MCU has no shortage of villains since most of their lifetimes are reduced to one movie. Every new release introduces us to a new enemy of the Marvel superhero. Some are purely sinister who enjoy spreading havoc, but some had a reason to turn bad. Everyone is not born evil, the situations in their life turned them so. Who knows, even we would have taken the same route had we been in their shoes. It’s easier to judge them when you are sitting in a privileged place. Would there be a vulture if Tony Stark’s firm hadn’t taken away his contract for New York City? There are many villains in the movie who were forced to walk down this path. In fact, one can say that some of the heroes created their rivals themselves. Find out the 12 MCU villains whose intentions were understandable.
Unlike the comic book version where a cynical Thanos wanted to wipe out humanity only to impress his Lady Death, the Thanos from movies aimed to bring balance to the universe. After losing his home to overpopulation and lack of resources, Thanos set out on a mission to wipe out half the population. Power didn’t drive his motivations since he himself destroyed the stones later and took retirement on a farm. He was a Mad Titan after all with good intentions and poor ways to execute them.
2. Helmut Zemo
Helmut Zemo was one of the innocent victims affected by the heroes’ battles who lost his father, wife, and kids in a moment. He was not only seeking vengeance but wanted to stop the heroes from further harming innocents they find in their way.
Adrian Toomes was the owner of a salvage company that was given the contract to clear up the destruction of the city after the Battle of New York. But just like the present times, the small company was swallowed by the big predator. Just when Toomes was prepared to take on the contract, Tony Stark’s damage control came into the picture and wiped out the debris. This shut down Adrian’s business and the once-honest man decided to enter the black market and smuggle Chitauri weapons to make his ends meet. Merely saving the citizens’ life isn’t enough if the heroes end up taking away their source of bread and butter to become even richer.
Ultron functioned exactly how he was created. The idea behind making him was to protect the Earth from all dangers (that includes humans). As the android became a sentient being, he was strong-headed to protect the planet and his first step was to destroy mankind. He was programmed to wipe out the threats of Earth and that’s exactly what he was doing. Even though he had good intentions, his mind wasn’t taking the right course.
Hela had an upbringing quite different from others. She went to battles with Odin and was shown nothing beyond the thirst for power. As she inevitably began to show signs of blood-thirst and cruelty, Odin locked her up in Hel and linked her imprisonment to his lifespan. It wasn’t like locking up a naughty kid in a dark room. Was he expecting Hela to reflect on her actions in these 1000 years in Hel? As Hela was freed from the shackles after Odin’s death, she came out more vengeful and insane. That was pretty natural for anyone who spent 1000 years in isolation in the pit.
Whatever path Mysterio chose, he was Tony Stark’s victim in his eyes. Stark’s ego made him more enemies than friends. After watching him take credits for his work for years and in return being underappreciated and fired, Quentin Beck planned to retrieve what he claimed was his. He gathered more former employees of Stark Industries who were wronged and devised a vengeance. They build a fictitious superhero named Mysterio and made him win fake disasters that were also created by the anti-Stark team as an illusion. All they wanted was to take the spotlight off the heroes of the world.
7. Ivan Vanko
Ivan had a tormenting childhood after his father was turned in by Howard Stark under the allegations of spying. Ivan grew up as a victim of domestic abuse after misery pushed his father to alcoholism. The hatred towards the Starks was passed down to him as well and turned him into the Whiplash to destroy Tony Stark. Ever since he was a kid, Ivan saw the Starks as the bad guys who destroyed his family and his life.
Kaecilius was a dedicated disciple of the Ancient One and followed her preaching until the death of his wife and son hit her harshly. He was recovering from his loss when he summoned the powerful sorcerer Dormammu from the Dark Dimension on Earth. They didn’t understand the repercussions of their actions by calling an ominous entity that could bring apocalypse on the planet. At that moment, Kaecilius was strongly driven by the idea of relieving everyone from the pain of death and lifespans.
Growing up in the colonies of immigrants and watching how they were oppressed had turned Eric Killmonger ruthless. He didn’t see love and compassion but only violence throughout his life. That’s why he took harsh measures to remove T’Challa from the throne of Wakanda and become the king himself. His only aim was to open the gates of Wakanda and helped the oppressed groups around the world.
Ava Starr didn’t have the same upbringing as we did to learn what’s right or wrong. That’s because she was busy grieving her parents’ loss and switching her mas from tangibility to intangibility like a ghost. Needless to mention that this constant switch was painful and would have dragged her to death eventually. Thank God, Janet van Dyne understood her struggle and cured her at the end of Ant-Man and the Wasp.
Loki has spent most of his life fighting his inner self. He did have a heart and love for Thor but his ego and pride kept taking over his mind. Growing up under the shadow of his powerful brother who is worshipped like a God and a king by their people can be too much to handle. But finding out that his biological father had left him to die and he was taken away from his own people was the last straw. Can’t blame him for finding it hard to trust his own people and then eventually becoming a megalomaniac.
12. Thunderbolt Ross
Whatever the motivations of Ross were, be it stopping the Hulk or controlling the Avengers, they were driven by his concern for his country. Just like we saw the Hulk and Avengers as our hero in the situation, Ross perceived himself as the hero who has the best interest at heart for his country.