Avengers 4 is on its way in just a couple of months and the title has finally been revealed to be Avengers: Endgame. This is incredibly appropriate as the film has been promised to bring an end to the story that began in the original Iron Man and the characters first established in that classic Phase One Avengers lineup. It’s also important to note that the title itself was spoken by Doctor Strange in Infinity War, when he ominously predicted: “We’re in the endgame now.” Given the massive success of Infinity War, it’s obvious that fans are incredibly excited about this movie, especially considering the previous film’s devastating cliffhanger ending. Considering that Avengers: Endgame is meant to bring a conclusion to so many characters and so many stories, it stands to reason that some old villains might be dusted off to help bring those longstanding plot threads full circle. Some old villains have already been confirmed to appear. Others, like Thanos, haven’t gone anywhere at all, really. While the last movie really saw Thanos as the protagonist, though, he likely won’t be the signature threat of this film as his life’s mission has already been completed.
Given that, there are all sorts of other surprises that Avengers: Endgame could have in store. There are other threats and many other villains who could appear, especially if the film goes back and forth through time as appears to be the case from the set photos and plot details that have been revealed so far. Even if it’s not quite yet confirmed how the Avengers will seek to undo the actions of Thanos, it’s hard to imagine that there won’t be powerful obstacles standing in their way.
With that in mind, here is Endgame: 6 Supervillains Confirmed To Appear In Avengers 4 (And 16 Who Could).
20 Confirmed: Thanos
The one villain that everyone knew without question would be back is Thanos himself. It would be impossible to end this story without him, considering that he not only survived his battle with the Avengers, but also got everything that he wanted. The trailer for Endgame sees Thanos apparently living in peace, in solitude, in a moment that directly reflects the events of the original Infinity Gauntlet comic series. The Infinity Gauntlet itself has also been devastated, so there’s no telling how much power Thanos has left or what his role in the new film will be. Even if he’s not the central villain, it’s hard to imagine the Avengers forgiving him for what happened.
19 Could Appear: Thunderbolt Ross
Longstanding enemy of the Hulk going all the way back to the beginning, General Ross was initially characterized very closely to his comic book counterpart in The Incredible Hulk. However, then he went on to become Secretary of State, where he proved to be a thorn in the side to the Avengers as a whole. Since his return, he’s not even shared a scene with Bruce Banner, nor Hulk. When last seen in Infinity War, he ordered War Machine to arrest Cap and the other Secret Avengers, which didn’t happen. Even though there are now much bigger problems for the universe as a whole, it would stand to reason that Ross might show up again to enforce consequences on the heroes.
18 Could Appear: Justin Hammer
While Iron Man 2 is not the most successful movie in the MCU, fans loved Sam Rockwell and his performance as Justin Hammer. Much younger than his comic book counterpart, Rockwell’s Justin Hammer is essentially the anti-Tony Stark. He’s what would happen if all of that swagger and egotism wasn’t balanced out by a genius intellect and a hero’s spirit. He’s only the worst parts of Tony and his weapons almost never work the way they’re supposed to. This character was last seen in the One Shot “Hail to the King,” which saw Iron Man 3’s Trevor Slattery wind up in the same prison as Hammer. Even as unlikely as this would be, it would make for a fun cameo.
17 Could Appear: Vulture
What happened to those who were incarcerated after the snap? Did prisons shut down when they didn’t have enough manpower to continue to run? Vulture was someone who blamed the Avengers for affecting his way of life in the first place, so what would he think now after everything that happened? Admittedly, this one seems impossibly, but it would be interesting to see him react to the loss of Spider-Man given that he knows who he really was and what Peter Parker meant to his daughter. It’s possible that he could make some kind of appearance, even if would just be a post-credits stinger to set up his confirmed return in Spider-Man: Far From Home.
16 Could Appear: HYDRA
It’s possible, maybe even likely, that HYDRA could make an appearance in Avengers: Endgame. Fans are definitely grateful that the movies have finally moved beyond that storyline, but with the likely time travel elements of Avengers 4, it would be hard to imagine this villainous organization not factoring in, at least in some capacity. The appearance of a character like Crossbones even might have to confirm the presence of HYDRA after all, this would bring the audience back to a time before the organization was outed as having infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D. Everything is of course just speculation at this point, but it will be interesting to see if HYDRA does have a role to play and what that role could look like if they do.
15 Could Appear: Ronan
Ronan will make a return appearance in Captain Marvel, which doesn’t exactly mean a future for him in the MCU as it will be a prequel. The Accuser was not the most beloved part of Guardians of the Galaxy, but the character is one that people are still excited to see more of. Lee Pace is a terrific actor and there is certainly more he could be given to do with that role. Even if he does not return from his disintegration in that movie, there appear to be several flashback elements of Avengers: Endgame that he could certainly tie into. It’s possible that he could even somehow make a return, as characters come back from apparent termination in comics all the time.
14 Could Appear: Hela
Hela definitely looked as though she appeared to have been taken out at the end of Thor: Ragnarok, but she is the Goddess of Death so all kinds of things could happen to undo that. It’s possible that she maybe can’t be destroyed, at least not permanently. After all, she’s much more magically inclined and powerful than Loki, who has faked his own end on multiple occasions. If Hela could somehow return, she could take the role of Mistress Death from the comics, though that seems unlikely. In Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos was attempting to destroy the cosmos to please his beloved, but in the Infinity War movie he had an entirely different motivation. If Hela did appear, it would likely be to show fans that somehow she survived the decimation of Asgard.
13 Could Appear: Surtur
Surtur was also last seen destroying Asgard, having seemingly extinguished Hela at the same time. His destiny was to bring about the end of Asgard and it’s a destiny that he clearly fulfilled, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t survive it. Could he still be out there among the cosmos, maybe even still locked in battle with Hela? It’s very hard to say. It seems unlikely, but this could be something that either Thanos or even Tony see in their travels through space. If Surtur is still alive, it could mean interesting things for Thor as he might find the last Asgardian to fulfill the prophecy of Ragnarok. But it’s hard to imagine that Avengers: Endgame would take that direction or if there would even be another Thor movie after that to keep the character around for.
12 Could Appear: The Grandmaster
The Grandmaster could make another appearance, given that he could be a Celestial being and more powerful and ancient than most life in the cosmos. Even though he’s a bit of a maniac, it’s easy to think he wouldn’t sanction Thanos’ decision to wipe out half the life in the universe. The new Thanos novel set in the MCU also teased the importance of the Celestials and other beings that they feared. Could this be setting up something for the future, possibly a being that is introduced in Avengers: Endgame? It is possible, but there’s no reason to believe that novel could have any potential impact on the films even if it’s considered canon, which it likely isn’t.
11 Could Appear: Zemo
Given how much Civil War set the stage for Infinity War, in that Thanos’ attack came when the Avengers were at their most shattered and unprepared, it makes sense that Zemo could be given a chance to return. Out of all possible villains from the past, it seems like he would have the most to comment on. Would Zemo blame the Avengers for what happened, as he had with Sokovia and those other countries? Or would he see that his victory over the Avengers, his successful plan to disassemble them, directly led to Thanos’ victory. Zemo is partially to blame for the destruction of half the life in the universe, so it would make a lot of sense to get a cameo from him to acknowledge everything that has happened, although it’s hard to imagine it actually happening.
10 Confirmed: Crossbones
It’s hard to imagine, but Crossbones is coming back somehow. Despite being taken out in Captain America: Civil War, Crossbones has made his way back into the MCU in time for Avengers: Endgame. With the time jumping that seems to be likely in the new film, it’s reasonable to assume that Crossbones will appear in a flashback. After all, he was a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent before his allegiance to HYDRA was revealed. If they go back in time, will Cap be forced to play nice with him despite knowing where his allegiances actually lie? Or is it a flashback without any elements of time travel at all? It’s hard to say, but it’s probably a safe bet that he’s not coming back from the explosion in Civil War.
9 Could Appear: The Other
When Thanos was first introduced in The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy, he had a being called The Other who did most of his speaking for him. This character was destroyed by Ronan in Guardians and in Infinity War, Ebony Maw was seen in a very similar role. If there are flashbacks to Avengers or even before that, it’s possible that The Other might be seen again. It’s possible that Thanos could even use the power of the gauntlet to resurrect him, though that seems highly doubtful considering Thanos would likely consider one loyal servant as good as another. If there was a flashback, however, that would be a nice way to tie Thanos as he is now back into Thanos as he first appeared to truly show how much his character has progressed in that amount of time.
8 Could Appear: The Collector
The Collector’s fate is uncertain. He appeared in Infinity War, but it was as an illusion projected by Thanos, only revealing to the Guardians that they were too late and that he had already taken the stone kept by the Collector for himself. It’s uncertain whether he survived by giving up the stone or whether he didn’t survive at all, but it would stand to reason that Avengers: Endgame might have an answer. If the Collector is still alive, it’s tough to say what use he could serve, though there’s a theory that the Avengers may go back in time to recover the other Infinity Stones before Thanos can get his hands on them.
7 Could Appear: Red Skull
The Red Skull was one of the biggest surprises of Avengers: Infinity War. There had always been rumors that he would return, but no one ever knew when or how. Revealing him as the keeper of the Soul Stone made perfect sense. With the stones having been collected, it’s tough to say how he could factor in again. If the stone is gone, has he been released from his duty or is he still cursed to stay there? While it’s possible that he could have just been brought back for this cameo, it seems more likely that there was a reason they had held off his appearance for as long as they had. It would be hard to imagine letting him go without a reunion with his nemesis, Captain America.
6 Confirmed: Nebula
Nebula is certainly no longer a villain, but that is the role she served in the comics and it was even her role in the first Guardians of the Galaxy and much of the second. That’s what makes things so devastating for her now. She had just patched things up with her sister after a lifetime of resentment and now Gamora is gone, so she has no one. Nebula has been through more than any of the other heroes in this movie and it’s easy to think that when all is said and done, she might be the one to deliver the final blow to Thanos. It would be poetic and will fulfill a mission she has been on since Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2.
5 Could Appear: Proxima Midnight
It’s more than likely that Proxima Midnight perished during the fight in Wakanda when Scarlet Witch launched her into some kind of alien machine, but her end was less obvious than any of the other members of the Black Order. Someone could make the case that she might actually still be alive. If she is, what master would she serve now? What would she do? After all, she had given her entire life over to Thanos. It’s possible she would be grateful for the fact that she had done her part in helping him see his goal through to the end, but it’s also possible that she would be lost and directionless with her job completed.
4 Could Appear: The Kree
With Captain Marvel coming to hopefully save the day in Avengers: Endgame, it makes sense that some of her mythology might be along for the ride as well. MCU fans should already be very familiar with the Kree thanks to Guardians of the Galaxy, not to mention the role that they played on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. In Captain Marvel, the Kree are set to play their biggest role yet, as Carol Danvers spent years working as a Kree soldier to take down the Skrulls. The film presumably sees her realizing that she’s simply a pawn in their war. If she still has alliances with the Kree in the present, it’s almost certain that they would appear alongside her.
3 Could Appear: The Skrulls
The Skrulls are more likely to appear than any other alien race and maybe any other hypothetical character on the list. Introducing the Skrulls is huge, in general, as they are a major part of Marvel lore. With Captain Marvel being set in 1992, many fans think that the studio is playing the long game with the Skrulls, introducing them in the past before revealing that they are still around and active in the present and have infiltrated the Marvel Universe. Some people suggest there might be Avengers or allies that have been Skrulls the entire time that audiences have known them. If the studio actually is building up to something like the Secret Invasion arc of the comics, it could make for a very interesting phase four.
2 Could Appear: The Chitauri
The Chitauri are almost guaranteed at this point, given the confirmation that somehow, whether it be through time travel or the Quantum Realm or some form of mystical means, the Avengers will be returning to the events of the Battle of New York. This invasion famously introduced the Avengers to the world and it would be impossible to see that without some kind of Chitauri presence, even if they are just littered on the ground as fallen alien soldiers. They did make a return appearance in Avengers: Infinity War as well in the flashback that saw Thanos taking out Gamora's home planet. With the heroes returning to the events of the original film, it would be curious to see how much might change.
1 Confirmed: Loki
Despite the fact that Loki met his end in the opening moments of Infinity War, and the fact that the Russos have made it clear that this ending was a permanent one, he will definitely be back for Avengers: Endgame. However, his appearance will definitely be related to whatever time travel or reality altering that will come in to play in the next film, as he’s been seen in behind-the-scenes set photos that depict the events of the first Avengers film. If they go back and see Loki again, will they change the course of history so that he lives? Will Thor get to have the chance to actually say goodbye to his antagonistic brother? There’s a lot that has yet to be revealed, but in the meantime, the audience is waiting for April to arrive as soon as it can.
Who do you want to see most? Let us know in the comments!