It’s a commonly shared opinion that the majority of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s villains aren’t so great. From having the same abilities as the heroes to being criminally underdeveloped, they’re almost uniformly bland.
The antagonists of Thor: The Dark World and Doctor Strange were the weakest links of those films. But while more recent bad guys, like Ego in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming and Hela in Thor: Ragnarok, are an improvement and promise better things to come, they’re hardly perfect. It’s not the actors Marvel Studios casts that are the problem; they’re some of the biggest and best names in Hollywood, after all. The issue is that the characters tend to be unrelatable and, well, boring. In short, the opposite of company’s much-loved superheroes.
How Would the Fox/Disney Deal Help Marvel Most?
Disney is reportedly in talks to buy some of 21st Century Fox’s assets, namely, its film and television production studios. Following some uncertainty about the state of negotiations, an agreement is now thought to be imminent, which means Marvel’s parent company could at last reacquire the film rights to the X-Men, the Fantastic Four and related characters. In short, those iconic heroes, and their formidable villains, could become part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
While countless fans long to see Wolverine and Storm fight alongside Captain America and Thor, or Tony Stark and Reed Richards collaborate on an invention to save the world, it’s arguably the villains that hold the most promise for the MCU. Galactus and Doctor Doom are traditionally Fantastic Four foes, but they have history with the entire Marvel Universe. These characters alone, particularly Doom, would immediately strengthen Marvel Studios’ roster of villains.
Marvel Studios is rapidly running out of iconic villains, because Spider-Man, the X-Men and the Fantastic Four — all properties whose film rights are now controlled by other studios — possess the most colorful, most memorable rogues galleries. Loki and Ultron have tormented the MCU, and Thanos’ time in the spotlight finally arrives with Avengers: Infinity War and its 2019 sequel. But after Thanos, filmmakers will have to dig deep into Marvel’s history to find another marquee villain.
That’s where the Fox/Disney deal starts to get really interesting.
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