1) AIDA / Madame HYDRA: Probably the closest the show has gotten to writing a villain that’s on Netflix Marvel’s level. I have to say, I’m honestly impressed with how good AIDA is as a Big Bad. One of the big things I love about her arc is that it’s not a sudden switch. We SEE all the moments that lead to her turn and it’s a natural, believable heel turn. From falling for Fitz, to discovering that she’s not unique, to meeting the Superior, AIDA’s journey to becoming the Big Bad feels earned.
Also, speaking of Netflix Marvel, you know who she reminds me of the most? Kilgrave. Mind control issues aside, Kilgrave and AIDA are similar in that their goals aren’t that complex. In fact, they’re both coming from an innocent place. They both want to feel genuine love but they don’t understand that what they’re doing is horrible. There’s a certain immaturity when it comes to both villains and although it doesn’t excuse their actions at all, you can’t help but feel bad for them.
Especially when it comes to AIDA. While Kilgrave’s a grown man who should know better, AIDA is technically two or three years old. Plus, she’s a program. She doesn’t fully understand what love is. But she wants to feel it and it makes sense that she chooses Fitz, the only one who treated her with respect. So when you think about it, this brainwashed version of Fitz isn’t her punishing him or Jemma. It’s all for her because she craves love, she wants to feel unique. She thinks she’s changing him for the better but doesn’t realize that what she’s doing is incredibly messed up.
Honestly, I hate AIDA but I do feel a bit bad for her. None of what she’s doing is coming from a malicious place. But at the same time, what she’s doing IS wrong and needs to be stopped.
Hmm…a villain that well’s developed and I can feel sympathy for but will still root against because they’re clearly in the wrong and the antagonist of the story. Gee, that sounds awfully familiar
2) John Garrett: So despite season one being an average season, I still think Garrett’s switch from SHIELD to HYDRA agent was fantastic. The whole HYDRA civil war arc was great in general but if I had to single out moments from the arc, I’d pick Garrett and Ward’s heel turns.
Honestly, that’s all I got to say about him. He was a great antagonist, Bill Paxton (R.I.P.) was amazing in the role, and he tied season one together. I wish I could go more in-depth with Garrett but really, that’s the general gist of it.
3) Jiaying: Jiaying was originally going to be number two on this list but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense to put her here. I think it’s mainly because of the season she was in.
I don’t think I’ve said this before but I am NOT a fan of season two. To me, it was the most cluttered, disorganized season among the four. Say what you will about season one, at least there was a clear focus (Clairvoyant, HYDRA). Say what you will about season three, it may have been overly ambitious but there was a clear villain and end goal.
But season two really felt like the writers were tossing in a bunch of storylines and hoping that they stuck. Oh, Ward’s still here and he’s doing his own side mission. Oh, there’s another SHIELD faction that opposes Coulson. Oh, Skye is actually Daisy Johnson (that’s not a criticism, that was actually awesome). Oh, here’s Daisy’s mom, she runs a community of Inhumans. Oh, here’s HYDRA…they’re here too. There were all these storylines and at times, you couldn’t tell what the point of the season was.
Jiaying was a great villain. She had a personal tie to one of the protagonists, you can understand where she’s coming from and can sympathize with her, and she had plenty of memorable villain moments (like killing Raina and Robert Gonzales). But as the Big Bad of the season as a whole, it’s hard to justify that because there were so many different story arcs that it wouldn’t make sense to place Jiaying as the center of them all. I mean, in the season finale, the whole group wasn’t focused on her. Part of the story was focused on Bobbi, Ward and Kara.
Plus, her villain switch was a bit sudden. Like, the season was coming to an end and then all of a sudden, BAM, she’s killing SHIELD agents. It’s justified in the story but it felt a bit rushed.
So really, Jiaying being number three isn’t me deeming her a shitty villain. She was a great villain in a not-so great season.
4) The Hive: Hive was the most interesting concept among the Big Bads but, in my opinion, he was the most poorly executed. I don’t blame Brett for this, there was just a lot riding against him. One, you already knew he was gonna fail. The reason why Garrett, Jiaying, and AIDA are so effective as villains is that they’re all confined to the AOS side of the MCU. If Hive succeeded, that would actually affect the Avengers, the Defenders, and…well, basically, the whole MCU. No way in hell was Marvel Studios gonna let that fly.
Two, he was overshadowed by Grant Ward’s legacy. Yeah, I know, I know, he’s an Inhuman overlord who founded HYDRA, yadda, yadda, yadda. But the audience has followed Brett as Grant Ward for three years. Suddenly turning him into a different character doesn’t automatically erase our memory. So instead of fully embracing this new villain, Hive was still riding on the ghost of Ward (did you see what I did there?).
And third, Hive was ruined as a threat. The Fallen Agent, ticking time bomb arc made the audience care more about which agent was gonna die instead of whether or not the Hive would succeed. Also, the fact that Will Daniels, a random dude with a single bullet, managed to survive for years alongside the Hive looked bad on the latter’s part.
All around, Hive was a great concept but it was a shitty delivery. Maybe if they had more time or they took a different approach to the story, he would’ve been higher on the list.
MARVEL FANCAST: Olga Kurylenko as Ophelia Sarkissian (Madame Hydra) for [x]:
We were orphans. Little girls, all alone. Hydra gave us a home. Eight great houses. Twelve girls to a house. And in the end, the most determined… the most ambitious… the most aggressive… That girl would be the Viper.
Ophelia Sarkissan (Viper/Madame Hydra) | Over 90 years old; appears 29 | TAKEN | FC: Olga Kurylenko
“Why don’t you die you meddlesome pig!”
Bio: Born in Hugary some time around the 1920’s, Viper spent much of her childhood alone wandering from place to place. It is thought that she came across Wundagore Mountain on her travels, the reason as to why her aging process has slowed greatly. Finding refuge with HYDRA, she became one of twelve girls to be trained by the criminal organisation where she excelled, growing up to become one of their best students. Viper was quick to rise through the ranks, frequently coming into conflict with Captain America and S.H.I.E.L.D.
It wasn’t long, however, before Viper began to get bored by HYDRA’s regimes and restrictions. Severing her ties with them, she sought to find a place among the international criminal elites; battling many of the Avengers and X-Men on her way to her new-found power. She was soon an established terrorist, doing anything she could to gain an advantage over her enemies - including blackmailing Wolverine into marrying her to secure her criminal empire before getting a quick divorce. However Viper has come to realise that to defeat her enemies she must work together with other villains and put an end to superheroes forever.
Abilities: Collector of Venoms, Superb Athlete, Skilled Martial Artist, Swordswoman and Markswoman, Teleportation, Excellent Strategist and Tactician, Enhanced Lifespan.
Ex-wife of Logan
Has made a nemesis out of Jessica due to their past
Is unsure about setting her allegiance with either Emma at the Hellfire Club, or with Maximus
[*Some canon aspects of the character may have been altered purely for our group’s own purposes.]