groundbreaking visuals with equally innovative storytelling techniques. In Mark Gruenwald started a critically acclaimed year run as the writer of Captain America.
Four years later MacFarlane and a number of other popular artists, including Jim Lee, Erik Larsen, and Rob Liefeld, left Marvel to found rival Image Comics, a company that allowed creators to retain the copyrights of their characters. The s saw the emergence of another new wave of talent, with writer Matt Fraction and artist David Aja turning in a visually arresting run on Hawkeye , longtime Spider-Man writer Dan Slott teaming with artist Mike Allred for a bold take on a classic character in Silver Surfer , and writer G. Willow Wilson and artist Adrian Alphona breaking new ground with their critically acclaimed Ms.
Those films differed from prior efforts to translate comics to the big screen in that they were set in a single shared world. The Marvel Cinematic Universe, as it came to be known, grew into one of the most lucrative franchises in film history.
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Its success spawned a wave of television programs, beginning with Agents of S. In an agreement between Disney and Sony brought Spider-Man who had previously appeared only in Sony-produced films into the shared universe; the character would subsequently be available for use by both studios.
Marvel Comics. Article Media. Info Print Print. Table Of Contents. Submit Feedback. Thank you for your feedback. Introduction Corporate history The Marvel universe. That's about it for Topaz, but it still makes her more interesting than all the men before her on this list. He looks like, I dunno, an evil elf? And he growls a lot. Marvel Studios' very first villain is essentially a standard Middle Eastern terrorist proxy for Osama bin Laden — he's like bad guy training wheels for the far more outlandish malefactors to come.
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He's brash, reckless, a pretty terrible shot, and kinda dumb i. So, even though Toomes accidentally allegedly vaporizes him, the guy pretty much had it coming. This tough, no-nonsense sharpshooter doesn't care for Carol Danvers' plucky, can-do charm and happily keeps the truth of Carol's origins a secret from her. Plus, she calls Earth a "shithole" — which, fair. She's the only member of Yon-Rogg's morally bankrupt Starforce that makes any kind of impression, but she's on screen so briefly that she can't do much more than clear that low bar.
Great hair, though. In Homecoming , he's a generic criminal who's around just long enough to have his face messed up during Spidey's confrontation with Vulture on the Staten Island Ferry which Gargan seemingly blames Spidey for, even though Vulture's the one who really causes that gnarly scar across his eye. Eye-based scars are obviously the most villainous scars — but since, according to the comics, this dude is destined to become Scorpion and maybe Venom , we'll just have to wait to see what nefarious plans he actually has in store for our Spidey.
That's pretty villainous. Kretschmann brings a playful twinkle to the role, but, yeah, this guy is the definition of underwhelming. Because Corey Stoll is such a strong actor, Ant-Man 's central villain makes more of an impact that he deserves to — other than whining all the time about why Hank Pym won't be nice to him or whatever, the guy doesn't actually do much of anything. Sure, he has evil plans , and that Yellowjacket suit manages to be scary instead of mildly ridiculous, but other than threatening a child in her own bedroom, the guy is basically just all talk. Ghost has all she needs to be a great villain: Her unstable molecular structure lets her phase-shift through solid objects.
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Her stakes in the story are deeply personal. And her outfit makes her look like the version of a Star Wars bounty hunter — a high nerd compliment. And yet Ghost ends up mostly a bore: Her powers are only employed as a one-note parlor trick, and her fury toward Hank Pym and his family becomes tedious. A cool outfit can only do so much! Granted, he basically had nothing to do with making that happen, since Thor was just using him to defeat Hela — an even worse, more powerful villain.
Still: He's made of fire and has zero chill. More terrible puns! As a visual, Extremis is creepy-cool to look at. As a character trait, it makes people into amoral jerks who get off on violence. Which is a decent attribute for a lackey, but it doesn't make that lackey all that memorable. Savin gets more screen time than his Extremis-y counterpart Brandt, and he likes to chew gum a lot, a telltale sign of cinematic villainy. Therefore, he is slightly more evil. It's math.
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The master of the Dark Dimension is one of the most powerful and formidable villains in the Marvel Comics. But in his first appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he's not much more than a massive disembodied head with an oddly passive drive to take over Earth. Granted, Dormammu is a really cool -looking disembodied head, and he's voiced by Cumberbatch's singular baritone growl. But the best thing about the character — i. Blonsky is a noncharacter.
We gather he used to be a hot shit soldier, but he's leaping at the chance to be injected with super-soldier serum before we barely even know the guy. So, when he transforms into the Abomination, it's like, Uh, sure, why not? And frankly, the Abomination has more personality, though not by much. At least his name is well-earned — that thing looks terrifying. One of the more wishy-washy villains in the MCU, Skurge forsakes his people to become Hela's executioner, which shouldn't be all that surprising given his penchant for pilfering from the nine realms and his obsession with Earth-bound firearms.
His last-minute sacrificial change of heart is certainly noble, but, like, it comes after he just stood there while Hela decimated just about every soldier in Asgard. The guy just has a problem committing. One of the oldest members of Spider-Man's comic book rogue gallery makes a subdued debut in Homecoming , slapping together alien and human technology to keep Toomes' criminal enterprise in business.
This Tinkerer really only cares about his gadgets, indifferent to how they might be used Until Winter Soldier , we thought Sitwell was one of the good guys, a stalwart S. So discovering he's been a Hydra weasel all along feels like a bracing slap in the face in a good way! Oh well.
Great to see him pop up in Endgame , though! This Hydra weasel has even less total screen time than Sitwell, but at least he actually does something villainous — i. Abraham Erskine — before taking his own life with a cyanide capsule. Also, a double-breasted suit and a vest? Even in the s, that's evil. The most villainous moment in Schultz's young career as an MCU villain comes when he nonchalantly picks up his Shocker gloves after Toomes zaps them off of Jackson's body.
Like, he's standing over the smoldering ashes of his compatriot, and his immediate thought seems to be Yay, mine now! Schultz also seems to relish beating the crap out of Spider-Man, but that's kind of his job as a bad guy, and he ends up bested by Peter's BFF, Ned, which has got to be embarrassing down at the local bad guy watering hole. In the comics, Yon-Rogg is one of Carol Danvers' mortal enemies, which is why Marvel Studios kept the name of Jude Law's character a secret to preserve the twist that he — rather than Ben Mendelsohn's delightful alien refugee, Talos — is the movie's main villain.
But in their first scene together, Yon-Rogg is already negging Carol for feeling her feelings, which doesn't exactly build our trust in him as a good guy. It all adds up to a mishmash of a character who can get it as a hot dad, but never quite feels evil enough to be Carol's equal. Though maybe that's the point? We'll have to wait and see if he gets worse in the sequel!
Also a brief appearance in Avengers: Endgame. Hurt is never not interesting, but the character is so all over the place that there's not much there for him to play. In Civil War , Ross has been inexplicably promoted to Secretary of State, and his sense of morality has grown even murkier: The logic of taking the Avengers to task certainly makes sense given all the collateral damage they've inflicted on the world, but by the end, Ross is holed up on a submerged super-max prison, wearing a sleek Bond villain jacket and coming off as vaguely sinister as he holds Cap's rebel Avengers prisoner.
You get the sense that Ross thinks he's a good guy, but secretly wants to be a bad guy. Make up your damn mind, man! Still, points to Marvel Studios for figuring out a savvy way to reuse a character from the one MCU movie pretty much everyone wishes didn't exist. Still, the most unsettling moment Foster has in the whole movie is when he appears in a flashback, and suddenly an uncannily young Laurence Fishburne is staring back at us on the screen.
And not in a good way! His look in Guardians of the Galaxy certainly makes a strong impression, and thanks to Lee Pace's keen sense of theatricality, Ronan holds our attention far more than those Dark Elves and Frost Giants pestering Asgard. But he is, once again, a one-note bad guy, all explosive genocidal rage with zero sense as to what makes him tick — and his cameo in Captain Marvel doesn't shed any additional light on the character. One of the very few female villains on this list, Hansen falls into bad behavior that is also the most human — she desperately wants to advance in her field, and just loses her way in the process.
In the end, she feebly tries to redeem herself, and is gunned down for her troubles. Garry Shandling's cameo as a weasel-y U. And the sight of the late, great Shandling whispering "Hail Hydra" is one of the many bright spots of The Winter Soldier. He's Taserface! His name is what strikes fear in all those who hear it! Kind of. OK, not really. But he does murder all of those Ravagers in a mutiny, which is pretty bad.
Taserface, everybody! Zola's vigor for serving Hydra's aims of world domination, even as those aims terrify him, make for a welcome murky presence in the otherwise morally cut-and-dried first Captain America movie. And Toby Jones, bless him, was born to play the scientist lackey of a super villain. With barely any screen time, an unrecognizable Alexis Denisof imbues Thanos's underling with a sinister, spider-y malevolence — and unlike Thanos himself, he actually carries out some evildoing before Ronan breaks his neck.
Plus, that extra thumb is damn creepy. The disgraced former disciple of the Ancient One is a nihilistic zealot driven by a boilerplate disregard for humanity and a fuzzy desire to escape the ravages of time. Kaecilius, in fact, might feel like just an empty shortcut to explicating Stephen Strange's personal failings were he not played by Mikkelsen, who has become something of an expert in imbuing creepy soulfulness into iconic villains.
Also, for a universe filled with evildoers, this is one of the few MCU rogues who actually kills one of the lead characters. Samuel Sterns is Marvel Studios' most insidiously amoral "scientist. In that moment, Sterns also appeared to be transforming into the giant-brained Leader , the scientist's ultimate fate in the comics.
But since The Incredible Hulk never spawned a sequel, he'll forever be caught in comic book movie limbo. Zemo sets a plan in motion to tear the Avengers apart, and unlike almost every other villain on this list, his plan actually succeeds. The fact that he also survives to the end of the film suggests that he may still live up to his far more outlandish comic book namesake.