Everyone knows nothing makes a good hero like a great villain. Sherlock Holmes needed Moriarty, G.I. Joe needed Cobra, the rebels needed Darth Vader, etc. Nothing makes a story better quite like an interesting, intriguing, and yet hated adversary. Readers tend to flock to the villains they love to hate. The best villains bring something out of the hero that nobody else does, or force the hero to push themselves further than before to find a way to win.
We wanted to make a top 10 list, but that’s impossible. There are just too many good choices, and we couldn’t agree on any of it. So, we increased the list, and increased it, and increased it (honestly, we probably could have kept going, too). So, before it gets too out of hand, here are our choices for the 100 best villains in comics.
To kick off Season 3, Chris and Erik are teaming up with Zack Derby the ‘Nick Fury of podcasting’ himself: radio host extraordinaire (from Podcasters Assemble, Effin Cultured, and The Neat Cast), to revisit the Marvel Cinematic Universe – starting with Phase One!
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been going strong for over a decade, and has already become the biggest, most-expansive franchise in movie history! First starting in 2008, with Jon Favreau’s “Iron Man”, starring Robert Downey Jr., who’s story eventually culminated with 2019’s “Avengers: Endgame” – the 22nd movie in the series. All of which was orchestrated behind the scenes by the one and only Kevin Feige!
The MCU continues with ‘Phase Four’ (including several new shows now streaming on Disney+). Most of these titles are intrinsically tied to the overarching narrative of the MCU as a whole, so where does everything fit in? If you’re not already a hardcore fan (like us), it can probably feel like A LOT to catch up on, so if you want to dive in and follow along in (mostly?) chronological order, the following is a *quick* guide to the MCU Timeline (so far), from Captain America: The First Avenger to Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and beyond!
On today’s episode we talk about our thoughts on the current state of the MCU with “Black Widow” and “LOKI”! (Now streaming on Disney+)
Also on this episode:
More talk about “The Immortal Hulk”
Revisiting Bryan Lee O’Malley’s “Scott Pilgrim” graphic novels
Essential Reads: Wonder Woman
For more random shenanigans, check out our blog at ComicZombie.net – Including Erik’s Scott Pilgrim and Loki reviews!*Also listen to us on Podcasters Assemble! (and hit us up on Twitter @ComicZombie2!)
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As I said in my review of Episode One, “LOKI” has been a ‘wild, off-the-rails, jaunt through time’ – and with so many crazy twists and turns, it’s a rollercoaster that’s never once slowed down since then! Throughout the show we’ve followed a Loki variant (Tom Hiddleston), after the time-traveling events of “Avengers: Endgame”, go from being an Asgardian supervillain to an introspective Alice through the looking glass.
Through a series of random Douglas Adams inspired shenanigans with Agent Mobius (Owen Wilson) of the TVA (Temporal Variance Authority), Loki encountered a female variant of himself in the form of Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) who he then joined on a quest to uncover the identities of the Time Keepers who turned out to be nothing more than robotic puppets! Together, the two Lokis eventually found themselves in a realm at the end of time known as the Void, where all manner of Lokis have been discarded amongst the remnants of countless erased timelines, including Kid Loki, President Loki, and Gator Loki. With the valiant sacrifice of an older Loki, Sylvie and Loki are able to combine their powers and enchant the hangry cloud monster known as Alioth, revealing a portal to… somewhere?
We start where we left off with Loki waking up in “The Void”, a realm at the end of time riddled with all the “pruned” variants and remnants of forgotten timelines. Loki is approached by “the Council of Lokis” – made up of 4 Loki variants: Classic Loki (an older variant from the future played by Richard E. Grant), Kid Loki, “Boastful Loki” (an African American variant with what looks like an alternate version of Mjolnir?), and last by not least, Gator Loki… who is just an alligator with Loki horns?!
After a heart-wrenching flash back to Sylvie as a kid, in Asgard, being taken away by the TVA, we jump forward to Loki and Sylvie as they await the end of their worlds as the doomed planet Lamentis crumbles around them. She explains to her male counterpart that she escaped their custody as a child and had been on the run ever since, hiding in apocalyptic events, “That’s where I grew up, the end of a thousand worlds… and that’s where I’ll die.”
The episode begins with the song “Demons” by Hayley Kiyoko, immediately setting the stage for a seemingly out of place scene at a margarita bar, between Hunter C-20 (the temporal agent who had been enchanted in the previous episode) and Lady Loki herself, “Sylvie” (played by Sophia Di Martino). It’s all an illusion of course, in C-20’s mind, as Sylvie as trying to pry information out of her regarding the time keepers.
Episode 2 starts with a Ren Fair! I really like the way it kicks off, fading from the green Marvel logo to what at first glance looks like it could be somewhere in Medieval Europe, before we quickly find out that it’s Wisconsin in the 80’s. It’s those little moments that really play up the theme of things not quite being what they appear to be.
After another squad of minutemen are ambushed by the “other Loki”, Mobius brings Loki along to try and find a clue as to the variant’s motives.
It can’t be understated how great this cast is. Tom Hiddleston and Owen Wilson are one of the best buddy cop duos since Riggs and Murtaugh. Once again, we get a wide array of super random quirky moments, like Miss Minutes being a high tech holographic Alexa to Agent Mobius obsessing about jet skis.
Marvel’s new “LOKI” series is a wild, off-the-rails, jaunt through time – once again starring Tom Hiddleston as the Asgardian Trickster God himself. Following this first episode and the success of “Wandavision” and “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier”, I think it’s safe to say that the MCU is *still* going strong on Disney+!
For those who somehow don’t already know, Loki is a supervillain in the pages of Marvel comics (first appearing in ‘Journey Into Mystery’ #85, 1962), loosely based on the Norse deity of the same name, he’s the adopted son of Odin, and brother to his greatest adversary, Thor – the God of Thunder. He was also the first villain to fight the Avengers in “The Avengers” #1 in 1963! In the comics, like in Norse Mythology, Loki has taken on a number of forms throughout the years, including a female persona. While Loki has an array of powers, including shape-shifting and conjuring illusions, his most cunning weapon is his mind and his innate ability to persuade and manipulate others for his own ends.