We fans love a complicated anti-hero who is all about being in the grey. Fortunately, Marvel has provided us with many of them either through movies or Disney+ shows. Today we will go through the 7 best antiheroes of the MCU in no particular order.
There is no one better to start off with other than the Asgardian God of Mischief and Jotunheim Prince, Loki. We saw his arrogant, egoistic and cold nature in Thor where he served as the main antagonist. His cruelty and sadism took over as he unleashed the wrath of the Chitauri on New York. Eventually we got to see a broken man who knows how to love and sacrifice. Tom Hiddleston’s portrayal of Loki won over hearts and brought him back from the dead multiple times and even landed him his own show.
Bucky Barnes started out as a kind-hearted soldier who would do anything for the little guy from Brooklyn. Soon after being experimented on by Zola, he became HYDRA’s puppet. A brainwashed killer with a prosthetic arm, he became a world renowned assassin who lived in the shadows. This was until he reunited with Steve. Eventually he overcame the brainwashing and sided with the heroes.
The Merc with a Mouth was bound to make the list. Otherwise known as the Regeneratin’ Degenerate, this man has absolutely no regard for life. However, his foul mouth and irresponsible tactics don’t stop him from saving the day. Ryan Reynolds portrayal of this character has made him even more iconic than he was before. He is mentally unstable, unhinged, morally compromised and we love him, innuendos and all.
She is an anti-hero through and through. Starting out as Thanos’ loyal daughter and the right hand of Ronan, she was no hero at all. She grabbed every opportunity to kill Gamora and was ready to let the entirety of Xandar die for it. However, she turned out to be a cyborg with emotions. After making up with Gamora, she sided with the heroes and became integral to defeating Thanos especially in Endgame.
The Punisher aka Frank Castle wages a one man war on crime and the underworld. Sounds pretty hero like, right? Except he uses murder, extortion, threats, torture and kidnapping as his tools. He is the classic anti-hero, avenging the death of his family and becoming a feared vigilante. His brutality and askew sense of justice have landed him on our list.
She starts off as a prime anti-hero with her troubled childhood, death of her parents and her allegiance to Ultron. After learning Ultron’s true intention of wiping humanity from the planet, she and her brother joined the Avengers. She redeemed herself by her actions of saving Sokovia, fighting Thanos and making the ultimate sacrifice by killing the love of her life, Vision to save the world. However, after the events of Wanda Vision and especially Multiverse of Madness, she has crossed the line between darkness and light. After her horrifying actions throughout the multiverse and murder of several sorcerers, she might even be considered a villain. Nonetheless, her emotional motivations and the huge losses she has suffered make her an anti-hero in our books.
The X-Men films may or may not be canon in the MCU and has been a point of contention for a while now. But we had to include Magneto in the list, a man who has acted both hero and villain. With his tragic past during World War 2 being held captive and tortured at Auschwitz by Shaw who also killed his mother right in front of him, his story arc began. He also lost his wife and daughter later on. All this fueled his rage against humanity. Nonetheless, he has saved the day many times and loves mutant kind like no other. His friendship with Charles Xavier also explores the good in him.
Now its time for some special mentions to those who aren’t listed above. Yelena Belova, is a ruthless Russian spy trained by the Red Room. She is yet to side with the heroes and has been working for The Contessa while chasing Hawkeye. However, she has a gentle nature and a kind heart. She is also absolutely hilarious on screen. Namor, The Sub-Mariner who is to appear in Wakanda Forever will also establish himself as an anti-hero. M’Baku, Wolverine and the Guardians of the Galaxy are a few other anti-heroes who might actually be too heroic.