Every Villain is the Hero of Their Own Story

<p>We've counted down the best villains by individual heroes and titles before, but with a whole new list of <a href=http://www.newsarama.com/22573-marvel-announces-black-panther-captain-marvel-inhumans-avengers-infinity-war-films-cap-thor-3-subtitles.html>Marvel Studios Movies</a> on the way, it’s time to think about the villains that might populate those films. <p>But when the writers at Newsarama and Best Shots set out to countdown the best of the best, serious debate about the criteria to be used ensued. <p>What makes a villain great? His evil deeds? His menacing persona? How many times he's triumphed over his nemesis? <p>Finally, we settled on an objective ranking system, taking the obvious contenders and ordering them for your consideration. <p>In the end, some of the choices are clear, while some required a healthy debate. We polled several Newsarama writers to make it as much of a consensus as possible. Marvel's villains are, after all, often as classic and iconic as the heroes they oppose, and many have fan followings in their own right. Without further ado, we present our rankings the ten greatest Marvel villains of all time!

DARK PHOENIX

<p>Despite appearing in earnest in only one story arc, the Dark Phoenix (Jean Grey type) was the central villain in what is, arguably, the most iconic X-Men story ever produced. Partially owing to Jean Grey's prior status as a heroine, and to her destruction of an entire galaxy, the Dark Phoenix remains one of the most shocking and effective villains of Marveldom. <p>More recently, the Phoenix Force itself - though not necessarily it's "dark" aspect - was the catalyst for major shake-ups during <i>Avengers Vs. X-Men</i>, where Marvel's most iconic heroes struggled over whether to destroy the Pheonix or use it as a tool, culminating in Cyclops's corruption at its hands, the reinvigoration of mutant kind, and the death of Professor X.

THE RED SKULL

<p>By far the oldest villain on this list, The Red Skull is emblematic of far too many aspects of villainy to list. Never wavering from the Nazi ideals he has espoused since WWII was still being waged, the Red Skull is the absolute counterpoint to Captain America, Marvel's moral center, and provides just about everybody someone to hate. <p>Though he's taken a backseat in recent issues, Red Skull's recent theft of Professor X's corpse and powers in <i>Uncanny Avengers</i> was one of the most cold-blooded acts of villainy the Avengers or X-Men have ever faced. Coupled with his role in the recent <i>Captain America</i> film, Red Skull is at as high a profile now as he's ever been, even with other iconic stories, like Red Zone and the Death of Captain America under his belt.

GALACTUS

<p>Supposedly created when Jack Kirby and Stan Lee pondered what would happen if the Fantastic Four encountered God, the world-eating Galactus quickly became one of the greatest threats ever encountered in the Marvel Universe, often uniting various heroes and even villains when his boundless hunger draws him to the lifeforce rich Earth. <p>While he appeared in <i>Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer</i> in a form closer to his Ultimate Universe incarnation, the "real" Galactus has most recently attempted to devour the Ultimate Universe like a continuity-rich buffet in the "Cataclysm" set of mini-series. While mainstream audiences may never be able to accept him as a hundred foot tall guy with a "G" on his chest, Galactus remains one of Marvel's most iconic villains.

ULTRON

<p>Despite being best known in recent years for the time-spanning crossover <b>Age of Ultron</b> - from which Ultron himself was conspicuously absent for much of it - Hank Pym's ill-fated creation has a history which runs much deeper, and far more deadly than that crossover. In the years since his creation, Ultron has menaced the Avengers time and again, perhaps even becoming their primary nemesis. <p>Ultron can never be truly destroyed, never truly defeated, owing to his computerized consciousness and nigh-indestructible body. Many non-comic readers may not know who Ultron is, but they will, as he is set to be the central villain in the sequel to the massively popular <i>Avengers</i> film, also titled <b>Age of Ultron</b>, where he will be portrayed by James Spader.

DOCTOR OCTOPUS

<p>Until fairly recently, the long-running but sometimes silly Dr.Octopus might have been considered a B-List villain at best, despite often functioning as Spider-Man's arch-enemy. Under Dan Slott's guidance, Doc Ock has earned that title once again, enacting numerous schemes that threatened not only Spider-Man but the entire world, culminating in an act that almost no other villains in Marvel Comics have accomplished - he actually finished off his nemesis. <p>That's right. As most of you know, Doc Ock's final scheme was transferring his consciousness into Peter Parker's body, trapping Peter's mind in Ock's own dying form. In this feat, he actually succeeded, going on to take over Peter's life, and his role as Spider-Man. While the outcome of Ock's master plan has yet to be fully realized, no other villain has ever defeated his arch-nemesis so thoroughly, and with such vitriol. <p>While he may not be a villain for <i>The Amazing Spider-Man 2</i>, Doc Ock was teased in the first trailer, where his mechanical arms can be seen next to the Vulture's winged harness. With <b>Sinister Six</b> on the way as a spin-off of the franchise, we bet Doc Ock's second big screen debut isn't too far away.

THE GREEN GOBLIN/NORMAN OSBORN

<p>In recent years, Norman Osborn has caused more trouble under his own name than that of his grinning, cackling alter ego, even taking over as one of America's top cops in Dark Reign, culminating in his comatose body somehow escaping its hospital bed after his defeat at the hands of the Avengers. <p>But before all that - and once again, since there's a Green Goblin who recently prowled the streets in <i>Superior Spider-Man</i> - Norman Osborn was secretly the Green Goblin, one of Spider-Man's greatest foes, and not only the man who killed Peter Parker's true love, Gwen Stacy, but also, in his secret identity, the father of Peter's best friend Harry Osborn. Norman Osborn's apparent death at that time lead to several others taking on the mantle of the Green Goblin, and the Goblin's true identity was a mystery for years prior to these events.

THANOS

<p>Before catching the briefest glimpse of Thanos in the end credits of the <i>Avengers</i> film, most mainstream audiences probably hadn't even heard of the mad titan. But longtime Marvel readers know him as the cosmic badass who long possessed the reality-altering Infinity Gauntlet, and who slew half the universe, including many Marvel heroes, before his misdeeds were undone. <p>He closed out an appearnace in <b>Infinity</b> last year, where Thanos once again threatened the Earth in pursuit of his nefarious goals. <p>Next up for Thanos, outside of comics that is, will be as the big bad for the third <i>and</i> fourth Avengers films, collectively titled <b>Avengers: Infinity War</b>. Yeah, he might be moving up in this list soon.

MAGNETO

<p>Magneto has straddled the line between hero and villain over and over again since his introduction in the '60's, and his current status quo places him somewhere in the grey area between the two extremes, but in his villainous days Magneto has often been one of Marvel's most ruthless villains. It's Magneto's dichotomy that makes him so compelling, and so effective as a villain. It's hard not to sympathize with Magneto knowing his suffering at the hands of the Nazis, and understanding that his extreme views have often been pursued while attempting to build a future for mutant kind. <p>Still, it's then almost impossible to identify with Magneto in his role as a mutant terrorist, often undertaking schemes so vile and deadly as to be almost unforgivable. As a character, Magneto also has a higher profile than many of his enemies in the X-Men, having starred in 4 films, and made cameos in others. With both Ian McKellen and Michael Fassbender returning to portray him at various points in time in <b>X-Men: Days of Future Past</b>, Magneto is once again at the forefront of the Marvel Universe, now starring in his own ongoing comic book series, where he sure seems to be up to his old tricks.

LOKI

<p>For many years, Loki was almost the primary villain of the Marvel universe, menacing not just his brother the mighty Thor, but many of Marvel's other big names, even leading to the formation of the Avengers. It is, therefore, appropriate that he also took that role in the Marvel cinematic universe, a turn that has made Tom Hiddleston a star, and made Loki almost more popular among some fans than the heroes he opposes (don't believe us? Let us introduce you to Tumblr...). <p>Of course, these days Loki has recently been an Avenger himself. In a de-aged body, Loki spent his time traveling between worlds with his comrades in the <b>Young Avengers</b> most recently, a role that has only increased his popularity as a fan-favorite character. He has since spun-off into his own series, where he <i>seems</i> to be acting for the good of Asgard, despite being back to his old evil self. <p>Loki of course continued his breakout movie stardom in <i>Thor: The Dark World</i>, and we'll see him on the silver screen again in <i>Thor: Ragnarok</i>.

DOCTOR DOOM

<p>Could number one on this list really have been anyone else? Dr. Doom remains not just a fan favorite, but a creeping reminder of the evil that lurks in the Marvel Universe, ready to rear it's head at any opportunity. Doom is the smartest man in the Marvel Universe - yes, even smarter than his hated enemy Reed Richards - but like all great villains, his hubris blinds him to his own potential. Not content with mastering only science, Doom is also one of the most powerful magic users in the Marvel Universe, and was once considered a rival to Dr. Strange for the title of Sorcerer Supreme. <p>Ignoring his less than well-received appearances in the two Fantastic Four films, Dr. Doom remains a presence in the cultural zeitgeist, his very name synonymous with villainy even to those who don't read comics. After a turn where we saw Dooms across the multiverse trying to take the power of Annihilus and Kang, he'll likely take a bit of a backseat for awhile now. Nonetheless, Doom is almost always portrayed as the de facto leader of Marvel's villains in numerous media, and with good reason. There are none more evil, more powerful, or indeed more villainous than Doom.

Ranking the 10 Greatest MARVEL SUPERVILLAINS of All-Time

Date: 31 October 2014 Time: 06:30 PM ET