Spoilers for all works set prior to Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame are unmarked.
Captain Emil Blonsky / The Abomination
Species: Enhanced human
Citizenship: British (born in Russia)
Portrayed By: Tim Roth
Appearances: The Incredible Hulk | The Consultantnote
A British Royal Marine assigned to a team headed by General Ross to capture the Hulk, and quickly becomes obsessed with bringing him down, to the point of being injected with a sample of the original super-soldier serum to enhance his strength. After a painful encounter with the Hulk, he becomes even more driven and has Samuel Sterns infuse him with Banner's blood, transforming him into an abomination.
- Accidental Misnaming: In The Consultant, Coulson notes that the World Security Council and Blonsky himself do not like the name he has been given.
- The Ace: Considered to be one of the best seasoned soldiers around. (He's referred to as "an ace" by the guy who refers him to Ross.)
- Adaptational Nationality: In the film, he's stated to be born in Russia, but raised in England as an Englishman, and served the Royal Marines. In the comics, he was a Soviet spy who served in the KGB. This change is to explain Tim Roth's accent.
- Ax-Crazy: After he transforms into The Abomination, his Blood Knight tendencies push him off the deep end and goes on a destructive rampage.
- Appropriated Appellation: Averted. He was given the name of "the Abomination" after his full transformation. He doesn't like it.
- Arch-Enemy: Abomination was the first to ever put up an even fight with Hulk, and most certainly posed a threat to his loved ones as well.
- Badass Normal: Pre-serums. He led a platoon in close combat against the Hulk and was the only person to survive.
- Bald of Evil: As Abomination, he loses all of his hair in exchange of a scaly head.
- Barbie Doll Anatomy: The Abomination is too big for Magic Pants but doesn't seem to have genitalia anyway. Given the nature of his transformation, it's likely they're inside his pelvis now.
- Blessed with Suck: He's twice as strong as Hulk usually is and keeps his intellect. The downside? He can't change back and his strength doesn't increase like Bruce's does. The transformation also pushes him further into insanity.
- Blood Knight: Ross asks why he doesn't have a higher rank given his age and experience. He replies "I'm a fighter". This increases as he's augmented, to the point when he stopped giving a crap about orders and just wanted to duke it out with the Hulk.
- Body Horror: Pretty much every bone in his body was reduced to gravel after taking a kick from the Hulk. After he recovers, Blonsky starts suffering the effects of the Super Soldier serum, with his spine starting to grow and strain against his flesh. Finally, after receiving a sample of Banner's blood, he mutates into a monstrous appearance with bony protrusions coming out of his spine and elbows.
- Broken Ace: Even before he starts dabbling in Psycho Serum, he's a sadist and a thug. Afterwards...
- Call-Forward: His descent into madness is an early hint of what Dr. Erskine explained in the Captain America movie that came three years later: with the serum, "bad becomes worse".
- The Captain: Blonsky is a Captain in the Royal Marines.
- Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: Sterns alludes to the name "abomination", but otherwise he is referred to post-transformation as Blonsky. Averted in The Consultant, where S.H.I.E.L.D. agents indeed call him the Abomination, with a mention that the World Security Council really doesn't like it when he's called that. Later on, when he gets a shoutout in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. he's referred to as "Blonsky" instead of "Abomination".
- Dragon-in-Chief: Ross's champion against the Hulk. The serum drives him to become a Dragon with an Agenda and, by the climax, becomes a greater danger than Ross, who he tries to kill along with the Hulk.
- Drunk on the Dark Side: After he turns into the Abomination, he starts tearing up New York City just because he can.
- Empowered Badass Normal: Post-serums, he's a super soldier. After a transfusion of Banner's blood, he's above the Hulk's level.
- Establishing Character Moment: He shoots Banner's dog with a tranquilizer dart because it annoyed him. This establishes him as a bully.
- Evil Brit: On loan from Britain, though in a nod to the comics he's mentioned to have been born in Russia. In either case, he has an accent from Britain and he is a villain.
- Evil Counterpart:
- Born of a combination of the super-soldier serum and The Hulk's blood; while Blonsky sacrifices his ability to be empowered by rage, he retains his intelligence.
- Before becoming the Abomination and after taking the imperfect Super Soldier serum, is easily one to Captain America. His abilities are roughly the same, but he has none of the honor or heroism Steve has.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Upon turning into the Abomination, his voice deepens similar to the Hulk's.
- Fallen Hero: At least In-Universe, he was considered a war hero before his transformation.
- Final Boss: While General Ross was the Big Bad of the film, Blonsky supplants him as the main villain by the end, being the final opponent that Banner faces in The Incredible Hulk.
- Fragile Speedster: After taking the first imperfect Super Soldier serum but before becoming the Abomination, he is faster than the Hulk and any normal soldier, but is taken down with one kick into a tree from the Hulk that breaks all the bones in his body.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: After he becomes the Abomination.
- Healing Factor: The imperfect Super Soldier serum gives him one that allows him to survive (but not necessarily in good condition) full on blows from the Hulk.
- Humanoid Abomination: After taking in Banner's blood. Dr. Sterns lampshades this before the transformation itself.
- Human Popsicle: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. reveals he's being kept on ice in Alaska.
- I Just Want to Be Special: Once he discovers he's no longer the toughest guy around. The Super Serum turns this Up to Eleven.
- Jerkass: He shot a dog with a tranquilizer dart just because it annoyed him.
- The Juggernaut: As the Abomination nothing can stop him. He marches down the streets of Harlem despite the military throwing missiles at him. None of it has any effect. This is why Ross had to release another juggernaut; the Hulk.
- Kick the Dog: Almost literally. He shot Banner's dog with a tranquilizer dart just because it annoyed him.
- Lightning Bruiser: After becoming the Abomination he's faster and stronger than before.
- Neck Lift: He raises Sterns above his own head, when he's demanding that Sterns help him gain the Hulk's power.
- Personality Powers: As a result of the Call-Forward, Blonsky's transformation into the Abomination can be considered this as he mixed an imperfect Super Soldier serum with Banner's irradiated blood, and thereby turned into the as-far-as-is-known permanent monstrosity that Samuel Sterns calls "an abomination".
- Removing the Earpiece: Before his second "fight" with the Hulk to show that he doesn't care about Ross or the chain of command anymore.
- Revenge Before Reason: Disobeys orders and demands to be injected with Hulk blood without caring about the consequences just so he can become strong enough to beat the Hulk.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. notes that S.H.I.E.L.D. is keeping him in cryogenic stasis in a facility in Alaska.
- Sociopathic Soldier: Even before taking on the Super Soldier Serum he has disturbing Blood Knight tendencies, which are exacerbated by said serum.
- Spikes of Villainy: The Abomination has bones that have grown outside his skin. Even before he becomes the Abomination, he observes his own spine in a mirror and notes with strange fascination that his vertebrae have begun to poke out a bit.
- Super Soldier: Unlike every other attempt to replicate Cap we've seen, it worked - if he wasn't on the same level, he was pretty close. The only apparent flaw had more to do with his personality than the serum itself: after taking it he cared about nothing more than fighting.
- Super Speed: After taking the imperfect Super Soldier serum, he is able to jog faster than soldiers decades younger than him. When he finally stops he acts as though he was taking a calm stroll through the park.
- Super Strength: As a Super Soldier he can lift Sterns high above his own head with one hand. After becoming the Abomination he becomes twice as strong as the Hulk. However, it's set and won't increase with rage as he does.
- Token Evil Teammate: Nearly became part of the Avengers, but S.H.I.E.L.D. put a stop to that.
- Too Dumb to Live: For future reference, aspiring villains, getting within three feet of the Incredible Hulk and stopping your fight just to taunt him is not a good idea. If it wasn't for the super serum in his system, he certainly would have died.
- Unskilled, but Strong: As the Abomination, he is stronger than the Hulk, but doesn't have his tricks (like using two halves of a car as a pair of clubs or smashing the ground to create a shockwave).
- Villain with Good Publicity: Even after turning into The Abomination, the WSC still considered Blonsky a war hero and the Hulk at fault, and was close to getting him into The Avengers. Thankfully, saner minds prevailed.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Its unknown if he remained in the cryo-cell in the wake of the HYDRA uprising.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: His descent into madness started when he took the super-soldier serum. Then he got himself injected with Hulk blood and went completely off the deep end.
- Younger Than They Look: He's 39, but Ross estimates his age at 45 (Tim Roth was 46 at the time of filming, for what it's worth). This is due to constant battle stress.
Ava Starr / Ghost
Species: Enhanced human
Citizenship: Unknown (possibly Argentinian)
Portrayed By: Hannah John-Kamen, RaeLynn Bratten (young Ava)
Appearances: Ant-Man and the Wasp
A mysterious individual can phase through solid objects.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: The comics version of Ghost is an older, plain-looking man. In Ant Man and the Wasp Ghost is portrayed by Hannah-John Karmen, who is a beautiful young woman.
- Adaptational Badass: This version of Ghost doesn't need the suit to use her powers, and is a significantly better hand-to-hand combatant who appears to have some kind of enhanced strength. That said, she loses some of the other talents in the transition.
- Adaptation Deviation: MCU Ghost nails the look and power-type in regards to comic accuracy, but the similarities end there.
- MCU Ghost is a younger, mixed-race woman. Comics Ghost is an older, white man.
- MCU Ghost got her powers from a freak accident. Comics Ghost is tech-based and draws all of his power from the suit.
- MCU Ghost relies entirely on hand-to-hand combat and has some kind of Super Strength. Comics Ghost mainly relies on evading his enemies and using weapons and gadgets.
- MCU Ghost has her origin related to Hank Pym and menaces Ant-Man and the Wasp. Comics Ghost has had nothing to do with Pym and is chiefly an Iron Man villain.
- MCU Ghost has a sympathetic backstory and is looking out for her survival. Comic Ghost in comparison has a murky backstory and is a anti-corporate terrorist willing to die for his beliefs.
- MCU Ghost has ties to Elihas Starr (Egghead) and Bill Foster (Goliath) as her biological and adopted parent, respectively, and was a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. Comics Ghost had nothing to do with any of them.
- Adaptational Heroism: Unlike her comic book counterpart, who is a paranoid terrorist, Ava's just looking for a way to stabilize her condition and only explicitly wants to kill Janet out of necessity... Until it turns out that she doesn't have to. Although it has to be said that Comic Ghost did act quite heroic during his time as Thunderbolt, saving his teammates' lives and the world.
- Adaptational Wimp: The comics version of Ghost was an expert at firearms and explosives, and furthermore was a skilled hacker (being a corporate saboteur and all) who could disrupt enemy electronics and would've definitely proved useful against our heroes. This version doesn't use guns at all, nor can she hack anything. That said, she gains more in the way of direct combat skills.
- Affably Evil: In the loosest sense as she is not evil (though she is Scott and Hope's main enemy throughout the film), she does show respect for Scott and refuses to kill anyone who she doesn't have to.
- Age Lift: Ghost is an old man◊ beneath the mask in the comics, but here Ghost's actress was only 27 at the time of filming.
- All There in the Manual: Her last name, Starr, is only explicitly identified in the credits, though her father is mentioned as having the same last name during the film proper.
- Anti-Villain: Her only goal is to stop her powers from killing her, with the only villainous aspect of her character being that she is willing to do anything to do that. Even that aspect is a result of her desperation to avoid dying and the effect her condition is having on her mind rather than any kind of malice.
- Ax-Crazy: Feeling as much pain as she does all the time and knowing that her life is ticking away is causing her to become unhinged, to the point where Bill Foster looks alarmed when she suggests kidnapping Cassie.
- Badass Biker/Biker Babe: She commandeers a motorcycle from one of Burch's Mooks during the climactic chase scene, and proves plenty skilled with it.
- Big-Bad Ensemble: Alongside Sonny Burch, she's one of the main villains of Ant-Man and the Wasp.
- Blessed with Suck: Her intangibility powers are slowly killing her.
- Clothes Make the Superman: Subverted. Ava does not need the suit to use her powers, though it does help her control them and keep her solid. Scott was surprised to learn this. It's also another contrast to her comics version, which played this entirely straight.
- Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: Although she has body-altering abilities like Darren Cross did, they're based on intangibility rather than size-shifting. Also, while Darren came to hate Pym, his mentor, and was driven by unhinged megalomania, Ava is merely motivated out of a desperation to survive, and cares about her parental-figure Bill Foster. Even their approaches to Cassie Lang are different. While Cross has zero qualms about kidnapping her and is more than willing to hurt her, Ava proposes it out of desperation and is easily talked out of it after Foster rebukes her for suggesting this.
- Dark Action Girl: A deadly, highly intelligent, and extremely athletic thief. She fights on even footing with both Scott and Hope at multiple points throughout the film, and even overpowers them on a few occasions.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Her father was disgraced by Hank Pym. In a desperate bid to restore his name he attempted an experiment that backfired and caused the deaths of her parents, and cursed her with intangibility that causes her constant, progressively worse pain. She was then used by S.H.I.E.L.D. to do their dirty work, for which she claims she feels as though she lost her soul.
- Determinator: Ava's sole motivation is finding a cure for her powers, which are gradually killing her. She's willing to do anything if it means achieving that goal.
- Easily Forgiven: Instead of being mad at Ava for trying to kill her, Janet stabilizes her condition. Scott, Hank, and Hope aren't that worried either.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: She genuinely cares for her father-figure Bill Foster and panics slightly when he's in danger.
- Evil Brit: Hannah John-Kamen retained her normal accent while portraying the role, though Ava's ethnicity is never commented on. Oh, and she's a Dark Action Girl who serves as one of the film's villains.
- Fate Worse than Death: She sees her quantum instability as this, being forced to live in a state of constant pain all while her very existence is slowly being drained away. She still doesn't want to die though, and her whole objective is to find a cure for her condition.Ghost: My parents were dead. I wasn't so lucky.
- Foil: To co-antagonist Sonny Burch. Ghost is a young mixed-race black woman who's an Anti-Villain at worst, does all the fighting herself without any minions, and is merely looking out for her own survival. In contrast, Sonny Burch is an older white man that has little-to-no sympathetic qualities while acting Faux Affably Evil, doesn't do any of the fighting and instead sends his minions to do all the dirty work, and is chasing after what he knows will be the next gold rush.
- Gender Flip: Ghost is a man in the comics, but is portrayed by a woman in the MCU.
- HeelFace Turn: She wasn't all that evil in the first place, but once Janet stabilizes her, she's distraught at everything she's done and tries to surrender herself to the authorities. The heroes are all quick to forgive her, however, and Bill stops her from doing that. In the mid-credits scene, Scott mentions that the reason they're gathering the Quantum Realm energy is to continue healing "their new Ghost friend."
- Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: She wears her face-concealing helmet less and less as more of her Tragic Villain nature becomes clear, and is unmasked for a majority of the climax after Scott breaks the faceplate.
- Intangible Man: She has the ability to phase through solid matter.
- Invisibility: Her molecular instability also means she can phase out of the visible spectrum, and thus make sneak attacks more easily.
- In Name Only: Apart from the name, appearance and powers, this version of Ghost has little in common with the comics version of the character.
- In the Hood: Her costume sports a hood much like her comic counterpart's classic outfit. It helps add to her enigmatic presence.
- It's All About Me: A rare sympathetic version. While anyone in her shoes would also be desperate to stay alive, she constantly puts her own needs above everything else — berating the very man who devoted his whole life to saving her, callously attempting to drain the life out of Janet for personal use and even seriously considering kidnapping an innocent child (before Foster puts his foot down and warns her that's a bridge too far, anyway). The implication is that the constant pain and agony she endures every second of every day has taken its toll on her psyche, to the point of overwhelming her compassion and empathy. Once she is cured, at least temporarily, she has a Heel Realization about this and feels she should face consequences for it.
- Lethal Harmless Powers: Her intangibility could theoretically cause horrible injuries were she to turn solid inside another person, notably when she threatens Hank by phasing an arm through his throat. She also kills Agent Stoltz by phasing her hand into his chest and doing something that leaves him critically injured.
- A Lighter Shade of Black: While considered a villain and having done some less-than-savory things, she's ultimately just scared for her life and doesn't truly wish to be evil. This is in comparison to co-antagonist Sonny Burch, a very clear-cut villain motivated by greed.
- Light Is Not Good: Her costume is all white, but that does not reflect her alignment. Though it does indicate she's not a horrible person.
- My God, What Have I Done?: She's horrified when Janet, the person she'd planned to sacrifice to save herself, willingly helps stabilize her condition. She's so consumed with guilt that she considers turning herself in.
- Mythology Gag: Though her costume is mostly modeled after Ghost's modern design from the Thunderbolts comics, she still wears a hood, much like Ghost originally did in The '80s.
- Named by the Adaptation: The name of her comic book counterpart is unknown, unlike the MCU version, whose name is Ava Starr.
- Necessary Evil: Her goal is saving her own life and while she wants to avoid any amount of unnecessary pain to get there, she's not too picky on who she hurts if it means getting what she wants.
- Never My Fault: Ava blames Hank Pym for the death of her parents and ruining her life. In her flashback however, had Ava listened to her father and left with her mother, not only would she lose only her father, she would not have gained her powers.
- No-Nonsense Nemesis: She does not waste time in pursuing her objective; no comedic gags here.
- Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Hannah John-Kamen maintains her English accent, despite no indication Ghost is actually from there.
- Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: The Younger Villain (albeit an Anti-Villain) to Ant-Man and Wasp's Older Heroes. She's in her twenties, compared to the other two being older by at least a decade.
- Parental Substitute: Bill Foster serves as adoptive father after her parents die.
- Parts Unknown: It's not quite clear where she's from. It's implied that she might be Argentinian, but has a British accent, her birth and adopted father are Americans, and her child actress is American herself while in the flashback she makes no attempt at an English accent. It's never explained.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Hannah John-Karmen stands just 5'6" tall, but her abilities, including what appears to be some degree of Super Strength, allow her to toss much larger opponents around like rag dolls.
- Power Incontinence: The longer she goes without resting in a special chamber built for her by Bill Foster, the more out-of-control her intangibility grows. Her suit goes a ways towards stabilizing the problem, but doesn't fully diminish it.
- Race Lift: Ghost is Caucasian in the comics, but is portrayed by a British-Nigerian actress here. It's suggested that she's Argentinian.
- Related in the Adaptation: In the comics, the Ghost had no relation to Egghead. Here, the Ghost is Elihas Starr's daughter. She's also the adopted daughter of Bill Foster, whereas the comics versions of them had no connection.
- Rogues-Gallery Transplant: Ghost is a rival to Iron Man in the comics, but confronts Ant-Man in her debut film.
- Sanity Slippage: The side-effects of her powers, combined with her Dark and Troubled Past, make Ava not entirely stable even when first introduced, and she only gets worse as her condition (and with it, her desperation to find a cure) worsens.
- Scary Black Woman: She's Black British and very scary as Ghost, especially her Sanity Slippage that causes her to become Ax-Crazy.
- Slasher Smile: Gives Scott a rather unhealthy grin when she first captures him and shares her backstory.
- The Slow Walk: She rarely moves quicker than a casual strut, even during fights and chase scenes. Given that her powers allow her to ignore any and all obstacles, on top of making her functionally Nigh Invulnerable, she doesn't really need to go any faster. It's her Signature Move.
- Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl: Her new look counts as an Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance, not to mention the element of vengeance in her backstory.
- Superhero Movie Villains Die: An aversion. She simply gets her condition stabilized and manages to run off with Bill Foster. The first Stinger indicates the Pyms had figured out a way to gather energy from the Quantum Realm to heal her.
- Super Strength: Though the film never explicitly calls attention to it, Ava performs a number of feats throughout the film that suggests she's gained some level of enhanced strength in addition to to her other powers, including knocking people out with a single well-aimed hit, blowing Scott through a wall with a kick, and throwing full-grown men around like toys.
- These Hands Have Killed: S.H.I.E.L.D., or possibly a HYDRA cell within the organization, trained her as an assassin from childhood, and we get to see her dispatch at least one victim with a brutal Neck Snap. Towards the end of the film, when she tries to get Bill to Go On Without Me, she states that she isn't worth saving since she's killed people.
- Tragic Villain: She is an evil-doing woobie. In a childhood accident with her father's tech, Ava lost both her parents and gained powerful but unstable abilities that leave her in constant pain and are slowly phasing her out of reality, with the only end possibilities being death or something much worse. The skills she uses were honed by black ops missions for S.H.I.E.L.D. (or maybe HYDRA). Every single action she undertakes, even as they grow increasingly heinous and brutal as time goes on, is exclusively devoted to fixing her condition which is destabilizing her mental state. All of the good guys recognize her as a victim of circumstance, and she ultimately gets away with zero consequences.
- Two First Names
- Tyke Bomb: She was trained by S.H.I.E.L.D. (or possibly HYDRA) to be an assassin from a young age.
- Uncertain Doom: It's left unknown at the end if she survived Thanos' fingersnap or became one of the unlucky few who disintegrated. And even if she did live, we don't know if she'd survive for long, since the only person on Earth with access to quantum healing energy was stuck in the Quantum Realm with no way to get out for five years. Even after the events of Avengers: Endgame, the odds of her survival are still unknown, because while all those vanished by Thanos' snap have returned, there's still a chance she was spared by the snap but didn't survive five years without quantum healing energy. She isn't present in the final battle in Endgame, and there isn't even any mention of her existence.
- Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: She's pretty much the only character in Ant-Man And The Wasp that has zero comedic qualities, and the film's normally lighthearted mood gets significantly darker and more serious whenever she's on screen.
- Villainous Breakdown: A relatively subtle one in the climax. Her increasing anger and desperation, as well as her condition worsening, results in her fighting somewhat more sloppily than she usually does. While Ava had the upper hand on Hope during their first fight, Hope gets a few good hits on Ava in the final battle.
- Would Hurt a Child: Hurt is a stretch, but she proposes kidnapping Cassie Lang to use as a bargaining chip against Scott and the others. It's more out of her desperation than any malicious intent, and she is easily talked out of going that route.
- You Killed My Father: Downplayed. She considers Hank Pym responsible for her father's death, but it ultimately has little to do with her motivations. While she's more than willing to get his wife killed if it means curing her condition, that's more out of her own desperation rather than a desire for revenge against Hank.
- Your Days Are Numbered: Bill Foster tells her she has about two weeks left before her unstable nature reaches a point of no return.
Marcus Daniels / Blackout
Species: Enhanced human
Portrayed By: Patrick Brennan
Appearances: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (appears in Episode 18: "Providence", Episode 19: "The Only Light in the Darkness") | Captain Marvel
A former prisoner of the Fridge, Daniels was let out by the Clairvoyant and told to "follow his dreams".
- Badass Longcoat: Sports a black trenchcoat when hunting his crush.
- Casting a Shadow: He's able to project beams of Darkforce.
- Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: Double Subverted. Though he's never referred to as Blackout, his S.H.I.E.L.D. file does list his codename, even though Coulson's arm is positioned to block most of it.
- Early-Bird Cameo: Appears in "Providence" before his focus episode.
- Energy Absorption: He's able to drain energy from nearby electrical devices, and can drain the electrical energy of living beings through physical contact.
- Evil Wears Black: As befitting his codename, Blackout wears an entirely black outfit.
- Menacing Stroll: He always moves at a calm, steady pace.
- Phlebotinum Overload: How he was taken out in the past and present. The first time it just disabled him so S.H.I.E.L.D. could imprison him. Since he's been amped up in the present, Fitz devises gamma-powered lights that make him explode.
- Stalker with a Crush: Towards Audrey, who he calls his "only light in the darkness".
- Touch of Death: He can drain the energy from whatever he touches, including living beings.
Dr. Calvin "Cal" L. Johnson a.k.a. Calvin Zabo
Species: Enhanced human
Portrayed By: Kyle MacLachlan
Appearances: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (first appears in Episode 22: "The Beginning of the End")
- "You were looking for a monster?"
Skye's father, who worked with Raina at one point in the past.
- Adaptational Nice Guy: He has quite a few more redeeming qualities than the comics' Mr. Hyde, most of all his being horribly ashamed of what his darker half does.
- Adaptation Name Change: His comic book counterpart's name is Calvin Zabo, but the show changes it to Calvin Johnson. However, in "The Frenemy of My Enemy", he tells Skye that he changed it to "something more sinister" during his search for her, implying that he may have gone by Zabo at one point. This is presumably due to Skye's mother being completely different from Daisy Johnson's mother in the comics, meaning her last name had to come from her father instead. Some episodes of the second season do have his name given as "Zabo" at certain points in the subtitles.
- When he finally reunites with his daughter, he fumbles his words and mentions that he wanted to have flowers and "those little almond-chocolate cookies" to greet her.
- When he meets her again after her powers are activated, he acts like an excited fanboy.Cal: So what's your thing? 'Cause I was kinda hoping for wings.
- And in the back half of the second season, his every interaction with Skye is just bumbling awkward joy.
- Affably Evil: He's kinda... quirky when he's not being murderously psychotic. He refers to HYDRA's attempts to understand the Diviner as "monkeys scratching at it," mocks Whitehall's translation of an ancient legend concerning it, and scoffs at referring to it as a weapon as "small-minded... for such a large-minded person." However, he gets less affable as his obsession to get Skye to love him grows.
- Ambiguously Human: It's unclear at first, given several characters referring to him as a "monster" and his deep knowledge of the Diviner despite never touching it himself. It's clarified in "One of Us" that while he knows a great deal about the Inhumans through his wife being one, he himself was an ordinary human who gained his strength and emotional instability through his own scientific manipulation.
- Anti-Villain: Most of his villainy is fueled by extreme aggression that's he's unable to control, as well as the fact that he lost his daughter to S.H.I.E.L.D. and his wife to HYDRA. However, the thought of a race of Sufficiently Advanced Aliens coming down to Earth to end humanity except for a few "worthy" to be saved isn't something that terribly alarms him; in fact he's looking forward to it. And he has no trouble causing chaos for S.H.I.E.L.D. by getting the "gifted" to make a fuss if it'll help him reunite with Skye.
- Ax-Crazy: The guy can go into casual murder mode rather quickly.Triplett: That guy was out of his damn mind.
- Back-Alley Doctor: Patches up bullet and knife wounds for gang members... for a while, anyway.
- Badass Bookworm: A doctor who easily defeats two HYDRA mooks with just a scalpel and a metal box he's carrying.
- Bad Boss: Treats Raina like dirt, even though she helped him reunite him with Skye. He then throws her to the curb after he's done with her.
- Berserk Button: Oh, boy, does he have a few...
- Loses it when Raina compares him to Whitehall, seeing Whitehall killed his wife to take her agelessness.
- Bringing up his evil side has a similar effect.
- Referring to his daughter as "Skye" too much isn't a good idea either. It produces more violent results when Lincoln does it.Cal: THAT'S NOT HER NAME!
- Anyone but himself taking a fatherly role for Skye also sets him off.
- Getting between him and his vendetta against Whitehall is a very bad idea. Out of everything, that happens to be what finally causes him to try to kill Coulson.
- Don't insult his daughter. A transformed Raina found that out the hard way.
- Big Bad Duumvirate: Though he starts off in a Big-Bad Ensemble with Whitehall, the two team up at the end of "A Hen in the Wolf House" to kill Coulson and his team. He then offers to do the same with Coulson to kill Whitehall.
- Big Bad Wannabe: His petty feud with Coulson means he's only an inconvenience to him in the grand scheme of things.
- Bittersweet Ending: The close of his story arc; he gets his memories erased and is allowed to make a new life for himself as a veterinarian completely under his original personality, that of a laughing, friendly, good-humored goofball. Of course, this means completely forgetting about not only the bad things he experienced, like his wife's torture and eventual death — at his own hands — but also all about his beloved daughter.
- Buffy Speak: At times, especially since he's offered his services to Whitehall. This is an instance where Skye's apple doesn't fall far from the tree. As soon as he tries to step up, he's rather unceremoniously plucked off the field by Gordon.
- He regularly uses the phrase "Let's not lose our heads" as a self-calming method.
- Tends to describe good things as the "best day ever."
- Whenever someone refers to his daughter as Skye, he snaps at them with "THAT'S NOT HER NAME!"
- Cloud Cuckoolander: He's completely, utterly insane and knows it. He just can't stop himself.
- Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: He's never once referred to as "Mister Hyde", although his appearance in the season 2 finale is highly reminiscent of the titular character from the original Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: He completely dominates the fist fight with Coulson in 2x10, being stopped by Skye very short of beating him to death.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Revealed over the course of the second season. A S.H.I.E.L.D. team full of HYDRA agents went after a village that included his wife and daughter. He managed to track down his wife and put her back together (though not the same as she was), but all he managed to do was slaughter a lot of people when he tried and failed to find his daughter. He has spent a quarter-century wanting revenge.
- Deadly Doctor: He has a room with surgical equipment and his hands are always covered in blood when he meets with Raina.
- Death of Personality: At the end of season 2, his entire memory is erased and replaced with that of a cheerful veterinarian by way of the TAHITI project. It's implied that the 'new' him is the person he used to be, before he became a monster. Thus, this is a Downplayed Trope.
- Didn't Think This Through: While he put a lot of thought into the tortures he would inflict on Whitehall, his actual plan to get there is rather lacking. He never counted on Whitehall figuring out his identity, and has no concrete plan on how he'll get to Whitehall in the first place. Cal ends up trying to take on Whitehall while the latter has a gun, and Coulson shoots Whitehall in the back while Whitehall's distracted, saving the vengeance-driven doctor.
- Disappeared Dad: Has not been a part of Skye's life for twenty-five years. To be fair, their separation wasn't his fault, he spent a great deal of those twenty-five years trying to find her, and once he did he starts trying to be part of her life again. Unfortunately for him, those twenty-five years have also turned him into someone his daughter doesn't want to know.
- The Dreaded: Raina is terrified of him because he's one of a few people she can't manipulate.
- Even Evil Has Standards:
- Is shown to dislike Whitehall, referring to him as "a butcher." Understandable, considering what the man did to his wife.
- He has nothing but contempt for Raina, mainly because she's concerned about herself and nobody else.
- Evil Counterpart: To Bruce Banner, a very skilled doctor with a Hair-Trigger Temper he himself is horrified by. Though he's also quite violent in his normal state when he needs to be. This makes sense, given that Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde was one of the original inspirations for Bruce Banner/The Incredible Hulk. In the comics, Cal's supervillain moniker is "Mister Hyde".
- Fake Shemp: Kyle MacLachlan's casting wasn't announced until a couple of months after Season 1 ended, so that's probably not him in The Stinger for the finale. That person's hair is also gray.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: Despite being Jiaying's husband, the Inhumans look down on him because of the artificial nature of his powers and his violent behavior, and they're not happy that his petty feud with S.H.I.E.L.D. endangers them.
- Foreshadowing: Conspicuously does not touch the obelisk. It's made clear in "One of Us" that his powers come through experimentation and he isn't an Inhuman.
- Foil: Shaping up to be one for Ward. Both love Skye, but while Ward acknowledges how horrible he has been in the past and tries to win her over by being helpful, Cal tries to hide his dark side and intends to force Skye to come to him by killing Coulson. Also to Coulson, the father figure versus the father she never knew.
- Good Parents: Really wants to be this for Skye, and when given the chance, he's doting and loving towards her. Unfortunately, Jiaying's manipulations made him into a monster.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: He can flip out at the drop of a hat. Just look at the list of things classified as Berserk Button.
- HeelFace Turn: Sides with Coulson's S.H.I.E.L.D when he convinces him that what Jiaying is doing is wrong and will only hurt their daughter.
- Human Shield: Uses this tactic against HYDRA in "The Frenemy of My Enemy" by putting one of their own between him and their bullets.
- I Lied: He was very vague to Raina on what Terrigenesis actually was.
- It's All About Me: His love for Skye is very unhealthy and obsessive; he wants her to love him and only him.
- It's Personal: Whitehall killed his wife, literally cutting her into pieces. He repeatedly states that he wants revenge on the people who took his family from him. Whitehall, who doesn't know him or his connection to the woman he killed, doesn't realize the implied threat.
- Jerkass: He emotionally manipulated Raina by preying on her desire to be something special, then point-blank refuses to help her cope with the transformation.
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: In the second half of Season 2, he moves from being against Whitehall, to against S.H.I.E.L.D. — and this does not go well for people caught in the middle.
- Lack of Empathy:
- Is completely unsympathetic to Raina when Whitehall threatens to have her killed and says that she was nothing before he found her.
- When Raina undergoes Terrigenesis, he's dissmive of her and refuses to help her cope with the trauma of it, in stark contrast to his beloved wife, who dedicated her life to helping the Inhumans cope with the change.
- Large Ham: He's mostly composed if not triggered but when he hams it up, he does so with gusto.
- Legion of Doom: He wants to gather up a couple of "indexed" individuals in order to combat S.H.I.E.L.D. and recover his daughter. Given he's snatched up by Gordon in the same episode and his entire team is captured, it's unlikely this effort will go anywhere.
- Love Redeems: What ultimately spared him from being executed because of his crimes is his love for his daughter.
- Knife Nut: When your Weapon of Choice is a surgeon's scalpel and you always have at least on or two hidden on your person you qualify as this.
- MayflyDecember Romance: With Jiayang. She's led the Inhumans for generations, he's just an ordinary human.
- Morality Pet: Starting in "The Frenemy of My Enemy", he has one in his daughter Daisy, who helps him rediscover the Nice Guy that he used to be.
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: He's a certified M.D. who will casually slaughter a room full of people with a scalpel in order to further his ends.
- Morality Chain: Spending time with his wife and daughter does wonders for his mental stability. He doesn't want them to think he's a monster.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: He plans to do this to Coulson, since he resents him being a father figure to Skye.
- My God, What Have I Done?: When Skye comes across the scene of one of his outbursts, he realizes she will never accept him as her father after that.Skye: He's a...!
Cal: (Staring at his hands) ...monster! [smashes his tablet]
- Never My Fault: He blames Coulson for driving Skye away, even though it's his violent behavior that actually does it. After reuniting with his wife in Lai Xi, he admits that, yes, it is his fault.
- Nice Guy: He used to be one of these and you can still see glimpses of it in his calmer periods. For example, what was he doing in China with a family? He was volunteering for Doctors Without Borders, fell in love, and relocated.
- No Name Given: His first significant role in the plot (with significant screentime) is in the episode "A Hen In The Wolf House", but he is still just referred to as "Skye's father" or "The Doctor". In "What They Become", his name is given as Cal. His full name is revealed to be Calvin L. Johnson in "The Frenemy Of My Enemy", though he mentions changing it to something more appropriate (presumably Zabo) after Skye went missing.
- Not Helping Your Case: He doesn't want Skye to see him as a monster, but his violent behavior and all the killing he does despite her protests don't do him any favors.
- Omnicidal Maniac: He casually expresses an interest in killing "everyone" and takes a thrill in the violence that can unfold.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Until "What They Become", he's simply referred to as "Skye's father" or "The Doctor".
- One-Man Army: Several sources have stated that he wiped out a village single-handedly, and if you believe Ward's version of the events, all those villagers were HYDRA agents.
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Took Coulson's slaying of Whitehall very badly, as it meant that he couldn't avenge his wife's death personally. It's a Justified Trope as his plans for killing Whitehall were much, much crueler than Coulson's Instant Death Bullet, and he's been planning it for decades.
- Papa Wolf:
- In a rather negative way, considering he's both possessive and insane.
- If Ward's to be believed, the village in Hunan that was slaughtered contained HYDRA agents that kidnapped Skye and her mother. The mother was killed by Whitehall before or during Cal's massacre, explaining his unstable behavior in the present.
- Pet the Dog:
- All of his direct interactions with Skye when he gets to show off his Bumbling Dad side.
- When he's asked if Coulson is trustworthy (after they tried to kill each other), he says he hates him... but grudgingly admits that he's a good man who cares for Skye.
- Person of Mass Destruction: According to Raina, he and Skye's mother destroyed an entire village to find their daughter.
- Psycho Serum: He attributes his strength and personality issues to a formula he developed. He's been trying to perfect it, but that doesn't happen until the end of the second season.
- Punny Name: His name is Calvin L. Johnson. Not unlike Kal-El.
- Sadistic Choice: When your wife is trying to kill your daughter, either choice is going to be painful. Cal sides with his daughter, breaking his wife's neck and then crushing her ribcage to splinters with a super-strong bearhug.
- Sanity Slippage: Finding the corpse of his wife after Whitehall vivisected her and losing his daughter sent him off the deep end.
- Sanity Strengthening: Reuniting with his wife and daughter, and taking a break from his serum, makes him more stable. He even catches himself when he starts losing his temper.
- Split Personality: There are at least two sides to Cal. A affable side and an Ax-Crazy side that kills without warning. Raina believes so, even going as far to tell him that other side is controlling him. When some of Team Coulson, and more specifically Skye, find his handiwork, Cal is mortified, calling himself a monster. He doesn't want to be perceived as one. This is fitting, as he's Mister Hyde.
- Super Strength: He carves up anyone who pisses him off with a scalpel, with complete ease, and kills with his bare hands. He also easily defeats Raina, who herself demonstrates superhuman strength post-transformation.
- Stylistic Suck: The name he gives his Legion of Doom, comprised of various Indexed criminals, is "Slicing Talons." It's pretty much cringeworthy to anyone who hears it, but to be fair to him, he did have to think of the name on the spot while trying to kill Coulson, and the person closest to him at the time was Karla, with her, well, slicing talons.
- Throw the Dog a Bone:
- He will never see his family again afterwards, but Skye agrees to have one family dinner with him at her mother's request.
- His ending. He gets a new peaceful life, and to be happy...and Skye visits him, even though he no longer recognizes her.
- Tragic Monster: He might be a jerk, but Cal's life is one big sad story. He was nothing but a loving family man until Whitehall kidnapped Jiaying, vivisected her, and tossed her corpse in the woods. He stitched her back up and her Healing Factor did the rest, but she left him because she became horrified by their desperate actions while looking for Skye. He then spent decades looking for Skye, as he'd promised Jiaying that he'd find her. But the serum he developed to give him Super Strength made him psychotic with uncontrollable aggression, turning him into "a monster" and causing him to be shunned by the Inhumans, who used to be his friends. And when he does find Skye, she wants nothing to do with him, and his own wife has him locked up. And then he's ultimately forced to admit his wife has become a monster even worse than he is, who will destroy the world, and he has to kill her to save their daughter's life.
- Undying Loyalty: In his own words, he would "blindly follow Jiayang into a war". It turns out, however, that his ultimate loyalty lies with his daughter as he turns on his wife when Coulson manages to convince him that her war will ultimately destroy Daisy.
- Ungrateful Bastard: He's furious at Coulson for killing Whitehall before he could get his revenge, even though Whitehall would have killed him if Coulson hadn't intervened.
- Unnamed Parent: Until the mid-season 2 finale, he simply went by "The Doctor". He reveals his name to be Cal in "What They Become". Though his last name isn't revealed, it can be inferred from his personality issues, strength, and Skye's real name that his full name is Calvin Zabo, a.k.a. Mister Hyde.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: He brought back Jiaying to life and in doing so unleashed a bloodbath upon the world.
- Used to Be More Social: He was a doctor, successful/wealthy enough to own an office building in a financially successful part of town, and volunteered in China with Doctors Without Borders, where he fell in love with and married a native, started a family... Now he's a walking Berserk Button.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Cal was a compassionate doctor who adored his family, but the tragedy of losing his daughter and his wife's vivisection drove him to concoct a serum to increase his strength, as he felt he'd failed to protect his family. The serum drove him insane, and he's been a victim of manipulations from his wife and his own mental illness ever since.
- Yandere: Father-Daughter love in this case, but it's still a creepy obsession that involves killing the competition (in this case, Coulson, the Parental Substitute).
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: He coldly washes his hands of Raina after her and Skye's transformation, telling her to kill herself if sis powers to attain godhood, which becomes his end goal. He actually achieves this in the finale, his mortal body dying, but probably wishes he hadn't.
Elias "Eli" Morrow
Species: Enhanced human
Portrayed By: José Zúñiga
Appearances: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (first appears in Episode 70: "Let Me Stand Next to Your Fire")
- "From high school to grad school, no one believed in me! They thought I was cheating. They thought I wasn't capable! Shut me out. Well, guess what ... guess what I'm capable of now. I can create a city out of nothing, or I can cover it in volcanic rock. Robbie, I am becoming a god."
Uncle of Robbie and Gabe Reyes, Eli was an engineer brought in to work with Lucy Bauer on their project when he became aware of the Darkhold.
- Arc Villain: Of the Ghost Rider arc in Season 4, because he was the one who ghostified the other scientists in an effort to obtain god-like power. It was this conflict that led to Robbie becoming the latest Ghost Rider. However, he has nothing to do with the Watchdogs' Inhuman hunt.
- Adaptational Nice Guy: Uncle Elias Morrow is still a criminal, but his crime was aggravated manslaughter, and he truly cared about his coworkers who died. In All-New Ghost Rider, he's a Satanist Evil Uncle with who acts as Robbie's Superpowered Evil Side instead of a genuine Spirit of Vengeance. Subverted later on, when it turns out that he was the one who killed them in an attempt to claim the power for himself. Still, he isn't nearly as bad as his comic counterpart, and he is at least partly corrupted by the Darkhold.
- Affably Evil: After he's revealed to be a power-hungry maniac, he warns Coulson to get away as quickly as possible as he prepares to begin the process of acquiring his god-like power, and later, after he suffocates a complaining underling by creating diamonds inside of his lungs, he tells the others that they might want to cut him open to get the rest of them.
- Bad Boss: If you complain about working conditions or paycheck, he will create diamonds from the air in your lungs until you suffocate.
- Composite Character: His powers are similar to those of the Molecule Man.
- Dragged Off to Hell: Ghost Rider engulfs him in flames and drags him to a dimension that may or may not be literal Hell, but it still a really nasty place
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He raised Robbie and Gabe, and genuinely loves them. When he learns that the drive-by which crippled Gabe was a hit attempt meant for him, he's legitimately horrified, though he insists that it's the Bauers fault. He also offers Robbie the chance to join him, but when he doesn't, Eli doesn't hesitate to start making carbon pop out of Robbie, showing that as much as he loves Robbie, he wants power more.
- Even Evil Has Standards: He may want godlike power, but he does care who he hurts to get it. Killing his coworkers is one thing, but he objects to endangering thousands of innocent lives and warns Coulson to run as he starts up the experiment that will give him powers.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Eli's motivation to become a god is because he's sick of being treated like a nobody.
- Functional Magic: The "god-like power" he gains from the Darkhold is similar to the sorcery used by Kamar-Taj sorcerers in that it works by taking energy from other dimensions through a force of will. However, his is based on creating matter instead of simply using the energy which has the side of effect of creating quakes.
- A God Am I: Eli wants to play God by using the Darkhold. He is not pleased when Coulson explains that all the power did was turn him into an inter-dimensional thief.
- I Just Want to Be Special: He is a gifted scientist who worked hard for years in the name of recognition, only to be snubbed and accused of lying. Enter Plan B, the Darkhold.
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Although no one refers to him as 'doctor' in-universe, he has a PhD (in Engineering) and turns out to be evil.
- Motive Rant: Delivers a fairly sympathetic one about the constant institutionalized racism he faced as a Latino scientist.
- Never My Fault: When Robbie calls him out on his actions, he attempts to blame everything on the Bauers, claiming they started it all.
- Parental Substitute: He raised Robbie and Gabe, with Robbie even saying that they saw him as a father.
- Reality Warper: After using the machine on himself with five of the six quantum power cells hooked up to it, Eli gains the ability to create matter out of nothing. He demonstrates this by generating spikes of carbon from within the bodies of four S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, and creating an entire wall of it in seconds. It's later revealed he's pulling matter/energy from a different dimension, rather than out of nothing per se.
- Spared by the Adaptation: Played with in that he's introduced as alive when his comics counterpart was already dead and had become an evil spirit. Then he is torched and dragged off to Hell by Ghost Rider in "The Laws of Inferno Dynamics."
Kevin Thompson / Kilgrave
Species: Enhanced human
Portrayed By: David Tennant, James Freedson-Jackson (young Kilgrave)
Voiced By: Cristián Lizama and Rodrigo Saavedra (young) (Latin-America Chilean dub)
Appearances: Jessica Jones (2015)
A menacing, shadowy figure from Jessica Jones's past who's responsible for her current state. He's a sociopathic man with the power to control the minds of others, which he uses to obtain money, food, shelter, pleasure and even get his victims to commit violence against others and themselves.
- Abusive Parents: He claims that his parents were scientists who used him as a guinea pig in their laborious and frequently painful neurology experiments, then they abandoned him at ten years old when his mind control powers developed. Or that's how he experienced it anyway, because they never told him what they were doing. His parents were experimenting on him to find a cure for a degenerative brain disease he was born with, and they succeeded, giving him his powers in the process. They only ran away after he made his mother burn her face with a clothes-iron in a fit of childish pique.
- Achilles' Heel: Surprisingly, several:
- Surgical anesthesia shuts down the exact part of his brain that creates his powers, instantly ending any control he's currently putting out, and he'll still be without it for a while after waking up.
- His power has limits. After about ten hours, if they're not in his immediate presence, his victims start to shake off the effects of his control. He also has to be in his victim's physical presence when giving orders, which means he can't control someone over the phone or via the internet.
- If someone he's controlling can be fooled into thinking they've completed their commands (or if they technically completed them), they'll stop. Presumably, this dependence on exact wording also means that his power only works if the person targeted understands the language he's speaking.
- His power is useless if the intended victim can't hear him — such as someone wearing noise-cancelling headphones, or remaining outside the airtight room he gets sealed in — and he obviously can't use his powers if he's unable to talk. Jessica uses a Mundane Solution to capture him by shoving a napkin into his mouth.
- Adaptation Dye-Job: Unlike the comics, his skin isn't purple here since it would just look silly in contrast with the show's serious tone. He's still associated with the color purple though; it's his favorite color to wear and people affected by his mind control see the world covered in purple light. Although in the finale, he does start turning purple after getting a power boost, but even that is more subtle than the deep shade of his comic book version. In a more minor example, his hair and eyes are Tennant's natural brown, rather than the black or purple from the comics.
- Adaptation Name Change: His last name in the comics is made more subtle here through a slight change in its spelling (Kilgrave instead of Killgrave). It's later revealed that his real name is Kevin Thompson rather than Zebediah Killgrave.
- Adaptational Nationality: He's Croatian in the comics but British in the TV show.
- Adaptational Nice Guy: Remember that oh so funny scene when Kilgrave tells everyone in a restaurant to be quiet? In the comics, he told them to stop breathing.
- Allegorical Character: Of Rape Culture, Toxic Masculinity and Male Entitlement.
- Antagonist Abilities: Almost every one of the Main Characters is a much tougher physical threat than Kilgrave is; Jessica and Luke have Super Strength, Simpson was military special operations who had participated in Super Soldier experiments and is still on the short list to continue them before he became a cop, and even Trish has enough combat training to hold off Simpson for several minutes despite her slighter build. However, none of that means a damn thing because no matter how great their strength/skills are, Kilgrave's powers overrides the mind that controls them. One word, and your strengths and abilities are now his.
- And I Must Scream: His victims experience this. They don't want to do what he commands but They're utterly powerless to resist him.
- Atrocious Alias: After they find out his real name, Jessica and her allies find it ridiculous that he would name himself Kilgrave on purpose.
- "Awesome McCool" Name: Admit it, Kilgrave sounds awesome. It's also an alias; his birth name is Kevin Thompson.
- Asshole Victim: When Jessica finally snaps his neck, it only made everyone's lives easier.
- Ax-Crazy: He's a deranged man who commits acts of sadism and violence as easily as breathing. When he gets angry, which is often and with minimal provocation, no one is safe from his wrath.
- Bad Boss: To everyone he uses in his schemes, even people he isn't actively controlling. At one point, he orders two people to tear the skin off each other's faces if he doesn't return in a certain time and he is quite fond of forcing people to commit suicide when he no longer has any use for them.
- Bad Powers, Bad People: His ability is shown to be more or less inherently dangerous (even a simple thing like compelling someone to give him their jacket is shown as a traumatic violation), and it's also indicated that being able to get anyone you want to do anything you want anytime you want is so inherently corrupting that it'd be tough for anyone with such an ability to turn out normal, let alone good— especially since he developed his powers in childhood, and thus never learned about reciprocal relationships; as far back as he can remember, everyone in the world only exists to fulfill his desires.
- Bait the Dog: When he tries to get a new start with Jessica, he seems to make genuine efforts to improve, refusing to use his power to control her, buying her old house legally and hiring people to work for them rather than controlling them into doing it. It soon turns out that while he won't control Jessica directly, he has no problem about threatening to make the people he has hired kill or mutilate themselves if Jessica makes him unhappy. And to make it worse, it later turns out he wasn't really making an effort by refusing to control her directly: he just no longer can control her anyway.
- Beard of Evil: Kilgrave sports a five o'clock shadow.
- Believing Their Own Lies:
- He's a textbook sociopath who routinely engages in Victim Blaming and Gaslighting (manipulating a person into questioning their own sanity/validity of how they perceive the world around them). A major example is when Kilgrave adamantly claims to Jessica that he genuinely believed he had seduced her willingly, because he can't tell when he's using his mind control powers and when he isn't. All other evidence in the TV series indicates that he knows full well that his powers are on all the time, to the point that he has to carefully word mundane requests to people he doesn't explicitly want to control. The excuse that he doesn't even know if he's forcing people to do things appears to just be a half-hearted explanation he tells himself so he doesn't have to feel guilty about anything.
- Apart from genuinely believing he's the real victim, and not guilty of anything, he also doesn't want to believe he uses mind control all the time out of pride. He refuses to acknowledge that he has "raped" dozens of people (in many cases literally) because he has truly convinced himself that he's such a likable demigod-like figure that people must or should adore him like that. In reality, even the few people he doesn't use mind powers on are still manipulated in some fashion (money, drugs, threats, etc.). Due to a lifetime of constantly having mind control powers (since he was 10 years old), he is laughably unskilled at having normal conversations with regular people whom he isn't manipulating through either mind control or other threats.
- This is also one of his weaknesses, as he is very vulnerable to false praise. Well, zig-zagged: he is smart enough to be worried about people pretending to be under his mind control or praising him, but fundamentally, he has an unwavering belief that deep down, everyone wants to obey him, and Jessica obsessively loves him.
- Berserk Button: He really doesn't like being called a rapist.
- Big Bad: He's the main source of Jessica's problems. His status as this is also lampshaded by Jessica when she says to Trish that she can only deal with "one Big Bad at a time", referring to the Psycho Serum enhanced Simpson.
- "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word: He doesn't like the word "rape", despite it being exactly what he did to Jessica, Hope, and almost every woman he's encountered. He seems to acknowledge that's what he did when Jessica confronts him on this, but denies it at first and later mutters that he doesn't like what he does being described that way.
- Blessed with Suck: Kilgrave gets to make a reasonably convincing argument that mind control could be a spectacularly-crappy super power that could cause untold damage to a person's relationship with reality. He has to parse his words very carefully to close the sale on the house, because he's trying to make an honest deal. (Ironically, he has to command the owner to keep the sale "above-board.")"I once told a man to go screw himself, can you even imagine?"
- Kilgrave has lived his life as an isolated, nomad vagabond, because his powers ironically ensure that he cannot function as part of normal society.
- Blue and Orange Morality: In the opinion of David Tennant, this is how Kilgrave should be seen — how can a man who has the power to make people do whatever he wants, perhaps even without meaning to, possibly be able to retain any normal sense of ethics? As far as he knows, everyone in the world is his absolute servant. That's his "normal"; the way the world is supposed to work. When Jessica fled him, it was if gravity stopped working, or the sun went out. It's all but stated that anyone would be warped and changed by this power, and would be unable to see the world the rest of humanity does. That he was ten years old and had been subjected to frequent and painful experimentation when he developed this power lends itself to this interpretation.
- Borrowed Catchphrase: Like the Tenth Doctor, Kilgrave has the occasional tendency to modify his statements with a stressed "Well."
- Breakout Villain: Easily the most popular character on Jessica Jones (2015), with David Tennant receiving critical acclaim for his portrayal. He was even featured in Rolling Stone's list of 40 greatest TV villains. Likely due to his popularity, Kilgrave will be returning for Season 2 despite being killed in the Season 1 finale.
- Can't Kill You, Still Need You: Throughout the season, Jessica insists on not killing him because she needs him alive to prove that mind control is real to get Hope exonerated on her parent's murder by proving that he made her to do it and in that sense is not responsible for their deaths. Hope kills herself specifically to free Jessica from this burden.
- Card-Carrying Villain: Averted. Unlike his comic counterpart, he doesn't consider himself to be a particularly bad person, mostly because he's pathologically incapable of accepting responsibility.
- Catchphrase: "Smile."
- Celebrity Paradox:
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has numerous Shout Outs to Doctor Who, as well as Harry Potter. David Tennant's best known role is as the Tenth Doctor, and before that he played Barty Crouch Jr. in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. It is also worth noting that David Tennant's first episode as the Doctor has him derailing the villain's plans by revealing that they were bluffing and that it is not possible to hypnotize someone into suicide.
- After Kilgrave performs a Jedi Mind Trick, Jessica gives a Shout-Out to Obi-Wan Kenobi of Star Wars. David Tennant also had a guest role in the fifth season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, specifically as Professor Huyang.
- The Chessmaster: This is a given considering he can make anyone do anything he wants, whether it's directly through his Compelling Voice or indirectly through manipulation. Most prominently shown with the immense grasp he has over Jessica's life. Jessica even noted Kilgrave could make her do what he wanted without him saying a single command.
- Child Hater: When he invites himself in to a couple's home, the first thing he does is crush their young son's remote control car, declares that children should be neither seen nor heard, and then commands the kids to lock themselves in the closet while he helps himself to dinner. The girl of the pair has to go to the bathroom, but he just makes her pee in the closet.
- Color Motif: Heavily associated with the color purple.
- Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: Played with. He's being referred to as Kilgrave in press materials, rather than The Purple Man, his alias in the comics. Probably because unlike his comic incarnation, Kilgrave's skin isn't purple. Then it's later revealed "Kilgrave" is technically this version's codename, as his real name is Kevin Thompson.
- Compelling Voice: He has the power to make anyone do as he says, just by speaking. There are a few caveats (a maximum range, physical proximity, number of victims at once, etc.), but no real limits. His control violates even basic instincts like self-preservation.
- Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: Wilson Fisk is a gigantic juggernaut of a man, and the head of a vast criminal organization. Kilgrave is small, slight, reliant on his non-physical superpower, and operates entirely alone. Fisk has grand ambitions and semi-defensible motivations, if not methods, Kilgrave is all about his momentary wants and petty desires. Fisk regrets the harm caused by his methods, Kilgrave refuses to admit he's done anything wrong. Fisk desires only an honest and completely consenting relationship with the woman to whom he's attracted, Kilgrave is willing to use any unhanded means to force her into one. And so on, and so on...
- The Corrupter: "I've never killed anyone. Can you say the same?" Over the course of his spree, he turns Jessica, Jeri, Hope and Pam into accessories to murder. Of course, he was also responsible for the derailing of Jessica's crime-fighting career.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: He straight up makes Ruben commit a very messy Psychic-Assisted Suicide, when the latter blurts out that he loves Jessica. He is also not pleased when he meets Luke.
- Crazy-Prepared: He usually has several different people compelled to cover all his bases, and when he learns Jessica has found out his weakness, he also starts hiring security for real who will still protect him even with his powers turned off.
- Cultured Badass: Is Wicked Cultured and a lethally dangerous Manipulative Bastard.
- Death by Irony: In "AKA WWJD?", he whines that he's incapable of having a personal relationship with anyone—unable to determine if that's what they want, or if they're just following his commands. Jessica remembers: in the finale, Jessica mimes being under his control again, and Kilgrave is so blinded by happiness that he walks right into arm's reach of her, whereupon she pinches his mouth shut and snaps his neck.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Most of his cruel actions are directed at people who simply made the mistake of annoying him or being in his vicinity when he's in a bad mood.
- Do Not Call Me "Paul": It doesn't come up much but he does not like being called by his birth name (Kevin).
- The Dreaded: Anyone who interacts with Kilgrave, especially Jessica, is utterly terrified of him.
- Drunk on the Dark Side: He's drunk on his power, and uses it for petty reasons.
- 11th-Hour Superpower: Towards the end of the season he enslaves his father and other biochemists to work on ways to upgrade his power; from being able to control a dozen people at once to controlling hundreds, from having a range of a dozen feet to a dozen yards, from his orders lasting ten hours to lasting a full day (this last one permits him to use Luke as his spy despite Jessica's precautions), to working over a public address system (throwing everyone in a hospital at Jessica), and ultimately overcoming Jessica's immunity to his powers—although this last one is just Jessica faking him out for the few seconds it took to snap his neck.
- Enfante Terrible: When he got his powers, he changed from being a normal kid to one of these, torturing his parents, even making his mother burn herself with an iron, and eventually forcing them to abandon him. He, of course, will never mention any of this.
- Entitled to Have You: How he feels towards other people, particularly Jessica, is that they are his for the asking, and taking.
- Establishing Character Moment: Twice. Jessica's early PTSD-fueled visions of him sets up his obsession with Jessica. In his first appearance proper sets up his casual disregard for others as he takes over everything around him.
- Evil Brit: David Tennant uses an Estuary (East London) accent, the same as the Tenth Doctor. It reflects in his lingo, too: like "present arms!" when commanding cops to open fire on Jessica, or describing Jessica's flatmates as a bunch of "stroppy tosspots".
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good:
- Jessica's attempts to teach him heroism are hindered by this. While he admits that Good Feels Good, he assumes that she does it for the grateful looks from the people she saves or to "balance the scales." Granted, she doesn't dispute either claim, but prior episodes have shown that her intentions aren't so selfish.
- Also, on the night he enslaved Jessica after seeing her saving someone from thugs, he asks her whether she enjoyed it and why (using his powers to compel a truthful answer). When Jessica says that she liked it because it helped someone and made a difference, he is utterly bemused, having expected her to say that she enjoyed the violence or the feeling of power.
- Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: He enjoys making creative commands to torture people with (like making a guy who called him out for cheating at poker bash his head repeatedly against a wall), and he really enjoys commanding them to stand still/sit/do some task until they wet themselves given how many times he does it.
- Evil Is Hammy: Like most of the MCU's villains, he's full of himself and will add scenery-chewing drama to his speech. Like when a damn phone goes off at the wrong time:Kilgrave: THE NEXT PERSON WHOSE PHONE RINGS HAS TO EAT IT! Crappy fluorescent lights and cockroaches and loud cell phones and the smell of piss! I am trying to profess eternal love here, people!
- Evil Is Petty: Is he ever! Most of the people who initially come forward about encounters with Kilgrave who aren't deluded or bullshitting reported him doing remarkably petty things like making them hand over an expensive jacket, play the cello for him for a couple of days (and injure their hands when he tires of them), or drive him around town for a week. He is also shown to frequently compel people to injure or even kill themselves just for slightly irritating him. Sometimes he doesn't even need his powers — he stomps on a kid's toy car just for being there.
- Exact Words:
- He complains at one point to Jessica that he has to take care with every word he says, otherwise he gets unfortunate results or uses his powers accidentally. The example he gives is when he told a man to go "screw himself".
- This is also a method of thwarting his mind control. For example, Trish was told to put a bullet in her head, but Jessica just placed one in her mouth to end the control.
- Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon: His handsome appearance sharply contrast his utterly depraved and sadistic personality.
- Fatal Flaw: His obsession with possessing Jessica and his inability to grasp the feelings of the people around him is what ultimately leads to his death.
- Faux Affably Evil: Tennant's natural charm comes to the forefront when Kilgrave tells Jessica he loves her and tries to entice her with his domestic fantasy, but we're never allowed to forget how horrible he really is.
- Foil: To Grant Ward. Both serve as very personal enemies to the female lead of their respective series whom they are selfishly obsessed with and have traumatic childhood backgrounds that results in a mindset that they could never be at fault for any of the misery their actions has brought upon others. However Grant is a normal human with combat prowess that he uses to carry out dirty work assigned to him by a vast villainous organizationnote and is treated as a pawn before becoming their leader, while Killgrave has no combat prowess, instead having a Compelling Voice power that he uses to control other people to carry out his wants and has no affiliations with any evil organization.
- For the Evulz: He can and will use his powers to make people do horrific things to themselves just because he's bored, or because they annoyed him somehow, or they have something he wants. One example is making a room full of card sharks give up a large amount of cash, then getting one that complains to smash his head against a wall. Exemplified when he's browsing magazines at a newsstand, while the owner insists "This isn't a library!" and demands he buy something.Kilgrave: Pick up that coffee. Throw it in your face.
- Freudian Excuse: His parents subjected him to frequent, painful experimentation. He interpreted this as them being willfully cruel. In fact, they were trying to save his life. They succeeded.
- Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: It's made abundantly and repeatedly clear that, whatever happened in his childhood, it doesn't excuse any of his horrific actions as an adult and that he is just using his past as a way to avoid taking responsibility for what a vile person he is.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: He was once just a sick kid whose parents were desperate to save him.
- Go-Karting with Bowser: He tries to do this with Jessica for most of "AKA WWJD?", but his overall creepiness and tendency to threaten to kill people when things don't go his way lend every moment an underlying current of menace.
- Gone Horribly Right: He was born with a degenerative brain disease. The attempts to cure him were painful, even torturous, but they succeeded. They also gave him his godawful powers.
- Good Feels Good: When Jessica pressures him into using his power to stop a hostage crisis, he himself is surprised it felt nice, largely because of the awe and admiration from the family he rescued. It doesn't last long though, and it's immediately clear to Jessica that he would never do such a thing of his own accord or because it's the right thing to do. Even when he's doing good things, it's for his own benefit.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Kilgrave has a short fuse, which combined with his powers means bad news for anyone who does something to upset him, like talking at him.
- Hate Sink: He's both the primary villain of the piece and this trope. Kilgrave is so despicable, and he destroys so many lives, that the main draw of the story is waiting for him to lose. This is drawn out by the existence of Hope as a Damsel in Distress that needs to be saved at the cost of sparing Kilgrave, but she specifically kills herself so that his destruction can become the sole motivation of our Main Characters. It doesn't help the fact that his entire character is a portrayal of Rape Culture, Toxic Masculinity and Male Entitlement.
- Hates Small Talk: He admits he's terrible at it, to the point it looks like he'd rather pass a kidney stone.
- The Hedonist: Kilgrave insists on enjoying others' luxurious homes, wears sharp suits and only ever uses skilled chefs to prepare his food. He even appeared in Jessica's life with a woman on each arm.
- Human Resources: It's only mentioned once, but the doctor who performed his kidney transplant notes that the new kidneys are not a match, and thus he'll keep having to steal new ones every couple of years.
- If I Can't Have You...: If Jessica won't go back to him willingly and if he can't control her, he would kill her. He was too late for that.
- I Love You Because I Can't Control You: Well, he can, but his obsession with Jessica stems from the fact that despite having everything he wants he can't really have her affection. Turns out he can't control her at all anymore, which combined with her determination to kill him temporarily sours his feelings.
- Insane Troll Logic: Kilgrave is insistent that he's a good guy and that Jessica is a heartless bitch who he's a Love Martyr to. His arguments for why that is are... unconvincing to an unbiased listener.
- It's All About Me: One of the core aspects of his character. When attempting to woo Jessica he even repeatedly refers to his favorite foods as her favorite foods without an ounce of self-realization, which Jessica promptly corrects him on. The one time he does something good (saving a family from a hostage situation at Jessica's insistence), his positive reaction is based on how it made him feel, rather than any actual regard for the people he saved.
- Jedi Mind Trick: Lampshaded by Jessica when he wards off two cops. Naturally, he says that he is cooler than Obi Wan Kenobi.
- Jerkass: On top of being a psychotic rapist, Kilgrave has a very lacking interest in manners. He usually skips any semblance of charm when dealing with people and barks orders at them instead, knowing they have no choice but to obey him. While sitting in a crowded restaurant, he decides that it's too loud for his liking and simply shouts at everyone to shut up. Somewhat justified, due to not having a normal relationship since age ten.
- Just Giving Orders: Being a Psychopathic Manchild with the power to make other people do things for him, he repeatedly uses this excuse. Whenever Jessica calls him out on the trail of destruction he leaves behind (or anyone else capable of calling him out for that matter), he claims that he is not responsible for killing anybody because he has other people do the killing for him. Whenever someone points out that he compelled people to kill, he will try to gaslight them into thinking that it was somehow their fault. For example, Jessica confronts him that he made her kill Reva Conners, he claims that he only told her to "take care" of her, and that Jessica was the one who interpreted this as killing her.
- Just Think of the Potential: Jessica genuinely does very briefly consider attempting to reform him to use his powers for good, since his ability is so powerful it could be used to really change the world for the better. Sensibly, she ultimately decides this is a stupid idea and attempts to take him out without bothering to wait for his sudden but inevitable betrayal.
- In Love with Your Carnage: Although he quickly comments on Jessica's overall attractiveness, he's especially amazed by her powers and watching her beat up a couple of thugs.
- Kick the Dog: Kilgrave performs acts of meaningless, petty cruelty as casually as breathing. Some of the more notable include having an annoying newsvendor scald his own face with hot coffee and having Ruben cut his own throat in Jessica's bed.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: He forces Jessica's mindlessly cruel and gossipy neighbor to admit that she's just seeking attention. Even Jessica finds it a little satisfying.
- Kids Are Cruel: As a child, he made his mother put an iron to her face in a tantrum. He says it was just an outburst and that he didn't really mean it.
- Kubrick Stare: He can pull off some truly menacing ones.
- Lack of Empathy: He's admitted to "not thinking twice" about those killed in his wake, and generally holds a sociopathic sense of self-absorption and apathy.
- Large Ham: Given Evil Is Hammy, he's self-absorbed, theatrical and prone to shout whenever he feels like it. Jessica's hallucinations of him in Season 2 are even hammier.
- Laughably Evil: He is completely at sea when it comes to normal relations with others. His social ineptitude leads to some unexpected Cringe Comedy.
- Lean and Mean: He's a complete and utter bastard and played by the tall and naturally very thin David Tennant.
- Lecherous Licking: This was one of Tennant's first scenes with Ritter and it made him a bit uncomfortable, but "there it is in the script, black & white, gotta do it."
- Let's You and Him Fight: His MO against Jessica. With everyone else, he just orders them to do whatever he needs them to do. With her, he has to order other people to fight her or act as a distraction.
- Leitmotif: He is associated with a series of discordant and backmasked violin shrieks, which play whenever he uses his powers and when Jessica is tossing her apartment looking for the "gift" he left her after their meeting at the precinct.
- Logical Weakness: If his victims can't hear his orders, then they can't follow them. Jessica and Trish use this for the final confrontation to protect the latter. Additionally if his victims can be convinced they have technically completed his orders then they are freed.
- Manipulative Bastard: Aside from the use of his powers, he also uses more subtle methods to force people to do what he wants. Such as getting Malcolm hooked on drugs and dependent on him.
- Mind Rape: Kilgrave's specialty. What he did to Jessica traumatized her deeply, and she's just one of his many victims.
- Money to Throw Away: Dumping a sack full of $1.26 million at the feet of a stranger in exchange for their house. This is his grand gesture to Jessica.
- Moral Myopia: When it finally gets through to him that Jess doesn't, and will never, love him, he has the gall to feel betrayed and calls her ungrateful, then later accuses her of being the loveless sociopath.
- More Than Mind Control: Played with, but ultimately defied. Kilgrave is convinced that he does this. His victims also state that, at the time they're fulfilling a command, all they can think about is how much they need to do what he says. But in fact, his victims are always silently screaming inside, and the Double Think involved with his powers is what traumatizes everyone in the end, no matter how small the request was.
- Murder the Hypotenuse:
- When Ruben says he loves Jessica, Kilgrave commands him to lie down in Jessica's bed and cut his own throat.
- When he finds out Luke is Jessica's former lover, he orders him to blow himself up while Jessica watches. But then it turns out he knew Luke would survive that, possibly meaning he tried to give him a similar fate to Ruben at some point.
- My Death Is Only The Beginning: He raises the possibility that he could have implanted commands in people that will activate upon his death, meaning Jessica can't risk killing him.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Lampshaded and mocked by both Jessica and Claire. ("Talk about obvious. Was Murdercorpse already taken?")
- Narcissist: And how. He is materialist, goes very aggressive with things related to his ego, considers himself a cool guy, believes he has the absolute right to control, abuse and/or punish others, loves to be praised and admired, and loves to impress and delight others. He is so obsessed with himself that he refuses to admit that his actions are horrible.
- Neck Snap: Jessica finally kills him by clamping one hand over his mouth and the other behind his head, and then twisting.
- Never My Fault: He is unwilling to take responsibility for what he forces people to do. He does a lot of Victim Blaming, as well as Gaslighting. He repeatedly expresses the belief that him ordering someone to want something is the same as them actually wanting it, maintains that he has never killed anyone despite ordering others to do so or kill themselves, and doesn't considering compelling women to have sex with him as rape:
- When he asks Luke if he is the one who screwed up his chances to get Jessica back, Luke answers that Kilgrave did that himself. Kilgrave, knowing that his powers compel people to always answer him completely honestly, sits dumbfounded for a brief moment before muttering to himself that he must "think of a fitting response to that."
- One time he complains about Jessica's drinking problem, and gets indignant at the (true) rebuttal that it's the way she copes with what he did to her.
- He concludes that the fact that Jessica doesn't love him must mean that she is utterly incapable of loving another person.
- Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: He is scary, even when he doesn't pretend to be.
- No Challenge Equals No Satisfaction: He's thrilled when Jessica finds a way to neutralize his powers, forcing him to put effort into something for the first time since he got them. This makes him decide to not use them on her, and try to get her to come with him willingly. Ultimately subverted in that he really did want to control her and was more than happy to kidnap his father to try and find a way to upgrade his powers. He never decided not to use his powers on her; he just couldn't.
- Non-Action Big Bad: Justified, considering the nature of his powers, but Kilgrave never personally does any fighting, always having his thralls do his dirty work.
- No Social Skills: Kilgrave wholly relies on his Compelling Voice powers to interact with people and never bothers with being polite or following any normal social conventions. His insanity and lack of understanding of human interactions even gets him to accuse Jessica of being insane and incapable of love for not accepting him... the man who raped and enslaved her.
- Obliviously Evil: Kilgrave honestly isn't able to grasp the fact that he is a rapist and a murderer nor is he aware of or concerned with the trail of psychologically broken people he's left in his wake.
- Only One Name: Kilgrave is an alias he chose for himself — his real identity is a mystery until he reveals his past and Jessica does some digging. He is only ever referred to as that, and gives nor is called by any other name.
- Playing the Victim Card: If his treatment towards other people, especially women wasn't horrible enough he has the gall to see himself as a victim, constantly using his backstory as an experimented child as an excuse to justify any of his atrocities.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Kilgrave has a low opinion of everyone, but women in particular he views as tools. He also likes using his power to compel women to smile.
- Posthumous Character: After Jessica accidentally kills someone and dumps his body in a river, either a fragment of Kilgrave lodged in her mind or merely her perception of him appears to congratulate her on taking the step to murder, on her own this time. He sticks around after that to taunt her and slowly drive her crazy.
- Power Incontinence: He can't turn off his powers. An off-hand remark by Kilgrave is enough to send a bystander into a suicidal loop. If he doesn't exercise rigorous control, he simply can't have a normal conversation. Of course, he almost never bothers with that sort of self-control.Kilgrave: I once told a man to go screw himself, can you even imagine?!
- Power Perversion Potential: The series explicitly and repeatedly calls Kilgrave a rapist for how he makes women want to have sex with him.
- Pragmatic Villainy: Kilgrave gets what turns out to be Jessica's old house legally, without using his powers or hurting anyone living there... because for the deal to stick and not give him problems later, he had to avoid both.
- Psychic-Assisted Suicide: Dozens of people kill or attempt to kill themselves at his command.
- Psychopathic Manchild: There's an impression that he never really grew up, particularly since he gained his powers as a child and his parents abandoned him when he was 10. Tantrums when he doesn't get what he wants, petty actions against those who annoy him, and shallow appreciation of others' feelings doesn't suggest a lot of maturity. Since he's so immature, he only thinks about his own gratification and doesn't give much thought to the idea of world domination, which he'd be capable of if he went about it the right way.
- Purple Is Powerful: Kilgrave is accompanied by the color purple no matter where he is, be it his predominately purple wardrobe or appearing with a flash of purple light when he's inside his victim's minds.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: This trope is one of the reasons why it took so long to adapt the Alias comic. Kilgrave himself feels this, as he rejects the idea that he raped Jessica, or anyone else, and comes up with justifications for how what he does isn't rape. He even says he hates the word. He also deliberately plays on this, threatening to do it to Trish to try and goad Jess in order to see if she's faking being under his control.
- Sadist: He loves ordering his victims to kill or hurt themselves, often for no reason, using increasingly horrific methods that he comes up with. Such as ordering a policeman to jump off a ledge, a man to splash scalding hot coffee on himself, a man to put his head through a wooden column, and two slaves to rip the skin off each others' faces.
- Schmuck Bait: During the final act of the season, Kilgrave desperately tries to increase his power so that rather than using trickery and manipulation, he can just reclaim Jessica by way of his powers. Knowing this, Jessica fakes being affected by his powered-up abilities when he gets the chance to directly use them on her. The thing is, Kilgrave was smart enough to realize that she would pull this trap, so he tries to goad her into revealing herself by stating how much he's going to rape Trish every day for the rest of her life. When that still doesn't make Jessica budge, his enthusiasm gets the better of him. The possibility that he'd finally gotten his fondest wish made him throw all that savvy out of the window and get close to Jessica. Cue Neck Lift, followed by Neck Snap.
- Self-Made Orphan: His parents abandoned him as a child after he had his mother maim herself in a tantrum. In the present, he has his mother stab herself with the pair of scissors that she tried to stab him with, while having another of his thralls cut his father's arms off and put them in a blender.
- Self-Serving Memory: When he reveals that he deliberately allowed Jessica to regain control to see if she really wanted to stay. Kilgrave's version of events is that Jessica chose to stay, but Jessica points out that she was about to jump off the balcony they were on, only Kilgrave stopped her. When he accuses her of this trope, Jessica reveals the scar left from Kilgrave telling her to cut her ear off.
- This also comes into play with his parents. To hear him tell it, they tossed him away like trash for no reason at all. His father is quick to remind him how he used his powers to control and terrorize them and made them fear for their safety.
- Serial Rapist: He raped Jessica and Hope and threatens to do the same to Trish at one point. He raped other women as well, given he was introduced with women on each arm who he was clearly controlling.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: He's typically seen wearing stylish suits, often purple.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: In "AKA WWJD", when Jessica crams a napkin in his gob to stop him talking, and again in "Smile", when she clamps his mouth shut.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: Kilgrave swears a lot, befitting his short-tempered personality.
- The Sociopath: He claims to be able to love, but it's so twisted that its veracity is questionable. He readily admits that he does not give a damn about a single person other than himself and Jessica although he wants to reconcile with his parents. Even when he tries to profess his undying affection for Jessica, he first refers to her as a thing, and then a person.
- Sociopathic Hero: For all of about half an episode where he considers a crime-fighting career. He saves a woman and her kids from her husband who has taken them hostage, but he is still about to casually order the man to eat the barrel of his shotgun before Jessica manages to rein him in.Kilgrave: He will go to prison and feed off the tit of the taxpayer.
Jessica: You've never paid a goddamn tax in your life!
Kilgrave: ... Fair enough.
- Special Person, Normal Name: His real name is Kevin Thompson.
- Squishy Wizard: Kilgrave is well aware that he has no ability to face anyone, particularly Jessica, in a straight fight. So he has others do it for him. In the end, once Jessica gets her hands on him it's over in seconds.
- Stalker with a Crush: After Jessica escaped, he did everything he could to find her, setting up a network to keep her constantly under surveillance and tracked her constantly. Then, in an effort to woo her, he purchases her childhood home and recreates it, down to the photographs on the walls, from pictures he acquired from the realtor who sold it after her parents died.
- Superhero Movie Villains Die: Discussed. Simpson believes he's too dangerous to let live, but Jess originally objects due to needing him to prove Hope's innocence. Towards the end, she swears to kill him when it's clear that there's really no other option, and kills him in the finale. In the comics he survives the events of Alias, though the comics Marvel Universe is a lot better equipped to imprison superpowered criminals.
- Tainted Veins: When he receives his final power boost, his veins turn purple.
- Tom the Dark Lord: He's a powerful, monstrous supervillain who was born with the utterly unremarkable name — Kevin Thompson.
- Too Powerful to Live: Kilgrave's Compelling Voice abilities are a frightening "elephant-in-the-room" in the context of the entire Marvel Universe, especially given the context that anyone and everyone could be a Kilgrave slave at any time and not even know it. As such, it was unlikely he would live beyond the first season, because the audience would have been second-guessing everything.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Like any bratty child, he refuses to try unfamiliar food, ordering his favorite pasta dish at every restaurant he enters (even forcing a Chinese chef to shlep around the block to borrow the ingredients from another eatery).
- Unreliable Narrator:
- At one point he tells Jessica about a time she kissed him after he hadn't given any orders for 12 hours, framing it as a romantic moment that was completely within her free will. There's even a flashback to show this event. But Jessica quickly corrects him, saying that she remembers it as her being able to insult him for the first time, and that he ordered her to cut off her own ears in spite before relenting. The scar behind her ear backs up her version of the events, and Kilgrave looks shocked.
- There's also his past. According to him, his parents performed cruel and inhumane experiments on him, then abandoned him when he developed his powers, leaving him to fend for himself. However, when we find his parents, it turns out he was dying of a degenerative brain disease, and the experiments were part of a clinical trial to cure him, though he didn't know that. His parents really loved him, but had to abandon him because he used his powers to torture and control them, which hit a breaking point when he permanently scarred his mother, and wrote it off as a 'tantrum'.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: When we see the recording of him undergoing the treatment, he seemed to be just a normal innocent child. This trope disappeared as soon as he got his powers.
- Villainous Breakdown: At the end of his first encounter with Jessica, losing his control over her, even briefly, devolved into Kilgrave chasing her into the street, screaming at her to come back to him, and being hit by a bus.
- Villainous Crush: His obsession with Jessica informs much of his villainy.
- Wants a Prize for Basic Decency: He acts like not treating people like insects is something noble.
- We Can Rule Together: His insistence that Jessica has some moral obligation to redeem him, to harness his abilities for good ("Dynamic Duo!"), turns out to be another form of manipulation.
- What Is Evil?: He considers himself not to be evil as he doesn't take pleasure from killing others, which is a pretty low standard to set. He even believes that he's never killed anybody. Apparently, ordering them to kill themselves doesn't count in his mind.
- Wicked Cultured: One could ascertain this about him based on his wardrobe and appreciation of fine foods, although as with everything else in his life, he obtains it all through his mind control.
- With Great Power Comes Great Perks: Kilgrave has no Evil Plan to Take Over the World, simply using his powers for his own hedonistic pleasure.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Deconstructed. Kilgrave explains to Jessica that the reason why he became the monster he is today is because his parents performed painful experiments when he was a child and abandoned him. He doesn't get much sympathy however because, while the experiment might have given him his powers with the abandonment impacting his view of the world, they DO NOT excuse him in committing such cruelty, like turning innocent women into Sex Slaves and raping them. It's revealed that his parents were performing those experiments to try save him from a neurotic disease he had and would have died if they didn't perform them. They didn't tell him that, however. His powers were a side effect of it and the reason why they abandoned him was because he was using his powers to torture them. In the end, despite his ordeal, he was simply a horrible human being who simply refuses to be at fault for any wrongdoings and instead, uses this trope as an excuse to try and justify his atrocities.
- Would Hurt a Child: He commands two children to get in a cupboard and to urinate there.
- Yandere: The transition is slower than most examples; it takes place over the course of the entire season. He starts off with a terrible Villainous Crush on Jessica after seeing her beat up some thugs and later has her murder Luke Cage's wife. Returning to Jessica's life after a kidney transplant due to a bus crash, Kilgrave starts displaying the "I just want to get back together" attitude with her. After his ploy with reconstructing her house fails, his sanity begins to deconstruct and he begins developing a rage towards her and anyone who loves her in any sense, which is not helped by her immunity to his powers. By the end of the series, he comes back full circle and shows the old crush attitude on Jessica... only to find out it was a ruse before getting his neck snapped.
- You Could Have Used Your Powers for Good: In "AKA WWJD?", Jones twists his arm into helping her defuse a domestic violence/hostage situation.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: He tends to throw away his human puppets like used rags, especially if there's no pragmatic reason for him to do this.
- Zerg Rush: His go-to tactic against Jessica: simply order anyone he encounters to attack her or endanger themselves, slowing her down while he has time to escape.
Portrayed By: Daniel Brühl
Voiced By: Javier Olguín (Latin-American Spanish dub)
Appearances: Captain America: Civil War | Black Panther note | The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
Years later, Zemo would resurface as a full-blown, mask-wearing supervillain, making use of his military training instead of just relying upon subterfuge.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: He's quite handsome here, while his comic counterpart has to wear a mask to hide his hideously charred, disfigured face. This is true to his first appearance in the comics as a one-shot villain, before he was scarred upon becoming a recurring character.
- Adaptational Nationality: In the comics Helmut Zemo is German, but here he is a Sokovian.
- Adaptational Nice Guy: His comic counterpart and that of his father were literal Nazis who wanted mass genocide and world domination, and while the Helmut of the comics did grow out of the former, he still tends to try the later. Here, despite being on a black ops killing team, his motivation is much simpler and more sympathetic. Neither have any ties to HYDRA, either.
- Adaptational Wimp: In the comics Zemo is a major adversary of Captain America and the Avengers. Here he's reduced to just an everyman who serves as a plot device to spark the Avengers Civil War. Most of the Avengers barely notice him being there and even though he did have a major hand in causing trouble, he poses nowhere near as much of a threat as his comics counterpart did. However, the fact that he will become Baron Zemo and will be a full-on direct supervillain in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier means this is changing.
- Adaptation Distillation: His backstory is much more watered down, without any ties to HYDRA or Germany. Here, he's just a victim of the Avengers' collateral damage, seeking revenge for his family's deaths.
- Affably Evil: He's the Big Bad of Civil War and is more than willing to commit mass murder to achieve his ends, but the times he acts polite or remorseful are genuine. He states he'd rather avoid unnecessary deaths if he can, has a few standards, apologizes to T'Challa for killing his father, and has regular courteous interactions with a staff member of the hotel he's staying at. Considering he's just a grieving man who's dedicated to avenging the deaths of his family, it makes sense he wouldn't act like a cackling madman.
- Alas, Poor Villain: His defeat in Civil War is treated as an utterly somber affair, with him having nothing left after completing his plan and hoping to commit Suicide by Cop at T'Challa's hands before trying to kill himself when T'Challa refuses to be consumed by vengeance as Zemo has.
- Anti-Villain: Despite the grim and often hypocritical in hindsight actions he resorts to, he does have some good traits and was hoping for a cleaner way to get what he wanted first. Also, his motive — revenge for the collateral damage-induced loss of his family — is at least a little sympathetic.
- Apple of Discord: His Evil Plan is to find evidence that Bucky Barnes murdered Tony Stark's parents while under HYDRA control and show it to Stark, so Bucky's friend Steve Rogers and Tony will turn on each other over whether to spare or kill Bucky, and the Avengers will be ripped apart as they side with one leader or the other.
- Badass Normal: Compared to the Avengers, he's relatively normal. But, his greatest strength comes from his patience and manipulation.
- The Bad Guy Wins: Downplayed. He accomplishes his main goal in dividing the Avengers and is content with this. However, none of them end up dead and the potential for reunion, however far off, is given. He also remains alive in the end, despite trying to commit suicide.
- Batman Gambit: He's good at finding ways to make other people do things for him by exploiting their predictable behavior.
- He framed Bucky Barnes for bombing the United Nations, then relied on everyone else including Captain America hunting him down for it, and further that no one but the Avengers would even be capable of killing Bucky, to get access to Barnes and his knowledge of HYDRA bases.
- He arranges for his ruse to be discovered by the media, relying on Tony to find out and make amends with Captain America, so they'll both find the Siberean compound where Zemo reveals to them that Bucky killed Tony's parents.
- His entire plan is based on assumptions from the S.H.I.E.L.D. intel on the Avengers he's studied that Captain America's over-protectiveness of his friends and Iron Man's complex over the death of his parents would mean not only that the two would turn on each other if Bucky's involvement in the Starks' death was revealed, but that Steve wouldn't have talked to Tony about Bucky's potential involvement beforehand.
- His setup gambled on the fact that it is a conflict that only works if there are no voices of reason to hold either of them back. The fact that the airport fight left only 2 active members of the avengers, Bucky and a third party present in the Hydra compound in a place where no one would interfere was a happy accident for him since most of the Avengers present could have prevented things from reaching the breaking point.
- Big Bad: The main villain in Captain America: Civil War. That said, the movie is primarily focused on the Good vs. Good conflicts, making him less prominent than other Big Bads.
- The Bus Came Back: After being imprisoned at the end of Civil War, Zemo returns as one of the antagonists of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
- The Chessmaster: He plays all the Avengers like pawns. He frames Bucky for a crime, to have the world hunt him and lure him out of hiding. This partially causes the Avengers to turn on each other, divided over Bucky's innocence. He takes the UN interrogator's place, extorting information out of Bucky and using the trigger words to activate Bucky's soldier conditioning. Before finally showing Tony the tape of what really happened to his parents, sending him into a murderous rage to kill Bucky.
- Colonel Badass: He used to be a Colonel in the Sokovian Special Forces, and he is one of the most effective foes the Avengers have faced — though not because of his combat abilities, but because of how effective he is about executing his plans.
- Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: In Civil War, he's never called "Baron Zemo", the title he goes by in the comics. Justified, since he is not German nobility in this version. His title is Colonel. By the time of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, he takes the title of Baron and dons the purple mask.
- Composite Character: He takes Klaw's role as the man who murders King T'Chaka.
- Crusading Widower: His wife was among the civilian casualties in Sokovia. He keeps a recording of her last voice message on his phone.
- Death Seeker: Once he has put Iron Man against Bucky and Cap, he first attempts to persuade Black Panther into killing him, then decides to shoot himself. Black Panther catches the bullet before snagging him a headlock so he can face justice.
- Divide and Conquer: His plan against the Avengers, seeing that there's absolutely no chance he can fight them on his own. He even compares the Avengers to some sort of a mighty empire, which can only be felled by using this tactic.
- Driven to Suicide: Subverted. He attempts shoot himself in the head after completing his plan to turn Iron Man and Captain America against each other. However, Black Panther stops him from killing himself and turns him into international authorities, so he can face justice for the crimes he committed in the film instead.
- Early-Bird Cameo: According to a set visit, he will have a bigger role in the MCU down the line. Bruhl further confirmed in March 2018 that Marvel already has future plans for the character, though the specifics are a mystery for now. In May 2019, Deadline reported that Zemo would have a role to play in the upcoming The Falcon and the Winter Soldier limited series on Disney+.
- Elites Are More Glamorous: He was a colonel in EKO Scorpion, Sokovia's black ops kill squad. Even if Sokovia was a developing Balkans country, that still makes him pretty dangerous.
- Even Evil Has Standards:
- In a stark contrast to his comics depiction, he lacks ties to HYDRA and outright states that they can all go to Hell.
- Despite his profound hatred of the Avengers, he refuses to unleash the other five Winter Soldiers, as they're worse than Bucky and would do untold damage to the world.
- Evil Genius: Aside from his abilities as The Chessmaster, Zemo was able to crack the HYDRA files on the Winter Soldier that Black Widow released to the Internet and build an EMP bomb.
- Foreshadowing: At the end of Civil War, where he's imprisoned and Everett K. Ross taunts him while asking if it was worth it when it all failed, his response to calmly and coldly say "Did it?". Looking at the scene, it was well telegraphed that he would become a full-on villain, that being Baron Zemo, as he does in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul: When he infiltrates the UN compound to activate the Winter Soldier, he wears a pair of glasses as part of his disguise.
- Freudian Excuse: His wife, father and son were crushed by Sokovia's debris when it fell from the skies.
- From Nobody to Nightmare:
- Zemo was "just" a special forces operative, but when his family was killed, he used his intel on HYDRA to take on the Avengers and came closer to destroying the team than any previous villain.
- Later, it goes even further than that. After his being imprisoned at the end of Civil War, he goes from being a dangerous yet non-combative chessmaster from a distance, to a full-on direct and even more dangerous supervillain as Baron Zemo in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
- Gambit Roulette: The final part his master plan relies on little other than his assumptions on the personalities and capabilities of various characters after studying thousands of pieces of intel from HYDRA and S.H.I.E.L.D. that Black Widow dumped online back in Winter Soldier. The whole thing would have fallen apart if...
- A) Captain America and Bucky had captured Zemo before Iron Man arrived.
- B) Iron Man had not figured out where Cap and Bucky were headed in the first place.
- C) Iron Man had not come alone, meaning there might have been someone to restrain him or talk him down after he learned the truth.
- D) Black Panther had succeeded in killing Bucky during one of their three fights during the course of the film (of course its highly unlikely that he even knew the Black Panther existed).
- E) Captain America told Iron Man that the deaths of his parents were orchestrated by HYDRA.
- Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: Even if any of the above had happened, Zemo still wouldve won because his entire goal was for the Avengers to disband - whether through an amicable parting-of-ways or a bloodbath - it was always a matter of how big his win would be. The only real flaw in his plan was the interference of Black Panther, and the creation of the Sokovia Accords, both of which hed have no way to account for.
- He Who Fights Monsters: He wants to take revenge for the death of his family, which he blames on the Avengers for causing collateral damage in the Battle of Sokovia. In doing so, he is responsible for the deaths of dozens of innocent people himself. He even earns someone coming after him for revenge in T'Challa.
- Hidden Agenda Villain: His motives remain unclear for much of Civil War.
- High Collar of Doom: He does the Marquee Alter Ego and Not Wearing Tights the whole film, but his winter gear in the third act features a large collar turned up, giving off this vibe.
- Hypocrite: Zemo hates the Avengers after the collateral damage they caused killed his family. So he decides to split the team up and in the process causes collateral damage that kills other people's family members.
- Interrupted Suicide: After explaining his motivations to T'Challa and apologizing for the death of his father, Zemo tries to shoot himself in the head. T'Challa, however, has none of that, and stops him to make sure he pays for his crimes and turns him over to the authorities.T'Challa: The living are not done with you yet.
- It's Personal: Zemo has a personal vendetta against the Avengers. His family was killed during the Battle of Sokovia and he simply wants revenge on those he holds responsible.
- Kill and Replace: Murders the psychologist who was supposed to be evaluating Bucky and takes his place, taking the opportunity to activate Bucky's brainwashing during the evaluation.
- Knight of Cerebus: He's a Villainous Underdog, but he manages to tear the Avengers apart through tactics. Unlike previous villains, his methods includes manipulating Tony into trying to execute Bucky to avenge the deaths of his parents and turning on Steve in the process.
- Laser-Guided Karma:
- He uses Bucky's Trigger Phrase while the latter's locked in an apparatus, making him go on a rampage. By the end of Civil War, he himself is locked in the same apparatus.
- He kills T'Challa's father in the course of his Evil Plan. After T'Challa learns the truth about this, he foils Zemo's attempted suicide to ensure he faces justice for his crimes.
- Marquee Alter Ego: In Civil War, Zemo does not wear a mask — or any kind of costume at all, unlike his comic book counterpart. This changes in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
- Misplaced Retribution: Zemo holds the Avengers responsible for all the damage Ultron caused; while Tony and Bruce did create Ultron (after the former was influenced by Wanda), the "end all human life" thing was still his idea. The rest of the Avengers, however didn't know about Tony's plan, and did their best to stop Ultron once he went rogue.
- Moral Myopia: He seeks to avenge his family, but he ends up killing multiple innocents who surely had family of their own. He acknowledges this, seeing as how he apologizes to Black Panther for killing his father but by that time hes hoping to be killed so he can join his family, either by TChalla or his own hand, so its more about easing his conscience rather than remorse for what his actions indirectly caused.
- Movie Superheroes Wear Black: Instead of the purple and gold costume he had in the comics, he sticks to dark civilian clothes. Near the end of Civil War, he has a pitch-black coat with a large collar. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier trailer however reveals hell be getting his signature mask.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: While his plan does succeed in its goal, it does allow Steve to find Bucky, after fruitlessly spending two years scouring the Earth for him, and gives them an ally who can get the brainwashing out of Bucky's head.
- No-Nonsense Nemesis: Zemo is an extremely pragmatic man who knows full well that he's just an ordinary person in an extraordinary world, and realizes that it will give him no quarter if he were to dally about with regards to his vengeance. He has no choice but to be utterly cutthroat if he wants to complete his goal.
- Non-Action Big Bad: Although he has military training, he never directly fights any of the Avengers in Civil War, acknowledging that he could never physically stand up to the likes of them. Instead, he relies more on subterfuge and deception.
- Nothing Left to Do but Die: After getting Tony to fight Steve and Bucky, Zemo decides to listen to his wife's voicemail one last time, before deleting it and attempting to commit suicide.
- Nothing Personal: He tells T'Challa that he is sorry for killing his father and that he seemed like a good man.
- Not Wearing Tights: He doesn't wear anything remotely resembling a costume in Civil War. However, he will be getting a costume complete with the purple mask in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
- Outliving One's Offspring: His son was a casualty from the Avengers' fight with Ultron.
- Papa Wolf: The reason he's out to destroy the Avengers? His family was killed in their fight with Ultron.
- Put on a Bus: Apart from his news report cameo and later a mention by Everett Ross in Black Panther, he was not seen much after Captain America: Civil War.
- Pyrrhic Victory: Zemo succeeds in fracturing the Avengers and getting the majority of them branded as fugitives, but he is also captured by Black Panther and still has to face prosecution for the murders he committed. It also works vice versa on his capture being a Pyrrhic Victory for the heroes. Best summarized by the following exchange:Everett K. Ross: So how does it feel? To spend all that time, all that effort, and to see it fail so spectacularly?
Helmut Zemo: ...Did it?
- Revenge Myopia: Getting his revenge was worth anything — including inflicting upon others the same pain he complained about suffering. Lampshaded at the end of the movie, when T'Challa observes that the revenge he seeks has consumed him. Worse still, because he tore the Avengers apart, they had no gameplan and were unable to present a united front against Thanos, leading to even more families the universe over being devastated by the Snap.
- A Sinister Clue: Zemo is left-handed and is the Big Bad of Civil War.
- Suicide by Cop: After apologizing to T'Challa for killing his father, he says that he seemed like a good man "with a dutiful son", saying this last part with a meaningful glance, obviously hinting that he's fine with T'Challa taking vengeance upon him now. When T'Challa refuses to do so, Zemo attempts to just shoot himself, but T'Challa thwarts this effort as well.
- They Look Just Like Everyone Else!: There's nothing from his looks that would suggest that he's more than just an everyday guy.
- Tragic Villain: He pursues his vengeance purely because he feels he has nothing else to live for without his family. This is highlighted by his decision to goad Black Panther into killing him and, when that doesn't work, shoot himself.
- Tranquil Fury: Despite spending the whole movie on a murderous crusade, Zemo avoids all the theatrics of Loki or Ultron and seldom even raises his voice. This includes when he finally spells out his motives to the heroes.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: By breaking up the Avengers, Zemo left the world unprepared for when Thanos and his alien hordes show up.
- Villainous Underdog: He's not a Physical God, not an alien, not a Super Soldier or even an extraordinarily capable Badass Normal. He's just a former military colonel with patience, a simple yet effective plan, and The Power of Hate. This could change now that hes revealed to be an antagonist in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and even more deadset on taking them down.
- Xanatos Speed Chess: He's not in control of everything that happens in Civil War (for one thing, he has nothing to do with the Sokovia Accords), but he's good at taking advantage of unexpected situations to further his plans.
Species: Enhanced human
Portrayed by: TBA
Appearances: Black Widow
A deadly mercenary who possesses a photo-reflexive memory, allowing him to mimic any skill or fighting style with pinpoint accuracy after seeing it only once.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: His signature "power" is that he's able to use his photographic memory to replicate the fighting style of anyone he's challenged.
- Composite Character: This version's costume is clearly inspired by his UDON gear◊, with the dark blue and more tactical design, but he also has white and orange like his normal costume.
- In the Hood: He just wouldn't be Taskmaster without his signature hood.
- Movie Superheroes Wear Black: His suit is a lot darker from the normal white he wears, instead being more of a dark blue.
- Only in It for the Money: He's a mercenary, working for whoever can afford his services.
- Power Copying: A limited version. He can copy anything he sees, but only mundane skills from fighting styles, to various actions and movements no matter how complex. However, he cannot copy true superhuman abilities, as he's limited by his own body.
- Rogues-Gallery Transplant: Taskmaster is treated as a general utility villain in the comics — he debuted in the Avengers, and has menaced a great number of heroes for a paycheck. Not only has he gone against the Avengers numerous times, but individually he's fought prominent members like Captain America, Iron Man, Hawkeye, Ant-Man, as well as other heroes such as Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Daredevil, Deadpool and various members of the X-Men like Wolverine, X-23, Daken, etc. One of the notable character he hasn't really fought against is Natasha Romanoff, whom he is the Big Bad to in Black Widow.
- Skeletons in the Coat Closet: His mask looks like a stylized skull.
Humans with enhanced technology
Obadiah Stane / Iron Monger
Portrayed By: Jeff Bridges
Voiced By: José Luis Orozco (Latin-American Spanish dub), Salvador Vives (European Spanish dub), Júlio Chaves (Brazilian Portuguese dub)
Appearances: Iron Man | Spider-Man: Far From Home note
The CEO of Stark Industries, taking over after his friend Howard Stark died. His friendly image hides an amoral and sinister mind who seeks to use the Iron Man armor for his own ends.
- Adaptational Jerkass: He's worse in the novelization of the film.
- Adaptational Nice Guy: While still a very corrupt man who wants to destroy Tony's life and use his creations for the sake of a new grade of weapons, Stane bears a more polite demeanor compared to his vehement, obsessively hate-driven personality in the comics, does not drag Tony through sadistic mind games (instead just trying to get rid of him to save his skin, before fighting him head-on as the Iron Monger), and his troubled childhood is not implied to exist in the MCU; making him look much less of a brutal monster seeing life as a game that must be won at all costs, and far more like just a regular guy that let the power get to his head a long time ago.
- Adaptation Origin Connection: In the MCU, Obadiah is a long term business partner to both Tony Stark and his father. His betrayal is what leads to the creation of Iron Man. In the comics, he has no connection to Tony's origin, being simply a rival arms manufacturer.
- Arm Cannon: The Iron Monger suit has a minigun mounted on the right forearm and a rocket launcher on the left.
- Ax-Crazy: Became one at the end of the movie. To clarify, he tries to kill Pepper and starts a violent rampage. He's willing to kill anyone, even children.
- Badass Boast:Iron Monger: Now nothing's going to stand in my way. Least of all... you.
- Bald of Evil: Jeff Bridges was reported to be looking forward to shaving his head to portray Stane with this.
- Beard of Evil: A well groomed one, in contrast to Tony's goatee.
- Big Bad: His attempts to take over Stark Industries drive the first film's plot.
- Big Bad Friend: He's something like Tony's Honorary Uncle in the first film and plotted to have him killed.
- Black Market: His source of income is selling weapons to anyone with the money for them. His plot to have Tony killed is so he can engage in his dealings without someone watching over his shoulder.
- Bond Villain Stupidity:
- Not cleaning out his inbox, for a start.
- Leaving Tony alone to anguish and die without his heart. (Though admittedly, Stane barely had enough time to do a victory jig as Coulson and Pepper were rapidly closing in.)
- Car Fu: He tries to crush Tony under an SUV. When that fails, he grabs a motorcycle and bats him away with it.
- Celebrity Paradox: Thor's appearance after the first act in Avengers: Endgame resembles the Dude so much that Tony Stark even acknowledged this In-Universe in one scene by snarkily calling him "Lebowski". No mention of how Stane was portrayed by the Dude himself.
- The Chessmaster: He orchestrated the hit on Tony in Afganistan and later locks him out of the company to continue his Evil Plan.
- Chewing the Scenery: Just that memetic line he delivered in the movie. (See Large Ham entry)
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Everyone he works with will eventually find themselves paralyzed and their stuff stolen.
- Cigar Chomper: It goes nicely with the corrupt business man thing he has going.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: He handed over Stark weaponry to the Ten Rings in exchange for using them on Tony's convoy. Tony is aghast when he finds out, as it means his uber-patriotic company has been "double-dealing" to terrorists and U.S. armed forces alike.
- Cut Lex Luthor a Check: His motivation come the third act — he sees the vast potential in the arc reactor and armor Tony has designed, and plans to reproduce the technology and use it to create a new generation of weapons.
- Create Your Own Hero: Tony's origin story began with Stane trying to assassinate him. Had Stane not bothered, Tony might well have stayed the apathetic Arms Dealer he was at the start of the movie.
- Deadpan Snarker: The most obvious thing he and Tony have in common is witty banter.
- Disney Villain Death: Faceplants directly into the prototype arc reactor, causing the plant to blow up. That's assuming he didn't die first from being electrocuted.
- Drunk on the Dark Side: Normally calm and Affably Evil, Obadiah loses his cool after becoming the Iron Monger, and even realizes it: "I must admit, I'm deeply enjoying the suit!"
- Evil Chancellor: Not royalty or even part of the government, but still fills the role due to his position in Stark Industries. He was basically the company's regent.
- Evil Counterpart:
- He turned the Mark I Iron Man suit into his Iron Monger suit, literally making him an evil Iron Man.
- In their civilian identities, he and Tony were weapons manufacturers, except Tony realized the harm his work was doing and aimed to do good, while Obadiah was intentionally selling his weaponry to terrorists.
- Evil Gloating: "This is your legacy. A new generation of weapons, with this at its heart."
- Evil Is Bigger: The Iron Monger suit is gigantic compared to the Iron Man suit, towering over Tony during their fight.
- Evil Knockoff: His Iron Monger suit is this to Tonys Iron Man suit; a deliberate attempt to back-engineer a more powerful weapon from Tonys scrap-built first suit, prioritizing more conventional weaponry and power over the trial-and-error perfection that gives even an under-powered Iron Man some advantages over a fully charged Iron Monger.
- Evil Mentor: He tries to steer Tony over to his line of thinking; "We're Iron Mongers".
- Evil Plan: He arranged for Tony's murder and the takeover of Stark Industries. Later, he adds "stealing Tony's prototype armor and repurposing it" to that plan.
- Evil Sounds Deep: The Iron Monger makes his voice sound deeper and more menacing when he's got the helmet on.
- Famous Last Words: "Oh, no. I've never mistaken anything about you since you were a kid. The genie's out of the bottle! We gave a wonderful gift to the world... I'm stuck... we've done our part, now it's time for both of us to go!"
- Faux Affably Evil: He's a double-dealing arms trader who initiates a coup against Tony with the board of directors to lock him out of the company. On the other hand, he's a jovial wise-cracker who brings Tony pizza from New York (Tony lives in Malibu), rides around on a Segway, and treats his employees well (unless he's in a bad mood). In the film's climax, he compliments Tony's arc reactor design even as he casually mentions ordering a hit on Tony, and takes the arc reactor from his chest and leaves him for dead.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Definitely a part of his motivation. He thinks he's been "holding [Tony] up" for almost three decades, and resents being pushed into the background since he took over the company (literally, in the montage of magazine posters shown at the beginning of the film).
- Large Ham: Evil Is Hammy, after all. Best exemplified by the Punctuated! For! Emphasis! gem of a quote he gives to one of the scientists at Stark Industires:Stane: Tony Stark was able to build this IN A CAVE!...WITH A BOX OF SCRAPS!!
- Manipulative Bastard: Manipulates Tony out of the company and uses and discards the Ten Rings when they are no longer useful.
- Meaningful Name:
- Tony often refers to his mentor/father figure as "Obie". Obie = Obi = Obi-Wan.
- "Monger" is an archaic English word for seller or dealer, which survives in words like "fishmonger" but now often has a negative connotation as in "warmonger" or "gossipmonger".
- Mini-Mecha: The Iron Monger suit is closer to this than Powered Armor.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Had Stane not ordered the hit on Tony, Iron Man never would have been created, and the MCU would have been doomed as a result. Without Iron Man, New York would have been nuked, possibly without stopping the Chitari invasion, Killian would have easily succeeded, and Thanos' snap couldn't have been undone. And that's without getting into the ripple effect of how other heroes and their movies would have been affected. All this and more had Stane not ordered the hit on Tony.
- No Honor Among Thieves: Perturbed by Raza's refusal to kill Tony, Stane later meets with him in the desert to talk terms. However, Raza no longer has any collateral with which to bargain, and Stane simply disposes of him and his goons.
- No Sense of Personal Space: Stane loves getting very close to people and putting his arm around them, whether he's trying to butter them up or intimidate them.
- Pet the Dog: When a scientist he's berating over the failed attempt at making the Iron Monger suit functional tells him bluntly that he isn't Tony Stark (for context, he had just been told that Tony had built his own first suit in a cave with a box of scraps), he simply calms down and tells the scientist to stop worrying and get some rest, because despite the scientist's best efforts, the only one capable of getting the suit to work is, indeed, Tony Stark.
- Pragmatic Villainy: It didn't stop him from trying, but he admits to having worried that having Tony killed would be like "killing the golden goose".
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Though interrupted.Iron Monger: Your services are no longer required.
- The Resenter: Stane grew too comfortable running the company during Tony's adolescence.
- Treacherous Advisor: Already a major early villain from the comics, Obadiah was retooled as having co-founded Stark Industries with Tony's dad, who then served as a mentor to Tony and the second-in-command of his company when the elder Stark died and Tony inherited the company. Naturally, this being an adaptation, Obadiah turns out to be more villainous than he lets on.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: He is indirectly responsible for a Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal that happened years later and has potentially long-lasting implications. The scientist he yelled to about Tony Stark making an Arc Reactor "in a cave with a box of scraps" went on to join a group of disgruntled former Stark Industries employees to help create Mysterio.
- Villain Has a Point: Up until the third act where he steals Tony's arc reactor and leaves him for dead (not to mention all his subsequent actions), Stane's reasons for his villainy are perfectly understandable. Putting a hit on Tony is extreme, but consider Tony is a Rich Idiot with No Day Job who yet gets all the fame and credit for the success of Stark Industries, as well as the fact that upon his return from Afghanistan Tony announces he's shutting down the weapons division of Stark Industries, the company's focus for decades, with no plans for what the company is going to do instead, and he keeps a technological breakthrough like the arc reactor secret and for his own private use. No wonder Stane wants to get rid of Tony, he's reckless and damaging to the company Stane helped his father build. Though his way of dealing with him pretty much made him realize it.
- Villainous Breakdown: Everything he does after Pepper steals the evidence of his terrorist dealings and hands them over to S.H.I.E.L.D., including the well-known "Box of scraps" scene. Even his final gambit is nothing more than a desperate, insane bid to drag Tony down with him.
- Visionary Villain: He presents himself as one to the arc reactor team just before their failed attempt to construct his custom Iron Monger suit.
- War for Fun and Profit: His ultimate goal is to revolutionize the U.S. military with arc-powered weapons and suits. Each patented and trademarked by Stark Industries, of course.
- Wicked Cultured: This guy is great on the piano, but the hidden message was less well-meaning.
- Would Harm A Child: He throws a car full of them at Tony. He was looking directly into the windshield and could see them screaming, so he was well aware of what he was doing.
Ivan Vanko / Whiplash
Portrayed By: Mickey Rourke
Voiced By: Carlos Segundo (Latin-American Spanish dub), Alfonso Vallés (European Spanish dub), Takayuki Sugo (Japanese dub), Michel Vigné (French dub), Benoît Rousseau (Canadian French dub)
Appearances: Iron Man 2
Son of Anton Vanko, a former partner of Howard Stark, who forced his father's exile to Siberia, and a subsequently miserable life turned him to revenge against Howard's son Tony.
- Aborted Arc: His death was deliberately made ambiguous in case Marvel Studios wanted to bring him back in future movies. Unfortunately, Mickey Rourke hated the movie so much that Vanko is unlikely to ever return, unless they pull an Other Darrin.
- Affably Evil: Vanko's shown to be a pretty nice guy as long as you're on his good side, and even if you aren't, he isn't above some polite conversation.
- Arch-Enemy: To Tony Stark, though it's very one-sided on his side as Tony views him more as an annoyance than a threat. However Vanko had dedicated his life to killing Tony due to his father having been screwed over by the latter's.
- Badass Normal: Electro-whips aside, Vanko's just a normal guy fighting true Powered Armor. Until his second suit, which is indeed Powered Armor and much stronger than Tony's and Rhodey's. He's implied to be a fearsome guy in his past (Mafiya tatoos and all).
- Big Bad: In Iron Man 2, he's the major threat and the one pulling the strings, but he's content to let Hammer think he's just an underling.
- Canon Foreigner: There were four people who took on the mantle of Whiplash before the release of Iron Man 2, but none of them were named Ivan Vanko.
- Canon Immigrant: Vanko's version of Whiplash is later migrated into mainstream Marvel comics universe.
- Clothes Make the Superman: Like Tony, his "superpowers" are all part of his suit.
- Composite Character: Of Whiplash (the whips) and Crimson Dynamo (the Powered Armor, being Russian, and his name), with some elements of Morgan Stark (his motivation for revenge, using remote controlled drones) thrown in for good measure.
- Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Discussed Trope; Tony asks why he didn't take his arc reactor, inferior to his but still functional, to an enemy nation or the black market and make a fortune. He also could have lived a comfortable life on Hammer's dollar with the quality of work he was providing. In both cases, he preferred using his talents to get revenge on Tony instead of making money.
- Driven to Suicide: Unable to kill Tony and wounded by him, he actives the self-destruct device inside his Whiplash Power Armor and other Hammer Drones, gloating to Tony, "You lose." while he laughed.
- Dragon-in-Chief: Was this to Justin Hammer.
- Dragon with an Agenda: Let Hammer believe he was helping him embarrass and upstage Tony when, in actuality, he was placating him while developing the tech he would use in his revenge scheme.
- Dual Wielding: Can swing two whips at once.
- Evil Counterpart: He built a miniature arc reactor out of scraps and used it to power weapons that gave Iron Man a good run for his money. The novelization even has Tony note that if their fathers had been in reversed positions and it was Howard who was deported and left to descend into drunken depression, Tony might have ended up just like Vanko.
- Evil Is Bigger/Lightning Bruiser: His Whiplash Mk II armor is noticeably brawnier and more heavily armored than the Iron Man or War Machine suits, while retaining a similar level of agility and maneuverability to them, in contrast to the slower, more mech-like Iron Monger.
- Evil Plan: "What your family did to mine in forty years, I will do to you in forty minutes."
- Flunky Boss: Hacks War Machine and the "Hammeroids", sending them against Tony before he finally takes him on personally.
- Genius Bruiser: He looks like a thug and is implied to be part of the Russian Mafia, but he's also one of two people capable of making arc reactor technology, and then he used it to make his own Powered Armor.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Has the traditional scar down his eye.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Firmly believes (and not without some measure of justification) that he should have and could have been where Tony is now, if not for Howard Stark screwing his father.
- I Need a Freaking Drink: He swallows down vodka as his father dies before him.
- Large Ham: Mickey Rourke is clearly enjoying himself, best represented by Vanko frequently breaking into a smug smile.
- Made of Iron: His harness gives him a good degree of protection. Happy drives a car into him and Vanko is barely stunned, and after being flung through the air onto asphalt he's still conscious enough to taunt Tony, if dazed and bleeding heavily.
- The Mafiya: If his tattoos are accurate, he's a member.
- Never Found the Body: His death isn't shown onscreen and it's never stated if his remains were recovered, leaving wiggle room for a potential return. In the original ending (which was included as a deleted scene), he's explicitly killed onscreen by War Machine.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: He shows that he's both fluent and eloquent in his early face-to-face confrontation with Tony Stark, but speaks to Hammer in broken, barely intelligible English just to mess with him.
- Oral Fixation: His toothpick.
- Pet the Dog: In his only displays of kindness, he shows he likes cockatoos, even the one Hammer gets him in place of Vanko's own back in Russia. He had a few other Pet the Dog moments in Russia to help flesh out his character, which were cut from the film, much to the annoyance of Mickey Rourke.
- The Quiet One: Vanko is very quiet, especially when compared with Tony or Justin. In several of his most prominient scenes, Vanko says barely anything at all; during the climax, his only words are "Good to be back" and "You lose."
- Related in the Adaptation: This version of Whiplash is the son of Anton Vanko, the first Crimson Dynamo in the comics.
- Renegade Russian: Tried selling Soviet nuclear fuel on the black market at one point.
- Revenge Before Reason: Why he's not using his technology for practical purposes; he only wants revenge.
- Shock and Awe: His whips are charged with electricty.
- Sins of Our Fathers: Tony's, specifically, that caused a drunken depression and a piss-poor childhood.
- Spiteful Spit: After his first fight with Tony, he spits blood on the ground and shouts "You lose!" at Tony as the police take him away.
- The Stoic: Vanko is extremely calm and collected, even when held in captivity or being scolded by his billionaire employer. When Hammer tells his guards to start taking Ivan's bird and other comforts away, you can see when he stops protesting and when he starts just going with it silently. It's like flicking a switch.
- Tattooed Crook: Displays tattoos that are common with Russian criminals.
- Tragic Villain: All his disdain for Tony's family is well-founded (save for the fact that his own father was a crook). His father was cut off from the project he helped start, was deported to a winter wasteland to die in a bitter swill of alcoholism and disgrace, and he himself got wrapped up in organized crime to make a living. Beneath his cold exterior is a genius mind that even Tony Stark is impressed by.
- Mickey Rourke, the actor, wanted to play up more on this aspect of the villain, but due to Executive Meddling from Marvel, his ideas ended up on the cutting room floor. This caused Rourke to hate his experience at Marvel.
- Troll: He enjoys antagonizing Hammer just for the sake of doing it, such as telling him the drones won't be ready for the expo presentation when they most definitely are.
- When All You Have Is a Hammer...: His harness, and later his Powered Armor, aren't shown to have any on-board weapons like the Iron Man or War Machine armor, except for the whips. Vanko still overpowers both of them because the whips are just that effective. It makes sense; the Iron Man and War Machine armors are filled to the brim with ranged weaponry, most of which is explosive. Up close, they either miss, or hit and damage both Vanko and themselves. The whips bring the attacker in close and immobilize them while delivering an electric discharge to fry and mangle the armor.
- Whip It Good: His electro whips cut real well too.
- Worthy Opponent: He believes Tony to be the only one worthy enough to talk straight to. Other times he is either silent or in Hammer's case pretending to be an incompetent, broken English speaking Cloud Cuckoo Lander. With Tony, he makes his intentions clear and even follows Tony's sarcastic advice when upgrading his weaponry.
- Yellow Lightning, Blue Lightning: His harness had yellow electricity for its whips, but the full set of Powered Armor he makes for himself gives them blue lightning.
Dr. Darren Cross / Yellowjacket
Portrayed By: Corey Stoll
Voiced By: Juan Frese (Latin-American Spanish dub), Luis Bajo (European Spanish dub), Toru Okawa (Japanese dub), Pierre Tessier (French dub), Adrien Bletton (Canadian French dub)
The current head of Pym Technologies and creator of the Yellowjacket suit. Originally a close protege of Hank Pym, he grew distant due to Hank's unwillingness to share his Pym Particle research with him and has been driven to get the same results as the Pym Particle without Hank. His ultimate plan is to sell the yellow jacket suit to Hydra.
- Abhorrent Admirer: To Hope, who he has feelings for. They may be romantic or platonic, but he does like and respect her.Cross: You know, I came to the house the other night to kill him, but you were there.Hope: You're sick and I can help you. Just put the gun down.Cross: I wasn't ready to kill you then, but I think I am now!
- Adaptational Superpower Change: In the comics, he had Super Strength and later mood-based size-shifting abilities. As the Yellowjacket in the film, he can use lasers and can change his size at will.
- Age Lift: In his original comics appearance he was a middle-aged man with an adult son; in the MCU, he's played by Corey Stoll (late 30s) and is heavily suggested to be close in age to Hope (who is, specifically, 35 years old).
- Ascended Extra: He was a very minor villain in the comic who became the Big Bad of the movie. Conveniently, the 2015 Ant-Man comic book have him and his company as the main villain.
- Animal-Themed Superbeing: His suit is black and yellow with protrusions on the back that evoke the image of a wasp.
- Applied Phlebotinum: Just like Scott's suit, his utilises Pym Particles to shrink.
- Arch-Enemy: To Scott. With Darren's jealousy and hatred over Pym favoring Scott over him and Scott destroying his company as well as Darren threatening Cassie, the enmity becomes mutual for both of them.
- Ax-Crazy: A subdued version that gets scarily worse over the course of the movie. Hank suggests it to be from exposure to the Pym Particle, and Darren was already unstable to begin with before he began to work at replicating his mentor's technology. After being electrocuted by a fly trap to death and then also resurrected by it, he becomes even more berserk.
- Badass Boast: "The laws of nature transcend the laws of man, and I have transcended the laws of nature".
- Badass Bookworm: He's a Mad Scientist who fights Ant-Man with his own, upgraded suit.
- Bad Boss: He kills several of his own men in his attempt to murder Scott.
- Back from the Dead: During their first fight, Scott (hilariously) swats him into a bug electrocutor that temporarily kills him, before electrocuting him back to life. If Cross wasn't royally pissed off then, he was BEYOND pissed after that.
- Bald of Evil: Darren has his head shaved in a film where all the heroes have hair, even the old man. And he's the main antagonist.
- Big Bad: As the one who created and plans to sell the Yellowjacket suit, he is the main villain of the film.
- Card-Carrying Villain: You have to be a self-professed villain to straight up tell someone that you're selling the Yellowjacket suit to HYDRA with a smile on your face.
- Character Tic: Putting a reassuring hand on someone's shoulder, in a way that's not the least bit reassuring.
- Chewing the Scenery: Once he dons the Yellowjacket suit, he unhinges even further as he fights Scott, until he's shouting while blasting things to bits with his lasers.Darren: [After stepping on, and accidentally activating, an iPod] I'M GONNA DISINTEGRATE YOU!!!
- Clothes Make the Superman: The Yellowjacket suit gives him very similar powers to Ant-Man, although it comes equipped with shoulder-mounted lasers while the Ant-Man suit does not have any weapons at all.
- Combat Tentacles: Two tentacles that fire energy blasts like stingers.
- Composite Character: Of four characters from the comics:
- This version of Yellowjacket is not an alter-ego of Hank Pym, but instead a villain and alter-ego to Darren Cross.
- In the comics Cross is a Starter Villain for Scott Lang that has nothing to do with the Yellowjacket title. Though this later gets introduced back into the comics due to the film's influence.
- He also shares some personality traits with Ultron, such as his "daddy issues" with Pym and Hank seeing a darker version of himself in him.
- The choice to make Cross completely bald in the film is probably a reference to Pym's original Mad Scientist Arch-Enemy in the comics, Egghead.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Cross is the CEO of his own company and thinks nothing of shrink-killing people who disagree with him, and supplying weapons to HYDRA.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: It's hard not to cringe as different parts of his suit start shrinking at different times, agonizingly crushing him.
- Deadpan Snarker: He's usually ready with a quip or put-down.
- Dies Differently in Adaptation: In Ant-Man, he is killed when his Yellowjacket suit (tampered with by Scott Lang) crushes him to death, but in the comics, he dies of natural causes (a heart attack) during a fight with Scott.
- Establishing Character Moment: He murders a coworker who offhandedly speaks out against his work after stating that he has 'transcended the laws of nature'. Showing that he's a cold-blooded murderer with an ego beyond reproach. He even does it with his shrink ray. Then flushes what's left of him down the toilet.
- Evil Counterpart:
- To Scott Lang, who he counts as a foil to. While Scott is an ex-con who uses the Ant-Man suit for noble purposes, Cross is the powerful CEO of Pym Technologies and uses the Yellowjacket suit for power and destruction.
- He kinda counts as one to Hope as well. Both hold a grudge against Hank Pym by the start of the movie. But while Hope manages to reconcile with Hank, Cross does not and wants to prove himself better than Hank at any cost.
- Evil Genius: His inventions are fueled by complete disregard for the safety of others and they're being sold to Hydra!
- Evil Is Hammy: I'M GONNA DISINTEGRATE YOU!!!
- Evil Plan: Re-invent the Pym Particle and make a commercial success of it in order to prove himself better than his mentor.
- Faux Affably Evil: He usually acts friendly and cheerful, even as he commits horrible acts like murder.
- An emotionally unstable business executive desperate for Pym's approval and holds stark similarities to him, in contrast to Scott, who's the criminal disciple of Pym, but is less similar and holds much greater emotional maturity.
- There is also a sharp contrast between the Antman suit and the Yellowjacket suit. Hank emphasizes the Antman suit carries no weaponry, with Scott utilizing size changing discs and his ant buddies in combat, while the Yellowjacket is chock full of deadly weapons. There's also the fact the Antman suit is designed for infiltration and camouflage, while the Yellowjacket is bright and let's enemies know its presence.
- For Science!: One of his earlier motivations, along with "Well Done, Son!" Guy, is to recreate the Pym Particle formula.
- For the Evulz: He uses lambs as test subjects for his fatal shrink ray rather than cheaper and less empathic mice for no discernible reason. Then he flicks the container like a kid with insects.
- Gone Horribly Right: Hank choose him as his apprentice because he saw himself in Cross. Then he distanced himself because he started seeing too much.
- Granola Guy: A minor case from his morning meditations, a reference to the New-Age Retro Hippie elements of Silicon Valley. He doesn't have any other traits.
- Green-Eyed Monster: There's more than a little jealousy in Darren's hatred of Scott, who is Hank's new pupil.
- Ignored Epiphany: There are a few times where he is a little unsure of himself. After killing Frank, he stares at himself in the mirror. He later shows some vulnerability by asking Hank why he was pushed away. Cross was also conflicted about killing Hope, and had to engineer a situation where he seemingly had no choice to be 'ready'. Finally, he is a little affected when Cassie asks him if he's a monster. Of course, whenever he comes close to showing an inkling of morality, he swerves hard in the other direction.
- Instant Costume Change: He unshrinks and dons the Yellowjacket suit in about five seconds while Scott is distracted.
- It Amused Me: One of the reasons he sold the Yellowjacket suit to HYDRA, other than to spite Hank, is because he "enjoyed himself".
- It's Personal: By the time of his final duel against Scott, he declares that he will pay for destroying Pym's company along with his plans by destroying everything that he loves, beginning with Cassie.Cross: "You insult me, Scott. Your very existence is insulting to me. You know, it'd be much easier to hit you if you were bigger."
- Jaw Drop: His reaction upon seeing Pym's work facility explode, then implode on the night it was going to be given to him.
- Jerkass: Outright bullying to Pym in his actions, and taunts Scott throughout their battle.
- Jerkass Has a Point: What IS the difference between testing on a mouse or a goat? Both are feeling creatures.
- Karmic Death: Darren's weapon of choice before donning his suit is a Pym Particle device that causes people to turn inside-out as they shrink. Scott sabotages his suit during their final battle, causing Darren to slowly and painfully implode in a similar process.
- Lack of Empathy: He does not care at all that he killed a number of his own employees trying to kill Scott, and even less that completely innocent people would likely die as a result of him selling the Yellowjacket to HYDRA.
- Large and in Charge: Darren towers over many people including his former mentor Hank, and the more lanky Scott. Corey Stoll is 1.87 metres (6' 2") in height and fairly muscular, making his portrayal physically imposing — especially when he puts on the Yellowjacket suit.
- Ludicrous Gibs: He uses an imperfect version of the Pym Particle device to cause people to shrink and implode into tiny red blobs.
- Mad Scientist: He was able to to reverse engineer the Pym Particles, after all — and suffered Sanity Slippage as a result, due to unprotected exposure.
- Made of Iron: Gets stung by multiple bullet ants at once, then later swatted into a bug zapper and repeatedly electrocuted, but still doesn't go down. Hank even rightfully believes him dead at one point.
- Mood-Swinger: This guy can go from professional, to manic, to enraged, to depressed, and then back to manic again over the course of a half-hour.
- No Sense of Personal Space: Darren has a way of getting very close to people he's having chats with that tends to get very menacing, especially when his off-kilter behavior is added into the mix...
- Not So Different: Hank took Darren on as his apprentice because he saw some of himself in him. Seeing too much of himself in Darren is also why he pushed him away.
- Pet the Dog: He's largely a good boss to Hope and is very respectful of her, possibly due to unspoken feelings. She's his Only Friend.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: His suit allows him to fight on equal footing against Scott.
- Primary-Color Champion: Inverted. His predominately yellow suit has small red markings and allows him to fire bolts of blue energy, but he's the Big Bad of his film.
- Psychopathic Manchild: His Mood-Swinger tendencies plus his desire for attention from Hank makes him come off as very childish most of the time — as well as petty, selfish and unstable.
- A Pupil of Mine, Until He Turned to Evil: Hank Pym was his mentor and Cross went down a dark path. Now they're enemies.
- Ret-Canon: Both Darren Cross and Yellowjacket existed in the comics as established characters, but in 2016 Cross took up the mantle of the Yellowjacket identity, due to the events of the film.
- Revenge Before Reason: His initial goal of escaping with the Yellowjacket suit is tossed aside in favor of taking revenge on Scott for imploding his building and all the research in it, and then smacking him into a bug zapper. It's likely that Scott's actions (and being zapped) finally drove him completely over the edge.
- Sanity Slippage: He wasn't all that stable to begin with, and a combination of the Pym particles and his own insecurities cause him to grow more ruthless and psychotically paranoid over the course of the film. Getting his plans ruined by Antman and Hank only makes his state worse.
- Shadow Archetype: He's inherited not only Hank's Yellowjacket identity but also the Mad Scientist and Sanity Slippage traits typically associated with it, and serves to demonstrate why Hank stopped using the Ant-Man suit in the first place. Invoked late in the movie.Darren Cross: All those years ago, you picked me. What did you see in me?
Hank Pym: I saw myself.
Darren Cross: [hurt] Then why did you push me away?
Hank Pym: Because I saw too much of myself.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: He's wearing a three-piece suit for much of the movie until he dons the Yellowjacket suit near the climax.
- Shrink Ray: He carries one, which he uses on those who disagree with his ideas. Since it's imperfect, it also turns them into a lifeless, tiny pile of mush.
- Size Shifter: He can shrink like Ant-Man using the Yellowjacket suit.
- Uncertain Doom: According to director Payton Reed, it's possible that Cross didn't die when Scott seemingly imploded him, and that he could be in Quantum Realm, presumably to leave the possibility open for some kind of return. Though, he might be wishing he were dead at this point.
- The Unfettered: He's willing to use Hank Pym's technology as a weapon and do everything from murder to working with HYDRA to make it happen.
- Villainous Breakdown: He is already suffering a Sanity Slippage as the movie progresses, but when he sees his company being obliterated by Pym's plan coming to fruition, he completely snaps, puts the Yellowjacket suit on and spends the rest of the movie trying to get revenge on Scott. Then Scott throws him into a bug zapper, which shreds whatever sanity was left.
- Villain Respect: Downplayed example — Darren can't help but admire that despite his age, Hank can still throw a mean right cross.Darren: Wow! ... Wow! I mean, I saw that punch coming a mile away, but I thought it'd be all weak and pathetic!
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Darren considers himself a surrogate son to Hank, and the feeling was returned. Much of his motivation stems from a desire to both prove himself and outdo his mentor, since he feels abandoned and betrayed by him.Cross: What do you call the only man who can arm the most powerful weapon in the world?Hank: The most powerful man in the world.Cross: You proud of me yet?
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Cross became mentally unstable due to unprotected exposure to Pym particles over thousands of experiments trying to reproduce Hank's technology.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: One has to wonder to what effect the Pym Particles have affected his mind. He's certainly not on speaking terms with sanity, and he has little moments of vague humanity. It's also oddly affecting to see him watch his beloved company crumble to the ground right before his eyes.
- Would Hurt a Child: He has zero qualms about threatening Cassie and was fully prepared to kill her to get revenge on Scott. Ironically, it ended up leading to his death.
Species: Human (Cyborg)
Citizenship: South Africannote
Portrayed By: Andy Serkis
Voiced By: Enrique Cervantes (Latin-American Spanish dub), Ramón Langa (European Spanish dub), Minoru Hirota (Japanese dub), Jérémie Covillault (French dub), Manuel Tadros (Canadian French dub)
Appearances: Avengers: Age of Ultron | Black Panther
A powerful South African gangster and smuggler who knows Tony from back during his days as an arms dealer. He's also the only mercenary to ever find Wakanda... and survive.
- Absurd Phobia: He's afraid of, to the astonishment of the Maximoffs, cuttlefish, having been terrified by a documentary featuring them. He's fully aware of how absurd it is, and exploits this to mock Scarlet Witch's nightmare-inducing power and the Maximoffs' amateur intimidation tactics. Whether the fear is genuine or just made up to screw with the Maximoffs is left unclear.
- Adaptation Name Change: His name went from "Klaw" in the comics to "Klaue" in the movies, although it's still pronounced the same.note
- Adaptational Nationality: He went from being Belgian in the comics to South African. Although the file the Avengers have on him in Age of Ultron still states that he has the Belgian citizenship and was born in the Netherlands.
- Adapted Out: Unlike his comic book counterpart who is made entirely of sound, the movie version of Klaue is not made entirely of sound. He is also apparently revealed to be a former Stark Industries employee before he was apparently fired from the company for being a thief, an event of which Klaue has been bitter towards Tony Stark for ever since.
- Amoral Afrikaner: He's a South African gangster.
- Arch-Enemy: He is the longtime veteran enemy of Wakanda since the time T'Chaka took up the Black Panther mantle.
- An Arm and a Leg: Like in the comics, he loses one of his arms, this time thanks to Ultron.
- Arm Cannon: Gets one after Ultron severs one of his arms. It's this in the most literal sense, as his robotic arm unfurls to reveal the actual cannon, which in itself is an Improvised Weapon, originally used for Vibranium mining. Klaue also used it in one scene as a Sonic Stunner, but to break glass rather than attack someone, though given what sonics do to vibranium in the film, it's entirely possible it's always been a sonic weapon.
- Ascended Extra: He has a much larger role in Black Panther than in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
- Ax-Crazy: The arm he lost was presumably the arm he used to shake hands with sanity. Klaue is a violent maniac who takes joy in causing pain and suffering.
- Badass Normal: Managed to sneak into Wakanda, steal a quarter-ton of Vibranium, kill many Wakandans, get caught and branded at some point, and somehow make it out alive. As a result, he's been evading Wakanda forces for many years while also having enormous success as an illegal arms dealer. He also survives encounters with Ultron and the Avengers. He also has Nerves of Steel, doesn't bat an eyelid in the face of immediate danger and likes to taunt his captors at every opportunity. In short, Klaue is as tough as they come.
- Badass Transplant: His Artificial Limb, which contains an Arm Cannon capable of shattering glass and blowing a car to smithereens.
- Batman Gambit: When T'Challa apprehends him in South Korea and has his claws at Klaue's throat, Klaue starts pathetically pleading for his life in an exaggerated and over-the-top fashion, not because he's legitimately afraid, but because there's a large crowd gathering and Klaue knows how bad it would look for the Warrior Prince of a (supposedly) third-world country to murder an unarmed man begging for his life.
- Beard of Evil: He has a moderately long one.
- Big Bad Wannabe: He was indeed Wakanda's Arch-Enemy for years, and works alongside Killmonger, imagining that they're equals in a partnership with Klaue's aim being to steal and sell vibranium. However, from the start, Killmonger was just trying to get Klaue in a relatively defenseless position so he could kill the arms dealer and use Klaue's death to help him realize his own grander ambitions to rule Wakanda.
- Blood Knight: He gets a massive charge out of causing violence with his own (prosthetic) hands. After tearing his way through a casino, he joyously remarks that it was awesome.
- Celebrity Paradox:
- Composite Character: He has taken many elements of his father, Fritz Klaue, such as being a smuggler and ally to Baron Strucker, the unique spelling of his surname and overall look.
- Deadly Euphemism: Klaue's introductory scene is him on the phone with a customer whom he's not happy with. He ends the conversation by warning them that if things aren't made right, "the next missile I send you will come very much faster."
- Derivative Differentiation:
- Klaue is not responsible for T'Chaka's death in this continuity, Helmut Zemo is; it's said that he was hired to kill T'Chaka at the Bilderberg Conference if he refused to open Wakanda to trade, but he failed.
- In the comics he lost his hand during his first attempted invasion of Wakanda; here, Ultron cuts it off in a moment of impulsive anger. The upshot of all this is that in the MCU, T'Challa sees Klaue as an enemy of his nation — and his father's last unresolved piece of business — instead of his personal Arch-Enemy.
- Die Laughing: When Erik mortally wounds him, Klaue warns him that he'll never be able to just drop in on Wakanda. Erik then reveals that he has Wakandan heritage, after which Klaue quickly realizes who he is. This realization causes him to laugh at his own mistake, during which Erik kills him.
- Disc-One Final Boss: He gets killed off around half way through Black Panther by the real villain, Killmonger.
- Early-Bird Cameo: His first appearance was in Avengers: Age of Ultron, three years before a Black Panther movie. His official description even refers to him as "A powerful new player in the Marvel Cinematic Universe".
- Establishing Character Moment: To reintroduce the character and his larger role in Black Panther. He breaks into a museum alongside Erik and kills a bunch of museum guards. He leaves one alive, assuring him that he can go free, but waits for him to run a few paces before shooting him in the head. When questioned about this he points that spreading out the crime scene makes the job look less professional to attempt to hide their involvement, then gleefully uses his Arm Cannon to bust open the glass around a Vibranium axehead. The message is clear: for all his giddiness and comic relief value, he's still a clever and cunning criminal who knows what he's doing. It also offers some insight into how he has evaded Wakandan custody for so long.
- Evil Is Hammy: He's a very exuberant, unhinged and fun presence despite his sadistic love of violence, particularly in Black Panther. After causing an explosion at a casino, he joyously remarks that he 'made it rain'.
- Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: For one thing, he labels a wrapped-up piece of vibranium 'fragile'. Oh, and he hides it in his pants so he can pretend to flash his junk when he takes it out.
- Evil Sounds Deep: He has a very deep voice and is evil to the core.
- Evil Virtues: Despite appearing, at first glance, to be nothing more than a slimy, double-crossing Arms Dealer, Klaue is afraid of nothing. Ultron and the Maximoff twins barely faze him, even after getting his arm sliced off he's still giving orders to his men. Even after Killmonger shoots him at least twice, he's still laughing before being finished off.
- "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner:Klaue: Ah, to think I saw you as some crazy American...
- From Nobody to Nightmare: After gaining a Vibranium arm to replace the one he lost to Ultron, he becomes this and as a result of gaining From Nobody to Nightmare status, he's shown to be a bit intimidating as seen when he becomes angry at Everett Ross's accusation of him stealing a large amount of Vibranium from Wakanda.
- Giggling Villain: It's more prominent in Black Panther, but Klaue tends to be having a very good time no matter what he's doing. He's always snickering and smiling.
- Glass Cannon:
- Almost literally. He's got an Arm Cannon powerful enough to blast apart Vibranium armor (though the Vibranium nanites of the Black Panther suit are able to No-Sell at least one shot from it), but is otherwise just a reasonably fit ordinary middle-aged dude. Once T'Challa finally manages to get close enough to land a punch on him it's pretty much over.
- In his short gunfight with Killmonger, he actually manages to land a couple shots on Killmonger before Killmonger can shoot him. Unfortunately for him, Killmonger is wearing body armor, while Klaue isn't.
- Go Out with a Smile: He dies chortling at the fact Erik was a Wakandan the whole time and he never knew, and has a big, stupid grin on his face when Killmonger shows his corpse.
- Graceful Loser: He cracks up laughing when he realizes how much Erik has tricked him, right before being fatally shot.
- HA HA HA No: A variation when Ross claims he stole all of Wakanda's Vibranium.Klaue: I stole... [Bursts out laughing.] ALL of it?! I took a tiny piece of it.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: A rare example of this trope occurs after he hysterically laughs off being accused of stealing a large amount of Vibranium from Wakanda. He also has one of these moments in Avengers: Age of Ultron in which his hair trigger temper is arguably far nastier in that film than it was in Black Panther.
- Hidden Depths: He has made a mix-tape and offers to give Everett Ross a copy.
- I Have Your Wife: Takes Erik's girlfriend hostage when they end up in a standoff. It doesn't work out because Erik just kills her himself.
- It's Personal: His family and the Black Panthers have been going at it since the 19th Century.
- Large Ham: Klaue delights in being loud, keeping everyone off balance, and having a great time even when he should probably be more wary such as making kissy faces, laughing, and singing "What is Love (Baby, Don't Hurt Me)" loudly while in federal custody.
- Laughably Evil: Despite being a villain, Klaue is an absolute laugh riot who provides a constant stream of quips and gags and gets some of the best jokes in Black Panther.
- Mark of Shame: He got a Wakandan symbol◊ that translates as a derogatory word for "Thief" branded on his neck when he got caught stealing a massive amount of Vibranium.
- Mythology Gag: He wears a necklace with a claw attached to it, which is both a pun on his name and a sign that he has had an encounter with T'Chaka.
- And of course, there's his Sonic Stunner Arm Cannon mentioned above, though it's on his left arm rather than his right as in the comics.
- His insane singing and offhand mention of a mixtape may be a very subtle nod to his "made of sound" composition in the source material.
- His S.H.I.E.L.D. file mentions him being a former member of the Intelligencia, a supervillain group from the comics that Klaue was indeed involved with.
- Nerves of Steel: Nothing really fazes him. He is remarkably unafraid and unshaken by a visit from Ultron and the Maximoff twins, even offering the latter candy as if they were small children. He's also surprisingly collected after losing his arm, giving orders to his men to take out everyone that isn't on their side. Nor is he afraid of T'Challa, a man who has every reason to want him dead. In fact, he mocks him as Klaue is the only invader to find Wakanda and survive. Even his death doesn't distress him overly.
- Politically Incorrect Villain: Subverted. He harbors a hatred for the people of Wakanda that surfaces on occasion, referring to them as savages, but it's a specific grudge against them due to the It's Personal nature of his feud with T'Challa and Wakanda. Also, for an old Afrikaner who grew up during Apartheid he's plenty tolerant — his henchmen include men of African as well as European descent, he treats Erik as an equal partner in their operations and he doesn't appear to have a problem with black people in general. His dislike of the Wakandans comes from their culture rather than their race and the fact that they branded him, and he warns Killmonger that such "savages" would never accept "people like us" when telling Erik why going to Wakanda would be impossible, implicitly grouping himself and Erik together in contrast to the Wakandans.note
- Psychopathic Manchild: Not so much in Age of Ultron, but definitely in Black Panther, where he does everything he does with extremely childish glee.
- Riddle for the Ages: At some point, the Wakandans caught Klaue, as evidenced by the "thief" brand on his neck. Given that Killmonger kills him so as to exchange his corpse for passage into Wakanda, it's unlikely that story will ever be told.
- Rogues-Gallery Transplant: Within the MCU. He's first introduced as an antagonist to the Avengers in Age of Ultron, but then antagonizes Black Panther completely separate from the Avengers. His comic counterpart is a Black Panther villain, but has fought the Avengers too.
- Sanity Slippage: Not that Klaue was a pillar of sanity to begin with, but in the time between his encounter with Ultron and being hunted by Black Panther, he's lost his mind, acting less like the unfazed arms dealer he was and more like the Psychopathic Manchild he's become.
- Seen It All: The Maximoff Twins really don't faze him in the least; he indicates he at least knows of them through his association with Strucker. While he is freaked out by Ultron at first, he still takes the whole thing in stride, even trying to do regular business with an obvious murder-bot.
- Slasher Smile: He's a pretty happy guy, usually wearing a big horrific smile when committing vile acts.
- Sole Survivor: Countless mercenaries and treasure hunters have tried to get into Wakanda and were killed for their troubles... except for Klaue. This is something that really unnerves T'Challa and is a source of shame and concern for the Wakandans on the whole.
- Something Only They Would Say: Klaue realizes that Ultron has some sort of connection to Tony Stark when Ultron uses a phrase Tony had said to Klaue in the past.
- Tempting Fate: After angering Ultron by comparing him to Iron Man which cost him one of his arms. This would later happen again, but with Black Panther being the one Klaue angers.
- That One Case: Not tracking Klaue down after his escape was T'Chaka's greatest regret, and is something of a general black mark for the entire country by extension. Killmonger uses his corpse as a bargaining tool to gain access to Wakanda.
- Took a Level in Cheerfulness: In Black Panther Klaue is noticeably more of a hyperactive, if not carnage-inflicting thrill-seeker and a party animal then his stoic debut appearance in the last movie.
- Troll: Klaue gets great pleasure out of screwing with both enemies and allies. When he meets Ross for a deal, he gets overly touchy with him just to make him uncomfortable and even pretends to expose himself before revealing he's actually just taking out the vibranium axehead.
- Utility Weapon: His sonic weapon was originally a Wakandan mining tool which he subsequently made adjustments to.
- Villain Has a Point: All the things he says about Wakanda pretending to be something they're not are entirely true, and he's not wrong when he points out T'Challa and his friends are lying to Ross.
- We Used to Be Friends: Klaue denies Killmonger's right to go to Wakanda.
- Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: During the museum robbery in Black Panther he pretends to allow one of the guards to leave, then shoots him In the Back before he can get away. When Killmonger asks why he bothered, Klaue explains that it makes the hit look like an amateur robbery, allowing them to cover their tracks.
- Yank the Dog's Chain: He lets one of the museum guard go before shooting him in the back of the head.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Killmonger disposes of him as part of the next step to his plan.
- You Killed My Father: A subtle example can be found if you look closely at the dossier the Avengers have on him. The document mentions that he bears a grudge against the Wakandan royal family because his great-grandfather was killed by a past Black Panther during the 19th century. He was also hired to kill T'Chaka during the Bilderberg conference if he wouldn't start trading Vibranium.
Portrayed By: Elena Satine
Voiced By: Gloria Núñez (European Spanish dub)
Appearances: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (appears in Episode 14: "T.A.H.I.T.I.", Episode 15: "Yes Men")
Rooster: You'd be the first.
Lorelei: Yes. I will.
An Asgardian who arrives on Earth shortly after the team's discoveries at the Guest House facility.
- Adaptational Badass: In the original comics she has no fighting skills whatsoever. This version, is able to give Lady Sif a good fight, which would put her in the same league as Loki.
- Arch-Enemy: "Yes Men" establishes her as one to Sif, both because they're foils and also because of what happened to another man in Sif's life.
- Bodyguarding a Badass: Although Agent Ward is a Badass, Lorelei is almost as strong as Loki and Thor.
- Breaking Them By Talking: Her method of choice when dealing with women standing in her way. Both May and Sif end up on the receiving end.
- Catchphrase: "Do you prefer her to me?"
- Compelling Voice: She has the ability to make men do whatever she tells them to. If they can resist the voice, making physical contact will overpower them. It explicitly doesn't work on women, and isn't reliant on sexual preferences one way or another.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Puts up a good fight against Lady Sif.
- Crossover: It is indicated that Lorelei escaped from confinement during the prison break that Kurse initiated in Thor: The Dark World. Astute readers who watched the movie will note that Loki has somehow supplanted Odin and has taken his place while maintaining his likeness. So when Sif says that Odin wants her back alive, it's actually Loki speaking. In other words, Loki has some unknown plans for Lorelei.
- Cruel Mercy: Sif spares her because Odin orders her to, though Sif does acknowledge killing her would be the easy way out. Leaving her alive is more painful for Lorelei because she'll be unable to talk, imprisoned in a tiny cell, presumably for life.
- Double Standard: Rape, Sci-Fi: She brainwashed and raped Ward. While she is a villain anyway, no mention of it is made later, and Ward is treated as partially at fault for not being strong enough to resist her. Also qualifies as Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male and a form of Double Standard: Rape, Divine on Mortal.
- Evil Redhead: She's a villainous Asgardian with scarlet hair.
- Evil Plan: Find strong men, build an army, take over some place, and rule as queen.
- Femme Fatale: As Sif notes, wars have been started by her feminine uber-wiles.
- Fish out of Water:
- When she arrives on Earth, she begins her first conversation by talking about Earth as "Midgard" to a total stranger, calls Death Valley (where she landed) the "Valley of Death" when told its name, and simply takes a water bottle someone is holding when she needs a drink, not realizing it would be more reasonable to ask.
- She expected gold to be used as currency on Earth, like it is on Asgard:Lorelei: I ask you for gold and you bring me paper!
- Foil: To Sif; while Sif is a Tomboy who loyally fights for Asgard despite having rejected its gender norms, Lorelei is a Girly Girl who performs femininity to The Vamp extremes and wants to rule. It could be argued that the two both had discontented reactions to the limitations imposed on women and then went opposite routes — Sif beat them by joining them, Lorelei beat them by making them beat each other. "That's the difference between you and me — I don't take orders."
- Functional Magic: Her mind control is explicitly called "sorcery" by Sif.
- Hello, Nurse!: It's even part of her modus operandi to seduce men.
- Jerkass: Said to prefer taking men who are already spoken for. On two occasions, she then rubs this fact in the other woman's face.
- Kneel Before Zod: "I don't kneel to men. Men kneel to me."
- Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: By Asgardian standards, she's a Squishy Wizard. By human standards, she is super strong.
- Sex for Services: Her favorite "reward" for particularly "strong" men.
- Squishy Wizard: By Asgardian standards, she is a delicate magic user.
- Super Strength: By Earth standards, she could beat their strongest warrior in arm wrestling.
- Not restricted to that though. She pimpslaps May across the room into unconsciousness, and then matches Lady Sif on a push-off.
- The Vamp: Lorelei has the ability to seduce men into doing her bidding, be it with her Compelling Voice or through physical contact.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: It is unclear what has happened to her following Asgard's destruction in Ragnarok.
- Women Prefer Strong Men: She "upgrades" twice in her debut episode. From an average Joe to the leader of a group of bikers, to Agent Ward.
Portrayed by: Karolina Wydra
Appearances: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
The creator of the Shrike. A demon from another dimension, who has invaded this one on the hunt for the Monoliths.
- Adaptation Name Change: She's loosely based on the character "Ixchel" from the comics, herself based on the Mayan goddess of the same name.
- Aliens of Poland: She's a mysterious, ancient, alien-like entity that speaks English in Karolina Wydra's natural Polish accent.
- Aliens Speaking English: She communicates with Fitz and Simmons - and later with the rest of the characters - in the same language without any hint of Translation Convention or Translator Microbes being at play.
- Ancient Evil: The Incas incorporated her into their mythology.
- Arch-Enemy: For Sarge.
- Big Bad: Of Season Six.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: To FitzSimmons, she presents herself as a benevolent alien simply hunting stolen artifacts, when she's really anything but. While she initially has no bad intentions towards them because she considers them worthy for their high intelligence (and this is the only time she's genuinely friendly towards any mortal), that evaporates once she suspects them of working with Sarge against her.
- Body Surf: In "Leap", Izel reveals that she can take over other beings' bodies, which becomes In-Universe Paranoia Fuel for S.H.I.E.L.D.
- Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: To Talbot, the Final Boss of Season 5. Talbot was an Empowered Badass Normal Knight Templar, while Izel is a Humanoid Abomination with nothing remotely resembling noble motives.
- Evil vs. Evil: With Sarge. Sarge is actually trying to stop her and the Shrike from destroying planets. But he doesn't care about collateral damage — he'll gladly leave a million people dead if it means he can kill her.
- Expy: Her backstory as a destructive monster from another dimension who hates all living things, combined with the legion of alien minions at her disposal, bring comic villain Annihilus to mind.
- Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon: Izel looks like an attractive woman, with her only apparent unusual feature being her magenta hair. In reality, she's an extradimensional monster that devastates worlds with the Shrike and sees humans as little more than conveniences at best.
- Faux Affably Evil: Izel speaks with a polite, if somewhat quirky tone, and can even be friendly if she considers someone close to an intellectual equal, but beneath that, she's an utterly callous monster who has ruined entire worlds when she failed to find the Monoliths. This side of her really shines through in "Leap", where she speaks to S.H.I.E.L.D. agents with a courteous detachment, only to do horrifying things like mutilating one of Piper's hands or forcing Davis to commit suicide with a wide Slasher Smile.
- Feel No Pain: Izel doesn't even react to being riddled with bullets other than to stop talking for a moment. This holds true for her hosts, as well; she fires a bullet through one of Piper's hands while possessing her, with no sign that she felt a thing.
- Humanoid Abomination: She certainly looks human, though she's decidedly not. She's described as a "demon", but that seems only like a loose description of what she is. She's an incorporeal being from another dimension, who was inspired by the being later known as Sarge to take a form of her own.
- Lack of Empathy: Izel has no real concern for other people, callously hollowing them out and willing to do so by the billions to make room for her own people.
- Kick the Dog: While possessing Davis, she murders him via Psychic-Assisted Suicide just to make a point to S.H.I.E.L.D.
- Monster Progenitor: Of the Shrike. She's able to sing them into existence.
- Unreliable Narrator: Claims that Sarge is the true villain in their conflict. Considering that Izel infects her crew minus FitzSimmons with Shrike parasites, she's almost certainly the liar in this situation.
- Villainous Rescue: Her first appearance has her rescue Fitz and Simmons from Mr. Kitson's death trap, though she lacks any concern about the third man sentenced to death. It's only an episode later that we find out she's Evil All Along.
Darkhold Ghosts (Dr. Lucy Bauer, Hugo, Vincent and Frederick)
Species: Ghosts (Formerly Human)
Portrayed By: Lilli Birdsell (Dr. Lucy Bauer, pictured), Ward Roberts (Hugo), Usman Ally (Vincent), Dan Donohue (Frederick)
Appearances: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Dr. Lucy Bauer first appears in Episode 67: "The Ghost", Hugo, Vincent and Frederick first appear in Episode 68: "Meet the New Boss")
Four scientists who were involved in an experiment involving a tome called the Darkhold. They were imprisoned for years between two dimensions, transforming them into ghostly apparitions, until one of them, Lucy Bauer, got free and released her comrades. They seek to reverse what was done to them and kill the one responsible.
- Alas, Poor Villain: Not necessarily Lucy's death, but the flashback that immediately precedes it (in which Eli forces her into the machine and transforms her into a ghost), is framed very sympathetically.
- Body Horror: These aren't the normal transparent ghosts, but more degraded and worse looking over time.
- Canon Foreigner: They have no comics counterparts, being new characters created for the show.
- Deader Than Dead: Frederick, already a ghost, is immolated by Ghost Rider's hellfire. Two more die in "Lockup", followed by Lucy in "The Good Samaritan".
- Disc-One Final Boss: For Season 4's Ghost Rider arc; they're the main antagonists for the first six episodes and set up as the biggest threat facing S.H.I.E.L.D., but that position is usurped by Eli Morrow to take up the mantle in "The Good Samaritan".
- For Science!: Lucy and her husband Joseph in particular were delighted by what the Darkhold could do and how it could be used to help others, but the book corrupted their intentions.
- Ghostly Goals: They are trying to find the Darkhold, reverse what happened to them, and kill the one responsible for their current state.
- Jacob Marley Apparel: They all appear in the clothing they wore when they 'died' and bear fresh-looking wounds presumably inflicted by Eli when he forced them into the machine.
- Just Think of the Potential: Lucy says this almost word-for-word to Eli when she's trying to explain all of the good the Darkhold could be used to do, such as curing world hunger.
- Kick the Dog: Lucy has driven numerous people insane for no clear reason, including May and a man who had moved into her house after her death, even though she's demonstrated herself to be the most rational of the ghosts. While this might have been excused as her being disoriented upon first being released, as she is calmer once she realizes how long it's been since she was sealed, even after that, this doesn't stop her from driving her husband and an entire prison insane, and doesn't care if innocent people get killed while trying to reverse what happened to her.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Lucy's first victims after being released are a bunch of gangsters.
- Mad Scientist: Lucy in particular, obsessed with using a Tome of Eldritch Lore to create matter out of nothing, which drives her deeper and deeper into insanity especially after she and her colleagues are transformed into ghosts. Coulson even refers to her as a "pissed-off mad scientist ghost" at one point.
- Made of Air: They exist as some form of energy which is selectively visible and tangible. Disrupting their physical form only deters them for a moment before they come back. Only Ghost Rider can grab them as if they were solid.
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: They're villainous scientists and Lucy is referred to several times as 'doctor' by other characters.
- Never Live It Down: In-universe: Frederick won't stop reminding Lucy that it's her fault for wanting to experiment with the Darkhold.
- Never My Fault: When confronted by Robbie for her actions, Lucy tries to throw all of the blame onto Eli, saying that "he's the one who started this whole nightmare."
- Our Ghosts Are Different: All ghosts can interact with the world around them, and anyone they touch that isn't also supernatural is driven violently insane.
- Properly Paranoid: While Lucy and Joseph become obsessed with their experiment, they were right thinking Eli wanted the power for himself.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: All four were sealed in special boxes by Eli Morrow.
- Til Murder Do Us Part: She touches her husband, Joseph in her ghostly state in order to waken him from his coma so she can get information out of him, but this has the side-effect of driving him mad and killing him].
- Touch of Death: Anyone the ghosts manage to touch is driven violently insane. The hallucinations get more intense with time, eventually causing the victim to die when their bodies can no longer handle the stress of being constantly on-edge.
- The Unintelligible: Vincent can only make moaning sounds despite clearly trying to speak.
Andre Deschaine / D'Spayre
Species: Enhanced Human
Portrayed by Brooklyn McLinn
Appearances: Cloak and Dagger
The leader of a community center, who seeks to help people with addictions.
- Adaptation Species Change: D'Spayre, the character Andre is based on in the comics, is a demon. Andre himself is an enhanced human, and a loa.
- Adaptational Origin Connection: Played With. In the comics, D'Spayre is the one who swapped the powers of Cloak and Dagger in their origin. Here, he is still connected to them, but by way of having gained his powers in the same incident.
- Ascended to a Higher Plane of Existence: In the finale of Season 2, he indeed becomes a loa and transcends his mortal body to become a being in the Darkforce Dimension.
- Bad Powers, Bad People: Similar to Kilgrave, Andre's powers are inherently nasty; completely draining the hopes of others to fill them with despair instead is really not an ability a heroic character could wield, and he freely uses this ability on anyone to his heart's content.
- Bald of Evil: An utterly monstrous human being played by the naturally bald Brooklyn McLinn.
- Big Bad: Of Cloak and Dagger Season 2. He is behind the human trafficking ring, abducting women to feed off of their despair.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: He appears to be a friendly counselor, but actually uses the support groups in the community center to find easy victims.
- Canon Character All Along: He's the MCU equivalent of D'Spayre.
- Comic-Book Movies Don't Use Codenames: He's never directly referred to In-Universe as "D'Spayre", though the metaphysical arcade game that Tandy and Ty play in "Two Player" (which features Andre as the Final Boss) is called "Duel to D'Spayre".
- Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: To both Peter Scarborough and Detective Connors, the Big-Bad Ensemble of Season 1. Unlike them, he represents a single antagonist to both protagonists, and whereas Scarborough and Connors represented the Mundanger aspects of a Corrupt Corporate Executive and a Dirty Cop, respectively, Andre is an enhanced individual who got his powers from the Roxxon oil rig explosion eight years ago, much like our protagonists.
- Diegetic Switch: How his powers are represented. He has a record store in the Darkforce dimension that he accesses mentally, where he can put on records (as in LPs) of whatever emotion / memory he wants his his victim to experience. So when the scene switches back to reality that will be the background music.
- Emotion Eater: He feeds off despair.
- Evil All Along: Just like Lia, he is revealed to be this.
- Evil Counterpart: To both Ty and Tandy. Like them, he received powers when the Roxxon oil rig exploded nearly a decade ago. However, instead of using his powers to help people, he instead uses them to take away his own pain at the expense of others and seek godhood.
- Fate Worse than Death: Tandy and Tyrone lock him in his own realm, forcing him to listen to the record of his own worst memories (which is intentionally scratched by Tandy), presumably forever. Considering all the pain he caused, it's very well deserved.
- Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: He has to live with constant pain since the night of the explosion and couldn't play his beloved jazz music anymore. While that is terrible, it's still no excuse to make tons of people suffer for him.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: Thanks to his powers, he goes from an ordinary jazz musician to the head of a sex trafficking ring and a near-god.
- A God Am I: After speaking with Chantelle, he realizes he can use his powers to attain godhood, which becomes his end goal. He actually achieves this in the finale, his mortal body dying, but probably wishes he hadn't.
- Hate Sink: He is revealed to be the true Big Bad of Season 2 and is written to be as loathsome as possible—creating a sex trafficking ring for girls to drain off their despair, manipulating Ty and Tandy to try and break their connections and their spirits, seeking out godhood, and murdering both Chantelle and then his most loyal accomplice are all in a day's work for him.
- Hope Crusher: He removes his pain by draining the despair from others, meaning he has to invoke that despair himself. This includes trafficking young women as sex slaves.
- It's All About Me: Andre doesn't care about the pain he causes other people, he just cares about making his own pain stop.
- Knight of Cerebus: Once he's revealed as the true Big Bad, the series takes on a much darker tone, given that he is the man responsible for a sex trafficking ring to feed off human despair.
- Lack of Empathy: He cares about absolutely no one but himself. To him, stopping his headaches and making the pain go away so he can play music is his only goal, and there are no limits to what he will do to achieve this.
- Man of Wealth and Taste: Whenever he's seen in the metaphysical record store he's wearing a well-tailored suit. Generally averted in the physical world, where his clothing choice is more varied and often more casual.
- Manipulative Bastard: Thanks to his powers, he can manipulate the feelings of others.
- He succeeds in breaking Tandy's resistance and making her feel despair by showing her seemingly happy scenarios that always end in disasters, the final straw being shooting Tyrone dead.
- When Tyrone is looking for the missing Tandy, Andre messes with Tyrone's head to make him believe Tandy doesn't care about him.
- Nice Guy: He is nice and supporting towards everybody. It's all an act.
- Not So Different: Andre accuses Tandy of this, since she also went around stealing people's hopes not too long ago. She is disgusted by it.
- Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: His sex trafficking ring used to fuel his powers is a key demonstration of how vile he is.
- The Sociopath: Ticks all the boxes. Lack of Empathy? Check. Consummate Liar and Manipulative Bastard? Just ask his victims who came through the "support center". Pathological need for stimulation? The basis for his feedings on the despair of others. Grandiose sense of self-worth? Oh yes.
- They Look Just Like Everyone Else!: At first glance, there's nothing out of the ordinary about him that suggests he's a supervillain, also helped by the fact that his public persona is that of a kindhearted community support worker.
- Toxic Friend Influence: He convinced Lia to leave her entire life behind and help him find helpless girls to victimize. And he doesn't care about her at all, as he is perfectly willing to use his power on her too.
- Walking Spoiler: If all the white spaces aren't any indication.
- Wants a Prize for Basic Decency: Hes under the impression that helping 90% of the women who come to his center makes up for the fact that he condemns the other 10% to a life of sex slavery.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: After Tandy and Tyrone bust Andre's trafficking ring, Andre runs out of human resources to deal with his pain. To cope with it, he asks his accomplice, Lia, to bear with his pain. He promises to Lia that it would be the last time he would make her feel pain, and fulfills this promise by draining her, leaving her on the verge of death. No longer being of any use to him, he drops off her body by the road, leaving her for dead.