The MCU Villain Showdown! Pt. 1


So this is what we’re going to do while we wait for Avengers: Endgame to come out…

Thanos has long been built up as the big bad of the MCU and now we’ve seen him flex his fingers we want to ask: is he the best villain of the franchise? We’ve pulled together a list of 32 villains from the MCU as a whole and organised them into brackets using randomisation. 

Oh, and there’s going to be spoilers UP TO AND INCLUDING CAPTAIN MARVEL.

Each battle will consist of three rounds, each worth one point. The first round will determine who was most successful in their villainous scheme. After this the next point will be awarded to the villain who would win in a fight. The final point will go to the best and most interesting character.

Without further ado, here’s our line-up!

MCU villain bracket

To kick things off we’re going with the upper left side of the table, four match-ups spanning the three phases of the movies and the best parts of the TV shows.

ROUND ONE

Round 1

BENJAMIN POINDEXTER – ‘BULLSEYE’ VS KILGRAVE – ‘THE PURPLE MAN’

Successful Villainy: Our first bout brings together two memorable TV enemies from Daredevil and Jessica Jones respectively. Bullseye (Wilson Bethel) was brought in to season 3 to tarnish the reputation of vigilante Daredevil by donning his signature red suit and murdering up the place. To this end he was quite successful and he even bested Daredevil in their first encounter. Unfortunately his psychosis continued to cloud his judgement, sending him off the rails even after he started working for Fisk.

Bullseye had some wins in his rocky career, but Kilgrave (David Tennant) is a genuine monster. He fulfilled a couple of side quests, such as murdering his parents, but his real goal was getting into Jessica Jones’ head and he did that with horrifying levels of success. Kilgrave may no longer be among the living, but he still haunts Jessica. For as long as we’ve been following Jessica’s story he’s been an integral part of her psyche. This round goes to Kilgrave.

Fight!: “Bullseye, stab yourself.”

Poindexter would need to get up pretty early to get the drop on Kilgrave, but the Purple Man would need to exert almost no effort to win this. Do you get the feeling that he’s going to have an easy time with this category? Another point to Kilgrave.

Who We Love to Hate: Look, it’s impossible not to love David Tennant even when he’s playing a disgusting, abusive nightmare. He’s one of the scariest villains in the MCU and wins this round by a mile.

RESULT: 3 – 0 to Kilgrave. Bullseye missed the target entirely.

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ROUND 2

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EMIL BLONSKY – ‘THE ABOMINATION’ VS MALEKITH

Successful Villainy: Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth) is a driven, focused soldier who viewed the Hulk as his greatest potential trophy. Malekith (Christopher Eccleston…another Doctor, weird) wanted to get hold of the Aether – the Reality Stone – and was going to march his army through Asgard to get it. Abomination smacked Hulk around a little, but was ultimately defeated, whilst Malekith did briefly get his hands on the prize. More than that, he dealt a real blow to Thor by killing his mother Frigga. One point to Malekith.

Fight!: Malekith may have an army of Dark Elves on his side, but we’re dealing with a more brutal version of the Hulk here. He levelled a portion of New York in their brawl and would flatten Malekith in no time. Point to Abomination.

Who We Love to Hate: The real problem here is that Malekith was a missed opportunity. Eccleston is a brilliant actor and could’ve done something really interesting with the role, but instead he’s a generic ‘take-over-the-world’ villain. Abomination isn’t exactly setting the world of entertainment on fire, but Roth did a solid job playing a man obsessed. Point to the Abomination.

Result: 2 – 1 to The Abomination.

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ROUND 3

Round 3

OBIDIAH STANE – ‘IRON MONGER’ VS ALEXANDER PIERCE

Successful Villainy: Stane (Jeff Daniels) was the long time confidant and partner to Tony Stark, but when Stark took up the mantle of hero Stane was all to willing to stab him in the back to protect his wealth and influence. Through his actions he actually drove Stark to become Iron Man, kicked off the MCU and got his ass kicked in the process. If Pierce (Robert Redford) had stayed in bed he’d still win this round. The fact he ran a long con as a sleeper Hydra agent who successfully brought down SHIELD from the inside is just a bonus. Point to Pierce.

Fight!: Initially we would think this would go to the guy with the suit of power armour, but you have to consider the resources Pierce has behind him. The full power of both Hydra and SHIELD is at his fingertips. Iron Monger isn’t going to get close enough to do anything. Another point to Pierce.

Who We Love to Hate: Iron Monger gets an edge on this one because Jeff Daniels in full villain mode is endlessly entertaining. He chews up his lines in a delightful manner. Everyone remembers that Tony Stark built this thing in a cave using scraps. He’s already lost the war, but he can have some dignity. Point to Iron Monger.

Result: Iron Monger had a decent last minute sprint, but Pierce had this in the bag.

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ROUND 4

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LOKI, GOD OF MISCHIEF VS HELA, GODDESS OF DEATH

Successful Villainy: By weird coincidence these siblings found themselves face to face in the first bracket, and they had the same goals. Loki (Tom Hiddleson) and his sister Hela (Cate Blanchett) both had eyes on the throne of Asgard and were willing to usurp Thor and Odin to get it. Hela took the throne by obliterating the armies of Asgard, including the Warriors Three, but only held it for a short time before losing everything. Loki, on the other hand, managed to claim the throne twice, each time through his preferred method of trickery. Sure, he gets spanked by the Avengers from time to time but in this game of King of Hill he’s held the post for longer. It’s a close call, but Loki takes the point.

Fight!: It’s kinda right there in the title: Goddess of Death. Hela can summon an endless assortment of blades, raise the dead to fight for her and can’t be killed as long as Asgard stands. Loki’s best bet is to play possum and slink away. Point to Hela.

Who We Love to Hate: Yeah, it’s going to be Loki. Hela was great and we were hoping to see her take on some of the other villains, but Loki is easily one of the most fun characters in the MCU. He keeps coming back for a reason. Point to Loki.

Result: Put them in a ring together and Loki is toast…but he seems to have charmed his way out of it this time. 2 – 1 to Loki.

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That’s it for the first instalment! Kilgrave, Abomination, Alexander Pierce and Loki will face off eventually, but right now we’ve got some more battles to sort out. What are your predictions for the next set of battles?