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"The serum did not fail. It did exactly what it was designed to do. It enhances what is already within. It is Herr Schmidt who has failed at being human."
Quentin "Mysterio" Beck: Make sure every drone is weapons hot. We need maximum damage.
Gutes Guterman: That's gonna cause a lot of casualties.
Beck: More casualties, more coverage. I gotta cut through the static. London is a beautiful city and it'll suffer, but they can rebuild. I mean if I'm gonna be the next Iron Man, I need to save the world from an Avengers-level threat. But, when its new savior descends...all those casualties will be forgotten.

Given its source material, it should come as no surprise that among the numerous characters inhabiting the Marvel Cinematic Universe (including tie-in comics) are several vile villains.

All spoilers are unmarked. You Have Been Warned!

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    Multiple Films 
  • Captain America films:
    • The First Avenger & The Winter Soldier: Dr. Arnim Zola debuts as a cowardly scientist who joins the Nazis so they'll fund his work. Gleefully making war machines as part of HYDRA, Zola deliberately lets a Super Soldier experiment go wrong and mutate his boss Johann Schmidt into the Red Skull so his rival, Dr. Abraham Erskine, will be blamed and his family killed. When Schmidt lets Zola in on his plot to Take Over the World, the scientist enslaves and experiments on prisoners of war to build the super weapons necessary for the scheme before betraying his boss to the Allies when it's made clear failure is inevitable. Having become a true believer in totalitarianism, Zola joins the newly-formed S.H.I.E.L.D. and goes about reforming HYDRA within its ranks, all the while masterminding global conflicts to make the people desperate for security. To do this, he abducts and brainwashes people into being "Winter Soldier" assassins, keeping them in stasis and torturously memory wiping them between missions. All of this culminates in a plot to launch Project Insight, which will trap the world in an eternal surveillance state and give HYDRA the ability to slaughter any dissidents, with it being explicitly stated that this will lead to tens of millions of deaths.
    • The Winter Soldier & Civil War: Brock Rumlow is a S.H.I.E.L.D. operative who is really a member of HYDRA. As a STRIKE commander, Rumlow happily killed HYDRA's enemies for years. When Captain America exposes HYDRA's infiltration of S.H.I.E.L.D., Rumlow personally activates Project Insight, a trio of Helicarriers designed to kill millions of people who may threaten HYDRA's power, before killing several S.H.I.E.L.D. agents in the chaos. Barely surviving the battle and becoming severely disfigured, Rumlow abandoned his loyalties to HYDRA and became the Arms Dealer Crossbones, killing rival dealers and attacking several police stations. He then attacks the Institute for Infectious Diseases in Lagos, killing everyone inside and stealing a dangerous bioweapon. When stopped by Captain America, Rumlow sets off a suicide bomb, hoping to kill Cap and the numerous people nearby as revenge for his disfigurement.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) & Captain Marvel (2019): Ronan the Accuser is a genocidal Kree terrorist and renegade wholly devoted to the destruction of the planet of Xandar. Once in charge of the Accusers, Ronan would lead them in bombing planets suspected of harboring Skrulls, at one point trying to do the same to Earth. Disgusted by his people signing a peace treaty, Ronan confronted a captive member of Xandar's Nova Corps and crushed the helpless man's skull with his Universal Weapon. As a henchman of the Mad Titan Thanos, Ronan seeks to gather an item for Thanos so that he will destroy Xandar for him. Under Thanos, Ronan has committed multiple murders, including the deaths of Drax the Destroyer's wife and children. He later pursues the motley band of heroes to the space prison the Kyln, and orders a full massacre of every prisoner to Leave No Witnesses. When he realizes the power of the Infinity Stone he has been sent to retrieve, Ronan double-crosses Thanos and vows to kill him after he's finished with Xandar. Assaulting the planet, he even orders his own men to become suicide bombers by flying their ships into Xandar, injuring and killing numerous civilians. He later kills over 80,000 members of the Nova Corps in one fell swoop. After mocking Drax about finally remembering murdering his family, he declares Xandar "guilty" by his psychotic philosophy and attempts to purge it of all life.

    Individual Films 
  • Captain America: The First Avenger: Johann Schmidt, aka the Red Skull, is a profound narcissist who believes himself a god no longer bound by humanity's rules. The head of HYDRA, a Nazi military organization, Schmidt has turned the group into his own personal cult. He's first introduced killing the guardian of the Tesseract and ordering the entire village where it was hidden wiped out for seemingly no reason. He goes on to betray Hitler and the Nazi party to pursue his own goals and murders the three men sent to check on the status of his research. Schmidt uses the Tesseract to make fantastic new weapons for HYDRA, and has POWs torturously experimented on in order to replicate Dr. Abraham Erskine's Super Serum. Despite their fanatical devotion to Schmidt, he continually shows no concern for the welfare of his men, having them chomp cyanide pills when captured to avoid giving out information on him, executing one merely for surviving an attack on a HYDRA base, and activating the self-destruct sequence at another HYDRA base when the Allied forces overrun it, not caring that hundreds of his troops will be killed in the blast. Schmidt's ultimate plan is to use his new weapons to wipe out half the planet, bombing nearly every major city including his own capital, just so he can rule over what's left.
  • Thor films:
    • The Dark World: Malekith the Accursed is the leader of the Dark Elves who intends to plunge the universe into eternal darkness. Millennia ago, Malekith waged war with Asgard to acquire the Aether, yet when he found he was losing the battle, Malekith disabled all of his soldiers' ships, crushing his enemies yet killing all of his own soldiers just so he could escape. Blaming Asgard for this, Malekith resurfaces in the present day to continue his hunt for the Aether. After Kursing his loyal follower Algrim without hesitation, Malekith tracks the Aether to Asgard, having Thor's mother Frigga killed when she hides its location from him. After removing the Aether from Jane Foster and taking it for himself, Malekith then leads an assault on London, using the Aether to begin reverting the universe to a state of complete darkness forever.
    • Ragnarok: Hela, Goddess of Death and Thor's monstrous elder sister, helped Odin conquer the empire of Asgard, but when he tired of war and finally sought peace, she was sealed away when her bloodlust and cruelty grew too great. After murdering his guards, Hela was finally subdued and sealed but massacred the Valkyries until only one remained when they sought to prevent her escape. Upon returning to Asgard, Hela slaughters all its soldiers when they resist her and tries to claim the sword of Heimdall to open the gate to the other Realms. When Heimdall saves the population of Asgard, Hela attempts to have her undead soldiers slaughter all of Asgard's people while forcing Thor to watch them die—after she had blinded him in one eye. She even killed her own right-hand man, Skurge, when he takes a stand to defend Asgard's civilians. Monstrous, sadistic and insatiable, Hela seeks to open the gate to all other Realms so she can conquer everything and continue her work of drowning them in blood and tears.
  • Doctor Strange (2016): Dormammu, lord of the Dark Dimension, is an "ego run amok" who seeks to assimilate all life in the multiverse and make them an eternally tortured extension of himself. Dormammu is the one who manipulated Kaecilius and his Zealots into evil, preying on Kaecilius's desire for eternal life so Kaecilius will destroy the Sanctums keeping him at bay from Earth. Dormammu only relents from torturing Dr. Strange to death for all of eternity at the realization Strange would trap him in an endless time loop, and leaves after dragging his Zealot followers into the "eternal life" he had promised them.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Ego, Peter "Star-Lord" Quill's father, is an immortal Celestial, who once traveled the universe seeking companionship, but found that other life utterly disappointed him and lost any interest in them. Ego instead decided upon a plan of assimilating all creation into himself in what he termed "The Expansion". Lacking the power to do so on his own, he sired countless children, hoping they would inherit his Celestial powers, killing them out of disappointment when they didn't. Traveling to earth, Ego met Meredith Quill, whom he developed genuine feelings for. Unwilling to deviate from The Expansion, Ego gave her the brain tumor that killed her to ensure nothing held him back from his self-appointed purpose. After learning Peter might carry the Celestial gene, Ego tracked him down, playing the good father to him before revealing the true purpose of The Expansion, revealing his true nature when he believed Peter wouldn't care. When Peter turns on Ego, Ego enslaves him to his own power to use Peter as a battery for the next thousand years before kicking off The Expansion to consume every living thing in the universe, spitefully destroying Peter's Walkman which was a gift from Meredith and his last link to his mother. When Peter attempts to stop Ego, Ego tries to murder Peter's friends as well with no care.
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home: Quentin Beck, aka Mysterio, is the true Master of the Elementals, orchestrating their attacks around the world to paint himself as a hero. Fired by Tony Stark years ago for being unstable, Beck concocts a scheme to both spite Stark and bring himself the attention he has always craved, entailing the destruction of a variety of villages and cities worldwide via the Elementals, then arriving on the scene as Mysterio to save the day, hoping to be a better hero than Iron Man ever was. Upon befriending and manipulating the young Spider-Man into handing over the E.D.I.T.H. glasses, Beck mind rapes and tries to kill him, threatening to execute his entire staff for a failure immediately beforehand as well. Beck plans to "stop" an Avengers-level threat by using his illusions to destroy London, causing maximum casualties to gain more coverage, and schemes to murder Spider-Man's entire class of high school friends to eliminate potential witnesses to his true nature before basking in the glory as Mysterio. An attention-craving lunatic defined by his petty, treacherous nature, even trying to appeal to Spider-Man's sympathy only to stab him in the back once beaten, Beck gets the last laugh as he frames Spider-Man as a villain and exposes the teenager's identity to the world as a final move to secure his claim to fame.
  • Black Widow (2021): General Dreykov is the man who runs the Red Room. Having abducted or purchased numerous girls, including Natasha and Yelena, Dreykov subjects them to nightmarish training to become "Widows", assassins whom he can use while having murdered Natasha's mother for trying to find her daughter. With horrific training that sees only one in twenty girls survive, Dreykov later turned his injured daughter into a brainwashed assassin after she was scarred and intends to use his Widows to enact enough chaos and death across the world that he might control things from the shadows, viewing each of the Widows he's taken as nothing more than the recycling of a "useless resource" in the girls he corrupts and destroys.



Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • Season 1: John Garrett is also known as the Clairvoyant. Heading the Centipede Project as a powerful figure in HYDRA, the Clairvoyant has superpowered individuals abducted and experimented on; implants his soldiers with Explosive Leashes, which he utilizes should they fail him or outlive their usefulness; had Coulson tortured to reveal the secret of his revival; and frequently kidnaps and threatens the lives of the loved ones of his "employees" in order to ensure their complete loyalty. At one point he implanted a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent with a bomb and forced her to work for him, work that included massacring a subway train full of bank security personnel to get what they were guarding. Later he implanted a bomb in Mike Peterson as well, abducted his son, and turned Mike into the cyborg villain Deathlok against his will. Despite his cheery demeanor, the Clairvoyant has no loyalty or empathy for anyone, not even to his undyingly loyal right-hand man, Grant Ward, whom he nearly killed to further his own plans. Later, he would force Ward to attempt to murder his two friends, Fitz and Simmons, in order to prove he's not weak. Ultimately, the Clairvoyant's true interest was extending his own life, and once he'd achieved that he'd go on to plan world domination.
  • Season 2: Dr. Werner Reinhardt, aka Daniel Whitehall, is one of the heads of HYDRA and a true believer in Johann Schmidt's cause of eliminating The Evils of Free Will. Whitehall has performed horrific human experiments since World War II, testing how quickly people died after touching the Obelisk. In the 1980's, Reinhardt brutally tortured and eviscerated Skye's mother, Jiaying, via surgery to obtain her powers of lasting youth. With his newfound youth, Whitehall mentored future generations of HYDRA sleeper agents, artificially inseminating one girl for the "Destroyer of Worlds" super soldier project. In the present, Whitehall brags about mastering the art of keeping victims conscious while performing gruesome and invasive surgeries without anesthesia; brainwashes people, including loyal S.H.I.E.L.D agents, into becoming his slaves; frames S.H.I.E.L.D. for killing sprees he himself organized; and ordered the Bus shot down, despite Ward promising mercy, after forcing its passengers to surrender Skye. Whitehall's goal is to use the Obelisk and the city it leads to in order to create a Weapon of Mass Destruction, which he will use to kill millions, if not billions of people. In his final appearance, Whitehall plans to torture Skye to death and force her father to watch.
  • Season 5: Taryan is a Kree noble and leading member of the Confederacy, a collection of various empires out to exploit planets for resources before Thanos completes the Infinity Gauntlet. After the newly-empowered Glenn Talbot takes over the Remorath, Taryan plays on his ego and growing insanity to convince him to cause chaos on Earth while the Remorath bring him the powerful Quake, whom he tries to break into a loyal disciple. In a Bad Future where Talbot destroyed the planet because of his manipulations, Taryan set up a Kree outpost to farm the surviving humans for Inhuman slaves, placing his son Kasius in command as punishment for retreating from a suicide mission. On this outpost, humans are forced to slaughter each other in regular purges; rebellious lawbreakers are sent to be eaten by Vrellnexians on the planet's surface; and Inhumans, even children, are forced to fight in death matches, with the victors auctioned off as soldiers.
  • Season 7: Sibyl, the Chronicom Predictor, leads the Hunters in their invasion of Earth's past. Forming an alliance with HYDRA, Sibyl fast-tracks Project Insight to kill the Avengers while they're still children, having her Hunters kill and steal the faces of both loyal S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and Mack's parents. Sibyl survives an explosion that destroys her Hunters and convinces a lonely programmer to construct crude replacements, killing him once they're complete and providing knowledge of the future to Nathaniel Malick. With her help, Malick recruits killers destined to die because of S.H.I.E.L.D. and lays siege to the Inhuman sanctuary of Afterlife, before agonizingly stealing its inhabitants' powers. Sibyl later makes contact with the Chronicom fleet and orders them to obliterate every S.H.I.E.L.D. base on the planet before preparing to do so again upon being transported back to the primary timeline, additionally threatening to convert Coulson into a full Chronicom and enslave him out of annoyance with his constant interference. While rationalizing her invasion as an effort to save her species from extinction, this is little more than Sibyl's coldly logical belief that Chronicoms are superior and more deserving of survival over humanity.

Netflix Series

  • Jessica Jones (2015):
    • Kevin "Kilgrave" Thompson is an amoral, mind-controlling sociopath responsible for the ruination and deaths of countless lives. After gaining his powers due to his parents' painful, though well-intentioned, experiments on him, Kilgrave turned them into his slaves and grew up getting everything he wanted, notably raping women, ordering those who annoyed him to maim or kill themselves, and tormenting children, simply because he felt like it. Kilgrave becomes obsessed with heroine Jessica Jones when she breaks free of his control after he forced her to kill an innocent, and begins ruining her life by addicting her neighbors to drugs and having them kill themselves in her house, ordering one of her clients to murder her own parents in front of Jessica, and tries to manipulate her into becoming his slave again by holding people hostage by the dozen. Though seemingly caring for his parents, Kilgrave reveals his true colors as he forces his mother to stab herself to death and has his father taken apart limb by limb until he is dead. When seemingly beaten, Kilgrave orders dozens of innocents to kill each other just to distract Jessica, and uses his final act to proclaim his intent to make Jessica's sister Trish his new slave to be raped and tortured at his leisure. A petty, childish bully who wanted everyone to be his playthings while never admitting true guilt to anything he did, Kilgrave is one of the most despicable villains the MCU has to offer.
    • Season 3: Gregory Sallinger is a man defined by envy and spite towards anyone he feels has more than him. A vicious sociopath from a young age who hated his "talentless hack" of a brother, Sallinger murdered a child and taunted his parents with photos. Growing up, Sallinger fixated on those he felt were mediocrities, torturing and murdering seven people while mocking them with the moment of their despair. Later torturing Jessica and her lover Erik with intent to murder them, Sallinger kidnaps Dorothy, Trish's mother and Jessica's adoptive mother, and tortures her to death. A devious sadist out to hurt others to embiggen himself, Sallinger shows the darkest side of humanity.
  • The Punisher (2017):
    • Season 1: William J. "Bill" Rawlins III, aka Agent Orange, is a sadistic CIA agent who was the mastermind of Operation Cerberus in Afghanistan, sending special forces to torture and kill targets. In reality, Rawlins used it to his own benefit, and when an honest Afghan officer named Zubair learned the truth, Rawlins framed him, abducted, tortured and murdered him while continuing to enrich himself via heroin smuggling. Upon receiving accolades and a potential promotion to Deputy CIA Director, Rawlins sought to close loose ends by having the remaining Cerberus squad members murdered while also planning the mass shootout that killed Frank Castle's family, alongside many other innocents. When he learns that David "Micro" Lieberman, who knew of Zubair's murder, had faked his death, Rawlins kidnaps and tries to murder Micro's wife and children along with him to tie up the end. Upon capturing Castle, Rawlins, his career in tatters, attempts to brutally torture him to death, ranting that Castle, and even Rawlins's own subordinate, Russo, are just "grunts" who exist to serve men like him. A sadist with a god complex, Rawlins stops at nothing to always come out on top and destroy those he can.
    • "Scar Tissue": Arthur Walsh was the caretaker at the Ray of Hope children's home decades ago, where he took advantage of his position to sexually abuse the boys under his care. When the young Billy Russo resisted, Walsh broke his arm. Walsh's actions went on for years before one of his victims reported him, but when an amnesiac Billy visits him decades later, Walsh only says it was unfair that he lost his pension and went to prison, mocking Billy's dead mother and both his mental and physical scars, accepting no responsibility for his actions or how his abuse helped turn Billy into a killer. Though a retired man by the start of the series and only appearing in a single episode, Walsh stands out as a frighteningly realistic child molester in the MCU.

Cloak & Dagger (2018)

  • Season 2: D'Spayre, real name Andre Deschaine and the Big Bad of the season, was once an aspiring jazz musician who received powers from the Roxxon oil rig explosion, which allowed him to remove his headache pain by feeding off the despair of others. To cultivate this despair, he manipulates a nurse named Avandalia "Lia" Dewan into abandoning her life for him, and together they cultivate a sexual slavery ring under the guise of a community support group for abuse victims, using the group to find more victims. Once Ty and Tandy destroy the ring, D'Spayre feeds off Avandalia one more time, and abandons her barely-living body on the side of the road. After visiting the voodoo priestess Chantelle, who he later murders, D'Spayre uses his powers to rise to godhood, abducting people from across New Orleans to his Pocket Dimension so he can feed off their despair forever. While on the surface a helpful community support worker, D'Spayre is truly a sociopathic monster who inflicts unimaginable horrors on anyone who isn't himself in order to fuel his own power.

What If...? (2021)

Tie-in Material