As people who have grown with the MCU for nearly 10 years now, we’re aware of the Mad Titan Thanos at this point. Ever since his after credits scene in The Avengers, we’re aware that this cosmic powerhouse is scouring the entire galaxy for all of the Infinity Gems, which will eventually lead to a direct confrontation on the big screen with all of the amazing superheroes Marvel has to offer. For fans of the comics, it is just as exciting as it was on the pages.
Speaking of the comics, Thanos isn’t the only villain to fight the Avengers. Oh no, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes have some of the most impressive, intelligent, and powerful villains in the entire world. It would do them a disservice just to keep Thanos at the forefront of our thinking. Heck, even Captain America, Thor, and Spider-Man have some great villains that expand to taking on the entire roster of Avengers.
Believe it or not, some of these massive villains are actually a bit more evil than Thanos. Where the Mad Titan does his work simply to please Lady Death, there are villains that have more dastardly intentions in mind. Just because they’re not stronger than Thanos doesn’t mean that they’re any less threatening. The Avengers have had their work cut out for them since long before the Infinity Gauntlet came into the picture.
Here are 15 Avengers villains who are more evil than Thanos. Marvel, if you’re reading this, we want to see these guys in future movies.
15. Doctor Doom
One of the worst aspects of the Fox/Marvel deal is not that we can’t see the X-Men in the MCU, but that we can’t see Doctor Doom. He is a fan favorite and often regarded as one of the best comic book villains of all time. While at first he simply fought the Fantastic Four, the king of Latveria quickly came to be a great challenge for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. With a combination of technological advancements and some strange form of magic, Doctor Doom can easily compete with the best of the Avengers. His plans generally become more elaborate and dangerous, to the point where he even ended up rewriting reality itself, which required Avengers from various timelines and earths teaming up in order to bring him down once and for all. His end goal is to rule the world in his own image because he sees inefficiency in the current leaders. This makes him a bit more interesting than your typical villain, because he has ruled Latveria well. If Fox and Marvel can ever strike another deal, Fox needs to hand this guy over.
We got a hint at some of the bigger powers in the MCU during Doctor Strange. The Dark Dimension is home to a being of terrible power called Dormammu. We never got a sense of what he can truly do, but based on what characters have said and the fact that some magic users essentially acquire their power from his realm, it’s clear that he can do some major damage. Thankfully, Strange was able to subdue Dormammu by being really annoying, and we won’t be seeing him for a while. We’d be fools to think that he won’t come back though. When he does, it’ll probably require all hands on deck. Dormammu, while primarily a villain of Doctor Strange, is often so powerful with his abilities that the Avengers assemble whenever he rears his ugly head. Strange has even brought his comrades into the Dark Dimension so that they can save the day. And when Strange doesn’t bring them in, it’s often because he has been injured by the fiery demon. If Marvel has any questions on who to bring in for Phase Four of the MCU, they could easily establish Dormammu as the puppetmaster.
He won’t be blasting cities down or destroying planets, but when it comes to combat, there isn’t anyone better than Taskmaster. Having the amazing ability of copying anybody’s moves just by watching them (due to an especially convenient serum), Taskmaster is a great foe for the likes of Spider-Man, Captain America, and even the Incredible Hulk. The only superhero that has been able to defeat him is Deadpool- due to his unorthodox fighting style. Because Deadpool likely won’t be joining the MCU for any reason, it’s safe to say that the Avengers would have their work cut out with Taskmaster. When he operates, he doesn’t even do it alone. Taskmaster has established an academy where he trains warriors in various martial arts that he picked up on the fly. This way, when the Avengers come knocking, it’ll be like fighting a bunch of individual Taskmasters. In the comics, Taskmaster was also responsible for training some of the Marvel Universe’s greatest villains such as Crossbones (who assassinated Captain America). He has yet to see the spotlight outside of a cartoon, but it’s not hard to believe that we could see Taskmaster in an upcoming MCU film, perhaps even as an Avengers antagonist.
While the MCU has taken a much different direction when including the Infinity Gauntlet, there are some staples of its comic equivalent that are missing. The biggest of these is Adam Warlock. An artificial intelligence that was granted the Soul Gem, he played a big part in the war against Thanos. Thankfully with the help of the Avengers, Warlock was able to defeat the Mad Titan and everything became rainbows and sunshine from then on, right? Wrong. After Thanos’s defeat, it was revealed that Warlock bore a dark personality called the Magus. Once Adam Warlock had the Infinity Gauntlet and used it to destroy both the good and evil that lived inside of him, Magus was able to manifest. Magus eventually took over and became seemingly greater than Thanos himself. He sought to gain limitless power and omnipotence through the use of the Gauntlet, and was willing to destroy or manipulate anyone necessary to accomplish his goals. This even led him straight to Galactus, whom he easily took control of. In order to defeat Magus, like the other villains on this list, it took the combined efforts of the Avengers (and the addition of some other villains).
When it comes to the Avengers villains, no one has quite the style of Loki. Being raised alongside Thor as his brother, he became jealous once he lost the throne. After realizing that he was actually the son of a Frost Giant, Loki succumbed to his sinister desires and used his magic powers of illusion and trickery in order to get ahead. While at first he sought to take over Thor and Asgard itself, he quickly moved on to Earth, where he got the attention of several heroes in the Marvel universe. These heroes formed the group that would come to be known as the Avengers, and their fight was one of the most epic moments in comic book history. Loki has since continued to be a problem for all of Marvel’s greatest heroes while still threatening Asgard. With the use of his magic abilities, Loki can easily manipulate his way to any position of power, but he’ll get his hands dirty if he needs to. He has been known in the past to transform his foes into other objects, or even kill those that he seeks to take the form of. In the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok, we will see Loki posing as his father Odin in an attempt to rule Asgard.
10. The Sinister Six
Spider-Man made a lot of enemies during his many adventures, and eventually they got smart. Originally organized by Doctor Octopus, six of Spidey’s bad guys banded together in order to take down the wall crawler once and for all. After naming themselves the Sinister Six, it was clear that Spider-Man had his work cut out for him. Over the years, the roster has been changed and other members have been added to the group (such as the addition of the Green Goblin later on). However, they aren’t content with simply taking down Spider-Man. The Sinister Six end up thinking much bigger, which has led them to fight directly with the Avengers and the Fantastic Four. When Norman Osborn turned the Sinister Six into the Sinister Twelve, Captain America, Daredevil, and many others showed up to fight alongside Spider-Man. In the Ends of the Earth storyline, Doc Ock managed to organize the Six in order to take over the entire world. He tried manipulating various world leaders, and it took the entire roster of the Avengers in order to stop their efforts.
The only other villain on this list to have appeared in the MCU, Ultron is no pushover. While it’s true there were some things left to be desired in his portrayal in Age of Ultron, the character’s roots make him much more terrifying. Originally created by Hank Pym, this intelligent AI wound up growing a conscience and decided that it would destroy humanity. After receiving various upgrades, Ultron took his time leading the Masters of Evil as a villain named the Crimson Cowl. Using mental powers, he was able to gain secret intel about the Avengers before actually revealing himself. He was destroyed with the help of the Vision, but was able to reconstruct his body using adamantium. Since then, Ultron has operated on his own, but poses one of the greatest threats imaginable to the Avengers. In the Age of Ultron comic, he actually manages to take over the Marvel Universe and build it in his own “vision” for humanity. Everything becomes synthetic and filled with tech. The Avengers end up fighting a losing battle against the robots, and it seemingly goes downhill from there. There is nothing quite as frightening as this unfeeling robot with one directive: the extinction of the Avengers.
8. Baron Zemo
Captain America will always have his history in World War II come back to haunt him. Whether that comes in the form of Red Skull or Winter Soldier, none challenge him the same way that Baron Zemo does. While there are a few characters who have taken up the mantle of Baron Zemo, the gist still remains the same. He has a purple hood, a brilliant mind, and combat abilities that allow him to fight the Captain. Baron Zemo has proved to be a master strategist and has put the Avengers in very hard positions in the past. As if that weren’t enough, Zemo decides that the best way to kill Earth’s Mightiest Heroes is by re-forming the Masters of Evil, an organization that Ultron was previously the leader of. With a number of hero-hating individuals at his side, Baron Zemo forces the Avengers to fight at their very best, and he even beats them on one occasion. While Zemo has technically already appeared in the MCU, that incarnation wasn’t anything like the comics. I believe that a fully costumed Baron Zemo could appear in a future Avengers film, leading a group of supervillains known as the Masters of Evil.
7. Green Goblin
Even before he ratcheted up to a large scale to fight the Avengers, Norman Osborn had already sealed his spot as one of the most efficient comic book villains. The archrival of Spider-Man, this bad guy would give Peter Parker a great run for his money. He was also personally responsible for the death of Peter’s girlfriend, Gwen Stacy. Since moving into the modern age, Osborn has played his cards much better, giving himself the edge he needs to take on the Avengers. With his brilliant mind, he was even able to take control of SHIELD and enhanced his own version of the Sinister Six. Making big moves like these made him an immediate target for the Avengers, but a man with so much power was difficult to take down. Not to mention the fact that even if they got to him, he still had that goblin suit and glider that proved to be quite effective. Now that Spider-Man has returned to the MCU, we could see this version of Norman Osborn appear somewhere down the line, because he always seems to die prematurely in every movie he appears in. It’ll be a while though, as Marvel wants to give other Spidey villains their time in the limelight first.
6. Kang the Conqueror
What happens when you’re a militaristic warrior from the 40th century who comes across a piece of time travel technology? Well you use it to travel to different times and gain power to take over the world of course! As if people didn’t hate Reed Richards in the comics enough, his far off descendant is known as Kang the Conqueror. Has has traveled across time and successfully conquered several time periods. He even attempted a jump into ancient Egypt to steal the technology of Apocalypse. Kang has since built a powerful suit for himself that allows him to fight the Avengers. The problem for them is that he can call upon any weapon in history to aid him, which means that he can essentially counter any of their abilities. Furthermore, because he jumps through time so frequently, multiple versions of him exist throughout the timeline, meaning that the Avengers could also face more than one of him. Kang would fit so well into the MCU as a main antagonist- he could easily be the subject of many end credit scenes as he travels through different time periods slowly gaining weapons and power.
5. Super Skrulls
The Skrulls themselves could easily earn a spot on this list, but the Super Skrulls deserve a bit more mention. The Skrull planet was destroyed by Galactus, and since then they have set their sights on Earth as their new home- something which was prophesied about many years ago. When they got there, they quickly realized they were outmatched by the Avengers, so they knew they had to do something. Skrull scientists quickly chose a few Skrulls to do various engineering and experimentation on. The result was the Super Skrull- an enhanced version of the Skrull race. These Skrulls were given abilities of respective heroes on earth. The most notable of these, Kl’rt, was given the powers of every member of the Fantastic Four, making him a powerful opponent for them. Other Super Skrulls were given the abilities of Elektra, Daredevil, Captain Marvel, Ghost Rider, and so many more. The Skrulls continue to challenge the Avengers every day and don’t seem like they will be stopping anytime soon. The Super Skrulls could easily fit into the MCU- especially considering the fact that powerful faceless armies are sort of their thing at this point.
When you think of powerful Avenger villains, Galactus is probably one of the first that comes to your mind. Unlike Thanos, Galactus has no ulterior motive for destroying all of the worlds that he does- he is simply hungry and feeds off of planets. There are few that challenge one so powerful as Galactus. When his servant, the Silver Surfer, comes to your doorstep, you know that there’s nothing you can do. Eventually, Galactus sets his sights on planet Earth and when the various heroes were met with the Silver Surfer, they knew they had to think of something. Everyone teamed up in order to stop Galactus; the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, you name it. While he does look a bit ridiculous, there is something scary about a cosmic entity coming to eat your planet like a meatball. Unfortunately for the MCU, the film rights for Galactus are over at Fox, and they’ve already attempted using the character in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. That said, it was kind of like their version of Deadpool: weird different, and nothing like the excellent source material. Galactus would be a great excuse to see the Avengers come together once more, and Fox needs to give him up.
Norse mythology is full of many cool and interesting villains, and leave it to Marvel to include them in their comics. One villain that has yet to see his time in the MCU is Surtur. Based off of the character Surtr in mythology, Surtur is a powerful fire giant that seeks to destroy Asgard. He had already attempted it once, but Odin imprisoned him within the Earth- until Loki ended up breaking him out, of course. Unfortunately, Loki’s releasing of Surtur helped bring about Ragnarok, which is the event that is said to destroy all of the Norse gods. Primarily, Surtur is a villain of Thor, but when he was released by Loki, the Avengers and the hero Black Knight all took center stage in order to help out. He was defeated in the end, but Surtur has continued to reappear to challenge the heroes of Earth and Asgard time and time again. It is unclear whether or not Surtur will play a part in the already packed Thor: Ragnarok, but it’s difficult to imagine the end of the Norse gods without the brutal fire giant being there.
2. The Hood
Many times in the comics you see an average guy turned evil the moment he gets incredible powers. Parker Robbins is no different. Starting out as a petty thief, Robbins was fairly decent at his trade until he came across a magical set of cape and boots. These articles of clothing gave Robbins invisibility and flight powers respectively, which only made him better at being a criminal. Little did he know, however, that these objects had a demon inside them, which possessed Robbins and made him even more powerful. Becoming the Hood, he quickly became a very powerful enemy of the entire Avengers roster. He decided to track down the Infinity Stones, which were each in the hands of a different member of the Illuminati, and he eventually succeeded. By putting together the Infinity Gauntlet, he created a critical situation that necessitated all of the Avengers assembling. Like every other comic book villain, he was defeated, but not permanently. The Hood would fit well into the MCU, and having someone steal the gems after Thanos’s defeat might be something to save for a much later phase, but we wouldn’t complain too much if it happened in Phase Four.
1. Red Onslaught
There’s many reasons to hate Professor X for accidentally turning himself into Onslaught, but unfortunately that’s not the last we see of that side of him (well, in a way, that is). The clone of the Red Skull operated in the present day in Marvel Comics, becoming a big adversary to Captain America and the Avengers. One of the Skull’s most dangerous moves was taking the brain of Professor X. As such, he gained a host of telepathic abilities that made him pretty powerful right off the bat. Then to make matters worse, he manipulated Magneto into killing him, which transformed him into a being of pure psychic power. Taking the form of Onslaught, this new form was twice as deadly, having the conscience and intelligence of the Red Skull. His entire goal after becoming Red Onslaught was to start the Reich Eternal by controlling the minds of all of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, but that ended up not working as well as he had hoped. He forced some of the more mystical members to cast a spell that would invert their morality so that they would become evil. It worked, but it also had the same effect on nearby villains who became heroes. Nice one, Red Skull. It’s clear that Red Onslaught couldn’t really appear in the MCU unless Marvel and Fox struck a deal, but if they did, this would be a great battle to see.