With the release of “Ant-Man”, Marvel Studios has released its twelfth feature film but there seems to be a common complaint and that is the uninteresting villains. Does the Marvel Cinematic Universe have a villain problem? What do you think the reason might be?
While the films may be huge and the heroes popular, no one ever seems to praise the villains. The one standout would be Loki and that may be due to thr fact that he is the only villain who has appeared mutiple times. There are others who praise Hugo Weaving as the Red Skull but there seems to be no plans to feature that villain again despite his very ambiguous death. There is also the duo of General Ross and The Abomination from The Incredible Hulk but the characters have not been used since that movie in 2008.
The problem may stem from the fact that rhere only seems to be two types of villains within the Marvel Cinematic Universe: madman and or corrupt businessman. There is the madman type such as Malekith from Thor: The Dark World, Ronan from Guardians of the Galaxy, Ultron from Age of Ultron; who simply want to end life. While Ultron fares a bit better than the others, there was still a feeling that something was off about his character. Then there are the business types such as Obadiah Stane, Justin Hammer and Aldrich Killian in the first three Iron Man movies and Darren Cross in Ant-Man. They are villains who start off relatively normal but by the end have jumped off the handle in an moment with little to no buildup.
So what’s the problem? Is it a problem that stems from the comics? It is usually believed that Spider-Man and the X-Men have some of the better villains within the Marvel Universe. However, the X-Men are currently off limits and while Spider-Man’s film rights are owned by Sony, Marvel Studios can use the character but it is not known as to how much they can use him and his villains. However these characters have been used in comics for over 50 years, and if they did not have interesting villains and plotlines with them, then surely those books would have failed. Maybe it’s that Marvel Studios feels that the villains might overshadow the movie as has been a complaint with certain other superhero movies and they want the attention to be strictly on the heroes. There is one standout in the Marvel Cinematic Universe when it comes to villains and that is The Kingpin. He is the main villain of the “Daredevil” series that is on Netflix. However, that series is 13 episodes compared to a two and a half hour movie.
Whatever the issue may be, it is certain that there is an issue than needs to be addressed. There has been one villain teased though the films so far and his prominence is only going to become bigger as the films continue. Will he just come off as a generic madman or something else? What about the villains in the upcoming movies as well? Baron Zemo, a popular Captain America villain, is widely believed to be the villain of the upcoming “Captain America: Civil War” but the focus is squarely on Captain America vs. Iron Man. Time will tell if Marvel ever plans to do something about the issue of their villains within the films. If they will work to make them better or just continue with what they’re doing. Time will tell.