Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is about to be released in theaters and it looks to be another Marvel hit. The exploits of everyone’s favorite a-holes have largely been kept separate from other Marvel adventures, but it looks like the MCU will soon be following in their very successful footsteps. James Gunn announced recently that he would return to write and direct the third film in the series, but even more intriguing, he noted he would help to build Marvel’s cosmic universe going forward.
Kevin Feige has said that after Phase 3, the MCU could look quite different and it looks like they will be taking things to the cosmos. It makes perfect sense as the cosmic side of Marvel’s universe in the comics is rich with epic storylines and interesting characters. So which characters would work best in the next exciting stage of the MCU?
We can dream big at this point and consider characters who are, as of now, not owned by Marvel Studios. We can also look at those characters who, while not traditionally considered a cosmic character, would work much better in this context rather than in the earth-bound adventures. And, of course, we want those strange, out-there characters that no fan could ever dream would make it on the big screen.
Looking to the future, here are the 15 Cosmic Characters We Need To See In Marvel Movies!
15 Adam Warlock
Fans have been eagerly waiting Adam Warlock’s arrival in the MCU ever since his cocoon was spotted in The Collector’s lair back in the first Guardians of the Galaxy. There was speculation that he would appear in the sequel, with Matthew McConaughey rumored to be up for the role. He has yet to show up but, unlike other characters on this list, we can at least confirm that Adam Warlock will be coming to the MCU at some point in the future.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has continued to drops hints about Warlock’s eventual appearance, even featuring his people, The Sovereign, as the sequel’s antagonists. Despite his intregal role in the comic book event on which it is based, Warlock will not be joining the cast of Avengers: Infinity War.
It seems that James Gunn, who is a fan of the character, has been saving him for something special, and now that Gunn is signed on for Vol. 3, it odds are good that Adam Warlock will have a big role in the trilogy’s conclusion.
As fantastical as the MCU’s Phase One was, it took Guardians of the Galaxy to prove Marvel’s most bizarre creations could work on the big screen. Who could have guessed that a movie featuring a gun-toting racoon and a talking tree would become such a huge success? Given that unexpected success, Marvel should continue to bet on those out-there choices that fans aren’t expecting, and it’s doubtful many fans will be expecting Doop.
Doop is a character so odd, he is hard to describe without sounding nonsensical. He’s kind of a rip-off of Slimer from Ghostbusters and was originally a member of X-Force (though it’s unlikely that film is crazy enough to include him). He speaks his own language, he can fly, and he possesses a number of interesting abilities-- including being able to access an alternate reality which exists within his own body.
Doop could only hope to make sense in the cosmic universe, and if Marvel and Fox could work out a deal to share Quicksilver, we hope they can manage this one.
13 Vance Astro
Kevin Feige hinted that the MCU will change in big ways going into Phase Four. It could be that the universe is ditching its earthbound heroes for some cosmic ones. If they ever start to miss Captain American, Vance Astro aka Major Victory would be a great replacement.
Astro has a long, strange history in Marvel comics. One earth, he was an astronaut who became the first to embark on an interstellar mission. During the decades-long voyage, Astro developed psychokinetic abilities. He served with the original version of the Guardians of the Galaxy, adopted Captain America’s shield, and eventually met up with Star-Lord and the modern-day Guardians.
There have been a lot of names thrown around as to who should take up the iconic shield once Cap is no longer in the MCU. Most fans expect to see Bucky or Falcon step into the role, but it would be really interesting to see the shield make its way into the cosmos to be picked up by another noble, if unexpected, hero.
It seems as though Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will have a very strong theme of family, especially with the father-son relationship between Ego and Peter Quill. If James Gunn wants to continue on with that theme in his third and final Guardians movie, he might think about adding Moondargon.
In the comics, Moondragon is Drax the Destroyer’s daughter, brought back to life after being killed by Thanos. Obviously, Gunn changed Drax’s storyline somewhat for the films, but there’s no reason that Moondragon could not still work with the family relationship still intact.
Dave Bautista already mentioned he’d like to see the character appear, and it’s not hard to see why. The relationship could bring closure to Drax’s grief while setting up some potentially moving moments between the reunited father and daughter.
James Gunn stated that when he’s finished with the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, any subsequent sequels would deal with a new team. Thankfully, there are enough members of the team from the comics to create an entirely new group of Guardians. One member fans would be excited to see is Quasar.
Named Phyla-Vell, this version of Quasar is one of the newer members of the Guardians. She is a character who also has links to Captain Marvel so she could theoretically appear in a number of cosmic adventures. It is also heavily hinted in the comics that Quasar is gay, giving Marvel the opportunity to represent that community for the first time on the big screen. She’s shared a flirty relationship with Moondragon in the past and if they chose to embrace that aspect of the character it could be a very refreshing change for the genre.
10 Silver Surfer
We’ve seen a depiction on the Silver Surfer on the big screen with Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. While the movie was less than stellar, that character was one of the most interesting aspects of it. However, where he was a side character in that film, Silver Surfer truly is a character who needs to lead his own film.
The Surfer is a very tragic hero, and his tale of sacrifice and redemption could make for a very moving intergalactic adventure. Born Norrin Rand, he volunteered himself to become a servant of the world-devouring Galactus in order to save his home planet. Rand was cursed to search the universe for planets his master could consume, until he eventually turns against Galactus and becomes a hero.
It’s an epic hero’s tale and, seeing this chrome humanoid racing through space on a surfer board could obviously make for some really spectacular action sequences.
Fans have been hoping to see MODOK in the MCU for some time now, but assumed he was too bizarre to work onscreen. Even the screenwriters of the Captain America films claimed to love the character but couldn’t figure out how to work him in plausibly. But if they were to introduce MODOK in the cosmic universe, he would feel right at home him all the other weirdos.
In the comics, MODOK was a scientist working for A.I.M. (which was established as a part of the MCU in Iron Man 3) who was experimented on until he mutated into this grotesque being with a massive head and mind-control abilities. Using his new powers, MODOK took control of A.I.M. and began his mission of destruction.
There have been rumors Peter Dinklage may play MODOK in Avengers: Infinity War, but if not, it would be fairly easy to integrate him into the cosmic side of the universe. Hopefully we’ll see him in some form as he would be an entertaining and visually amazing villain.
8 Uatu the Watcher
It has been said that Avengers: Infinity War will be the culmination of everything we’ve seen in the MCU thus far, and it appears like the universe will be quite different after Avengers 4. This seems like the perfect time to introduce Uatu the Watcher.
Like The Collector and Grandmaster, Uatu is an ancient and powerful being; in fact, he comes from one of the oldest species in the known universe. The Watcher's existence is for the sole purpose of observing different species throughout the cosmos. Uatu was tasked with watching over Earth and has therefore presumably been witness to the origins of all these heroes.
One theory suggests that Uatu is already very much a part of the MCU, but if they were to actually use the character, it would have so much potential, especially at this stage in the universe. Uatu could bring insight to the Avengers based on his observation and potentially set in motion events for the MCU in Phase Four and beyond.
Knowing the MCU will soon expand beyond the Earth setting, it needs to introduce villains who can pose a real threat to not just one planet, but the whole universe as we know it. Thanos is being set up as just such a villain, being so powerful that the Guardians of the Galaxy need to team up with The Avengers to defeat him. Another villain who could cause trouble for all of our favorite heroes is Beyonder.
Beyonder started in the comics as an unseen entity in the massively popular Secret Wars comic book run. In that storyline, Beyonder transported a group of heroes and villains to a distant world he called Battleworld and forced them to fight each other.
The Secret Wars storyline would be quite a departure for the MCU, but it’s a storyline that fans would go crazy for if it was brought to the big screen. Beyonder is one of those puppet master villains who could really raise the stakes for our heroes and would make for a fascinating antagonist.
As the Marvel adventures continue to venture out into the stranger territories, it would be nice to still have those characters who can ground things a little while also fitting well into the cosmic universe.
Michael Korvac’s origins start out as a tale we’ve heard many times before. He was taken captive by a race of aliens and experimented on. Like MODOK, those experiments imbued him with amazing and powerful abilities which he then used to destroy his captors. However, instead of returning to Earth to become a hero, Korvac went down a darker path and became an enemy of Earth and its mightiest heroes.
In the world of bizarre creatures and different alien races, having one of the most powerful villains look like an average Joe is sort of compelling. He’s unassuming but deep down he is an angry, evil man with terrifying abilities. He’d make a worthy opponent for any number of cosmic heroes.
Some critics have suggested that the Nova Corps is just a rip-off of the Green Lantern Corps from DC Comics, and it is admittedly pretty similar. The Nova Corps are an intergalactic police force whose members gain various abilities from their uniforms. The origin of Richard Rider, the most popular iteration of Nova, is even pretty identical to Hal Jordan’s origins.
Despite the glaring similarities, having the Nova Corps be a bigger presence in the cosmic universe would be pretty awesome. Seeing a movie following Rider as he polices the galaxy would be pretty awesome too— and hopefully turn out better than the Green Lantern film.
4 Beta Ray Bill
Like with Vance Astro, Marvel could have a very suitable replacement for Thor, if and when that character is phased out of the MCU. Now, just by looking at Beta Ray Bill and his bizarre horse-face, he doesn’t look like a likely pick to fill the shoes of the God of Thunder, but he’s worthier than you might think.
In the comics, Bill comes from a species called the Korbinite, of whom he is the protector. When Bill meets Thor, he takes him for an enemy of the Korbinite and they battle. During their fight, when Thor drops his hammer Mjolnir, Bill does the impossible and picks it up, proving he is one of the few worthy individuals in the whole universe.
Thor: Ragnarok looks to be introducing a lot of strange new characters to the MCU so certainly Beta Ray Bill wouldn’t be too much of a stretch. He may not have Chris Hemsworth’s looks, but if he can wield the hammer, he must have something going for him.
While fans are excited to see what kind of damage Thanos can inflict when he gets his time to shine, there are plenty of other villains in Marvel’s cosmic side that could be a huge threat. One that many fans are hoping to see is Annihilus.
Though Annihilus started in the comics as a second-tier villain of the Fantastic Four, he has since become a much more established baddie in the comics and proved to be a threat to the whole universe during the Annihilation storyline. He is a terrifying insectoid being and ruler of the Negative Zone. Annihilus has ventured outside of his kingdom on multiple occasions to conquer or destroy other worlds.
Annihilus would visually be a very interesting character to bring to the big screen, not to mention the threat he poses. Despite his monstrous appearance, he is a highly intelligent being. If the films wanted to follow the Annihilation storyline, it could serve for an epic event film bringing all the cosmic heroes together to take on the threat of Annihilus.
2 Doctor Doom
The film treatment Doctor Doom has been given thus far is extremely disappointing. Fox has possibly the greatest comic book villain of all time in their arsenal and they have continuously squandered the opportunity. Tim Story’s Fantastic Four made him a generic corporate villain with vague superpowers. Josh Trank’s Doom had minimal screen time as the villain and no motivation to speak of.
If, by some miracle, Doom returns to the MCU, he could be the answer to their villain problem. To do the character justice and embrace some of his stranger aspects, the character might work best in the cosmic universe. A genius overlord with an army of robots, dressed like a medieval tin man makes more sense in a distant galaxy than trying to cram in an earthbound origin.
Despite the dramatic change, Doom could still work as a complex and interesting villain. Like all the best villains, Doom is the hero of his own tale and it would be great to see that tale finally told well.
1 Fantastic Four
If there’s anyone who deserves a proper big screen depiction more than Doctor Doom, it’s his sworn enemies, the Fantastic Four. They have suffered through a few bad films, and after 2015’s Fantastic Four was such a disaster, many fans were hoping Marvel’s first family would be allowed to return home. If the Fantastic Four do get another cinematic shot, they really need to change things up. One possible avenue? Send them to space.
While the Fantastic Four are primarily known as an earthbound superhero team, there have been plenty of times in the comics where they have embarked on intergalactic missions. Going this route for the next reboot would open up so many cool possibilities. Watching Reed, Sue, Johnny, and Ben meeting new species and getting caught up in adventures across the galaxy sounds a lot better than any of the film’s we’ve gotten so far.
Which cosmic character do you most want to see in Marvel movies? Sound off in the comments!