New Takes on Old Villains in Avengers 4
Guardians of the Galaxy introduced a somewhat new version of Ronan the Accuser, and while the changes still kept a lot of the core elements of the character intact, fans weren't pleased with how little development the on-again, off-again villain from the comics received. Even worse, but he was killed off before he had a chance to be fully explored in the MCU. Luckily, Marvel Studios looks like they're going to rectify that somewhat.
Captain Marvel will not only bring Coulson back to the big screen, but it will feature Ronan and Korath. With the film set in the '90s and exploring the Kree-Skrull War, Marvel wisely decided to bring back one of the most popular Kree from the comics and his lieutenant. With any luck, they won't be killed off again and could instead appear in future films set around the same time period. Of course, it could be that Thanos broke time when he snapped his fingers in Avengers: Infinity War, meaning the fate of Ronan and others could be up in the air.
We've heard rumors for a long time now that Avengers 4 will involve time travel. Set photos have lent credence to this idea, though there's still plenty of options for other things that could be taking place. Regardless, it's clear that some alteration to time, space, and reality will take place in the new film - after all, characters like Spider-Man must return ahead of their future films. That means certain aspects of the MCU could be retconned. Ronan, for instance, may avoid his death and slowly shift more towards his comic book counterpart. The same could occur for other prominent villains as well.
Avengers: Infinity War's Red Skull revival after so many years proved the minds behind the MCU weren't afraid to play with their own reality. With that option on the table, there's no telling what absent villains could return. Yellowjacket could easily have a similar return given Ant-Man & the Wasp will see the team head to the Quantum Realm that he was sucked into. Thanos' attack could let Abomination out of his cage. And with the chance of MODOK appearing, AIM could finally resemble a version of the mad scientist team they are on the page.
Avengers 4 Could Establish The Thunderbolts
Helmut Zemo is still very much alive and may use the new chaos to assume a more supervillain-y identity as Baron Zemo. In the comics, he and his father have spent decades battling Captain America. The version of Zemo we met in Captain America: Civil War was a far-cry from the bombastic villain, of course, but he was used to great effect. But with the universe in shambles, Zemo could finally snap and become more dastardly and colorful. We could then see him form the Masters of Evil, or better yet, initiate the Thunderbolts.
If Marvel truly wants to explore more mature material, then their take on the Suicide Squad could make for a great film series. The Thunderbolts began as a plot by Zemo to take the place of Earth's fallen heroes after a calamitous event, only to be revealed as villains in disguise. That plot seems tailor-made for Avengers 4, which would allow an eventual Thunderbolts movie to then focus on the team as a mixture of reformed villains and criminals looking to reduce their sentences. What's more, Hawkeye long served as the mentor of the Thunderbolts, so his solo mission in Avengers 4 would offer an effortless way to connect to the group.
In the end, the plot and characters of Avengers 4 is up in the air. But Thanos' victory and the end of Phase 3 leave a number of doors open for the introduction of new villains. And with time and reality altered, who knows which rogues could crawl out of the woodwork with new costumes and missions. Whether next year's film focuses on a few key threats alongside the Mad Titan or teases out a slew of threads for future films, it's safe to assume comic fans will get to see some nefarious faces jump from the page to the screen in Avengers 4.
- Ant-Man & The Wasp (2018) release date: Jul 06, 2018
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019