The Venom Movies Avoid The MCU Villain Problem (By Doubling Down On It)

Where early MCU origin films arguably failed, the Venom movies succeed due to a lack of heroic expectation & lack of reliance on villains in general.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage was released this weekend to largely positive audience reactions, and part of that may be that its villain has avoided the MCU’s villain problem–by doubling down on it. Let There Be Carnage isn’t the first Venom film to accomplish this task, as 2018’s Venom was similarly successful. While the Venom films both follow a similar approach to their Big Bads as MCU movies do, the concept is more fully realized thanks to Venom’s unique character dynamics.

Despite the success of the MCU’s origin story films, many feature climactic battles in which a hero facing a mirror version of themselves, particularly in Phases 1 and 2. While all characters should serve the story they’re in, many of the less-effective MCU movie villains are clearly designed to demonstrate a right and wrong way to use a specific power set. They tend to have vague goals of world or market domination, and largely exist to prove to audiences that Captain America must have a good heart, or that something as powerful as the Iron Man armor suit shouldn’t fall into greedy hands. By defeating their adversaries, Captain America, Iron Man, and others prove that they are the rightful wielders of their superpowers, both in terms of skill and temperament.

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