Marvel Television really hit it out of the park during their San Diego Comic-Con panel a couple of weeks ago. While everyone expected the first trailer for this fall’s Luke Cage, the teasers for both Iron Fist and The Defenders, which will be released on Netflix next year, were totally unexpected. Although they were brief, they did their job and got people talking, especially about who the villain that forces the Defenders to team up might be.
Now, this version of the Defenders is very different from the one in the comic books. The original team, at least on paper, was created by none other than the Sorcerer Supreme himself, Dr. Stephen Strange. Although the roster had a tendency to be fluid, the constants on the team seemed to be Strange, the Hulk, and the Silver Surfer. This is why a lot of traditional Defenders villains have a tendency to be foes of these individual heroes. Characters like Baron Mordo, Magneto, Red Hulk, and Amora The Enchantress are either busy in other parts of the MCU, or just don’t make sense. This list is showcasing characters who we think may just be powerful enough to bring our heroes together.
Note: May contain spoilers!
Here are Screen Rant’s 15 Marvel Villains Who Could Be Taking On Netflix’s Defenders:
Chondu The Mystic started life as Harvey Schlemerman, a sideshow magician who one day decided to turn to a life of crime. He was created by Doug Wildley and George Evans and his first appearance was in Tales Of Suspense #9 (May 1960).
Chondu was a member of the Headmen, a group of villains that came together because they all had something funky going on with their heads. He eventually had his brain transplanted into the body of Nighthawk, one of the Defenders, so that they could spy on the group and try to influence it from within. Needless to say, it didn’t work and he was defeated. Eventually, his mind was restored, but it didn’t matter. His head was transplanted onto the body of a sort of hybrid monster, with lampreys instead of arms, the feet of an eagle, the wings of a bat, a unicorn horn and a forked tongue. Although grotesque, it did have some perks. It gave him the ability to fly, superhuman strength, and the ability to squeeze his opponents with his eight snake-like arms.
Okay, it’s not going to happen because it’s just too out there, even for a show based on a comic book. But he’s included because of his history with the group and his involvement with the Headmen, one of the Defenders’ earliest foes.
Satannish was created by Roy Thomas and Gene Colan, and made his first appearance in Doctor Strange #174 (November 1968). He is an extra-dimensional demon who is thought to be a creation of Dormammu, and often seen as an ally to Mephisto. He is very powerful and has the ability to give mortal beings magical powers in exchange for their souls.
His powers are virtually unlimited, giving him the ability to teleport between dimensions, to manipulate matter, time, and space, to change his size and shape, and possession. Satannish is technically pure mystical energy, although he often takes the appearance of a green-skinned, horned monster with another face in his abdomen.
Because of his association with the other demons, he could be used a precursor to Dormammu or Mephisto, opening the door in this part of the MCU for that sort of mystical stuff to happen. It is highly unlikely though, as it seems like that will be reserved for Doctor Strange.
13. Null The Living Darkness
Null is a demonic, mystic life form that was created by the desire for revenge of the collective souls of the annihilated S’raphh, a humanoid, angelic-like species that once lived on the moon. It was created by J.M. DeMatteis and Don Perlin and made its first appearance in Defenders #103 (January 1982).
It has an unlimited ability to wield and manipulate magical forces, giving it the ability to levitate, become intangible, teleport, reanimate and control the dead, telepathically communicate, move object telekinetically, create illusions, and possess physical beings. If that’s not enough, it can also create and project psychokinetic blasts of energy. It has no corporeal form, often being seen as a cloud of unknown purple gas with multiple eyes and tentacles.
Needless to say, it is super powerful and rather grotesque, and is just the type of foe that requires the New York City heroes to band together in order to defeat it. Again, it’s kind of doubtful, even though it is one of the Defenders’ first foes in the comic books. It just doesn’t seem to fit the aesthetic that Marvel is going for.
And speaking of first villains, here we have Yandroth, who was the Defenders’ very first villain in the comic books. He was created by Jim Lawrence and Dan Adkins, and made his first appearance in Strange Tales #164 (January 1968). He was often seen as a foe of Doctor Strange, which is not surprising, given that he was the founder of the group in the comics.
Yandroth is known as the Scientist Supreme from the planet Yann, which is in another dimension from Earth-616. He is a technomancer, which means he has the magical ability to affect technology. He is also the creator of the Omegatron, a supercomputer that he inhabited when his body is destroyed in a car accident.
What makes him a possibility, besides the whole nostalgia factor thing he’s got going on, is that his inclusion here would tie this part of the MCU to mystic world of Doctor Strange. That is also the main reason why Marvel might shy away from using him. It is interesting to note, however, that when he is finally destroyed in the comics, he uses his dying breath to curse the Defenders, so that even though they don’t like each other, they will be forced to work together. Might make for an interesting reason for the team to stick together.
11. The Sons Of The Serpent
The Sons of the Serpent were created by Stan Lee and Don Heck, and made their first appearance in The Avengers #32. Created by General Chen, they are an insurgent group of costumed, ultra-patriotic Americans, who oppose all minorities, including those of different races and ethnicities and with differing religious beliefs. Their goal is to divide America, and prove that “foreigners” are the issue. They try spreading their agenda mainly through protests and hate crimes.
Given the interesting political climate in the world today, it makes this kind of storyline rather timely, and it wouldn’t be a complete surprise to see Marvel head in this sort of direction. In the comics, Matt Murdock had a run in with the group, where he learned that members of the Society had infiltrated the majority of the justice system in New York City. Given what we know about Matt and Jessica (we’ll have to see about Luke and Danny), it would make for a pretty powerful, if rather faceless foe. Ultimately though, the Sons might make a better Daredevil foe in later seasons, once the Hand has been dealt with.
From the Dark Dimension, Dormammu is mainly seen as an adversary of Doctor Strange, but came up against the Defenders due to Strange’s inclusion in the group. He was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditka and made his first appearance in Strange Tales #126 (November 1964). He is a higher-dimensional mystical being known as Faltine, and his age is unknown, as his realm defies the laws of physics as we know them here on Earth.
One of the most powerful entities in the Marvel universe, his mystical origins mean that he can use this energy to basically do whatever he wants, including projection, matter manipulation, possession and necromancy, teleportation, and the ability to alter his size. Again, given his history, if we were to see him in the MCU it would probably be in regards to Doctor Strange, although he does have an interesting reason for being included on this list. In the comics, he once teamed up with Loki to instigate the epic “Avengers-Defenders War,” which pit one super team against the other. While it’s likely that this won’t happen, at least not until Phase 4, it still makes for a bit of interesting speculation.
Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the Kree made their first appearance in Fantastic Four #65 (August 1967). They are a technologically and scientifically superior alien race that hail from the planet Hala, which is located in the Large Magellanic Cloud. They have a long and varied history that involves war and genocide. Their physiology is similar to humans, except that they have blue skin, are stronger, and require a more nitrogen rich atmosphere in order to breath properly. To top it off, their strength and speed are increased when they are on Earth, due to the decreased gravitational pull compared to their home world, making them formidable opponents.
The Kree have already been introduced into the MCU in both Guardians Of The Galaxy and Agents Of SHIELD. Their genetic experimentation has led to the creation of the Inhumans, which has been the lynch pin of SHIELD for the last couple of seasons. They will also play a part in the upcoming Captain Marvel film, as her origin story includes her DNA being altered and merged with Kree DNA. To say they are not a huge part of the MCU is untrue. Their inclusion here would bridge the gap between the three properties, and give the MCU another thread to bind it all together.
8. Killer Shrike
Also known as Simon Maddicks, Killer Shrike was a soldier in the US Army who was selected by the Roxxon Oil Company for a very special project. Known as a special agent, they turned him into a covert operative and a mercenary. He was created by John Warner and John Buscema and made his first appearance in Rampaging Hulk #1 (January 1977). Maddicks underwent special conditioning to enhance his abilities, which led to excellence in hand-to-hand combat and a complete mastery of weapons. He also has the ability to fly, due to a neurally implanted anti-gravity generator at the base of his spine. If that’s not enough, he also wears body armor made of a steel alloy mesh that has electrical properties.
Although he is traditionally seen as a foe for other members in the Marvel Universe, he is included in this list because of his connection to Roxxon. Like the Kree, Roxxon plays a big part in the MCU, even if you didn’t realize it. The company always seems to be around, and has made appearances in both Agents of SHIELD and Agent Carter. In fact, Roxxon played a huge role in the first season of Agent Carter, and have been seen numerous times in the Iron Man films. And they are already canon in the Marvel Netflix universe, having been mentioned on a couple of occasions. It wouldn’t be a stretch to have the company take matters into their own hands and create an agent to help them take over the world.
Not many people realize that Namor was initially introduced as a villain in the Marvel universe. He was created by Bill Everett for Motion Picture Funnies Weekly (April 1939), but didn’t actually make his first appearance until Marvel Comics #1 (October 1939), which was published under the Timely Comics banner.
Namor is the mutant son of a human sea captain and a princess of Atlantis, and the first real antihero of comic books. He is sometimes portrayed as a good-natured, but easily angered, often reluctant, superhero and others as a mutant, seeking vengeance for slights committed by the “surface dwellers” against both the sea and the kingdom of Atlantis. He has an amphibious physiology, meaning he can withstand the pressure of the deep sea, and has super-human strength (which is dependent upon his contact with water) and the ability to fly (due to the wings on his ankles, which is what makes him a mutant). He also has increased agility and longevity, and can form a telepathic bond with all sea life.
He is a very powerful and rather unpredictable foe who would give the Defenders a real fight. It is also interesting to note that at one time in the comics, he held both the Time Gem and the Power Gem. While the rights for the character are finally back with Marvel, there seems to be an underlying issue about the character appearing in the films. Could a trip to Netflix get around that?
Created by David Anthony Kraft and Keith Giffen, Presence made his first appearance in Defenders #52 (October 1977). In his previous incarnation, he was known as Sergei Krylov, a Russian nuclear physicist (who happened to be the father of mutant twins, Darkstar and Vanguard) who gained his superpowers when he was caught in a nuclear blast that just happened to be of his own making.
The accident gave him the ability to generate nuclear energy in his own body, as well as manipulate it into energy blasts, force fields, and warp-speed flight in outer space. His other powers include superhuman strength and durability, and telepathy, which allows him to control other people’s minds and locate them using their brainwaves and patterns. Since he lives on radioactive decay, he doesn’t require regular human necessities, like oxygen, food, or water, and gives off low levels of radiation, making his presence dangerous to humans and to anyone susceptible to radiation poisoning.
Of everyone on this list, Presence actually has a plausible and doable origin story, although his appearance would probably have to be altered to something that was more fitting with the vibe of the universe Marvel has created. Besides, Jessica would flip out if someone else tried to control her mind, and that would be amazing to see.
A.I.M. is an organization that has traditionally been made up of power-hungry scientists, looking to overthrow the world’s governments. They are usually headed by a seven person Board Of Directors and a rotating chairperson. Their mandate is to research and develop technology, before manufacturing it and then selling it to the highest bidder– usually terrorist and incendiary groups. They were created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and made their first appeared in Strange Tails #146 (July 1966).
Okay, yes, A.I.M. was already introduced into the MCU in Iron Man 3, but just because Aldrich Killian is dead doesn’t mean that his company is, or that he was even truly the one running the show. If HYDRA has taught us anything, it’s that nothing is ever what it seems. Of course, the organization is also responsible for creating M.O.D.O.K. (Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing), the mutated human with the enormous head and the intellect to match. While it would be hilarious to see A.I.M. actually bring the villain to life, it is highly unlikely that he would be included, even is A.I.M. is shown to still be working behind the scenes. Although there are a group of fans who have been vocal about his inclusion in the MCU, he just doesn’t really fit with everything else that Marvel has going on.
Mephisto made his first appearance in Silver Surfer #3 (December 1968) and was created by Stan Lee and John Buscema. He is an immortal, demonic entity with magical powers and the ability to manipulate magical forces. He also has superhuman strength, the ability to shape-shift, and is virtually indestructible. If that wasn’t enough, he can also alter time, project illusions, and manipulate memories.
He is the ruler of a realm that he refers to as Hell, although it isn’t actually the one from Christianity or mythology. His reason for doing this is to mostly exploit human beliefs. He also resembles the Devil, but whether this is his true form or one he puts on to complete the effect is unknown. He has had a number of run-ins with various heroes in the Marvel Universe, but he is included on this list, mainly because there is a rumor out there that he is going to be the big bad in this mini-series, and we’re not at all opposed to the idea. He is evil incarnate and would absolutely force the Defenders together if he made a move. If Marvel is willing to open the door to demonic forces, Mephisto is totally the way to go.
A thought provoking tid-bit: he acted as an underling of Thanos in the video game War Of The Gems, which was based on the Infinity Gauntlet storyline. While it probably means absolutely nothing, it’s interesting nonetheless.
3. The Skrulls
An alien race of shape-shifters from the planet Skrullos, the Skrulls were created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, and made their first appearance in Fantastic Four #2 (January 1962). They are green-skinned humanoids with reptilian characteristics, including pointed ears and red or green eyes. Their main objective in the comic books is to invade Earth and finally defeat the Kree, whom they are currently waging a millennia long battle against.
One of their most interesting tactics is that they refuse to go with a full-on invasion, instead choosing to send in warriors to infiltrate the world they want to conquer. They can shift into both organic and inorganic objects, making them excellent spies. They have been known to capture Earth’s heroes and then replace them, using their shape-shifting abilities and trying to take them down from the inside.
Since Marvel has already introduced the Kree in this universe, adding the Skrull the the mix wouldn’t be a huge leap. It would also be really interesting, and somewhat amusing, to watch the rest of the MCU worried about invasions from the Chitauri and Kree, when all along the Skrulls have been here, and it’s up to the Defenders to take them down. It would also be a nice tie-in for the cosmic side of the MCU.
Also known as Wilson Fisk, Kingpin was created by Stan Lee and John Romita, Sr. and made his first appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man #50 (July 1967). He is a powerful crime lord and, although he has no superpowers, he is extraordinarily strong and incredibly durable. He is also adept at many forms of hand-to-hand combat.
Anyone who has seen Daredevil knows that Fisk has already been introduced, to great effect, in the universe. He is scary and unhinged and has more than proven that even behind bars, he is a formidable foe. Given the reception to Vincent D’Onofrio’s portrayal of the character, it wouldn’t be surprising if he ends up being the big bad that forces the group to come together.
It is also highly possible that it’s not just Kingpin that’s the big bad. Depending upon how they play it, it is also possible that Kilgrave, Cottonmouth, or whoever ends up being the main villain of Iron Fist, might end up being the main foe of the series. Unless the powers that be decide to create a new team of super-villains that includes these four to take on the heroes. That would make for a pretty personal conflict for all involved.
1. The Hand
A gang of villainous ninjas, The Hand have ties to organized crime and are often used as mercenaries and assassins. They were created by Frank Miller and made their first appearance in Daredevil #174 (September 1981). They are wielders of occult magic, which is powerful enough to bring back the dead that they’ve killed and make them servants of the Hand.
The Hand have already been the big bad in this universe, battling against Matt Murdock in season 2 of Daredevil. While normally the studio wouldn’t use the same villain again (Loki aside), it makes sense here because there is a lot of story left to tell in regards to them. The cliff-hanger at the end of Daredevil was a big one, and since the next season won’t air until after The Defenders, it makes sense to carry on the story sooner rather than later.
It also would mean a resurrected and possibly evil Elektra, which could be interesting. Especially given the fact that Matt would want to try and save her, whereas the others just might want her dead… again. It is also possible that the Hand may have a part to play in both Luke Cage and Iron Fist, which would tie the shows together nicely. Besides, there has to be a reason that Stick is the voice over in the teaser. And the image of a hand? This is the most logical choice.
So, there you have it: these are the villains that we think may show up and give our group of rag-tag heroes a run for their money. While some of these picks may be a bit “out there,” especially given that the Marvel Netflix shows are slightly more steeped in reality than their cinematic or ABC counterparts, they make sense in the big picture. Of course, it would be just like the studio to reach deep into their bag of villainous tricks and pull out someone (or something) that no one is expecting. It’s safe to say we can’t wait to find out who Matt Murdock, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Danny Rand will have to team up to defeat. 2017 can’t come soon enough.
So, who do you think Marvel’s The Defenders will face off against when they hit the small screen next year? Let us know in the comments!