Marvel Comics and the Marvel Cinematic Universe are two of the most recognizable brands in the world. Marvel Studios took a chance with Iron Man, hoping against all odds that their gambit would pay off; it did. The MCU has, mostly, done an exemplary job in bringing heroes like Spider-Man and Captain America to life. They’ve even taken lesser-known characters like Iron Man and Thor and built entire universes around them. With such a wealth of characters to choose from, fans never know what movie or TV show will be announced next or what characters will make surprise appearances.
Lest not forget the villains; they’ve become as important as the heroes. Bad guys like Loki and Thanos now have entire fanbases built around them and are a big draw for audiences. With the Marvel machine not slowing down, it’s only a matter of time until they reveal their next batch of movies and characters that’ll accompany them. Yet if history has shown us anything in the comics, it’s that Marvel needs to pay special attention as to whom they select; some villains and their stories are just too offensive for the casual moviegoer. Here at CBR we’re looking at 15 offensive villains Marvel would definitely censor for the MCU.
Anytime you mix religion with people’s entertainment, things have a tendency of getting a bit dicey. That’s especially true when you’re making movies that are owned by Disney; it probably wouldn’t look good to have the physical embodiment of the Devil on screen next to a child’s favorite superhero.
Dubbed the Lord of Lies, Mephisto is one of Marvel’s scariest villains, stealing souls and torturing them in his Hell-like dimension. With blood-red skin and a sour demeanor to match, it’s unlikely Marvel will be mass-producing a long line of Mephisto action figures next to the Avengers at your local Target. Granted, Marvel and Disney are taking fun risks with the MCU and introducing characters like Thanos, who literally worships death, but the devil himself might hit a little too close to home for some. Either way, an MCU Mephisto would be very different from his comic book counterpart.
14 THE MANDARIN
Iron Man 3 teased the appearance of Tony Stark’s great villain, the Mandarin. Much to the disappointment of fans everywhere, he didn’t actually show up, and the Mandarin we got was a paid actor to take his place. There’s still a chance he’ll appear for real, unless the character gets forgotten in the upcoming phase of Marvel movies.
Regardless, while Iron Man fans want to see the Mandarin on the big screen, Marvel is going to have to handle the character delicately. Living up to his name, the Mandarin didn’t start off as the most politically correct of characters. He appeared in comics the same year the Chinese government tested their first nuclear bomb; Mandarin was a throwback to the Yellow Peril era. Even his appearance was offensive by contemporary standards, what with a Fu Manchu mustache, squinted eyes, long fingernails, and of course, he was a master of karate.
13 MARCUS IMMORTUS
It’s a miracle (though perhaps “miracle” isn’t the right word) that the character known as Marcus Immortus ever saw the light of day. His history is such that it would offend anyone with half a brain in today’s world. Ms. Marvel gave birth to him, but he’d also turn out to be her lover from another dimension. Marcus, was the son of the Avengers enemy Immortus, and fell in love with Ms. Marvel from his dimension.
He brought her to his dimension and used some super science machines to make her susceptible to his advances. Then Immortus impregnated her with him, so that he could journey to her dimension. Often labeled The Violation of Ms. Marvel, it’s one of the sketchiest and more offensive storylines Marvel has ever produced. With a Captain Marvel movie coming out, will Marcus be making an appearance in the MCU? Probably not.
Captain America’s history is full of second-rate villains who would make for excellent cannon fodder in a throwaway scene in the MCU. First appearing in Captain America #312, Flag-Smasher, for example, would serve wonderfully in that regard, but he would need to be watered down a bit. Flag-Smasher followed the footsteps of the villain the Red Skull, but whereas Red Skull symbolized Nazism, Flag-Smasher symbolized anti-patriotism.
Hating nearly everything America stands for, Flag-Smasher is the complete antithesis of Captain America, who, as you know, is all about patriotism and living to serve and help others. Flag-Smasher could work in a Captain America movie, but considering the current political climate we live in, the villain probably wouldn’t be spouting long-winded speeches about everything wrong with the United States.
One of Moon Knight’s grisliest villains, there’s nothing pleasant about Bushman. Already prone to gunning down scores of innocents just because he can, the former mercenary’s evil doesn’t stop there. Practically a cannibal, Bushman is okay with ripping people apart with his razor sharp teeth, delighting in their death throes. Monstrous foes can work, as seen in the Netflix MCU, but Bushman isn’t the kind of character you can advertise for a major blockbuster.
To put Bushman’s violent history with Moon Knight into perspective, one of the bloodiest fights featured the two men carving into each other with knives and fists until Bushman sends them plummeting over a building. Hitting a fire escape on the way down, one of Moon Knight’s knees shatters. When they land, Moon Knight gets the finishing blow, crawling over to Bushman and ripping his face off. Surely the kiddies would love to see that.
Ms. Marvel can’t seem to catch a break. Marvel Comics writers were outright horrible to Carol Danvers, putting her through emotional trauma after emotional trauma. Which brings us to M.O.D.O.K. Originally George Tarelton, George worked for A.I.M on experiments to unlock his mental potential. To that end he was transformed into a giant floating cyborg head. After becoming the evil M.O.D.O.K., who is just unpleasant to even look at, he had horrible run-in with Ms. Marvel. By that we mean he tried to brainwash and assault her.
Using his vast mental powers, he nearly succeeded in completing the atrocious deed, but Ms. Marvel broke free from his control and beat him senseless. It’s a mystery why Marvel Comics seemed okay with Ms. Marvel getting mistreated every so often. With A.I.M. a part of the MCU, M.O.D.O.K surely isn’t far behind. Hopefully Marvel’s learned their lesson with M.O.D.O.K.
With a name like Hate-Monger, it’s rather obvious that some serious censoring is going to be required. Hate-Monger is a member of the KKK, but unlike his fascist brethren, he’s opted to wear a purple sheet over his face. Starting off by igniting hate riots throughout New York City, Hate-Monger acquired a hate-ray, which he would use to shoot people and turn them racist as they also became infected with rage.
As it turned out, Hate-Monger was actually Hitler in disguise, as Hitler had his consciousness transferred into another person’s body; something he would do repeatedly. Typically a Fantastic Four villain, Hate-Monger’s also fought Spider-Man and Captain America. There’s also a version of Hate-Monger, named Man-Beast, who’s a werewolf-looking creature with psychic-hate powers. It’ll likely be a cold day in the underworld, before an uncensored Hate-Monger makes his way to the big screen.
Blackheart is the son of Mephisto, which makes him the Devil’s offspring. Right there, a whole number of red flags probably jump out. A mesmerizingly powerful being, Blackheart tends to reside in hell-like domains or the Darkforce dimension, scheming about one day usurping his father. Like dear old dad, Blackheart’s list of powers is practically unending. He’s omnipotent, has a wide arrange of nasty magical abilities, and can rip planets apart with telekinesis. What sets Blackheart apart from Mephisto is that he can steal souls without one’s approval, unlike his father.
Blackheart is all about corrupting innocents and turning individuals against themselves. Usually seen going against Ghost Rider, Blackheart also pays special attention to Daredevil, hoping to taint the hero’s soul. All in all, Blackheart does not come across as a Disney-approved villain.
7 WARRIOR WOMAN
If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like if Wonder Woman adopted a love for leather and was a fascist, wonder no more. Warrior Woman answered that conundrum when she debuted in Marvel Comics back in 1977 in Invaders #16. Sporting a black whip and clearly into certain things, it’s a wonder Marvel didn’t just call her Mistress and be done with it. The mere sight of Warrior Woman is cringe-worthy, but her serving Hitler on the field of battle didn’t do the character any favors.
Rather, Hitler was so impressed with Warrior Woman’s skills, he wanted her to marry Master Man, another Nazi supervillain who would fight Captain America on multiple occasions. Anything is possible in the world of cinema, but Marvel certainly isn’t going to feel comfortable with a scantily clad, leather enthusiast, super-Nazi woman jumping around on screen for young eyes everywhere to see.
6 THE JACKAL
Miles Warren, the Jackal, started off as Peter Parker’s benevolent college professor. Upon discovering his student was Spider-Man, he went insane. Assuming the identity of the Jackal, he stole some of Peter’s DNA, harvested it, and used it to create clones. Out of the Jackal’s tampering would come Ben Reilly, Kaine, and the incredibly creepy Gwen Stacy clone. Decades later, the Jackal would kickstart the infamous "Clone Saga".
It wasn’t Warren’s proclivity for making clones that would have him censored in the MCU, but the sleazy relationship he seemed to have with the Gwen Stacy clone. While we never saw them actively perform the dirty deed, it’s clear the Jackal was obsessed with her. Go ahead and make all the clones you want, but the Marvel Cinematic Universe is definitely not going to be okay with a psychotic college professor sleeping with a young woman, clone or otherwise.
5 BLACK TALON
Black Talon is such a character that just looking at him is extremely offensive, especially to modern sensibilities. Black Talon is effectively a half-crazed black man in a chicken suit that spouts gibberish and performs dark voodoo magic. If that’s not enough to make you reconsider choices Marvel’s made in the past, then nothing is.
Even though Black Talon was considered a gag character of sorts, dressing up any minority as a chicken and parading them around is a horrible thing. There have been attempt to modernize Black Talon and turn him into something less offensive, but they were fruitless endeavors. We’ve seen necromancy in the MCU already with Hela, but that was on a cosmic scale. Having a more grounded interpretation would be pretty cool, watching the heroes of Earth come together to battle the undead. Still, Black Talon needs a serious makeover before his MCU debut.
4 GWEN STACY'S CHILDREN
Gwen Stacy’s always been an important character in the Spider-Man mythos. Peter Parker considered Gwen the love of his life. That was until his arch-nemesis, the Green Goblin, murdered her. It was a horrible and brilliantly written moment in the life of Spider-Man. Unfortunately, Marvel would further taint Gwen’s memory with the story "Sins Past". "Sins Past" told the story of Gwen and Norman Osborn and in leading up to her death, the two of them had an affair. Gwen got pregnant and had the Green Goblin’s kids.
Apparently, the real reason Norman killed her was because she threatened to cut him off from his children. Those same kids, named Gabriel and Sarah Stacy, would grow up to become supervillains and try to murder Spider-Man. Considering the kid-friendly approach the MCU is taking with Spidey these days, it’s unlikely we’ll ever see these characters or the offensive storyline play out.
3 MASTER MAN
Another one of Hitler’s henchmen, Master Man’s name alone is enough to bring legal counsel into the MCU’s writing room. Weirdly, Master Man might prove one of the best foils for Captain America, either on or off the screen. The first Master Man, Wilhelm Lohmer, was a frail, Nazi-sympathizer who desperately wanted to serve the evil cause. He then participated in an experiment that subjected him to the Nazi equivalent of the Super-Soldier serum. It was a resounding success for him and he acquired incredible abilities as a result. Does that origin sound familiar at all?
The MCU doesn’t like talking about Nazis, despite mocking Hitler in Captain America, but it is okay with Hydra. It wouldn’t take much to censor and rewrite Master Man’s origin and have him be portrayed as a Hydra sympathizer, turning him into a dark reflection of Captain America.
Holocaust’s history is peculiar. To begin with, Holocaust is the son of Apocalypse and the horseman Famine. Serving his father unrelentingly, Holocaust’s fought the X-Men, X-Force, the Exiles, and the Avengers. At one point thanks to Nate Grey manipulating time, Holocaust became trapped in time. In order to get back to his proper timeline, Holocaust, in spite of his lust for murder, joined the superhero group the Exiles. It was an odd relationship.
Yet the greatest oddity of them all was when ToyBiz tried to make a Holocaust action figure in 1997. It went disastrously. Rather than being called Holocaust, the toy was named Dark Nemesis. Why? Because you couldn’t mass produce a toy called Holocaust and expect it to sell, that’s why! Presumably, it would be an awkward name for parents to explain to their kids. If Holocaust appeared in the MCU, a comparable approach would likely be taken.
The greatest supervillain of all time doesn’t come from fiction, but stems from reality. Adolf Hitler, the genocidal monster responsible for World War II and the deaths of millions, caused more damage to humanity than any one person in modern history. Conceived by Jewish writers, Captain America led the fight, albeit in comic book form, to take the down the Third Reich. Even though Steve Rogers was fictional, his influence was greatly felt in the real world, as he succeeded in rallying a number of troops to fight against evil.
While we’ve already seen Captain America amidst World War II, Marvel clearly was forced to censor Hitler. Not even showing him, rather letting the Red Skull act as the central antagonist, the only thing we see of the dictator is in a light-hearted play put on by Captain America as he decks a fake Hitler in homage to the comics.
Which of these villains would be the worst on-screen? Let us know in the comments!