Avengers: Endgame has concluded the MCU's Infinity Saga, closing a massive chapter in the cinematic universe's storytelling. Of course, that just means it's time to open up the next chapter, which offers a lot of exciting opportunities. As fun as it is to think about all the great heroes that could soon be appearing in the MCU, there are just as many villains we'd love to see.
As Disney has acquired the Fox properties, Marvel now has some of their most interesting characters to work with. This means we could finally be seeing how the MCU uses the most iconic baddies in Marvel history. Have a look at some of the best villains we want to see in the MCU, as well as a few we'd rather not see.
The rights issues with Spider-Man characters are still hard to figure out. It's difficult to say which characters can be used in the MCU and which are being saved for Sony's own Spider-Man films. But we do hope that the MCU will at least have access to Norman Osborne, one of Spider-Man's most important enemies. We've seen Osborne on the big screen a few times now, but we're not interested in seeing him don the Green Goblin costume this time. Instead, the MCU should explore what a diabolical man Osborne can be on his own. This sort of non-superpowered baddie could be the perfect follow-up for Thanos.
Besides Osborne, there are plenty of other great Spider-Man villains who would be great to see in the MCU. However, as popular as Venom is, we'd rather he stays out of this cinematic universe. The character got an appropriately crazy solo film from Sony just recently, with Tom Hardy helping to bring the character to life. But the story of Venom is closely tied to Peter Parker taking the symbiote suit and realizing its dark nature. Without that aspect, a potential Spider-Man and Venom face-off is a lot less interesting. However, we'd rather not see Tom Holland's Peter go to the dark side. Venom is probably best off on his own solo adventures as an anti-hero.
Marvel has held the rights to M.O.D.O.K since the beginning of the MCU. But there's a pretty good reason why the character hasn't gotten the big screen treatment yet; he is just a really weird looking guy. M.O.D.O.K is the kind of mad genius the MCU could have a lot of fun with, but that character design is a tough one to do right. But at this point, the MCU is used to taking risks. They have successfully brought some of the strangest comic book characters to life, so surely they can find a way to make this great baddie work.
Kingpin has represented the kind off 'big bad' for many of Marvel's street-level heroes. He is a crime lord without any powers but has nonetheless shown to be a genuine threat. But as great as the character is, he has gotten a lot of the spotlight recently. Vincent D'Onofrio memorably played the character as a somewhat sympathetic and damaged character in Netflix's Daredevil series. Even more recently, Liev Schreiber voiced the character in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. With two excellent versions of the character in recent memory, maybe it's time to give the character a break.
The future of the MCU seems to be focusing on the cosmic side of the universe. There are certainly a lot of memorable villains to explore there, but there are just as many opportunities in the mystical side of the universe, such as Mephisto. Mephisto is basically the Marvel universe equivalent of the Devil. He has faced off against many of the biggest Marvel villains and could certainly be that kind of world-threatening villain. Mephisto could easily be introduced in a Doctor Strange film or in the new Ghost Rider series before debuting in the films.
Fans are obviously very excited at the prospect of seeing the X-Men join the Marvel universe. While it will likely still be a while before any of those characters appear, it's hard not to already think of the possibilities. But we're hoping when they do eventually enter the MCU, the Dark Phoenix is not revisited. The Dark Phoenix storyline is one of the most popular from X-Men comics, and it certainly is a good one. However, with it explored in X-Men: The Last Stand and now Dark Phoenix, we're just not interested in seeing it done for a third time.
Avengers: Endgame might have spelled the end of the original team of the Avengers, we're quite sure a new team will eventually form to take on a new threat. Thanos will be a tough act to follow, but of all the big bad's Galactus seems like the one that would justify the Avengers forming once again. Galactus is a giant cosmic entity who devours planets. In the comics, he has often set his sights on Earth as his next meal, bringing the Earth-bound heroes and cosmic villains together to stop him. This could really make for an epic space adventure.
The Mandarin reveal in Iron Man 3 is still one of the most controversial moments in the MCU. While some thought it was a bold and clever take on a problematic character, others felt an iconic character was reduced to a joke. Perhaps in response to the controversy, the Marvel short All Hail the King revealed there is, in fact, a real Mandarin operating out there. However, at this point, to try and reintroduce this idea years later would require too much exposition. And then there is still the uncomfortable racist connotations with the character. We think it's better left alone at this point.
The Fantastic Four have not had much luck on the big screen. Now that the MCU has a shot at bringing them to life, many fans are hoping that not only will Marvel's "first family" get treated right, but also their main foe, Doctor Doom. Doom is Marvel's most complex and interesting villain in their vast roster. What makes him so compelling, and what the films have failed to show, is that Doom thinks he is the true hero. He is highly intelligent and a tremendous threat to any hero.
Thanos had been waiting in the wings of the MCU for years, appearing briefly as a tease of things to come in many movies before Infinity War. He finally fully emerged in Avenger: Infinity War and proved that the wait was worth it. He was a powerful and intelligent anti-hero with an interesting perspective and a horrifying plan. He quickly became one of the MCU's best villains. With such a successful enemy, there will always be the temptation to bring him back for more. We hope the MCU resists as Thanos' story feels complete. As compelling as he is, it's best to leave the audience wanting more.