What are comic book movies without villains?
Everyone knows what the MCU is. The Marvel Cinematic Universe, turning Marvel comics into epic movies about all your favourite superheroes and villains—and boy, do they have a lot of them. Each of these characters come with their own unique sets of powers and strength levels, going up against others and winning or losing depending on who can overpower who. But which villains in the MCU are the most powerful? Which are the least likely to lose a fight?
These ten are the most powerful ones; the ones that the superheroes have really struggled to defeat… or, in the case of one particular villain mentioned here, will struggle to defeat.
Well. We all knew Thanos had to be mentioned here.
The most prominent villain currently in the MCU, Thanos just wrecked half the universe in Infinity War by getting rid of it entirely. If he wasn’t going to be on here before he got the infinity stones, he certainly is now. In fact, he’s top of the list. Thanos is an absolutely awe-inspiring villain because he literally controls all aspects of reality right now.
Does anyone else want to cry when they think about how close the Guardians were to removing the gauntlet? Ugh, Peter. Why?
Hela: Asgardian Goddess of Death and former executioner of Asgard, imprisoned in Hel for many, many years.
Even her title makes her sound like a force to be reckoned with. And that’s just the start of it.
She comes equipped with a design that’s just as intimidating in the MCU. Hela earns her place here by being a formidable foe for younger brothers Thor and Loki. She appeared in Thor: Ragnarok after breaking free from her prison due to her father’s death, and was pretty determined to take over. If Loki and Thor hadn’t managed to get some help in there, she may well have succeeded.
Ego actually started out as a seemingly nice character. We’d always been curious about Peter Quill’s parents and when he appeared and said he was Peter’s father, Peter seemed wary. Until Gamora pointed out this was all he had ever wanted.
Except not. She was wrong.
Ego is a celestial. That means he’s one of the most powerful beings you could get in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Worse than that, he’s not playing around as he tries to find someone to join him in his plans. He eventually tries to use his own son, Peter, when he shows up in the second Guardians Of The Galaxy movie.
What makes him even more horrifying was the other children he had that he’d already killed. This guy has no morals.
Thor and Loki resurrected Surtur using the Eternal Flame to help defeat Hela, which is why he makes this list—he successfully managed to do it. The problem? He was part of an old prophecy and not only did he defeat Hela, he took the whole of Asgard down with him. Now if that doesn’t herald a powerful Marvel villain…
You have to admire this guy’s commitment to his destiny, though. He might be an absolutely horrible being with no regard for life, but he did manage to destroy Asgard because he knew that was what he was supposed to end up doing. Lucky for Thor that he took Hela down with him.
You win some, you lose some.
The supernatural power that Dormammu wields is pretty incomparable. It’s apocalypse level. Reading the villains above, it might be hard to imagine who can compete with them but in the MCU, there’s no shortage of awful beings with powers so immense that it’s surprising the heroes and civilians of the universe get any sleep at night.
He takes pleasure in pain. He was delighted at the thought of being able to kill Doctor Strange. Had Dormammu not got stuck in an endless time loop, Thanos might never have gotten the chance to use his infinity stones. Something even bigger might have happened first.
Ultron—or Murder Bot—is not to be overlooked. Tony Stark had pretty good intentions with this guy, but doesn’t he know that androids are going to overthrow us all eventually? Ultron was created to be the kind of robot that would protect humanity. He was supposed to find all threats and destroy them.
Of course, he did his job pretty well, because he realized that the biggest threat was probably humanity and went about trying to commit genocide. We can’t fault the logic, but Tony should probably have thought of that during Ultron’s creation. The Avengers had a hard time taking this one down.
Kurse served the Dark Elves against the Asgardians. He’s one of the few who survived the curse that almost wiped out their entire race, so right upon meeting this character, you know he’s going to be a tough one. And tough he is—he was a formidable opponent for Thor.
The thing about Kurse is that he actually has some pretty good traits though. He was very loyal to his cause and his leader. I could almost see him having made a good ally to the heroes if he had somehow, magically, ended up on their side. He wasn’t quite like some of the other villains who are two-dimensional evil (such as Surtur)—he actually seemed kind of interesting.
Sometimes I forget that Loki is a villain—anyone else?
He appeared in the first Thor film and has been a fixture of the MCU ever since (until recently—rest in peace, buddy). He was adopted by Odin and raised alongside Thor, but he always held some bitterness about the fact—to say the least. Known as the God of Mischief, Loki was pretty ungrateful to the family who took him in and he caused them a lot of hassle until he eventually came around to Thor’s side.
Because they loved each other really. Awww.
But, Loki was a powerful being with abnormal strength, speed, stamina, and he also knew a lot about sorcery. That in combination with his intelligence? Formidable. Very much so.
Nebula is another villain who’s actually genuine interesting. The daughter of Thanos and definitely his least favorite, she came with a whole host of issues. And who could blame her? Thanos came down on Nebula and Gamora pretty hard. He used the excuse that it was to benefit them, make them better fighters—but no one's buying it. It clearly affected them for the worse, especially Nebula.
Despite being clearly not human, we see glimpses of humanity in Nebula a lot. She’s vicious and vengeful, but she still loves Gamora. There's remorse for their situation in there. She still despises Thanos despite showing some affection for Gamora but, well—I don’t exactly blame her.
1 The Destroyer
The Destroyer was an Asgardian automation used to guard their weapons. Loki tried to use to kill his brother Thor and it was a pretty decent bet. It listens to whoever holds Gungnir, and is pretty neutral in its morals—it doesn’t matter if the orders are good or bad, it will listen.
Its powers include superhuman strength and durability, the Odinforce, and sensory scrying. It has to be defeated by another great weapon. There’s no rolling up to a fight with this one and just using any old method to beat it, which was exactly why Loki thought it was a good idea to put it up against Thor in the first place.
In the comics, however, it was built to be used against the Celestials! Which shows you just how powerful the Destroyer truly is.