The Five Best Live Action Marvel Villains

01 madame gao

5) Madam Gao—Played by Wai Ching Ho in the excellent Netflix series Daredevil, and later again in Iron Fist, the enigmatic Gao is the leader of the HAND, a criminal organization which plays a major role in the Marvel Netflix shows. Not much is known about her past, but she is apparently very old and familiar with the mystic realm of Kun Lun. She also seems to have formidable supernatural powers. Gao is cunning, cool, manipulative and intelligent. She’ll make a formidable foe for the Defenders.

01 Sir Ian Mckellen Magneto

4) Magneto—The arch enemy of the X-Men, Magneto is one of those villains who actually seems to have a good argument for doing the things he does. He may be fanatical and dangerous, but he believes he’s doing the right thing for his people, and many mutants agree with him, and consider him a rebel hero. Played by the wonderful Sir McKellen and the talented Michael Fassbender, he is more of a gray area than a black hat. He has an interesting love/hate relationship with his ally/rival Charles Xavier. Neither a hero nor completely a villain, Magneto makes a compelling enemy.

01 kilgrave

3) Kilgrave—David Tennant may be best known for playing a time travelling Time Lord, but he also makes an extremely effective villain. As the mind controlling menace Kilgrave on Jessica Jones, Tennant portrays him as an amoral character who has no idea what’s right or wrong but simply does whatever he wants. He is a villain who doesn’t even know he’s a villain. Kilgrave is a very unusual and engaging bad guy.

01 Loki


2) Loki—The best of the big-screen baddies, Loki is a complex and intriguing character. Played with a menacing charm by Tom Hiddleston, Loki is a God, a prince, a frost giant and the brother of Thor. He has complicated motivations and can be rather likable sometimes. He has a sense of humor but can also be entirely ruthless when he wants to be. He’s taken on the Avengers and he’s managed to take over Asgard. Loki is the standard for all MCU villains who’ve come after him.

 01 kingpin

1) Wilson Fisk—While he never actually uses the alias “Kingpin” on screen, this is the best live-action adaptations of a Marvel comic book villain ever done. Played superbly by Vincent D’Onofrio, Fisk is the main antagonist of the Daredevil series. He is a multi-faceted and intricate character, who often evokes sympathy, while simultaneously being a menacing criminal mastermind. He is so deeply developed and intimidating, Fisk is the top of the list of Marvel bad guys.