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C'mon Hollywood: The Marvel villain problem and how to fix it

08.04.2015

It goes without saying that Marvel Studios has managed to crack the comic book movie adaptation unlike any other studio. They’ve remained faithful to the source, while still taking on a shape of their own in the cinematic realm. Hiring perfectly-suited, yet out-of-the box talent to spearhead each film and building an interconnected cinematic universe is no small task and a groundbreaking venture unlike any we’ve seen on film to date. It’s been, for the most part, an awesome thing to watch unfold.

So, now that we’ve firmly established what Marvel’s gotten right, there’s one thing that continues to cripple their efforts; the bad guys.

Now, I’m not the first to tackle this issue. There’ve been a lot of great pieces written about this problem since the close of Phase One, starting with 2008’s IRON MAN and has continued all the way up to their most recent effort, ANT-MAN. And, certainly with Marvel’s box office success I’m sure they could give two shits about what I have to say about their villain failings, but I’m going to say it anyway.

Fortunately, it’s not a total wash, as Marvel has gotten at least a few of the villain roles right, namely Tom Hiddleston’s Loki and Sebastian Stan’s Winter Soldier (although I’d argue he’s more anti-hero than villain). Both of those characters benefit from a rich history with their key antagonist (Thor and Captain America, respectively), and each are vastly different from one another with completely different motivations as well as methods of mayhem.  I’d also toss in Robert Redford’s Alexander Pierce, but that could  be up for debate. Additionally, I’d throw in Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin in the Daredevil TV series, as he is phenomenal there. Yes, he’s part of the MCU, but the focus here is on the films…for now. The above all benefit from complexity of character, which makes you root for them, while still rooting for them to get their comeuppance.

The issue with every other major cinematic villain, including Obadiah Stane/Iron Monger, The Abomination, Whiplash, Red Skull, Aldrich Killian/faux Mandarin, Malekith, Ronan The Accuser, Ultron, and most recently, Yellow Jacket, is that we don’t learn enough about them to actually care about what happens to them, be it through historical background or villainous deeds and they mostly fit into a standard plug-and-play trope. Aside from looking cool, they don’t really have much going on. Complex doesn't even enter the equation.

It’s not a question of casting or design, either. Those aspects have been mostly fine, if not mostly solid. The problem is that more often than not each villain turns into a maniacal ranting baddie with little to no substance of character. We know so little about them or their motivations that it’s near impossible to care about them or why they even pose a legitimate threat. Ironically, they become a comic book stereotype. Their motives and actions are shrouded in mystery, leaving the audience with a “I don’t know what they were after, but it sure was cool seeing them get their asses handed to them” feeling.

Now, mystery isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it can work in the character’s favor if it’s counterbalanced with their deeds and character. Look at THE DARK KNIGHT’s Joker, played by the great Heath Ledger. We learn nothing solid about him (even his own "origin" ramblings can’t be taken as fact), but his behavior and cunning make him downright frightening, which in turn makes the mystery of who he is that much more intriguing. He’s a great foil and compliments his primary antagonist perfectly.  We want to hate him, love him, see him get his due, and ultimately learn a lot more about him. We certainly don't forget about him when the credits roll.

This summer’s AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON brought the promise of a great new baddie with James Spader’s titular villain, but instead we got a talky robot that had more one-liners than character beats and was about as scary as a malfunctioning C-3PO. He felt more like the politician bad guy in an ‘80’s action movie than a full on force to be reckoned with in a comic book film. This is the bad guy going up against a team of superheroes; he needs to at least appear to be someone to contend with. Sure, he wreaked some havoc, but he spent more time running away than fighting and it never felt like he had or could attain the upper hand.

Then came ANT-MAN, an otherwise great little actioner (and more entertaining than AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON in my book) that suffered in the villain department yet again. Corey Stoll’s Yellowjacket/Darren Cross was yet another power-hungry baddie who wanted to get back at Hank Pym for…whatever reason. We never learn why Pym mentored Cross (seriously, why was he ever even chosen by Pym?) or what their falling out was or why it mattered so much to Cross. And, I don’t blame Stoll, he did what he could with what he had, but in the end he was just another bad guy to be disposed of, rather than a foil to be reckoned with.

The trouble on the horizon now falls to Thanos, who has been built up since the first Avengers film and teased along the way as THE big villain that will shake the heroes up in not one, but two Avengers films (AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR PARTS 1 & 2). That’s a tall order for someone that’s had one speaking scene and a few post credits teases. The thing about Thanos in the comics is that he is a complex, interesting, and scary villain. His obsession with death (both literal and figurative) is a journey that deserves more than a flashback or exposition scene as it’s the foundation of his character. Without it, he’s a purple hulk with a magic glove and while that may make for some fun cinematic mayhem, it does little to make us think he could actually win or that the heroes should fear him.  His character deserves to be fleshed out (and, dare I say, get his own film).

So, how can Marvel fix their villain problems? Well, for one, they can go back to the source for their inspiration, just as they did with the good guys. Kevin Feige has long been adamant about the comics serving as the backbone of these characters, but most of it seems to only have been applied to the heroes. There are tons of great stories and beats to pull from when crafting the villains, many of which shine a spotlight on who these characters are and why they are such a threat. It’s all on the page.

The other thing that they can do is dedicate a little more screen time to the bad guys. Oftentimes, we get just enough to push the story along, but not enough to get into their heads or get a feel for who they are or why they’re doing what they’re doing. Even if it was just pure madness, we should have a strong distinction as to their motivations. Sure, there have been subtle hints and expository explanations, but nothing that SHOWS us who these villains are.

Character may be the biggest issue. While attempts have been made to define these individuals with a personality or traits that make them unique (IRON MAN 3’s Aldrich Killian is a good example, although he ultimately backfired), they constantly devolve into the raving maniac at the end of his rope, usually to usher in that final battle. There’s no true arc, just final defeat. The bad guy has been taken down, the good guys rule the day, all is realigned, just as we knew it would be. There’s never any doubt that the good guys will save the day. How can there be anything major at stake when you never really feel that way?

When you think of some of the best villains to ever grace film (and there are far too many to all name here), such as Hans Gruber, Darth Vader, The Joker (Nicholson and Ledger), Hannibal Lector, Max Cady, Commodus, Hal 9000, Norman Bates, etc., each of them were distinct in character, action, and cunning. We didn’t learn everything about their history and many are shrouded in mystery, but they still left an undeniable impression and you feared their intentions, because you actually believed that they’d follow through with them and, quite possibly, could accomplish their evil goals. The Marvel villains have barely come close to scratching that surface, minus the aforementioned exceptions.

None of this is meant to say that things need to be more “serious” or “dark” in tone, but merely more thought-out, balanced, and…better. With Marvel getting so many things right, why not go for the whole enchilada? A little more time, energy, and effort into creating some villains that aren’t just a raving punching bag for the good guys would go a long way in pushing their brand into the next phase, especially if they want to keep momentum. DC is entering the race next year with two new entries and the scorecard will get much more competitive. Judging just from the trailers for BATMAN V SUPERMAN and SUICIDE SQUAD, I think it'll be a good fight for who does the bad guys more justice.

Moving forward, Marvel has Thanos (AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR PARTS 1 & 2), Crossbones & Baron Zemo (CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR), Baron Mordo & Dormammu (DOCTOR STRANGE), and other as-yet-named baddies in their Phase 3 line-up (not to mention the Spider-Man universe being back in play - 3rd times the charm for Green Goblin, perhaps?). It’s my hope that each of them will become something more memorable in the MCU than the mostly lackluster line-up we’ve had so far. With the high level of craftsmanship going into these films from so many talented individuals, I think it’s time to pay a little more attention to their most neglected aspect. Let’s show the bad guys some love, Marvel.

What do you think? Do you find the villains in the MCU poorly developed or fitting to the material? What would YOU want them to improve upon? Sound off below!

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3:09PM on 08/05/2015
Malekith's motivation was to bring about the end of the universe. To extinguish the light and bring about darkness. Don't know how hard it was to miss that.

Yellowjacket was only a 'bad guy' because his mind had been screwed with by the shrinking process. It was only mentioned about 5 times.

Ultron was trying to exterminate all of mankind. That was only explained twice, so I can see how you missed that since it seems like most people pay more attention to their phones during a movie than
Malekith's motivation was to bring about the end of the universe. To extinguish the light and bring about darkness. Don't know how hard it was to miss that.

Yellowjacket was only a 'bad guy' because his mind had been screwed with by the shrinking process. It was only mentioned about 5 times.

Ultron was trying to exterminate all of mankind. That was only explained twice, so I can see how you missed that since it seems like most people pay more attention to their phones during a movie than the actual movie itself.

Red Skull also wanted world domination. The power cube was just his way about getting it.

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8:42PM on 08/05/2015
All of those reasons are the standard cookie-cutter villain fare, but I appreciate your passive-aggressive response. I stated all of those motivations, which were hardly enough to create a well-rounded villain. And Malekith's motivation was the weakest of sauce. Just hearing "extinguish the light and bring about darkness" makes me yawn. And that Yellowjacket shrinking process messing with his head was never explained, elaborated on, or taken to any level of understanding that made it feel
All of those reasons are the standard cookie-cutter villain fare, but I appreciate your passive-aggressive response. I stated all of those motivations, which were hardly enough to create a well-rounded villain. And Malekith's motivation was the weakest of sauce. Just hearing "extinguish the light and bring about darkness" makes me yawn. And that Yellowjacket shrinking process messing with his head was never explained, elaborated on, or taken to any level of understanding that made it feel legitimate.

The biggest issue with all of the things you stated is that we never learn much about the WHY of any of these villains doing what they do. Tossing out the ol' "it's just a comic book movie" excuse doesn't work for me, either. It doesn't have to be The Godfather, but it needs to at least be coherent and viable, which the villains in the MCU so very rarely are.
4:34AM on 08/06/2015
Yellowjacket is a villain because even without the shrinking process screwing his head he's still pretty much an awful guy.
Yellowjacket is a villain because even without the shrinking process screwing his head he's still pretty much an awful guy.
1:22PM on 08/05/2015
I actually think that, up until the final showdown, Obediah Stane is at least on the same level as Alexander Pierce as far as villainy goes. As Iron Monger he was pretty ridiculous, but like Pierce, he's introduced as a possible ally before turning bad. Plus, both of those characters were played by veterans who were able to milk the roles for all they were worth. Pierce gets the slight edge for being just a man, and one dangerous enough for Nick Fury to take no chances in arresting him. Red
I actually think that, up until the final showdown, Obediah Stane is at least on the same level as Alexander Pierce as far as villainy goes. As Iron Monger he was pretty ridiculous, but like Pierce, he's introduced as a possible ally before turning bad. Plus, both of those characters were played by veterans who were able to milk the roles for all they were worth. Pierce gets the slight edge for being just a man, and one dangerous enough for Nick Fury to take no chances in arresting him. Red Skull needs to come back. I thought he was a villain that showed promise, but he went out in such an ambiguous way that, if that's all we're going to see of him, then I feel like it really was kind of a wasted opportunity. Crossbones, I don't know much about the character from the comics, but based on his introduction in Winter Soldier, he could either be a very threatening bad guy (particularly for Falcon), or another Von Strucker.
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2:20AM on 08/05/2015
I love Alexander Pierce because while his motivations are still bordering on revenge (though not to anyone in particular but at the loss of his family members to terrorists) and power, there are uncommon layers of character that Redford shows in his performance. Ultron, not so much. Just a whiny baby with daddy issues.
I love Alexander Pierce because while his motivations are still bordering on revenge (though not to anyone in particular but at the loss of his family members to terrorists) and power, there are uncommon layers of character that Redford shows in his performance. Ultron, not so much. Just a whiny baby with daddy issues.
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10:13PM on 08/04/2015
I agree for the most part with your assessments. In reality only two Villains within the MCu have stood out as truly a threat. Those being Loki and Winter Soldier. But the funny thing is that both, to varying degrees, are antiheroes or even shades of grey. Winter Soldier will eventually be good, and Loki flips sides more than I can count. To a lesser extent Abomination/Blonsky was slightly deeper than others, it was just a more unknown movie where Marvel Studios were just cutting their teeth
I agree for the most part with your assessments. In reality only two Villains within the MCu have stood out as truly a threat. Those being Loki and Winter Soldier. But the funny thing is that both, to varying degrees, are antiheroes or even shades of grey. Winter Soldier will eventually be good, and Loki flips sides more than I can count. To a lesser extent Abomination/Blonsky was slightly deeper than others, it was just a more unknown movie where Marvel Studios were just cutting their teeth and learning the ropes. The jury is out on Thanos thus far and what the future holds will hopefully not be just a mirror image of their current villains. But it is truly terrible how they have wasted such great villains like Red Skull and Mandarin. Especially Skull who is one of the most iconic marvel villains that they haven't sold off the rights to.
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6:56PM on 08/04/2015
Yeah, I agree with this. Outside of Loki, none of the MCU villains will be remembered on a list of great villains (although Abomination, Iron Monger, and Red Skull are good). Kingpin from TV might be the best overall though. I also think Nebula needs to be mentioned. She was cool and did a lot with her small screen time. I hope she has a bigger role in the GotG sequel.
Yeah, I agree with this. Outside of Loki, none of the MCU villains will be remembered on a list of great villains (although Abomination, Iron Monger, and Red Skull are good). Kingpin from TV might be the best overall though. I also think Nebula needs to be mentioned. She was cool and did a lot with her small screen time. I hope she has a bigger role in the GotG sequel.
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4:36AM on 08/06/2015
Nebula is cool, though her backstory is left mostly unexplained. I'm sure there were more conflict between her and Gamora before the events of the movie.
Nebula is cool, though her backstory is left mostly unexplained. I'm sure there were more conflict between her and Gamora before the events of the movie.
6:14PM on 08/04/2015
I agree with you for the most part! The villains seem to be usually saved by the great performances. For example Iron Man 2 had a lot of issues, but the villains' motives weren't original or very compelling. But I thought Mickey Rourke and Justin Hammer's performances were great and made it almost worth it. And as much as I defend Iron Man 3 on some points, all I kept thinking about Guy Pearce was that his whole motivation was because Tony made fun of him and stood him up on the roof. It just
I agree with you for the most part! The villains seem to be usually saved by the great performances. For example Iron Man 2 had a lot of issues, but the villains' motives weren't original or very compelling. But I thought Mickey Rourke and Justin Hammer's performances were great and made it almost worth it. And as much as I defend Iron Man 3 on some points, all I kept thinking about Guy Pearce was that his whole motivation was because Tony made fun of him and stood him up on the roof. It just felt weak. I get that it was his entire motivation necessarily but that's what my mind stuck to.

I'm excited for Thanos because I truly think he can bring something different and bad ass to Marvel. What was great about The Joker was that he was not only so mysterious but he didn't care about power or revenge. It was all about chaos. It's much more terrifying and different than generic greedy motivations. DC seems to nail it with villains . Mostly. Even Zod's motivations in Man of Steel was more compelling than a lot of Marvel.

And didn't they explain Cross' motivation in Ant-Man. It was a few lines of dialogue but didn't Pym say he mentored Cross because he saw himself in him. Then Cross felt like he was pushed away because Pym wouldn't share his Pym Particle technology, which Pym said he did because he saw TOO MUCH of himself. I'm not saying it's great motivation, and it's obviously still bent on revenge and power, but I thought it was fairly clear. Maybe I read too much into what they were saying.
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1:45PM on 08/04/2015
3 problems:
1) Most of them are meant to be in just 1 movie. They're sort of like the "villain of the week." One could say that about most superhero franchises, but it's not the same. For example, the people behind the 2 SPIDER-MAN series always had in mind to keep the franchise going as far as possible, but they didn't develop ideas until each installment was greenlit. The MCU planned years ahead.
2) Another reason why the SPIDER-MAN movies worked is that they all showed the origins of each
3 problems:
1) Most of them are meant to be in just 1 movie. They're sort of like the "villain of the week." One could say that about most superhero franchises, but it's not the same. For example, the people behind the 2 SPIDER-MAN series always had in mind to keep the franchise going as far as possible, but they didn't develop ideas until each installment was greenlit. The MCU planned years ahead.
2) Another reason why the SPIDER-MAN movies worked is that they all showed the origins of each MAIN villain. Not just the backstory, but also how they became evil. Were they always complex or even credible? No, but at least they represented a contrast to PETER PARKER's origin. We didn't see him just getting super-powers; we saw him learning what it means to be a good person before putting on the suit. A lot of the ones in the MCU show up and are already villains. I went to see ANT-MAN this past the weekend. Without spoiling anything, I was dissapointed with the villain. He's shown as evil in the 1st couple of minutes. Also, his suit is shown at the beginning, but it takes way too long for him to put it on. He's a rare villain who is the hero's visual and thematic opposite (an ant vs a bee), but he's not contrasted as such.
3) Every hero has only one nemesis, but that doesn't mean there can't be a strong rivalry with others. Again, ANT-MAN: There's barely any interaction between the hero and villain.
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11:30AM on 08/04/2015

Best Villain...

As much as I like Loki, I absolutely loved Red Skull. I also loved what Hugo Weaving did with the character in what little time he had. I have to say though, I'm a 50 year comic fan and already know much about the character.

A shame that we haven't seen his return.
As much as I like Loki, I absolutely loved Red Skull. I also loved what Hugo Weaving did with the character in what little time he had. I have to say though, I'm a 50 year comic fan and already know much about the character.

A shame that we haven't seen his return.
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10:59AM on 08/04/2015
It doesn't help that Magneto, Doctor Doom, Galactus and until recently, all of the Spider-Man villains belonged to other studios but it doesn't explain why the MCU did so little with the Mandarin and the Red Skull. They really need to spend more time humanizing their villains because so far, the villains that worked looks like a fluke.

And you can't blame any of the actors for it because they've all been good.
It doesn't help that Magneto, Doctor Doom, Galactus and until recently, all of the Spider-Man villains belonged to other studios but it doesn't explain why the MCU did so little with the Mandarin and the Red Skull. They really need to spend more time humanizing their villains because so far, the villains that worked looks like a fluke.

And you can't blame any of the actors for it because they've all been good.
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11:31AM on 08/04/2015
Disney needs to spend the extra dough (yeah, the mouse has it) and buy back the rights to the FF and the X-Men. Period!
Disney needs to spend the extra dough (yeah, the mouse has it) and buy back the rights to the FF and the X-Men. Period!
10:46AM on 08/04/2015

Ultron Should Have Killed Peggy

Thereby pissing Captain America off, who partially focuses his anger on Tony for meddling with this mad science in the first place. That would have been a great premise to kick off Civil War.
Thereby pissing Captain America off, who partially focuses his anger on Tony for meddling with this mad science in the first place. That would have been a great premise to kick off Civil War.
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4:35PM on 08/04/2015
It didn't have to be that much, just showing Tony Stark's increasing need for control especially after the events of WINTER SOLDIER. Another method would have been making Ultron more sympathetic: a spirit creature tortured by Loki and then Stark, eventually going mad and vowing to destroy the human race. That would have made Stark's character less sympathetic, created more tension between him and Captain America, and made Ultron more pitiable.
It didn't have to be that much, just showing Tony Stark's increasing need for control especially after the events of WINTER SOLDIER. Another method would have been making Ultron more sympathetic: a spirit creature tortured by Loki and then Stark, eventually going mad and vowing to destroy the human race. That would have made Stark's character less sympathetic, created more tension between him and Captain America, and made Ultron more pitiable.
+2
6:51AM on 08/04/2015
As much as I love the MCU it's one problem is that there are no consequences - no one really dies. Some of the best villains in anything you may have ever seen either kill key people or seriously f**k with the heroes - they become meaningful in doing so and our sympathies increase for the heroes (who didn't think a certain journalist's demise in the Daredevil series was brilliantly played out?). As much as I love having Coulson in AoS, killing him was a great move in Avengers - suddenly the
As much as I love the MCU it's one problem is that there are no consequences - no one really dies. Some of the best villains in anything you may have ever seen either kill key people or seriously f**k with the heroes - they become meaningful in doing so and our sympathies increase for the heroes (who didn't think a certain journalist's demise in the Daredevil series was brilliantly played out?). As much as I love having Coulson in AoS, killing him was a great move in Avengers - suddenly the movie became a tad grim - there were consequences of fighting a good fight. There's no surprise that, for me, Loki really became a proper badass in that movie (didn't think he was anything special in the first Thor installment). When I think about the memorable villains you had in Buffy the Vampire Slayer or even Angel, how often did the heroes suffer serious losses, whether it was the death of a secondary support member like Tara, Xander losing an eye or even the short lived run that Doyle got in season one of Angel.
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6:59AM on 08/04/2015
BTW, as gullible as one might say Thor is, Loki does keep getting the upper hand on him, so more of that and Marvel will fix this problem. What with Thanos getting two Avengers movies, I hope he wipes the floor with whatever comes his way...in the first one at least. Also, going back to the Daredevil series, how many times did a villain give DD a beating, whether it was the old lady or the Ninja guy. They had small roles, but they came out of it looking like meaningful badasses.
BTW, as gullible as one might say Thor is, Loki does keep getting the upper hand on him, so more of that and Marvel will fix this problem. What with Thanos getting two Avengers movies, I hope he wipes the floor with whatever comes his way...in the first one at least. Also, going back to the Daredevil series, how many times did a villain give DD a beating, whether it was the old lady or the Ninja guy. They had small roles, but they came out of it looking like meaningful badasses.
6:10AM on 08/04/2015
The Abomination is perhaps a better villain than you give him credit for. Blonsky does not want to age, and he does not want to fail in his mission. However, does the audience connect with him especially? No. Is the Abomination a mere maniac by the end? Yes.

As you state, Loki is the only villain who has really fascinated the way that a Darth Vader or Joker has. It would be a shame if Thanos were merely another cardboard maniac. Marvel/Disney do not mind challenging audiences with their
The Abomination is perhaps a better villain than you give him credit for. Blonsky does not want to age, and he does not want to fail in his mission. However, does the audience connect with him especially? No. Is the Abomination a mere maniac by the end? Yes.

As you state, Loki is the only villain who has really fascinated the way that a Darth Vader or Joker has. It would be a shame if Thanos were merely another cardboard maniac. Marvel/Disney do not mind challenging audiences with their casting choices (e.g. Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One) and their plot revisions (e.g. the Vision has a different origin in the MCU). They do not mind deconstructing canon. Perhaps, the studio would practice similar postmodernism with films' hero-villain binary. Make the villain complex and relatable. Blur the line between heroic and villainous identities. Risk making the audience uncomfortable. Whedon (a major player) has often done that, and Marvel does that in other ways. Risk making the villains gray hats instead of black ones. Mr. Hyde was that way on Agents of SHIELD. WB/DC's entire Suicide Squad is that way. Marvel Studios could have such balls too.
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6:54AM on 08/04/2015
I agree, Blonsky/Abomination was great, albeit he turned in to proper comic book nutter for the end fight. There was meaning to what he wanted to be - he'd been a warrior all his adult life - wanted it to continue. I thought the scene where he talks to Ross about this played out very well - and that Blonsky/Hulk fight...that was something, eh?
I agree, Blonsky/Abomination was great, albeit he turned in to proper comic book nutter for the end fight. There was meaning to what he wanted to be - he'd been a warrior all his adult life - wanted it to continue. I thought the scene where he talks to Ross about this played out very well - and that Blonsky/Hulk fight...that was something, eh?
10:33AM on 08/04/2015
Blonsky Abomination would have been great if the movie didn't SUCK. I didn't like the Incredible Hulk as I didn't think Ed Norton brought anything special to the role. The script was weak, the casting overall in the film was weak.

Some people crap on Ang Lee's Hulk but it was superior as a story in many ways. I thought Eric Bana's portrayal was entirely genuine. Blonsky may have been the best character in that Incredible Hulk movie. His motivations seemed understandable and fitting to
Blonsky Abomination would have been great if the movie didn't SUCK. I didn't like the Incredible Hulk as I didn't think Ed Norton brought anything special to the role. The script was weak, the casting overall in the film was weak.

Some people crap on Ang Lee's Hulk but it was superior as a story in many ways. I thought Eric Bana's portrayal was entirely genuine. Blonsky may have been the best character in that Incredible Hulk movie. His motivations seemed understandable and fitting to his overall character.
11:06AM on 08/04/2015
@Iron_Chinchilla

I actually liked Norton in the role and Tim Roth is never bad. My main issue was with the Rosses: I usually like William Hurt and Liv Tyler but the relationship between Elliott and Connelly was so much more complexed, it made TIH look like amateur work by comparison.
@Iron_Chinchilla

I actually liked Norton in the role and Tim Roth is never bad. My main issue was with the Rosses: I usually like William Hurt and Liv Tyler but the relationship between Elliott and Connelly was so much more complexed, it made TIH look like amateur work by comparison.
3:33PM on 08/04/2015
Blonsky was all about his age catching up to him. After seeing Hulk he wanted that power. The injections also clouded his mind and made him more a cookie cutter monster, but he also doesn't die. Rumours are we may see him again in Civil War or Avengers 3.
Blonsky was all about his age catching up to him. After seeing Hulk he wanted that power. The injections also clouded his mind and made him more a cookie cutter monster, but he also doesn't die. Rumours are we may see him again in Civil War or Avengers 3.
5:31AM on 08/04/2015
To me, the only two villains that really stand out are Obadiah Stane and Loki. Obadiah Stane's motive was well established as he has everything until Tony Stark comes out and ruins his moment. Loki is very charismatic. Other villains are bland, especially Malakeith.
To me, the only two villains that really stand out are Obadiah Stane and Loki. Obadiah Stane's motive was well established as he has everything until Tony Stark comes out and ruins his moment. Loki is very charismatic. Other villains are bland, especially Malakeith.
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2:11AM on 08/04/2015

From a DC fan...

I like Marvel's villains. In fact, I like Marvel movies, period. Their villains are perfect. Don't touch 'em.
I like Marvel's villains. In fact, I like Marvel movies, period. Their villains are perfect. Don't touch 'em.
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+3
1:40AM on 08/04/2015

spot on

All the Marvel villains have their stories short changed, they are all the same format... There are so many missed opportunities for us to enjoy our beloved villains but never get the chance to hear more then a short revenge monologue and a quick flashback and thats that. Give us more depth, on the Villains. Thanos should be explored every time he is on screen.. He is such a fascinating character, yet for those who don't read comics they know nothing about him. it wouldn't even take much,
All the Marvel villains have their stories short changed, they are all the same format... There are so many missed opportunities for us to enjoy our beloved villains but never get the chance to hear more then a short revenge monologue and a quick flashback and thats that. Give us more depth, on the Villains. Thanos should be explored every time he is on screen.. He is such a fascinating character, yet for those who don't read comics they know nothing about him. it wouldn't even take much, for instance in GoG when Ronan defies him they could spend 5 minutes explaining why Thanos doesn't care and is unfazed. Explore Thanos's fascination with "death", just don't screw Thanos up at all please. But in the end everyone lines up for marvel, so why should marvel change what seems to be working for them.
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1:32AM on 08/04/2015
I agree more with Vishal about how the Marvel films tend to focus more on the heroes. Loki to me has been the best villain & it seems they are really holding back on Thanos until The Infinity Wars. I didn't mind Ronan The Accuser in Guardians, at least he was menacing. Mandarin to me is a bit too over the top to be taken serious, so I was one of the few who didn't mind the fake Mandarin twist in IM3. Ultron to me was an absolute joke & it really hurt the movie, just seemed like a whiney
I agree more with Vishal about how the Marvel films tend to focus more on the heroes. Loki to me has been the best villain & it seems they are really holding back on Thanos until The Infinity Wars. I didn't mind Ronan The Accuser in Guardians, at least he was menacing. Mandarin to me is a bit too over the top to be taken serious, so I was one of the few who didn't mind the fake Mandarin twist in IM3. Ultron to me was an absolute joke & it really hurt the movie, just seemed like a whiney teenager. To me it just seems all of the other villains have the same motivation of power or revenge & that's why they are so forgettable. Is there a way to fix this, well they say if it ain't broke don't fix it. People still flock to these films whether good or bad. I was more surprised that Ant-Man was better than Age of Ultron. Let's see how Marvel handles Phase 3 now.
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1:28AM on 08/04/2015
I agree somewhat with this article. Some of the villains have been short handed, but only due to the need for Marvel to build up all of their core heroes within the storyline. I agree that some of the best villains have included Loki, Winter Soldier, and Kingpin, but I also think Alexander Pierce, Abomination, Ronan, and Cross/Yellowjacket (to an extent) were all just as good too. It's just that if Marvel spends too much time on the villain than the hero aspect will be neglected and if that
I agree somewhat with this article. Some of the villains have been short handed, but only due to the need for Marvel to build up all of their core heroes within the storyline. I agree that some of the best villains have included Loki, Winter Soldier, and Kingpin, but I also think Alexander Pierce, Abomination, Ronan, and Cross/Yellowjacket (to an extent) were all just as good too. It's just that if Marvel spends too much time on the villain than the hero aspect will be neglected and if that happens then people will feel disappointed or perhaps they'll feel there will be a backlash by not showing enough heroic moments of the titular character. So I'm assuming that Marvel feels the need to spend more time in showing us the good guys side more than the villainous side. And it's a shame that Marvel has squandered opportunities to fully realize the potential of some of the villans they have used and while in the process have wasted some top tier talent with the men behind the roles (Rourke, Rockwell, and Pierce all come to mind).

And what comes to mind is how Raimi's original trilogy of Spider-Man perfectly orchestrated each villains backstory while also developing them as a two dimensional character while also progressing Peter Parker/Spider Man's story as well as the same time. That's the quality in terms of villains I would want to see from Marvel from here on out starting with Civil War. But again, it's about the bigger picture and the ultimate end with Thanos with this current set of Avengers team and the animosity with the villains that come before them and also between the Avengers team themselves. So everything is build up (obviously) even though some villains are casualties of character development themselves while getting to then ultimate fight in Infinity Wars. But with the power of the gems/stones Thanos collects, who's to say that some certain villains who have perished (ie Ronan) don't make a return appearance.
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12:57AM on 08/04/2015

I agree to an extent

but Marvel seems to be more focused in developing and establishing their heroes first which would make sense. Besides the villains they've created are serving them well, why would they change that?
but Marvel seems to be more focused in developing and establishing their heroes first which would make sense. Besides the villains they've created are serving them well, why would they change that?
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