Split image showing He Who Remains in Loki and Ayesha in GotG Vol 2

The 15 Richest MCU Villains

The MCU gained some very wealthy and powerful individuals over the past year, and there will be more money coming into the universe when Fantastic Four and Doctor Doom make their debut over the next few years. Things could change as soon as Black Panther: Wakanda Forever arrives, both by eliminating one of the wealthiest men in Marvel movies in T’Challa, but also by adding Namor, whose wealth could surpass anyone on Earth depending on what Atlantis looks like when it enters the universe. However, until they show up in the MCU, no one knows how much Atlantis is worth or how powerful Doctor Doom really is, but they will need to have a lot of money to reach the wealth levels of the villains introduced into the MCU so far.
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In determining the wealthiest villains of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s important to keep in mind that absent any on-screen bank statements, the biggest determining factors of such wealth are logic and supposition. Emerging from frozen stasis in Eternals and driven by pure savagery, for example, Kro was certainly not “wealthy” in the conventional sense of the word.

But for many of the MCU’s big bads, it’s fair to say that the accumulation of additional riches pales as a motivation for their misdeeds next to their yearning for raw power. Power grabs, however, require the means to do so … and the size of those means can tell viewers a great deal about how much wealth they have at their disposal.

UPDATE: 2022/09/07 00:30 EST BY SHAWN S. LEALOS

The MCU gained some very wealthy and powerful individuals over the past year, and there will be more money coming into the universe when Fantastic Four and Doctor Doom make their debut over the next few years. Things could change as soon as Black Panther: Wakanda Forever arrives, both by eliminating one of the wealthiest men in Marvel movies in T’Challa, but also by adding Namor, whose wealth could surpass anyone on Earth depending on what Atlantis looks like when it enters the universe. However, until they show up in the MCU, no one knows how much Atlantis is worth or how powerful Doctor Doom really is, but they will need to have a lot of money to reach the wealth levels of the villains introduced into the MCU so far.

Obadiah Stane (Iron Man)

Obadiah Stane in Iron Man

Obadiah Stane didn’t make his money in a very legal manner. After he set up Tony Stark to die, he took over the company and sold Stark tech to the Ten Rings, which undoubtedly added to Stane’s bank account. He, of course, did this all behind the backs of the stockholders, and while they got their cut, he made a lot of money on the side by brokering the deal.

Stane, however, ranks below the other CEOs of companies that Tony Stark had to deal with. For one big thing, once Stark returned, Stane lost a lot of his power in the company, so his wealth comes mostly from selling out his boss to begin with, and then stopped there.

Norman Osborn (Spider-Man: No Way Home)

Norman Osborn in Spider-Man

Norman Osborn is an interesting addition to the MCU. For one thing, the version that appeared came from an alternate Earth, one where Spider-Man is older and broken, but also one where Norman died before ever appearing in Spider-Man: No Way Home.

There is also the question of what happened to Oscorp once Norman and Harry both died. Norman might go home to a world where he lost everything. However, his company should have survived his death, and when Norman returned home, he should have much more money than he did before his death, which was an estimated $10 billion.

Darren Cross/Yellowjacket (Ant-Man)

Darren Cross looking menacing in Ant-Man

Cross has the brains — he graduated from M.I.T. as valedictorian when he was only 20, as James Rondell revealed in the “Wired Insider” episode of the digital series WHIH Newsfront — and once he succeeded Hank Pym as the CEO of Pym Technologies, the company became “highly profitable.”

It’s fair to say that such profits likely drove him to covet even more and gave him the motive to sell the Pym Particles formula to HYDRA. Of course, his bank account might be a little in the red after the demolition of Cross Technologies by Ant-Man, who also defeated Cross in miniature combat.

Justin Hammer (Iron Man 2)

Justin Hammer with a gun

Tony Stark faced off against rival CEOs in the boardroom and their henchmen (except for Stane, who suited up himself) in the skies. Like Cross, these three men didn’t rise to the top of Stark Industries, Hammer Industries, and Advanced Idea Mechanics without a little derring-do … and some pockets padded by a little chicanery along the way.

Justin Hammer had much more money at his beck and call than Stane, as he owned Hammer Industries. Since he was competing with Stark for selling weapons, and the United States was a top customer, he made a lot of money along the way. He had the means to recruit Whiplash as a mercenary, but he made a mistake when he stopped acting like a businessman and took his rivalry with Stark too personally.

Aldrich Killian (Iron Man 3)

Aldrich Killian in Iron Man 3

Aldrich Killian had the financial wherewithal to buy into the highest levels of dirty politics and arranged to have President Ellis kidnapped in Iron Man 3. This is because, unlike Justin Hammer who just made money selling weapons, which was lucrative in itself, AIM did a lot more business with a lot more organizations with its scientific inventions.

Killian clearly took an early confrontation with Stark personally, and in the end, he might have actually made more money in his business than Stark did in his. Side-by-side, Killian’s stacks probably rise higher than Stane’s or Hammer’s, but all three, like Cross, learn the hard way that crime doesn’t pay, especially as an Iron Man villain.

Wilson Fisk (Hawkeye)

Wilson Fisk at dinner

Wilson Fisk had something that Norman Osborn didn’t have in the MCU. He had assets that he kept hidden from the world. He was likely a billionaire when it came to the assets from his public corporation. However, as Daredevil showed, Kingpin also had money to compete with corporations around the world as well as organizations like The Hand.

With Wilson Fisk showing up in Hawkeye and returning to Echo, he is now part of the MCU, and most fans assume that his character is the same as the one in the Netflix series, where he had control of his assets, even when his legal wealth was frozen, and he ended up in prison. It makes his total net worth unfathomable compared to regular businessmen in the MCU.

Red Skull (Captain America: The First Avenger)

The Red Skull looking menacing in Captain America: The First Avenger

Johann Schmidt, the Nazi officer who became the Red Skull, didn’t rise to his particular station in the Reich without accumulating cash along the way and a rich man’s eye for the finer things in life: After tracking the Tesseract (which he called “the jewel of Odin’s treasure room”) to Norway, he immediately knew the difference between a fake and the real thing.

As an ally and confidante of Hitler, Schmidt was rewarded handsomely for his service … both monetarily, it’s safe to assume, and with a position as the leader of HYDRA. In a Jacob Marley-esque twist, however, money and power couldn’t save him from ghostly exile on Vormir.

Tony Stark (Captain America: Civil War)

Tony talks to Natasha in Captain America: Civil War

Iron Man may have justified his actions as an enforcer of the Sokovia Accords as righteous — in the same manner that the most famous of the MCU’s villains, Thanos, rationalized his quest to eradicate half of all life via the Snap — but he was nevertheless the foil in Captain America: Civil War. While the Marvel Cinematic Universe Fandom Wiki puts Tony’s net worth at almost $13 billion, one thing’s for sure: He’s got a lot of money, and he enjoys every opportunity to remind his peers of it.

In fact, without Tony’s wealth, the “Civil War” would have been much more lopsided, given that Vision, War Machine, and Spider-Man all owe their powers, costumes, or (in Vision’s case) very existence to the Stark bank account.

Mandarin (Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings)

Mandarin in Shang Chi

The Mandarin was similar to someone like Aldrich Killian and Justin Hammer, except he had his sights set much higher. He also had lived for much longer than almost any MCU villain born on Earth. He didn’t own a company looking to sell things. Mandarin owned an organization that sought to rule the world.

It also helped that Mandarin had been alive for over 1,000 years thanks to his discovery of the Ten Rings. He then used the rings to manipulate historical events and amassed what had to be an enormous fortune along the way. With the fortune he built over 1,000 years, and accounting for inflation, he easily was the wealthiest person on the planet before his death.

Ayesha (Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2)

Ayesha on her throne in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2

As the Golden High Priestess of the Sovereign, this particular villain clearly has some cash to throw around. She hired the Guardians of the Galaxy to protect the Anulax Batteries. She hired Yondu and the Ravagers to kill the Guardians. She created Adam Warlock.

Such determination to avoid conflict with a creature as lowly as an Abilisk, and the willingness to throw everything into vengeance against the Guardians because of Rocket’s theft, speaks of a high-born sensibility that’s as much a product of refinement as it is perfect genetics. The lady is obviously in the upper-tier of wealthy MCU villains.

Grandmaster (Thor: Ragnarok)

The Grandmaster looking serious in Thor Ragnarok

Not much is known about the being born En Dwi Gast (also known as The Grandmaster and brother to The Collector) except that he enjoys pitting lesser lifeforms against one another in his Contest of Champions. It’s certainly not clear how he came to lord over Sakaar, but as the planet’s ruler, he undoubtedly had plenty of riches at his disposal.

He’s unable to buy himself out of an attempted overthrow, however, and in the end, he credits his despotic rule for the motivation his revolting subjects needed to rise up. As it turns out, he’s got charm in abundance as well.

The Collector (Guardians Of The Galaxy)

Collector holds the Reality Stone in Thor: The Dark World

Taneleer Tivan should sit alongside his brother, Grandmaster, as one of the wealthiest villains in the MCU … although The Collector may have the advantage. After all, a being who boasts “the largest collection of interstellar fauna, relics, and species in the galaxy” has to have the means to acquire them … a fact made obvious when he offers 4 billion Units to the Guardians for the Orb, or Power Stone.

No wonder, then, that director James Gunn described the character as an “outer-space Liberace,” an accurate comparison given the real-life singer’s flamboyance, decadence, and personal wealth.

Thanos (Avengers: Infinity War)

Thanos with Infinity Gauntlet in Avengers Infinity War

The Mad Titan obviously has enough coin to buy some big toys: For example, his vehicle, Sanctuary II, dwarfs the Statesman, itself massive enough to carry an estimated 5,000 Asgardians. In addition, the size of the Q-Ship that appeared on the Manhattan skyline at the beginning of Infinity War is another indication that Thanos had the means to commission something big enough to fit inside Sanctuary II.

For his mission to collect the Infinity Stones and wipe out half of the universe, Thanos undoubtedly had plenty of capital at his disposal, accumulated through time-honored methods of murder and pillaging used by invading despots throughout history. As Bruce Banner puts it, “He invades planets, he takes what he wants, he wipes out half a population.

He Who Remains (Loki)

He Who Remains playing with an apple in Loki

While he wasn’t saddled with the mantle of Kang during the summer run of Loki, the man born Nathaniel Richards has, in his own words, “lived a million lifetimes,” and he’s accumulated quite a lot to show for it: The Time Variance Authority, for one, and the Citadel at the End of Time, a stronghold filled with so many trinkets and baubles, all of them a drop in the bucket compared to what he will continue to accumulate.

He is … or was … the master of the Sacred Timeline. Even his death at Sylvie’s hands won’t prevent He Who Remains — or the variants that will inevitably arise in his absence — from continuing to amass untold amounts of riches that stagger the imagination.

Ego (Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2)

An image of Ego smiling in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

A being that’s literally a living planet technically has dominion over every resource on that planet. At the very least, his very long life allowed him to accumulate a vast collection of wealth over the years, enough to generously compensate Yondu and the Ravagers for delivering his children to him.

But it may be that Ego does not need units whatsoever, given that his omniscience also allows him to manipulate matter at a molecular level, meaning that he can manifest what others have to pay for. Technically, such resources are limited only by imagination and energy, which may make Ego the richest villain of all.

NEXT: The 10 Best Marvel Comics Supervillains Not in the MCU

Author: Brandon Murphy