1. It’s been six and a half years since Heath Ledger was the Joker in The Dark Knight. There hasn’t been a supervillain half as good. Not even close. You can stump for Loki in Avengers and the Thors, but as a character, he’s trapped in a muddle of incoherent motivation (He hates Asgard! He loves his mom! He hates his brother! He’s mad, mad he tells you!). Tom Hiddleston is a scenery-chewer of the first order—but the Marvel movies are made of greenscreen, and he’s chewing on vapor.
2. What other supervillains linger, in six-plus years of superhero cinema? Kevin Bacon played an exceptional Bond villain in X-Men: First Class. Robert Redford gave his vanilla-handsome gravitas an insidious grin in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Anne Hathaway had fun in The Dark Knight Rises, which is more than you can say about anyone else in The Dark Knight Rises. Next to that, you’ve got a parade of Nefarious Business Villains in the Iron Men and Goblin retreads in the Amazing Spider-Men and Peter Dinklage’s evil mustache in X-Men: Days of Future Past. Lee Pace and Michael Shannon played Ronan the Accuser and General Zod, identical cartoon fascists in space exoskeletons—two excellent actors, squandered. READ FULL STORY