Marvel’s Greatest Unsung Villains
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has become a global phenomenon over the past decade or so. From the first Iron Man to the most recent Avengers: Infinity War, the franchise has promised and delivered a sea of movies – some masterful, others less so. This article will give less attention to the protagonists of these films and more to the villains who appear within them and how easily they then disappear.
SPOILER ALERT: For example, Thanos’ Black Order – as seen in Avengers: Infinity War – are quite easily dispatched with by the Avengers, especially when you bare in mind that the members of this elite villainous group were much more formidable in the comic books. So, which villains in the Marvel universe are most underrated?
1. Ebony Maw
The leader of Thanos’ Black Order, Ebony Maw’s powers include manipulation, genius level intellect, telekinesis whilst also specialising in the technology of teleportation and force field generation. Now, the film stayed true to the comics in that Ebony Maw is sent to deal with Dr Strange and retrieve the time stone for Thanos, a task which he is successful in.
However, the scale of this endeavor is lost on the audience. Dr Strange is one of the most powerful beings in the MCU and is essential to the multiverse, appearing in almost every characters stories at least once. The fact that Ebony Maw is able to defeat Strange one on one in any occasion shows his strength.
In the film, Maw is successful in capturing Strange and is midway through interrogating him before being blasted into space by Iron Man. I was hoping for a much more from his character and once he perished, I was sure the rest of the Black Order would suffer similar, anticlimactic deaths (which they did: Corvus Glaive is rabbit-punched by Vision, Proxima Midnight is rabbit-punched by Scarlet Witch and Black Dwarf is shot into the sky by a lucky Bruce Banner).
2. Doctor Doom
Having gained two appearances on the big screen, Doctor Doom – if I was ordering this most to least sung villains – would top this list. Fighting the Fantastic Four, Doom’s powers include energy transference, genius level intellect and he has even teamed with Dr Strange in the past and in one comic thread, when Dr Strange gives up the title of sorcerer supreme, has the mystic ability to take on the role. Doom’s armour, which covered the entirety of his body, enhances his strength to superhuman levels, meaning that he has held his own against some of the strongest heroes in the MCU, including The Hulk. He is one of the most sadistic and cruel of all the villains, senselessly murdering for no other reason than he can – much like a modern day horror movie character.
Having recently seen Deadpool 2, I am very happy to say that the Juggernaut gets a much better outing than he did in X-Men: The last stand when he was portrayed by Vinnie Jones, which I generally try to pretend didn’t happen. Half-brother to the most powerful psychic in the MCU, Professor Xavier, the Juggernaut gained the power of destruction when he found the gem of the mystical entity Cyttorak. The Juggernaut has posed a threat to many heroes of the Marvel universe, given that once he gets any sort of momentum, he is unstoppable. However, in his first cinematic appearance, he defeats himself by charging into a wall, while in the presence of a mutant whose power is to block all others around him (which doesn’t even make sense as the Juggernaut isn’t a mutant – but nevermind).