The Best MCU Villain Quotes, from Kang to Thanos
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is pretty complex. Each project features its own strand of stories, which all come together to create one larger picture. Phases 1 through 3 completed the Infinity Saga, in which the universe’s very balance was threatened. Now, in Phase 5, the entire Multiverse is at stake thanks to Kang (and his seemingly infinite variants).
Of all its storytelling elements, the MCU is most celebrated for its villains. These figures are not simply evil for the sake of evil — though some really do commit horrific acts. When you peer beneath their villainous exterior, there’s pain. And in that pain, a lesson for all aspiring villains. Here are the top 10 MCU villain quotes and the lessons we might learn from their evil.
“You will bring me what I need. Or, I will kill your daughter in front of you. Then, make you relive that moment. Over and over again in time, endlessly. Until you beg me to kill you.” – Kang
Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania
Okay, so maybe this one doesn’t have a clear-cut lessons besides Do Not Cross Kang Ever. Still, this quote exemplifies Kang the Conqueror’s villainous allure. When he delivers this threat to Scott Lang, AKA Ant-Man, Kang’s tone is calm, quiet even. There’s no urgency to his threat. He knows he’ll follow through and he knows he’ll get what he wants … one way or another.
Maybe the lesson here is never hesitate to go after what you want. It could even be to appreciate patience in the face of opposition. Or, just whisper menacing threats when things don’t go your way. After all, not everybody has time to kill.
“People think in terms of good and evil but really, time is the true enemy of us all. Time kills everything.” – Kaecilius
Kaecilius practically wrote the book on double-crossing. His actions show the way to fool all those around you about your true intentions. That is, until you’re ready to reveal your motives.
However, the quote above is an eerie precursor to the current Multiverse Saga. Doctor Strange grappled with time itself through protecting the Time Stone, but all of our MCU heroes have also struggled with lost time. Now that Kang is in the picture, the concept of time will only get even more complicated. Where’s the Eye of Agamotto when you need it?
“You know, where I’m from, when Black folks started revolutions, they never had the firepower or the resources to fight their oppressors. Where was Wakanda? Hmm? Yeah, all that ends today.” – Killmonger
Wakanda could be a leader among the world’s most powerful nations. There would be absolutely no contest. Yet, historically, Wakanda has refrained from getting involved with the outside world’s problems. And that’s something Erik Killmonger always took issue with — why hoard all that power when it could be put to use?
On a global scale, Black folks and, for that matter, all people of color and Indigenous communities, have been systematically oppressed. Killmonger’s argument is that Wakanda and the Black Panther could have fixed that. At the very least, the African nation could have been a positive influence. Though T’Challa is a trusted king, Killmonger exposed the greatest flaw of a seemingly flawless people.
“I think you’re confusing peace with quiet.” – Ultron
Avengers: Age of Ultron
As the saying goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Or, in Tony Stark and Bruce Banner’s case, littered with deadly sentient robots. Their intention was to protect the world from the ever-growing threat of terrible outside forces. But the result? Something far more sinister.
In the comics, Ultron is an ongoing adversary for the Avengers. He represents some of their greatest failures coming back to haunt them. Ultron’s MCU version is equally terrifying, even more so because of his connection to Vision. The corruption of something so well-intentioned shows that every decision has a consequence — intended or not. Even if the Avengers won’t recognize their mistakes, Ultron is there to loudly remind them. Plus, twisting the lyrics of a children’s song is classic villainy. No strings, indeed.
“It felt like that.” – Wanda Maximoff
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Though others have always tried, Wanda Maximoff needs no one to tell her who she is — even if her role is constantly shifting. From reluctant Avenger to grieving mother, Wanda has done it all. Eventually, she even assumed the title of Scarlet Witch. But, the question remains, is Scarlet Witch a villain?
Well, the answer to that question is complicated and depends on your point of view. While Wanda’s actions throughout Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness are without a doubt some of her most devious, you could say her villain era truly began here, in Age of Ultron. Having just witnessed the death of her twin, Pietro AKA Quicksilver, Wanda’s pain is endless. In a matter of seconds, she removes the heart of one of the Avengers’ most formidable enemies, if only so he can know her pain. This moment is chilling because we see the lengths Wanda will go to avenge her own heartache and the destruction her power can cause.
“You said you wanted to burn the world. Let us burn it together.” – Namor
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
The most dangerous enemy is one who appears to be no enemy at all. They lure you in with the promise of something better, something you’ve always wanted. For Shuri, in her immense grief, Namor’s words are a soothing salve for a burning wound.
Like any compelling villain, he knows just what to say. King Namor can manipulate and tempt others so that his own objective is met. By offering his hand to Shuri, he secures the safety of his people and the elimination of a threat. Only the cunning tactics of the feathered-serpent god could manage to bring a nation like Wakanda to its knees.
“Be careful how you speak to me, young man. I have eaten more salt than you have had rice in your life!” – Wenwu
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Though this line was loosely translated from Mandarin as, “I have lived ten of your lifetimes,” Wenwu is actually using a well-known Chinese proverb. This proverb is popular in both Mandarin and Cantonese, and a more accurate translation would be “I have eaten more salt than you have had rice in your life.”
Essentially, it’s a saying that shows someone has more life experience than another. It’s a reminder to heed your elders. Wenwu, who visually appears quite young, says this to an older member of the Ta Lo community — visual proof to never underestimate the knowledge of an enemy. Shang-Chi’s father did not come to play.
“Darling, you have no idea what’s possible.” – Hela
Along those same lines, Hela is constantly overlooked by her Asgardian contemporaries. Odin cast her aside, ashamed of their brutal history. Thor and Loki initially view her as a non-threat. During battle, the Warriors Three and Asgardian army barely even listen to her evil monologue. Does that stop her, though? Hela no.
Despite the way she’s received in her hometown, Hela teaches viewers to never let anyone underestimate you. She knows her power is limitless — the mighty Mjolnir crumbles at her very touch. Thunder can strike all it wants but weather is no match for a woman like Hela.
“Don’t ever apologize for being the smartest one in the room.” – Mysterio
Spider-Man: Far From Home
We’re not saying Mysterio’s methods aren’t shady. In fact, they’re really just all smoke and mirrors. But in this instance, he imparts some extremely valuable advice upon Spider-Man. Others might make fun of your interests or talents, but they matter because you enjoy them.
When Peter Parker geeks out on the schematics of the Multiverse, Nick Fury and Maria Hill scoff at him. Quentin Beck, AKA Mysterio, does not. He encourages Peter to lean into his intelligence. Later on he also encourages Peter to give in to his worst fears but hey, nobody’s perfect — especially a villain.
“A small price to pay for salvation.” – Thanos
Avengers: Infinity War
Including Thanos was, you might say, inevitable. As the first super-villain of the MCU, Thanos is a legend in every sense of the word. In the beginning, his influence was unseen, lurking in the shadows. Slowly, his plan came together, and only then did he reveal himself as the mastermind behind a plot to bring balance to the entire universe.
Of course, never mind that this balance could only be achieved through mass genocide. According to Thanos, this loss would be a small price to pay for the ensuing universal peace. Villain or not, you gotta admit that logic is deeply broken. However, there’s something to be said for his … dedication?
Villains commit truly atrocious acts of evil. There’s no denying that. But somewhere, deep down, there’s always a reason. And the scary part is when those reasons make sense.
So, what’s your favorite MCU villain quote? Share your thoughts with other Marvel fans at side.show/geekgroup, and don’t forget to Let Your Geek Sideshow!