Some people watch the Marvel Cinematic Universe for the plot (could not possibly be me), and some (me and others) watch Marvel Cinematic Universe content for pure objectification. I pay attention to the plot occasionally, but mostly I just want to see Loki and other mean-but-hot people do things I don’t understand for reasons I don’t understand. So in honor of Loki — who is so hot that he not only has his own show on Disney+, even though the character is technically dead, but he is also cereal now — I ranked most (though not all; see below) MCU villains by hotness.
With the unofficial and self-assigned spokesperson for the MCU being more sexy, it was my duty to make this ranking as comprehensive as possible. First, I made a list of every villain in the MCU, including minor characters I didn’t even realize existed while I was watching the movies, characters I completely forgot about, and major villains. Once I had my list, I broke them down into three categories: hot, kind of hot, and not hot. Then I made necessary eliminations: I did not have a year to write this, and I did not want to write this for a year. But that’s okay, because most of the cuts are villains everyone forgot about anyway. All major villains are included, and all minor villains included either had major impact, are too hot not to include, or are played by big enough names that their hotness in the role must be addressed, which is a long way of saying that Carrie Coon’s character from Infinity War is represented, but the evil senator Garry Shandling (RIP) played in Captain America: The Winter Soldier is not.
Other notable omissions I’m mentioning here, so please don’t yell at me about them: The Mandarin from Iron Man 3 is an actor the villain paid, Nebula is a Guardian of the Galaxy and an Avenger now, and Bucky Barnes is a hero now too. Characters from the Marvel Netflix shows were not considered because I slept through all of them and the MCU likes to pretend they do not exist.
Although I consider myself a morally good human being, I had to abandon all that while ranking MCU villains by hotness, because I had to forgive all the mass murder. Some villains’ hotness can be judged based on their morals and values (Nazis, slave owners, anyone who murders a child or a dog), but even some of the heroes are responsible for the deaths of innocent people (the Avengers in Sokovia, Wanda Maximoff).
Morals aside(ish), here are MCU villains ranked from least hot to most hot. It should go without saying that spoilers follow for almost every movie and TV show in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
38. Captain Emil Blonsky/the Abomination (The Incredible Hulk)
With all due respect to the design team, the Abomination looks gross — like a fleshy dinosaur with a baby head — which I suppose makes him a successful villain. Tim Roth as the Abomination will return in the Disney+ series She-Hulk, hopefully with a major glow-up.
37. Darren Cross/Yellowjacket (Ant-Man)
Darren Cross (whom we must not confuse with Darren Criss — for several seconds, I thought I lived in a universe in which the American actor, singer, and Glee star was a villain in Ant-Man) is boring, mean, and the CEO of a tech company, which is not hot.
36. Arnim Zola (Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain America: The Winter Soldier)
Zola (or better known to me as Marvel Krang) is a quirky little man with round glasses who worked for Hydra when it was a Nazi organization and turned himself into a computer in the 1970s. Some of this would be hot if he didn’t work for Nazis. Zola’s one redeeming quality that increases his hotness scale by a small margin is that he’s the reason Bucky Barnes is still alive. Yes, Zola tortured and brainwashed Bucky, but we love to see Sebastian Stan brood, so for this we are very grateful.
35. Ivan Vanko/Whiplash (Iron Man 2)
Whiplash is one of the worst villains and characters in the MCU. Mickey Rourke was fresh off a successful awards season, including an Oscar nomination for The Wrestler, and unfortunately Whiplash is flat both on the page and onscreen, and therefore not hot. Whiplash should have been very kinky (his weapon is sparkly and spiky whips), but he wasn’t.
34. The Red Skull (Captain America: The First Avenger, Avengers: Infinity War)
The Red Skull has potential if you’re as into skeletons as Phoebe Bridgers is, but he is a Nazi who guards a rock in space.
33. Ebony Maw (Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame)
Ebony Maw is Thanos’s No. 1 boy — the Kendall Roy of the MCU. But is he hot, or is he just tall? I think he’s just tall. He looks like a squishy, more narrow Voldemort, but he might make a good boyfriend because he’s so loyal.
32. Brock Rumlow/Crossbones (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War)
Crossbones is almost the Punisher, but he is not Jon Bernthal. The world would be a better place if there were more Jon Bernthal.
31. Korath the Pursuer (Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain Marvel)
I do not remember this character at all, even though he has an iconic head and has appeared in two MCU movies. Djimon Hounsou deserves better than this!
30. Karli Morgenthau (The Falcon and the Winter Soldier)
Redhead representation is important, but unfortunately Karli’s resources — including immediate access to planes and free places to stay — are a little more appealing than Karli herself, who is just as intense as she is boring.
29. Ronan the Accuser (Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain Marvel)
Lee Pace’s face, which is art, is completely obscured by blue makeup to the point that even though Ronan the Accuser is the primary villain in one of the most critically acclaimed and beloved MCU movies, a bunch of people did not know who Lee Pace was when he went viral for his (very hot) vaccine photo in May. At least Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn let him be tall.
KIND OF HOT?
28. The Grandmaster (Thor: Ragnarok)
The Grandmaster is just Jeff Goldblum in colorful robes and eyeliner with a big powerful stick, which is incredibly hot. The Grandmaster is the horniest character in the MCU — no one else has an orgy ship — but he is a slave owner. Can there please be a horny MCU character who is not a horrible person? Being horny and good is possible; I’ve been doing it on Twitter dot com for years.
27. John Walker/U.S. Agent (The Falcon and the Winter Soldier)
John Walker is the kind of guy you had a huge crush on in middle school but as an adult you’re disgusted with yourself about it. This is meant as no offense to the very charming Wyatt Russell — it’s more of a testament to his performance. This is exactly how you should feel about John Walker; he’s someone who is way more sinister and cruel than he seems.
26. Ayesha (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2)
How unfortunate that Elizabeth Debicki is allowed to be gold but she is not allowed to be tall. For most of her scenes in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, she is sitting down.
25. Dormammu (Doctor Strange)
Dormammu has gorgeous purple eyes, but he’s just a massive man in space, and his inability to bargain is a red flag if you’re looking for something long-term.
24. Ultron (Avengers: Age of Ultron)
James Spader has one of the most intoxicating voices in all of cinema. He could convince me to do anything, such as go to Times Square or watch Avengers: Age of Ultron. Ultron is so unappealing that Spader’s voice-over charm is, for the first time in his career, nonexistent. With Spader’s voice alone, Ultron had potential to be hot AI, but instead, he says dumb, long, and annoying metaphors. Maybe Ultron would have been hotter if Marvel let him wear that little black hat Spader wears on NBC’s The Blacklist, which I recently learned is still running.
23. Ava Starr/Ghost (Ant-Man and the Wasp)
Ghost is more of an antagonist than a villain but could have been hotter if the story made her more of a supervillain. Instead, she is a woman with beautiful eyes, a cutting-edge suit, and superpowers who could have prevented a lot of damage if she communicated what she wanted to the protagonists earlier in the movie.
22. Obadiah Stane/Iron Monger (Iron Man)
Because of the simple fact that Obadiah Stane is portrayed by Jeff Bridges, who is normally incredibly attractive, he should be ranked higher. Unfortunately, Obadiah comes with a lot of cons that bring him down in the ranking. His biggest mistake, besides being an annoying weapons guy, was wearing a suit with a blue striped button-down (that had a contrasting white collar) and a big-ass yellow tie — along with some other sartorial mistakes, it’s a little too yuppie and eliminates any sexual tension this character could have had with Tony Stark.
21. Surtur (Thor: Ragnarok)
Surtur lives in a dungeon and is always naked. He also has a domineering voice, a big sword, and big horns. He has the kink that Whiplash should have had in Iron Man 2. Surtur would be a catch if he wasn’t so obsessed with destroying Asgard.
20. Sharon Carter/The Power Broker (The Falcon and the Winter Soldier)
Post-Blip Sharon Carter is not much of a villain yet — we only got a glimpse of her dark side in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier finale, but it’s refreshing to see her bounce back from kissing her dead aunt’s ex in such a dramatic way, and in dramatic coats.
19. Sonny Burch (Ant-Man and the Wasp)
Sonny Burch himself is not particularly hot or special in any way, but as a Walton Goggins stan, I was compelled to selfishly place his character in a generous spot in the ranking.
18. Thaddeus Ross (The Incredible Hulk, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Endgame)
Thaddeus Ross is a pain in the ass. He forced Steve Rogers and his allies to go into hiding, but at least we got the Captain America beard out of that. Thaddeus is horrible, and it is so rude that he showed up to Tony Stark’s funeral (did they not have a bouncer for this event?) considering he’s responsible for the divide between the Avengers and because he put a bunch of them in an underwater prison. But William Hurt is a legend, and his portrayal of this hot military old deserves some respect, even though Hurt is clearly doing this while asleep.
17. Kaecilius (Doctor Strange)
Mads Mikkelsen does not cook human flesh, dance passionately on a pier to a pop song, or torture anyone by hitting them in the balls in Doctor Strange. In fact, he does not do much — if his character did anything other than run around in a yellow robe, I already forgot, even though I have seen this movie two times. All I know is that his Jenny Humphrey season-three-inspired eye look is amazing, terrifying, and, of course, very hot.
16. Proxima Midnight (Avengers: Infinity War)
Proxima Midnight would have been hotter if they had just let Carrie Coon have her own face and body, but she is very tall and therefore hot (unlike her colleague Ebony Maw).
15. Tyler Hayward (WandaVision)
Tyler Hayward seemed like a normal hot daddy at first: just a handsome friend with salt-and-pepper hair who barks orders at agents who are not equipped to handle all this superhero stuff. While Hayward is still a hot daddy, he is an evil hot daddy and a person who would rather fire missiles at a problem than deal with it in a more humane way. Hayward will probably be back, and possibly be even hotter because he could have a beard.
14. Ego the Living Planet (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2)
A bad dad, but not bad-looking considering he is an entire planet or whatever he (it?) is. I really don’t know! All I know is that my eyes enjoy Kurt Russell’s face.
13. Malekith (Thor: The Dark World)
As a blue-eyed pale goth, Malekith is the only MCU villain who could do the rap parts of Evanescence’s “Bring Me to Life” at karaoke without looking at the lyrics. If Thor: The Dark World (which is good and I will not hear otherwise) took itself a little less seriously, Malekith could have been not only one of the hottest villains in the MCU but one of the hottest elves in Elf Fiction.
12. Justin Hammer (Iron Man 2)
If you need a villain who can dance, look no further than Sam Rockwell. Rockwell’s portrayal of Justin Hammer in Iron Man 2 is not nearly as iconic as his role as Eric Knox in Charlie’s Angels: He cannot save the movie, even though he looks delicious in all of his three-piece suits. Rockwell’s level of commitment in this otherwise thankless role deserves some recognition, and that recognition is being ranked No. 12 on a list of the MCU’s hottest villains. I hope Sam Rockwell never sees this!
11. Adrian Toomes/Vulture (Spider-Man: Homecoming)
Michael Keaton’s commanding performance and Vulture’s motivation and connection to the overall story — his life was upended during the Battle of New York, depicted in The Avengers — make him one of the best villains in the MCU. His leather-daddy status makes him one of the hottest.
10. Yon-Rogg (Captain Marvel)
Even if Jude Law had completely phoned in this performance, he’d still crack the top ten in this ranking simply because he is so attractive. Thankfully, Law did not phone in his performance, but it was pretty obvious he was evil the entire time, and it was a little difficult to hate him because he’s so good-looking.
9. Aldrich Killian (Iron Man 3)
Guy Pearce is literally hot in Iron Man 3; he basically turns his body into a bomb or something, and it is Christmastime. Adam Pally has a small role. This is all I remember about Iron Man 3. Pearce’s blond hair and haircut is a weird choice since it’s more ’80s villain than early 2010s evil tech guy, but Pearce can run me over with a tractor after making me sit in the middle of a corn maze on a 104-degree day, so it’s fine.
8. Thanos (Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame)
Thanos is Adam Driver–size but purple, and he is so cool, calm, and confident that at a certain point you start to think, Maybe this guy is onto something with this whole eliminating-half-the-universe thing. Thanos is hot.
7. Baron Helmut Zemo (Captain America: Civil War, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier)
Several months ago, Helmut Zemo would not have cracked the top 25 on this very blog. But Daniel Brühl’s exuberant-but-refined performance in Falcon and the Winter Soldier added layers to an otherwise stale and ordinary villain. Zemo made an impact with some iconic coats, he danced at a club, and was so charming that I was suddenly on his side. If anyone else in the MCU besides the Grandmaster has an orgy setting on their aircraft, it is the baron.
6. Agatha Harkness (WandaVision)
Agatha is pure evil: She murdered her entire coven and family to gain power, and she will do anything to maintain that power or to become even more powerful than she already is. As evil as she is, Kathryn Hahn is so likable, and her performance is so explosive and fun, that you’re kind of on her side, even though she killed a dog. Hahn elevates this character and the show, and pulls off the fashion and beauty looks from every decade — and even other centuries. Hopefully Agatha will be back, because we deserve it.
5. Alexander Pierce (Captain America: The Winter Soldier)
I would be betraying myself, society, humanity, and Robert Redford if I did not state how hot Robert Redford is in his little vest and glasses in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. There is truly nothing hotter than when a man who you think is normal has actually been running Hydra from inside SHIELD for decades.
4. Mysterio (Spider-Man: Far From Home)
Spider-Man: Far From Home confirmed what we all knew was true: Jake Gyllenhaal still looks hot with a fishbowl over his head. There are only two reasons why Mysterio is not No. 1 in this ranking: He is a tech bro, and he does not wear Russ & Daughters merch at any point in the movie.
3. Hela (Thor: Ragnarok)
A goth dominatrix goddess who is more powerful than the men in her family? There should have been more of her.
2. Killmonger (Black Panther)
Killmonger has the best body in the MCU, and the best hair by a long shot, and the best self-contained arc for any villain in the universe. Michael B. Jordan’s performance is so passionate, vivid, and naturalistic that at times it is genuinely agonizing to root for T’Challa, because Killmonger is not only very hot, but he is right — even if some of his murder-y means are not.
1. Loki (Thor, The Avengers, Thor: The Dark World, Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War, Loki)
If Loki were played by anyone else, he would not be hot. Tom Hiddleston’s portrayal of Loki leans into the character’s best and worst qualities: He’s a charming, conniving, unpredictable, slightly kinky, greasy god. And he’s always sad, so we love him. And he is hot. Yes, Loki has murdered a lot of people, and he destroyed midtown (I am personally not super-sad about that but understand if other people are), but he sometimes helps his brother, Thor, whom he loves very much, so he is allowed to be the hottest bad boy of the MCU.