Top 10 Live-Action Comic Villains That Made Sense

The idea for this article came off the back of a meme. This one to be exact;

It got us talking, and to be honest it was a lengthy discussion. There are so many villains to consider here. From the Marvel Cinematic Universe, DC Extended Universe, DC Universe, Arrowverse, Star Wars and many others. The list we had just kept on growing and felt like it wouldn’t end.

We chose 5 each that we feel deserved to be on this list. Please note, this is more recent history so we were kind of looking at everything from 2008 onwards. If we went further back than that we’d probably never stop.

Please also note, these are in no particular order.

1. Thanos (MCU)

Thanos needs no introduction as to why. Even if this list was in order he would be at the top. Despite the way he goes about what he does, he actually just wants to help. Deep down, he really does. This is the pinnacle part of his conversation with Gamora during Infinity War when he mentions how well her planet is now doing.

Life is overcome with overpopulation, hunger, homelessness and all he wants is for places to thrive. Fair enough just killing 50% of pretty much everything is a horrible way to go about it, he just made a lot of sense during Infinity War and it was actually difficult for us to truly hate him.


2. Killmonger (MCU)

Eric Killmonger was a great villain without a doubt. His motives were reasonable beyond a doubt, his mother was in jail, his father got killed by T’Chaka and he was left to fend for himself throughout the years. Abandoned by his own people and forgotten.

He is royal blood, he deserved every right to challenge for the throne of Wakanda. His other motives were that many African’s all around the globe were suffering and he wanted to change that and not hide like the old Wakandans did, tucked away in Africa.

3. Doctor Sivana (DCEU)

An unorthodox one for sure. Sivana is a character you do really feel for in the opening scenes of Shazam! He’s completely outcast and rejected by both his brother and father. When he reaches the place to get the power of Shazam, he chooses wrong and is kicked out. Nobody believes what he witnessed and then spends his life getting back there.

When he first gets his new power, he heads to the building his father and brother are at and effectively kills them both. Whilst I think it was too far, you’re definitely still siding with him at this point. He was rejected badly, and his anger swayed him into making the decisions he did, but it still made a lot of sense.

4. Darth Vader (Star Wars)

Anakin or Darth Vader as he went on to know, his reasons were reasonable. Essentially, he got manipulated to join the Darkside to save Padme, when she died and he thought it was because of him, he threw himself into the Sith life. That wearing the suit he knew would hurt him pretty much consistently.

We actually see a bit of this in Revenge of the Sith when Anakin is on Mustafar and has tears coming down his cheek, he knew it was wrong to kill the Padawans and he couldn’t forgive himself for it which is one of the reasons why he continued as Vader.


5. Yellowjacket (MCU)

Darren Cross is another villain that made sense but went about it in an awful way. The technology Hank managed to create was a game-changer for the world, but unfortunately, he hid it away. Understandably so, just in case it got in the wrong hands.

Darren was Hank’s successor in many ways and managed to create the tech without Hank helping him. He wanted to help soldiers, and just end wars very quickly in order to preserve lives and stop collateral damage. So, in the end, he made a lot of sense and ultimately just wanted to get one up on Hank, but the thought was there nonetheless.

6. Cicada – Orlin Dwyer (Arrowverse – The Flash)

We have to mention Orlin only because after Grace takes the mantle it just gets a little bit trash, I’m not gonna lie. Orlin’s motivation and mission make a lot of sense. He watched on as meta-humans tore apart his family, including his niece, Grace who was in a coma whilst he was killing metas.

He didn’t want to just go out and kill civilians, his mission was very simple and in his short tenure, he was very successful in what he set out to do. When you watch him and how he is, you can tell he’s just filled with guilt in what he’s trying to achieve. A truly fantastic villain, and should have been given the rest of the season in my opinion.

7. Hela (MCU)

A very similar one to Killmonger, but maybe more so in the case of Hela. She fought alongside Odin, was taught by Odin, she was first born and rightful heir to the throne. She was banished only after Odin realised just how powerful she actually became.

It makes sense she’d be angry after Odin passed away. It also makes sense that she wanted her place on the throne when she had every right in a sense. What’s more, when she showed up right after Odin died, she never threw a shot at Loki or Thor. It was Thor who threw the Mjolnir at her first, which immediately put her on the defensive.


8. Mysterio (MCU)

Mysterio’s journey into his villainous ways, similar to Vulture was simply because of Tony Stark. Tony thought he was better than Mysterio, took his invention, passed it off as his own and used it for his personal gain. This is what caused Mysterio to head in the direction he did.

It was explained well in Far From Home, yes Mysterio was a bit, well dickish to Peter, used him to get Tony’s glasses and caused major damage to multiple cities, but in the end, it was all of Tony’s fault. Pure and simple.

9. Savitar – Barry Allen (Arrowverse – The Flash)

Savitar was handed a back start from the beginning, created initially to help future Team Flash to defeat Savitar but having failed to do so was pushed away for being a failure and not the “true” Barry Allen, this anguish he felt because of Team Flash caused him to become Savitar.

He had every right to live, to be Barry Allen but the rest of Team Flash made him to what he is and to become one of their greatest villains. This is purely on them. He’s one of the most reasonable villains that has appeared on The Flash.

10. Vulture (MCU)

Like Mysterio, Vulture was forced into this life and criminal ways because of one Tony Stark. He and his crew had a decent job of cleaning up space items after the battle of New York until Tony Stark brought in more people to clean up and basically forced Vulture out of a job.

Because tony doing this, it forced him and his crew to use alien tech to commit crimes to stay afloat, to survive. If Tony never did this, there would have been a high chance that Vulture would have never taken the path he did and would have never become a villain for Peter later down the line.


We do have to give a couple of honourable mentions as well. Three, to be exact. Deathstroke from both the Arrowverse and the DC Universe (Titans), and also Whiplash from Iron Man 2 in the MCU.

Photos: Black Panther, Endgame, Spider-Man, Ant-Man (Marvel), The Flash, Shazam (DC Comics) Darth Vader (Star Wars), Thor: Ragnarok, Homecoming – Marvel Studios, DC/WB, The CW, Disney

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Daniel Lewandowski

27 years old. Founder, and co-owner of Comic Universe. Journalist specializing in the Arrowverse shows, and the MCU. Creator of the Comic Universe website.

Phil Weaver

24 years old. One of the co-founders of Comic Universe. Specialising in comic book source material, especially DC.

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