The Marvel Cinematic Universe is brimming with fantastic characters. Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark, Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord, Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange and Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow are just some of the great and wide-ranging personalities that frequent the MCU. But there’s always room for more; the immense number of adaptable characters in the Marvel library are the main reason that the MCU is the most successful movie franchise of all time, after all.
That’s why the ever-expanding nature of the franchise is so exciting. We’re fourteen movies into it, and there are many more scheduled (and probably even more to come that haven’t been confirmed), so there are undoubtedly countless more characters from the comic books incoming as well.
MCU Phase 3 has eight movies left to be released, at which point Phase 4 will begin. We have no confirmation regarding which movies will make up that fourth phase, but we have a good idea as to which new characters will be introduced, thanks to clues from previous movies, theories devised by fans, and our trust in Marvel’s savviness. In this article, we’ll list just some of the characters we believe are due to arrive in that fourth chapter, along with explanations as to why that’s the case. Here are 15 Characters Who Will Inevitably Appear In MCU Phase 4.
15. J. Jonah Jameson
What is Spider-Man without J. Jonah Jameson? It’s a movie franchise that failed so hard that Marvel Studios took the lead character back, that’s what! Okay, so that might be a little harsh on the two Amazing Spider-Man movies, but you can’t help thinking they would have been at least a little bit better with Jameson included.
The editor-in-chief of The Daily Bugle is a key character in the Spidey mythos. He was played absolutely brilliantly by J.K. Simmons in Sam Raimi’s original Spider-Man trilogy, and we can only imagine his MCU arrival is an inevitability — he’s just too iconic to ignore again.
Tom Holland’s Peter Parker is still very young, though he’s bound to embark on a career in photojournalism sooner rather than later. Spider-Man: Homecoming 2 (or whatever the sequel to Homecoming is going to be called) is a dead cert for Phase 4, and it’s impossible to imagine another Spidey movie franchise without that unmistakable toothbrush mustache, flattop haircut, and trademark cigar. Who else is going to keep Peter Parker in check while Tony Stark lets him do as he pleases?
Now that Doctor Strange has been introduced into the MCU, we can expect a flurry of supporting characters from the comic books to join him in the coming years, the most inevitable of which is Clea. There are a couple of reasons for this, as Strange isn’t the only existing MCU character to which Clea is connected — she also has connections to Dormammu.
Clea was born the daughter of Prince Orini, who is the legitimate heir to the rule of the Dark Dimension, and Umar, sister to Dormammu himself. She observed Doctor Strange from the Dark Dimension and, impressed and enthralled by him, advised him against facing her all-powerful uncle.
She soon became a prominent love interest of Earth’s most powerful sorcerer, which we can see happening in the MCU going forward. Not only will it create an intriguing dynamic, given Dormammu’s existence in the franchise, but it will also add an interesting “love triangle” arc to Strange’s movies, given that Christine Palmer already exists in the franchise, too.
13. Wonder Man
The Avengers have a very strong roster in the MCU now (you know, when they’re not fighting each other), and more members will certainly join over the course of the next couple of years, but they are noticeably lacking the typical Superman analogue character that’s so often frequented the superhero world — not for long though, we imagine.
Wonder Man first joined the team in the comic books back in the 1980s, a standard energy-empowered, super-strong, super-fast, super-durable, flying hero with enhanced senses. His introduction to the MCU is highly likely.
Not only will he fill the aforementioned glaring void in the Avengers’ line-up, he’ll also be subtly hinted at in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. During the filming of some Earth-based scenes for the Guardians’ sequel, posters were seen for in-world MCU movies starring Simon Williams — the actor who would become Wonder Man — confirming his existence in that world. One of those movies saw Williams starring as Tony Stark, which would no doubt create a fun moment between him and Robert Downey Jr.’s character. Nathan Fillion has been linked to the role and, given that Wonder Man has connections to the likes of S.H.I.E.L.D., Vision, Ultron, and Scarlet Witch in the comics — and given that he’s been a member of both the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy, as well as an Avengers villain — you can definitely expect him to appear in some capacity in the very near future.
Nova AKA Richard Rider has been talked about as a potential addition to the MCU ever since the Nova Corps were introduced to the franchise in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy. You have to imagine that it’s only a matter of time before his future inclusion is confirmed by Marvel Studios.
Rider — a New York high school student — was chosen to become Nova in the comic books when the last surviving member of the planet Xandar’s elite Nova Corps, Rhomann Dey (played by John C. Reilly in the MCU), was dying. Given that Thanos is likely to destroy the Nova Corps’ home planet of Xander in Phase 3 of the MCU, we can definitely expect new recruitments to be made in the aftermath.
Again, Nathan Fillion has been linked to the role, but it remains to be seen who will play Rider. Regardless, it’s safe to say that he’ll be continuing to bridge the gap between Earth and the cosmic side of the MCU sooner rather than later.
Moondragon is a brilliant character. She’s a massively powerful telepath — something the MCU is sorely lacking — a low-level telekinetic, a master martial artist, a skilled geneticist and engineer, as well as an accomplished starship pilot.
Born in Los Angeles as Heather Douglas, Moondragon was orphaned as a child when Thanos killed her parents, as he didn’t want any witnesses to his arrival on the planet (her father’s soul would later be revealed to have been bound into a new body, becoming Drax). She was taken in by Thanos’ father, Mentor, and taken to his home planet of Titan, where she was raised by the monks of Shao-Lom and taught the awesome abilities she now possesses.
She has a number of links to existing MCU characters that suggest her arrival is inevitable. Links to the aforementioned Thanos and Drax are obvious, but she has also been a member of both the Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy — and there’s a particularly memorable comic book story in which she telepathically enslaved Thor to be her lover. She would add to the growing female contingent in the franchise and supply it with a much-needed telepath. In general, she’s too interesting a character for Marvel Studios to keep overlooking.
As we’ve already touched upon with Nova, Marvel Studios are constantly introducing characters who bridge the gap between the more grounded settings of movies like Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk and the otherworldly and cosmic settings seen in the likes of Doctor Strange and Guardians of the Galaxy. Quasar would definitely help to continue that trend, and there are a number of reasons why he feels like a shoe-in for introduction in Phase 4.
Wendell Vaughn was a graduate of the S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy, which we already know exists in the MCU, who was deemed unfit for fieldwork, as he lacked a killer instinct. He later became the cosmic hero Quasar when he proved capable of wielding the powerful Quantum Bands that S.H.I.E.L.D. were studying, after A.I.M. (which we also know exists in the MCU) attacked the facility he was working in. His lack of killer instinct and ability to just “go with their flow” was actually what made him suitable to wear them.
Moreover, Vaughn later went on to head Project: Pegasus — S.H.I.E.L.D.’s secret operation for studying alternate forms of energy. This is also known to exist in the MCU, as it was seen in The Avengers as the department within S.H.I.E.L.D. that was studying the Tesseract. When you factor in that Quasar has also been a member of the Avengers in the comic books, it all points towards him appearing very soon in live-action.
This is undoubtedly the most speculative entry on this list, as there’s no evidence whatsoever to suggest that Taskmaster might be coming to the MCU, but he’s just such a unique and interesting character that Marvel Studios surely can’t ignore him for much longer.
Anthony “Tony” Masters is a man with “photographic reflexes”, meaning he can instantly learn and copy the movements and fighting styles of anyone he sees in action. He’s an enemy of the Avengers in the comic books (although he was later revealed to be a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent operating in the criminal underworld on Nick Fury’s orders), which does give him links to existing MCU characters, but our belief in his inevitable introduction to the MCU is based purely and simply on how great a character he is.
Can you imagine a live action Taskmaster watching the heroes of the MCU in action, then facing them all at once, busting out their best moves? Hawkeye’s perfect aim, Black Widow’s grace, Captain America’s skill with a shield, Black Panther’s honed athletic ability, and so forth — just imagine all of those traits in one man. The Avengers would have their hands full, and it would look incredible on the big screen.
Now that we now for sure that the character’s rights have reverted back to Marvel, the MCU would be wise to give this guy a go. He could actually be an ideal fit for their Netflix series, come to think of it.
Michael Korvac AKA Korvac AKA The Enemy is a character with far too many connections to existing MCU characters to be left out of the franchise for much longer. It also helps his case for inclusion that he is, simply put, a fantastic character with an interesting backstory that feels tailor-made for a live-action adaptation.
He started life on an alternate Earth that had been conquered by the Badoon. He worked as a computer technician and, as punishment for falling asleep at his computer, was grafted to a machine by the Badoon, turning him into a cyborg. From that point, his adventured spanned across multiple realities, as he fled across time and space.
His first major battles came against Doctor Strange and the Defenders, where the Grandmaster used him as his pawn to fight them. All of those characters exist in the MCU for starters, but Korvac also has links to two other major entities in the franchise — the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy. The two groups had to team up to defeat him, and, given that they’ll be allies after the Infinity War event in the MCU, we can expect them to come together more often going forward. Korvac also has connections to MCU characters like the Collector, Red Skull, Hank Pym, and many others.
The existence of Thanos in the MCU would suggest that the race known as the Eternals exists in the franchise (given that he’s a Titanian-Eternal and all), so we can surely expect more of these guys to be introduced going forward. Sersi is one of the more prominent examples of the race in Marvel’s comic books and, should they be further explored in the MCU, she would certainly be one of the first to make herself known.
Sersi became well-known to readers when she befriended Thor on his space travels — something that could definitely happen in the big screen — and she subsequently went on to join the Avengers, helping them to fight against existing MCU characters like Nebula and displaying a romantic attraction to Captain America.
She would further serve as a link between the Earth-based characters in the MCU and the cosmic side of the franchise, while adding another-much needed powerful female character in the process. Her vast range of powers — such as molecular manipulation, psionic powers, flight, and superhuman physical attributes — would also be utterly spectacular to witness in live-action.
The supernatural and mystical side of the MCU is well and truly underway. Not only has Doctor Strange introduced magic to the franchise, but Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has introduced ghosts and the powerful Ghost Rider to it, which seems to confirm that a certain devil-esque villain also exists in that same universe.
The villain in question is, of course, Mephisto — the character who gave the Ghost Rider his powers, in exchange for his soul — but he’s undoubtedly too big for the television side of the MCU (in spite of the fact that there were rumors of him battling Daredevil and the Defenders on Netflix). You have to imagine that Phase 4 will focus on more supernatural villains after the cosmic Thanos is defeated in Phase 3. That’s where Mephisto comes in.
Mephisto did, in fact, sit by Thanos’ side in the Infinity Gauntlet comic book arc (with treacherous intentions, of course), but we can’t see that happening in the movies. With Doctor Strange sequels on the way in Phase 4 and beyond, that’s where we envisage Mephisto emerging. Heck, we may even get a Spider-Man: One More Day movie arc, in which the Webbed Wonder strikes a deal with the villain to save his Aunt May’s life. Spidey fans probably wouldn’t be too thrilled about that, though.
Namor is a character whose Phase 4 introduction isn’t only inevitable, it’s also long overdue. It really is extremely surprising that the Sub-Mariner hasn’t already been introduced into the MCU. He’s Marvel’s oldest character, first appearing in 1939’s Marvel Comics #1 when Marvel as a company was still known as Timely Comics, and he’s been a mainstay on their colorful pages ever since.
There are so many reasons why he is bound to join the MCU soon; he’s been hinted at since Atlantis was highlighted on a S.H.I.E.L.D. map in Iron Man 2, Marvel Studios needs a rival for DC and Warner Bros.’ Aquaman (Jason Momoa’s looks absolutely awesome as the character, by the way), and actors have actually started campaigning to play Namor in the MCU, which would suggest they’ve heard something more concrete than the recent rumors of an in-development Sub-Mariner project (the likes of Donnie Yen, for instance).
He could be introduced as a new member of the Avengers, or even as a member of the secret societies known as the Illuminati or the Cabal — at least one of which is expected to make itself known in the MCU following the Infinity War event. He could even pop up in the upcoming Inhumans series. In a nutshell, however, Namor is simply too iconic to leave out for much longer.
Venom might not be the most spectacular addition to the MCU, given that we’ve already seen a very underwhelming live-action version of the character in Spider-Man 3, but he’s certainly a welcome add (and arguably the most inevitable one on this list). The reason for that? Well, he’s the most talked about, and that generally means that somebody, somewhere has heard that Marvel Studios wants him in their franchise.
Venom is every bit as important to Spider-Man’s legacy as any other character on this list is to any existing character in the MCU. He’s essentially an evil, amplified version of the iconic web-slinger (an archetype Marvel Studios loves to use) and arguably his toughest opponent. Fans have wanted Marvel to rectify Sony’s previous errors with the character since 2007, when Topher Grace portrayed a horrible, whiny version of fan-favorite villain, and it would seem as though that’s going to happen in Phase 4 of the MCU.
Some fans are expecting the Infinity War event to provide the opportunity to expose Spidey to the Venom Symbiote in space, setting up the character’s eventual introduction in a later movie — the Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel, for instance — but the fact is that he’ll definitely be making his presence felt soon. A Spider-Man without Venom just isn’t Spider-Man, after all.
3. Red Hulk
The Red Hulk was a new, bright red version of the Hulk who was first seen by comic book readers in 2008. This was the same year the MCU was established, so you can’t help thinking that Marvel had his future inclusion in the franchise in mind when he was introduced. That’s clutching at straws, but the re-emergence of General Ross in the MCU leads us to believe the Red Hulk could very well be on the way.
General Ross was, of course, revealed to actually be the Red Hulk in 2010, and for Marvel Studios to have brought him back to the MCU in Captain America: Civil War, after an eight year absence from the shared universe, you have to assume that their plans for the character go beyond that brief return. Phase 4 needs to go BIG in order to follow up what could be the biggest movie events of all time in Avengers: Infinity War and its sequel — and Red Hulk certainly fits that description. A live-action Hulk versus Red Hulk fight would be absolutely incredible to see, and fans have been asking for this for years, so it could only be a matter of time before Marvel Studios takes notice.
With the likes of Hulk, Thor, and Scarlet Witch already featuring as card-carrying members, Doctor Strange set to join the team, and Captain Marvel primed to become the most powerful hero in the MCU (Kevin Feige’s words), there aren’t many unused Avengers from the comic books who could wow audiences any more than the existing group. Sentry, however, may be the most notable exception.
With that in mind — along with a friendly reminder that Sentry’s backstory is as interesting as that of any unused comic book hero — it makes perfect sense that he would be Phase 4’s flagship introduction to the MCU.
Sentry is Robert Reynolds, a man who wiped the world’s knowledge of his powerful alter-ego from the minds of almost everyone in the world; such is the level of his telepathic power. He did this to save the world from the Void, which was the dark half of his personality, as forgetting it existed would prevent it from manifesting. This villainous side to the character would also provide a fitting follow-up from Thanos as a big-bad in the MCU, as the Void is tremendously powerful and malevolent. Other than that, Sentry’s essentially one of those aforementioned Superman analogues that the MCU could really do with. And for what it’s worth, he also has strong links to the final entry on our list…
1. Norman Osborn
The Marvel Cinematic Universe will be looking for a new “big bad” once Thanos has been defeated (assuming he is defeated, that is) at the end of Phase 3. In the likely absence of all-powerful baddies whose rights are currently tied to 20th Century Fox (Doctor Doom, Galactus, etc), the next best thing is undoubtedly Norman Osborn.
While many people associate Osborn with Spider-Man alone, he’s actually a huge threat to every hero in the Marvel universe and has proved himself as such on numerous occasions. Introducing him in a future Spidey solo outing makes sense, but having him go on to oppose the Avengers as a whole would be awesome.
Osborn is such a staple character in Marvel’s history that it’s almost impossible to imagine him not showing up at some point. He would open the door for classic comic book arcs like Secret Invasion, Dark Reign and Siege — all of which are epic enough to follow on from the monumental event that will be the MCU’s Infinity War.
What other Marvel characters do you think are shoe-ins for Phase 4? Let us know in the comments.