Which MCU villains are still alive and could return as part of Marvel's Phase 4? Although the Avengers aren't known as killers, the reality is that not many of their enemies survive. Back in 2008, Tony Stark blazed the trail when he and Pepper conspired to kill Obadiah Stane, and since then the Avengers have typically operated with lethal efficiency. Where the comic book iterations of the Avengers frequently agonize over the choice to kill, the big-screen versions don't pull any punches.
Of course, death is no real barrier to a villain's return. Some of Marvel's movies are out of sequence; as a result, Captain Marvel will explore the backstory of Ronan the Accuser, the deceased villain from Guardians of the Galaxy. Plus, Avengers: Endgame is expected to involve an element of time travel, and is rumored to involve deceased foes like Frank Grillo's Crossbones. And these are comic book movies, which means resurrections can't be ruled out; in the comics, Wakanda in particular is known for an enchanted altar that can be used to raise people back from the dead, which means characters like Killmonger and Klaue could still potentially return to haunt Black Panther.
But, assuming the dead stay dead, which villains could come back to plague Earth's Mightiest Heroes in Phase 4 and onward? Discounting Michael Keaton's Vulture (already confirmed for Spider-Man: Far From Home) and Hannah John-Kamen's Ghost (who seems to have been redeemed after Ant-Man & the Wasp), here's a complete list.
Tim Roth played Emil Blonsky in The Incredible Hulk, a semi-deranged soldier who had himself transformed into the Abomination - a monstrous being who almost defeated the Hulk in one-on-one battle. The World Security Council viewed Blonsky as a hero, and even attempted to coerce Nick Fury into making him part of the Avengers Initiative. He's reportedly held in cryogenic suspension in a cell in Alaska; given Blonsky was imprisoned by S.H.I.E.L.D., it's entirely possible he was broken out during the Hydra uprising in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Batroc the Leaper
A French-Algerian mercenary, pirate, and martial artist, Batrox the Leaper is a classic Captain America villain. He's best known as the bad guy who gets hired to slow the superheroes down while his employers get away with stolen goods; Batroc doesn't plan to win, he plans to lose with style. The MCU version was introduced in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, when he was secretly hired by Nick Fury to capture a S.H.I.E.L.D. mobile satellite platform launch ship, the Lemurian Star; Steve Rogers led the mission to recapture the Lemurian Star, and Batroc put up a surprisingly good fight. He was imprisoned, but it's not hard to envision a scenario where he's gotten out of jail - perhaps even legally, by serving his time.
Perhaps the greatest cosmic threat out there is the Dread Dormammu, the other-dimensional entity who rules the Dark Dimension. Dormammu is eager to expand his reign into our dimension; he was defeated in Doctor Strange, where the future Sorcerer Supreme forced him to swear never to attack Earth again. But let's face it, nobody expects Dormammu to abide by that promise; in fact, he made a similar vow in the comics, and he found his way around it many times. It's possible Doctor Strange 2 could introduce Doctor Strange's sorceress girlfriend Clea, and she's actually Dormammu's niece - which means the sequel could return to the Dark Dimension.
Thor: Ragnarok introduced the Grandmaster, a cosmic being who delighted in setting up gladiator matches where warriors fought to become his champions. His operation on Sakaar was overthrown, and he's fallen on hard times, as detailed in the MCU tie-in novel Cosmic Quest Vol. 1, in which the Grandmaster went to visit his brother the Collector. According to Jeff Goldblum, the Grandmaster survived Thanos' snap, and he's still at large.
Page 2 of 3: Other MCU Villains That Can Return In Phase 4
- 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 05, 2019