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Movie adaptions of comic book superheroes have never been bigger or better, but each new one or franchise requires a supervillain that is just as memorable as the main protagonist. As the stakes and threats are set higher and higher each year, and Marvel’s shared universes continue to unite heroes against a mutual enemy, the baddies will need to advance their game quickly. That may seem like a difficult task, but there’s no shortage of villains who could deal the business. Here is our list of the 10 Most Powerful Marvel Villains.
ULTRON – AVENGERS AGE OF ULTRON
The classic Marvel villain Ultron may have been made famous in The Avengers Age of Ultron, but his comic book version is even far more dangerous. Hank Pym originally created Ultron using his own mind as a foundation, giving the A.I. genius-level intellect, and helping it to upgrade itself a plentiful of times before battling the Avengers.
Building a new body out of the indestructible metal Adamantium, Ultron’s abilities go beyond superstrength, flight, or speed. He’s extremely hard to kill, turning on every other villain who helped bringing him back to life. Add the fact that he can control technology from afar, and even hypnotize humans to cover secret missions, and Ultron’s continuously evolving intelligence can go hand-in-hand with the best comic book villains, period.
DARK PHOENIX – X-MEN SERIES
Back when Jean Grey was only the psychic ‘Marvel Girl’, the authors of the famous X-Men series decided to paralyze readers by making her the most powerful mutant to existence. Exposing Jean to lethal radiation, she then became ‘Dark Phoenix’, a physical form of the cosmic and in another word ‘Phoenix Force’. Jean’s overpowered abilities ultimately corrupted her, driving her crazy and wiping out alien worlds by accident. Wielding telekinetic and psychic power beyond any of her fellows, Phoenix decided to end her own life to prevent more death.
Even though the publisher would afterward reveal it wasn’t really Jean, but rather a clone created by the Phoenix Force, The Phoenix Saga remains a fan-favorite. The story was adapted on film by director Brett Ratner, but it couldn’t compare to the original comics.
THANOS – THE AVENGERS
The alien known as the Mad Titan joined the Avengers universe during their first team-up, depicting that Earth’s first encounter with magical cosmic weapons was only the beginning. In the comics, ancient cosmic beings created a race of Eternals to defend the Earth, but when Thanos was born, the genes he shared with the Eternals’ sworn enemies were clear, and he was kept away. To show his true love to Mistress Death, Thanos in Avengers killed countless innocent beings across space, including his own people. He may have been based on the DC Comics villain Darkseid, but using the Infinity Gauntlet to enhance his superhuman strength, psychic powers, and universe-teleporting technology, Thanos has defeated Marvel’s leading heroes too often.
VULCAN – X-MEN SERIES
Every X-Men fan recognizes of the Summers brothers, known as Cyclops and Havok, and both able to inflict powerful energy attacks. Scott, in the form of beams from his eyes, and Alex, released in waves or along his arms. But it’s the third Summers brother, Gabriel, who personally call himself the most powerful. Since he’s basically able to control energy in almost every form, Gabriel can deflect Cyclops’ eyebeams, avoid psychic attacks, and even steal the abilities of other mutants.
When he feels betrayed by professor X, he takes the alias Gabriel, and turns against his own family. Fortunately, he pursued his villain path in space, not on Earth, becoming the leader of an entire alien empire.
GALACTUS – FANTASTIC FOUR
Originally designed to fight the Fantastic Four, Galactus isn’t an alien, or a god but actually a bit of both. Before the Big Bang created Marvel’s universe, an alien escape from the death of the one that came before, generating with its essence before the new one took its place. Galactus was born: a god-like presence of the cosmos that most beings can’t even understand, who has to feed on living planets to stay alive.
His scout, the Silver Surfer may get most of the recognition, but Galactus has the power to do nearly anything: transform matter, instant transport, create life, resurrect the dead and more. Even the ingenious Reed Richards couldn’t tell just where Galactus’ powers limit, but exploiting his weak spots has saved Earth more than a few times.
Lots of Marvel villains can be regarded as the biggest threat a universe has to offer, but few can actually prove that they ARE a universe. When The Beyonder appeared as the main antagonist of Marvel’s “Secret Wars”, it was unfolded that he wasn’t mutant or alien, but actually an entire universe known as ‘The Beyond’ condensed into a human form.
And his powers were as incredible as you’d thought. Able to easily banish demons, destroy, grant life, and reshape beings at will, The Beyonder was even able to successfully take on Death itself. How did The Beyonder first use that power? He throw heroes and villains into a bloody fight for fun, proving that even if your existence is an infinite one, a sense of humor can’t hurt.
When an advanced race from Marvel’s Negative Zone seeded lifeless worlds with alien spores, they couldn’t have thought that one spore would develop into Annihilus. Evolving from a weak insect into an incredible warrior thanks to his creators’ technology, Annihilus started to destroy anything he regards as a threat including the Avengers, Fantastic Four, and almost every other Marvel superhero team. It’s hard to guess what’s more terrified: the Cosmic Control Rod he owns, granting him supernatural strength and immortality, or his Centurions – 200 superpowered aliens came from the Negative Zone’s many planets. On top of that, keep in mind that he can’t be killed without coming back to life even more powerful than before.
APOCALYPSE- X-MEN APOCALYPSE
Five thousand years before mutants harmonize into the Marvel Universe, there was Apocalypse. Born with distinctive grey skin and blue lips in ancient Egypt, his tribe left him to die. Instead, he was saved by a band of warriors who recognized him as “En Sabah Nur” – the first, immortal mutant. Over the years, Apocalypse would take on a new alias, and show more mutant powers than nearly another other Marvel character. He can reshape his body, have super strength, speed, and almost everything else, there’s nothing the villain can’t change to defeat. Ultimately taking over Earth and mutant beings to separate the weak from the strong, no one could ever make the X-Men petrified like Apocalypse.
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