Can Avengers: Infinity War Overcome the MCU's Villain Problem?

The positive thing for Marvel Studios is that most of the heroes in the flick have been well established, so they don't require as much character development for audiences to root for them. This doesn't account for any surprise inclusions that we're not yet aware of - we're looking at you, Captain Marvel - but fans have all seen how well Captain America: Civil War introduced Black Panther, so they should already have faith in the directors to introduce any new characters properly.

Also, this colossal line-up will be split into teams, each group seemingly facing off against a different villainous child of Thanos. Establishing these groups will require a good amount of time from the movie for their assembly to feel organic and natural. We already know from the trailer that Thor and the Guardians of the Galaxy will cross paths, but space is a big place so it will require a good dose of explaining for their meeting to really be believable.

Recent Track Record

It's worth looking at the last few movies that Marvel Studios has put out to see if the villain problem is still actually a problem. Thor: Ragnarok is the studio's latest offering, and that boasted an amazing perfomance from Cate Blanchett as the incredible Hela. The long-lost, secret sister of Thor and Loki, Hela had simple, but clear, motivations and she was given plenty of time to shine. No villain problem there!

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was very family-orientated, with Peter Quill finally meeting his dad - who just happened to take a villainous turn towards the last third of the movie. Kurt Russell was a great choice to play Ego, the Living Planet; he was convincing when portraying both the good and bad sides of the character. The twist with Ego, in which he actually put the tumor inside of Peter's mother's head, was genuinely sickening. This was another home run on the villain front.

Spider-Man: Homecoming has arguably one of the best villains in the MCU to date. Michael Keaton's turn from hero (as Batman) to villain (as Vulture) was better than most people could have imagined, with a very human and realistic take on an antagonist in a Marvel movie. Adrian Toomes ran a business cleaning up after incidents that happen in New York - such as the Chitauri invasion in Avengers - until Tony Stark took over. Down on his look and trying to provide for his family, the character did what he thought was best to look after his wife and daughter, who just so happened to be Peter Parker's love interest, Liz. Yet again, another win for the MCU.

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So as it appears, Marvel Studios could well have rectified their so-called villain problem - but our concerns for Avengers: Infinity War still stand. There's one movie before the ensemble piece premieres, and that's Black Panther, which features Michael B. Jordan as Erik Killmonger. Unfortunately, a trailer revealed that he has a suit similar to that of T'Challa's, and he could well be just another copycat villain like Yellow Jacket in Ant-Man and Iron Monger in Iron Man. We'll have to wait and see, but the two movies are only a handful of months away!

Debuting May 4, 2018, director Anthony and Joe Russo’ Avengers: Infinity War stars Robert Downey Jr., Josh Brolin, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Olsen, Sebastian Stan, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Bettany, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Benedict Wong, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, Pom Klementieff, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Holland and Anthony Mackie.

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