Avengers: Infinity War star Tom Hiddleston has a lot of love for Black Panther's villain Erik Killmonger, as played by Michael B. Jordan. As the primary villain in the original 2012 Avengers film, Hiddleston's Loki is in essence the granddaddy of MCU bad guys, and is also one of the only villainous characters in the franchise to switch allegiance to the side of good. Well, sometimes anyway. No one will ever accuse Loki of being trustworthy, but he does occasionally put aside his own lust for power in order to do something good.
Of course, outside of Loki, one of the most commonly leveled criticisms against the soon to be 19-film strong MCU franchise is that most of its villains aren't that great. While characters like Red Skull, Hella, and Vulture certainly have their fans, other villains like Aldrich Killian, Ronan the Accuser, and Darren Cross tend to be held up as examples of MCU villains that just didn't cut the mustard.
Thankfully, Marvel Studios' most recent villain - Black Panther's Killmonger - did not at all earn similar sentiments. Jordan's performance as Killmonger received rave reviews, and the character himself was cited as being one of the most relatable MCU antagonists to date. While his murderous methods obviously aren't to be commended, Killmonger's beefs with T'Challa and Wakanda as a whole are entirely understandable when one considers just how awful he and his father were treated. Sharing in this positive appraisal of Killmonger is Hiddleston, who Screen Rant got a chance to chat with during a recent press junket for Avengers: Infinity War.
SR: Loki’s almost like the torch bearer for the Marvel cinematic villain. What other villains do you like? Who are your top three, besides Loki, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
Hiddleston: I just saw Black Panther like everybody else, months ago. Michael B Jordan as Killmonger, absolutely extraordinary performance, really amazing.And for me specifically because I felt as an audience member, I could understand his point of view, you know, even though the logic is misguided or that he's kind of evacuating his anger on to people who don't deserve it. You could still, you could understand why he was angry and there was a kind of flawed but comprehensible logic in it.
It makes sense that Hiddleston would appreciate Killmonger, as in many ways, Loki is himself a fairly sympathetic villain. Sure, he's done some truly awful things solely for his own gain - Phil Coulson says hi - but he's not entirely malevolent, as has been illustrated many times during the MCU. Also, while he desires to conquer and rule and will do what it takes to accomplish that, Loki is far from a genocidal madman like Thanos. The main source of Loki's tendency toward evil is the fact that he just never felt fully valued by his father Odin, and always felt like the clear understudy to true "star" of the family Thor. Had Loki been treated more equally by his adoptive dad, it's possible he could have grown up to become a hero long before his most outwardly heroic deeds occurred in Thor: Ragnarok.
Of course, the biggest difference between Loki and Killmonger is that Loki is currently alive and Killmonger isn't. Many fans wish that Black Panther hadn't killed such an interesting bad guy off, but they did, at least for now. In the Marvel universe, death often isn't the end. Just ask Loki, as he's been thought to be dead multiple times over the course of the MCU's progression. That said, with Thanos on his way to Earth for Infinity War, Hiddleston's trickster might see his luck finally run out in that regard. With the Mad Titan on the loose, casualties are likely.
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