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Why Marvel's Kilgrave Is The Best Villain Ever

Updated October 2, 2020 2.3k votes 458 voters 170.7k views15 items

List RulesVote up the best reasons why Kilgrave is the best and scariest Marvel villain ever.

SPOILERS for the first season of Marvel's Jessica Jones ahead!

The Netflix series introduces not only one of the best onscreen heroines in recent memory, but also one of the most terrifying villains: Kilgrave, played by David Tennant. Whether he's torturing or toying with Jessica Jones, Kilgrave's always one step ahead of everyone - making him an unpredictable and scary villain. The question now though is, does that make Kilgrave Marvel's best onscreen antagonist yet?

Combining some of our worst fears with a usually nonchalant attitude, the mind-controlling Kilgrave comes across as someone who sees nearly every other person as disposable (except for Jessica, of course), making his powers all that much more dangerous. Unlike so many other comic book villains, though, his goals are much more personal, so the scale of the damage much smaller, but even more devastating than his Marvel predecessors.

The character has more than his fair share of creepy and scary moments throughout Jessica Jones, enough to make a list of some of his scariest and most terrifying moments in the series, helping you to decide once and for all if he is Marvel's scariest villain to date or not. Vote up the worst and scariest things about the Purple Man. And again, if you haven't seen the show, be warned that this is list is full of SPOILERS.
  • 1

    He'll Make You Kill Your Parents Just to Prove a Point

    Photo: Netflix
    This is when Jessica Jones gets real. The pilot episode looks like it's on its way to a happy ending after our favorite private investigator reunites Hope Shlottman with her parents. It's only when we saw Hope suddenly shoots her own parents in Jessica's elevator that the extent of Kilgrave's cruelty becomes clear.
    Does this make him scary?
  • 2

    He Forces His Own Mother to Kill Herself

    Photo: Netflix
    Kilgrave commits several pretty heinous murders throughout the first season, but perhaps one of the most sickening is when he forces his own mother to stab herself to death with scissors... right in front of him. Next time, Jessica should probably remember to have more than one fail-safe wire.
    Does this make him scary?
  • 3

    Anyone and Everyone Could Be His Spy

    Photo: Netflix
    Jessica Jones has a number of game-changing moments, but one of the biggest comes when Jessica realizes that Kilgrave had been spying on Jessica for weeks. Whether it's a police officer, a seemingly harmless neighbor, or a little girl, you never know who Kilgrave will influence to do his bidding next.
    Does this make him scary?
  • 4

    He Thinks He's the Hero

    Photo: Netflix
    Out of everything that Kilgrave does on Jessica Jones, perhaps the most downright crooked of them all is simply believing he's right. In his mind, he's not a bad guy at all. The best villains are the ones who see themselves as the heroes, and this piece of work thinks he's Jessica's victim. When the Purple Man reveals that all of his deranged antics are merely the efforts of a man in love, it was only natural to worry about what he might do if he ever got really angry.
    Does this make him scary?