It’s probably a fair assumption that everyone has made their way to theaters to watch Avengers: Age of Ultron this past weekend. Even if not, just by the title you know Ultron takes on the role of villain in the film. Now with that down and Ultron taking such a prominent role, we wanted to look at the top ten best Avengers villains. We encompassed everyone; some we have seen in films while some we would still like to see make the big screen leap one day. Check out our top picks below and of course let us know who your favorite Avenger villains are in the comments!
10. Yellow Jacket/Hank Pym (First Appearance Tales To Astonish #27)
I hate, hate, and totally do not like putting an anti-hero on our list, but facts are facts. Hank (Ant-Man/Giant Man/Yellow Jacket) Pym is a founding member of the Avengers. He has also has been one of the team’s major issues over the last several decades. He created Ultron (which will find his way on the list), but he had several issues with being bi-polar and manic-depressive. He was one of the first Avengers to be court martialed. Hank has been both good and bad for the Avengers. Some issues that are of notable are Avengers vol 1. #59, 161, 213, 217, 224, 227-230.
9. The Grim Reaper (First Appearance Avengers #52 vol. 1)
This guy has been a pain the Avenger’s butt for a really long time. The thing about the Reaper is that he’s family too. He is Simon (Wonder Man) William’s brother. The Reaper has mostly gone through plots of revenge against the Avengers over the years. He had used Baron Zemo’s empowering agent to up grade Simon to Wonder Man. Simon was supposed to infiltrate the Avengers and betray them to Zemo. This didn’t work out so well for Simon since he was killed in the battle to save the Avengers. The Grim Reaper did not take this so well over the years and even resurrected Simon to help him again. His scythe weapon was designed to place his victims in a coma. Old stories you should check out are Avengers #52, 106-108, and 160 is an awesome issue penciled by George Perez.
8. Squadron Supreme (First Appearance Avengers vol 1 #85)
The Squad was Marvel’s answer to the Justice League at one point. Hyperion was Superman, Dr Spectrum was Green Lantern, Nighthawk was Batman and so forth. The reasoning behind it was so that the Squad (JLA) could fight the Avengers and make some way of justifying the battle. The Squadron Supreme came from the alternate Earth-712. The confused the Avengers as another villain group called the Squadron Sinister. The downside of all this confusion made the Squad out to be more of a villain group themselves then the heroes they were in their own world. Some of their major appearances are Avengers #85, 141-144, Avengers vol 3 #5-6. They had a twelve issue mini-series in 1986 and a graphic novel 1989.
7. Attuma (First Appearance Fantastic Four vol 1 #33)
While Attuma originally appeared in the Fantastic Four first, he’s been more of a bane to the Avengers over the years. He would be a foil to Namor, or the bad version of Namor if you will. He has either wanted to conquer the surface world or take over the throne of Atlantis over the years. What can you say about a guy that’s a fishy Warlord at heart. He was killed at one point and resurrected by Doctor Doom. Who knew Doom could put heads back on people’s bodies? Attuma also had the pleasure of fighting in the Fear Itself story line. Some issues that are must reads are Avengers vol 1 26-27, 154-156, Avengers Annual 17, Avengers vol 3 42-44.
6. Thanos (First Appearance Iron Man #55 1973)
By now everyone and their grandma knows the “Mad Titan”. Thanos has become a shadow bad guy for the cinematic Marvel Universe. The truth be told is that all he really wants is to be loved. His bride of choice just happens to be lady Death herself. Now Thanos has tried universal domination several times over and annoying the crap out of the Avengers on many occasions. Thanos is a power house with super strength and energy power that rivals the power cosmic itself. His most notable battle with the Avengers was the Infinity Gauntlet series. With a snap of a finger he offed half the universe with a thought after gathering the infinity stones. So you can see why our Avengers on the silver screen have their work cut out for them in the coming years. Some of his best appearances are Avengers Annual #7, 1977 Marvel Two-in-One Annual #2 1977, Thanos:Infinity Gauntlet 1-6 and Avengers Assemble 1-8
5. Kang the Conqueror (First Appearance as Kang Avengers #8 1964)
Kang the Conqueror was another villain that started in the Fantastic Four but became more of an Avenger’s foe over the years. Now the crazy thing here is that he is the father to Reed Richards and a Doom decendent. Interesting how family ties can create all kinds of issues for our heroes. The Avengers have fought Kang on numerous issues. He is from the future and comes back to the past to conquer it to save his future home. The guy is all over the place. He recently fought the Uncanny Avengers and actually destroyed the earth in an alternate reality. Some issues you should check out with Kang appearances are Avengers vol 1 69-71, Avengers Giant Size #2, Avengers West Coast 48-62 and Avengers Forever 1-12
4. Masters of Evil (First Appearance Avengers vol 1 #6)
Even the bad guys get to team-up from time to time. The Masters of Evil were originally put together by Baron Zemo. He was always out to get Captain America so getting other bad guys in on the cause was a good idea. The Masters line was never always the same but were always out to defeat the Avengers. They almost succeeded in beating the Avengers in issue #270. They destroyed the Avenger’s mansion and put Jarvis in the hospital. They eventually turned the “EVIL” part around and became the Thunderbolts, which was an evil plan of Zemo’s but worked out better for other members of the group. If you can get them, pick up Avengers #54-54, Avengers 270-277 and Thunderbolts 1-30.
3. Korvac (First Appearance Giant Size Defenders #3)
Korvac was actually one of the least fought villains on our list. What makes his appearance so significant is the fact that he actually defeated all but four Avengers. Korvac was once a normal man who was altered by the alien race Badoon. His lower half was severed and grafted with a computer thing that looks like a giant floating box. Through a series of events he gained the power cosmic from Galatus’s ship. Korvac eventually came to earth and married the daughter of the Collector, Carina. They hid themselves from being detected by even killing and resurrecting the Guardian of the Galaxy Starhawk. During this time the Avengers were being collected by the Collector. They eventually defeated the Collector and Korvac disintegrated the him. All this lead the Avengers to Korvac living with Corina as a middle-aged couple. Korvac slayed all the Avengers but four. Corina doubted Korvac which caused him to fall in battle. Corina killed the remaining Avengers except Thor. Thor over powered her and defeated her. In Korvac’s dying breath and last of his power cosmic he saved all the Avengers. He was trying to create a utopia on the planet so his motivations were more misguided then evil. The Avenger issues that you should read for this story line are issues #167-177.
2. Ultron (First Appearance Avengers vol 1 #54 and 55)
Ultron has caused more issues for the Avengers then almost every villain on our list. Ultron was created by Henry Pym. He was design to be a peaceful AI robot designed for helping mankind. This was never the case since Ultron saw all biological life as a simple waste of space. Ultron has been difficult for the Avengers to stop for quite a while, considering his body is made out of pure adamantium (it’s a made up Marvel metal that cannot be destroyed, i.e. same stuff on Wolverine’s bones). Unfortunately for Ultron, the Scarlet Witch could always alter realities and destroy him. Some reading with Ultron as the baddie are Avengers vol 1 #54, 55, 161, 162, Avengers vol 3 19-22, Mighty Avengers 1-6 and The Age of Ultron 1-10.
1. Loki (First Appearance Journey into Mystery #85 1962)
Loki. Where would we be without Loki? There would be no Avengers to speak of without him. Loki is the reason the Avengers exist. It’s actually the same in the films as it is in the comics. So way back in 1963, Loki went after his brother Thor on Midgard (Earth). Instead of defeating his brother, he inspired a group of heroes to join together in a single fight to save the Earth. Loki regrets this day for sure. He has been seeking his revenge for sometime now. One of the best storylines that have been written in the pages of the Avengers was the Acts of Vengeance. Loki disguised himself and convinced several villains to attack heroes that they generally never fought. It was a good plan except that a hero is a hero regardless of the task at hand. Loki eventually met his end at his brother Thor’s hammer but some trick time travel saved his trickster life. The best stories about Loki against the Avengers vol 1 #1 (if you can afford it), Avengers 310-313, West Coast Avengers 53-55, and Avengers vol 2 4-6.