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Every MCU Villain of 2023, Ranked From Awfully Evil to Just Plain Awful

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2023 was a year of ups and downs for the MCU, to put it mildly. With three movies and two Disney Plus shows released, the franchise’s offerings veered from universally acclaimed to the most embarrassing bombs Marvel has ever produced.

In some ways, a superhero story is only as good as its villain, so it probably only makes sense that this uneven quality also extends to the bad guys the MCU’s 2023 dished out as well. Across Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, The Marvels, Secret Invasion, and Loki season 2, we met a couple of villains that MCU fans will be talking about for years to come as well as a couple we could hardly remember a thing about once the credits rolled.

Ranked from worst to best, let’s sort the recent MCU villains we love to hate from those we are ambivalent about tolerating.

5. Dar-Benn

Photo via Marvel Studios

I will happily go on record as a defender of The Marvels — it’s a breezy, fast-paced popcorn movie with wonderful chemistry between its leads and a literal beast of a post-credits scene. But, yes, even I have to admit that Dar-Benn is an atrociously underwritten villain. A throwback to the bad old days of Malekith and Kaecilius, the Kree warmonger is less of a character than a walking obstacle to cause our trio of heroines some headaches in order to get the plot going. To be honest, this was probably exactly what director Nia DaCosta was going for, but it couldn’t have hurt to give Dar-Benn a little more texture.

4. Gravik

Gravik yells in his natural Skrull form in Secret Invasion
Screenshot via Marvel Studios

Gravik, like Secret Invasion itself, started out with a lot of potential. In the first episode alone, he proved himself one of the deadliest, no-nonsense villains in the entire franchise by killing hundreds in a terrorist attack. Not to mention offing an iconic MCU character in Maria Hill (still not cool, Marvel). Unfortunately, as the weeks went on, Gravik’s overall schemes and motivations grew murkier not clearer and by the end this once impressive antagonist was reduced to an ugly CGI eyesore of a slug fight with Emilia Clarke. Kingsley Ben-Adir might’ve also spent the summer in Barbie Land, but Gravik turned out not to be Kenough.

3. Kang the Conqueror

ant man and the wasp quantumania kang
Image via Marvel Studios

Third place?! Third place for the much-anticipated overarching evil of the entire Multiverse Saga? Yes, this placement would’ve seemed unthinkable back at the beginning of the year, when the Quantumania trailers were promising something epic and dark, but although we were expecting Kang to tear the Ant-Man family apart, the guy who’s supposed to be the new Thanos actually lost to a bunch of overgrown insects. And, if we’re counting Victor Timely from Loki season 2 as a Kang, then he was also turned to spaghetti approximately 500 times. In other words, the MCU has definitely failed to convince us he’s big bad material, but he has successfully auditioned to become the MCU’s answer to Kenny from South Park.

2. The High Evolutionary

The High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji) in 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3'
Image via Marvel Studios

Yes, the actual greatest MCU movie villain of 2023 will come as no surprise — it has to be the High Evolutionary from Guardians 3. He may lack a backstory or detailed motivations, but that’s actually the key to making this mad scientist with delusions of grandeur so thoroughly unpleasant. We all know that the most heinous sin any movie villain can commit is being mean to an animal, so the HE’s heartless experiments on Rocket and his friends ensure he’s very possibly the most hateable antagonist in Marvel history. The effectiveness of the character, especially when compared with Kang, might be bad news for the MCU, but it’s wonderful news for James Gunn’s DCU, which may just kill it on the villain front (no pressure, Nicholas Hoult’s Lex Luthor).

1. Miss Minutes

Miss Minutes winks at Victor Timely in 'Loki' season 2, episode 3.
Screenshot via Marvel Studios/Disney Plus

Part of the brilliance of Loki season 2 is that it didn’t have a traditional villain figure, as the plot concerned Loki solving the problem of how to save the TVA and the timeline rather than simply battling a foe. And yet it still gave us arguably the most chilling villain of the MCU’s 2023. Yes, Kang can try all he likes, but there’s no one more sinister and intimidating than Miss Minutes. The contrast between Tara Strong’s perky vocal performance and the AI’s vindictive nature makes for one of the most unique and unsettling MCU antagonists ever. From what we’ve seen so far, it’s easy to believe she’s the real ultimate threat the multiverse is facing right now, not the Kangs. Imagine if she did get herself a body. The Avengers wouldn’t know what had hit them.


2023 was a year of ups and downs for the MCU, to put it mildly. With three movies and two Disney Plus shows released, the franchise’s offerings veered from universally acclaimed to the most embarrassing bombs Marvel has ever produced.

In some ways, a superhero story is only as good as its villain, so it probably only makes sense that this uneven quality also extends to the bad guys the MCU’s 2023 dished out as well. Across Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, The Marvels, Secret Invasion, and Loki season 2, we met a couple of villains that MCU fans will be talking about for years to come as well as a couple we could hardly remember a thing about once the credits rolled.

Ranked from worst to best, let’s sort the recent MCU villains we love to hate from those we are ambivalent about tolerating.

5. Dar-Benn

Dar-Benn in The Marvels
Photo via Marvel Studios

I will happily go on record as a defender of The Marvels — it’s a breezy, fast-paced popcorn movie with wonderful chemistry between its leads and a literal beast of a post-credits scene. But, yes, even I have to admit that Dar-Benn is an atrociously underwritten villain. A throwback to the bad old days of Malekith and Kaecilius, the Kree warmonger is less of a character than a walking obstacle to cause our trio of heroines some headaches in order to get the plot going. To be honest, this was probably exactly what director Nia DaCosta was going for, but it couldn’t have hurt to give Dar-Benn a little more texture.

4. Gravik

Gravik yells in his natural Skrull form in Secret Invasion
Screenshot via Marvel Studios

Gravik, like Secret Invasion itself, started out with a lot of potential. In the first episode alone, he proved himself one of the deadliest, no-nonsense villains in the entire franchise by killing hundreds in a terrorist attack. Not to mention offing an iconic MCU character in Maria Hill (still not cool, Marvel). Unfortunately, as the weeks went on, Gravik’s overall schemes and motivations grew murkier not clearer and by the end this once impressive antagonist was reduced to an ugly CGI eyesore of a slug fight with Emilia Clarke. Kingsley Ben-Adir might’ve also spent the summer in Barbie Land, but Gravik turned out not to be Kenough.

3. Kang the Conqueror

ant man and the wasp quantumania kang
Image via Marvel Studios

Third place?! Third place for the much-anticipated overarching evil of the entire Multiverse Saga? Yes, this placement would’ve seemed unthinkable back at the beginning of the year, when the Quantumania trailers were promising something epic and dark, but although we were expecting Kang to tear the Ant-Man family apart, the guy who’s supposed to be the new Thanos actually lost to a bunch of overgrown insects. And, if we’re counting Victor Timely from Loki season 2 as a Kang, then he was also turned to spaghetti approximately 500 times. In other words, the MCU has definitely failed to convince us he’s big bad material, but he has successfully auditioned to become the MCU’s answer to Kenny from South Park.

2. The High Evolutionary

The High Evolutionary (Chukwudi Iwuji) in 'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3'
Image via Marvel Studios

Yes, the actual greatest MCU movie villain of 2023 will come as no surprise — it has to be the High Evolutionary from Guardians 3. He may lack a backstory or detailed motivations, but that’s actually the key to making this mad scientist with delusions of grandeur so thoroughly unpleasant. We all know that the most heinous sin any movie villain can commit is being mean to an animal, so the HE’s heartless experiments on Rocket and his friends ensure he’s very possibly the most hateable antagonist in Marvel history. The effectiveness of the character, especially when compared with Kang, might be bad news for the MCU, but it’s wonderful news for James Gunn’s DCU, which may just kill it on the villain front (no pressure, Nicholas Hoult’s Lex Luthor).

1. Miss Minutes

Miss Minutes winks at Victor Timely in 'Loki' season 2, episode 3.
Screenshot via Marvel Studios/Disney Plus

Part of the brilliance of Loki season 2 is that it didn’t have a traditional villain figure, as the plot concerned Loki solving the problem of how to save the TVA and the timeline rather than simply battling a foe. And yet it still gave us arguably the most chilling villain of the MCU’s 2023. Yes, Kang can try all he likes, but there’s no one more sinister and intimidating than Miss Minutes. The contrast between Tara Strong’s perky vocal performance and the AI’s vindictive nature makes for one of the most unique and unsettling MCU antagonists ever. From what we’ve seen so far, it’s easy to believe she’s the real ultimate threat the multiverse is facing right now, not the Kangs. Imagine if she did get herself a body. The Avengers wouldn’t know what had hit them.

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