It is no secret that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has, in the past, struggled with creating great villains on the same level as its heroes. There are far too many like Malekith, Whiplash, and Laufey, that are utterly forgettable and unworthy of any real adoration.
That is not to say that every single antagonist in the franchise is disappointing however. There have been several throughout the MCU that have broken the poor villain stereotype, yet still the problem persists.
It’s almost like fans go into each new MCU property expecting the villain of the piece to be underwhelming. With 2021 came more MCU content than ever before, which of course meant that there were more villains to be seen than ever before. These came in a mixed bag, with some truly shocking displays, but there were some that stood out as special, doing their very best to break the ever-present stigma around the franchise's villains.
Whether on the big screen or on Disney+, brand new or returning, these antagonists gave both fans and the heroes they fought something different, and certainly worth watching.
10. J. Jonah Jameson
For Spider-Man: No Way Home, there were five huge villains that came from across the multiverse to terrorise the MCU. Naturally, the likes of Doc Ock and co. took the bulk of the spotlight, but one character that deserves just as much attention is J. Jonah Jameson.
While he didn’t technically come from another universe, as he was seen reporting on the Daily Bugle about Spidey’s true identity even before Doctor Strange’s spell went bad, this was the character’s first real role in the MCU.
Jameson was as hilarious and ridiculously anti-Spider-Man as he was in Sam Raimi’s trilogy, potentially even more so. Whereas before he looked to bring Spider-Man down through defamation in his headlines, here he actively tracked him down and followed him, trying to prove what a menace to New York ol' Web-head was.
While JJ couldn’t ever offer the same kind of physical threat to Spider-Man as the other villains of the movie, it was his reporting and vicious journalism that pushed Peter Parker in Doctor Strange’s direction in the first place.