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Ranking Every Villain In The Guardians Of The Galaxy Movies

Back in 2014 James Gunns Guardians of the Galaxy was expected to be the MCUs first box office bomb but it ended up being one of its biggest hits. With a quirky comedic sensibility the original Guardians movie was hailed as a breath of fresh air. Gunn turned five obscure cosmic antiheroes from the fringes of the Marvel universe into some of the most recognizable and beloved icons around the world. A couple of years later Gunn reunited the cast and recaptured this magic in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.The movies themselves rank among the MCUs best but their villains have been a mixed bag. The Guardians films have some of the MCUs greatest bad guys like the symbolic Ego and the surprisingly sympathetic Nebula but they also have a couple of generic forgettable ones like Ronan the Accuser.

5 Ronan The Accuser

Lee Pace is a great actor but hes squandered with a one dimensional villain role in Guardians of the Galaxy. Ronan the Accuser is one of the most generic supervillains in the entire MCU. Like fellow cookie cutter baddies Malekith and Aldrich Killian Ronan speaks in diabolical soundbites about his vague plans for world domination.Compared to how funny and eccentric the rest of the cast is the by the numbers villain is a huge let down. Ronan poses a serious threat to the Guardians but the character himself isnt particularly memorable.

4 Ayesha

Ayesha is one of the many villains in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Played by Elizabeth Debicki Ayesha is the High Priestess of the Sovereign a genetically engineered race of gold skinned super people. The Sovereign attacks the Guardians with a remotely piloted space fleet at the beginning of the Guardians sequel and again at the end. This book end role doesnt give Debicki a lot to do but Ayesha is still a memorable character.The physical perfection of the Sovereign people hilariously highlights the glaring imperfections of the Guardians. In one of the Guardians sequels many credits scenes Ayesha is seen creating Adam Warlock for the sole purpose of destroying the Guardians of the Galaxy so it doesnt seem like fans have seen the last of her.

3 Thanos

Thanos wouldnt become the de facto villain of the entire MCU until he terrorized Earths Mightiest Heroes on his way to collect the Infinity Stones. But a few years before that he had a brief supporting role in the first Guardians movie. As usual the Mad Titan spends his scenes sitting atop a throne delivering exposition and giving orders to his supporting villains. After bossing Loki around in The Avengers Thanos bossed Ronan and Nebula around in Guardians of the Galaxy. This version of Thanos has the same bluish design from the first Avengers movie before his comics accurate purple skin was introduced in Infinity War. His role in Guardians mainly serves to set up his role as the big bad of the Infinity Saga.Thanos scenes in Guardians of the Galaxy stop the movie dead to establish connections between this movie and the wider MCU but at least the producers finally cast Josh Brolin who went on to turn the Mad Titan into one of the most memorable and iconic villains in movie history with his role in the third and fourth Avengers films.

2 Ego

Peter Quill finally met his biological father Ego in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – and he turned out to be an evil lunatic. Ego is a living planet whose immense power has naturally given him delusions of grandeur. He wants to reshape the universe in his image which ties into a great father son story about Quill realizing he knew his real father all along.Yondu might not be Quills biological father – and he might not have a perfect track record as a parent – but he always loved Quill like he was his own son. Egos role as a genocidal maniac helps to hammer home this message. His cave full of skulls demonstrates how much worse Yondus parenting couldve been. Kurt Russell brings the same unnerving charm to this cosmic overlord that he brought to the similarly murderous Stuntman Mike in Quentin Tarantinos underrated carsploitation slasher Death Proof.

1 Nebula

Although Ego is a lot of fun the greatest villain in the Guardians movies is the antihero who ended up becoming a Guardian herself. Karen Gillan has brought plenty of depth to Gamoras sadistic sister Nebula. The character is introduced as a cold hearted part cybernetic killer but she turns out to be surprisingly sympathetic. Shes framed as the secondary villain of the first Guardians film but shes much more interesting than the main villain. Unlike Ronan Nebula has a personal connection to the Guardians at least to one of them and a relatable motivation for wanting to wipe them out.Nebula is desperate to prove shes better than Gamora after being corrupted by Thanos abusive manipulative parenting techniques. Across the first and second Guardians films and later in the Avengers movies Nebula charted a compelling redemption arc. Gillan has taken Nebula on a heartfelt journey from tormenting the Guardians as an enemy to becoming a Guardian herself and embracing her estranged sisters love.

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