Marvel comics has introduced a huge number of villains over the decades, some of which have achieved more prominence than others. Sometimes a villain will disappear for years at a time, emerging when least expected to make lives miserable for the heroes of the Marvel Universe. Some villains have a tendency to stick to one hero, while others will transcend their status as, say, a “Spider-Man villain” to make a play that threatens the entire world
This list focuses on the Marvel villains that are currently the most dangerous, either because they’re in a position to do tons of damage to the Marvel Universe, because they currently hold vast amounts of power, or simply because of their persistence and determination when it comes to super-villainy. Whatever the reason, when it comes to these baddies, the heroes of Marvel have their work cut out for them. Here are the 15 Most Dangerous Marvel Villains Right Now.
15. The Chitauri
Originally created as an alternate version of the shape-shifting Skrulls for Marvel’s Ultimate Universe, the Chitauri have undergone a number of transformations, along with their raised profile in the Marvel Universe. The version of them that achieved prominence after the release of The Avengers have since made their way into the Marvel Universe proper, where they have become a major threat.
Recently, during the events of Secret Empire, Captain America was placed in charge of S.H.I.E.L.D. Unknown to the world, however, he is a Hydra agent (more on that later!), working against the Earth’s best interests. When he became aware of a massive Chitauri invasion on its way to Earth, he locked down the planet, trapping a huge number of Earth’s heroes, including Captain Marvel, outside the shield. This enabled him to establish a new Hydra Empire, which he’d never have been able to do if the Chitauri had not posed such a massive threat.
Ultron, initially created by Hank Pym, has been perhaps the most consistent threat that the Avengers, and the Marvel Universe at large, have faced over the years. Taking on a great variety of forms, Ultron is like a cockroach, always coming back no matter how many times he’s defeated. When his bodies are destroyed, his consciousness is often able to escape, only rebuild and return to make the Avengers’ lives miserable once again.
Recently Ultron was combined with his creator, Hank Pym, in the ultimate expression of his ongoing daddy issues. The new Ultron retains his usual malice, but Hank’s mind and heart remain trapped within. However, even if defeated, it’s a certainty that he will emerge again. He even showed up in the far reaches of space once, as the leader of a massive robot army known as the Phalanx. That’s commitment.
13. The Maker/Ultimate Reed Richards
Marvel’s Reed Richards is a hero, dedicated husband, and loving father, but his Ultimate Universe counterpart certainly can’t say the same thing. After the events of Ultimatum, in which the Ultimate Universe underwent a major cataclysm, Reed snapped, calling himself The Maker and establishing The City, a massive artificial intelligence that spread for thousands of miles.
When the Marvel Universe and the Ultimate Universe collapsed during Secret Wars, The Maker managed survive alongside a group of villains. He made his way into the Marvel Universe once it was restored, where he has continued to plague Marvel’s heroes with his vast intelligence.
12. The Shadow King
Amahl Farouk was one of the first evil mutants encountered by a young Charles Xavier, who believed him dead after their battle of psychic wills. Little did he know that Amahl Farouk was simply a vessel for the ancient psychic entity known as the Shadow King, who has returned time and time again to vex the X-Men, both in the real world and in the astral plane.
The Shadow King can remain dormant for years at a time, but he is set to make a major return to the Marvel Universe in the pages of Astonishing X-Men, where he will face his long-time enemy Psylocke. The character has even achieved a new level of prominence in pop culture, thanks to the FX drama Legion, where he acted as a psychic parasite, sapping the powers of David Haller since he was a small child.
11. Malekith The Accursed/The Dark Council
As a god, Thor‘s faces villains that operate in a realm beyond most Marvel heroes, threatening each and every one of the nine realms that lay along the Worldtree. Since she took on the title of the Mighty Thor, no villain has plagued Jane Foster than Malekith the Accursed, ruler of the Dark Elves of Svartalfheim. Dead set on ruling all nine realms, Malekith has gathered a council of Thor’s most dreaded foes.
Surrounding himself with the likes of The Enchantress, Dario Agger (Aka The Minotaur), Ulik the troll, Laufey of the Frost Giants, and even Loki, Malekith and his allies have persisted with their schemes. Despite Thor’s best efforts, they’ve begun a war that has spread throughout numerous realms.
10. Emma Frost
Originally a longtime X-Men villain known as the White Queen, Emma Frost has undergone a major transformation over the last two decades into one of their leaders and most prominent members. Engaged in a long-term relationship with Cyclops, her reputation seemed as though it had been rehabilitated, and her checkered past left totally behind her.
But villains gonna villain, and her recent instigation of a war against the Inhumans in Inhumans vs. X-Men has rocketed her back to the top of the Most Wanted Mutants list. Projecting Cyclops into the minds of her friends and enemies alike, Emma used her dead lover as a scapecoat to attack the Inhumans over the Terrigen cloud threatening her kind, and her deceptive actions have left her with few friends. She’s got a cool new helmet, though, so that’s something.
9. Doc Ock/The Superior Octopus
Doctor Octopus has always been one of Spider-Man’s deadliest foes, but in the past few years his attacks have increased in danger and desperation, even going so far as to swap minds with Peter Parker for the entire run of Superior Spider-Man, ferociously fighting bad guys and founding Parker Industries in his name. Of course, Peter came back, and Doctor Octopus was dead for real.
Or so we thought. His consciousness lived on in his helper robot, Living Brain, and managed to jump ship into a clone body, where he battled Spidery once more, before switching bodies again into a Proto-Clone of Parker. Now calling himself The Superior Octopus, Otto Octavius is a member of Captain America’s Hydra Avengers, which makes him more dangerous than he’s ever been before.
The Last Titan, Thanos, is on a constant quest to win the approval death, even wiping out half of the universe once in an effort to do so. Seemingly defeated many times, Thanos always returns, often even stronger than before. On the few occasions when he’s been able to get his hand on the Infinity Gauntlet, he was truly a force to be reckoned with.
It’s been a rough couple of years for Thanos, getting defeated by the Avengers in both the Infinity event and in Civil War II. As if that weren’t enough, he has recently discovered that he’s dying, and killed his father, Mentor, when Mentor failed to provide him with a cure.
Just because he’s sick doesn’t mean he’s not a threat, and with his generals the Black Order and the Asgardian goddes of death Hela at his side, Thanos looks poised to make major moves that could shake the foundations of the Marvel Universe.
7. Doctor Doom/The Invincible Iron Man
While it’s true that Doom is attempting to be a hero right now, how long can that possibly last? After all, the guy’s name is literally Doom. One of Marvel’s best and most interesting villains, Victor Von Doom recently saved the whole Multiverse, establishing himself as the ruler of Battleworld, made from fragments of other realms. In the aftermath, his face was healed by longtime nemesis Reed Richards, and he turned over a new leaf, fighting alongside Tony Stark/Iron Man on several occasions.
When Stark was seemingly killed at the conclusion of Civil War II, Doom declared himself the new Iron Man, and even joined the Avengers, who were justifiably skeptical of this new chapter in the Latverian dictator’s life. But if he’s going to return to his villainous ways, it hasn’t happened yet, and the heroes of Earth may be lulled into a false sense of security, caught off-guard by his inevitable heel-turn.
6. Itsy Bitsy
A genetic combination of Spider-Man and Deadpool, Itsy Bitsy bears the deadliest attributes of each: regenerative powers, spider-sense, corrosive spit, and many other others. She also wields two swords and a gun with her four arms. She also addition Built expressly for the purpose of taking down Deadpool and Spidey, Itsy Bitsy made her entrance onto the fighting scene at Wall Street, where she mercilessly killed an entire group of C-list villains.
Itsy Bitsy planned to betray the man who built her and sought to ally with her enemies. Spider-Man and Deadpool tried to draw the line at murder, which Itsy Bitsy just wasn’t having. After going on a violent rampage, she set off to combat crime in her own particularly lethal way.
5. Madame Hydra
Many have carried the title of Madame Hydra through Marvel’s history, but perhaps none are as dangerous as the latest to wear the headdress, Elisa Sinclair. An ancient and vastly powerful witch who seems to be immortal, Elisa was responsible for recruiting Captain America into Hydra, and enabling him to take out the usurper Red Skull.
Having reappeared in the present day after a long time dormant, Elisa is a member of the new Hydra Council, which she assembled to assist cap in the establishment of his new Empire. Initially thought to be a creation of the cosmic cube that rewrote Captain America’s history, the new Madame Hydra has turned out to be not only real, but a very real threat.
4. Kang The Conquerer
Kang is everywhere and everywhen, a temporal dictator so bent on domination that he has spread himself throughout the time-stream, battling Avengers in the past, present, and future. Kang is also his own worst enemy, often coming into conflict with Immortus, his older self from the future of his timeline, or Iron Lad, his younger self who was briefly a Young Avenger.
Recently, due to the frequent breaking and unbreaking of the timestream, Kang was fractured into even more versions of himself than usual, including one called Mr. Gryphon, who attempted to manipulate the Vision into defeating the Avengers. The newest team of Avengers was forced to intervene when Vision responded by kidnapping an infant Kang, and Kang retaliated by targeting their infant selves as well. He was defeated, but it is only a matter of time (literally) before Kang strikes again.
3. Molecule Man
Cursed with the power of molecular manipulation, Owen Reece is so powerful that he has regularly had to place mental blocks or restrictions upon himself in order to control his abilities. Seeming for many years to be a B-list villain at best, Reece has found himself as both friend and foe to the heroes of the Marvel Universe, depending on how well he is coping with the pressures of his incredible power.
It was discovered by Doctor Doom during Secret Wars that Reece is a multiversal being created by the Beyonders, a fraction of him existing in every universe. After all of the universes were combined, and Reece helped doom to create Battleworld, he also helped Richards destroy it, using Reed’s vast intelligence and the reality-warping powers of Franklin Richards to help him rebuild the multiverse from scratch.
Not technically a threat right now because he’s off rebuilding all of existence, Owen Reece could lose his mind and reappear at any time, which would be bad news given his role in the creation and maintenance of all that exists.
2. Annihilus and the Annihilation Wave
A long-time enemy of the Fantastic Four, Annihilus is a cosmic threat that is nearly unrivaled in the Marvel Universe. He became big pink-green bug-man due to prolonged exposure to a powerful cosmic artifact known as the Cosmic Control Rod. Annihilus is not only a fearsome fighter in his own right, but the leader of the Annihilation Wave; a vast and deadly army of insect monsters.
Having come close to conquering the entire galaxy in Annihilation, Annihilus has attempted to attack Earth with his Annihilation Wave many times, but is frequently thwarted by the Fantastic Four.
After Infinity, in which he was forced to team up with Earth’s heroes to combat an even greater threat, Annihilus has claimed an entire planet for himself, and he named it Annihilation World, because… of course, he did. This guy loves to annihilate. And now that he has is own world, he is surely scheming for his next attempt at galactic domination.
1. Captain America
You’ve probably heard the controversy over Captain America’s turn to the dark side, but his determination, perseverance, and strength make him every bit as formidable of a villain as he was a hero. His past altered by the cosmic cube Kobik, Steve Rogers was indoctrinated into the ranks of Hydra as a young boy, and his loyalty to them knows no bounds. Keeping his secret from his fellow heroes, Steve Rogers has chosen his moment to strike, kicking off Marvel’s current Secret Empire event.
With his new Empire now firmly in place, Steve is the greatest threat to all of the heroes of the Marvel Universe, who are now either stranded in space, trapped in Manhattan (which has been overtaken by the Darkforce Dimension), or forced underground as a group of freedom fighters against Cap’s fascist regime.
With a new stranger having just arrived calling himself Steve Rogers, there’s no telling what will happen to Captain America’s new world order, but it’s doubtful the Marvel Universe will make it through unscathed.
Which Marvel villain do you think is the strongest right now? Let us know in the comments!