If we forget Black Widow and Falcon and the Winter Soldier moving release dates, WandaVision kicked off the Phase 4 slate for Marvel in January of this year. The excitement was palpable as we hadn’t seen a Marvel product with since July 2, 2019 Spider-Man far from homeThat is 18 months in combination with a 2020 from Hell that we quickly forget.
So with Marvel’s Phase 4, 5 and 6 likely to last another decade with several movies and Marvel TV shows on Disney + in production and pre-production, the thoughts of which bad guys will litter our cinematic landscape are on the mind of both fans and Kevin Feige and the brass at Marvel Studios.
Official announcements and logic tell us that we are Dr. Will see Doom, Kang the Conqueror, the Red Hulk, Galactus and Magneto (although I’m still on Magneto overload thanks to Fox) and more. There were minor criticisms over the years that despite the genius of the MCU franchise, they had a bit of a bad guy. Thanos ‘snapped’ that criticism (no pun intended) and there have been some good ones other than the Mad Titan, but a good villain is just as important as the protagonist, perhaps more important. There is little doubt that the villains honoring future endeavors and casting said bad guys are of the utmost importance in the future.
Fortunately, the MCU universe is huge and there are still plenty of antagonists in the Marvel encyclopedia to choose from and here are some of the best obscure and some not so obscure villains we should see in the MCU for the next decade. To be sure, the list could be longer.
The great fire demon from Muspelheim was last seen in Thor Ragnarok fulfilling the prophecy that was his goal. In the comics, Surtur was prominent in the Thor comics for years, and let’s face it, from a visual standpoint, let’s face it, there is a lot less stuff on screen to be seen as awesome than a giant fire demon.
More importantly, in the comic universe, Surtur was responsible for the destruction of Beta Ray Bill’s homeworld and the galaxy in which his planet existed. What IF Surtur didn’t die in Ragnarok and, floating through the cosmos, he happens in Beta Ray Bill’s homeworld. Since we expect Beta Ray Bill to appear in the MCU soon, even as part of Beta Ray Bill’s original story, this connection could give Marvel a great excuse to use Surtur again and to a greater extent than we even in Thor. Saw Ragnarok.
The Spider-Man franchise is undoubtedly going pretty well, and we’ve finally seen Sony’s only spin-off movie featuring Tom Hardy’s Venom in theaters in 2018 and the other Venom symbiote, Carnage, which emerged in the Venom in 2021. -continued, Let There Be Carnage.
In the comics, Anti-Venom is a manifestation of Eddie Brock’s altered antibodies that bound to his immune system. It’s all confusing, but Venom, Carnage, and Anti-Venom have significant backstories in the comics, and the connections these entities have would be a dangerous and complicated villain for Spider-Man (or any other hero) in an upcoming Marvel saga. .
The psionic, reality-altering foe of the X-Men and the son of Moira MacTaggert first appeared in the Uncanny X-Men # 125 in September 1979. Proteus had only appeared in the comics a few times over the years, but he was malicious through and through. Furthermore, his ability to own others, with the byproduct of the person’s death after Proteus ‘depleted’ each person’s energies, would create a dangerous storyline with deadly stakes for every hero he encounters. Furthermore, Proteus’ reality-altering abilities would provide a stunning image in the cinematic experience that resembles Doctor Strange’s Ancient One, but in a more grounded and deadly way.
While it doesn’t seem original after Ironman, Marvel appears to be exploring different storylines in the upcoming Phase 4 and Phase 5, hinting at more traits related to developed technology along the lines of Iron-Man and War Machine. The Disney + slate already includes Iron Wars with Don Cheadle as ‘Rhodey’ and Dominique Thorn as Riri Williams, MIT’s 15-year-old billionaire inventor who will star in Ironheart.
Cheadle’s Iron Wars will likely loosely follow the seven-song storyline from the comics in which much of Tony Stark’s technology falls into the hands of the enemy. Maybe we’ll see Justin Hammer again and why shouldn’t we? No doubt Hammer Industries has detailed schematics of the suit that Rhodey originally brought him into Iron Man 2. Technically, the original War Machine armor and upgrades are from ‘Hammer Tech’.
In the comics, the Crimson Dynamo was connected to both Justin Hammer and the Iron Wars storyline. Interestingly, in the comics, the first Crimson Dynamo was Anton Vanko, again known from Iron Man 2, played by Mickey Rourke. We know that Vanko is still alive and the Crimson Dynamo’s connection to Russia could have intriguing implications for the MCU in the future, especially given Russia’s connections to the MCU in the upcoming Black Widow and perhaps a future Colossus as well as the Super Soldier program … the possibilities are endless. What if we saw some of that ‘Dire Wraith’ (meaning … alien) technology as seen in the most recent incarnation of the Crimson Dynamo … could be cool!
Now may be the best time for Phalanx to appear in the MCU. It is true that in the comics the Phalanx are a life form outside of Earth, but with forays into the cosmic being this is not far from possible. Nevertheless, even if Marvel retained terrestrial origins, the Phalanx were essentially sentient weapons (sounds familiar) with Borg-like technology capable of converting living things into techno-organic life forms. Even moving away from the Borg parallel, the conscious weapon version, Vision technology (likely accumulated over 5 years of study by SWORD), Iron Man technology, etc., can all have a place in this terrifying predecessor to the Sentinel program that then connects us to the X-Men.
THE SHADOW KING
With the arrival of WandaVision and the upcoming multiverse lines, there is no doubt that alternate dimensions and demons are coming to the MCU. We know what the Darkhold is and where it came from and there is no doubt that these other dimensions will be explored, as well as a dark side of the MCU in the form of the Sons of Midnight, meaning Ghost Rider and the various entities that common are strips.
The Shadow King has an evil guise, but has also played roles in the human world for an incredibly long time, even in the 1940s with Baron von Strucker. He fought both Professor Xavier and the X-Men, but his connection doesn’t end there. While he ruled the Egyptian underworld as Amahl Farouk, a young thief named Ororo Monroe worked for him. We know her as the one who would become Storm of the X-Men. There are currently rumors that Storm is already in the MCU and will have a Wakanda connection. This could be a great link to introduce her character, as well as a powerful demonic antagonist to the other storylines Marvel is exploring.
The connections here are so strong that I even dare to mention them. While the Skrulls have thus far been characterized as an ally of the Earth, it is against all conscious nature not to have variations within a population. With the upcoming Secret Invasion, there is no doubt that either a remnant of the Skrulls or the entire race can change their minds and the allies will soon become a minority.
Moreover, with the arrival of the Fantastic Four coming soon, the time seems right to introduce the Super Skrull. The Super Skrull first appeared in Fantastic Four # 18 in 1963 and combined all their powers at first, but claimed other abilities as well.
A warrior named Kl’rt was designed by his race to take revenge on the Fantastic Four after the Skrulls’ failure to conquer Earth and their defeat by the Fantastic Four. There have been more than one Super Skrull, and this dangerous warrior is not only the Fantastic Four, but also the Avengers and Ms. Marvel crossed.
TERRAX THE TAMER
Named Tyros from the planet Birj, Terrax became the world’s most successful devouring Galactus’ heralds, leading him to more planets to consume than any other. Terrax seemed to be the ideal herald at first, but he had no loyalty to Galactus and often used his time as the cosmic-wielding herald to subdue planets and gain power for his own purpose.
His downfall came when he went to Manhattan and negotiated with the Fantastic Four to kill Galactus. Galactus, which had little power, barely survived, but robbed Terrax of its power.
Interestingly, Terrax had super powers before being empowered by the cosmic force. His ability to control rocks was vastly enhanced, and with his battle ax, he was perhaps the most formidable of Galactus’ heralds except the Siler Surfer. Terrax would be excellent to introduce into the cosmic storylines that come as Galactus’ current herald. He probably had the longest life, again except for the Silver Surfer, of all the other heralds in the comic book storylines. Should Marvel introduce the Silver Surfer (and they will), it would be best to introduce him free of Galactus’ grip already, so we can have two heralds for the price of one.
We’ve already seen two performances in the movies so far and the most recent was decent. However, in terms of sheer strength and indestructibility, very few ‘powers can wreak the kind of havoc than Juggernaut can and usually defeat Colossus on most occasions.
Cain Marko (aka the Juggernaut), bullied by his father as a youth, was Charles Xavier’s stepbrother and strengthened by a demon who transformed Cain and gave him superhuman strength and invulnerability. Despite the Juggernaut’s cinematic awe, he was a complex character who was an anti-hero at times, made up on points with Charles Xavier during his comic book, and at one point joined the Thunderbolts. Maybe too many horses in one team, but can you imagine the Red Hulk, the Abomination and Juggernaut being on the same team?
Our superheroes on the ground also need enemies. While we don’t have superpowers, as it were, great writing and directing can sometimes turn us into dangerous but complicated villains for our Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and Daredevil’s of the world.
Sometimes these witty, intelligent, and well-planned characters can be the perfect break from the cosmic crushing entities we’re used to.
His appeal in the Marvel Encyclopedia points to ‘Assassin’ and ‘Playboy’. Quite a combination. Arcade (real name unknown) is a billionaire engineering genius. Tony Stark just a hit man. Sounds intriguing. He designs ‘murder worlds’ and kills his victims in traps and mazes, rarely makes money, but enjoys it.
Arcade has been confused with Spider-Man and the X-Men in the past, but his character can be adapted to various Marvel properties in the future.
As I said at the outset, in the hands of creative geniuses, the pantheon of villains in the MCU is long, and even the most obscure and ridiculous villains can be turned into something grand like Michael Keaton’s Vulture. Despite this, I think there are some that we should see that would provide a reasonable and credible connection to what we are seeing happening in the MCU today.