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 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)
A 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)
Alexander 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)
Owner 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)
A 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)
Created 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)
Corrupt 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)
One 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)
Off 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)
After 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)
The 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.