8 MCU Villains Who Are Totally Underrated

Marvel finally solved its villain problem, but why have people forgotten how good these guys were?

Captain America Civil War Zemo Black Panther
Marvel Studios

Prior to Infinity War, many fans worried if Josh Brolin’s Thanos would be able to shoulder the responsibility of being a formidable yet realistic villain against the entire roster of Marvel heroes. However, the actor absolutely crushed it, and made it look as easy as clicking his fingers...

With Thanos coming at the end of a run which included Vulture, Killmonger and Hela, Marvel’s ‘villain problem’ seemed to be over. Their bad guys weren’t terrible, but there was always a sense that they weren’t quite on the same footing as the heroes.

‘Forgettable’ and ‘generic’ were the sorts of labels which were tossed around. While some undoubtedly fit these categories (Malekith in Thor: The Dark World, for example), others have been unfairly tarred with this brush.

That’s who’s coming under the spotlight today. These aren’t the best villains, necessarily, nor are they the ones we expected to be poor who turned out to be quite good.

Instead, these are the villains that for one reason of another, often left out of the ‘best MCU villain’ conversation, despite deserving a seat at the table. At least they’ll get a chance to shine here.

8. Trevor Slattery

Captain America Civil War Zemo Black Panther
Marvel Studios

All appreciation for Trevor Slattery is usually washed away in the bitter tidal wave of scorn often poured on all of Iron Man 3. The fact the rug was pulled out from under viewers didn’t win many people over either.

No, he wasn’t accurate to the comic book Mandarin, but he wasn’t supposed to be. The movie was a little too clever for its own good, playing on the meta expectations of the existing Marvel Mandarin before revealing Guy Pierce’s Aldrich Killian was the terrorist leader all along.

However, Marvel One Shot All Hail The King revealed the real real Mandarin is still out there, so who knows what’s going on with that arc.

Judging Trevor Slattery against any idea of the Mandarin is ridiculous though; that’s not who he was ever supposed to be. Doing so does a massive disservice to Ben Kingsley’s hilarious comedic performance as the character.

He completely defied typical villain beats, bounced off Robert Downey Jnr perfectly and still managed to show great range. He’s silly, but still sells great panic, yet has a very casual air about him too; perfectly fitting his image as a chancer. A greatly under appreciated character in the grand scheme of the MCU.


Self appointed queen of the SJWs. Find me on Twitter @FiveTacey (The 5 looks like an S. Do you get it? Do you get my joke about the 5?)