Warning! This article contains spoilers for Marvel’s Echo.


Villains fighting each other often leads to redemption arcs and character development. MCU movies have iconic battles between villains, showcasing their power and consequences. Villain vs. villain fights have higher stakes and can result in unexpected outcomes and shifts in allegiance.

Although watching the MCU‘s heroes go toe-to-toe with their nemeses is one of the franchise’s most compelling plot hooks, watching villains fight each other can be on another level. The MCU is no stranger to blurring the line between outright villainy and heroism, developing some of the most sympathetic villains in cinematic history. The same can be said for redemption arcs, with one of the MCU timeline‘s most fleshed-out and captivating characters, Loki, starting as a villainous would-be conqueror of Earth before becoming the selfless god responsible for nurturing multiversal free will. This is probably why seeing villains whaling on one another is not all that uncommon.

In fact, having two villains duke it out is often the basis for at least one of them to come out the other side as a reformed villain – if they survive the ordeal. In many ways, the stakes are even higher for two villains, as they aren’t often afforded the same level of plot armor as their more virtuous MCU colleagues. This makes for compelling viewing, which is why the Marvel movies have leaned into the trope by featuring many sequences in which two villains go toe-to-toe – with these being among the most consequential.


Every Major MCU Villain, Ranked From Weakest To Strongest

The MCU has treated superhero fans to some of the greatest heroes over the years. It has also given them some of the greatest villains.

10 Echo vs Kingpin

Echo (2023)

Maya Lopez, aka Echo, is the MCU’s most recently introduced anti-hero who debuted with a murderous vendetta against Hawkeye in his titular series, believing that he (as Ronin) killed her father. While true, it later transpired that it was her boss and adoptive uncle, Kingpin, who orchestrated the hit. With a renewed grudge, Maya proceeds to non-fatally shoot Kingpin in the face before facing him in a showdown at the end of Echo.

It was during this fight that Kingpin showed his ruthlessness, threatening the lives of more of Maya’s family out of sheer spite. It also became the stage upon which Maya showcased her newfound powers, as she proceeded to make short work of Kingpin’s goons and then Kingpin with just a touch. The finale represented Maya’s turning point from criminal to hero and secured her as yet another arch-rival for Kingpin to pursue.

9 Hela vs Surtur

Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

The themes of prophecy and destiny in Thor: Ragnarok came to a head when Thor reached the painful realization that Ragnarok – the destruction of Asgard – was a fate not even he could circumvent. This was made apparent after Hela’s unstoppable subjugation of Asgard left him no choice but to pit her against fate itself, which in this case manifested as the destructive and empowered Surtur, ruler of Muspelheim. Hela’s hubristic attempt to halt Surtur ended in her swift demise at the business end of his colossal sword, making this a quick but epic fight between two immensely powerful MCU villains.

8 Nebula vs Thanos

Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Nebula’s agonizing upbringing at the hands of her adoptive father, Thanos, had initially turned her into his loyal lackey, pitting her against her sister in Guardians of the Galaxy. After being talked around, however, Nebula’s resentment turned instead to her father, with a showdown finally occurring on Titan in the events of Avengers: Infinity War. It was, unsurprisingly, a doomed endeavor, adding to the large sequence of losses suffered by the Avengers. However, it did mark the start of Nebula’s turn to become an Avenger herself, beginning her long path toward redemption and revenge.

7 Abomination Vs. Intelligencia

She-Hulk: Attorney At Law (2022)

Though it was quickly retconned by Jennifer Walters herself, Emil Blonsky’s turn toward heroism manifested in a quick but heartwarming moment in She-Hulk: Attorney At Law when he, as Abomination, shielded Walters from the aggression of the Intelligencia group led by HulkKing. Lifting Walters into the air, Abomination would swat away the human aggressors effortlessly, attempting to talk them down all the while. Unfortunately, this was misconstrued by his onetime rival, Bruce Bannner, who proceeded to attack Abomination believing that he was attacking Walters. While not technically canon anymore, it helped to establish that Abomination is now on the side of good in the MCU.

6 MODOK Vs. Kang

Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantummania

Although MODOK’s sudden heel-turn was one of Ant-Man and The Wasp‘s more questionable story beats, his ill-fated betrayal of his patron in the Quantum Realm was the redemption Darren Cross needed to call himself an Avenger in his final moments. After being convinced of the error of his ways by Cassie Lang, MODOK proceeded to interfere with Kang’s protective shield, thereby leaving the Multiverse Saga’s arch-villain exposed, but losing his own life in the process. It was a humorous, but somewhat stirring moment that spelled the end of the bizarre Marvel villain in an ever-entertaining Hail Mary.

5 Doctor Octopus Vs. Green Goblin

Spider-Man: No Way Home

Peter Parker’s misguided attempts to rehabilitate the villains that made their way to his universe in Spider-Man: No Way Home culminated in a tragic failure that led to the death of Aunt May. Thankfully, however, this was not the case for Otto Octavius, who would later pretend to rally alongside his fellow villains before proving that he is good at heart and aiding Spider-Man in the climactic fight. The scene highlights Otto’s true nature as a good person, flying in the face of his fellow villains’ reckless opportunism, and rallying behind Spider-Man with a clear mind and conscience.

4 Killmonger Vs. Klaue

Black Panther (2018)

Klaue and Killmonger’s showdown spelled the end of the impossibly charismatic Ulysses Klaue as Erik Killmonger initiated the next step of his plan to take over Wakanda. Upon Klaue’s refusal to take Killmonger to Wakanda, Erik dispatches their two associates, Limbani and Linda, before gunning for Klaue. In the ensuing gunfight, Klaue finally finds himself outmatched as Killmonger delivers several wounds, before revealing his royal status and finishing the job. Klaue’s laughter in his final moments was a testament to the rough-and-ready villain’s carefree nature, as he bid a characteristically frivolous farewell to the MCU.

3 Lokis Vs. Lokis

Loki (2021)

Loki’s swift pivot from villain to hero in his titular series was cemented by the time it approached the season 1 finale, in which Loki found himself in the Void at the end of time among myriad weird and wonderful variants of himself. These variants included the more virtuous Kid Loki and Classic Loki. Not all Lokis had got in touch with their more amenable side, however, as they soon found themselves confronted by President Loki and his supposed supporters, comprising other traitorous variants.

A testament to Loki’s character progression came with his frustration towards his variants, who fell foul of their duplicitous nature and engaged in a chaotic brawl spurred by several double-crosses. The fight was a microcosm of Loki-isms as Loki and his allies escaped with the help of illusions, leaving the more nefarious Loki variants behind to fight among themselves in a symbolic departure from his past self. From there it was only uphill for the less antagonistic Loki variants as they each went on to find their true “glorious purpose,” distinctly separate from the kind of throne he once vied for.

2 Skurge Vs. Hela

Thor: Raagnarok (2017)

Skurge was a misguided soul whose delusions of grandeur led him to fall into step with Hela, who immediately recruited him as her executioner upon arriving in Asgard. Skurge’s reluctance to carry out his newfound duties culminated in a heroic yet doomed double-cross, foregoing the opportunity to escape Surtur’s destruction of Asgard to instead wield Des and Troy against his erstwhile employer. While Skurge held his own against Hela’s pursuing Berserkers, the fight with her was unsurprisingly quick, yet may well have been enough to secure his place in Valhalla nonetheless, as he went down fighting valiantly.

1 Adam Warlock Vs. War Pig

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)

Adam Warlock’s assault on War Pig to obtain the body of Rocket was initially met with incredulity as War Pig exclaimed that they “work for the same boss.” Warlock, clarifying that he needed the credit to save his civilization, summarizes the naive Sovereign’s true intentions for his antagonism: the preservation of his own race, and, more specifically, his mother. War Pig, who was more than capable of besting Gamora, then found herself quickly dispatched by the future Guardian as he effortlessly tore off her head. The tussle of the High Evolutionary’s two imperfect creations was quick but indicative of his failure to create perfectly peaceful (and obedient) beings.

Key Release Dates

Deadpool 3

Captain America: Brave New World

Marvel’s Fantastic Four

Marvel’s Thunderbolts

Blade (2025)

Avengers: The Kang Dynasty

Avengers: Secret Wars

 Villain vs. villain is just as entertaining.  Read More