After Avengers: Endgame: Who Will Marvel's Heroes Fight Next?
Avengers: Endgame has arrived, and while we're all trying to deal with the conclusion of the movie, leaving us in an altered emotional state, we're also looking forward, ahead to the future. What's next for the Avengers and the MCU? We already know a bit about Phase 4 and that Spider-Man: Far From Home will close out Phase 3, but what big, bad villain could the Avengers face next?
Warning: If you haven't seen Endgame yet, you may want to avoid this until afterwards. In the meantime, check out our spoiler-free review and learn when the best times are to use the bathroom during this three hour long movie.
The comic book nerds of GameSpot took the time to figure out which antagonists from Marvel's gallery of rogues would make for a great villain in the next big Avengers movies. Considering the comic book company has thousands of characters, there were plenty to choose from, but here are 10 villains we'd love to see the Avengers assemble against next.
If you're looking for more hot Endgame content, check out the spoiler review of the movie, all the Easter eggs and references, every moment from the trailers not in the movie, and everyone from the MCU that dies or stays dead in Endgame.
After Thanos snapped half the life in the universe from existence, you can't really raise the stakes much higher than that. Seeing as that's close to an impossibility, it's time to make things a bit more local, on Earth that is. Galactus is the perfect villain for the Avengers to take on next. He's a cosmic being--who was born in the universe previous to ours, which is a long, weird story--he's gigantic, and he eats planets for sustenance.
Galactus isn't really a being you can punch into submission. It takes brains and strategy to convince the big purple guy that Earth isn't worth eating. It will take the combined efforts of a new and green Avengers team in order to figure out how to defeat him. Now that Disney has acquired Fox, this can become a reality. Additionally, this also means Silver Surfer is in the mix as well, and sure, we've seen both of them in a Fantastic Four sequel, but I want a giant, purple, spaceman, not a sentient dust storm. Give me my purple spaceman, Marvel! | Mat Elfring
The Builders are a pretty recent addition to the Marvel pantheon, but their cosmic lore packs a major whalop--maybe even more than Thanos. The long and the short of them is a little tricky--they're an ancient race of extra-dimensional aliens who are responsible for creating and maintaining life in the universe. To do this, they created various sub-species and races to help them keep up the world like "Caretakers," "Gardeners," and "Curators," all of whom answer to the Builders with unquestioning devotion.
The most interesting part of them, however, is not their status as very literal cosmic life-giving gods; it's the fact that they treat the worlds they create as sort of clinical experiments without any real emotional concern. It's all logic, all the way down for them, and when they see a world starting to act up--to "fail" the experiment--they deal with it handily by wiping it out of existence.
Naturally, this is what brought them into conflict with the Avengers over in the comics--they deigned Earth a failure, and the Avengers decided to say, "No, thank you."
The MCU is in the perfect position to bring the Builders--or something inspired by the Builders--over to the live-action scene after Endgame, giving just how much of Endgame relied on the team playing fast and loose with the rules of time, space, and reality. If anything is going to flag the Earth as a failed cosmic experiment to a race of malevolent, nearly omnipotent, alien overlords, it's probably screwing around with a bunch of random doomed timelines, right? | Meg Downey
The Skrulls were established in Captain Marvel earlier this year, but they were different than their comic book counterparts. Their species had gone into hiding after being hunted by the Kree. Originally, the Skrulls were made out to be the bad guys, but low and behold, they were just trying to find a home, and they were friendly aliens. Captain Marvel helped them out, and all is right with the world. But what if the story didn't end there?
In the comics, the Skrulls were planning an invasion on Earth for years, and they actually disguised themselves as heroes and villains in the Marvel Universe. Some of these Skrulls were sleeper agents and didn't even know they were aliens. It was a masterful plan from this alien empire. And the heroes found out when it was too late, and it became a scramble for Earthlings to keep their planet from the Skrulls. It's the perfect alien invasion story that would translate well to the big screen. I love what Marvel has done with the Skrulls thus far and want them to be utilized again in the future. | Mat Elfring
The MCU's already crossed this bridge, so I'll be the first to admit that this one is a little unlikely, but hear me out for a second. Ultron's live-action incarnation might be extremely different from his comic book counterpart, but that doesn't have to be a permanent change. Over in the comics, Ultron is a character who has been through many, many different incarnations--in fact, constantly evolving and changing and replicating himself is kind of his whole deal. That's what makes him so difficult to beat, at the end of the day.
But the interesting part of Ultron in recent years hasn't been how relentless he is, it's what he's done to the human who made him. Several years ago, Ultron fused (yes, fused--almost like a Borg from Star Trek) with Hank Pym, his "father" in the comics canon, creating an entirely new threat that packed a grisly emotional punch as he squared off against his friends and teammates. Obviously, Pym didn't make Ultron in the MCU, but Tony and Bruce both did. Imagine the horror show that could be if Ultron found some way to bring one of them back to the forefront?
It's unlikely, to be sure, but the way the MCU could make the next phase centered around a massive, gut-wrenching, high-stakes threat without trying to out-cosmic Thanos. | Meg Downey
One of the most powerful villains in the MCU is Dormammu, and he was set up in 2016's Doctor Strange. The character is an interdimensional being who wants to take over our dimension but is being held at bay by Doctor Strange and other Mystics arts folks. The movie had Strange defeating the uber-powerful being by annoying him into submission, which is still my favorite "boss battle" in the MCU.
I'm not exceptionally keen on raising the stakes from Thanos, as the bar is already exceptionally high, but this is how you do it. Much like Galactus, this isn't a villain that can be taken down with brute force, so it will take some extreme cunning to defeat him. It also elevates Doctor Strange's role on the Avengers team and make him a bit more important in the grand scheme of things. | Mat Elfring
Namor and Atlantis
There's a pretty good chance if you've done any major theorizing about the MCU, the name "Namor" has come up in one capacity of another. Namor is the king of Atlantis (sorry, Arthur Curry) and a chaotic neutral force that has existed in the Marvel universe since the very start--seriously, he's actually its first-ever superhero.
Sometimes, Namor is a hero, but other times, he's a conquering despot hellbent on leading Atlantis to the surface. He's also got a long-standing beef with Wakanda, Marvel's other major hidden kingdom--and given how we know that Black Panther is likely going to be one of the main anchor heroes for the mysterious Phase 4, it would feel appropriate for the big unifying conflict to be centered around T'Challa.
Hm, remember Okoye's throwaway line at the start of Endgame about an earthquake under the ocean? Just something to think about. | Meg Downey
With Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain Marvel proving the potential of the cosmic side of the MCU, it makes sense to further tap into for Marvel's next big villain. Post-Fox acquisition, with the Fantastic Four potentially able to make their debut into the MCU, one of the FF's and the Guardians' chief rivals--Annihilus--stands out as an ideal candidate.
Thanos showed that, with the proper investment, a CG villain can look great and feel real. That would be crucial for a live-action movie's version of Annihilus, who is essentially a bipedal insect. Marvel could go with a villain who is physically huge, like Galactus, but if they choose someone more normally-sized, they need to have a distinct look. Annihilus certainly fits the bill there, as he looks nothing like Thanos or any other villain in the MCU to date. He even has his own Infinity Gauntlet-style MacGuffin, the Cosmic Control Rod, for our heroes to try to wrest control of, should Marvel feel it needs such a thing.
Beyond all that, he has a fascinating backstory and world to go with him. He hails from what's known as the Negative Zone, a doomed alternate universe that is in the process of contracting. (It's also home to a prison used by some of Earth's heroes to hold various supervillains, which could be fun for a movie to visit.) Born through a complete fluke, his paranoia leads him to lash out at all perceived threats, giving him a much different motivation from Thanos that would be a refreshing change in pace. | Chris Pereira
The Kree (For Real)
If the MCU wants to build up a "new" villain quickly without having to introduce an entirely new character, or set of characters, bringing the Kree into the mix in earnest would be a great call. We've had a ton of world building for them thanks to Guardians of the Galaxy 1 and Captain Marvel, yet we've never had to deal with them on a macroscopic level. Sure, Carol easily took out Yon-Rogg and the Guardians were able to dispatch Ronan, but the entire Kree empire is still very much out there, and we can only assume, just as megalomaniacal and fascsist as ever.
If the Kree have been waiting in the wings to launch an attack on Earth since Carol gave them the boot back in the '90s, a post-Thanos world might be the perfect opportunity. They've just had half their population returned in an instant and their entire culture is based around strict discipline and militarism, so it's extremely likely they're going to be one of the fastest populations to actually regroup and reorganize. Launching an invasion to an Earth that just lost most of her major heroes to death, retirement, or other assorted choices, seems like an easy choice. | Meg Downey
Kang The Conqueror
Taking a look at a villain with a hugely convoluted history, Kang The Conqueror can work on a multitude of levels. On his surface, Kang is a nefarious gentleman who travels through time thanks to technology created by Victor Von Doom, which you can easily retcon as tech created by the Avengers for the big screen adaptation. He goes back in time and becomes Pharaoh Rama-Tut to rule the lands. There's also a whole thing here with the X-Men villain Apocalypse as well.
Why does he go back? His Earth is dying, so he decided to return to a time with a cleaner planet in order to take over. Also--just tossing this out there--he may be a direct descendant of Reed Richards, Mr. Fantastic. First and foremost, time travel has been introduced to the MCU, which opens the door for this dude. However, that's not why I want him in the movie.
Kang is also the older version of the Young Avenger Iron Lad, who wanted to escape his own destiny, and he came back in time to form the Young Avengers team. All of this results in future-Kang's death, and this causes a rift in the timeline. Iron Lad learns he must fulfill his destiny as Kang and goes back in time to begin by taking on the role as Rama-Tut. It is one of my personal favorite Kang stories, and it would be an amazing twist on the big screen. | Mat Elfring
Adam Warlock is a tricky character in terms of comics history. He's a genetically engineered "perfect" being who has a story rife with dimension hopping and time travel. He also has been split into multiple simultaneous incarnations of himself, including Magus, the embodiment of every evil impulse he's ever had.
Warlock's most famous comics story arc is the Infinity Saga, so the fact he definitely wasn't around for the Infinity Saga movies might decrease the chances of him showing up any time soon, or the chances of him becoming a major villain when he eventually does. But we know he's absolutely out there--remember that cocoon during the post-credits stinger of Guardians 2?
It would be odd for Warlock to show up and be completely evil all the way through, but the MCU's not exactly against playing fast and loose with source material. And that cocoon's gotta pay off at some point, right? | Meg Downey