Nearly 32% Of MCU Fans Think This Was The Best Phase 3 Villain – We Can't Say We're Surprised

(Welcome to Survey Says, a feature where we conduct a movie-related survey for a random group of people and explain why they're completely right, completely wrong, or somewhere in-between.)

Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was by far the most sprawling chapter in the franchise to date (though Phase 4 does look like it may be able to give it a run for its money). From "Captain America: Civil War" to "Avengers: Endgame," this was three jam-packed years of epic comic book movie storytelling from top to bottom. And, of course, there were many villains along the way. But who was the best of the worst? That's what we recently wanted to find out, so we surveyed MCU fans to determine who the best villain in Phase 3 of the MCU was. The answer, as it turns out, was not all that surprising.

And the Survey Says...

Taking in just shy of 32 percent of the vote, the Mad Titan himself, Thanos, came in with a commanding lead. Though the character first appeared on-screen to close out Phase 1 in that famed post-credits scene attached to "The Avengers," he really had time to shine in Phase 3, with the long game paying off in a big way. The next closest was Mysterio, played by Jake Gyllenhaal in "Spider-Man: Far From Home," taking in a little more than 18 percent of the vote.

Not too far behind Mysterio was Grandmaster, who we met in "Thor: Ragnarok," portrayed by the great Jeff Goldblum, taking in 15.4 percent of the vote. Two other villains from that same movie made the list as well, with Cate Blanchett's Hela earning 10.5 percent, and Surtur, the one who brought Ragnarok upon Asgard, earning 6.4 percent. Rounding out the list were Killmonger, played by Michael B. Jordan in "Black Panther," with 11 percent, and Ego, played by Kurt Russell in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2," with just 6.4 percent of the overall vote.

The Mad Titan Reigns Supreme

When Josh Brolin was cast as Thanos, the game changed. We had seen glimpses of him in "Guardians of the Galaxy" and "Avengers: Age of Ultron," but it wasn't until the Russo Brothers filmed "Avengers: Infinity War" and "Avengers: Endgame" that the Mad Titan truly came to bring his reckoning upon the MCU. When he did, the build-up paid off in a big bad way, and it certainly didn't hurt matters any that he had two full, epic movies to shine. That, coupled with years worth of build-up, made him feel significant in a way no other villain in the MCU has before. Loki, in his own way, came close, but it wasn't the same.

It certainly didn't hurt that Brolin brought a lot to the character, with many people ultimately feeling that Thanos had a point, even if he went about it in a cruel fashion. Plus, the movies did the character a lot of favors, providing him with ample screen time, clear motivation, and a lot of great scenes to cement him as the clear choice for the best villain in Phase 3. Nobody else truly had a chance here.

It Was Never a Fair Fight

For as much as villains like Mysterio, Vulture, and Killmonger made improvements, the MCU still largely suffers from having a great many forgettable villains that take a backseat to the heroes. Ultimately, the Marvel Studios formula works, so it's tough to argue against the way they do things. That said, it didn't leave much room for competition here, as Thanos had a downright unfair advantage with all of the build-up and two of the most epic blockbusters ever put to film stacking the deck in his favor. We can only hope that the MCU can capture that magic again sometime in the future. We're looking at you, Kang the Conquerer.