One of the big complaints about the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies was that the villains often left a lot to be desired, while the heroes always overshadowed them. However, that was never a problem in the Marvel Netflix world. The villains in these series were always deadly and dangerous, bringing as much to the heroes as they got back.
The archetypes of the villains varied. There were some who saw themselves as criminal overlords, ruling over their minions. There were others who were pure assassins and even others who were slightly tragic figures looking to hurt people as they were hurt before. With some great bad guys on display, here is a look at Marvel’s most dangerous villains from the Netflix shows.
10 HAROLD MEACHUM
Not a lot of fans liked the first season of Iron Fist, but most of the complaints had to do with Finn Jones in the lead role. However, when it comes to villains, Harold Meachum was a dastardly one. He was resurrected by The Hand but kept it a secret from everyone.
When his son killed him a second time, and The Hand resurrected him again, he went insane. He then murdered his own assistant and then tried to frame Danny for a drug scheme within his company. Thankfully, his body was destroyed after a third death because he kept getting worse and worse everytime he came back.
The original owner of Harlem's Paradise was based on a member of the Serpent Society from Marvel Comics. Cottonmouth, real name Cornell Stokes, was one of the main villains in the first season of Luke Cage. When a gun sale went bad, things went downhill for him and he started seeking vengeance, which brought him into Cage's crosshairs.
However, as great as he was, he struggled when Diamondback showed up and then went afoul of his cousin. At that moment, Black Mariah killed him and took over his empire, an early exit for a character that held so much potential.
8 THE HAND
The Hand is almost like the organized crime version of Hydra. They were antagonists in the background of the first and second season of Daredevil, the first season of Iron Fist and the main villains in The Defenders. There were lots of heavy hitters here, including Bakudo, Nobu and Elektra.
Gao was a scary person in Daredevil and she was only part of The Hand. Alexandra Reid was a huge threat in The Defenders and almost defeated the heroes while controlling Elektra. This is a powerful organization that was only undone at the last minute by luck and the determination of the heroes and Elektra.
Elektra made her first appearance in the second season of Daredevil. She fell in love with Matt when she was sent by Stick to bring him into the fold while she turned out to be a solid assassin. However, while she and Daredevil were allies at times -- when she died things changed.
The Hand resurrected Elektra and she was now one of the key villains. As Meachum proved, coming back from the dead is not good on your brain and she was a programmed assassin for The Hand and fought the Defenders in that Marvel Netflix series. She finally remembered her past and Matt and turned on her controllers.
The Serpent Society were iconic villains in Marvel Comics and some of the members were reimagined in Luke Cage. Bushmaster showed up in the second season of the Marvel Netflix series as a villain and the newest crimelord to come into Harlem. However, he was a complex character.
While he seemed deadly and ruthless, he was actually coming back to Harlem to seek vengeance against someone worse than him -- Mariah Stokes. While he was unable to get his revenge against her, he proved to be a worthy adversary to Luke Cage. He also survived to the end, leaving America to lick his wounds.
5 AGENT ORANGE
Moving over to the world of The Punisher, while all eyes were on Billy Russo -- knowing what he was destined to become -- Agent Orange was the man pulling all the strings. Real name William Rawlins, he was the Director of Covert Operations for the CIA and he is who ordered the hit on Frank Castle that resulted in the deaths of his family.
That means that he was responsible for creating the Punisher, and at the end of the day, was responsible for everyone that Frank Castle killed -- including himself. He had immense power though, and it took Billy Russo betraying him to finally bring him down.
4 BLACK MARIAH
In the two seasons of Luke Cage, the hero had a lot of problems with villains wanting to run Harlem but no one was quite as scary as Black Mariah. She was actually the main villain that ran through both seasons of the Marvel Netflix series and was basically the female version of Wilson Fisk -- someone who ruled with an iron fist.
She is why Bushmaster showed up and started tearing things up. She was manipulative and did anything in her power to not only survive but rain fear on anyone who crossed her. How devious was she? When she died in prison, she left the possession of Harlem's Paradise to Luke Cage, making him the new kingpin on the streets.
3 BILLY RUSSO
Marvel Comics fans knew who Billy Russo was when the first season of The Punisher aired. He was the man destined to become Jigsaw -- one of Frank Castle's deadliest enemies. He already appeared in a movie and now fans got to see how he became the villain on Netflix.
That made watching him work as Frank's friend so interesting as viewers waited for the other shoe to drop. It did when he showed he was working with the man who killed Castle's family. He betrayed Rawlins and then had his face disfigured by Castle before returning in The Punisher season 2.
There is only one name keeping Kilgrave from sitting at the top of this list. The main bad guy from the first season of Jessica Jones was so inherently evil that he made every other Marvel villain from the Netflix shows look tame by comparison. His power was the scariest of all -- he could make a person believe and do anything he wanted them to.
His manipulation of Jessica Jones left scars that remained with her into the second season of the show. When it all came to an end, Kilgrave might have the most cruelty of any villain in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin of Crime, is easily the most powerful and dangerous Marvel villain from the Netflix shows, as he was equally, if not more powerful, in Marvel Comics themselves. He is large and imposing. He is deadly and calculating. He is someone who will destroy anyone in his way and then has the power and charisma to remain a free man every time.
He also had a tragic and great story in the first season of Daredevil that made him an almost sympathetic villain. By the time he returned in the second season, he proved he was just as strong even behind bars. He finally set out to destroy Matt's life in season 3 of that series. Wilson Fisk is the best Marvel Netflix villain of them all.