With Avengers: Endgame finishing out the MCU’s three-phase “Infinity Saga,” audiences are eager to see what direction Marvel goes next. Since Endgame’s release, rumors have swirled about which characters may be featured in the MCU’s Phase 4.
From the characters rumored to debut, there are many we could not be more excited to see. At the same time, some proposed appearances leave us questioning whether the MCU will be able to pull them off.
Without any further ado, here are the top 5 characters we are excited to see and those we are still not sure about.
10 Want: Ms. Marvel
Ms. Marvel aka Kamala Khan. Inspired to take up crimefighting by Captain Marvel herself, Kamala is one of the best characters Marvel has introduced in modern times.
Her rumored introduction is said to occur in the sequel to Captain Marvel, which makes perfect sense. Given the five-year time gap in Endgame, it’s likely that Carol Danvers built up quite a fanbase as a member of Black Widow's Avengers team. Due to her lovable and comedic nature, there’s no doubt the team at Marvel Studios will be able to capture this character's appeal, and we can’t wait to see them stick the landing.
9 Unsure: Nightmare
Doctor Strange was both a financial and critical success. There's no doubt a sequel will debut sometime during Phase 4. The returning director, Scott Derrickson, has said he hopes to feature the villain Nightmare in the sequel. The evil ruler of the Dream Dimension, Nightmare might be a tough comic character to adapt. Don't get us wrong, a dimension full of nightmares sounds great. The idea of a nigh-omnipotent ruler of said dimension however, that could be challenging.
A confusing character like Nightmare holds an equal amount of potential and risk. Furthermore, he is somewhat reminiscent of Dormmamu. They're both nigh-omnipotent rulers of scary dimensions. Nevertheless, we all hope they pull this off.
8 Want: Nova
Originally introduced in 1976, Nova seemed like a poor man's Green Lantern. Despite that, he quickly grew a large cult following. With the Nova Corps' inclusion in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies, it seems very likely Nova will make his MCU debut sooner rather than later.
In a recent interview, the writers of Endgame revealed an early draft of the film showed Thanos decimating Xandar. With the Nova Corp defeated, only one survivor remained: Richard Rider. Other rumors have placed his introduction in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which seems a perfect fit. With previous successes like Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain Marvel, Nova is sure to be another MCU hit.
7 Unsure: High Evolutionary
A lesser-known villain, High Evolutionary is usually nobody's first choice for a comic book movie antagonist. His special skill is to evolve animals into humanoid forms.
Rumored to be in James Gunn’s third installment of Guardians of the Galaxy, High Evolutionary will most likely be revealed as the creator of Rocket Raccoon. This could be a deeply emotional story or a profoundly silly one. If anyone can handle such an abstract villain, it has to be Gunn. Even if it's hard to imagine how he'll pull this one off.
6 Want: Adam Warlock
Best known in the comics for his connection to the Infinity Gems, many fans were hoping that Adam Warlock would appear in Avengers: Endgame. Sadly, that was not the case. He did, however, earn a mention during a post-credits scene in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
In the comics, Adam Warlock was created by a group of evil scientists called the Enclave. As is the case with most scientists in fiction, they soon lost control of their creation, unleashing him upon the world. Instead of an unstoppable villain, Adam became one of Marvel Comics most popular (and most powerful) cosmic crusaders.
He’ll no doubt make for a great addition to the ever-growing list of cosmic heroes in the MCU.
5 Unsure: Hercules
Son of Zeus. Champion of the Twelve Labors. Odds are you’ve heard of Hercules. What some people don’t know is, much like Thor, this mythological hero is also a longtime Avenger in Marvel comics. Recent rumors suggest that Hercules may be introduced in the upcoming Eternals movie. Although this may seem to be exciting news, it does raise some red flags.
Is The Eternals introducing the whole Greek pantheon of Gods? How will they juggle that along with the other characters from the comics? Hercules is often thought to be very similar to Thor. If they make him more earnest, we saw that result in mixed responses for first few Thor movies. Conversely, if Marvel decides to go in a more comedic direction, he may also seem too reminiscent of the new Thor from Ragnarok and Endgame.
All we can do is hope for the best.
4 Want: Shang Chi
Shang Chi Master of Kung Fu. That line in and of itself should be enough to convince you this MCU movie will be a wild success. That said, Marvel was quite successful in displaying African culture in Black Panther. It’s easy to imagine them putting the same level of love and creativity into a film featuring Chinese culture and the martial arts.
A Bruce Li inspired character himself, the rumored upcoming Shang Chi movie is likely to pay heavy homage to some of Li’s greatest works. We can’t wait to see what Marvel’s take on a Bruce Li movie would be.
3 Unsure: Beta Ray Bill
A humanoid, horse-like alien imbued with Thor's powers, Beta Ray Bill has always been a bit of a wacky character. With the ending of Avengers: Endgame leaving fans to believe that Thor is set to become a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy, additional rumors have placed the horse-alien in James Gunn's upcoming sequel.
Although he’s a fun character and would fit in well with the MCU’s new interpretation of Thor, it seems that the third Guardians of the Galaxy movie is already going to be jam-packed full of characters and plot threads. The timing just doesn’t feel right for Bill to show up in Phase 4.
2 Want: Fantastic Four
Putting four characters in the number one spot might be a bit of a cheat, but these characters merit an exception.
Given the lackluster attempts by Fox to make a successful Fantastic Four movie, Marvel now finds itself in the perfect position to create the definitive film. Not only does Marvel’s first family have a rich and storied history, the family-friendly tone perfectly fits what Marvel Studios is all about. An MCU Fantastic Four movie is all but a sure success, and we simply cannot contain our excitement for its arrival.
1 Unsure: X-Men
Another cheat, but this one was equally necessary. In Disney’s acquisition of Fox Studios, Marvel not only got back the rights to the Fantastic Four but also every comic book reader’s favorite mutant team.
Unlike the Fantastic Four, X-Men was an extremely successful franchise at Fox. Those movies are still very fresh in the public's collective consciousness. A reboot, which is sure to come eventually, might be seen as overly confusing and unnecessary.
Don’t get us wrong, we’d love to see the X-Men arrive in the MCU. They are some of the most iconic superheroes of all time. It just might be a touch too soon.