Here we go:
Captain America: Civil War
Although he may not look much like he does in the comics, the Baron Zemo we got in Captain America: Civil War somehow still works really well. We're first introduced to Crossbones early on in the film and he's your typical supervillain with the badass costume and everything but Zemo is then revealed to be the film's true main baddie and the fact he's a meek everyman you couldn't pick out in a line-up makes him all the more effective. To think that one guy with nothing to lose can single-handedly tear apart The Avengers from within, manipulating everyone from afar, says a lot about what Zemo is capable of. I shudder to think what he has in store next for the superteam...
Ang Lee's Hulk movie may not be the most popular Marvel film out there but some would say, me included, that it's something of an underrated effort. One of the best parts of the film is Nick Nolte who takes the whole mad scientist thing pretty far as David Banner, Bruce Banner's estranged father. Not only is the guy completely insane from start to finish, looking like an angry hobo, walking around with a mutated poodle, willingly turning himself into a monster, but he is later revealed to be a murderer and finally tries to kill his own son by showing off his new, inventive powers. Lee really fleshes out this character by revealing just how awful he is in careful amounts, little by little.
Whether it's Ian McKellen or Michael Fassbender portraying Magneto, the villain remains the only character the X-Men movies have consistently done right. Some of the uneven franchise's best moments involve Magneto whether it's the chilling opening scene in X-Men showing when he first uses his powers, his flashy prison escape in X-Men 2, the whole Golden Gate Bridge sequence in X-Men: The Last Stand, or when he lifts an entire baseball stadium in Days Of Future Past. He's always making the most of his powers and it's always awesome. The fact he's Professor Xavier's friend and is always so close to being an ally also makes him very interesting as well as unpredictable.
The Avengers: Age Of Ultron
After Loki proved himself to be a bit of a weak villain for The Avengers to take on, despite him being a worthy foe for Thor, we got Ultron in the second movie: a Tony Stark software creation who quickly tosses Jarvis aside before becoming sentient and taking over various robotic bodies. Part Stark, part soulless monster, Ultron is a physically imposing, creepy villain voiced to unnerving perfection by James Spader who makes him sound both threatening and camp, in a good way. I love how over-the-top Ultron is character-wise, how tough he is to destroy and how cruel he can be: he even tears off a dude's arm at one point, joking around as he does it. Eventually, he destroys an entire country and gives us the most exciting Avengers fight sequence in the process.
It's a shame that Hugo Weaving wasn't too keen on this character since he was so good as Red Skull and it would have been a treat to see him battle The Avengers alongside Loki in the first crossover. Although he is disposed of with surprising ease, Red Skull looks intimidating and he's just as megalomaniac and freakish as he's supposed to be. He's an old-fashioned supervillain complete with a secret lair, an army of faithful followers, a slimy sidekick and a fascist take-over-the-world evil plan that makes him a perfect contrasting force to Captain America. He probably could have done with more big moments in Captain America: The First Avenger but he did make an impact in the short time he was given.
The most enjoyable aspect of the Ben Affleck-starring Daredevil movie has to be Colin Farrell's portrayal of the villainous Bullseye who is hired by The Kingpin to take out The Man Without Fear. Farrell adds an Irish bad boy quality to the character and he has tons of fun with it. The guy is a criminal through and through, killing for no reason, enjoying every second of it and showing off his unusual talent in increasingly creative ways. You see him kill an old lady with a peanut, stab a guy in the throat with paperclips and kill Elektra's father with Daredevil's own weapon thereby framing him in the process. He also kicks both anti-heroes' butts in the movie multiple times and amusingly demands "a f***ing costume" once he decides to really go on a rampage.
Thor/Thor: The Dark World
Although I really was not too keen on Loki as the main villain in The Avengers, he soon won me back with a fun return in Thor: The Dark World thanks to a performance by Tom Hiddleston so entertaining, poor old Malekith was instantly forgotten. The villain is at his best in the original Thor, however, as we get to see him turn from one of Thor's closest allies to his arch-enemy in a very Shakespearian (or Asgardian, rather) turn of events. There's a tragedy to the character that's fascinating as, like Magneto, you feel like he could easily be on the good side if he didn't enjoy his powers so damn much. Loki just has a ball whenever he's toying with Thor and it's always great fun to see him come up with those elaborate evil plans of his.
THE WINTER SOLDIER
Captain America: The Winter Soldier/Civil War
On paper, The Winter Soldier may not sound like much with a metal arm being his main "thing", but as the second Captain America movie showed: there's more to him than meets the eye. Not only does he look cool with his face hidden and that motorbike, but he is just as strong as Cap and has a tragic backstory to say the least. When he is revealed to be none other than Steve Rogers' old pal Bucky Barnes, this adds a whole other level to the character and to Hydra which, as we soon learn, did not die with Red Skull. And just when you think he's become himself again, he is turned back into a killer and all Hell breaks loose. The Winter Soldier is not just Captain America's buddy, he's a dangerous, nearly unstoppable weapon and Tony Stark certainly had every right to be concerned.
Bet you didn't see that one coming! Yes, Doc Ock is my number 1 and the fact he's the only Spider-Man villain on the list tells you everything you need to know about the track-record Spidey villains have in movies. My main reason for having this character so high up on the list is that he's Spider-Man's arch-nemesis and Sam Raimi got him completely right, which is not easy to do. Alfred Molina is such a good guy before the whole "octopus" experiment that seeing him turn into a twisted maniac is kinda heartbreaking. The scene where he wakes up and kills a bunch of doctors with his metal tentacles, who have a mind of their own, is still chilling and all kinds of awesome. He's completely over-the-top and yet he's exactly what I wanted from a movie version of Doctor Octopus: a cruel yet conflicted madman poor old Spidey will have a hard time shutting down, especially with his powers fading.
So that is my Top 10 Best Modern Marvel Movie Villains list, here are a few honourable mentions:
OBADIAH STANE (Iron Man)
THE ABOMINATION (The Incredible Hulk)
THE SENTINELS (X-Men: Days Of Future Past)
WHIPLASH (Iron Man 2)
WILLIAM STRYKER (X-Men 2)
CROSSBONES (Captain America: Civil War)
JUSTIN HAMMER (Iron Man 2)
Did I miss someone? Who is your favourite Marvel movie villain? Let me know in the comments below!