7 Marvel Villains Saved By The MCU

Evil finds its way home.

Red Skull Avengers
Marvel Studios

It's no secret to Marvel fans that other studios have become rather notorious for mucking up their Marvel properties from time to time. Sure, it's far from being all bad, but every once in a while, movies like Spider-Man 3, Ghost Rider, and Ang Lee's Hulk come along and besmirch the names of their titular heroes.

Luckily, thanks to the advent of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel has been able to re-acquire the rights to these heroes and give them a shot at live-action redemption (be it in films or on television), often successfully. However, while Marvel has certainly saved plenty of heroes by bringing them into the MCU, there's definitely something to be said about the villains who have benefited from the exact same treatment.

In the hands of other studios, some of these baddies have been outright terrible parts of equally terrible movies; some have been the decided weak links of decent films; some have actually been decent, but were dragged down by their association with mediocrity; and one in particular actually had their film debut snatched from them at every turn only to have Marvel Studios finally give them their big break.

Whatever the case may be, these baddies have made great use of the time-tested virtue held by comic book villains for decades: if at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

7. Vulture

Red Skull Avengers
Marvel Studios

Admittedly, the classic Spider-Man villain known as Vulture differs from the other villains on this list, as he actually has not appeared in any movie not made by Marvel Studios. However, he very nearly did on multiple occasions, only to have it fizzle out each time, which warrants giving him a mention.

When Spider-Man 3 was in development, old Adrian Toomes was originally slated to appear as the film's third villain alongside New Goblin and Sandman, and Ben Kingsley (who would later appear in the MCU as the "Mandarin") was even in talks to play the character.

Unfortunately, he was ultimately cut from the film and what we got instead was that regrettable first attempt at bringing Venom to life.

Vulture was set to appear in a fourth Sam Raimi Spider-Man film, which ultimately never came to be. The criminally underrated Amazing Spider-Man 2 also hinted at the villain's impending arrival, possibly in a Sinister Six movie, but that also failed to materialize.

In 2017, however, Vulture finally made his way onto the big screen in Marvel Studios' Spider-Man: Homecoming. The character quickly earned a reputation for being one of the best Marvel movie villains in recent memory, due in no small part to Michael Keaton's fantastically sinister performance.

Persistence truly is key.


A film-loving wrestling fan from west Texas who will live and die by the statement that Return of the Jedi is the best Star Wars movie and unironically cherishes the brief moment and time when Deuce & Domino were WWE Tag Team Champions. Hates honey, but loves honey mustard.