12 Times MCU Villains Were Less Villainous Than The Heroes

List Rules
Vote up the times when MCU 'villains' weren't actually so bad compared to the heroes.

Villains in the Marvel Cinematic Universe have deep characterizations that keep them from being too generic. These characters usually have backstories offering solid reasons for their turn for the worse, and in some scenarios, they're even nobler than the heroes. In these instances, the villains weren't the instigators of conflict - the heroes' inaction or hypocrisy kicked things off. Within these particular scenarios, it's easier to sympathize with the designated baddies than the supposed good guys.

Revisit these times when the MCU villains were right and the heroes were in the wrong.


  • Yondu Is Cast Out From The Ravagers For Covering For Star-Lord, And He Still Gives His Life For Him
    Photo: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

    In the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, Yondu is made out to be one of the villains for pursuing Star-Lord and threatening to end him. However, the truth is that Star-Lord did betray him since he pocketed the Power Stone he was sent to pick up for himself and double-crossed Yondu and the Ravagers. 

    For his part, Yondu covers for Star-Lord by refusing to take his life as the Ravagers suggest, while Star-Lord again double-crosses Yondu at the end of the movie by giving the Power Stone to the Nova Corps rather than Yondu as he promised. Despite Star-Lord's repeated betrayals, Yondu still sacrifices his own life for his surrogate son at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

  • Nebula Wants To Have A Sisterly Relationship With Gamora, Who Only Wants To Please Thanos By Defeating Her
    Photo: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

    Nebula is one of the villains of Guardians of the Galaxy because she comes after her sister Gamora, but Gamora did force her into that difficult spot. When Gamora betrays Thanos by taking the Power Stone, Thanos taskes Nebula with the job, as well, and chooses to take his anger out on her.

    Moreover, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 reveals that Gamora caused Nebula to lose her body parts. She repeatedly defeated Nebula in their match-ups in order to please Thanos, who then dismantled Nebula's body with cybernetics to make her Gamora's equal. Nebula became a villain because she only wanted a genuine sisterly bond with Gamora, but the latter never let her win and allowed Thanos to torment her.

  • Loki Actually Does Help Asgard By Making Odin Realize His Brother Is Power-Hungry
    Photo: Thor / Paramount Pictures

    In the first Thor movie, Loki lets the Frost Giants into Asgard to interfere with Thor's coronation. While it appears as if Loki is jealous of Thor, it turns out he actually wants to expose his brother's bloodlust-driven ways. Thor tries to commit genocide against Jotunheim when Loki suggests getting back at them for their onslaught, which proves the God of Thunder has gotten out of hand as he pushes Asgard to the brink of war.

    Loki, meanwhile, only hopes to make Odin realize that Thor is unfit to be king, and this move ultimately reforms Thor when he's banished by Odin. 

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    Ava Starr Wants Quantum Energy To Save Her Life But Is Denied By Hank Pym, Leaving Her To Perish

    Ava Starr Wants Quantum Energy To Save Her Life But Is Denied By Hank Pym, Leaving Her To Perish
    Photo: Ant-Man and the Wasp / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

    In Ant-Man and the Wasp, the protagonists are pursued by a mysterious figure known as Ghost over the quantum lab. Hank Pym finds out she's Ava Starr, a girl who's in constant pain due to a failed experiment by her father, one of Pym's former partners. Along with that, Ava will perish due to her unstable molecular nature and needs the energy in Pym's wife Janet as she's about to be extracted from the Quantum Realm.

    Ava doesn't want to hurt anyone and simply seeks the quantum energy to save her life, yet Pym rebuffs her as he doesn't want to risk Janet's life. In the end, it turns out Janet can indeed give her energy to Ava to temporarily save her, meaning the supposedly good guy Hank had selfishly only thought of his wife at the expense of Ava, who didn't want to hurt the heroes but was going to be left for dead.

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    Aldrich Killian Has A Legitimate Hope To Cure Ailments But Tony Stark Shuns And Embarrasses Him

    In a flashback in Iron Man 3, Aldrich Killian approaches his idol Tony Stark with the hope of collaborating in his idea to come up with a way to cure ailments, as Killian himself suffers from a number of health-related issues. The naive Killian is ecstatic when he's told by Stark at the Bern 2000 conference that he wants to hear his proposition on the roof of the building, only to find out Stark ditched him to hook up with Maya Hansen.

    This rejection almost makes the depressed Killian take his own life as he feels mocked by Tony for downplaying his disabilities. After Stark ditches Maya the next morning, as well, she collaborates with Killian to create Extremis in an attempt to heal bodily injuries. However, Tony's lack of interest means he's not there to fix the underlying issues in the project, and Extremis ends up becoming a dangerous virus.

    All in all, Killian and Maya wanted Tony's help with an idea that would have helped mankind, but he ended up embarrassing both of them.

  • Erik Killmonger defeats T'Challa to become the king of Wakanda, but is seen as the bad guy due to his plan of providing Wakandan weaponry to marginalized groups around the world. Although he ultimately reaches extreme lengths, Killmonger's reasoning is sound since he argues that his father N'Jobu was slain by his own brother King T'Chaka for wanting to use Wakandan technology to help people outside the country. Killmonger was also left without a father and was essentially banished from his birthright to challenge for the Wakandan throne. 

    All in all, Killmonger's campaign against Wakanda was of T'Chaka's own doing for taking N'Jobu's life and refusing to help the world when he could have. In the end, T'Challa agrees that Killmonger was right and decides to reveal Wakanda's true nature, meaning the villain was right all along.