In Black Panther, Killmonger showed us what a real MCU villain is capable of accomplishing. He disrupted the pattern of lackluster bad guys and gave us an in-depth backstory, an emotional connection, and a truly wicked performance. Killmonger ultimately made us fall in love with a villain and we all wanted so much more.
Now that we all got a taste of a true MCU villain, fans everywhere are trying to make connections to build backstories and fan theories for their favorite sinister baddies. They want each and every villain to rise to the standard of Killmonger and have therefore made little side stories to ensure that the bad guys remain in the spotlight.
Many of these theories are based off extremely solid evidence, while others were simply generated because they represent a scene or plot that fans want to see.
For this list though, we’re going to focus on those villainous fan theories that have so much proof that it is extremely hard not to believe them. From leaked set photos and cast interviews to little Easter Eggs and underlying plots, the figures, facts, and numbers for these theories are pretty solid.
So, get ready to join the dark side, because here are 25 Fan Theories About MCU Villains (That Might Actually Be True).
25 Thanos Waited to Collect the Infinity Stones Because He Needed to Get Rid of Odin, the Ancient One, & Ego First
Infinity War left fans with lots of questions and one of these was: Why did Thanos wait so long to collect the Infinity Stones? He clearly knew where most of them were, so why take 6 years? While many people joked about how comfortable his space throne must’ve been, one fan came up with a highly plausible theory.
Dc.marvel.jpg suggests the recent demise of Odin, the Ancient One, and Ego encouraged Thanos to get off his chair because they were the only ones with the power to stop him.
Odin and the Ancient One were protectors of universes, while Ego was an actual planet. So, now that they’re gone, do the Avengers have no chance?
24 Hela Will Resurrect Loki in Avengers 4
Since Hela is the Goddess of Death, it doesn’t make sense for her demise to mirror that of regular Asgardians – or for her to be able to perish at all. So, according to this theory, she’s still alive and will eventually resurrect her step-brother.
The theory is based off a set photo that showed actors and crew at the Durham Cathedral – the location where Thor sees his vision in Age of Ultron. In the photo, there’s the statute of the Norse god seen in Thor’s vision and a dummy of Rocket Raccoon. This has been translated to reveal that Thor and Rocket will gain access to the pool, travel to Hel where Hela is living, and bargain with her to bring Loki back to life.
23 Bucky & Scarlet Witch Will Return as the Villains They Once Were
Most people assume that the Avengers we lost in Infinity War will rise from the ashes and return again. However, one theory suggests that not everyone will come back the same.
Bucky Barnes and Scarlet Witch were not always on the side of good. They were both experiments and minions of Hydra.
Eventually, they both found the light in their heart and joined the Avengers, but what if the dusting reverses this? According to the theory, the two will return in Avengers 4 but will revert back to their evil selves. As Scarlet Witch seems to be the only one with the power to stop Thanos, this might be a problem for the Avengers.
22 Ultron is Still Alive & Will Take the Infinity Gauntlet
In Spider-Man: Homecoming, Peter finds an Ultron head in the government warehouse. Although most people brushed it off as the head of an Ultron clone and a nice little Easter egg, others believe it could be a sign that Ultron is still alive. Ultron could pass his consciousness from robot to robot in Age of Ultron, and the only way you could tell which robot he was in was his glowing, red eyes.
Well, the robot head that Peter held in Homecoming had red eyes. So, this theory states that Ultron’s data is still in the mind stone and somehow, it’ll end up back in the robot’s body. Then, Ultron will take the Infinity Gauntlet.
21 Killmonger is Still Alive & We Saw His Son in Black Panther
Killmonger was one of the most in-depth and developed villains in the MCU, so that surely can’t be the last of him, right? This theory suggests that Killmonger was never truly defeated by Black Panther. When he was stabbed, he still had the power of the Black Panther in him and could’ve survived his wounds.
T’Challa survived a stab wound and a dive off a waterfall even after his powers were removed, so who’s to say Killmonger couldn’t do the same? Another theory also suggests that the kid that T’Challa talks to in Oakland at the end of the movie could be Killmonger’s son.
20 Thanos is Destined to be Defeated by Ant-Man & Doctor Strange Planned Scott's Entrapment in the Quantum Realm
It was odd that Doctor Strange saw every outcome of Infinity War, yet still went with a plan that was destined to fail. However, what was even weirder was that Scott Lang entered the Quantum Realm at the exact moment that Thanos snapped his fingers.
Therefore, Reddit user theincredibleshaq, shared a theory that Scott’s presence in the Quantum Realm was an essential part of the one reality that Doctor Strange said the Avengers could win.
Strange could’ve planned the timing of Thanos’ actions and forced the snap to happen at the exact time that Scott entered the realm. Could the Quantum Realm help Scott time travel, or could he be the key to Thanos’ defeat?
19 Loki Looks Like Hela Because He Wanted Odin's Love
The long black hair, the pointy helmet, and the green outfit – are we sure Loki’s the adopted one? Many fans have pointed out the fact that Hela and Loki look more like siblings than Hela and Thor. This fan theory provides the reason why.
During the first Thor, we see a flashback where Odin takes an orphaned Loki and the child changes from a blue Frost Giant into an Asgardian child. Later, in Ragnarok, we see that Loki has the ability to see people’s memories when he touches Valkyrie. So, what if baby Loki could see Odin’s memories of Hela when he first touched him and decided to take the appearance of his first-born?
18 Nebula Will Become Supergiant & Turn Evil
If you’re a true Marvel fan, you may have realized that there was one member missing from Thanos’ Black Order – Supergiant. Her omission from the movie is extremely odd and therefore, fans have created a theory to end the confusion.
This theory suggests that Supergiant was not in Infinity War because she has already been introduced in previous MCU movies. Since the Black Order consists of Thanos’ “children,” Nebula could potentially assume the role of Supergiant in the future. Some fans think that after becoming Supergiant she’ll side with Thanos, while others believe she’ll become someone much more powerful than the Mad Titan.
17 Red Skull Will Return to Take the Infinity Gauntlet
Red Skull making a surprising cameo in Infinity War confirmed many theories that he was still alive. However, fans aren’t done theorizing about the Hydra leader. Some people have noticed that Red Skull’s arc was very similar to Mephisto, who told Thanos how to use the Infinity Stones in the comics. Mephisto though had an ulterior motive. He watched Thanos and waited for the perfect opportunity to take the Gauntlet for himself.
Red Skull could have a similar motive and eventually make his way off his mysterious planet to take the Gauntlet.
This also explains why Samuel L. Jackson accidentally said that he’s still chasing Red Skull in an interview.
16 Ulysses Klaue Stole Bucky's Arm
When questioned by Agent Ross, Ulysses Klaue claimed he stole his arm from Wakanda, but this makes no sense. In Age of Ultron, Klaue meets Ultron to try and sell his stolen Vibranium. It’s at this same meeting that Klaue also loses his arm. This means that when he originally went to Wakanda, he had two arms and no need for a prosthetic one. So, why would he have stolen one?
This means he most likely made another trip to Wakanda after he lost his arm. Now, the arm is a militarized, left arm that seems to match Bucky’s skin color. Why would the Wakandans need to build this, unless it was meant for Bucky?
15 Doctor Doom Will Appear in the Avengers 4 End-Credits Scene
Now this theory isn’t based off facts and has instead developed because of the wishes of the fans.
Victor Von Doom, or Doctor Doom has gone head-to-head against the Avengers in the comics and is a major villain in the Marvel universe. However, his time on the big screen is extremely lacking.
With the Disney-Fox merger, Doom’s appearance in an MCU movie isn’t completely outrageous.
Although he would most likely make the plot of Avengers 4 extremely confusing, he may be fit for an appearance in the end credits. The MCU does have a history of revealing major villains at the end of their movies.
14 Thanos Created Rocket
Back at HASCON 2017, James Gunn promised fans that they’ll learn more about Rocket’s backstory in the coming movies. He then went on to say, “It’s going to be a little different from the comics... It’s a little bit more horrible." Gunn also said that Rocket’s origins were actually already subtly referenced in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which led fans to point to one line.
In the movie, Nebula talks about how Thanos tore her to pieces and put her back together after every sisterly battle. This line is extremely reminiscent of Rocket talking about his own creation in Vol. 1. So, did the Mad Titan create Rocket?
13 Bruce Banner is Actually Loki in Disguise
Thanos teased Loki fans by saying “No resurrections this time” after he let go of the God of Mischief’s lifeless body. However, what if Loki doesn’t need a resurrection because that wasn’t his body? Bruce Banner was a little off and out-of-character throughout Infinity War. He barely acknowledged Black Widow when they were reunited, knew about Doctor Strange’s Sanctorum, understood way too much about the Infinity Stones, and couldn’t even go Hulk.
While most people believed his lack of transformation was because Hulk was scared of Thanos, it could’ve been because Bruce Banner is actually just Loki’s disguise. Loki can shapeshift and project holograms, so it could’ve all been part of his master plan.
12 Mistress Death or Thanos' Son Will Defeat the Mad Titan
After Infinity War, it seems like there’s nothing that can stop Thanos or reverse his snap. However, fans have pointed to two people, very close to Thanos’ heart, that could potentially take him out. The first is Mistress Death. In the comics, Death holds Thanos’ heart and he would do absolutely anything to prove that they deserve to be together.
Some fans believe that Mistress Death is actually Hela and that she holds the key to stopping Thanos and saving the Avengers.
The second showstopper is Thanos’ son, Thane. In the comics, Thane defeats his father and devotes his life to fighting for good. So, could we see him introduced in Avengers 4?
11 Killmonger Was a Plant from the CIA & the World Already Knows About Wakanda's Vibranium
Did anyone think it was a huge coincidence that Killmonger worked for the CIA? They most likely knew who he and his parents were, so maybe they were working together to infiltrate Wakanda. Killmonger was essentially trained to infiltrate countries and destabilize threats to the United States, and this is exactly what he did in Black Panther.
In the movie, Killmonger makes his way into Wakanda and infiltrated their ranks. Then, by the end of Black Panther, Wakanda opened itself up to the world in a peaceful way that benefited the US. So, maybe the US knew about Vibranium, deemed it a threat, and sent Killmonger in to ensure Wakanda was on their side.
10 The Winter Soldier was Ordered to Take Out Peter's Parents
Geekydaddydave noticed that if you listen to the seemingly unconnected activation words used to turn Bucky into the Winter Soldier, they may hold a secret message. The string of words is "longing, rusted, furnace, daybreak, seventeen, benign, nine, homecoming, one, freight car."
“Nine” clearly refers to Hydra, which is a Greek mythological creature with nine heads. Then, “freight car” refers to the train that Bucky fell off of in The First Avenger. “Homecoming” could reference Spider-Man’s latest film. Knowing Bucky’s past, could he somehow be linked to the assassination of Peter’s parents? As far as Spider-Man: Homecoming is concerned, we know nothing about Richard and Mary Parker, so it could be possible.
9 Yellow Jacket Will Confront Ant-Man in the Quantum Realm
Back in July 2018, Ant-Man director Peyton Reed teased that Yellowjacket may still be alive. He told Screen Junkies, “If you watch his death in the first-Ant-man, the suit is compromised… he shrinks and goes into a thing. I mean, he could be somewhere down there in that Quantum Realm."
This caused fans to theorize that with Scott now stuck in the realm, he could potentially run into his old nemesis once again.
Fans have also voiced concerns that Dormammu might also show up in the realm. During the Ant-Man and The Wasp mid-credit scene, there was a glimpse of a smiling face in the background. While some believe it’s Thanos, others think it’s Dormammu.
8 Thanos Influenced the Creation of Ultron
During Age of Ultron, Thanos puts on the Gauntlet and says, “Fine, I’ll do it myself.” This scene caused many fans to think he orchestrated all the events that led to Infinity War. Thanos gave Loki the mind stone in The Avengers to allow him to conquer Earth. However, his real motive could’ve been to let Loki take out half of New York.
Then, he planned for the stone to end up with Stark so that he could create Ultron – another villain with plans to wipe out the human race. Each of these events could’ve been Thanos’ first attempts to destroy half the universe before he settled on his plan to collect the Infinity Stones.
7 Skrulls Have Invaded Earth and Wong is One of Them
After Benedict Wong posted a photo of himself filming Avengers 4, we all got confirmation that Wong survived the dusting. However, his image freaked some people out. In the photo, Wong has prosthetics on the back of his head and it seems as though he might be a Skrull in disguise.
The theory suggests that Skrulls invaded earth and impersonated people, making everyone believed that they survived the snap when in fact, they didn’t and were simply replaced by Skrulls. Other theories suggest that Hulk, Thor, and General Ross could also be Skrulls.
6 Thanos & the Black Order are Responsible for the Demise of Mar-Vell
Since Captain Marvel is coming out before Avengers 4, fans are scrambling to connect her to Thanos. One fan noticed Cull Obsidian had a blue, gold, and red cloth hanging off his belt in Infinity War that looks similar to Captain Marvel’s suit.
Therefore, the thought is that he defeated Mar-Vell and is wearing a part of his suit as a trophy.
Mar-Vell is a Kree warrior that was Captain Marvel prior to Carol Danvers. He has connections to Thanos in the comics and could have lost a battle to him and the Black Order in the MCU. This would provide a personal reason for Carol Danvers to help the Avengers and take down Thanos.
5 Loki Faked His Own Demise... Again
Loki is a master trickster that always has a master plan up his sleeves. That’s why it’s been so hard to accept that Loki didn’t have a plan in Infinity War. However, some fans have been quick to point out the similarities between Loki’s fall in Infinity War and his faked demise in Dark World.
Loki usually holds his weapons in his right hand. However, when he tries to stab Thanos, he uses his left hand. The only other time he’s used that hand in battle was just before he was “stabbed” by Kurse. The dagger he uses in Infinity War is also only used during his fake demise, causing many people to think Loki is still alive.
4 Odin Imprisoned Hela Because She Tried to Trade Him for the Soul Stone
This theory suggests that years ago, Odin went on a power trip and decided to claim all the Infinity Stones. He commissioned Nidavellir to create the Infinity Gauntlet – hence why Eitri had a mold for Thanos – and had another casting made as a test fit. This test cast is the one that is currently in Odin’s throne room.
However, when Odin discovered the price of the Soul Stone and learned he had to sacrifice his firstborn, Hela, he walked away from the quest. Hela though didn’t feel the same way. She understood the power of the Gauntlet and tried to sacrifice her father for the stone. Odin eventually won the battle and banished Hela to Hel.
3 Thanos Did Not Survive Infinity War & One Half of Him is in Each Universe
Thanos said that he was the last of his kind – the Eternal Titans. So, by the rules of the Infinity Gauntlet, shouldn’t half of him disappeared when he snapped his fingers? This theory suggests that one half of Thanos’ consciousness didn’t survive the dusting. Therefore, there will be two projections of Thanos – one in the real world and one wherever the missing Avengers end up.
So, based on this theory, the Avengers will have to battle the Mad Titan twice.
Another theory suggests that Thanos didn’t survive Infinity War at all, and the vision of him with little Gamora is a glimpse of him in a heaven-like realm.
2 All the People Vanquished by an Infinity Stone will Return - Including Ronan
It’s highly likely that the people that were dusted are going to return since many of them still have solo movies planned in the future. However, what if everyone that was ever affected by an Infinity Stone came back to life? This would mean that we could see Ronan return and potentially take down Thanos.
We might also see Red Skull return from Vormir and land back on Earth. This would create another threat for the Avengers as they attempt to reverse the events of Infinity War. However, Red Skull might do them a favor and go after Thanos and the Infinity Stones himself.
1 Loki Has Been Orchestrating Everything Since the Battle of New York
This theory suggests that Loki is a true mastermind and has been orchestrating everything in the universe since he lost the battle in New York. According to the theory, the God of Mischief schemed and planned the rest of the MCU’s timeline after he learned that he was losing New York in The Avengers.
He ultimately planned on Thanos finding the Infinity Stones and destroying half of the universe. Then, he predicted that the Avengers will need to use time travel to save the day, and therefore he’ll have a second chance to win the battle. Although we’ve all considered Thanos to be the biggest villain in the MCU, he might just be Loki’s little puppet.
Do you have any other theories about MCU villains? Let us know in the comments!