There’s something about rooting for the bad guys that feels natural for comic book fans.
Sure, a few villains can be horrible. The Red Skull is a good example. The best villains are those who have a cause.
Thanos wanted to balance the universe. He went about it in the worst way imaginable. The MCU has several villains you can empathize with, such as Killmonger.
Loki is such a character as Tom Hiddleston showed how he wasn’t purely evil. Rather, his pride got the best of him because Odin looked past him.
He redeemed himself. That’s what makes it so compelling that he’ll be getting his own Disney+ series this June.
With scores of villains in the Marvel Universe (including the X-Men), there are a lot who could be fun to use in a TV format.
Some might even improve if Marvel delves into their characters and shows some intriguing stuff.
These ten villains scream out for their own TV series, showing how rooting for bad guys can be better than heroes.
The Hellfire Club
The Fox X-Men series The Gifted touched a bit on the Hellfire Club. This gathering of mutant villains has enough fodder for a show of their own.
Based on the real Hellfire Club, these powerful men and women work together to gain power, often from behind the scenes.
Their trappings are genius as they dress like it’s the 18th century. They like to think of themselves as upper class, but are as conniving as any villain.
The highlight is Emma Frost, the powerful telepath whose diamond skin emulates her ice-cold personality. The rest of the Club is strong with their political games and fighting for power.
It would be a darker series but still fun to see these double-crossing mutants fighting themselves as much as the X-Men.
In 1997, Marvel promoted the Thunderbolts as a brand-new team of original heroes trying to help the world.
In one of the most incredible twists in comic book history, these “heroes” were the Masters of Evil in disguise. Leader Helmut Zemo hit upon this idea to pose as heroes to gain public trust to conquer the world.
It’s a genius concept with these villains acting heroically in public while scheming behind the scenes. Zemo himself would be a natural leading it with other characters.
The turn happens when these villains realize they like being heroes more than being crooks.
Watching these bad guys embrace their own con would make Thunderbolts a fantastic series.
It’s only natural that a shape-changer has a lot of sides to herself.
Mystique has usually been a villain, a mutant terrorist out for herself. She has a warmer side when working with the X-Men even when they can’t trust her.
The X-Men movies have Rebecca Romijn and Jennifer Lawrence tackling the character with the irony of how Mystique is often uncomfortable being herself.
The shape changing would be complex for TV. It would be fun to play with the audience not realizing a character is Mystique until she reveals herself.
A sexy spy who can look like anyone would be perfect for a show. The right actress can make Mystique a foe to root for.
Yes, Marvel published a long-running comic book series based on the world’s most famous vampire.
This Dracula is less a suave, seductive man than a ruthless warrior. He can charm, but he has grand ideas on transforming the world into a vampire paradise.
With his centuries of life, there’s plenty of potential for flashbacks showing Dracula, perhaps as a nobler man before the bloodlust overtook him.
Whether turning others to his side or even clashing with other heroes, it would be fascinating to see this vampire once more getting his solo turn in the Marvel Universe.
One shame of Daredevil’s cancelation is that we no longer get Vincent D’Onofrio as Wilson Fisk.
The actor was amazing as the ruthless mobster. This could lend itself well to a TV show. It would be easy to tell how Fisk rose from humble beginnings to this feared gangster wanting more.
A recent comics feature Fisk elected mayor of New York City. That would be a fascinating dynamic, seeing this criminal adjusting to being the city’s leader.
He’d be more ruthless as a politician than a mobster.
Whether a crime drama or a political thriller, the Kingpin would rule any TV show.
This might be better for an animated series, but it would still be incredible.
In Peter David’s now-classic “Future Imperfect” storyline, the Hulk finds himself flung a century into the future.
Humanity wiped itself out in a nuclear war with the survivors under Maestro’s tyrannical rule.
The Maestro is the future Bruce Banner who survived the war stronger, smarter, and far more ruthless. He believes only he can rule this shattered humanity.
David has returned for a story showing how the Hulk transformed into this dictator.
It would be fascinating to see what turns a hero into the monster the world has always feared. This could do a classic Hulk story justice.
Kang and Immortus
Rumors build that the Loki series will debut the time-traveling Kang the Conqueror. If that’s the case, Immortus might not be far behind.
It would take hours to explain the complex history of these two foes. Immortus is a far-future version of Kang who wants to control all of history. Kang only sought to conquer Earth.
With two time-traveling warriors about, the potential for drama is terrific. Each can visit alternate timelines and draw in versions of other Marvel characters for some fun.
It would be fun seeing the warrior Kang clash with the conniving Immortus as their game of cat-and-mouse could carry across the multiverse.
It may be hard to keep up who has the upper hand. It’d be a delight to see a time-traveling war of wits.
The Sinister Syndicate
The Sinister Six may get the press, but the Syndicate lends itself better to a TV show.
The usual line-up is Boomerang, Beetle, Hydro-Man, Speed Demon, and Rhino. It has shifted a bit with other low-level villains joining up and even an all-female version.
The Syndicate has gotten a few comics of their own, showing how they put together heists and what happens when Spider-Man shows up.
It would be fun using them to explore the MCU underworld and how crooks adjust to fighting superheroes.
The fact they’re offbeat friends would make this an “office comedy,” only one revolving around super-crooks.
If “every villain is the hero of his own story,” Magneto qualifies.
For years, he was the typical “conquer the world” type. But he gained depth with the revelation he was a Holocaust survivor and thus had motives.
Magneto knows what it feels like to have his people persecuted and attacked. He’s determined never to let that happen to mutants by any means necessary.
The movies with Ian McKellen and Michael Fassbender were terrific. Yet it could be fun seeing a series of Magneto’s life and what drives him.
It can also show the truth that he’s justified in what he does to keep mutants safe.
It doesn’t seem right that the MCU doesn’t have Marvel’s greatest villain.
Doctor Victor Von Doom can be a complex character to write. Some writers have him as a pure ruthless villain.
Others portray him as a “noble demon” with some honor, driven by his need to rule the world.
A brilliant scientist who can also use magic, Doom’s mind games are his most dangerous weapon.
Doom is a fascinating character as he rules his own nation with a (literal) iron fist and an army of robot duplicates. He has a regal majesty yet captivating clashing with heroes.
Doom could be a terrific focus for his own series, showing his contradictory nature as he tries to conquer the world. If anyone deserves his own show, it’s him.
Loki debuts on Disney+ June 9.More: Loki, Marvel Comics, MCU