I know it’s been discussed everywhere before, even to the nitty gritty. But anyway here is my take.
I just watched Eternals. Also Shang-Chi the day before that. It makes me believe that Marvel or to be precise the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) can’t have a real villain who is just pure evil. Behind the main villain from the start of the film through the second act (middle of the film), there is always someone or something that makes their actions acceptable.
In Eternals we have Deviants who are considered the villains but they’re not really the evil ones, just some kind dangerous creator that even the films called predator. Behind them is Arishem the Judge — a Celestial. Arishem was supposed to ‘supervise’ an emergence of the other celestials. This powerful one actually has no ill-intention. It just tries to do its job while the planet and all its intelligent life are the fuel.
In Shang-Chi, we have his father who we think maybe he is the villain but not quiet. He was on a mission that he thinks was right, well we know it wasn’t. We have the bad guy who is the real one. Add Dweller in Darkness and its servants to the equation, there you have it. Classic MCU villain problem.
Do you remember Thanos? He was like the biggest bad guy of all time for the MCU until Endgame. But he was trying to do something good not for one planet not for his planet but for the entire universe by doing the snap. Even as big as the problem he caused, he had his justification for that. Also don’t forget that his snap delayed the emergence of a new celestial for 5 years!
Let’s look into a more regular human approach. Erik Killmonger is probably the most liked villain of all time. He was trying to take over the kingdom of Wakanda because he was trying to help the people who are oppressed. The people of colour throughout the world are suffering but Wakanda did nothing. Personally, he was suffering too as his father was executed by his own brother — King/Black Panther at that time. Well, his father was betraying Wakanda. So still wrong but the king could’ve done much much better.
Anyway, maybe there was one time that marvel created one true villain that really struck me. Red Skull and HYDRA on the first Captain America film. They just wanted to control the world, to have power and everything. Sounds cliche but we see no justification for their actions.