Underrated Villains of The Marvel Cinematic Universe

In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s easy to remember such villains as Loki and Thanos. Even Killmonger in Black Panther is a well-known and well-spoken about antagonist within the MCU. But, despite there being a “villain problem” within the franchise that I cannot disagree with, there are still some baddies who have been overlooked and deserve more word of mouth than they get. Below are a few that I feel have been overlooked by audiences throughout the past decade of the Marvel Universe.


How could a villain like Zemo, portrayed by Daniel Bruhl; not be talked about more? While Zemo may not have ever engaged in a high-intensity hand to hand combat scene, he was intelligent and conniving enough to destroy the Avengers. This man, motivated by loss and despair; conspired to not do anything else other that cause a rift in between the most powerful superhero faction in the world, thus involving the government, and almost causing many of our favorites to be locked away. Zemo is completely underrated and I would argue he’s accomplished more than many other villains have set out to do in the MCU.


Ant-Man director Peyton Reed admitted that he disliked the first film’s villain, due to him being a “leftover” of Edgar Wright’s script, who was originally meant to direct Ant-Man. Corey Stoll portrayed Darren Cross aka the Yellowjacket. Having a similar suit to Scott Lang’s, Cross was essentially a bitter businessman living in the shadow of his mentor, Hank Pym. Desperate to prove that he can not only make something of himself, but exceed what Pym originally set out to accomplish, Cross essentially went crazy from his experiments due to not having the proper equipment to combat against the dangers of shrinking. The reason I believe he was underrated was due to his intimate knowledge of the Pym’s and his ability to predict Scott’s moves, even up until the end. Perhaps he’s overshadowed by other villains in the MCU, but he’s certainly worth mentioning.


Frank Grillo’s Brock Rumlow aka Crossbones was presented to us as one of the good guys. Essentially a member of Captain America’s team in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, we all thought he had Cap’s back. That was until we found out that he was a member of Hydra and pretty much a sleeper agent. Toting that his beef with Cap was “nothing personal”, Rumlow could go hand to hand with most. While he was the muscle of his division, his vendetta against Steve Rogers increased after the end of The Winter Soldier. We probably would have had a formidable foe in Crossbones if he hadn’t been killed off so quickly in Civil War and I can’t help, but feel that we’ve been cheated.


It goes without saying that Michael Keaton should never belong on a list where the title includes the word “underrated”, but let’s be honest that’s exactly what Adrian Toomes aka The Vulture is. Most likely the most relatable on this list, as well as within the MCU; Toomes was a family man simply looking to make ends meet for his wife and child in a world where the rich get richer and it seems like very little room for the working man. Adoring his spouse and daughter, he was close to his “last” job, and in fact; kept Peter Parker’s secret at the end of the movie. Badass, dangerous, and cunning, Toomes will be back for Spider-Man: Far From Home, where people will hopefully show more appreciation for this baddie.