The 5 Most Horrorific Marvel Villains

Friday, July 6 by Joseph Gibson

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Sure, the heroes of Marvel Comics tend to get all the praise and adoration, but what about the bad guys? Without them, those beloved superheroes wouldn't have anyone to fight, and who would give a damn about them then? A whole movie of Thor trying to fix a copy machine at work? No thanks. Here is our salute to the bad guys: The five best (worst?) Marvel villains.

Colonel William Stryker, "X2"

Is there anything scarier than a military man with an agenda? Maybe, but when that agenda is the absolute extermination of mutantkind, maybe not. That's Stryker's evil plan in the sequel to "X-Men," and one of the best superhero movies ever made. His cold-blooded plan is to overload the brains of every mutant on Earth with the X-Men's Cerebro computer – trust us, it makes sense in the movie. The fact that he'd be killing millions of innocent people doesn't seem to bother him. In fact, he seems to like it.

Ivan Vanko, "Iron Man 2"

Ivan Vanko

Mickey Rourke is pretty great at playing bad guys, and his villainous turn in "Iron Man 2" is no exception. He's a pretty terrifying badass even before he builds a super-duper-battlesuit to fight Iron Man with, and once he gets that, watch out. His character is a combination of two villains from the "Iron Man" comics – Whiplash and Crimson Dynamo. With a big dose of Mickey Rourke added to the mix, this is not a guy to be trifled with.

Green Goblin, "Spider-Man"

Unlike the world of comic books, the key to a good villain in a movie is all in the casting. And with Willem Dafoe as the Green Goblin, casting doesn't get much better. Dafoe plays Norman Osborne, who goes insane after being exposed to a process that enhances his physical capabilities. So he does what all self-respecting insane people would do: Dress up as a green goblin and fly around lobbing pumpkin bombs at people. Ah, insanity.

The Red Skull, "Captain America"

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As real-life villains go, you can't do much worse than Nazi Germany. So, just to illustrate, Red Skull is a guy who took a look at the Nazis and was like "nope, not evil enough." This is one book that can be judged by its incredibly horrifying cover: Visually, the Red Skull is one of the most iconic villains in comics, and Hugo Weaving brings him to life with a voice that sounds suspiciously like Werner Herzog. Did Herzog OK this?

Loki, "The Avengers" and "Thor"

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Tom Hiddleston made his Marvel Studios debut in "Thor," but it wasn't until "The Avengers" that he truly revealed himself as one of the great Hollywood villains. Loki is the god of mischief, so he has an appropriate amount of fun in "The Avengers" stirring up the muck and causing the deaths of countless innocents. How do we know this? Because he's grinning the whole time!

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