First off, don’t worry, there’s no spoilers for Avengers: Endgame in this article. Although you have only yourself to blame if you haven’t seen it yet and managed to avoid spoilers for this long. But one thing is clear about Endgame, even to those who haven’t seen it, is that the saga of the Infinity Stones has come to a close. But the question remains: what comes next? What arc will Marvel tackle next? While the higher ups are keeping mum, naturally, we have a few guesses of who could replace Thanos as the next ultimate villain of the MCU and act as the main antagonist for the next big story arc our heroes, old and new, will undertake. Let’s count them down, starting with ten.
Image via Screengeek
In the comics, there are few characters as big as Galactus, both literally and figuratively. Galactus is an entity as old as the universe itself, often considered a counterpart to Death herself. Appearing as a gigantic humanoid behemoth clad in purple armor as big as a planet, Galactus is known as the Devourer of Worlds. He feeds off of planets to survive, destroying them and killing billions. He uses ‘heralds’, mortals he’s blessed with immense power, to find worlds for him to consume, such as the Silver Surfer. Galactus, however, is not malevolent but merely feeds off worlds in order to survive, like a person grabbing an apple to snack on. He does not think or care about the mortal lives destroyed by his actions, which puts him in conflict with Marvel’s top tier heroes time and time again. However, his first big screen appearance was as a generic evil cloud in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, possibly meaning Marvel doesn’t want to risk using a character who was previously tainted in another adaptation.
9. Doctor Doom
Image via Den of Geek
Victor Von Doom, otherwise known as Doctor Doom, is another of Marvel’s most popular villains. He stands head and shoulders above most of the villains in Marvel’s catalogue, grandiose in his mannerisms, a perfect fusion of mad scientist, tyrant king, and evil sorcerer. Doom has been in tons of popular events in Marvel, stealing the Power Cosmic, threatening the world with a nuclear holocaust, uniting villains together under his rule as the Masters of Evil, and even becoming a full fledged god. Doom has layers to his character, possessing a sense of nobility and honor while also being utterly narcissistic and petty. Honestly, the reasons NOT to use Doom would be that: he already has been overexposed in the previous Fantastic Four movies, who utterly botched his portrayal three times in a row, and he’s too popular of a villain to use. But we’ll see what happens and we’ll be holding out for the good doctor to make an appearance at some point.
Image via Marvel
Annihilus is another great cosmic level threat, Annihilus is the insectoid ruler of the Negative Zone, an antimatter universe. Commanding vast insectoid armies, he has a huge powerset of his own, wielding two great artifacts: the Cosmic Control Rod and the Quantum Bands. Annihilus seeks to dominant all life in our universe and has come close to doing so on numerous occasions. Extremely powerful, Annihilus would make a great top tier threat, although he may be too similar to Thanos to stand on his own as a new villain.
7. The High Evolutionary
Image via Comic Vine
A human being who extended his lifespan to become essentially immortal. A man of intelligence rather than physical, his intellect has evolved to the upper limits of human potential but still can thrown down thanks to his own experiments on his body, crafting a metal exoskeletal to his flesh. His main gimmick, however, is experimentation on various creatures, enabling him to create all sorts of weird monsters to act as his slaves. Desiring to ‘evolve’ the human race without their consent, the High Evolutionary could be a more down to earth bad guy who nevertheless requires a united force of heroes to take down.
6. The Green goblin
Image via Wikipedia
If you want more of a street level threat who nevertheless can hold his own against the big guys, Normal Osborne, better known as the Green Goblin, might be your guy. Utterly insane, Normal Osborne is a street level criminal who mutated himself through genetic tampering into the even more insane Green Goblin, a gibbering nutcase of a villain with a Halloween themed apparel of weapons, such as his infamous Pumpkin Bombs, his Goblin Glider, and Razor Bats. He has the raw intelligence to pull the strings from behind the scenes, as he’s done many times to Spider-Man, and even act as the leader for a united alliance of villains (perhaps the Sinister Six) without being too strong to be compared to Thanos, more acting as a contrast.
Image via Wikipedia
Mephisto is the equivalent of Satan himself, a demon who rules over his own Hell-like dimension and amuses himself by playing with the lives of mortals. He steals souls, he makes Faustian bargains, and he torments any who are foolish enough to trust him. He’s the devil in all but name and if you want to go bigger than Thanos, there’s not much further you can go than that. Mephisto would bring more supernatural elements into the MCU but with Dr. Strange probably destined to be a big player going forward, we can see him fitting right in.
4. The Beyonder
Image via Marvel Database
A literal god-like entity, the Beyonder is famous for kidnapping the heroes and villains of the universe, making them fight to the death on his planet known as Battleworld. Initially an unseen, omnipotent opponent, he later came to Earth in a humanoid form and has basically limitless power, able to do anything his mind thinks of. Although perhaps he wouldn’t good as a direct opponent, the Beyonder could provide the catalyst for plucking the heroes and villains of the established MCU into one spot and making them fight! It is a great concept and the Beyonder is the sort of villain to make that happen.
3. Gorr the God-butcher
Image via Wikipedia
A more recent opponent of Thor, Gorr the God-Butcher hates the gods of the Marvel Universe as he blames them for the death of his family and not intervening despite their power. So, he made himself into a creature capable of standing against the gods and carved a bloody path across the universe, until he created an alternate future in which there were no more gods and he ruled the universe with an iron fist. Until that is, Thor confronted and defeated him in a titanic battle. Gorr would need some tweaking to make him work but we can easily see his motive being switched from killing gods to heroes, making him a scary opponent who goes after the established heroes of the MCU in a bloody campaign.
2. The masters of evil
Image via Wikipedia
We’ve yet to see a true super villain team up in the MCU, two established villains joining forces. That’s what the Masters of Evil were in the comics, a group of villains who became one to combat the Avengers. While most of them haven’t been introduced in the MCU (such as the Wrecking Crew, the Black Knight, Radioactive Man, the Enchantress, and Tiger Shark) we can easily see them tweaked to incorporate previously MCU baddies who survive their solo films and band together in a big event.
1. Kang the COnqueror
Image via IGn
Kang, alongside Ultron, is considered one of the Avenger’s best enemies and for good reason. This villain is from the future, possessing no superpowers beyond a genius intellect and being an expert historian. But he manipulates time itself for his own ends, traveling often between timelines to create futures he desires. He ruled over both ancient Egypt and the distant future, leaving the Avengers to fix his meddling. He could be an interesting antagonist, one who could create paradoxes, undo the heroes victories, or even create a dark alternate future ruled by him. Kang could be the perfect foil to Thanos, a genius who uses manipulation to his own ends rather than raw strength.
Featured Image By Be Funky