Marvel Cinematic Universe Villains Ranked

10. Scarlet Witch – Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)

“You break the rules and become a hero. I do it and I become the enemy. That doesn’t seem fair.”

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A former Avenger turned grieving all-powerful mother who manipulates reality to her will using chaos magic, the Scarlet Witch Wanda Maximoff is one of (if not the) most powerful individuals we’ve seen in the MCU so far. She would have reduced Thanos to atoms in Avengers: Endgame if he hadn’t called in an airstrike to stop her after she returned from the blip, and she goes on to tear the seriously powerful Illuminati, including Professor X and Captain Marvel, to shreds while still wearing her pyjamas in Doctor Strange 2.

After her time putting the people of Westview under her spell to enact her happy fantasy ended, Wanda delved into a dark book of sorcery, the Darkhold, and it corrupted her and finally pushed her over the edge. In Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, the Scarlet Witch decides she is going to reach a dimension in which an alternative version of herself still has her beloved children no matter how many lives it costs across the multiverse.

You don’t need much to make her a seriously scary antagonist, but Elizabeth Olsen’s hurting, wrathful performance in combination with Sam Raimi’s employment of some classic horror imagery really works.

9. Gorr the God Butcher – Thor: Love and Thunder (2021)

“The only ones who gods care about is themselves. So, this is my vow: all gods will die.”

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A member of a doomed alien race abandoned to drought and famine by their uncaring deities, Gorr becomes the bearer of the necrosword, an ancient and sentient god-killing weapon, and has a universe-spanning score to settle following the untimely death of his daughter.

Villains who actually have a point are always the most interesting, and Gorr is 100% right: gods in the MCU, with the exception of Thor and some of his Asgardian friends, are a nasty lot. Even Khonshu, who empowers Marc Spector to save the world in ‘Moon Knight’, essentially enslaves him to a life of dealing out justice.

It’s Gorr’s epiphany after meeting his god, who cruelly mocks his unwavering faith and belief in a good afterlife following years of him and his daughter suffering, that sets him on his dark path. Bale plays him as a terrifying fanatic with a twisted sense of humour inherited from his hated gods who will not stop until his quest is complete. His power while carrying the necrosword is such that he can comfortably fight three Asgardian heroes at once, melting into shadows and reappearing to land a killing blow at will.

8. Ego – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 (2017)

“The Expansion… the reason for my very existence would be over. So, I did what I had to do. But… it broke my heart to put that tumour in her head.”

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Ego is a celestial god with a “small g” seeking to trigger “The Expansion” to turn thousands of planets into extensions of his consciousness, killing anything living on them in the process.

He’s the ultimate absentee dad driving around (well, flying through space) shagging anything that moves and leaving sons (chiefly Peter Quill) with expectations that will never be met.

The way he almost tempts Peter over to the dark side by being really cool and apparently finally willing to give him the time and attention he craves (the “playing catch” scene seals it) is malicious to the extreme. Turns out he just needs a second body with celestial DNA to kick off his galactic re-write. And, to cap it all, he killed Peter’s mum with cancer. What an a-hole!

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7. Loki – Thor (2011), The Avengers (2012)

“Enough! You are, all of you are beneath me! I am a god, you dull creature, and I will not be bullied by…”

Thor’s messed up adopted demi-god brother Loki is looking for a people to rule over.

Loki has come such a long way in his journey that he is now emphatically not a villain. But before he patched it up with Thor and fell in love, he engineered his brother’s banishment from Asgard, sat on its throne twice (once disguised as Odin) and invaded Earth at the head of an alien army.

That he was the reason for the Avengers to come together in the first place, and the fact that for years Tom Hiddleston’s performance as the wannabe tyrant/loveable scamp was the best in the MCU, is enough to earn him a pretty high place on this list.

He did need taking down a peg or two at his most monologue-y, which of course was duly met by Hulk ragdolling him in The Avengers

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6. Kang the Conqueror – Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)

“Time. It’s not what you think it is. It’s a cage.”

Kang is banished to the Quantum Realm, seemingly by the many villainous iterations of himself that make up the Council of Kangs when they foresee him trying to stop their master multiversal plan. After failing to trick Janet Van Dyne into repairing his ship, he establishes an empire and subjugates the inhabitants of the Quantum Realm before bringing the Langs and the Van Dynes to him in order to use their Pym Particle technology to break free of his prison.

The broad strokes of this were seeded in ‘Loki’, from (alternate Loki) Sylvie’s observation that “The universe wants to break free so it manifests chaos”, to He Who Remains’ dire warning that the order he represents is preferable the the new multiversal war that will come at the hands of his variants if he dies.

Kang is kind of a big deal. The Conqueror/Exile version of the character is truly a force to be reckoned with, equipped with an advanced battle suit, a ship that is essentially a T.A.R.D.I.S, and temporal powers, he easily obliterates most opponents he encounters and claims to have killed countless Avengers in different realities.

What makes him most interesting in Quantumania is his arrogance, and unlike Thanos who was already the strongest being in the universe even before he started collecting Infinity Stones, Kang is just a man; a man who can be defeated by people who talk to ants. This Kang underestimates his enemies and believes his own hype after his many victories, like some kind of cosmic Alexander the Great, and that may be the key to the Avengers stopping countless versions on their way to destroying reality.

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