Marvel’s latest film coming out this week will put Iron Man against Captain America. However, in “Captain America: Civil War,” it probably won’t be a surprise if the Studio inserts another villain.
With that in mind, now is a good time to look back to who the Avengers fought before they start fighting each other, and see which is best.
Note: This list will have spoilers.
Malekith, Christopher Eccleston – Thor: The Dark World
No personality. No charm. No charisma. It perfectly sums up Malekith, played by Christopher Eccleston, in the lackluster “Thor: The Dark World.” To this day I consider “Dark World” the weakest in the Marvel cinematic universe and this villain is a big reason why. He causes some destruction, but at the end of the day, that’s all Malekith really did. It’s a real drop off from the first film’s villain, who we’ll get to later.
Ronan, Lee Pace – Guardians of the Galaxy
Ronan, played by Lee Pace, is similar to Malekith in that he is a rather generic big bad in “Guardians of the Galaxy.” What puts him ahead of the villain from “Thor: The Dark World,” though, is that Pace actually hams up the performance in certain parts, mainly during the film’s climactic moments.
Aldrich Killian/The Mandarin, Guy Pearce – Iron Man 3
Aldrich Killian, played by Guy Pearce, could have been an OK side villain, but what the makers of “Iron Man 3” did with the character drops him way down on the list. The movie of course was hyping up The Mandarin and had him played by a menacing Ben Kingsley.
The Mandarin is supposed to be Iron Man’s powerful arch nemesis, so it was really a shame when it turned out Kingsley just played an actor faking the Mandarin and that the whiny nerd turned business mogul Aldrich Killian was the true evil doer. They couldn’t even give Killian all the powers of the Mandarin, either, instead just allowing him to breath fire and melt things. At the very least, though, Pearce had some alright moments portraying the movie’s villain and there was more back story than what Malekith and Ronan had.
Darren Cross/Yellowjacket, Corey Stoll – Ant-Man
When it comes to Yellowjacket, played by Corey Stoll, in last year’s “Ant-Man,” it wasn’t that I disliked the character, but rather I was disappointed. The movie alludes to Yellowjacket, or Darren Cross, being a sort of prodigy to the scientist Hank Pym. Unfortunately this subplot didn’t get the development it deserved and the result was Yellowjacket being a forgettable villain. That said, he was better than the past ones on this list.
Ivan Vanko/Whiplash, Mickey Rourke – Iron Man 2
I actually really enjoyed Mickey Rourke’s work as Ivan Vanko/Whiplash in “Iron Man 2” from 2010. Rourke’s natural frame made for an imposing figure, he had good line delivery and made for a legitimately threatening, gritty bad guy. The problem with Whiplash in the “Iron Man” sequel is that he barely interacts with Tony Stark at all. Most of the movie he’s either in a prison or in a weapons factory. The moments he does interact with Iron Man, though, are well done.
Red Skull, Hugo Weaving – Captain America: The First Avenger
In terms of being a physical threat to Captain America, Hugo Weaving’s Red Skull wasn’t anything special. What Weaving did right, though, was pull off the great ‘mad genius’ persona with his evil planning. The major issue with the Red Skull is that his true look isn’t that great, but then again, it’s hard to make the Red Skull from the comics look convincing in film.
The Abomination/Emil Blonsky, Tim Roth – The Incredible Hulk
Tim Roth actually put in a solid performance as Emil Blonsky/Abomination in the criminally underrated 2008 film “The Incredible Hulk.” In the first two acts Roth’s character is an arrogant mercenary who’s able to back up what he says with his skills, which only increase when he gets a serum similar to what Captain America received. In the third act, he then becomes the Abomination and is able to give the Hulk a tough fight. Roth’s confident, power hungry Blonsky was also a great contrast to Edward Norton’s reluctant Bruce Banner/Hulk.
Ultron, James Spader – Avengers Age of Ultron
I was a bit disappointed with the “Avengers” sequel as a film, but there’s no doubt that James Spader was the perfect fit to voice the robot menace Ultron. Every time he speaks the tone and delivery is so on point. There’s an especially well acted scene toward the end between Ultron and Vision that highlights Spader’s performance. In terms of ability, the villain is also able to keep up with most of the good guys besides Hulk in a one on one match up. The real drawback to Ultron in the movie, though, is how quickly he goes full on bad guy.
Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier, Sebastian Stan – Winter Soldier
Sebastian Stan didn’t exactly get a chance to deliver a memorable performance as the silent assassin Winter Soldier. However, because the Winter Soldier is actually Bucky Barnes and audiences got to see Stan portray the character in the first movie, the emotional connection with Captain America is certainly felt. On top of that, the Winter Soldier is a tough villain, able to put fear in Black Widow and give Captain America a run for his money. The way the Winter Soldier is able to catch and throw Cap’s shield makes him one of the best villains.
Obadiah Stane, Jeff Bridges – Iron Man
Yes, the armor Obadiah Stane, played by Jeff Bridges, uses is basically a bigger grey version of Iron Man. However, Bridges still made for a solid villain in the first Marvel movie from 2008. Bridges perfectly portrayed everything needed from the character in the movie, from being the mentor figure for Tony to the double crossing guy he turned out to be. The final fight with Iron Man could’ve been a bit more climactic, but it still perfectly portrayed Stane’s overconfidence and hunger for war. After all the Marvel films to this point, Stane is still one of the more memorable villains on the list.
Loki, Tom Hiddleston – Thor and The Avengers
At this point, there hasn’t been a better villain in Marvel’s cinematic universe than Loki. He has just the right amount of strength balanced with just the right level of strategic ability. Additionally, Tom Hiddleston perfectly displays the character’s charm, confidence, chaotic nature and anger over being in his brother’s shadow in both “Thor” and “The Avengers.”
The character is so well done that even his conversations are engaging. Looking back at “The Avengers,” his interactions with Nick Fury, Black Widow, Thor, Iron Man and Captain America, were amazingly well executed.
So, that’s it for the list. If there is a villain in “Civil War,” hopefully they’re one of the better ones. Who’s your favorite Marvel villain? Leave a comment down below and share.