Phase 1 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe feels like a lifetime ago. Considering how much has happened since that first set of movies, with the number of characters and storylines that have cropped up, it can be almost tough to remember what even went down to kick things off. It’s why we need to really dig deep to think about the Best Phase 1 Marvel Villain, the antagonist that sparked the most love/ hate in terms of movie bad guys. Well, SlashFilm conducted a survey to see where fans rang in on the subject and there was one who stood out from the rest.
With over 40% of the vote based on their poll, Loki came in as the Best Phase 1 Marvel Villain. Is it really all that much of a surprise? After all, Tom Hiddleston as Loki ended up being the villain for two of the six movies in this phase (Thor and Marvel’s The Avengers) meaning he dominated this realm at the beginning. And the character has had immense staying power as well. Unlike many of the other villains from this beginning timeline, Loki has taken part in so many other productions since then.
To be the Best Phase 1 Marvel Villain, it helps that Loki, in addition to those first couple of movies, has also been around for Thor: The Dark World, Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame. And, of course, Hiddleston just finished up an amazing run as the character on the eponymously titled Disney+ series which introduced a number of different versions of Loki as well as the Multiverse itself. One could argue that though he started as a villain in the beginning, Loki is as important to the overall Marvel Cinematic Universe as almost any other character at this point.
Finishing behind Loki on the list for Best Phase 1 Marvel Villain was Red Skull, who didn’t have quite the screentime/ staying power but did work his way into other pieces of the MCU. Originally, we met the character in Captain America: The First Avenger when he was portrayed by Hugo Weaving. That shifted to actor Ross Marquand in the final two Phase 3 movies Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame when the character was protecting the Soul Stone. Those were bit parts, but he was a big part in helping establish Steve Rogers’ Captain America.
Rounding out the list of Best Phase 1 Marvel Villain were some rather forgettable folks like Arnim Zola from Captain America who made a reappearance in digital form for Winter Soldier. Plus there was Abomination from the equally forgettable Incredible Hulk, plus Iron Man nemeses Obadiah Stone from Iron Man, and Mickey Rourke’s Whiplash from Iron Man 2.
In all, this list of Best Phase 1 Marvel Villains comes in mostly the way you would think. If anything, Loki likely should have been an even bigger winner considering the work Hiddleston has done later on and the character’s role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in general. What do you think? Did fans get this list correct? Again, Phase 1 of Marvel seems like it came out in a different world and most of the villains have faded away just the same.