Five MCU Villains I Want to Return
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has started to do something very important with their villains lately: they’re becoming recurring characters, a common theme in the comics but rare until now, with the notable exceptions like Thor’s troublesome brother Loki — arguably a tragic hero — and the more nebulous terrorist group HYDRA.
But the past year has since Thanos graduate from background menace to big bad in both Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, Captain America: The First Avenger villain Red Skull returning in a small but vital role in the former film, and a younger version of Guardians of the Galaxy’s Ronan the Accuser appearing in ’90s era prequel Captain Marvel.
With Thanos getting vanquished twice in Endgame, it might be easy to imagine the Mad Titan making another comeback, to which I say, back of the queue Thanos: here are the top five villains I want to see return instead.
“But why Kaecilius Chris? Wasn’t he the weakest Phase Three villain? Someone to mark time while Mordo [Chiwetel Ejiofor] turned to the dark side?” It’s simple: Dormammu will inevitably return for a final round with Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange, and he needs a more intimidating visage than the Dark Dimension face he had in the first film. So who better to be his physical embodiment than Mads Mikkelsen, now with a burning motion capture visage that better evokes the comics’ Dormammu?
Samuel Sterns is one of the biggest loose ends in the MCU: last seen in 2008’s The Incredible Hulk, Tim Blake Nelson’s scientist was shown transforming into his comics counterpart — the freakishly big brained Leader — after a blood sample from Bruce Banner dripped into a head injury. With no Hulk movie made since, Sterns has been seemingly operating underground, untraced, for 15 years — appropriate, given he is the Hulk’s smartest enemy. Who knows what kind of misguided schemes he’s been concocting?
Sokovian colonel Helmut Zemo lost his family during the battle between the Avengers and Ultron, and tore apart the team in Captain America: Civil War without lifting a finger in response. We don’t know what happened to him during the five year span of Endgame, but we can’t imagine he was pleased that the Avengers resurrected everyone but his family.
It’s been strongly rumored Zemo will headline a Thunderbolts movie with Ghost, Justin Hammer, General Ross, and the Abomination, and it certainly would be very interesting to see how he copes with the pressures of saving the world this time. But more importantly: we need to see Zemo with his classic comic book costume. (If only he’d worn the purple balaclava in Siberia.)
Two words: Sinister Six. Now let’s elaborate: Adrian Toomes was put in the slammer after Spider-Man saved him from his malfunctioning flying machine of death in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Grateful, Toomes decides not to reveal Spidey’s secret identity to his fellow arms dealers in jail — but Adrian has family, and he could easily be blackmailed into squealing and assisting other enemies of Peter Parker. Needless to say, it’s going to be compelling to see Keaton’s menacing mob boss cornered into betraying Peter, and scrambling to find some way to hinder his new “allies” too.
Age of Ultron’s titular villain is the Avengers’ Joker, Penguin or Two-Face, that recurring foe in the comics who has become the unwelcome member of the family. It’s rather surprising then that Endgame didn’t end with Vision — now without the Mind Stone — being repaired on Wanda’s behalf, and then seeing Ultron’s reflection in the mirror because it’s no longer there to contain that part of his programming.
As the Avengers’ black sheep, Ultron would no doubt be intrigued his late co-creator Tony Stark has a daughter, and delighted his other “father,” Bruce Banner, has tamed his inner beast. He may be happy for Steve Rogers that he’s moved on, but disappointed he passed his war to Sam Wilson. And then there’s his twisted affection for Scarlet Witch, who fell in love with what was meant to be his final form. There’s just so much more to be done with the one-time leader of the Masters of Evil, that it’d be a serious missed opportunity if he wasn’t revealed as the mastermind of a villain team-up movie, or didn’t appear in WandaVision.
Plus, James Spader’s voice was incredibly sexy.
Let me know which previous MCU villains you’re hungering for more of below.