Some MCU villains have it pretty easy: They show up, smash, and do evil things (we're looking at you, Abomination). That being said, not all MCU villain plans are made equally. There have been some baddies in Marvel Studios' films that have really gone above and beyond with their work ethic. You may think Darren Cross and Ultron make for lackluster villains in the annals of filmmaking - but can you really say they didn't work their butts off? Cross spent years trying to recreate Hank Pym's size-changing tech and ultimately succeeded, while Ultron almost wiped out all of humanity on Earth in less than a week.
Say what you want about them or Marvel's overarching "villain problem," but don't mock these villains' work ethic. So, scroll down and vote up those antagonists who make you think you need to work just a little bit harder in your life.
- 142 VOTESPhoto: Captain America: Civil War / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Living two elaborate lives is no joke. Leading an organization like S.H.I.E.L.D. while simultaneously heading up Hydra is the kind of thing only the best-trained double agent can do. That Alexander Pierce managed to keep a dedicated and intelligent spy like Nick Fury off his scent for years speaks mountains of the man's ability to lead two entirely different existences. Pierce was this close to successfully initiating Project Insight and setting plans into motion that would have basically made Hydra the rulers of the entire globe.
Nick Fury was so in the dark about the whole thing, he helped Pierce get Project Insight off the ground and close to the finish line! Sam Jackson's character was on board with the whole thing until the very last second. That is how good Pierce was at living two lives. If Tony Stark considered Nick Fury to be the spy whose secrets had secrets, what would that make Pierce? Ponder that for a second.Hardworking villain?
- 252 VOTESPhoto: Captain America: Civil War / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
In the specific terms of a normal human taking on the gods and heroes of the Avengers (sans Hulk and Thor, it must be said), it's hard to believe anyone being as successful as Helmut Zemo. Emotionally ravaged by the demise of his family as a consequence of Tony Stark and Bruce Banner creating Ultron in Avengers: Age of Ultron, Zemo took it upon himself to break up the Avengers from the inside in Captain America: Civil War.
Though his overall plan was much more complicated, by bringing the slaying of Stark's parents at the hands of Bucky Barnes to light, the schism between Team Cap and Team Iron Man was finalized. Never one to miss a chance to kill two birds with one stone, Zemo did away with a handful of super-soldiers sleeping in cryogenic chambers, as well. Talk about some serious planning. By the time he resurfaced in Falcon and the Winter Soldier, he could dance to his heart's content.Hardworking villain?
- 377 VOTESPhoto: Black Panther / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Erik Stevens, AKA N'Jadaka, AKA Killmonger, had a childhood marked by tragedy. It is unclear what happened to his mother, and his father was slain by his uncle when Killmonger was just a boy. Killmonger, left alone in the world, was given no explanation as to why his father was slain and was left to fend for himself. As you can imagine, finding his father's corpse in their apartment left quite the impression on the young child.
Killmonger's grief would turn to rage as he aged, honing his abilities in the military. He worked his way through the United States Naval Academy and MIT before becoming a Navy SEAL. Never one to underachieve, Killmonger became the leader in confirmed kills by a wide margin in his unit, hence the nickname "Killmonger." After this, it was into Black Ops for the CIA for Killmonger before he eventually turned to criminal activity with Ulysses Klaue. His assassination of Klaue finally granted him entrance into his father's homeland, Wakanda, where he seemingly took the life of T'Challa to take control of the throne. Killmonger ended up losing the throne at the hands of his cousin, but the man took himself from an impossible situation to the birthplace of his father with little more than a can-do attitude and an ability to take out pretty much anyone in front of him.Hardworking villain?
- 473 VOTESPhoto: Avengers: Age of Ultron / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Avengers: Age of Ultron may be everyone's least favorite Avengers flick, thereby making Ultron everyone's least favorite Avengers villain, but he was an artificial intelligence who put in work. Like, he did more work in a few days than most people do in their entire lives. That kind of dedication to eradicating humanity from the Earth deserves to be admired, in some way.
After being created by Tony Stark and Bruce Banner, the "murderbot" convinced the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver to join his cause, got vibranium from Ulysses Klaue, seized control of a city, built a massive factory for constructing his various automatons, and turned said city into a massive planet-ending missile in the span of less than a week - all while fighting off the Avengers on multiple occasions.
Had Ultron successfully slain humanity with his plan, he would've proven himself to be a superior being. That kind of efficiency just isn't human whatsoever. And he didn't even have the souped-up vibranium body that would become the Vision! Is Ultron underrated? Ultron might be underrated.Hardworking villain?