10. Adrian Toomes/Vulture – Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
“Those people, Pete, those people up there, the rich and the powerful, they do whatever they want. Guys like us, like you and me… they don’t care about us.”
Vulture is a self-made social riser orchestrating a series of heists to steal Stark technology and sell it to the highest-bidding criminals.
One of the only working-class villains in the MCU, Adrian Toomes starts off salvaging alien wreckages from the Battle of New York before being shut out of this lucrative business by SHIELD. He and his crew go on a spree, stealing from Stark weapon caches and employing the alien technology they managed to save.
He’s a robber in a wing-suit, but what makes him interesting aside from Michael Keaton’s scary performance is his personal connection to Peter Parker – they soon deduce each other’s secret identities and Spidey is left battling his crush’s dad atop of a disintegrating plane.
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9. Yon-Rogg – Captain Marvel (2019)
“I always told you… you’ll be ready the day you can knock me down as yourself. This is that moment. This is that moment, Vers! Turn off the light show and prove… prove to me you can beat me without…”
Yon-Rogg is the leader of Kree special forces team Star Force, and is responsible for indoctrinating an amnesiac Carol Danvers and orchestrating acts of genocide against the Skrull species at the behest of his synthetic leader, the Great Intelligence.
Yon-Rogg is a toxic bastard though-and-through. Jude Law, looking like his handsome self but with yellow eyes, plays him as a supportive (if patronising) mentor to Carol in the beginning before revealing himself to be a supremacist monster. He then has the gall gall to try and dictate how she should use her powers, making him among the most detestable MCU villains.
There are few moments as satisfying as watching Carol blasting him back into a cliff with a photon blast mid-mansplain.
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8. Aldrich Killian – Iron Man 3 (2013)
“They say his Lear was the toast of Croydon, wherever that is.”
Aldrich Killian is a shoes-and-no-socks creep inventor spurned by Tony Stark who manufactures a terrorist threat to the US in order to hold the world to ransom.
Aldrich Killian never forgives pre-kidnapping dickhead Tony Stark for abandoning him on a hotel roof in Switzerland. Stark’s promise to hear his pitch for a collective of scientists and inventors sharing their research for the good of mankind is not forthcoming, so he goes it alone and recruits Maya Hansen for her Extremis nanotechnology, which is weaponised for use as a custom terror threat. That threat is apparently spearheaded by The Mandarin, in reality a sozzled actor performing Killian’s threats on TV, before Killian himself reveals he is pulling the strings, has taken the Extremis virus, and can breathe fire, a cool and useful power he uses precisely once.
7. Quentin Beck/Mysterio – Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
“You’ll see, Peter. People… need to believe. And nowadays, they’ll believe anything.”
Mysterio is one of Tony Stark’s research and development technicians who masquerades as a superhero in order to gain control of Stark weaponry.
Tony Stark really needed to stop mistreating his employees earlier in his career, and maybe he would have if he’d known treating them all like garbage was fuelling a supervillain factory.
Mysterio is another father figure for Peter Parker who turns against him because he’s bitter about Tony Stark stealing credit for his inventions.
Jake Gyllenhaal’s portrayal of Quentin shifting before your eyes from decent human being to smarmy asshole is entertainingly wrong-footing, and his plan to gain the fame and adulation afforded to each Avenger without breaking a sweat – faking supervillain threats using holograms and Stark’s EDITH satellite weapon system – is a simple and selfish motivation for him, not to mention a particular insult to the idealistic Peter.
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6. 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.”
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!