Top 10 Comic Book Film Villains of 2014

This year has seen some of the finest villains do battle with our screen heroes in films such as X-Men: Days of Future Past & Captain America: Winter Soldier. Top 10 Films checks out the best of the best…

2014 has been a solid year for comic book movies, from Captain America: The Winter Soldier to X-Men: Days of Future Past to Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For. For each of those films, we have a story, and every story has a hero… and every hero has a villain. Villains have always been a great foil to our hero, and in 2014, we’ve had comic book villains that have ranged from the outstanding (Artemisia in 300: Rise of an Empire) to the embarrassing (Prince Naberius in I, Frankenstein) to the very disappointing (Electro in The Amazing Spider-Man 2). But, here on Top 10 Films, we give you the top 10 best comic book villains of 2014.

10. Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier – Sebastian Stan (Captain America: The Winter Soldier)

bucky-barnes_winter-soldier-captain-america_top10filmsBucky Barnes was Captain America/Steve Rogers’ best friend who was thought to have been killed during World War II. However, Barnes survived and was found by Soviet soldiers, but then ended up in HYDRA’s custody where they experimented on him, transforming Bucky into an enhanced brainwashed assassin. Now becoming the Winter Soldier, Bucky is an almost unstoppable force and HYDRA’s most dangerous weapon against Captain America and the whole of S.H.I.E.L.D.

9. Ronan the Accuser – Lee Pace (Guardians of the Galaxy)

Ronan-the-Accuser-in-Guardians-of-the-Galaxy_top10filmsA Kree fanatic that refused to heed his Empire’s peace treaty with the Nova Empire on Xandar, Ronan the Accuser forged an alliance with the Titanian Eternal, Thanos, agreeing to retrieve for him the powerful Infinity Stone in exchange for eradicating Xandar. A ferocious genocidal militarist with a twisted sense of morality, Ronan is the mortal enemy of the Guardians of the Galaxy and will stop at nothing to achieve both total annihilation of all his enemies and universal domination. Lee Pace is brilliant.

8. Alexander Pierce – Robert Redford (Captain America: The Winter Soldier)

robert-redford-alexander-pierce_top10filmsAlexander Pierce was HYDRA’s top undercover agent inside the United States Government, S.H.I.E.L.D., and the World Security Council. He commanded all the HYDRA forces within S.H.I.E.L.D., working to create a new world that was so chaotic, that its people would give up their own control of their lives. To that end, he created Project Insight, a project that would have given HYDRA absolute and dominant control over the entire world. Plus, bringing in Robert Redford to play that part was a stroke of genius, and he adds a great level of gravitas to what is essentially a typical action movie.

7. Bolivar Trask – Peter Dinklage (X-Men: Days of Future Past)

x-men-days-of-future-past-bolivar-trask_top10filmsOwner of Trask Industries and creator of the Sentinels, Bolivar Trask is a businessman with a racial hatred towards mutant-kind and wants to see it eradicated at any cost. To achieve this, he created the Sentinel Program, which sets the time-warping action and events in motion. Peter Dinklage is suavely sinister as Trask, allowing the bad doctor to take creepy geniality to a whole new level.

6. Nebula – Karen Gillan (Guardians of the Galaxy)

Guardians-of-the-Galaxy-Set-Interview-Karen-Gillan-NebulaA Luphomoid assassin, lieutenant of Ronan, and the adopted daughter of the intergalactic warlord, Thanos, Nebula is sadistic, cold and ruthless. Played to brilliance by Doctor Who’s Karen Gillan (who completely steals the villain spotlight from Lee Pace’s nose), Nebula is a very formidable adversary for the Guardians of the Galaxy, and her jealousy/rivalry with her sister and Guardians member, Gamora, is very intriguing. Here’s hoping she’ll return for the sequel.

5. The Sentinels (X-Men: Days of Future Past)

x-men-days-of-future-past-movie-screenshot-sentinel-fight_top10filmsCreated by the corrupt Bolivar Trask, the Sentinels are a race of mutant-hunting robots that are programmed with the intent on hunting and eradicating all mutant-life. Eventually the Sentinels expanded their targets to humans, seeing them as the cause for producing mutants, culminating into a dystopian future where most of humanity and mutant-kind have been wiped out. A real adversary for the X-Men, the Sentinels are powerful, as well as unstoppable.

4. Senator Roark – Powers Boothe (Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For)

sin-city-a-dame-to-kill-for-screenshot-senator-roark_top10filmsCorrupt politician and successful businessman, Senator Roark is the ruler of Sin City. He steps over everyone and has no qualms about committing horrendous acts. Whilst being reduced to a memorable cameo in the first film, Powers Boothe gets more screen time in the sequel, and he adds a real genuine level of viciousness and cruelty to the part.

3. Erik Lensherr/Magneto – Michael Fassbender/Sir Ian McKellan (X-Men: Days of Future Past)

x-men-days-of-future-magneto_top10filmsOne of the world’s most powerful mutants and the X-Men’s most dangerous foe. Unlike Professor Xavier who dreams of peaceful coexistence between humans and mutants, Magneto believes the only way he can protect his fellow mutants from persecution is by conquering the earth. So, even though they are to become reluctant allies to stop Trask and the Sentinels, Magneto nevertheless still wants to achieve his own ends and believes that the only ones that can stand in his way are the X-Men. Powerfully portrayed by Michael Fassbender and Sir Ian McKellan, both lend dramatic weight to the long-time adversary.

2. (TIE) Ava Lord – Eva Green (Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For)

sin-city2-eva-green-posterOff the back of 300: Rise of an Empire, Eva Green gives us another equally breathtaking and dominating villain. The titular “dame to kill for” and the ex-lover of Dwight McCarthy, Ava Lord manipulates men with her beautiful looks, her perfect body and innocent facade for her own personal gain or amusement. An expert liar, she is considered to be a goddess by her towering manservant, Manute, and a “manipulative bitch” by Dwight. Ava Lord represents the classic femme fatale and acts as the perfect foil to Dwight’s hard-boiled antihero. The flawless Eva Green appears born to play the part, and she brings the cold, calculating and sociopathic femme fatale to life in a way that is both memorable and iconic.

2. (TIE) Artemisia – Eva Green (300: Rise of an Empire)

300-rise-of-an-empire-eva-green_top10filmsAfter losing her entire family to Greek hoplites and suffering terrible physical and sexual abuse at the hands of the Greeks, Artemisia was left for dead, until she was subsequently raised and trained by the Persian Empire into a bloodthirsty and vengeful warrior queen. Setting Xerxes on the path that transformed him into a “God-King”, she became his second-in-command and both waged war on the whole of Greece. Dangerous, psychopathic, sexy and unapologetic, the electrifying and flawless Eva Green magnificently brings Artemisia to life and dominates everyone on screen.

1. Harry Osborn/The Green Goblin – Dane DeHaan (The Amazing Spider-Man 2)

harry-osborne_the-amazing-spiderman-2_top10filmsThe son of corrupt Oscorp founder Norman Osborn, as well as childhood friend of orphaned Peter Parker/Spider-Man, Harry Osborn was born into a world of privilege, until he was shipped off to boarding school. After many years, Harry returned to New York to discover that he has inherited from his late father, not just Oscorp’s wealth and resources, but a fatal degenerative disease. After a failed attempt at obtaining some of Spider-Man’s blood to try and cure himself, Harry took a spider-venom serum, which apparently cured him, but at a terrible price. It hideously mutated and twisted his mind and body, transforming him into Spider-Man’s mortal-enemy, the Green Goblin. Despite having a mixed and controversial reception, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 offered the best on-screen incarnation of the Green Goblin to date, and Dane DeHaan’s simultaneously sinister and vulnerable performance is the best thing about the film. Set up as to be the complete opposite of Spider-Man, DeHaan created a memorable character that has me excited to see where he takes it next in future films.

Written and Compiled by Ryan Pollard

So, that’s our list, but now it’s over to you. What are your favourite comic book film villains of 2014?

About the Author
Ryan Pollard is a former student of Animation at the University of Huddersfield.

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  1. Al Peters Reply

    Can’t say it has been the best year for comic book films but you’ve got the best of an average bunch of villains right here.

  2. Gray Reply

    I liked Nebula from Guardians.

    • Creeper Reply

      My expectations for Guardians were too high dammit!

      Same in regards to The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – I was even more disappointed in that!

      • Al Peters Reply

        Perhaps I was one of the few that actually enjoyed Spidey 2. I’m liking this new take on the franchise and have much preferred it to Captain America.

        • Creeper Reply

          The first Captain America was a bit meh but the second one hit the mother load. Brilliant movie!

          In the opposite way The Amazing Spider-man was brill but the 2nd one lacked ideas.

  3. ArchE Reply

    Sadly, or perhaps triumphantly, I have yet to see a single one of these films. I’ve heard on the grapevine that Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy are worth a few hours of my time. Therefore, I will probably give them a spin in the Blu-Ray if someone is kind enough to get them me for Christmas. I’m looking at you Santa!

  4. David Lloyd-Smart Reply

    You can tell it’s been a sh*t year for comic book films not one of them would get in the all time list. Most of those films didn’t even warrant more than 2 stars

    • Dan Reply

      What was your favourite comic book film this year? Guardians? Winter Soldier?

      • David Lloyd-Smart Reply

        Guardians at the moment haven’t seen winter soldier but Adam really rates it but they are the best 2 X-men was terrible

        • Creeper Reply

          Wow… I’d have X-Men over Guardians. Not a great year for comic book film fans but then we haven’t had an Avengers or Iron Man movie so we can’t expect too much.

          • Al Peters

            Can we have another Fantastic Four? 🙂

  5. Creeper Reply

    Hell yeah – Eva Green has been hot this year. Put her in The Avengers please!

  6. CineGirl Reply

    I really liked the new X-Men, Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain America this year but wasn’t as impressed by The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Good villain aside, I felt they went backwards with the franchise after a promising start.

    My favourite villain this year is Ronan from Guardians.

  7. Angel Dust Reply

    They’ve all been rubbish this year. I’m done with superheroes (and villains).

    • Creeper Reply

      Captain America was A-MAY-ZING!

  8. Luke Dunne Reply

    Evil Amiga 500 Arnim Zola in Winter Soldier. 5 minutes of over the top Nazi Computer goodness.

  9. Graham Reply

    I’ve been quite impressed with the calibre of villain this year but did think Guardians of the Galaxy, althiugh impressive, had that weak villain syndrome. Winter Solider and Spider-Man 2’s chief baddies were top notch.

  10. Angus Reply

    5. Senator Roark
    4. Ronan
    3. Trask
    2. Osborne
    1. Artemisia

  11. Menzian Torpor Reply

    I find comic book films make better comics. I used to read them when I was 12.

  12. Movie Max Reply

    Dane Dehaan did a good job in the new Spider-Man but I didn’t think much of the film after a pretty good first film.

    Guardians of the Galaxy has been my fave superhero film this year. In fact, it is one of my favourites of all time.

  13. Rodney Reply

    Sin City 2 annoyed me, and so did the 300 sequel. Eva Green is good in both those films (especially in SC2, where she is nude in nearly every other scene!) but I can’t say I really enjoyed either film.

    I did, however, think Captain America 2 was darn good, and thought the arrival of Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier as the best piece of villanry thus far. I haven’t seen Guardians Of the Galaxy yet (yeah, I know, I’m so lazy) but I expect that to be at least on par with CA2.

    Good list…. but as mentioned above, it’s a mediocre bunch of films all round, really.

  14. Zerg Reply

    Terrible year for comic book films. Even Guardians was rubbish. But, surprisingly, the villains were quite good. Nice list.

  15. ruth Reply

    I actually think Ronan and Nebula were pretty lame, and DeHaan is ok as Harry but he’s unintentionally hilarious as Goblin! Fugly and absolutely laughable.

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