13. Dreykov (Black Widow)
The character of Dreykov isn’t so much the problem as was the fact that Ray Winstone played him with big grandpa-fell-asleep-on-the-toilet-again energy. A strange enough casting choice to begin with, Winstone’s take on the character makes his appearance in the film feel even more forced
12. Damage Control (Ms. Marvel)
While only slightly more menacing than Sleepy Dreykov, the Department of Damage Control still comes off as more of a joke than a threat. The ineptitude of what one would assume are at least relatively well-trained agents is rough to take. Being held at bay by some pitching machines and fire extinguishers doesn’t bode well for them taking any really violent powered people. And as the face of the DODC, Deevers is just paper-thin. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. had better antagonists.
11. Arthur Harrow (Moon Knight)
Ethan Hawke taking a villainous turn in a Marvel Studios project sounded like a match made in heaven. And then Moon Knight came and went without Hawke’s Arthur Harrow making much of an impression. Much the opposite of Dreykov, it wasn’t Hawke’s lack of effort that lead to this low spot on the list; in fact, Hawke made more out of the character than most could have. For all the great things about Moon Knight, the villain just wasn’t one of them.
10. Flagsmashers (The Falcon and the Winter Soldier)
Erin Kellyman owned the role of Karli Morgenthau, sharing the screen with MCU vets Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan and never taking a back seat. However, with so much attention on John Walker, Baron Zemo and Sharon Carter, the Flagsmashers as a group really never got enough time to develop into a threat on the level worthy of Captain America. This is a case of Marvel Studios kneecapping itself with the six-episode format. Adding an episode or two and letting the Flagsmashers develop would have done wonders. Not a bad group of villains by any stretch, but definitely underused.
9. Gorr (Thor: Love and Thunder)
Speaking of underused…adding Christian Bale to the fourth Thor film as one of the God of Thunder’s most terrifying villains was as can’t miss as it could get. And then they turned him into Gorr the Scary Party Clown. The lack of god butchering and the fact that the only time he was legitimately terrifying was telling a story to a bunch of kids in a cage makes Gorr a bit of a disappointment; however, Bale was all in on the character and while he’s not the guy from the comics, he’s still pretty great.
8. Kingpin (Hawkeye)
Vincent D’Onofrio’s casting as Wilson Fisk was a stroke of genius. A truly underrated actor, D’Onofrio inhabits every square inch of Kingpin. He gives every breath, every movement and every word his full attention to detail. So why isn’t he at the top of the list? Because Marvel Studios chose to pretend his reprisal of the role was a secret and introduced him…in a still frame captured on a 2004 potato.
7. Agatha (WandaVision)
Arguably nobody in the history of the MCU has had more fun in a role than Kathryn Hahn did as Agatha Harkness in WandaVision. Evolving as the series progressed, Hahn’s Agatha became one of the highlights of a fantastic series. Her performance in the flashback episode propelled her to the top, but the weak finale pushed her back down the list a bit. The great news is that Hahn gets to come back and give more to the role and nobody is going to be unhappy about that.
6. Infinite Ultron (What If…?)
Perhaps the only character who truly embodies the concept behind What If…?, Infinite Ultron was the highlight of the first season of the animated series and a greater threat than his live-action counterpart ever got to be.
5. Ikaris (Eternals)
You have to respect the man’s (robot’s) commitment. So committed to Arishem’s plan was Ikaris that he was willing to kill everyone he knew to allow it to come to fruition. Casting Richard Madden, who oozes charisma, in the role is a bit confusing given his very stoic performance, but the fact is that Ikaris does get better action sequences that everyone other than Wenwu and Green Goblin and a bit of redemption when he chooses to fly into the sun rather than go betray his mission. He can’t kill his friends, but he’d rather kill himself than allow them to succeed.
4. Scarlet Witch (Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness)
The Scarlet Witch unleashed proved to be as deadly of a villain as any in Marvel Cinematic Universe history. As it turns out, having Sam Raimi take the helm of the story that allowed Wanda Maximoff to turn heel led to one of the most unsettling villain performances in Phase 4. Having portrayed the character for so long, Elizabeth Olsen masterfully hit all the notes and nuances that elevated the Scarlet Witch towards the top of the hierarchy of Phase 4 villains.
3. He Who Remains (Loki)
Only given one episode to shine, Jonathan Majors enormous talent propels this Kang Variant to top tier. Majors managed to outshine one of the MCU’s greatest stars in Tom Hiddleston, making a first impression unlike any other in recent MCU memory. Knowing he’ll be back (because he memorably told us all he would) lessens to blow struck by Sylvie. A truly haunting and fascinating performance by one of the best talents in Hollywood.
2. Green Goblin (Spider-Man: No Way Home)
As information trickled out about the plot of Spider-Man: No Way Home, it was tough to understand how Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin could be the baddie of the piece, much less end up being one of the Phase’s most menacing. The bulk of the credit goes to Dafoe, who nearly 20 years later gave something more to both sides of Norman Osborn than he did in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man. This time around, Dafoe’s Gobby was even more unhinged and got to go toe-to-toe with Spidey in one of the Phase’s best one-on-one fights. Killing May and then taunting Peter put the icing on the villain cake.
1. Wenwu (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings)
A villain so good that the movie should have been titled Wenwu and The Legend of The Ten Rings. Played masterfully by the legend Tony Leung, it’s Wenwu’s journey that truly propels the film. Shang-Chi is great in his own right and one of the MCU’s most likeable protagonists, but Wenwu isn’t just Phase 4’s best villain, he’s one of the MCU’s best yet.