When’s the last time we’ve gone this long without an MCU film? Almost never. Since 2010 the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been running like clockwork. However, with the way things are going, it might just be another year before any of us can safely step into a theater.
Remember folks, wear a mask, make smart decisions.
What do we do in the meantime? Well, the future of the MCU is still one giant mystery. So, how about we have some fun in its absence and brainstorm a few villains for Phase 4 and beyond? For this game, we are going to only do films without confirmed villains and add in a few films that may be in the works.
Spider-Man 3 – Osborn/Kraven the Hunter
Let’s get started with my main boy, Spider-Man. Obviously, the third MCU Spidey film will follow the jaw-dropping moment Mysterio reveals to the world that Peter Parker is Spider-Man, which makes for some interesting possibilities. Peter just might have a bounty on his head. Spider-Man 3 might be the perfect way to introduce Norman Osborn, wave game, and all. The MCU could follow the Ultimate line of comics where old Stormin Norman created the spider that gave Peter his powers. Norman might want the secrets to Peter’s abilities, leading to him teaming up and hiring Kraven, the greatest hunter in the world, to capture Peter. This would be a fun way to build Norman’s obsession with recreating Peter’s accident and his eventual turn into the Green Goblin for future films.
Thor: Love and Thunder – Gorr
Little is known about Thor: Love and Thunder’s plot, aside from the fact that we’re getting Jane Foster’s Thor, Valkyrie’s getting a girlfriend and Christian Bale has been cast as the film’s main antagonist. So, here’s to hoping that the former dark knight plays Gorr the God Butcher. Personally, the Gorr the God Butcher arc is one of my favorite Thor arcs of all time and I’ll never stop saying it. What would make Gorr such an interesting villain for this film is his quest to kill gods. Taika Waititi really has a chance to explore different pantheons that exist in the MCU. With the visual work his team did in Thor: Ragnarok, they can really bring them to life in this next film. Gorr also makes for a great story about what it means to be a god and what it takes to be worthy of the power of Thor.
Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness – Beyonder
The next Dr. Strange film is set to be the biggest MCU film coming out of Phase 4. It’s the first MCU movie to be directly tied to one of Marvel’s Disney Plus shows – Wandavision. There is bound to be loads of multiversal mayhem and most likely from the Scarlet Witch herself. What if Strange and Wanda’s journey through the multiverse catches the eye of the master of the multiverse himself – The Beyonder. The multiverse is already a wild concept and having the Beyonder thrown into the mix would just make it all the more fun. Just imagine, a cosmic entity in all his jerry curled goodness, tossing Strange and Wanda from universe to universe just to mess with them. It could lead to great visuals and another fun and unorthodox villain, which Strange would have to find a creative way to beat.
Black Panther 2 – Namor
There were hints in Avengers: Endgame that off the coast of Wakanda a series of earthquakes was brewing beneath the ocean. It could be nothing, but when it comes to the oceans of the Marvel Universe, Namor the Submariner is the only villain that comes to mind. Now, as most comic readers know, over the last decade or so Namor and T’Challa have had a bit of an ongoing feud. Atlantis makes a great parallel to Wakanda. Two advanced kingdoms with kings who had to fight for their thrones. The biggest difference is ideologies between Namor and T’Challa. It would be fascinating to explore how the two rulers think. Namor’s hatred for the surface world contrasts greatly with T’Challa opening Wakanda’s doors to it. There is so much the MCU and Ryan Coogler could pull from a battle between these two.
Captain Marvel 2 – Korvac
Carol Danvers made a pretty big debut as Captain Marvel. Between her and Wanda Maximoff, them Infinity Girls stay winning. Space is Captain Marvel’s playground and it’s about time we explored that some more. What better way to see what Carol’s responsibilities in outer space look like than a good old galaxy-spanning mystery to investigate. Micheal Korvac not only makes a great antagonist but a tragic one at that.
For this, the film should take inspiration from the Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes cartoon more than the comic books. The MCU could have Korvac be a man kidnapped and experimented on by the Kree, giving him unstable cosmic power. After he escapes to find his wife and return home, he leaves a trail of destroyed planets in his wake. This causes Captain Marvel to investigate the truth behind Korvac while fighting the Kree and every other major alien race to get to him first. They could have some cameos from the Guardians of the Galaxy and possibly tease other future films.
New Avengers – Kree/Skrull War
A new Avengers movie hasn’t been confirmed yet but we all know it’s going to happen. After Endgame, there is no going back to small Avengers films. The team is going to have a drastically different lineup and what better way to introduce them than throwing them in the middle of the Kree/Skrull war. With Captain Marvel’s ties to the Skrulls, she could make a return to Earth to ask the Avengers for help defeating the Kree. This large scale universal battle would establish the kind of threats the Avengers deal with now and possibly the introduction of S.W.O.R.D. It would also be a way to show off Dr. Strange, Black Panther, and Captain Marvel as the new leaders of the team.
Fantastic Four – Annihilus
We know nothing about what the MCU plans to do with the Fantastic Four. But, this is my own personal headcanon. So, of course, I already have it mapped out. Kevin Feige, pay attention. I expect my check in the mail. It’s real simple, you see, the Fantastic Four movie should take place in the ’60s, with the team as a crew of astronauts set to depart on their first mission. However, their trip into space gets them trapped in the Negative Zone, where they manifest their powers, having to find a way to escape, and survive an assault from its ruler Annihilus and his army. Let’s just say that when they leave the Negative Zone and make it back to Earth, they don’t return to the time they left.
X-Men – Mr. Sinister
Pitching anything X-Men related is pretty tricky. If there is one thing the MCU has established with their version of Spider-Man, it’s that they don’t like to reuse villains that have already appeared in movies they didn’t make. And whew, have Fox already sullied plenty of X-Men villains. We’re looking at you Phoenix, Apocalypse, and Weapon X. If the X-Men do already exist in the MCU, then mutants have been in hiding and Xavier hasn’t formed his school yet. What would bring them together is a series of kidnappings orchestrated by one Nathaniel Essex aka Mr. Sinister. The MCU could really dive into mutant history, how they’ve managed to be kept a secret for years and Mr. Sinister experimenting on them for decades.
Blade – Shadow Colonel
Okay, so Jason Aaron’s Avengers run is very ambitious and pulls from all corners of the Marvel Universe. He’s even gone so far as to add unorthodox members like Blade to the mix. With Blade, Aaron also played around with the Shadow Colonel, the son of Dracula. The Shadow Colonel arc has a lot to mine from. The MCU could introduce Mahershala Ali’s Blade in the middle of a vampire civil war. It’s an interesting concept that would force Blade to navigate how to stop both sides. The Shadow Colonel might even try to sway Blade to his side with the prospect of ending Dracula for good. It would make for a hell of a way to introduce Blade and the vampire world at large.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 – High Evolutionary
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is another one that is a long way off. After Avengers: Endgame, there are a lot of avenues for James Gunn to explore. Rocket Raccoon and Nebula receiving the spotlight in Infinity War and Endgame was unexpectedly one of my favorite things from those films. Gunn could dive deeper into those characters by making the High Evolutionary the main villain and creating a whole new origin for Rocket, the same way he did for Star Lord in Vol. 2. In the comics, the High Evolutionary has a lot of experience messing with genetics and animals and would fit perfectly into Rocket’s origin. He could also tie into how Thanos augmented Nebula, leading to a deeper dive into her past.
Ant-Man and the Wasp Sequel – M.O.D.A.K and A.I.M
These days, it’s almost impossible to tell what direction Marvel is going to go with an Ant-Man movie but I’d be remiss if I didn’t give it a try. Remember that black-market dealer who wanted the Pym particles in Ant-Man and the Wasp? Yeah, I understand if you don’t but what if he worked for A.I.M? And what if A.I.M had a new leader in the form of M.O.D.A.K? It’s only a matter of time before the MCU gets this weird and what better franchise to do it in. After Avengers Endgame, the Pym particles are probably the most wanted substance in the universe. M.O.D.A.K could be looking for a way to access time travel or the Quantum realm. This gives the MCU to explore that pocket universe a little more, including that mysterious city we see in the background of the Quantum Realm when Hank saves Janet.
All speculation, all good fun. It’s going to be an exciting time when Marvel movies come back to theaters. Do you think I got it wrong? How about you? What MCU villains do you think are coming to Phase 4 and beyond? Sound off and let us know.