Why is Marvel obsessed with turning their villains good?

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Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Holland star in Columbia Pictures’ SPIDER-MAN: ™ FAR FROM HOME.
Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Holland star in Columbia Pictures’ SPIDER-MAN: ™ FAR FROM HOME. /

Marvel movies have adopted a theme of turning their own villains into heroes, but why?

With the recent releases of films such as Spider-Man: Far From Home, X-Men: Dark Phoenix, and the upcoming Disney Plus series Loki, it seems that Marvel has comfortably come to terms with the fact that they love nothing more than to turn their most ruthless villains into heroes. Marvel often has villains who are the heroes of their own stories, such as Killmonger and Vulture, but they were ultimately still major antagonists.

There are certain Marvel supervillains that have not only become the heroes of their own stories, but heroes in general. Aligning themselves with the protagonists, saving people, and even trying to show other villains the error of their ways.

Why is this happening? Why does Marvel have an obsession with taking characters who have almost always been villains and transforming them into a run-of-the-mill superhero? Let’s take a closer look.


Thor: Ragnarok..Loki (Tom Hiddleston)..Photo: Jasin Boland..©Marvel Studios 2017
Thor: Ragnarok..Loki (Tom Hiddleston)..Photo: Jasin Boland..©Marvel Studios 2017 /

Out of all of the extraordinary villains that have had a change of conscience due to Marvel’s writers’ room, Loki is perhaps the most prominent and the most sickening. In any Thor comic book you may stumble upon, Loki’s only goal in life is to rule Asgard and kill his adopted brother. He is so consumed with hatred and resentment that nothing could possibly give him a change of heart.

In Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Infinity War, that is not the Loki the fans receive. That Loki barely has any tricks up his sleeve, he’s not trying to con his brother, and he is simply a supporting hero. This character was supposed to be the biggest bad of the Marvel Cinematic Universe at one point and, now, he’s sacrificing himself for a family member he once swore to destroy? Talk about throwing source material out of the window.

As if this wasn’t bad enough, Loki is now getting his own television series, where he is undoubtedly the star and protagonist of whatever adventure he may partake upon. Even though the Loki we will see is from 2012, and is supposed to be the pompous degenerate that fans grew to love, it is still his story. Loki will in no way be the villain of the Loki series so even though the character has finally gone back to his sinister roots, it will all be in vain.

Why did Marvel decide to turn Loki good? It’s no secret that the character and Tom Hiddleston amassed a giant cult following after The Avengers was released, but the entire appeal was that you loved to hate him. With so many fans loving to hate Loki, of course he has to be featured more and, of course, the only way to do that is to pair him with Thor in order to battle a bigger threat. Perhaps Marvel Studios does not understand the appeal of their own characters, or perhaps Loki works better as a hero, but that is not why fans learned to love him originally.