Only a handful have what it takes.
Warning: For Avengers: Endgame, there is a reason why Marvel calls the first three phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe "The Infinity Saga." Each of these 22 films has helped spur an overarching story on Earth's most powerful heroes to prevent Thanos from devastating the universe. Although Thanos himself appeared in only a handful of these films, he was the catalyst for the MCU for a decade.
Now that Avengers: Endgame has arrived and the Infinity saga is over, we have to ask ourselves Which bad guys could fill this gap? Which Marvel characters are twisted enough, ambitious enough and intriguing enough to shape the next decade of the MCU as Thanos shaped the first? Here are some worthy candidates. Rush
Rush is the ultimate fusion of mutant forces. This villain was created on the day a mournful Charles Xavier used his powers to obliterate Magneto's thoughts. At that moment, the darkest aspects of Magneto's personality merged into Xavier's mind, fused with Xavier's own dark side, creating a psychic demon of unbelievable power. When Onslaught took on a physical form, it had become such a powerful entity that it took on the combined power of the X-Men, Fantastic Four and Avengers, to stop it.
Onslaught certainly has the power to face the many heroes of the MCU. And given the fact that the X-Men will finally make their MCU debut in the coming years, it seems only this time, this is apt to frame the next decade of films about a mutated villain. The films will require a certain amount of setup and world-building to make Onslaught possible, but the comics already provide a blueprint. The Onslaught saga took place over many months. Early on, the X-Men heard only a muted whisper of a new mutant threat powerful enough to beat Juggernaut across the country. This setup culminated in an epic showdown between Marvel's hero and this seemingly unstoppable adversary.
We hope the MCU will make some adjustments to this villain, including a clearer personality and deeper motivations than in the comics. But the potential for a worthy Thanos successor is certainly there.
 We've now seen two incarnations of Doctor Doom in live action (three, if you include Roger Corman's unpublished Fantastic Four), and none of them will be the biggest villain in the game Marvel Universe For this Doom drought, it's important to put the character at the top of the MCU.
Doom will primarily always be a villain of the Fantastic Four, and his unique blend of disgust and love for the Richards family will always provide. Doom has a pretty strong track record that challenges other Marvel heroes. His coronation as a villain came in the Secret Wars of 2015. When the Marvel Multiverse was forgotten, Doom created a kingdom called Battleworld and ruled over it as God Emperor. That's the thing with Doom. He may not be as powerful as someone like Thanos, but his boundless ambition and thirst for glory have often made him one of the most powerful beings there is. Like Thanos, Doom is a powerful villain whose only vulnerability is his severely damaged psyche.
We would be pleased to see an adaptation of Secret Wars as the endpoint for the next decade of Marvel films. And with Spider-Man: Far From Home, which seems to be introducing the concept of the multiverse, we can come one step closer to the story that is becoming reality on screen.
Many fans speculated that the MCU would aim for an adaptation of Secret Invasion to Endgame. The heroes and political figures of the earth were secretly replaced by Skrull cheats to one Even though the avengers themselves are paralyzed by the question of whether they can trust their own ally.
As much as we would like the MCU to be built in the direction of an adaptation of Secret Invasion or The Kree-Skrull War, neither of the two options seems terribly likely to be the events of Captain Marvel. This film made the Skrulls innocent victims of the endless conquest and expansion warfare of the Kree Empire. It's possible that not all Skrulls are as benevolent as Talos and his family, but the MCU has definitely not portrayed the Skrulls as a threat in the comics.
This does not mean that the Kree can not act as the main enemy in Phase 4. Earth has finally been awoken to the existence of alien life. The fact that a team from Erdlingen stopped Thanos and saved the universe will attract the attention of good and bad diversity. Not to mention that the more enemies Captain Marvel makes in their intergalactic peace missions, the more she paints a target on the back of her homeworld. We saw the Kree Supreme Intelligence decide to make Earth the next target in the expansion plans of the Empire, and more than one team of avengers will be needed to fend off the largest military in the known universe.
Apocalypse is an obvious candidate for a major MCU villain. He's one of the most powerful mutants in the world and he's one of them. We certainly would not say no to a movie based on the Age of Apocalypse crossover.
However, Apocalypse has been handled in the X-Men 2016 lately (and also badly): Apocalypse: Marvel Studios might consider this villain a damaged good right now, even though Marvel's choice of villains in Spider-Man movies so far suggests suggest that they prefer to use villains that have not appeared in previous films. So, if not apocalypse, why not the one mutant villain older than him? Maybe Selene is the best option for the MCU.
Selene is a millennia-old mutant vampire who feeds on the psychic life force of others. This has allowed her to survive in the present and makes her an almost unstoppable adversary when energized. She fought the X-Men on her own and as a member of the Hellfire Club. With her connections to the supernatural, she is a villain with the unique ability to unite the X-Men, Avengers, and Doctor Strange in a massive conflict. The MCU could even take the Necrosha crossover into its own hands, where Selene raised dead mutants to become a goddess. In this way, dead favorite heroes of the fans could be brought back as zombies.
Selene's background story also offers some interesting ways to explore the MCU's prehistoric past. She actually has tangential connections to Conan the Barbarian! Should Marvel Studios ever get the rights to the Conan franchise (like Marvel Comics recently), Selene would be the perfect villain for a Conan / Avengers team movie.
Kang the Conqueror
This powerful villain is notorious for waging time himself. He travels freely between past and future and manipulates the course of human history for himself. He ruled in ancient Egypt as God, and he rules the distant future as an all-powerful tyrant. And no matter how often Kang is defeated and apparently killed, his time control means that there is always another version of him available. The Avengers beat when they least expect it.
The events of Endgame could easily serve as a catalyst for Kang's debut. Maybe Endgame serves as its origin story. When a young Kang sees the Avengers manipulating time to achieve an impossible goal, he is inspired to do the same. Or maybe Kang has always lurked behind the scenes of the MCU, and the actions of the Avengers make him feel so threatened that he can finally reveal himself. It could be that the events of Endgame destroy time itself and give Kang the opportunity to do more mischief.
Kang is a sensible mastermind villain because of his ties to various Marvel franchises. He has connections to the Avengers, Fantastic Four, Inhumans and X-Men. And given all the evidence that Marvel is slowly becoming the debut of the Young Avengers, Kang would be a perfect nemesis for this team. For more information on the subtle creation of Kang the Conqueror by Endgame, click here.
For more information about Avengers, see our Endgame review. Learn more about the post-credits scene in Endgame, or let us explain the endgame's end! Explore Gamora's status as dead or alive in Endgame. And is Black Widow really dead? We explain here. C Check all the endgame easter eggs found, read our biggest Avengers Endgame questions, or think about endgame time travel rules.
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