Bring On the Villains

Bring On the Villains

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is in Short Supply of Dynamic Recurring Villains. Let's Change That.

I'm an unabashed fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and I'm rooting for the future success of all the properties Kevin Feige is hoping to bring to the screen. Their movies thus far have had their ups and downs in quality but with the recent roaring success of "Captain America: the Winter Soldier" and the strong potential of the next three films headed our way ("Guardians of the Galaxy", "Avengers: Age of Ultron", and "Ant-Man"), we can safely say that the MCU is in very good hands. But as much as I am anticipating these movies, there's something crucial missing in the current Marvel landscape: the bad guys.


The one exception to this problem is Tom Hiddleston's fantastic recurring role as Loki. At 2013's San Diego Comic Con, Tom Hiddleston took to the stage in Hall H wearing his full Loki regalia and his impact on the crowd was akin to the arrival of the Beatles in America in 1964. People completely freaked out and their reaction is understandable. As far back as Shakespeare's use of Iago in "The Tragedy of Othello" audiences have always loved a good villain. Throughout the history of comics, most of the great superheroes are made far greater from regularly facing a compelling rogues gallery. I think it is safe to say that it is almost impossible to be a superhero of enduring popularity without an equally compelling set of recurring bad guys to lock horns with. "Captain America: the Winter Soldier" featured some incredible villains but at the close of the story *spoiler alert*, the leaders of Hydra are dead and the Winter Soldier is well on his way to recovering his memories to become the morally ambiguous anti-hero we know and love from the comics. I have high hopes for James Spader as Ultron but in my opinion the MCU desperately needs some more concentrated villainy.


So I'm calling on my fellow comic book freaks to not only suggest the most badass villains in the Marvel Universe for future movies but also which actors they feel might best bring that role to life. For me, I'd like to see the MCU whip out one of the big guns, Mephisto. 


Mephisto illustrated by John Buscema

As a kid, I always loved Mephisto. Introduced in "Silver Surfer" #3 back in 1968 by Stan Lee and John Buscema, he's basically Marvel's version of the Devil and he'd make an incredible addition to the MCU as either a major or minor character, especially now that Marvel is dabbling with the supernatural in their efforts to bring Doctor Stephen Strange to the screen. Mephisto is powerful enough to go one on one with guys like Thor and the Silver Surfer but chooses instead to be the ultimate manipulator, even going so far as to play head games with Thanos during the "Infinity Gauntlet" (1991). What motivates Mephisto is the accumulation of souls in his pocket dimension and to accomplish this he often enters into pacts with his victims that initially appear to work in his victims' favor but ultimately work against them. From Spider-Man to Doctor Doom's mother, Mephisto's list of victims is endless and very rarely does he seem to come out on the receiving end of any kind of superhero beat down (although Franklin Richards did kick his ass one time pretty convincingly).


The question now is, who can play this guy? Many actors have played this type of role in the past from Emil Jannings as Mephisto in F. W. Murnau's "Faust" back in 1926 to Linda Blair/Mercedes McCambridge as the Devil in "The Exorcist" (1973). Actors love sinking their teeth into this kind of role, and the insane part of me thinks it'd be cool to try casting a woman in the part, someone beautiful and mysterious like Natalie Dormer. I love unpredictable casting, but assuming sanity prevails at Marvel Studios, I'd suggest using Javier Bardem. 


Javier Bardem going demonic in "No Country for Old Men" (2007)

Bardem is one of my favorite actors working today. His range is incredible but when he needs to go to the heart of darkness, he does so as well as anyone in the business. Bardem's performance as Anton Chigur in "No Country for Old Men" (2007) ranks up there with any other villain I can think of in movie history and an actor of his calibre would bring some incredible clout to the MCU.


So let's some chatter going about our favorite Marvel villains. I'd love to hear people's ideas on the topic. No matter how obscure or insane the suggestion might be, let's hear it. 




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