Ranking the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) Phase 4 Villains: Topping a villain as epic as Thanos. That was the job MCU had in hand at the beginning of Phase IV. To say it was challenging would be an understatement, but now that Phase 4 has ended and the next phase is about to begin, it can be said that they sort of pulled it off. I am using “sort of” because while there was no Thanos, the MCU villains in Phase 4 were much more layered and well-thought-out than most of the earlier phases’ villains, and they certainly outperformed the heroes.




Not that Phase 4 was a rousing success. In fact, it was quite the opposite, but the villains were memorable enough. One common thing which could be found in most of the Phase-IV MCU villains was their human side. Moreover, the villains’ actions had valid reasons or compelling circumstances instead of simply being straight-up evil. It was fascinating for us to connect with the very human nature of these villains, and even worthy of rooting for them in certain moments.

In this article, I will rank the ones who have made quite an impression on us. I will pick ten of the villains from MCU Phase 4 who stood out more than the others. Of course, since this is a list that discusses in detail the villains’ character nature and their fate within the narrative, it will obviously be spoiler-filled content.




10. GORR (Thor: Love and Thunder)

Villains of Marvel Cinematic Universe

The only reason for Gorr to be here and not in a higher position is the movie he was in, which treated his character in a reprehensible manner. I have a lot of love for Taika Waititi, and contrary to popular opinion, I thought Thor: Love and Thunder was fine enough overall, except for its main villain. This was really sad, considering that in Marvel comics, Gorr (known as the God butcher) appears to be a menacing supervillain, unlike how he was portrayed in the movie. It is also sort of baffling to see things going this way, especially after Waititi did such a fantastic job with Cate Blanchett’s Hela, the central antagonist of Thor: Ragnarok (2017).




With a great actor like Christian Bale in hand and very strong source material, Waititi was expected to repeat his success, but unfortunately, that did not happen. The only reason I am still putting Gorr here is because Bale, being the chameleon he is, still managed to impress us with whatever little he had to play with. Gorr deserved better, both from the gods and Waititi.

Current status: Very much dead, meaning Gorr is pretty much butchered in the MCU.




9. KHONSU (Moonknight)

Villains of Marvel Cinematic Universe

Moonknight was one of the best things that came out in the MCU Phase 4. And while Oscar Isaac deserves most of the credit for that, F. Murray Abraham’s Khonsu should also get his fair share of appreciation.

The pigeon-headed Egyptian God was portrayed with a lot of sass and snootiness, thanks to brilliant writing and Abraham’s amazing voice work. Even though he seemed like an ally of Isaac’s titular character, his mischievous schemes and the original plan was only revealed at the end of the show. Furthermore, it all comes with a killer twist. Another highlight of Khonsu was being surprisingly funny, and his banters with Steven Grant and Marc Spector – both played by Issac.

Current status: Very much alive, and we would love to see more of Khonsu and Moonknight. Too bad that there is no news of a renewal or any character from it appearing in any upcoming MCU projects.

8. STRANGE SUPREME (What If?..)

Villains of Marvel Cinematic Universe

In the fourth episode of the first season of “What if?..,” a first-of-its-kind animated show based on alternative outcomes of the know MCU events, a grieving Doctor Strange keeps trying his hands at stopping the death of the love of his life, Dr. Christine Palmer. However, he keeps failing since his magical power is not enough to change an “absolute point” of time, as the Ancient One explains, who splits Strange into two versions. One that accepts death and moves on with life, and the other version who becomes Strange Supreme and embraces all the evil and darkness to bring his love back.




The fascinating aspect of this is that the root of Strange’s evil stems from the loss of love. Despite the existence of a Doctor Strange movie in the same Phase, this was the most interesting and exciting take on the titular character. And Benedict Cumberbatch absolutely nails it as Strange Supreme, even though he only had about a half-hour to do so.




Current status: Dead, but given we are in the multiverse now and another “What If..?” season is happening, and Cumberbatch’s involvement in it is more or less certain, we might see Strange Supreme again. We would love to, actually.

7. WENWU (Shang Chi and the Legend of the ten rings)

Wenshu

Just like Strange Supreme, the driving force of Wenwu’s descent into madness was his love for his wife. That alone was enough for us to look at the character from a sympathetic perspective. An original character who replaced the very problematic comic book character Fu Manchu due to Marvel not having the rights, Wenwu is a well-developed character who comes alive thanks to the legendary Tony Leung’s splendid performance. Leung, known for playing both achingly romantic protagonists and fascinatingly darker characters, brings everything together to play the ruthless leader of the Ten Rings. He was also a man very much devoted to his wife and family.




Like always, Leung uses his eyes and facial expressions in many scenes, which becomes particularly beneficial to show Wenwu going from a heartbroken man to a ruthless villain who would not hesitate to do immoral things to bring his dead wife back to life. Despite him being the central antagonist, you do see things from his side and feel for the character. In fact, you’d even wish for the character to survive in the end.




Current status: Dead, which makes us really sad. We still have a very faint, unrealistic hope of seeing him back because of Multiverse and everything…

6. AGATHA HARKNESS (Wandavision)

Villains of Marvel Cinematic Universe

Wandavision’s ingenious structure allowed Kathryn Hann’s Agatha Harkness to be initially introduced as Wanda Maximoff’s friendly neighbor Agnes, and Hahn made a splash with the character’s ingenious comic timing.




Of course, things were already complex and duplicitous in Wandavision when Agness was finally revealed to be Agatha – a witch as powerful as Wanda. While the character comes off as a mentor to Wanda in the comics, things don’t work out between Agatha and Wanda in the show. It all heads towards the big, bloated, CGI-rich epic battle in the finale, where Wanada beats Agatha, and the latter takes off. But with Hahn’s brilliant acting and a proper character backstory – which traces her trauma-filled past, including the witch trial – Agatha emerges as one of the most powerful and memorable villains in the universe, and we would love to see more of her.

Current Status: Agatha is going to be a huge deal in the future, given that not only is she very much alive, but she is also getting her own show, titled Agatha: Coven of Chaos. We can’t wait to see that!

5. IKARIS (Eternals)

Ikaris

Chloé Zhao’s immensely ambitious “Eternals” was all over the place. The whole experience felt like a very strange dinner party, leaving a bad taste in my mouth. But if the movie got anything right, then it was the characterization of Ikaris, which Zhao based on her interpretation of Superman from Zach Snyder’s “Man of Steel” (2013).




Initially, Ikaris appears as a noble hero for more than one-third of the runtime, mostly because of his grand-scale romantic arc with the lead, Sersi (Gemma Chan). Later, Ikaris shows his true form with a (literal) killer twist in the middle, and eventually, he unleashes his darkness. Casting Richard Madden, an actor particularly famous for his “absolutely great guy” roles in “Game of Thrones” and “Bodyguard” was a masterstroke since the character’s dark side was well hidden. In fact, no one could see it coming until he revealed his true self to the audience.




Despite the ho-hum narrative and every single thing going wrong as the movie progresses, Madden managed to flesh out Ikaris properly and deliver a performance that is so fantastic that at times you even kind of consider taking his side, despite knowing the fact that he is the bad guy.

Current status: Very much dead, as in the end, Ikaris came to his senses and flew directly towards the sun.

4. ALL THE SPIDERMAN VILLAINS (Spiderman: No Way Home)

MCU Phase IV Villains

Without a shred of doubt, Spiderman: No Way Home was the biggest movie event post Avengers: Endgame. Thankfully, it exceeded all the expectations and truly justified all the hype around it by bringing back both Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield in the mix with Tom Holland.

But the adventures of the newly formed “Peter Parker from different multiverse” trio wouldn’t be this much fun without the villains. Director Jon Watts not only brought back the two former Spidermans, but he also brought back all the former Spiderman villains as well, both from the Raimi trilogy and the Amazing Spiderman films. The end result was fantastic, as all of the villains gave the three spidermen a run for their money.




While Jamie Fox’s Electro (from Amazing Spiderman 2) was particularly funny and endearing compared to his own movie, thanks to the writing, Alfred Molina’s Otto Octavius/Dr Octopus (from Raimi’s Spiderman 2) and Willem Dafoe’s Norman Osborn/Green Goblin were the clear standouts. Even the less popular Spidey villains like Dr. Curt Connors/Lizard and Flint Marko/ Sandman made great impacts alongside the bigger villains. The interactions between the older villains and the Spidermen were particularly fun to watch and even brought a tiny bit of tears to my nostalgia-tinged eyes.




Current status: At the end of the movie, everyone was sent to their own world, but given nobody died and we are very much in the multiverse now with endless possibilities, we might see them again.

3. JOHN WALKER/US AGENT (The Falcon and the Winter Soldier)

MCU Phase IV Villains

John Walker (Wyatt Russell) was introduced as the new “Captain America,” chosen by the U.S Government. Now that was a huge downer in the first place since Steve Rogers wanted Sam Wilson The Falcon (Anthony Mackie) to take over the mantle.

To make matters worse, Walker got off on the wrong foot with both Sam and Bucky, two of Captain America’s closest friends. Thanks to his obnoxious on-field action, which includes murdering someone publicly (that too with the shield), he was soon stripped of the much coveted “Captain America” title. The audience could see the character’s inner struggles only after that.

We could see that he was just a soldier trying to serve his country, and the title was only given to him because of his white privilege. John Walker is a villain in a very conventional sense. But it was more situational than being truly evil. In fact, in the final episode, he even helped Sam and Bucky in the fight against the anti-patriotic Flag-Smasher group.




Wyatt Russell, who played John Walker, was inarguably the best performer in the show. In fact, because of his presence, the show found a new perspective that only improved the narrative.

Current Status: Very much alive as the new CIA director Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, has given him the moniker “U.S.Agent,” and the character will be seen in the upcoming “Thunderbolt” movie, as per the latest reports.

2. NAMOR (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever)

MCU Phase IV Villains

This was another MCU Phase 4 villain who was more of an anti-hero. Just like Killmonger from the first Black Panther movie, Namor also had a purpose and valid reasons for all his wrongdoings. In fact, the Talokan King tried his best to reason with the Wakandans. However, their conflict gradually escalated, resulting in an all-out climatic battle between the two parties.




The origin of Namor (including his name) was changed from the original source material. In a way, that only made the character more human and helped us understand his predicament better. Tenoch Huerta played it really well, and he was helped by genuinely great writing, which perfectly set up his backstory and only made us sympathize with the character.




As what was supposed to happen, Namor lost the final battle against Princess Shuri, aka the New Black Panther. He eventually agrees to a treaty between Wakanda and Talokan, which is a wise choice. The relationship between Shuri and Namor was also not portrayed as a typical hero versus villain, but two individuals trying to see things from each other’s perspective.

Current Status: Alive, and he might obey the treaty momentarily and come back to hurt the Wakandans or the whole human race with more force and more thoughtful strategies.

1. WANDA MAXIMOFF/SCARLET WITCH (Wandavision, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness)

MCU Phase IV Villains

Let me remind you of Wanda Maximoff’s activities in MCU Phase 4. She steals Vision’s body and takes a whole town hostage while putting the town’s whole populace under her spell so that she can live her make-believe, happy life. Wanda eventually takes off to master her witchcraft abilities and acquire the Darkhold. And she brazenly attacks Kamar-Taj to kill a teen superhero. Wanda Maximoff’s transformation into a bereaved wife/mother to the extremely powerful Scarlet Witch is one of the MCU’s most fascinating character arcs.




Most of the credit for that goes to Elizabeth Olsen, who brings a lot to the character by infusing a varied spectrum of emotions. In fact, her performance in Wandavision is one of the greatest acting performances in Comic book movies/shows, which rightfully got recognition from both audiences and critics. And even though the Doctor Strange movie was mostly “all bark and very little bite,” Wanda was the best thing about that as well. The now iconic scene where Wanda kills all the members of the Illuminati has a lot to do with that, of course. Wanda Maximoff is hands-down the most significant and noteworthy villain of Phase 4 MCU.




Current status: Presumably dead, but Olsen still has a contract as per the reports, so…

Also, Read: Every Marvel Disney+ Series Ranked From Worst to Best

Marvel Cinematic Universe Links: Rotten Tomatoes

Similar Posts