There’s so much to love about the X-Men: the awesome school-mansion and the cheesy suits, breathtaking special effects, and cool superpowers we just wish we had. And let us not forget its villains. The X-Men villains are captivating, brilliant stuff, and pretty much as appealing as anything else in the series.
We also love a good ranking, and with X-Men: Apocalypse winging its way onto Sky Cinema from Friday 28th April, we thought now would be the perfect time to take a look at which of the series’ baddies were the most deliciously awful of the lot.
11. Wade Wilson/Weapon XI (X-Men Origins: Wolverine)
Weapon XI is an awkward villain, to say the least. Played by Ryan Reynolds eons before the Deadpool film came out, this version of Wade Wilson fights in a cohort of mercenary mutants alongside Wolverine. Later in the film he is turned into a super-killing machine (hereby earning the name Weapon XI), and he and Logan have an epic face-off. His appearance just makes no sense in terms of continuity in the overall series, but hey, at least he’s suitably creepy.
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10. Victor Creed/Sabretooth (X-Men Origins: Wolverine)
At first gance, Logan’s brother seems like an all right sort of guy, all until it turns out that he has a penchant for murder. Wolverine’s just not cool with that, and so the two become mortal enemies. We never figured out what Sabretooth’s motivation is in all this is exactly - but watching him betray his sibling does smart.
9. Dr. Klaus Schmidt / Sebastian Shaw (X-Men: First Class)
The mutant scientist ran horrid experiments in Nazi concentration camps during WWII, including on the one and only Magneto. When we meet him in X-Men: First Class, he’s persuaded that it’s a good idea to start the Cuban missile crisis, so that he can take over the world - or something. The plan is really too out there for him to be credible, but he gets points for giving Magneto his legendary helmet.
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8. Ichirō Yashida (The Wolverine)
One thing’s for sure: Wolverine isn’t very lucky when it comes to buddies. He and Ichiro become great friends during WWII after he saves the Japanese soldier’s life. Now on his deathbed as an old man, Ichiro asks Logan to visit him one last time. Turns out that his intentions aren’t quite so innocent - Ichiro is hoping that Wolverine will agree to transfer his healing abilities to him, hereby ensuring his own immortality. When our hero refuses, the dying man tries to nab them by force, taking on the persona of the Silver Samurai. Really not cool.
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7. En Sabah Nur (X-Men: Apocalypse)
En Sabah Nur, the first mutant, started life as an Ancient Egyptian tyrant before being sent into a near-eternal coma. When he is accidentally awoken from his pyramid, he sets out to destroy what’s on the planet to create a new world order. We say that it’s a bit of a predictable plan, and his lack of understanding of the modern world makes us wonder whether he should have taken a minute to learn a bit more about it before getting on with the obliterating.
X-Men: Apocalypse is available on Sky Cinema from April 28th
6. Donald Pierce (Logan)
In the dystopian future, Logan and his sort-of-daughter Laura are pursued by none other than the terrifying Donald Pierce. The paramilitary leader is obsessed with violence and shows not an ounce of pity for those who stand in his way. He’s perhaps one of the most chilling villains of the series, and definitely its grittiest.
5. Francis (Deadpool)
Francis’s crime alias is Ajax, but like Deadpool, we kinda prefer referring to him by his real name. The cruel and foul-mouthed villain runs all sorts of experiments on the ill and the vulnerable, and sells them into slavery if they happen to succeed in developing a superpower. He’s also brilliant joke material and makes for a solid, down-to-earth, thoroughly despicable baddie.
Deadpool is available now on Sky Cinema
4. Dr Bolivar Trask (X-Men: Days of Future Past)
The whole plot of Days of Future Past was about trying to prevent Mystique from murdering Bolivar Trask. But don’t be fooled - the guy is all in himself a certified bad dude. Trask is the inventor of the Sentinel program, which consists of very intelligent, scary, robots designed to fend off ‘the mutant threat’. What’s worse, he lobbies the US government for the implementation of his idea too. He’s probably had the most sinister, far-reaching, plan out of the whole X-Men saga so far.
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3. Colonel William Stryker (X2, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, X-Men: Days of the Future Past, X-Men: Apocalypse)
Where to start with William Stryker? He’s the ultimate representation of those who fear and discriminate against mutants. The Colonel kidnaps Professor Xavier in X2 and provokes the death of Jean Grey. He’s also responsible for the Wolverine’s adamantium graft, along with a whole host of other crimes in his youth, when he was just a Major. Each of the actors who’ve played him capture his snivelling, hateful attitude to a tee.
2. Raven Darkhölme/Mystique (Pretty much all X-Men films)
Mystique has now become one of the series’ main protagonists, although she can occasionally still come across as morally ambiguous. In the original trilogy she was one of the X-Men’s most iconic enemies, fighting alongside her mentor Magneto in order to ensure mutant supremacy. Originally played by Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, her aptitude for disguise and menacing grin made us, ahem, a tad uncomfortable.
1. Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto (Pretty much all X-Men films)
No one else, really, could have topped the list. Magneto manages to be a thoroughly convincing villain, and also sort of sympathetic all at once. We can’t really ever agree with his goals, but we kind of understand his point of view - and his rivalry/friendship with Professor X is always endearing. Both Ian McKellen and Michael Fassbender portray him superbly, and we hope that we’ll see the character get up to no good in many more movies to come.