As 2019 counts down, we’re about end “Phase 3” of the MCU. Avengers: Endgame is ready to put it all to a rest with rumors quite a lot of the heroes we’ve come to know may be retiring. Of course, there are a lot of projects underway and it should work out given how there are decades of great Marvel stories to draw from. The movies are a big deal but Marvel is also using TV well from Netflix to other platforms and networks. That means having to beef up the bad guys. The MCU has been ramping it up with terrific enemies in the last few years like Hela, Killmonger and, of course, Thanos. Spider-Man Far From Home will have Mysterio while Captain Marvel introduces the Skrulls. Yet there are still scores of baddies the MCU should be utilizing.
Many are the masterminds, the huge guys who can carry a movie with a fantastic world-conquering scheme. Others are low-level thugs who can shine in brief scenes or the henchmen for the main villain. Some are far more cosmic threats who can be built up for a few movies before finally taking center stage. And others are just damn fun and would be great to see on screen. Of course, casting can be key as the right actor can elevate a smaller villain into a big deal. However, given how many amazing villains the comics have, the MCU should be using more of them. Here are 25 villains the MCU really needs to be using to win comic fans over big time.
Back in the 1970s, Marvel presented a comic of Dracula in the modern world. While he could be evil, the count was also a man of honor who could occasionally aid others in between feasting on innocents. Over the decades, the character has been shifted to the true Lord of the Vampires but not a pure monster. Indeed, Dracula maintains a strict control to ensure vampires don’t act up too much but can lust for power. A wild storyline had him creating an army on the dark side of the moon to try and invade Earth. He also worked with the X-Men to take out his own treacherous son.
The comics have emphasized his standing as a warrior as he loves to brag on how “I wiped out thousands and that was before I started eating people.” Using him might be tricky but the idea of the most famous vampire of all time clashing with MCU heroes would be amazing.
This can be tricky. It’s a famous story how Onslaught was originally going to be Charles Xavier’s dark side cut loose. Various issues shifted it so it became a mix of Xavier and the evil of Magneto. It also went from Onslaught’s well-intentioned but horrible plan of “linking” the minds of everyone on Earth to a “wipe out the world” despot. Still, the look of the character is impressive with its huge armor and giant size making him a force. It took the Avengers and FF seemingly sacrificing themselves to stop it and it’s threatened to return a few times.
It would be tricky working him in even with the X-Men yet it’s possible to build him as some sort of alien monster. Either way, that awesome armor on screen would be quite the sight to give the MCU a true challenge.
Some might argue about Galactus being truly a villain. In reality, he’s more a force of nature. The sole survivor of the universe that came before ours, scientist Galen was transformed by the experience into a massive figure who must subsist on the energies of planets. Earth is one of the few worlds to beat him back but it’s always a struggle. Galactus is not really evil and has even aided humanity against bigger universal threats.
Still, it’s hard to argue a being who wants to turn the planet into lunch doesn’t come off as the bad guy. Galactus should be someone to build up to, a massive force that will require all hands on deck to take down and make Thanos look like small potatoes. If anything can challenge the MCU, the Devourer of Worlds is it.
The ending of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 indicates the MCU is about to introduce Adam Warlock. This mysterious alien has long been the enemy of Thanos but it naturally appears that won’t happen when he debuts. Thus, the Magus would be a far more logical enemy. During a cosmic journey, Warlock finds an alternate timeline ruled by the Magus who is his own evil doppelganger. The total inverse of Warlock, the Magus lusts for power over the universe and doesn’t care how much of it he has to destroy.
He made a huge move in the first “Infinity War” event to gain control of the Infinity Gauntlet. He has been bumped off a few times but keeps coming back with further schemes for power and destruction. However Warlock works in the MCU, the Magus would be a good balance as his dark mirror.
Often showing up whenever “bad girl” groups gather, Titania stands out majorly. Marcy MacPherran was a scrawny and overlooked teenager who was often bullied around by others. During the first Secret Wars event, she was experimented on by Doctor Doom. This turned her into a super-strong buff powerhouse and she’s been bullying people ever since. The sight of a woman able to carry a building on her back is pretty interesting as her short temper makes her easy to rile up. It also makes her rather easy to beat as she can be sloppy when enraged.
She’s has been humanized by a romance with the Absorbing Man and the hints she knows what she’s doing is wrong. But if the MCU wanted to introduce some serious female firepower, Titania would bring that to the bad guys’ side.
20 THE MAESTRO
Peter David’s run as writer of the Hulk is seen as one of the most essential in the character’s history. His masterpiece was “Future Imperfect,” a gripping two-part mini-series. The Hulk is brought into the far future, a century after nuclear war nearly wiped out the planet. The radiation destroyed nearly all of the heroes but made the Hulk stronger and smarter than ever. Calling himself the Maestro, this future Hulk rules what’s left of humanity with a green iron fist.
The clashes of him and the present Hulk are gripping with the Maestro able to think as well as be even more brutal in a fight. While he seemed taken out, he has popped up a few times since. The Maestro is every horrific aspect of the Hulk taken to the tenth power and Bruce is terrified he could become this true monster. Which makes him a great foe for a Hulk sequel to show his evil mirror.
19 COUNT NEFARIA
One of the older Avenger foes, Count Luchino Nefaria was a rich European noble who secretly headed up the Maggia crime syndicate. He tried to frame the Avengers to get them out of the way but they exposed his identity. Nefaria later gained super-powers and came close to wiping out the team before being taken out. He’s returned a few times, always a tough figure who carries himself with the air of everyone else being beneath him. Of course, strip that away and he’s just a crime boss with a bit of culture.
The MCU can use him as some international foe, heading up his own crime family while funding some other super-villains. If they go for the route of him as a powerhouse, he can go toe-to-toe with Thor and look great doing it. A little dash of nobility can make the MCU stand out more.
18 DOCTOR OCTOPUS
It may make sense the MCU is reluctant to take on this classic Spider-Man enemy. After all, it would be hard to top Spider-Man 2’s portrayal of Otto Octavius as a man warped by an accident but redeeming himself in the end. However, the improvements in CGI mean those mechanical arms would look even more awesome battling with Spidey on the roofs of New York.
The comics have recently pushed the idea of Otto becoming a “Superior Octopus” and even trying his hand at being a hero himself. That could play into the MCU of Ock struggling with which side he falls on. The right actor can make Ock sympathetic, a once good man who was pulled into darkness yet still holds to his arrogance. He is a staple of the Spider-Man mythos so having an MCU Spidey without Doc Ock seems hard to imagine.
The MCU has already introduced AIM aka Advanced Ideas Mechanics. They’re basically a super think tank with a seriously militant edge who plot to take over the world with their scientific devices. Their biggest invention has been MODOK aka the Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing (AIM has a thing for acronyms). It looks like a massive head on a very tiny torso that gets around on a hover-seat.
At first glance, it looks downright laughable and like some children’s toy. That laughter stops when it attacks with ray blasts and incredibly powerful mental forces. Possessing an insane humor, MODOK has been rumored for the next Guardians of the Galaxy movie and could fit better in a space setting. Either way, it would be fun to see this wild character on screen to be more than just a joke.
The Red Skull has done a lot of dark and twisted things in his lifetime. But few can top this. Discovering a past dalliance had created a daughter, the Skull was briefly tempted to exterminate her. Instead, he subjected Sin to an experiment that grew her to adulthood fast. He then basically brainwashed her into being his loyal helper. The girl briefly broke away but was dragged back and is just as twisted a sociopath as her old man. She was horribly scarred in a fight to become a new Red Skull but later restored to her normal appearance.
The Skull was last seen on another planet but perhaps his granddaughter is out there ready to carry on the family legacy. Seeing a seemingly innocent woman who’s a grinning killer would be daring and her fight with Black Widow would be an epic sight.
15 THE REAL MANDARIN
One of the most controversial moves of the MCU remains the Mandarin in Iron Man 3. Having him be a Caucasian was already a rough move. But then came the revelation that he was just a boozing British actor hired by Killian to pose as this master villain. That’s a shame given how major an enemy the man is in the comics. A Chinese nobleman who lost his home, the Mandarin found an alien starship with ten rings of power. He’s used them in his various attempts to create a new Chinese empire.
The character has some racial issues but his rings and skills make him a fantastic enemy. A short movie had Slattery in prison informed the real Mandarin wasn’t happy with what was done in his name. It’s only logical he returns, Tony thinking it’s just an imposter but learns the hard way he’s for real. The character deserves a second chance to be done right by the MCU.
14 THE WRECKING CREW
Whenever you need a pack of guys as super-powered mooks in the Marvel Universe, you hire the Wrecking Crew. The Wrecker was a low-level thief who accidentally got a dose of magical energy intended for Loki. It granted him super-strength to make him a formidable foe. Bad enough on his own, Wrecker found a way to share the power with fellow cons Bulldozer, Piledriver and Thunderball. The Crew prefers to just rob banks more than take over the world plots but are capable of causing huge damage.
Their weakness is that (aside from Thunderball) none of them are geniuses so they’re easy to outwit. However, four men who each have the power of an Asgardian put together form a very formidable team. Even if only briefly, they could be used as a force against the Avengers on film and show the Crew as a harsh unit.
Captain Marvel is ready to introduce the Skrulls to the MCU. These alien warriors are known as the greatest shape changers in the universe. They can instantly look like almost anyone, making them masters of infiltration. A regular Skrull is already deadly on its own. Now imagine one with the powers of the Fantastic Four.
Chosen for a special experiment, Kl’rt possess the elastic of Mr. Fantastic, the powers of Invisible Woman, the rocky strength of the Thing and flames like the Human Torch. That’s on top of special mental powers as well. The FF seem ready to come into the MCU but even without that, it makes sense for a Super-Skrull to be created to take on the Avengers.
12 HIGH EVOLUTIONARY
The question abounds to how the MCU can introduce mutants into the movies. The High Evolutionary may be the answer. Herbert Wyndham was a geneticist decades ahead of his time in the 1930s. His desire to unlock human potential led to horrific experiments that caused him to be banished. Living in a mountain base, Wyndham took on the mantle of the High Evolutionary and determined to aid humanity in the next level of evolution…whether humanity wants it or not.
He’s an imposing figure in his armor and truly believes he’s doing the right thing for the world. It can make sense it’s his experiments that cause mutants to start breaking out and integrate the X-Men into the MCU. Thus, besides a cool villain on his own, the Evolutionary can bring the MCU to the next level.
11 THE HOOD
Here’s a good “low-level” baddie who could be used for the next “street-level” TV show. Parker Robbins was just your average gun for hire crook when he stumbled onto a mystical cloak. It granted him abilities like turning himself invisible, some magical protection and guns that never ran out of ammo. Parker has been using them as the Hood for schemes that include gathering scores of villains into a super-powered mob.
Parker does have the issue in that he still thinks like a low-key hoodlum and that’s caused him some trouble. He also wrestles with how the demonic owners of the Hood exert their influence on him. However, Parker does have some cool moves to bring to the screen as a super-powered mob boss is a natural foe for a Marvel TV show.
10 THE CHAMELEON
While he could have been an award-winning actor, Dmitri Smerdyakov decided to use his talents for crime. The man is an incredible mimic as in just moments, he can perfectly replicate anyone right down to their voice and tiniest mannerisms. Even close family members and those with heightened senses have been fooled by his impersonations. The Chameleon usually uses life-like masks but can also utilize a holographic projector to aid his act. What matters is how well he can copy his marks and be utterly ruthless in dealing with them.
Whether it’s for an assassination or industrial espionage, the Chameleon’s impersonations are almost flawless to make him a threat. He’d be good for another Spider-Man movie and while you’d have other actors “playing” Chameleon impersonating them, get a good mimic actor and the role can stand out.
9 THE LEADER
2008’s The Incredible Hulk is often overlooked among MCU entries. That’s mostly due to how Edward Norton’s antics on set were so bad that he was replaced as the Hulk by Mark Ruffalo. The movie did have a sub-plot of Bruce meeting Samuel Sterns, a geeky lab guy for some help. In a fight, some gamma liquid falls onto Sterns, whose head seems affected. In the comics, Sterns is transformed into the Leader, a major Hulk foe.
Whereas the Hulk is strong but low in intellect, the Leader is a supreme genius of the highest order who can control people with a touch. His schemes have included detonating a gamma bomb on a town and while it has to rankle him he can’t outwit the Hulk, the Leader keeps trying. If they ever get that overdue Hulk sequel off the ground, the Leader is a natural choice for its lead villain.
A criminal psychiatrist in every sense of the term, Karla Sofen was already a conniving and power-hungry individual. Then she got her hands on an alien gem that gave her super-strength, flight, energy blasts and phasing abilities. As Moonstone, she’s worked with the Masters of Evil and was also part of the Thunderbolts. While powerful, Moonstone’s failing is that she thinks she’s a lot smarter than she is. Her ego leads her to throw her weight around and can be outsmarted by more conniving bad guys.
In the comics, Moonstone has had a long rivalry with Captain Marvel and it makes sense she’d be a great enemy for a sequel. Even amid a crowd, Moonstone can stand out as a manipulative person and formidable foe.
There’s debate on whether Mephisto truly is the Devil or just a lord of Hell who wants folks to think he’s the real deal. Either way, Mephisto fills that role out in the Marvel Universe. A consummate liar, he lives to make deals which are always designed so Mephisto comes out the winner. In a straight-up fight, he is an incredibly powerful force as he can never be truly defeated as long as evil exists.
Mephisto loves to try and corrupt heroes like Silver Surfer and others which can play into a storyline. He would be good for a Doctor Strange sequel, leading Strange on a literally hellish journey with plenty of temptations around. With the right actor, the creature can be wonderfully charming while still utterly evil. It’s always fun seeing a Devil on screen and Mephisto can bring true darkness to the MCU.
It’s surprising one of the biggest names in the Thor comics hasn’t made it into any of his three movies. Amora has been one of Thor’s biggest thorns in the side for decades. A beautiful Asgardian, she can make any man fall in love with her with just a look or a kiss. She can be power-hungry, often working with Loki on ways to take over Asgard. However, Amora tends to be a rather petty and incredibly vain woman. Half the time, she’d rather just be worshipped by people than actually be a ruler and is after Thor less because she loves him and more because she just wants him.
Her beauty is amazing and can lead to some unique “games” she puts heroes through. The idea of a villainess who’s basically a modern social media queen with magical powers is intriguing. Given her importance in the Thor comics, leaving out the Enchantress is confusing and past time she finally got her due on screen.
5 GREEN GOBLIN
If Spider-Man is in the MCU then sooner or later, we need his greatest enemy. For decades, Norman Osborn has gone out of his way to make Peter Parker’s life a living hell. From countless schemes to killing Gwen Stacy, the Goblin is always a formidable foe. He may look a bit silly on his glider and the bombs but Norman’s absolute insanity makes him harder to predict. That’s without the fact he’s also an incredible genius which can be even tougher to fight off. Making it worse is how his son, Harry, is one of Peter’s best friends.
The first Spider-Man movie had William Dafoe doing a great job as the mad Goblin with James Franco’s Harry taking up the mantle later. Amazing Spider-Man 2 bungled it but the potential is still there for it to work. Again, it’s hard to see Spider-Man continuing in the MCU without the Goblin popping up and probably deadlier than ever before.
You need someone to train those countless “mooks” super-villains use in the Marvel Universe. Taskmaster is your guy. When he was a teenager, he discovered his talent for “photographic reflexes.” All he has to do is see someone perform a move and he can copy it perfectly. He proved it by using one NFL game to be an ace quarterback. Taskmaster decided more money was to be made as a bad guy and has become a top-level mercenary. He also makes a side living training thugs to be effective aides for various crooks and violent organizations.
He can throw a shield like Captain America, fire a bow as well as Hawkeye and block any martial arts move Black Widow can use. While he can’t copy super-powers, his own skills make Taskmaster a formidable foe. He could be used for some TV shows but on the big screen can work as a very capable fighter.
3 MORGAN LE FAY
Yep, as in the Morgan Le Fay. The classic sorceress from Arthurian legend is a serious force in the Marvel Universe. Centuries old, Morgan is obsessed with getting back the power she lost when Camelot fell. She’s a sorceress so powerful even Doctor Doom has taken lessons from her. One scheme had her rewriting reality to rule a medieval world. While powerful, Morgan can be rather self-centered and it’s easy to goad her into making mistakes that lead to her downfall. Yet her magical abilities add to her appeal as a bad gal.
The MCU could use another major female villainess and Morgan can handle it, perhaps in a Doctor Strange sequel. Her affinity for magic makes her a serious force and her regal bearing can also provide some intriguing storylines. You don’t have to be a Camelot buff to enjoy Morgan as an MCU force.
2 KANG THE CONQUEROR
This could be difficult as the history of Kang is…complex, to be charitable. A time traveler from the far future, Kang wants to bring all of history under his control. He tends to gather armies from across the time-stream to form a force that can conquer other realms. With the knowledge of the future at his beck and call, Kang can easily achieve victory yet the Avengers constantly stymie him. Kang does have some honor as he could just stop the Avengers from ever being born. But he considers that too cheap a win as he wants the satisfaction of beating them in their primes.
A majestic man, Kang is a supreme warrior with centuries of experience who can be a great manipulator too. Adding time travel to the MCU can be complex but given his long history with the team in the comics, Kang is a natural for a future Avengers foe.
1 DOCTOR DOOM
Come on, how can you have a Marvel Universe without the greatest villain in comic books? Yes, Victor Von Doom has suffered on film before. The 2005 Fantastic Four movie had him as more an American with metallic skin. The less said of the 2015 reboot the better. Yet the idea of Doom on screen is amazing. This is an ultra-genius of the highest order who rules his small nation with an iron fist.
While evil, Doom has some honor in him and truly believes the world would be a better place with him as supreme ruler (and he may even be right). To see this man on screen with his incredible arrogance intact clashing with the Avengers would be terrific. The right actor is key but the MCU can do justice to Doom’s outfits and mixing technology with magic. It’s long past time the Doctor got his due on screen and the MCU finally giving Doom his day.