Marvel Studio's problem with villains
Marvel has a villain problem. Or they did until very recently, anyway. They've produced a decade's worth of Hollywood's most bankable films and memorable heroes, yet they haven't managed to pit the Avengers against a scene-chewing supervillain on par with the Joker, Bane, Doc Ock or Magneto. Given that villains are seldom the best parts of a Marvel film, we decided to look back at five that worked surprisingly well.
5. Thanos (Josh Brolin), "Avengers: Infinity War" (2018): In terms of sheer power, Thanos should be at the top of this list for reasons that will become incredibly obvious to throngs of moviegoers this weekend. But for being an 8-foot-tall purple warlord, "Infinity War" gives him a humanizing arc that's nearly impossible to swallow.
4. Hela (Cate Blanchett), "Thor: Ragnarok" (2017): In a movie not as goofy and fun as director Taika Waititi's "Thor: Ragnarok," Hela might make for a truly spectacular villain. She earns points regardless on character design alone — goth antlers, emerald one-piece and all.
3. Adrian Toomes/Vulture (Michael Keaton), "Spider-Man: Homecoming" (2017): Just when you thought Michael Keaton was done making superhero movies, he joined this "Spider-Man" reboot and put together a scarily genuine performance as a working-class warrior scorned and forgotten by the Avengers heroics. Thor could manhandle him, sure, but against a teen Spidey, it's Vulture's modest proportions of evil and vengeful values that make him feel real.
2. Loki (Tom Hiddleston), "Thor" (2011), "The Avengers" (2012): Hiddleston's playful and mischievous good guy/bad guy routine made him a Marvel mainstay for good reason.
1. Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan), "Black Panther" (2018): Killmonger has fashion sense, sexuality and confidence, plus he makes you believe he's right. His tragic back story and honest Oakland upbringing make him even more empathetic, but it's his blackness that speaks volumes. The scene where he's introduced — with Killmonger stealing an ancient hatchet and confronting the white clerk in the museum — might be Marvel's finest moment, period. This is, by far, the best villain Marvel has to offer.