All the Marvel Big Bads, Ranked By Badness

michael keaton as the vulture in spiderman homecoming

I totally get that you don’t want to read an introduction about how there’s a new (great) Marvel Cinematic Universe villain because of Spider-Man: Homecoming. You’re skipping this to get right to the list so you can get right to the comments section. No sweat. You’ve earned it.

If you’re still reading, there are two things to keep in mind regarding this particularly ranking of Marvel’s bad guys. One, I’m judging them all based on Personality and Plan Points. How magnetic are they? How stupid is their plan for world domination (or whatever else they’re seeking)?

Two, Thanos isn’t on it because he doesn’t count. He’s not a villain; he’s a Postmates customer with the munchies. I’m sure we’re all looking forward to Infinity War when he can legitimately join this list.

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Marvel Cinematic Universe Ranked

It’s become a tradition at this point: whenever a new entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is released, everyone ranks the movies. And now that everyone on the /Film staff has had a chance to see Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and spend a few days digesting it, it’s time to completely refresh our list.

We invited the site’s core staff as well as our various contributors to rank all 15 movies in the MCU, with each movie earning points based on its placement in each list. This resulted in a ranked list that reflects the site as a whole rather than the opinion of Just One Person. So here it is: the world’s most accurate ranking of Marvel Studios’ output.

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Stan Lee

Greetings, true believers. There’s yet another Marvel Cinematic Universe film tearing up the box office – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. As with all MCU films, there’s world-building, in-jokes, action, adventure, and of course, the prerequisite Stan Lee cameo. For more than 40 years now, Lee has been the most recognizable public face for Marvel properties, even the ones he had nothing directly to do with. Much like the Marvel post-credit sequence, a cameo from Lee is expected from fans; fans who will inevitably lean over to their theater mates and loudly whisper, “That’s Stan Lee!” when the moment arises. 

Because I’m committed to doing world-changing, issue-driven film writing, I’ve decided to rank every single Stan Lee cameo to date from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For the sake of brevity I’ll only be dealing with the MCU films, and not the wealth of other Marvel-related films and TV projects, all of which Lee appears in one form or another. Excelsior!

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craziest car scenes

Whether it’s trains, planes, or automobiles, speeding vehicles have made for some of the best nail-biting, jaw-dropping moments in cinematic history. Entire franchises have been built around car crashes and explosions that, while defying the laws of physics, have reinforced the magic of Hollywood. There’s probably no greater testament to this than the Fast and the Furious franchise, which never ceases to amaze when it comes to wonderfully ridiculous car-related stunts. I thought it would be impossible to top 2015’s Furious 7, which features the late Paul Walker and Vin Diesel crashing a red W Motors Lukan Hypersport through not one, not two, but three skyscrapers in Abu Dubai, but The Fate of the Furious could certainly unseat its predecessor.

In celebrating cinema’s love of fast cars and our love of the Fast and the Furious films, here are some of the best and the craziest car chases, jumps and stunts outside of that series.

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arnim zola concept art

One of the strangest surprises to come out of Captain America: The Winter Soldier was the return of Toby Jones‘ Arnim Zola, who had managed to negotiate his way into the good graces of the American government after the events of Captain America: The First Avenger before uploading himself into a computer to achieve post-human immortality. This version of Zola, a creepy face on a computer screen with a disembodied voice, was a toned-down version of how he looks in the pages of Marvel comic books.

Well, it turns out that we were, at one point, going to see more of Zola and in a from closer to his comic book counterpart. And we were going to see it in Ant-Man, of all movies.

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Marvel Cinematic Universe Ranked

In less than a decade, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has gone from an ambitious pipe dream to an inescapable box-office juggernaut. Now, as Doctor Strange kicks off the first major new sub-franchise of Phase Three, we wanted to take a look back at the fourteen films released so far. Which soared? Which fell flat on their faces? After the jump, get our rundown of all fourteen films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe ranked.

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Video: How The Russo Brothers Direct Action

How The Russo Brothers Direct Action

The Russo Brothers are one of the biggest surprises in blockbuster action filmmaking in the last decade — a very smart find by Marvel head Kevin Feige. I remember seeing their film Welcome to Collingwood at the Boston Film Festival in 2002 and thinking that they had had a promising career as comedy filmmakers ahead of them. I was wrong, they instead ended up in television. I don’t think that even the biggest fans of their work on television shows like Arrested Development and their paintball episodes of Community could have expected their ascension as some of the smartest blockbuster action filmmakers today.

Darren Foley at Must See Films has published a good video essay on how the Russo Brothers direct action. Watch it now after the jump.

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cyclops-adventuretime

What villains might we see in the third season of Gotham? Will you take Geoff Johns up on his moneyback offer if you don’t like DC Comics Rebirth #1? Which Black Panther characters might we see in the movie according to a rumored casting call? Why does Jennifer Lawrence‘s nephew not consider her a real X-Man. All that and more in this edition of Superhero Bits. Read More »

civilwar-antman-arcreactor-conceptart

How can you get free comics when you buy your Captain America: Civil War ticket? Why does Tony Stark recruit Spider-Man for Team Iron Man? How did Anthony & Joe Russo react to the Honest Trailer for Captain America: The Winter Soldier. What did David Ayer and Margot Robbie have to say about Harley Quinn‘s revealing Suicide Squad wardrobe? All that and more in this edition of Superhero Bits. Read More »

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cap2-wintersoldier-blackeyes

If you haven’t seen Ant-Man yet, we won’t spoil the fun credits scenes in this opening paragraph if you just haven’t had time to make it to the theater and want to go in blind.

But just beware that some new chatter from Sebastian Stan has surfaced about the second credits scene that ties into Captain America: Civil War, and we’re going to get into some spoiler territory below. You’ve been warned.

Find out more about second Ant-Man credits scene after the jump! Read More »