For all of their bluster and fantastic costumes, Marvel villains are pretty dumb. You can argue all you want that it takes a lot of work to become second-in-command of Stark Industries, or that Norse Gods are inherently super intelligent, but when you see these insane MCU villain plots in text form, you’ll not only rethink your allegiance to HYDRA, but you’ll wonder whether or not Marvel villains are even good at their jobs. Not only do guys like Loki and Ultron spend most of their time monologuing about how citizens of Earth are a plague, but there’s so much coincidence involved in MCU villain plans, it’s like these baddies skate by on pure luck.
You don’t have to look hard to see convoluted Marvel movie villain plans. Just about every bad guy in the MCU has a plan that starts off normal before veering into dodgy territory that relies on pure happenstance. Even guys like Alexander Pierce (the bad guy from Captain America: The Winter Soldier), who seem like they do everything by the book, eventually give up on hard work and efficient planning to simply let the chips fall where they may. Maybe these guys get so full of themselves they think there’s no way they can fail, or maybe they’re just bad at their jobs. If you’re not sure whether or not your favorite MCU movie features a villain with a poorly planned scheme (spoiler alert: it does), keep reading to discover all the villain plans from Marvel movies that make no sense.
Out of all the Marvel villains, Loki may be the character with the most singularly ridiculous plans. Popping up as the baddie you love to hate in no less than three MCU movies, Loki has had his fair share of impractical plots. Seriously, despite all of his bravado and wonderful bone structure, they're all still just bad. How to even begin to describe Loki's incredibly complicated plan to make the heroes of the Marvel universe mad at each other while also becoming the King of Asgard? Or something? It never actually seems like Loki has an end game. Anyway, follow along if you can. In order to open a portal in space that will allow the Chitauri to attack earth, Loki hypnotizes Erik Selvig and Hawkeye to help steal the Tesseract.
Because he's the kind of boss that doesn't believe in oversight, Loki leaves Selvig alone to work on opening a portal on top of Stark Tower (what luck!). Admittedly, Loki is in custody while all of the portal construction is underway, but he did that to himself (apparently) so he can turn the Avengers against each other. It works (for like two seconds), and it eventually only serves to make the team even more upset with him. Instead of playing mind games with literally the strongest people on earth (who happen to hate him), Loki should have been applying himself to his plan to work with the Chitauri and destroy Earth, or whatever it is they were trying to do.
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Helmut Zemo, the Russian German Sokovian European baddie in Captain America: Civil War has a very complicated and not-so-great plan for turning the Avengers against one another, through exposing that it was, in fact, Bucky who killed Tony Stark's parents in 1991. Zemo's plan involves getting the code words that turn Bucky Barnes into a killing machine, lying his way into a government controlled facility as an investigator of some sort, speaking one-on-one with Barnes (who is, at this point, a government prisoner), getting Barnes to go HAM on a bunch of random people, inspiring the Avengers to hunt him down in the Arctic, then going to find the rest of the HYDRA super soldiers and killing them before finally committing suicide.
Does any of that make sense? It seems like all Zemo would have to do to make Stark angry at Bucky, thus turning him and Steve Rogers against each other, is show Tony the tape of the night that his parents were killed. Why mess with all of that other subterfuge? Instead of drowning some old guy and mocking up a bunch of fake documents, he literally could have emailed a video to Tony Stark.
If anyone reading this knows how to succinctly state what it is HYRDA wants to do, please make an informative Youtube video or something. These faux-Nazi dorks have some of the most confusing plans in the history of MCU (and that's saying something). It's safe to assume their overall goal is to bring down S.H.I.E.L.D. from the inside while enslaving humanity. They (sort of) accomplish one of those goals in Winter Soldier, but as far as enslaving humanity goes they tend to take the scenic route.
Their way to crush humanity isn't to use their super fancy space lasers everyone knows they have, but rather to convince people to surrender their freedom to live in a secure country by creating international conflicts and doing vague terroristy stuff. Why not just use the lasers? Here are three pros of space lasers and one con:
- Space lasers are super scary
- Space lasers look very cool
- Space lasers can presumably blow up entire cities (no one would know this because HYDRA has never gotten its sh*t together enough to use said space lasers).
- Space lasers are probably heavy, and that's not fun
Seriously, get it together HYDRA.
Out of all the villains in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Kaecillius's plan may be the most impractical. Or, at the very least, it has the worst end game for everyone involved. Basically, Special K wants to gain eternal life by calling forth Dormamu from the Dark Dimension and seeing how things shake out. That's seriously it. To accomplish his goal, Mr. K steals some pages from a magic book that may or may have what he was looking for, and just starts doing magic all over the place.
He kills the Ancient One, not believing that anyone could put up a fight — this is all despite living in a reality where Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy regularly handle stuff like this. Of course, the whole thing goes wrong when Doctor Strange uses a time turner to fix everything. Kae-a-licious really didn't think this one through.
Ultron, Tony Stark's failed experiment that gained sentience, has the modest goal of saving humanity from itself by moving to Sokovia, fitting it with a vibranium core thus causing it to float, and raising it high enough into the sky so he can drop it on the Earth and kill everyone.
Admittedly, he's an all-knowing intelligence in a robot body, but he's really banking on the fact that the world's vibranium dealers have enough raw materials to build an island floating machine. The plan mostly works out for Ultron – he does get the island to float – but things could have gone belly up from the jump if the first vibranium dealer he went to was clean out, or if he just didn't have as much as he thought.
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Darren Cross may be the most low-stakes villain in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. He's basically a stock Iron Man villain, but without a flashy wardrobe. What does he want to do? Sell his Yellowjacket costume and its technology to HYDRA. Fine. That should be easy enough, but instead of just selling his tech to the nearest faux-Nazi with a red skull, he decides that he needs to rub his former mentor's face in the deal while doing some general bad guy stuff.
Why involve someone else in your evil plans, when all you have to do is trade a briefcase of money for a fake science suit? It's almost like Darren Cross didn't actually want to sell his suit to HYDRA, and he really just wanted some attention from Hank Pym. For such a wealthy science man, Darren Cross sure doesn't seem to know that phones exist.
Ronan is a classic Marvel Cinematic Universe beta villain. He has a fairly simple goal: get a magic orb from Peter Quill and give it to Thanos. That's literally all he has to do, and he's set. But instead he decides to double cross Thanos, keep the orb, and destroy Xandar on his own. Okay? It honestly seems like a spur of the moment decision that devolves into what has to be a stress dream for anyone who works for Ronan. Never mind that Ronan is all gung-ho to fight Thanos (one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel universe), but he also seems very certain that no one is going to try to stop him from destroying Xandar.
His entire plan for destroying Xandar is built around the idea that no one is going to stop him. It's not like he doesn't understand that the galaxy has guardians who protect people from that kind of thing, it's just that he doesn't seem to be able to think outside of the box when it comes to destroying a planet or defending a network of ships. If you need any more proof that Ronan is a terrible villain, he's defeated by a guy listening to headphones. Where's Dormamu when you need him?
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Ivan Vanko's entire end game is to show the world that Tony Stark isn't as great as everyone thinks he is. Okay. Fine. It's unfortunate and disappointing that a guy who came from such meager means, and managed to pull himself up by his bootstraps to build his own Iron Man suit thing, would just want to stop at showing the world that a human is slightly flawed and expect everyone to turn on the world's only beloved billionaire, but that's not the point. How does he go about accomplishing his goal? Well, he fights Tony Stark on a race track, and then builds a drone version of the Iron Man suit to show that he can build drones, for some reason. It's impressive that he can do so much work with just his hands, but what is it all supposed to accomplish other than getting him a job in an Iron Man suit factory?
Vanko's plan hinges on the hope that Americans will dislike Tony Stark for being a flawed individual. Has Vanko ever watched television before? People love flawed characters. And if he would take a moment to turn on the E! network, he would see that Keeping Up With the Kardashians was in its millionth season, and that audiences are never going to turn against rich people with fake problems. Just look at the 45th President of the United States. Sorry, Vanko, but you played yourself.
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