Although villains are traditionally portrayed as pure evil, the MCU has taken a different approach to characterizing its villains with a troubled history, a complex range of emotions, and a unique point of view that almost justifies their actions. While many of these villains have truly evil intentions, some had understandable and sympathetic motives for their actions.
Some of the best villains depicted on screen were right all along, having such strong points of argument that viewers can’t help but agree or ponder their point of view. These villains took the idea of hero-villain stories beyond black-and-white perspectives to the screen.
Killmonger – ‘Black Panther’
While it’s clear that Killmonger had a bitter resentment towards Wakanda after being banned, his perspective as a man of color in a country where systematic and race-based prejudice fully exists and is problematic is valuable to understand the depth of injustice. He fully acknowledges the injustices involving colonialism, exploitation and enslavement of his people, wanting to redress the system on a grand scale by being in a position of power first, the King of Wakanda.
Although Killmonger’s attempt to throw T’Challa from the throne was partly out of outrage at the way he and his father were treated, his intentions weren’t malicious. In a way, he was a misunderstood protagonist whose approach may have been wrong but who wanted a better life for his people and believed he could achieve it by correcting systematic flaws.
Zemo – “Captain America: Civil War”
Despite ruinous actions that essentially fractured the Avengers, leaving them unprepared for Thanos’ arrival, Zemo addressed the lack of recognition on their part for their role in sparking unprecedented conflict. In Avengers: Age of Ultronthe villainous Ultron was created by the Avengers, and ever since they successfully defeated them, they’ve been branded as heroes.
Although his intentions are rooted in revenge for his family’s death, Zemo acknowledges their reckless behavior underlying a clear argument between the Avengers, raising a key question that “if [they] can’t accept the limits, [they] are no better than the bad guys.
Loki – ‘Thor’
Despite being a powerful villain, Loki has proven to be one of the most compelling characters due to his evolution from victim to villain to anti-hero and ultimately hero roles. Although Loki’s childhood resentments rooted his inability to accept Thor as the next ruler of Asgard, he firmly believed that Thor was unfit to rule.
Loki interrupted his coronation ceremony by allowing the Frost Giants to invade, stimulating Thor’s urge to retaliate with an attack. This proved Loki’s point, as Thor’s consecutive actions were childish, vengeful, and rooted in arrogance. This moment demonstrated to Odin that Thor is unworthy of the throne and furthermore would be dangerous as a leader with an “eye for an eye” mindset.
Toomes – ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’
Adrian Toomes has been described as one of the most likable villains when it comes to intent. Toomes’ job was taken away by Damage Control, which made him unhappy with his loss of livelihood, which ultimately spurred his transformation into a Vulture.
Although Toomes does not acknowledge the detrimental effects of his actions on those around him through arms sales, portrays him in an unfavorable light, his true intent was not greed for money or power, but the result of the adversity of an ordinary man. His decision to turn to a life of crime was based on his desperation as a hard-working middle-class man who needed the means to support his family.
Ghost – ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’
Ava Starr was cast more as a victim of personal tragedy, due to the affliction of a molecular imbalance and SHIELD’s attempt to exploit it. Her condition caused her chronic and constant pain, pushing her to the limits of frustration that prompted her to do anything to save herself, including risking Janet’s life by extracting her quantum energy.
Through Janet’s attempt to help her, it is revealed that Ava was right, in that it was her only chance to survive. If she hadn’t taken matters into her own hands, she wouldn’t have come face to face with Janet who then helped her gradually heal her illness. Ava wasn’t a heartless villain, but rather a victim of tragedies that forced her to take drastic measures to save herself.
Thanos – “Avengers: Infinity War & Endgame”
It’s hard to sympathize with Thanos due to his ruthless nature and ruthless plan for global slaughter. His vision of the future was partly based on logical reasoning. Thanos’ home planet of Titan was being strained by overpopulation, leading to a shortage of resources, partly explaining how Thanos’ vision for global genocide was based on personal experiences.
In reality, Thanos addressed a real societal problem in which population size often leads to resource depletion, increased competitiveness for resources, which can lead to increased crime and theft, and poverty. . Be that as it may, his ruthless methods have hardly resulted in a meaningful solution.
Hela – ‘Thor: Ragnarok’
Hela is the Asgardian goddess of death as well as Odin’s firstborn, thus making her the rightful heir to the throne. Alongside Odin, they built the empire of Asgard by violently conquering the other realms until Odin realized that peace is better than war, banishing Hela from Asgard.
As she was raised to thrive in an atmosphere that reflected war and battle, Odin’s sudden change was rightly inexplicable to her. Moreover, Odin barely attempted to explain himself or confide in her, backing down from his decision of life imprisonment at the first sign of Hela’s objection. In reality, Hela’s attempt to conquer Asgard was really a reflection of Odin’s upbringing throughout his life.
Sylvie – ‘Loki’
Sylvie is a variant of Loki who unknowingly caused a Nexus Event as a child, resulting in her arrest by the Time Variance Authority. Suddenly, she seeks revenge for the upheaval of her life, wanting to prove that the VAT manipulates everyone.
Despite the catastrophic nature of her actions to free the multiverse, Sylvie was rightly upset by the sudden disruption in her life. As her actions came from a position of distrust and revenge, it is difficult to separate her intentions and actions, but in the end she was right to prove that the TVA is a illegitimate organization full of kidnapped variants of their timelines.
Nebula – “Guardians of the Galaxy”
Nebula took on the persona of a villain and an anti-hero, blurring the lines between whether her actions were good or bad. Initially supporting Ronan, it became clear to viewers that she was simply trying to survive by protecting herself against Thanos whom Ronan planned to assassinate. After reconciling with Gamora, Nebula decides she will have to kill Thanos as it will be in everyone’s best interests.
Although Nebula’s intention to eliminate Thanos was entirely vengeful, she was able to recognize the dire consequences of what he wanted to do. Her strained relationship with Gamora was also understandable, considering how Gamora dismissed Nebula’s feelings of pain, inferiority, and desolation.
Kaecilius – ‘Dr. Odd’
Kaecilius was an ancient student of the mystical arts who, after the death of his wife and son, found solace under the mentorship of the Elder who promised to help him find answers. However, after feeling that she had failed to live up to her end of the bargain and help him through the grief of his family’s death, he sought answers with the Zealots, to find what was right for him. hidden.
After essentially banning her from using the power of the Dark Dimension, it was revealed that she was doing exactly what she told her not to do. Frustrated by her deception and the hypocrisy of her actions, Kaecilius becomes furious with her. Although his actions were those of a villain, the validity of his anger cannot be discounted.
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