The MCU had been building up to Thanos for ten years before we finally properly met him in 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War. Up until that film, he didn’t seem like such a big deal, with his few cameo performances painting him as some generic purple-skinned space tyrant. Plus, let’s face it, he’s kind of a ripoff of DC’s Darkseid.
So, it was with some surprise that he was effectively the main character in Infinity War, with Josh Brolin’s performance combining with jaw-dropping CGI to create an incredibly compelling villain. Thanos was so damn charismatic that he even convinced more than a few audience members that wiping out half the universe was a great idea.
The success of the character makes it not particularly shocking then that he’s now topped a new ranking of 50 of the most infamous movie villains. A recent study by Topp Casino Bonus has charted the worst of cinema from a combination of their movies’ Tomatometer scores and the number of times they’ve been searched for on Google and Wikipedia. And unsurprisingly, Thanos is ahead by a mile, scoring a total of 81.05 points by this metric.
Rounding out the top 5 are Darth Vader with 69.2, the Joker with 66.57, Lord Voldemort with 49.96 and Kylo Ren with 48.45. Going down the list there’s a couple of interesting entries as well, with names you might not expect, like Shrek‘s Lord Farquaad at number 10, Hades from Hercules being the highest-ranked Disney villain and Slimer from Ghostbusters rounding out the list at 50 (c’mon guys, Slimer isn’t a villain!).
But Thanos might not be top of the pack forever. His story is done in the MCU, so expect his popularity to decrease over time. Meanwhile, characters like the Joker (and maybe Darth Vader) will continue to appear in new movies. Still, for now at least, Thanos sits comfortably on top of the pile and Marvel Studios, ILM and Josh Brolin can pat themselves on the back for doing a very good job.