Ranking The Marvel Villains from Worst To Slightly Less Worse

Marvel has obviously continued to kill it at the box-office with their kick-ass superhero films. And yet, despite the great plots story-lines and action, their villains have often been…let’s just say lackluster. Check out this ranking of the Marvel villains from worst to slightly less worse.

Abomination, The Incredible Hulk
Abomination, 'The Incredible Hulk'
Universal Pictures via Everett Collection
Think back to 2008’s The Incredible Hulk. Do you remember a single thing about that movie? Including who the villain is, what he does or the fact that he’s played by the otherwise memorable Tim Roth? No, we didn’t think so.
Ivan Vanko, Iron Man 2
Ivan Vanko, 'Iron Man 2'
Paramount Pictures via Everett Collection
Mickey Rouke as a super villain should have been perfect casting. But the resulting character, a mismatch of powers, abilities, talents, accents and a wardrobe straight from Johnny Depp's trailer on Pirates of the Caribbean instead resulted in Ivan Vanko being confusing and unimpressive.
Ronan the Accuser, Guardians of the Galaxy
Ronan the Accuser, 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
Walt Disney Studios/Marvel
Wait, so why does Ronan want the Infinity Stone? How come he wants to destroy that planet again? Is he angry at something real, or is he just annoyed at how much makeup he has to put on every single morning? We have no idea, and frankly, we don’t really care. Just go back to the talking tree.
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Malekith, Thor 2: The Dark World
Malekith, 'Thor 2'
Walt Disney Studios
After Loki attempted to commit genocide (twice) and was defeated, the writers behind Thor: The Dark World decided to go in a new direction for the villain. Unfortunately, that direction was “less interesting Loki,” and they landed on Malekith, a Dark Elf with Loki’s penchant for revenge, much better hair, and a lack of any personality.
Obadiah Stane, Iron Man
Obadiah Stane, 'Iron Man'
Paramount Pictures via Everett Collection
If we're being honest, much of the reason that Obadiah places this high on this list is due to Jeff Bridge's performance, which was surprisingly relaxed for how menacing it ended up being. Bridges is adept at doing a lot with the smaller moments, but the character himself was so unremarkable that he could have been played by pretty much anyone.
Darren Cross/Yellowjacket, Ant-Man
Ant-Man, Corey Stoll
Walt Disney Studios
In theory, Darren Cross's idea to recreate the Pym particle and mass produce it, to HYDRA and other baddies, is pretty epic as far as villain plans go. His execution of that? Extremely flawed.  Corey Stoll was perfectly crazed, maniacal, and villainous as Dr. Darren Cross.
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Loki (and Laufey), Thor
Loki (and Laufey), 'Thor'
Paramount Pictures via Everett Collection
Though he would eventually become one of the biggest characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Loki was very much second fiddle in the first Thor movie. Maybe it was Chris Hemsworth’s dopey charm, maybe it was because he had to share villainous screen time with a guy in a bad Anthony Hopkins mask, or maybe it was because his daddy issues hadn’t reached peak petulance. But whatever the reason, Loki is at his weakest here.
Aldrich Killian, Iron Man 3
Aldrich Killian, 'Iron Man 3'
Walt Disney Studios
Look, the whole “You were mean to me once so I’m going to destroy the whole planet” villain origin is a bit played out, but it’s hard to think of another instance in which it was played to such terrifying, campy effect as Guy Pearce’s turn as Aldrich Killian in Iron Man 3. We like to think that schools are now showing it as an effective anti-bullying lesson.
Crossbones, Captain America Civil War
Captain America: Civil War really focused on the fall out between Cap' and Iron Man. This time, the villain Crossbones, who is portrayed very differently here than he is in the comics, is certainly not the focal point of the story. In Civil War, Crossbones is a Sokovian soldier who lost everything during the events of Age of Ultron and he vows to seek vengeance against the Avengers. Played by Daniel Bruhl, Crossbones is evil, there is so much going on in this film you sort of forget about him.
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Red Skull, Captain America: The First Avenger
Red Skull, 'Captain America: The First Avenger'
Paramount Pictures via Everett Collection
A super-serum enhanced Nazi with advanced technological skills and a giant, menacing red face – there’s a reason Red Skull is one of Marvel’s most iconic villains. Casting Hugo Weaving, who specializes in cold, enigmatic characters as Cap’s biggest nemesis was just the cherry on top.
Alexander Pierce, Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Alexander Pierce, 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier'
Walt Disney Studios
Cap’s second rival was terrifying not because of his powers, but because of what he represented for a hero the pursued truth, justice and the American way… and the fact that Alexander Pierce could be anyone, especially someone currently working in the government. Rarely has a super villain felt so real that audience members could actually feel the threat the possessed.
Ultron, Avengers: Age of Ultron
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Walt Disney Studios
Ultron is one badass dude. His first introduction proves that Tony Stark had a terrible idea and not all artificial intelligence is a good thing. He's extremely pissed at Stark (for good and flimsy reasons). While he might not be as entertaining of a villain as Loki, he's a frightening one that is prepared to destroy the planet in a creative way.
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Loki, The Avengers
Loki, 'The Avengers'
Walt Disney Studios/Marvel
The Loki in The Avengers is a villain of Shakespearean proportions. He swans from place to place, he delivers long, dramatic monologues in which he outlines every part of his plan, he insults his enemies, he sneers, and he does it all in the most obnoxious British accent possible. But as much as we might enjoy watching Tom Hiddleston chew the scenery, that pales in comparison to how much he enjoys playing him. We shall all kneel.