What’s the Work?
Alexander Pierce is the main antagonist from Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Captain America film series is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Who is the Candidate/What they did?
Alexander Pierce was a member of the World Security Council, but in reality he was the head of an infamous terrorist organisation called Hydra.
Pierce has committed a number of heinous crimes to qualify. His first one, he tries to have Nick Fury (who was his friend), killed, simply because he thought something felt off about project insight and that something evil was happening to SHIELD. Second, he killed his maid, Renata just because she saw him meeting his Evil Subordinate, the Winter Soldier, He didn’t even show a trace of remorse, all he said before shooting her was a sarcastic, ‘Oh Renata, I wish you would have knocked’ before gunning her down. Later on he sends The Winter Soldier and Strike to assassinate Captain America, Black Widow and Falcon because they found out about his allegiances to HYDRA. Another heinous act he does, is when The Winter Soldier starts to remember Captain America (who was his best friend in his earlier life before being brainwashed), Pierce submits him to a cold-blooded torture, even disturbing enough that Brock Rumlow and Jack Rollins start looking disturbed, and The Former is pretty heinous as it is!
Now we haven’t even scratched the surface of his Crimes, His big one being Project Insight. To SHIELD and the Rest of the world security council, it is an extremist programme that will read a terrorists DNA and shoot them down before they can commit a crime, but in reality, it is to further Hydra’s goals, by eliminating anyone who might stand up to them in the future, simply by what they’ve achieved in the past. What makes it worse is the amount of people targeted is a grand total of 20 Million! Including The President and All the superheroes. If that wasn’t heinous enough, he wasn’t even going to do it himself, he had an unknowing crew launch the ships which will carry out his goals, This was only stopped because Captain America told everyone the truth, so the Insight crew refused. When the remainder of the World Security Council found out Pierce’s true allegiances, Pierce showed no remorse and even tried to justify what he was about to do. When he couldn’t convince the world council to join him, he activated a pin which put ‘a two inch hole in their sternum’, he claimed the pins gave them ‘unrestricted access’, but this was simply so he could kill them if need be, he also blackmailed Black Widow by saying he will do the same thing to her if she didn’t come with him (where he would have probably brainwashed her into becoming a loyal Hydra agent). Nick Fury, reveals he’s alive, and tells Pierce he would’ve once took a bullet for him, Pierce brushes it off by saying (you already did, you will again when it’s useful), this act got Pierce shot by none other than his old friend, Nick Fury.
Freudian Excuse/Mitigating Factors
Pierce’s line to Nick Fury near the start of the film ‘But you got to have Iron Man stop by my nieces birthday party, not a flyby, he’s got to mingle’ could be a case of ‘Even Evil Has Loved Ones’, but based on his attitude later in the film, if his niece was targeted by Project Insight, he probably wouldn’t care and still go through with it.
The MCU has some high Standards, but in comparison to other villains who are already PE, he stands out, if Project Insight succeeded, he would have a body count of 20 million, plus more due to the people before that he has had murdered.
Moral Event Horizon
Trying to kill 20 million innocent people and making it look like they’re terrorists crosses the line easily, but he takes it further when he uses people who were unknowing of who were being targeted more than crosses it. Also his cold blooded torture of Bucky crosses the line.
Pierce is a non action villain, but he has the resources at his disposal, including full control of SHIELD and Hydra and Thousands of hellicarriers, soldiers and weaponry to help him go through with his plans.
He clearly knows what’s good and what’s not, as shown by when he pretends to be a good man.
He is shown as caring for no one in the film, his soldiers are disposable and while he isn’t above forming friendships (like with Nick Fury), he throws it all away the second it even seems Fury is going to oppose him.
He has no sympathy from me, his journey to becoming evil was simply because he and Fury were on a mission were hostages were taken, Pierce wanted to negotiate with the enemy, but when he sees Fury ‘do what had to be done’, Pierce becomes evil.
He has quite a bit of screen time in the film and a lot of his acts were on screen.
In the winter soldier, he is undoubtably the most evil character in that film, Bucky was brainwashed, Rumlow was a loyal soldier, Sitwell was just a coward.
He Definitely qualifies.