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The definitions of what makes for a villain and a true defender were blurred on ABC’s Agents of SHIELD. Despite network Marvel shows all biting the dust, there’s still one more season left of this series to see what made it a bit different from the ordinary.

Their approach to villains was out of left field compared to the more deliberate delineations of good and evil in the MCU. SHIELD was able to give more complexity to their baddies, including one who was initially on the side of the superheroes.

According to some recent lists of the show’s worst villains, one stands out from the others. This character was very much human compared to the alien-like nemeses in past episodes. It proved betrayal is always possible in those most trusted.

The Kree are considered the best villains of all

Clark Gregg and Jeff Ward speak onstage
Clark Gregg and Jeff Ward | Paul Butterfield/Getty Images

Yes, the alien races are the ones who usually made the most effective villains. Most media analysts seem to contend the Kree were the best of all the evils, mainly because they were seemingly indestructible and could cause some serious injury to the members of SHIELD.

Because the Kree were oversized beings with amazing strength, they were truly the best of comic book villainy that made SHIELD one of the best Marvel shows for a while. After some time, the show started going in its own direction, which took them to start exploring other villains, sometimes within the inner circle.

Even if the MCU explored this a little during the Civil War phase, there was never anyone who turned away from the Avengers forever through backdoor betrayal.

According to Screen Rant, one human character who betrayed SHIELD behind everyone’s back is considered the true epitome of what makes for Marvel anti-heroism.

Was Grant Ward really the worst human villain?

Look around online and one can find a lot of Marvel fans who say Grant Ward was one of the best Marvel villains of all, including outside the movies. One reason for this is so many baddies from the MCU movies have been more or less by the book.

Grant Ward was a more insidious type of villain because he worked directly for SHIELD at one time, yet managed to be secretly working for HYDRA all along and ultimately turned on the famous agents. What makes this such an unusual situation is he was thoroughly vetted in the beginning in being a noble SHIELD agent.

The message this sent in the show was one as a warning tale to our real age: Sometimes a mole can be within a respectable organization without any prior criminal record. Of course, this is what Al Qaeda operatives used to do when looking to integrate themselves within American life.

In the case of Grant Ward, he was a classic psychopath due to a rough childhood, something that somehow went over the radar of his fellow agents for too long.

What made Grant so interesting was his evolution

Not everyone clearly loved this character because of how much he didn’t hesitate to physically and mentally torture those who he claimed as friends. His moral ambiguity didn’t seem to set any kind of precedent for villains at Marvel, but it didn’t make the company hesitate to bring the character back in some interesting ways.

Fans of SHIELD all know Grant was killed during Season 3 and his body became assimilated by Hive. Eventually, the alternate version of Grant Ward (known as Framework Ward) was seen, giving the character a redemptive arc.

This version of the character is the hero everyone wanted him to be from the beginning. With the final season of SHIELD approaching in 2020, all indications point to Grant having a full arc of starting out evil and becoming heroic, only thanks to his Framework edition being recreated to interact in the real world.

It’s doubtful any villain in the MCU will ever have the same kind of narrative path.