In the final chilling sequence A secret invasion Episode 4, as Gravik (Kingsley Ben-Adir) slowly turns to Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), treating his half blown off face reminiscent of the T-1000 from Terminator 2, I have a profound revelation — Gravik is an amazing villain. Despite the hatred that spread to him, but definitely because of it. Believe it or not, there is more than one type of effective villain, and not everyone becomes iconic just because they are so smart that you want them to win, like Loki and Wanda, for example. Sure, they’re wonderful, but to truly hate a villain is rare and remarkable.
Gravik’s ability to evoke a sense of dread and anticipation at the same time, where we don’t want to see him on screen, but eagerly await his next appearance, makes him stand out, not only as a great villain, but as one of the best MCU villains. We have seen in a long time. It seems like a bold claim, I know, but think about it. When it comes to being an interesting villain, Gravik checks every single box.
Gravik is a major threat in ‘Secret Invasion’
There’s nothing worse than a completely forgettable, bored villain who doesn’t deliver on their potential. (I’m looking at you, Ultron.) From the beginning, A secret invasionThe pilot of the pilot wastes no time in portraying Gravik as a terrifying and dangerous threat. In just one episode, he carries out a massive terrorist attack and wipes out OG MCU characters without hesitation, letting us know that no one is safe. And what’s even more impressive is that he hasn’t slowed down since.
As the series progresses, Gravik’s relentless quest for power and control only increases. In a remarkably short period of time, he seized control of the Skrull Council and planned an attack on the President of the United States (Dermot Mulroney), setting the wheels in motion for what could become World War 3. Meanwhile, Gravik’s body continues to rot as he claims the lives of two major MCU characters, G’iah (Emilia Clarke), whom he tried to kill despite their long history, and Talos (Ben Mendelsohn), G’iah’s father and Fury’s closest friend, who had always wanted peace in his quest for a home for his people. While G’iah was able to cleverly employ Extremis to survive her mortal wounds, the loss of the other two characters hurt fans, exacerbating the emotional impact of Gravik’s actions.
As a captivating villain, Gravik masterfully plays his role as an antagonist worthy of the main character. The way he strategically targets Fury’s allies and friends steadily raises the stakes, leaving both the hero and the audience reeling from the loss. Now that he’s a Super Skrull, there’s no obvious limit to Gravik’s abilities, which gives him incalculable and terrifying power, making everyone stand out as they struggle with the scale of his strength.
‘Secret Invasion’ gives Gravik a clear motive
Gravik’s villain backstory was forged in the ashes of the Kree/Skrull war, which destroyed his planet and took the lives of his parents when he was a child. His only hope for a fresh start comes in the form of Nick Fury and Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) promises to help Skrull refugees find new homes. However, three decades have passed, and the Skrulls are still trapped and forced to look like normal people instead of wearing their natural skin. What’s worse is that Fury abandoned them after the Blip, choosing instead to spend several years overseeing the construction of SABER, a space station funded by the US government.
Cut off from his culture and raised as an orphan with no sense of belonging, Gravik is understandably deeply scarred, which provides a clear and emotional motivation for his actions. He has many similarities to many famous and legendary villains such as Killmonger and Magneto, whose goals are driven by the desire to save their people from oppression and reclaim their identity. We can empathize with their reasons completely, even if we fight their extreme methods and ruthless detachment, which often makes them turn violent even in their own kind.
In the realm of villains, clear and believable motivations are paramount, and Gravik certainly has this important quality. That’s not to say that every good villain needs such an eccentricity, because of course there is a difference with a villain like the Green Goblin who is evil, but in Gravik’s case, it certainly adds depth and interest to his character.
Gravik knows how to get a reaction
There is a big difference between being disliked and being despised. While the impossible often translates to the exception, being hated is a very good thing for a fictional character. A good villain gets a strong emotional reaction from the audience, whether that emotion is good or bad. And Gravik made us Nose.
He is incredibly ruthless with his kills, clever with his tricks, and fearless with his pursuits. Just like the T-1000 that he assembled in the last shot of the fourth episode, Gravik can not reason with and will not hesitate to remove the obstacle. The reactions to his cold-blooded murder, the development of his powers, and the impact of his actions on Fury’s life are intense and passionate. Hating him so much that you want to see the death of Talos and Hill avenged in the form of Gravik’s death only proves that he is a legitimate opponent. As the song says, “Love me or hate me, it’s still a delusion,” and Gravik is still a real badass.
Kingsley Ben-Adir plays the Villain perfectly
Great villains owe their success to great acting, and when it comes to the MCU, Kingsley Ben-Adir’s portrayal of Gravik stands among the best. He commands your attention every time he’s on screen and makes you worry about his absence. He is smart and accomplished and exudes the confidence of this sphinx that forces you to lend him money begrudgingly.
His dark performance is nothing short of terrifying, with his machine-like emotional indifference and snake-like unpredictability – and beyond his fearsome exterior, Gravik is humanized through eerie echoes, offering insight into his suffering and empathizing with the child within. he It will be incredibly interesting to see how the rest of his reign plays out in the final two episodes. Don’t miss the riveting two-part summary A secret invasionAiring this Wednesday and next on Disney +.