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All 58 MCU Villains, Ranked

Ah. What a glorious purpose.

Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania is officially in theaters! That means we have been officially introduced to our next big bad of the MCU. Kang the Conqueror is here, so we have to update my ranking of the MCU villains. I didn't do this ranking last year, so this has been updated with every villain since Spider-Man: No Way Home. There are links to navigate if you want to look at a specific villain because this ranking is enormous. Enjoy!

58. Todd Phelps / HulkKing

She-Hulk decided to save its final villain as a big twist reveal. I thought it was going to be The Leader. Instead, it was this incredibly annoying idiot who is essentially an internet troll. The finale of She-Hulk acknowledges that this plotline is bad and makes no sense, so then it just skips over it. This villain was awful. One of the worst villains in a TV show ever. He was annoying and didn't even really pose a threat to our hero. Like the rest of She-Hulk, I was just rolling my eyes at this.

57. Malekith the Accursed

Malekith is so insanely forgettable and generic. I cannot tell you a single thing about this character except for the fact that he has a strange obsession with darkness. They tried to make Thor: The Dark World into more of a fantasy epic by spending most of the movie on Asgard and having the Dark Elves be the villains, but Malekith is such a lame villain that he brings down this whole movie. Not good at all.

56. Trevor Slattery / The Mandarin

This one is painful, because I was digging the Mandarin for the first half of Iron Man 3. Ben Kingsley's version of the master of the Ten Rings was intimidating and disturbing. He has some great lines, whether it's "Some people call me a terrorist. I consider myself a teacher." or "You don't know who I am. You don't know where I am. And you'll never see me coming.". He posed such a huge threat...and then they reveal that he's a doofus actor. It was such a disappointing twist made worse by his appearance in Shang-Chi, which way overstays its welcome. I hate this character. He's awesome...and then awful.

55. The Dweller-in-Darkness

The Dweller-in-Darkness is a horrible final villain for Shang-Chi. This film was mostly about the broken relationship between a father and a son, but then they decide to bring in these two dragon-like creatures for an epic final battle that becomes the worst of CGI noise. It felt like the MCU needing to be the MCU, so they decided they needed a big CGI boss fight at the end, but it just ruins Shang-Chi entirely for me.

54. Agent Sadie Deever

The Department of Damage Control had an extremely strange usage in Ms. Marvel, and I think that takes away from them. There's an interesting idea at the center of this organization, where they try to keep superhumans in check and make sure they aren't causing tons of damage, and some agents (like Sadie Deever) are more extreme than others. However, they stop focusing on the DODC for the middle parts of this show, so they're the forced villains of the finale, and Sadie Deever just comes off as a pissed off agent with no motivation. There's something interesting here, but that something was not explored.

53. Antonia Dreykov / Taskmaster

Just as disappointing as Trevor Slattery being the Mandarin is the usage of Taskmaster in Black Widow. Taskmaster is one of the coolest villains in Marvel Comics. He can copy the fighting style of any of our heroes. He taunts them because he knows he can beat them. I have no problem with them making Taskmaster female here, but she is a mind-controlled henchman that works under Dreykov. Hopefully they fix her in Thunderbolts, but as of right now, she's an extremely underwhelming usage of a great comic book character.

52. Mary MacPherran / Titania

I don't even know why she's on this list, because Titania is barely a villain. She doesn't do anything. She breaks into a court in the first episode for no reason. Then she sues Jennifer for using the name She-Hulk. Then they have a fight. And that's it. She's a social media influencer with super powers. She looks goofy. She acts goofy. She isn't in the show for a good reason. And she doesn't really do anything that villainous. Like the rest of She-Hulk, Titania is terrible.

51. Najma

This is another character in Ms. Marvel that just didn't really get proper development. First off, I think it's strange that this is an original character. I don't like it when Marvel creates original characters to be main villains, so I don't like Najma off the bat. Secondly, they never really give her the depth or development that they need for us to understand her side or sympathize with her. She wants to get home, but that doesn't merit the extreme measures that she takes to go there. I don't really like this character, and I think she's one of the weakest parts of Ms. Marvel.

50. General Dreykov

Another original character, General Dreykov is a bad antagonist for an unnecessary movie. If Black Widow was to do nothing else, it just needed to give us an awesome villain in Taskmaster. But, instead, Taskmaster is a henchman and this nasal-voiced idiot is our big bad. Dreykov is another one that just feels underdeveloped. I don't really know why he wants to have all of these Black Widow fighters except for the fact that he wants power. Which is the motivation of every single villain in every single movie ever.

49. Sonny Burch

Sonny Burch is an extremely mediocre character, but I've actually warmed up to him a little bit. Now, don't get me wrong, I still don't really like him, but having a street-level arms dealer be a major antagonist in Ant-Man and the Wasp is kind of cool. Walton Goggins has a magnetic personality that makes this character fun. He's very shallow and not that interesting, but I don't hate him.

48. Ronan the Accuser

Part of the reason I don't love Guardians of the Galaxy is Ronan. I think Ronan is a pretty bad use of a cool character from the comics. This guy works for Thanos. That's significant, because Guardians of the Galaxy is the first time we really spend time with Thanos and get to understand him, and we do that through Ronan. Sadly, he just comes off as a generic space conqueror that likes his big hammer. Waste.

47. Ivan Vanko / Whiplash

There's something very interesting and compelling at Whiplash's core, because his family history is heavily tied to the Starks. However, all of that goes unexplored and he just sits in a science lab complaining about his bird for nearly all of Iron Man 2. Mickey Rourke's portrayal isn't exactly what you'd want, and Iron Man 2 has so many plotlines that it loses track of Whiplash's character very early in the film, so he just ends up being forgotten and then re-appears with a more advanced suit in the finale so that Iron Man and War Machine can fight him. Not a very good villain.

46. Aldrich Killian / The Mandarin

The second of three Mandarins on this list, Aldrich Killian is the disappointing replacement for Ben Kingsley's lame iteration. Killian claims to be the mastermind behind the Mandarin, and he is, but that doesn't make him the real Mandarin. He's a fire-breathing techno-genius that founded AIM. He has scorn for Tony Stark because he was once a big fan of his and Tony duped him. This motivation is sad, but I don't think it merits the lengths that Killian goes. For overtaking the Mandarin as the true villain of Iron Man 3, Killian is a pretty lame and underwhelming replacement.

45. Yon-Rogg

Yon-Rogg is another one who isn't as compelling as the true villains of Captain Marvel may have been. I like the subversive twist that the Skrulls are actually the good guys and the Kree are the villains, but I don't think Yon-Rogg is that compelling of a character. It's cool that he actually cares about Captain Marvel and stuff, but besides that, he doesn't have much going for him.

44. Ikaris

I don't like Eternals and I don't like Ikaris. I don't really understand his motivation for turning on his entire family. He's always been loyal to the Eternals, but he's all of the sudden willing to kill them because he's actually loyal to the Celestials? That doesn't seem right. Like a lot of characters on this bottom part, Ikaris needed more time to develop. There are a lot of characters in Eternals, and none of them get the proper work they deserve, so I don't really like most of them. Ikaris included.

43. Justin Hammer

Justin Hammer is fun. He's not a great villain. He's not a great character. But Sam Rockwell does such a good job of being this second-rate Tony Stark. Now, I don't think his purpose in the story is anything to go crazy over, but I just enjoy his personality and his character setup. He's in the same position as Tony Stark, but he just isn't as smart as him, so he tries to cheat to be better than him. That's a fun setup for a character that unfortunately isn't executed very well, but I think this character could come back in Armor Wars and be kind of awesome.

42. Emil Blonsky / Abomination

Abomination is a character that was almost great. They almost nailed him in She-Hulk for a second there. They hint at some things towards his character that I think would've made him very compelling, but instead, they settle for him being this ultra-goofy cartoon of a character that I was not a fan of. I've never minded him in The Incredible Hulk. I think he's underutilized and underdeveloped and comes off generic in the finale, but there's a lot of interesting routes you can take this character that, unfortunately, the MCU has not.

41. Karli Morgenthau / Flag-Smasher

Karli was the weakest part of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. She was almost like a C-tier Killmonger. She tries to fit into the "good-hearted" villain archetype, but the way it plays out, it doesn't really work. They don't give her nuance or make her balanced enough to be as compelling and complex as Killmonger, and so she just comes off as a bad attempt at a sympathetic villain.

40. Ava Starr / Ghost

Ghost is the definition of a forgettable character. Ant-Man and the Wasp is fun, but the highlights of that movie are not the compelling storyline and complex villain. Hannah John-Kamen isn't very good in this role, and the character simply isn't developed enough to be interesting. There are some cool ideas in here with her being in constant pain because of her powers and her eventual redemption, but none of it is enough to say I like this character.

39. Surtur

I don't really think Surtur is that bad of a villain, because he isn't supposed to be anything more than a gigantic fire monster that causes Ragnarok. He's only really in two scenes and used as more of a plot device than an actual character, but they did a good job of making him a funny, entertaining plot device that you believe could destroy Asgard. Obviously, he isn't a great character, but he's not really meant to be.

38. Verusa Bloodstone

Werewolf by Night needed an antagonist, so they made Elsa Bloodstone's stepmother the villain. And she's really not in that much, but the actress goes so crazy with this role that I had fun with her. On a character level, she's just a monster hunter that doesn't accept Jack Russell or Man-Thing and just wants to kill them because of tradition. That's not super interesting, but the performance was fun, so she's in the middle tier of this list.

37. Arishem the Judge

I love the design of Arishem, but besides that, I think everything else is pretty messy with this character. He's just a big CGI celestial that doesn't serve the plot that much. He's mostly used for exposition, and then he returns in the final minute or so of the film to kidnap Sersi and some more of the Eternals. I think he has the potential to be a good character in the future, but as of right now, he stays here.

36. Kaecilius

I've never hated Kaecilius as much as a lot of people. Part of that is due to Mads Mikkelsen. I absolutely love Mads Mikkelsen in everything that he's in, so his performance automatically just elevates this character. There's an interesting idea at the core of Kaecilius about a sorcerer who lost faith in the Ancient One so he turned to Dormammu. I wish they would've explored that more instead of making him generic and underdeveloped. I don't hate him. But he feels like wasted potential.

35. Wilson Fisk / Kingpin

If I am taking Daredevil into account, he'd probably be in the top five. But I'm not. At least not yet. Kingpin's inclusion in Hawkeye was extremely fun and I love that it ties the Marvel Netflix shows into the main MCU, but I thought his actual usage in the finale was a little bit underwhelming. For starters, we never see him interact with Clint Barton. He isn't really given a ton of screen time. And then he "dies". I'm sure once we see him in Echo and in Born Again, he will shoot up this list. But, for right now, he stays here.

34. Director Tyler Hayward

Tyler Hayward is this high because of his motivations. I love that he doesn't trust superheroes and the world anymore after the snap and return. The implications of Infinity War and Endgame are obviously going to be very present in phase four. He is the quintessential a-hole, but his being an a-hole makes sense. I think they took him a little bit too far in the finale where he just randomly pulls out a gun and tries to shoot children, so that knocks him back a bit, but I think he's a solid secondary antagonist for WandaVision.

33. Dormammu

The Dormammu scene in Doctor Strange is one of the best scenes in the MCU. It does a great job of paying off something that was setup earlier in the film. It makes me like this character a lot more. I'd love to see him come back, because he only got one scene...which is also why he's not higher on the list. I think the ruler of the Dark Dimension would be best served to be the villain of a third Doctor Strange film, so I have my fingers crossed.

32. Maya Lopez / Echo

Meh. The definition of meh. Besides being deaf, Echo doesn't have much to define her character. She's mad at Hawkeye because when he was depressed in Endgame he killed her dad. That's basically her main reason for being a villain...which is valid. I'd be pissed if someone killed my dad. He eventually gets her to turn on Kingpin because he was the one who ordered it, but I think that was dumb. Actually, I think her whole character is kind of dumb and I'm not excited for her spin-off show.

31. Darren Cross / Yellowjacket / MODOK

Much like Kaecilius, I've never hated Yellowjacket as a lot of people do. He's almost like Iron Monger 2.0, which is a valid criticism, but I've never found that to be exactly true. I think the idea of a character who cannot impress his mentor and idol no matter how much he tries is very interesting, and I think Corey Stoll does a great job of portraying that. He's a completely different character in Quantumania, and I'm not exactly sure how I feel about him quite yet. His version of M.O.D.O.K. is the funniest part of the movie, but I don't know if it's too goofy and dumb or just so goofy and dumb that it's amazing. I have to let it sit with me a little longer.

30. Infinity Ultron

For being the main antagonist of a show that doesn't have huge implications, I really liked Infinity Ultron. He's one of the scariest villains, because he's a combination of Ultron, Vision, and Thanos, three of the most powerful characters in the MCU. His power is insane, and the threat he poses to the multiverse is super cool. I don't thin he's explored enough, because What If...? wasn't a super long show that developed all of its characters, but he was a cool villain.

29. Ebony Maw

For the first half of Infinity War, Ebony Maw is a more villainous character than Thanos. I like the way that the character is written and I think he has some cool powers. The battle in New York for the Time Stone is really cool, and he's the main reason for that. I do like that they killed him off, because I think he was a character that got just the right amount of screen time.

28. Ego

I like Ego. Actually, I don't. He's probably the villain I hate the most on this list. But I mean that as a compliment. He was crafted in a way that made you hate him so much by the end of the film, and that effect worked on me. Kurt Russell's seemingly innocent performance made him all the more terrifying.

27. Bucky Barnes / Winter Soldier

After three years of making this list, I've decided to add Bucky. Why? Because he's a legit villain in Winter Soldier. And he's pretty cool. Not only does he get some of the best action sequences in the entire MCU, but he is a seriously interesting idea for a villain. What if Captain America's best friend was brainwashed by his worst enemy? That makes for a super great dilemma that Steve has to face in Winter Soldier, and I love it. I can't put him much higher, because Bucky himself isn't even really a villain, but I really enjoy it when he is.

26. Nebula

Nebula was a legit villain before Guardians 2, so she also gets on this list. I wasn't a huge fan of her when she was a villain, but as they've explained her more and more, she becomes more and more compelling. She's such a broken person that was hated by all of her idols. Thanos hated her. Gamora hated her. She was constantly trying to live up to Gamora and impress Thanos, but never could, so he'd just torture her. This leads her to go against Gamora in Guardians but then eventually team up with her in Guardians 2 onward. She's a solid character that I think is sometimes overlooked.

25. Agatha Harkness

Agatha was an interesting villain, because she was hidden for most of the series. There was always suspicion surrounding her and that reveal with the "Agatha All Along" sequence is incredible. Kathryn Hahn was great in this role, and I'm interested to see if we'll ever see more of this character. The likelihood is we won't, but who knows? If characters don't die, then they aren't really gone.

24. General Thunderbolt Ross

I've always thought Thunderbolt Ross was a really under-appreciated villain. This man is responsible for the events of Civil War. He has always been a looked-over threat in the Marvel Universe. He's supposed to make a return in Black Widow, so that could get his character higher. He has a lot in common with Tyler Hayward, and I like both of them.

23. Ulysseus Klaue

This character is all Andy Serkis. He is so energetic and fun, while being a horrible menace at the same time. Like Ebony Maw, Klaue is more of a threat than Killmonger for the first half of Black Panther. The outlandish antics and violent outbursts that he tends to have make him one of the more memorable villains inside of the MCU.

22. Arnim Zola

I've always dug Zola. He's this creepy little scientist in First Avenger that you don't give much thought to, but then in Winter Soldier, you get the reveal that he's this mastermind that has been infiltrating SHIELD since World War II. He's the man behind the curtain. He's been pulling all the strings. He indirectly causes the Avengers to break up. That's awesome. I love how they used him in the first two Captain America movies. He's not super memorable, but I think he's a very cool villain.

21. Brock Rumlow / Crossbones

Crossbones was interesting, because they spend the first half of Winter Soldier convincing you to like him. Then you get the reveal that he's a HYDRA agent, and you suddenly hate him. After all this, Cap drops a building on him, disfiguring his face and turning him into Crossbones. He appears again at the beginning of Civil War to try and kill Cap. I just love a character who is motivated by pure hatred. And that's what Crossbones is.

20. Johann Schmidt / Red Skull

This was a pretty solid adaptation of Captain America's arch nemesis. The makeup for this character was really great, and I thought he worked well as the evil Nazi captain that he was. I think that this character is a much better version of General Ludenhorff from Wonder Woman. His return in Infinity War and Endgame is admittedly strange, but he works in First Avenger real well.

19. The Grandmaster

The Grandmaster is pure hilarity. Jeff Goldblum brings his calm and unique acting style to the MCU...and it works one hundred percent. He is hysterical and fits the vibe of Sakaar and of Ragnarok perfectly. His character may not be that interesting, but he sure is entertaining to watch.

18. Arthur Harrow

Harrow was cool. I liked that they used this religious zealot character as the main villain of Moon Knight. Ethan Hawke gives an appropriately creepy performance that has all of the menace that you want while being very quiet and reserved at the same time. I felt like they maintained that until the finale, where Harrow becomes a supervillain and starts fighting Moon Knight atop the pyramids. While I don't love that they did that, I still think he's a really good villain.

17. Obadiah Stane / Iron Monger

The first villain in the MCU still remains one of the best. Obadiah Stane is interesting, because he is inferior to Tony Stark, but he's fine with that. All he wants is to keep making weapons, which is what sets him off. The frustrated mentor became more of a trope after Iron Man, which, unfortunately, leaves this characters in the shadows more often than he deserves.

16. Wanda Maximoff / Scarlet Witch

Wanda officially makes the villain list after Multiverse of Madness. We've spent a lot of time with this character, and I think the villainous route was a good journey to take her on. She is easily the scariest Marvel villain because of her power set and because Sam Raimi showed us how terrifying he can make a witch. I love that her motivation is family and she's just really broken, but she's so powerful and so motivated that she turns evil. I don't believe for a second that she's dead, so I'm interested in seeing where they take this character in the future.

15. Namor the Sub-Mariner

Namor was one of the better parts of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. He is a manipulative, scheming character that wants the best for Talokan. He initially appears as an ally to Wakanda, but also establishes that he will turn on Shuri and attack her as soon as their relationship falls. When this inevitably happens, Tenoch Huerta turns into a very menacing and disturbing villain that will stop at nothing to protect his country. Even after the resolution of the film happens and Shuri spared him, he's still being manipulative and trying to do what's best for Talokan despite knowing he will hurt others. I'm excited to see him more in the future. He's very cool.

14. Alexander Pierce

Alexander Pierce is the most underrated MCU villain. Just because he isn't a huge name in the comics doesn't mean he can't be a great antagonist in the movies. This man is the Lex Luthor of the Marvel Universe. He is a manipulative, evil, and really, really clever director of a huge organization that has tons of power. People love Luthor, so they should also love Pierce.

13. Ultron

I've never understood the complaints for Ultron. In my opinion, he was the best part of the film. The implications that he's had on the rest of the MCU are huge. He indirectly causes both Civil War and WandaVision. I love the look of the character, James Spader's vocal performance, and his twisted view of the world. In a way, he was like a prototype for Thanos, albeit not as good.

12. Gorr the God Butcher

Gorr was almost top three. Christian Bale gives us a very nuanced, sympathetic villain that can also veer into horror territory at times. He's such a broken person and has lost belief in the gods, so he turns into this monster that kills them. It's so interesting, because I truly don't think Gorr is a bad person. I wish he had more time to develop and I wish we actually saw him killing gods, but this character is pretty cool.

11. Norman Osborn / Green Goblin

Green Goblin from the original Spider-Man is one of my favorite movie villains of all time, and I was so happy to see him return in No Way Home. Willem Dafoe's performance is just as insane and a lot scarier in this movie. This Green Goblin is the darkest version of the character so far, with him being more violent and unforgiving. I love the sudden shift in personality that happens at the end of the second act. And I love the pure glee that comes with being evil. Green Goblin is a great villain, and I'm glad that they maintained that in No Way Home.

10. Nathaniel Richards / He Who Remains

Proto-Kang! He Who Remains was a great surprise introduction to Jonathan Majors's big bad of the Multiverse Saga. I loved what they did with this character. I know he's probably too high for only having one episode appearance, but I thought it was great. He told us what's going to happen and warned us about Kang, which just gets me excited for the future of the MCU and what Feige has in store for us.

9. Baron Helmut Zemo

The man who broke the Avengers is one of the simplest villains in the MCU as well as one of the most compelling. His entire family was murdered in the Battle of Sokovia, and he blames Earth's Mightiest Heroes. With all of his calculating evil, Zemo tears the Avengers apart from the inside instead of attacking them from the outside. That's just a cool concept for a cool villain. I liked his anti-heroic turn in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and I hope we see him in Thunderbolts.

8. Hela Odinsdottir

Hela was definitely one of the cooler villains in the universe. As soon as she appeared and crushed Thor's hammer, you knew that she was different. She had some really intimidating and imposing moments, but she also had some funny moments. It's also great that she wasn't defeated by Thor. She was killed by another villain (Surtur). I thought that was really clever. I think Cate Blanchett's performance really works here. Like Ragnarok itself, this character balanced menace and comedy really well, and I very much appreciated that.

7. Kang the Conqueror

I have a feeling that after the Multiverse Saga, he may be top three, possibly even top two. For now, after his inclusion in Quantumania, Kang the Conqueror makes his MCU debut as the seventh best villain in the franchise. Jonathan Majors nails this performance. He isn't sympathetic. He's a raging, genocidal maniac. But Majors tells you that there is a broken person behind all of the murder and conquering. I loved his calm demeanor that can be so menacing, and then I loved his outbursts that are just terrifying. He's the best part of Quantumania and I cannot wait to see him in future projects.

6. Wenwu / The Mandarin

I loved The Mandarin. Easily the best part of Shang-Chi, he was clearly villainous and scary, but also cared for his family. He still acts as a father to Shang-Chi and Xu Xialing, but can also be menacing. His evil comes from a place of love. His redemptive arc in the finale is fantastic. I love that they show both the loving side and the scary side of this character. It makes him feel very complex and nuanced, and definitely one of the most complicated MCU villains.

5. Adrian Toomes / Vulture

Vulture was incredible. Most of the MCU villains want to take over some huge city or destroy the world. Vulture doesn't. He is a simple man that was screwed by the government and wants to provide for his family. His actions are illegal but his intentions are good. The twist involving him and the proceeding car ride are two of the best scenes in the MCU. Michael Keaton is great. I'm very excited to get this character back in future movies, although his portrayal in Morbius doesn't really have me excited.

4. Quentin Beck / Mysterio

Mysterio is great. His plan to take advantage of people after the events of Endgame is really cool. Even though we already knew that Mysterio was going to be a villain, there was a nice twist there, and it makes you feel legitimately betrayed by this character. Jake Gyllenhaal's performance is fabulous and so convincing as both a good and bad guy. The sequences in the Mysterio-reality are the most visually stunning scenes in the MCU. I love this character and this movie.

3. Loki Laufeyson

Just a disclaimer: I only count this version of Loki as the one who dies in Infinity War. The version of him in the show is a legitimate hero. Loki is not only one of the best villains in the MCU, he's one of the best of all time. His arc throughout the MCU is great. He starts off as a villain in both Thor and The Avengers. Then he becomes more of an anti-hero in the later movies. He worked for Thanos in The Avengers and then stood up to him in Infinity War. He goes through a complete character shift that is absolutely spectacular. Add all of Tom Hiddleston's evil charm and you've got one of the MCU's best pieces.

2. Erik Stevens / Killmonger

Killmonger was just incredible. The thing that makes him second best is that he made our heroes change. T'Challa opens Wakanda up to the rest of the world because Killmonger made him change. His motivations and intentions are reasonable. His actions aren't, but that's what makes him a great villain. His secret inclusion in Wakanda Forever just added a little bonus to his character, because it makes sense that he'd appear to Shuri at that time in that manner. He's an amazing character and the perfect example of how to nail a one-time villain.

1. Thanos

Thanos is one of the best crafted characters ever. He is this huge purple space invader that wants to collect a bunch of objects so that he can essentially destroy the world...but the writers provided a compelling and realistic motivation for him to do this. Infinity War is basically a character study of Thanos, and since he's such a great character, I love Infinity War. I think, as time goes on, Thanos will make his way into the greatest villains of all time, along with Vader, Joker, Hannibal Lecter, and the rest of those characters.


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