The MCU has had an impressive run these past eleven years, and it shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. Twenty-three films have shown audiences a fantastic interconnected universe where magic is real, science is more advanced the real world's, aliens exits, and superheroes roam among the populace.
While the heroes are often great, it'd be a lie to say every villain ever featured has been a home run. The antagonists often take a back seat to the main character's internal conflicts. This has been remedied in recent years with stellar baddies like Killmonger, played by Michael B. Jordan, and Thanos, portrayed by Josh Brolin. The things that make a good superhero villain is a certain level of sympathy one must feel for them or an understanding of where they are coming from, even if their methods are cruel and unusual.
The following ten entries will present villains from the MCU who were kind of right. It doesn't mean they should have been allowed to continue with their plans, but it is always a plus when a movie gives something for viewers to think about. When morals are black and white, the movie runs the risk of getting boring, and these ten people made sure that didn't happen in their respective stories.
10 Iron Man 2 - Ivan Vanko
Ivan Vanko is out for revenge in Iron Man 2. Vanko's father worked with Howard Stark but was forcibly sent back home and taken to prison at Howard's doing. Straight up revenge is never a good thing, especially when it is against the son of the person who did the wrongdoing, but it is easy to understand Vanko's gripe against the Stark name.
Unfortunately, the film doesn't do enough to portray Ivan in a sympathetic light, instead making him seem like a cookie-cutter villain of the week. It's unfortunate, too, because Mickey Rourke is a fine actor and could have pulled off a more complicated bad guy.
9 Hela - Thor: Ragnarok
Thor: Ragnarok is a highlight of the MCU for many reasons; it played into weird comic sensibilities, made the main character more interesting, and used Led Zepplin's "Immigrant Song" to stunning effect. Unexpectedly, the main villain is not Ragnarok, but Hela, a long lost daughter of Odin.
Thor's father locked her away after Asgard became a peaceful nation, and Hela's ambitions were untameable. So she was raised as a warrior and then exiled once her nature was deemed unfit for a peaceful society. If anything, Odin deserves punishment for Hela's actions.
8 Zemo - Civil War
Zemo's family were innocent casualties in Age of Ultron's battle for Sokovia. Audiences decry Zemo as forgettable in Civil War, but making a villain out of a normal person lacking superpowers, money, or global influence made for an interesting story. Zemo himself ends up killing people who weren't involved in the conflict, making his innocence tainted in his vengeance. Still, it doesn't eliminate the validity of his anger. It's not like Ultron was some alien threat either; Tony Stark created him.
7 Laufey - Thor
Laufey is Loki's biological father and the leader of the Frost Giants. He is fatally betrayed by Loki, who intends to destroy the Frost Giants' home. After being continually beaten by Asgard, Laufey faces yet another crushing defeat at the hands of his own flesh and blood. He's only a villain because the movie is from Asgard and Thor's point of view. To the Frost Giants, Asgardians are an evil empire. It becomes all the more apparent when Thor: Ragnarok reveals Asgard's prior warring nature.
6 Kaecilius - Dr. Strange
Mads Mikkelsen's Kaecilius is just trying to expose and remove the Ancient One's hypocrisy. Why should she be able to live forever when others cannot? Unlike prior MCU films, Dr. Strange does a good job of explaining Kaecilius' reasons, making the audience see where he is coming from.
5 Adrian Toomes - Spider-Man: Homecoming
Toomes owned a salvage company that was tasked with cleaning up after the battle for New York in The Avengers. Shortly afterward, Tony Stark and the United States Government take over the project and cause Toome's business to go under. With no other recourse and a family to support, he and his employees resort to arms dealing with the alien technology they had recovered. It's a shady business that results in people getting hurt, but some people will do anything for their family.
4 Ava Starr - Ant-Man And The Wasp
Ava Starr's ability to phase through matter was not her doing, having been affected by an experiment that killed her parents. Fortunately, she manages to go through the movie without sending anyone to the grave, so she can eventually go back to a normal life once her condition is cured.
Thanos' methods are cruel and unreasonable, but he's coming from a place of experience. He saw his own people get destroyed because they refused to do anything about their problems. As a warlord, ending life is the only way he knows to solve societal issues. The infinity stones could have let him reshape the universe in any way, but he was too small-minded to think of a solution that didn't involve destroying people.
2 Ultron - Avengers: Age Of Ultron
Ultron and Skynet should grab a drink sometime—they really do have a lot in common. Both of them see destroying the human race as the best solution. While Terminator's Skynet sees humans as obsolete, Ultron sees it as the best means of protecting the planet. He gets awfully close to completing his goal, too, but is fortunately stopped.
1 Killmonger - Black Panther
Erik Killmonger comes to Wakanda to claim the throne. After doing so, he plans to use Wakandan weaponry to assist in violent revolutions around the world. Violence might not be the right answer, but he does make the hero question whether Wakanda's isolationism is morally just. Ultimately, the nation comes out of hiding by the end.