After the last 23 movies, The Marvel Cinematic Universe has seen its fair share of duds, thuds, yups and hurrahs! And one of these aspects are its roster of antagonists, some more memorable than others. However, with the MCU moving forward, we are looking at more and more villains being introduced to the fold such as Taskmaster in this year’s Black Widow, Tony Leung’s real Mandarin in next summer’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, and more possible unique villains such as Kro and Nightmare.
But sometimes, opening up your own treasure chest to play with your old toys could still be useful. So as much as it is great to have new villains for the future, let us take a look at some who could potentially make a return.
Let us discount the ones already confirmed for a Disney+ series such as Baron Zemo who is set to make his return in Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Loki, who’s got his own series. We’re discussing the ones whose fates are left to the unknown. The ones who might have been forgotten. Or even the ones that have already bitten the dust. Without further ado, let’s dive into some villainy!
Emil Blonsky was a special ops commando with the British Royal Marines who got a call to action by General Ross in order to capture Bruce Banner. While scoping out the stacked favelas of Rio de Janeiro, little did he or his team know that he was about to come face to face with an unstoppable force of nature. However, that brief encounter made quite the impression on the soldier. Longing for a taste of the same power, he volunteered himself to be the test subject of a recreation of the Super Soldier serum, you know the one used to create a certain patriotic frisbee hurling Murican.
Blonsky soon became the military’s most valuable asset against the Hulk, with his enhanced senses and speed outlasting all other forms of offence against the behemoth. However, contrary to how the serum brought out the best traits of Steve Rogers, Blonksy became more and more unhinged. When he decided to infuse himself with Banner’s gamma-poisoned blood, he mutated into a giant creature himself albeit with gnarly bits of ossein pushing out from under his skin. Now, would you just look at that beaut!
Long story short, the grimy mass broke Harlem along with his emerald counterpart but was defeated. He was then taken into custody by the Strategic Homeland Intervention and Logistics Division, otherwise known to the world as SHIELD. While he was not seen on-screen again, an attempt to expand his story did actually play out. According to the Marvel One-Shot, The Consultant, The Abomination was one of the individuals considered to be a part of the Avengers Initiative by the World Security Council. Nevertheless, with the combined efforts of agents Phil Coulson, Jasper Sitwell and one goateed billionaire, the Abomination was left chained up within SHIELDs vaults, never to be mentioned again.
Considering that Blonsky is one of the few villains in the early stages of the MCU to have survived, it would be great to have him return in a future project. And just what kind of project are we talking about? That’s right! The Thunderbolts!
In the comics, The Thunderbolts are Marvel’s parallel of DC’s Suicide Squad, in which a group of reformed supervillains teamed up to find redemption. Considering General (now Secretary) Ross’ close ties to the team in the comics, he could very well go bonkers and give Blonsky a chance to redeem himself along with a bunch of other villains such as Zemo and Ghost. There’s some great potential to be explored here with The Abomination probably having gone truly insane having been locked up for more than a decade.
They could always bring Roth back to play the role, as the actor has expressed his interest in returning, citing that it could be “fun”. Just give him some comic accurate ears and explain that he grew them out in isolation. Maybe a beard would add to that fleek too…
Surprise! The second villain on this list is also another Hulk foe who appeared in the aforementioned film. This time we’re sliding our crosshairs to Tim Blake Nelson’s eccentric Samuel Sterns aka Mr Blue. After maintaining his mysterious moniker throughout the movie, Samuel Sterns finally makes an appearance during the lead up to the third act of the film, aiding Banner in finding a cure to his gamma Hyde. Their efforts are unsuccessful as the armed forces drop in to subdue Banner.
However, Emil Blonsky’s self-serviced quest for power brings him to Sterns, who in turn reluctantly carries out the infusion process on the soldier. During the transformation, however, Sterns is knocked out and a vial of Banner’s blood tips onto wound on his head. Slowly, but surely, we see his head throbbing and bulbing as Sterns forces a wide-eyed stupor of a grin to the camera before it cuts to another scene.
Technically, this was a tease for a potential sequel to Edward Norton’s Hulk but it never came to fruition. Heck, Nelson even signed on for two of those movies with Universal. However, considering that Marvel Studios relegated the Hulk to simply appearing in Avengers team-ups prior to 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok, The Leader was an idea that was placed in the back corner of the bookshelf.
So, who, exactly is this Leader? Well, in the comics, he’s a really clever fella, and I mean intelligent to the point where he is able to understand abstract and complex concepts beyond a mere mortal’s comprehension with ease. He also possesses telekinetic and telepathic powers that make him a destructive force for evil.
His life on-screen was short, but there was a movie tie-in comic that attempted to explain what happened to his big head. During the events of Fury’s Big Week, the Black Widow was dispatched by SHIELD to clear up the events in Harlem when she happened upon Samuel Sterns. Having already been infused with the gamma Hulk cells from his earlier injuries, the Leader in him was manifested as he perceived himself to be a higher being, quickly discerning Natasha’s heritage. However, the Black Widow was having none of it as she shot him in the leg and subsequently let SHIELD take him in.
Tim Blake Nelson may have tried to play another Marvel villain in the form of Mole Man for Josh Trank’s epic disaster movie, Fant4stic. However, since he was unceremoniously killed off, this could leave him open for a return to the bulging cranium of the Hulk adversary. One such project that they could definitely utilise him is in the upcoming Disney+ series for She-Hulk. Jennifer Walters would certainly have a hard foe to pin down with his heightened perception, and ability to bend others to his will.
Ah, if it isn’t the villain we have come to associate with low prices and 70% promotional sales (geddit?). Indeed, nothing screams of evil more than the ruler of the Dark Dimension himself!
To be honest, while his appearance in the 2016 Doctor Strange film was a surprising inclusion, he wasn’t all that terrifying as I expected him to be. Sure, he stibiddy-stabbed, fried, smish-smashed, and pew-pewed Strange to pulp and dust multiple times, but that was it. Ol’ purple giant head was simply annoyed at having been trapped within the limits of a time-loop that he agreed to let Strange and the Earthly loose of his grasp.
However, it is noteworthy that Dormammu is an extremely large and looming threat to both the universe and the multiverse itself. The sheer scale of his mystical energy is enough to cause an Avengers team-up to happen yet again. Yes, he is at his strongest when he is within the Dark Dimension, but that does not mean he cannot pose a giant threat when he is on Earth.
His swarming minions, the Mindless Ones, would also serve as a formidable army for him. The energy blasts from their single eye are devastating forces of mysticism. We have witnessed a glimpse of their cyclopic optics when Kaecilius and his followers were sucked into the Dark Dimension at the climax of Doctor Strange.
Dormammu is one of Marvel’s most frightening foes and it would be a damn shame if he was not used again, especially to face off with the future Sorcerer Supreme. As we’ve only seen his floating head guise, it would be great to see that fireball atop his armoured form. It’s cool AF. Something only another flaming skull has ever done.
Dormammu! We’ve come to bargain!
Do we actually believe that Quentin Beck, master of illusions, is dead? I don’t think so!
Jake Gyllenhaal played the disgraced BARF creator in last year’s Spider-Man: Far From Home in which he claimed that he was a hero from another dimension following the events of Avengers: Endgame. However, in true Mysterio fashion, his plans were ultimately revealed to be heinous.
Sharing a motive similar to The Incredible’s Syndrome, Mysterio orchestrated giant cataclysmic events using the power of VFX and pyrotechnics from holographic projection drones. He wanted the world to see him as a hero instead of someone whose life’s work had just been dismissed by Tony Stark.
His dastardly plans brought him at odds with Peter Parker, Stark’s protege, with whom he became increasingly infuriated with. With Parker naively gifting the EDITH glasses to him, all seemed to be well for fishbowl head. However, his plans were soon found out by the kid and thus caused the two to clash. At the end of the movie, however, he was shot by one of his own drones before seemingly succumbing to his injuries.
Now, I have to reiterate. Quentin. Beck. Is. A. Master. Of. Illusion.
Even without powers, the dude’s perfectly capable of creating convincing imagery and props to his behest, and he has been a thorn in the wall-crawlers side on countless occasions in the source material. The vast potential that can be drawn from having Mysterio as a villain is endless as he uses his various resources to his advantage, even managing to cripple Parker’s Spidey sense to throw him off in his twisted world.
And need I mention that he is a prominent member of the Sinister Six as well? Considering that the Spider-Man films have been building a steady collection of wall-crawley baddies like the Vulture, Scorpion, and the Shocker, it is safe to assume that Sony is attempting to gather these villains together at some point to have Spider-Man take them on all at once. Having Mysterio on the team would be great as an added visual component as well as a heightened threat for our hero. Vulture would be swooping in and the Shocker would be blasting in on the side, but Spidey would be extremely disoriented due to his environment. And that would certainly spell trouble.
However, IF Beck REALLLLLLY IS dead… then, I guess, we have to look at what he did at the end of Far From Home. Peter’s life has been uprooted by his faux sympathetic media upload during which Beck exposed Spider-Man’s identity to the whole world, something that had never been explored in the movies before. This is particularly devastating for Parker as his identity was one of his closest possessions.
So, even if Quentin Beck does not end up being one of the core members of the Sinister Six, I believe Mysterio’s actions and legacy will continue to live on within Peter Parker’s life as a particularly low point in the history of the character.
“You’ll see, Peter. People… need to believe. And nowadays, they’ll believe anything.”
If it ain’t everyone’s favourite purple agent of chaos… (mine too)… or rather… balance… Thanos is one of the most phenomenal villains to grace our screens in recent times. His Machiavellian and Malthusian ideals have been hotly debated on Twitter and Reddit with some actually siding with the Mad Titan. And just how many memes have we gotten from Josh Brolin’s baddie? Countless!
Thanos was essentially doing absolutely nothing prior to his rampage fuelled quest for the Infinity Stones. He was just sitting in his oversized chair, going to his space bathroom occasionally, grabbing Zarg nuts from his space refrigerator, and back to the chair, it was. But yeah, for someone who had claimed the name of ‘the most powerful being in the galaxy”, Thanos was surprisingly lazy.
However, that all changed with the events of Infinity War and Endgame where s*** finally got real. First, he beat up the Hulk. Then he offed Heimdall and Loki, both veterans of the MCU to prove a point. And of course, the trail of destruction he left behind with the collection of each stone was truly frightening. For once, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes were absolutely doomed for the count.
It was a flick heard around the universe as half of its population vanished away to dust, their forms simply ceasing to exist within a matter of seconds. Thanos was triumphant.
Thanos subsequently appeared in Avengers: Endgame, once again posing a threat to the time heist efforts of the heroes. However, this time the Avengers finally prevailed, but at a cost. A cost that was borne by the one and only Tony Stark, who sacrificed his life in order to repel Thanos’ forces away and end the battle for Earth. As the villain sat, he rested, accepting his defeat with honour till his last breath before he faded away into nothing.
Nevertheless, as I said, Thanos is a force unlike any other. Even without the stones, he is a formidable threat to the galaxy itself. It’s just that he did not act upon it. you would not want to be caught in the Mad Titan’s gaze, for it would mean certain death.
If the MCU were to continue using Thanos, he could end up playing a role similar to Ronan The Accuser who died in Guardians of the Galaxy, but appeared in Captain Marvel. Unlike the Kree warrior, who was still a whimpering failure, a cosmic MCU movie set in the past that could showcase Thanos’ ruthlessness would be splendid. Remember Darth Vader in that bone-chilling ending to Rogue One? Yeah, something like that. Thanos is such an interesting and rich character to explore and one such property that I could see featuring the Mad Titan is The Eternals.
As revealed in Infinity War, Thanos is the son of A’lars. In the comics, A’lars is an Eternal along with his wife, Sui San. As such, Thanos IS an Eternal. However, he inherits a Deviant (TLDR: Eternal enemies) gene which causes his physical appearance to differ from the rest of his society. As such, it would certainly be great for Marvel Studios to utilise a property such as The Eternals to give more depth to his character, explore his backstory and also rationalise the birth of his beliefs. It would be a testament of his prowess, thus proving forevermore that he is indeed, inevitable.
So, what do you think of the list? Are they all plausible, or are they just wishful thinking? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!