Comic book characters who die are rarely gone for good. In worlds where magic and cosmic powers are commonplace, it’s all too easy for characters to be resurrected, then be revealed to have not died in the first place or simply have their deaths retconned entirely.
It’s no different in comic book movies and television shows – look at Nick Fury (Captain America: The Winter Soldier), Thor (Thor) and Phil Coulson (The Avengers) for proof of that – and just because someone seems to have perished doesn’t mean we won’t see them again.
Several villains have appeared to lose their lives in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (whether it’s the audience who believe them to be dead or the other characters), but several of those presumed-dead characters will return. Here are the five most likely candidates in that regard.
Note that by “presumed-dead” we mean in-universe. We know audiences don’t think that all of these characters are dead, but the other characters in the MCU certainly do.
Ronan was destroyed at the hands of the Guardians of the Galaxy, with Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax and Rocket Raccoon using the power of the Orb Infinity Stone to blast Lee Pace’s character to bits.
However, Infinity Stones are very strange items and there’s a good chance that Ronan may well have had his life-force absorbed into it – and of course that could be released at a later date, bringing him back to life in the process.
Moreover, prior to his demise, Ronan had promised Thanos that he was coming for him and that’s not something the Mad Titan will simply let lie – even in the event of Ronan’s death.
When Thanos has all of the stones in his possession and is wielding the completed Infinity Gauntlet, he may well bring Ronan back to life for the simple satisfaction of getting to kill him again.
In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Franklin Hall – played by Ian Hart – had been using Gravitonium to experiment with gravity, before deeming it too dangerous and trying to destroy it. However, what he didn’t anticipate was a S.H.I.E.L.D. extraction operation disrupting his efforts.
Phil Coulson determined that Hall’s plan would harm much of the local population, but his attempts to stop it resulted in Hall being sucked into it and apparently perishing – meaning Coulson and company think he is dead.
However, his face appeared in the element at the end of the episode in question, suggesting he might still be alive within it.
In spite of the fact that he was a decent guy, he’s going to be pretty annoyed with S.H.I.E.L.D. and, should he re-emerge – which was definitely hinted at – he may well do so as the villainous Graviton. That would be so cool, because he’s a major character in the comic books.
The very nature of Ultron – he was essentially a computer programme/electronic consciousness that could jump between robotic bodies – meant that he would be very hard to permanently kill and, although that did appear to be the case, you shouldn’t bank on him being dead.
Ultron was created using (amongst other things) the Mind Stone, which still exists, and although his last drone was supposedly destroyed by Vision, you have to wonder if he actually had a contingency body stored elsewhere or if he had thrown his consciousness into some other technology to save himself.
There is so much more that could be done with the character – he could join a Masters of Evil team, he could upgrade his body further, he could head to space and lead the Phalanx etc – and there’s every chance he could return.
James Spader’s performance went down very well and it would be a shame not to see him again. Don’t rule it out, therefore.
Hugo Weaving’s Red Skull appeared to die at the end of Captain America: The First Avenger. However, with him being such an important character in Marvel, it’s far more likely that he was actually either absorbed into the Tesseract or sent to the other end of the universe by its power.
The Tesseract is the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of the Space Gem, so its very nature means that it moves people around rather than destroys them, and that is probably what happened to Red Skull.
While Weaving isn’t keen on the idea of returning as the character, he is contractually obliged to do so – and Marvel Studios could easily replace him if bringing him back proved to be too much hassle – and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him as early as Captain America: Civil War or in the Infinity War movies.
It certainly feels as though the character has more to offer and a more important role to play than the one he played in the first Captain America movie could be on the cards.
We all know that Loki is still alive – a big deal was made of the fact that he had somehow usurped Odin and was sitting on the throne of Asgard posing as the Allfather – but, as far as everyone other than Odin is concerned, Loki is dead, having supposedly sacrificed himself in battle against Kurse.
He will be returning as himself though – that absolutely goes without saying – and the likelihood is that his next appearance will be in Thor: Ragnarok (barring a potential mid-credits or post-credits scene involving the character in a different movie).
Tom Hiddleston has made the character one of the most popular in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and, as a result, he’s going to be around for a while yet.
Expect a key role for Loki in the Infinity War movies as well – either working alongside Thanos, conspiring against Thanos under the guise of being his ally, or finally redeeming himself properly by working alongside the heroes of the MCU.
What do you think? Which other “dead” villains are likely to reappear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Did we get the order of likelihood for these five right? Have your say below.