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Old 07-15-2015, 12:47 AM   #1
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Default Does Marvel have a problem with their villains?

It seems to me that just about every MCU movie we have people complaining about the portrayal of villains. From Red Skull to Malekith to Ronan, not to mention "Mandarin", there is no shortage of villains that seemed to be either half-cooked or one-dimensional, and they almost always died before they could be developed later on. On the other hand, WB is about to release Suicide Squad, which is a movie that features some of their most well-known villains, like Joker, Quinn, Deadshot, etc.

As a Marvel fan, I want the heroes to get the spotlight, but I also don't want to see the villains continuously shortchanged in MCU. Therefore, my question is, do you guys think this is a problem? And if so, should Marvel try to address this issue by mandating better writing for the antagonists? Or is this really a non-issue that only haters complained about?

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Old 07-15-2015, 01:35 AM   #2
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Default Re: Does Marvel have a problem with their villains?

A weak villain can bring down the movie but for the most part I've still enjoyed all the Marvel villains with the exception of Malekith who has definitely been the weakest so far but it wasn't the fault of the actor but mostly the writing.

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Old 07-15-2015, 01:48 AM   #3
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Default Re: Does Marvel have a problem with their villains?

For the record, I really loved both Red Skull and Mandarin because I thought both Hugo Weaving and Ben Kingsley were great in their respective roles. Despite the flaws with both characters, I still enjoyed how they were used because they both displayed substantial charisma and gravitas. I loved the Mandarin's terrorist broadcasts in IM3, and I loved the scene in TFA where Red Skull kills three Nazi officers.

That being said, there have been problems with how some other Marvel villains have been used. I think the biggest problem was Malekith in TDW, because Malekith had very little personality or gravitas, and he wasn't written very imaginatively. Ronan was better, but he also had some of the same character limitations that Malekith did, because Ronan's role in GOTG was very similar to Malekith's role in TDW. Vanko in IM2 and Abomination in The Incredible Hulk also suffered from limited time and writing. As I see it, limited screentime and limited time for character development tends to be a big problem for the villains.

On the one hand, this is understandable, because the studio quite rightly wants to make sure that the heroes are given the best representations possible. As a result, they invest the most time and resources in developing our heroes. This is actually a good change from the Burton/Schumacher Batman movies of the '80s and '90s, because in those movies, Batman himself sometimes seemed like an afterthought, and the movies often seemed primarily designed to showcase his villains. Personally, I'm glad that Marvel is taking extra pains to give good treatment to our heroes.

But the studio can still afford to better develop the villains in their universe, like how they've done with Loki. They should try to write more interesting scenes for the villains and give them more character-driven moments. Also, if more villains appear in multiple Marvel films, that would give them more time to develop as characters, as Loki did.

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Old 07-15-2015, 02:26 AM   #4
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Default Re: Does Marvel have a problem with their villains?

Personally, I think it's a problem but I don't believe it's as bad as some make it out to be. It seems to me that all studios have made mistakes with their villains at some point.

If we take a look at Fox studios and the X-Men franchise in particular, there have been a few missteps. One of the biggest complaints I have personally is the fact that the X-men rogue's is so diverse and good yet we haven't seen much of that variety in the films. Don't get me wrong, I have enjoyed both Sir Mckellen's and Fassbender's portrayal of Magneto but I would love to see some of their other villains. Thank god Apocalypse is finally making his debut and yet the merry mutants and wolverine have gotten some villains just outright wrong. Sabretooth, in both versions, Toad, Lady Deathstrike, Stryker, Blob, Shaw, Silver Samurai, Juggernaut and Callisto just to name a few. If we're talking the old Fantastic Four franchise, it didn't get a single villain right and to be honest, it doesn't look like much of an improvement for the current Doom either.

At Sony, the reboot of Spidey left a LOT to be desired of his rogues' portrayal. I didn't care for Lizard, Rhino, Goblin or Electro at all.

Even WB hasn't been immune when it comes to bad villains. Nolan didn't get it 100%. Ra's al Ghul was good and Ledger as Joker was outstanding but Scarecrow, Two Face, Bane and Talia were weak. Green Lantern had some of the worst villains in the modern era of comic book films I've ever seen. I know this is about personal tastes and all and some might not agree but I thought MOS's Zod was just an okay villain. There were some things that I liked about him and some things I didn't. Speaking of Superman, Lex Luthor is my favorite Superman villain yet I haven't seen one version of him I've been completely on board with. The only version of him I truly enjoyed so far, and it's my definitive version, is the Superman and Justice League animated versions. I know it's too early to make a decision based upon a trailer but I'm not feeling Eisenberg's Luthor either. I hope the final product is better.

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Old 07-15-2015, 07:59 AM   #5
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Default Re: Does Marvel have a problem with their villains?

The villains arent amazing but this whole thing is so overblown by fanboys. Frankly outside of Magneto, Joker and Loki. There arent a lot of memorable villains in recent CBM's. It seems to me that Bane is remembered for the wrong reasons in popular culture (his voice hs been made a ton of fun of)

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Old 07-15-2015, 10:34 AM   #6
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Default Re: Does Marvel have a problem with their villains?

I feel like Marvel are improving in terms of villains, partially in response to the outcry over Ronan and Malekith. I mean, the Kree are all about biotech so I can see Ronan being resurrected as a clone but Malekith is probably never coming back which is a shame because he's not nearly as important of a character as Ronan is.

Ultron and Kinpin were great, though and I really wan to see what's done with Zemo and Purple Man.

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Old 07-15-2015, 11:20 AM   #7
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Default Re: Does Marvel have a problem with their villains?

As long as DC's top villain is Lex Luthor... Marvel could put out a rubber ducky as a villain and they would still be in better shape.

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Old 07-15-2015, 12:42 PM   #8
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Default Re: Does Marvel have a problem with their villains?

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Originally Posted by redlion2 View Post
Scarecrow, Two Face, Bane and Talia were weak.... MOS's Zod was just an okay villain.
Lolwhat? Bane by himself was a far more memorable villain than anything the MCU has served up. Hell, Baneposting is still a thing even now. Compare that to the Red Skull and the Mandarin (Your example of "good" MCU Villains) and the difference is stark. Neither made even a fraction of the same impact with the Mandarin in particular being heavily divisive among even MCU partisans. Zod too was a better developed villain than any of the forgettable, interchangeable omnicidal maniacs served up by the MCU lately.

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Old 07-15-2015, 02:53 PM   #9
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Default Re: Does Marvel have a problem with their villains?

I feel the problem with Marvel's villains is the cookie-cutter nature of them. The issue is that the cookie cutter is not fully developed, so you end up with cookies that look strange in its shape. Another problem I have is that with the exception of a select few, Marvel's villains are so painfully generic. Would be nice to have an interesting and compelling villain.

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Old 07-15-2015, 03:09 PM   #10
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Default Re: Does Marvel have a problem with their villains?

I think Marvel is just generally more focused and interested in the heroes story than the villains.

Mickey Rourke and Christopher Eccleston apparently had scenes that added depth/character to their roles that was cut from the film.

It is a little annoying when you see characters like Baron Von Strucker completely wasted though

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Old 07-15-2015, 03:14 PM   #11
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Default Re: Does Marvel have a problem with their villains?

tier 1:Loki, Kingpin, Pierce, and Killian
tier 2:Ronan, Stane, Red Skull, Dr Hyde, Ultron, and Rumlow
tier 3:Malekith, Kurse, Whiplash, Abomination, Nebula
still to come: Thanos, Purple Man, Barons Mordo and Zemo

vs

tier 1:Joker, R'as
tier 2:Bane, Scarecrow, Zod, Faora
tier 3:Nam-ek, various henchmen
still to come: suicide squad (kinda), another Joker, lex zuckerberg

I don't think Marvel has a problem compared to the competition
and if you throw Magneto and other X-villains into the mix, Marvel's villain stable is impressive

and also, Marvel is smart to give the heroes priority, makes you care more about the people the movie is named after
after TDK, I could swear nobody gave half a s*** about Batman or what happened to him, it was all "when are we gunna see the joker again?"
The top Marvel villain, Loki, got that a bit and it pisses me off everytime people mention him over Thor

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Old 07-15-2015, 05:16 PM   #12
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Default Re: Does Marvel have a problem with their villains?

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Originally Posted by chamber-music View Post
I think Marvel is just generally more focused and interested in the heroes story than the villains.
Yeah, I think this is the answer. Their goal is to tell a good story and it often focuses on the development of the hero. It's trying to avoid the problems of old where the only thing we cared about was which villain we were getting.

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Old 07-15-2015, 05:28 PM   #13
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Default Re: Does Marvel have a problem with their villains?

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Originally Posted by Tec15 View Post
Lolwhat? Bane by himself was a far more memorable villain than anything the MCU has served up. Hell, Baneposting is still a thing even now. Compare that to the Red Skull and the Mandarin (Your example of "good" MCU Villains) and the difference is stark. Neither made even a fraction of the same impact with the Mandarin in particular being heavily divisive among even MCU partisans. Zod too was a better developed villain than any of the forgettable, interchangeable omnicidal maniacs served up by the MCU lately.
Your post reeks of DC fanboyism. Bane being a far more memorable villain? Eh. He was alright, and the movie was alright but he'll always live in the shadow of Joker. And Zod is far from being a well developed villain. He is basically a forgettable, interchangeable maniac that didn't even get that good of a performance from a great actor like Shannon. DC has just as much a problem imo. Besides Joker, what other memorable villain have they served up?

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Old 07-16-2015, 08:34 AM   #14
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Default Re: Does Marvel have a problem with their villains?

I would like a little more focus on the Villains on Marvels behalf
Ronan looked awesome I wish he would had some more development
then they kill him

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Old 07-16-2015, 09:09 AM   #15
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Default Re: Does Marvel have a problem with their villains?

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Originally Posted by NotSoLongAgo View Post
Your post reeks of DC fanboyism. Bane being a far more memorable villain? Eh. He was alright, and the movie was alright but he'll always live in the shadow of Joker. And Zod is far from being a well developed villain. He is basically a forgettable, interchangeable maniac that didn't even get that good of a performance from a great actor like Shannon. DC has just as much a problem imo. Besides Joker, what other memorable villain have they served up?
He has a point. Bane made more of an impact than most if not all MCU villains. He was insanely quotable, people were doing impressions of the voice all over the place. Mandarin had that for a while (you'll neverrrr see meeee cominnnn) but the twist put a stop to that. Whether you liked the portrayal or not is irrelevant.

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Old 07-16-2015, 09:54 AM   #16
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Default Re: Does Marvel have a problem with their villains?

I wouldn't say they have a "problem", because they have clearly made so many hit movies that operate very well without a super compelling antagonist. I think people exaggerate just how lackluster they are as a whole, there are some good villains in there, but as chamber said, their movies are focused on their heroes. Knock that approach all you want, it's clearly working for them.

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Old 07-16-2015, 10:06 AM   #17
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Default Re: Does Marvel have a problem with their villains?

True, box office wise there's nothing to complain about. But you have to ask yourself "Would the movies be better with more compelling villains?" If the answer is yes, that's something they can improve upon. The hero doesn't have to be sacrificed for the villain, or the other way around.

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There is no fighting Hans Van Houten. You can try to shoot the devil in the back, but what if you miss?

Who put Bella in the wych elm? Hans Van Houten did.
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Old 07-16-2015, 10:08 AM   #18
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Default Re: Does Marvel have a problem with their villains?

the main reason people were quoting Bane was the same reason they quote Bale's Batman, because it sounds hilarious

I've heard more mocking impressions than people thinking it was cool
he didn't have any "why so serious?" that people (annoyingly) quoted endlessly in a serious way

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Old 07-16-2015, 10:14 AM   #19
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Default Re: Does Marvel have a problem with their villains?

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the main reason people were quoting Bane was the same reason they quote Bale's Batman, because it sounds hilarious

I've heard more mocking impressions than people thinking it was cool
he didn't have any "why so serious?" that people (annoyingly) quoted endlessly in a serious way
If a villain is truly bad and forgettable, nobody is going to quote them down the line no matter how funny they sound. Bane and Batman both had very distinctive voices which made them easier to parody. That doesn't mean their characters didn't have merit at all.

These are movie quotes, and on the internet they're mostly used to be funny. Few people will quote "why so serious" to make an actual point, that would be strange. It's just material to lighten the mood and get a movie reference in at the same time.

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There is no fighting Hans Van Houten. You can try to shoot the devil in the back, but what if you miss?

Who put Bella in the wych elm? Hans Van Houten did.
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Old 07-16-2015, 11:40 AM   #20
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Default Re: Does Marvel have a problem with their villains?

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True, box office wise there's nothing to complain about. But you have to ask yourself "Would the movies be better with more compelling villains?" If the answer is yes, that's something they can improve upon. The hero doesn't have to be sacrificed for the villain, or the other way around.
I'm not speaking in terms of just box office, but I agree. As of now the villains are the only aspect of the MCU that I say are consistently problematic in the sense that, yes, they could be better.

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Old 07-16-2015, 04:39 PM   #21
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Default Re: Does Marvel have a problem with their villains?

Marvel has no problem with its villains at all. Hollywood, however, does have a problem with its villains. Specifically, its addiction to making the villain the driving force and center of the movie, instead of the hero. They do it so much that, when someone comes along and makes the hero the center of the movie instead, you get people complaining about the "sucky villain".

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Old 07-16-2015, 04:44 PM   #22
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Default Re: Does Marvel have a problem with their villains?

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Marvel has no problem with its villains at all. Hollywood, however, does have a problem with its villains. Specifically, its addiction to making the villain the driving force and center of the movie, instead of the hero. They do it so much that, when someone comes along and makes the hero the center of the movie instead, you get people complaining about the "sucky villain".
That... is extremely inaccurate.

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There is no fighting Hans Van Houten. You can try to shoot the devil in the back, but what if you miss?

Who put Bella in the wych elm? Hans Van Houten did.
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Old 07-16-2015, 04:50 PM   #23
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Default Re: Does Marvel have a problem with their villains?

It's very worrisome to think about what's coming for Thanos considering Marvels record with villains.

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Old 07-16-2015, 05:28 PM   #24
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Default Re: Does Marvel have a problem with their villains?

Yes, it's like they don't even care anymore.

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Old 07-16-2015, 10:22 PM   #25
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Default Re: Does Marvel have a problem with their villains?

I'm scared now that they have Spidey and the second best rogue's gallery in comics that they will **** those amazing characters up too.

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