Marvel Cinematic Universe: What Makes A Good Villain?

Until recently, Marvel has had a serious villain problem in that they were essentially all the same and their goals rarely differed from some form of world destruction and mass death. Besides Loki, this is all they ever wanted which seems odd in such a successful universe where their heroes have been developed to a greater extent.

Loki’s reign of terror, occasional and brief as it’s been stems from knowing he was completely unwanted by his family and adopted, not because of love. But because one man thought it could bridge between two warring civilisations. He was wrong and Loki is soon revealed to be the villain. You can feel and share in his pain when he yells to Odin “TELL ME!” to Odin in Thor. These gut wrenching two words tells us all that we need to know about how he wants to be accepted but knows deep down never will be. Tom Hiddleston’s Shakespearean-esque performance gave Loki the depth required for someone who is a desperate as this and it’s something we’ve not seen much of in the MCU until recently.

So what exactly makes Loki so good at being bad? Why do we all almost side with Kilmmonger’s quest? Is Michael Keaton’s working class villain the perfect portrayal of what we would all do in his shoes? A villain is only as good as what he allows him or herself to be, this is what makes them who they are.

Evil Plot

As I mentioned, a lot of these plots include multiple deaths, destroying as much as possible and an end goal of taking over the world. After seeing this countless times, it has become a derivative plot device for multiple villains. Frankly, it’s boring! It’s where the MCU has suffered greatly, bad guys like Ronan the Accuser (Guardians of the Galaxy) and Malekith (Thor: The Dark World) want control for no real reason besides power plus they weren’t exactly fully fleshed out characters so it just added to he boredom. 

Recently with Killmonger (Black Panther) and Vulture (Michael Keaton) it seems as if the MCU is doing away with these old tropes. Killmonger wanted what was rightfully his in Wakanda and Vulture was a working class man providing for his family whose lively hood was taken away from him from the higher ups. The pair of them were developed in smart quick ways within one film which goes to show that it is possible to do this. You not only have an vested interest in their personal missions, you sympathise with what they are going through and you almost want them to succeed.

Human Characteristics

The reason people love Loki so much isn’t because he’s so terrific at what he does, it’s because he does it with a cheeky grin across his face. Whether he’s concocting a plan, in the middle of a plot he’s hatched or just quipping to irritate someone, he has a sense of fun about it. It’s a personality trait which people gravitate towards, if you’re laid back, relaxed, seemingly happy, then you create more admiration for yourself. This is exactly what Loki does, whilst wanting his plans and schemes to succeed there’s an element of fun. He clearly enjoys being a trickster and despite being a mass murderer, we all still love him. 

Others were comparatively one dimensional, looking at Obadiah Stane (Iron Man), he transcends the norm before going full-on typical villain. He’s been wanting to be in charge of Stark Industries for years and when Howard Stark dies, this should have been shot. But when Tony returns to take over the empire, it thwarts any plans he had. It’s understandable but he then becomes far too generic and whilst his plan isn’t quite world domination, he still wants to rule via death and destruction.

Layered Personality

Having an original plot and some human characteristics will only get you so far. But where do these things come from? What makes you develop that scheme and make you more interesting than most? Well it’s all to do with the bad guy’s personality, it’s what gives each villain something that makes us relate to them. A perfect example of this is Vulture whose main goal is to be the breadwinner for his family. He’s an everyday hard working guy and when it’s taken away from him, it’s hard not to sympathise. Loki being in pain (we mostly see this in Thor and Avengers) is a trait that makes up seem more human. This side of his personality coming from what he’s known about his true parentage all this time. 

These villains are pretty diverse with cathartic performances but the one who, unlike others is understated is Zemo (Captain America: Civil War). He plots to tear the Avengers apart from the inside after his family are killed in Sokovia during the event of Age of Ultron. No doubt that they are to blame, but the best thing about this is how meticulous Zemo is in his plan and the calm manner in which he conducts himself. The complexity of his plot comes to a head with Captain America, Iron Man and Bucky all ending up in one place. It’s smart, ruthless and intentionally cruel. Above all of that, he like the best bad guys is human. He has a relatable tale and Daniel Brühl’s nuanced performance captures what a man can do with patience and determination.

In that all important final battle with your adversary, you need to have some qualities which redeem your character. Aspects about yourself which make you a lot more rounded than your bog standard villain. Killmonger, Loki, Zemo and Vulture all succeed in creating well-rounded, ambitious villains which is what I’m hoping for in Infinity War. We’ll have to find out what Thanos is holding when he comes knocking.

Keep. It. Reel.

Spider-Man: Homecoming images

When Captain America: Civil War hit the theatres, there were several new characters who entered the MCU and began their long life with the comic book studio. Both Black Panther and Spider-Man were spoke of highly. With no surprise, there were those who questioned what more could be done with a character who has had five films already and God forbid we get another origin story. Although I’m sure Tom Holland’s crying face wouldn’t be as awful and cringeworthy as Tobey Maguire’s.

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YIKES!

Marvel aren’t stupid, they wouldn’t tread this ground once more. When we meet Peter Parker he has had his powers for six months and at the time was swinging around in a home-made costume. Now after his turn in Civil War he’s coming back with his own movie, with Marvel. It’s a bout time the web slinger returned, it’s such a fantastic sight, I’m so excited. Spider-Man is one of my all time favourite superheros and in Tom Holland, they’ve got someone who can bring the cocky nervousness of the character to life.

Check out these first images taken on set of Spider-Man: Homecoming. The film is due out next year.

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Captain America. Civil War. The best images from trailer 2

We’ve been given something absolutely incredible, I didn’t even know it was coming until I saw the announcement the day before. A new Captain America Civil War trailer was headed our way and the excitement was just too much to handle! I sat there with bated breath, waiting for it to drop but it didn’t. I waited all morning, as long as I possible could without being late for work, but still nothing. My patience wasn’t rewarded until much later in the day when I received a text from an equally geek friend of mine (I have lots of these!) who exclaimed “Civil War trailer just got me a lil excited!” I squealed, I ran, I ran as soon as I could find a quiet spot to watch this whilst I should have been working (people can take cigarette breaks, I can do this.)

Well, it was certainly worth the wait; extra footage, but not giving away too much, a few more words of dialogue thrown in, proof that Black Panther’s armour is extremely tough and of course the reveal of Underoos himself, Spiderman who looks fantastic! This is what happens when the right studio has him on board. Well done to both Marvel and Sony for getting that deal sorted.

I just wanted to share a bunch of images from the trailer, basically my favourite screenshots that got me very excited indeed! Take a look below

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Bucky in some sort of chamber at the start of the trailer, what the hell is he in??

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The Raft, as it is known in the comics, is seen during the trailer. This is a superhero prison for those who do not stick to the Sokovia Accords. This was supposed to extend into the negative zone, however this is part of the Fantastic Four, who are currently owned by Fox. Not much we can do about that! Bloody Fox!

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And this is inside the prison, with several cells.

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Bucky (or what looks like his stunt double) being chased down by Black Panther

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Tony Stark putting his wrist hand Iron Man gadget into use…

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…it starts comes to life…

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….and pretty much finishes looking like this.

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Just in time as Bucky fires a gun straight at his face. Yikes!

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Is Rhodes dead? (I doubt it!)

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Black Panther’s armour taking a bullet, which makes perfect sense as it’s made of vibranium, the same material as Captain America’s shield.

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Scarlett Witch attacking Vision

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Vision feeling the effect of Scarlett Witch’s powers.

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Hawkeye launching an arrow…

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…with Antman on board. Something which has been taken from the comic books, it’s great to see them sticking with the original story in places.

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Crossbones swinging at Captain America.

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“Stay down, final warning”

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“I could do this all day!”

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The two of them going toe to toe

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Team Captain America

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Team Iron Man

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The epic battle just about to take place, who will be victorious?

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Who’s that??

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“Hey everyone!” Finally, Spiderman in the MCU.

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Superbowl 50: TV spots and trailers

It’s that time of year again, where two teams have battled it out in America to become…something. I have no idea what the Superbowl is, why it’s watched by so many fans and how huge this bowl must be, I’m guessing you could have a pretty large amount of cereal for your morning breakfast with it. What I do know is that companies and studios spend millions of dollars on short adverts due to the volume of people watching around the globe. It’s reported that a 30 second advert or TV spot can cost around $4,000,000 to show during the breaks. It’s a massive money maker when this time of the year rolls around.

What I most look forward to are the TV spots and the trailers shown, normally with something new mixed with what we’ve already seen in a 2 minute trailer. Most of what has been released now is pretty standard stuff, a few new shots and scenes here and there. But the two big ones are the Jungle Book and Bourne. For The Jungle Book it’s the second trailer, but this time with talking animals and one thing I particularly love is that the child actor playing Mowgli’s real first name is Neel!

With the new Bourne movie, simply titled Jason Bourne, we haven’t seen any footage before and it’s come as a real shock to me! It’s gritty, brutal and it tells you nothing, just the it looks like Bourne is far from living a normal life. I’m very excited for Matt Damon’s return to the franchise which is truly one of the best and overlooked trilogies out there.

Have a look at the rest, all of which I’ve put below. Enjoy!

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