What makes a superhero? The ‘super’ part is fairly self-explanatory, but the ‘hero’ part is less tangible. Anyone can think of themselves as being a brave, capable being, but it is not until a person faces a particular kind of challenge that they truly achieve the ‘hero’ part of ‘superhero.’ That’s where the supervillains come in.
A superhero is nothing without a supervillain to confront. They are the evil yin to the do-good yang. They are two sides of the same coin – one cannot exist without the other. Some supervillains are as famous as their heroic counterparts, striking fear into the very hearts of comic book fans and movie audiences the world over.
Loki, for example, has wrought havoc in the Marvel Cinematic Universe through three feature films already – with a fourth about to be released, and a fifth planned for 2017. He is the adoptive, treacherous brother of Thor – a trickster, skilled in the art of manipulation, and determined to achieve his own high status through any means necessary.
Further Marvel examples might include Red Skull – the powerful Nazi agent and arch-nemesis of Captain America – or Hydra, the shadowy terrorist organization that keeps S.H.I.E.L.D on its toes. Others are less well known – lurking in the shadows, plotting their dastardly debut, and waiting for the right moment to introduce themselves to the world.
The general Marvel Universe is a complex thing – encompassing, as it does, characters that are owned by a number of different studios. However, as the main Marvel Cinematic Universe at Disney moves into Phase Three, and plans are afoot for Spider-Man at Sony, and both the X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises are demonstrably alive and kicking at 20th Century Fox, it’s about time we got properly acquainted with these forces of darkness.
These are the most significant supervillains to look out for on the big screen – the big, big bads. Some we have previously met, and will almost certainly meet again – and some are the new kids on the cinematic block. All are the stuff of nightmares, locked in battle with our favourite Marvel superheroes.
Before Avengers: Age Of Ultron rolls into town on May 1st 2015, here is your ultimate guide to the Marvel supervillains.