The one thing the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been criticized heavily about is the quality of its movies’ villains. Apart from Loki, the Winter Soldier and, to a lesser extent, Ultron, Darren Cross, Helmut Zemo, and Red Skull, the MCU’s bad guys have been pretty damn terrible.
Malekith, Ronan, Whiplash, and the Mandarin/Aldrich Killian (especially the latter), for example, have all been panned by critics and fans alike – while the likes of Crossbones, Batroc, and Baron Strucker have been reduced to mere cameos – and all of us are expecting Marvel Studios to up their game when it comes to future antagonists.
With Phase Three now underway, we know to expect Hela, “Her“, whoever the hell Mads Mikkelsen is playing in Doctor Strange, the return of Ulysses Klaue and, of course, the first major appearance by Thanos in the third stage of the franchise – but what about Phase Four?
We all have our preferences about who we want to appear after the second Avengers: Infinity War movie brings Phase Three to a close, but this article will look at those who we are actually more likely to see. Here are ten villains we’re likely to see in MCU Phase Four, whether we want to or not.
It seems more than likely that Phase Three’s Black Panther movie – due out in 2018 – will see the return of the brilliant Andy Serkis as Ulysses Klaue. T’Challa may also have to defend Wakanda from invasion by parties wanting to get their hands on Bucky Barnes, who is being kept in stasis in the fictional African country until a cure can be found for his brainwashing.
With that in mind, if there’s a Black Panther sequel in Phase Four, a new villain for the Wakandan king to battle will be required – step forward, Erik Kilmonger.
Kilmonger is a classic Black Panther villain in the comic books, and should be one of the first names on the list for a live action adaptation. He was exiled from Wakanda by T’Challa, along with his family, after his father was forced to conspire with the aforementioned Klaw (Ulysses Klau). He moved to America, then returned for revenge. As a skilled fighter and a genius, he is a great match for Black Panther. A movie about his desire for vengeance would be great – and it’s more than possible that it will happen.
Let’s move on to a villain we know exists in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I think we would all agree that a good movie version of this character is long overdue.
Demand for a fourth Iron Man movie is obviously high. Robert Downey, Jr.’s character is by far and away the most popular hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and a movie in which we finally get to see the character’s arch-enemy from the comic books would be most welcome – and it’s very likely to happen.
The Mandarin was fundamentally, infamously, and controversially changed as a concept in 2013’s Iron Man 3, when he was revealed to be a British actor performing a ruse, while Aldrich Killian went about his terrorist activities undisturbed – but the Marvel One-Shot entitled All Hail the King revealed that the “real” Mandarin is out there, and he’s extremely annoyed about the aforementioned ruse.
Marvel Studios will surely give that “real” Mandarin – the inhumanly skilled Chinese martial artist with ten alien rings of power – his time in the spotlight in Phase Four. It would be a fitting way to end Tony Stark’s arc in the MCU.
Now let’s look at a villain for one of the most exciting newcomers to the MCU.
Now that Spider-Man has officially entered the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s really interesting to wonder which villains will be used to face-off against the iconic character.
Tom Holland has taken on the mantle, following in the footsteps of Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield – a duo who versions of the character took on the likes of the Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, Venom, Sandman, the Lizard, and Electro – and he will make his solo debut as Peter Parker in 2017, when he is expected to face Vulture, played by the brilliant Michael Keaton.
But that’s Phase Three. He’s bound to return for a sequel in Phase Four – and we think Mysterio will be the man he goes up against. Mysterio was meant to appear in Spider-Man 4, had it been made, and he would be great on screen, as his powers of illusion would make for some spectacular visuals.
Now for a character who has been rumored to appear in the MCU for some time.
The villain known as M.O.D.O.K. has long been rumored to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and, now that it’s fairly obvious that he won’t be appearing in Phase Three of the franchise, Phase Four is likely to be when he makes his entrance.
M.O.D.O.K. is George Tarleton, a man who was subjected to a mutagenic process that gave him superhuman intelligence, perfect memory, and the ability to solve abstract mathematical problems nearly instantaneously. He can calculate the mathematical probability of the occurrence of any given event to the extent that he is essentially precognitive.
Having been a long-standing foe of Captain America in the comic books, he may well provide some opposition for the character (whoever is operating under that name come Phase Four) in the fourth chapter of the MCU.
Let’s take a look at the first truly mystical villain on this list.
Morgan Le Fay
Morgan le Fay is an awesome character. A sorceress, she has been a villain against the Avengers and has, on an individual level, fought against the likes of Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, and the Scarlet Witch.
She’s virtually immortal and, through mystical means, she has lived since the sixth century – the days of Camelot – in England and, consequently, is a very interesting character. She’s a former pupil of the famous ancient wizard Merlin himself, and with her faerie heritage, her powers include being able to manipulate the natural environments of both Earth and the astral plane for various purposes.
With magic set to become a prominent feature of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – and with female villains lacking – there’s every chance she might appear in Phase Four of the franchise. She would be a new type of threat to the Avengers and one we would welcome to the big screen.
Now let’s move on to a character you might be surprised to see on this list, but one who is very plausible for various reasons.
So, we bet you think this came out of the blue, right? Well, maybe, but we believe there’s every chance that Count Dracula himself could become a Phase Four Marvel Cinematic Universe villain – and here’s why.
The climax of Phase Three will represent the end of an era – and a new one, with a completely new tone, will commence with the start of Phase Four. Phase Four will introduce more mystical and supernatural elements and characters – and none are more famous than Dracula.
A terrible Marvel movie version of the character appeared in 2004’s Blade: Trinity, and that needs rectifying. Dracula has faced off against existing MCU characters like Doctor Strange, Hulk, and Captain Marvel in the comic books, as well as the likes of Blade and Ghost Rider, who are expected to appear in the MCU in the near future. There’s every chance he could rise from a centuries long rest to face the MCU’s heroes in Phase Four.
Now let’s look at a classic Spider-Man villain who is likely to appear in Phase Four of the MCU.
Spider-Man, as already discussed, is now a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Although Norman Osborn has already appeared in two Spider-Man solo movie franchises, the fact is that he has to go wherever Spider-Man does, as he’s an integral part of the hero’s lore, so don’t be surprised to see him in Phase Four of the MCU.
One of the best things about Osborn is that he presents himself differently on different occasions in the comic books – he isn’t always the Green Goblin, for instance – so an MCU version of the character could easily be very different from those played by Willem Dafoe and Chris Cooper in the past.
Osborn’s inclusion in the franchise could lead to epic stories like Siege and/or Dark Reign – and we could potentially see the Dark Avengers. How cool would that be??
Now let’s move on to the next entry, a time-traveling genius of a villain.
Kang the Conqueror
In the absence of Doctor Doom (Fox has massively failed at adapting this character to the big screen in two different Fantastic Four movie franchises), Kang the Conqueror is the best genius villain Marvel Studios could hope to utilize. We believe there’s every chance he could appear in Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Kang is a time-traveling, armored villain from the future. His armor is incredibly high-tech – it would make Iron Man’s look antique – and he loves taking over empires and ruling planets.
His coming to the MCU would bring something different to the franchise. No villains have been like him so far. His intelligence dwarfs that of the most intelligent heroes, and the gadgets housed in his armor grant him all kinds of powers. Don’t be surprised to see him emerge via time-travel in Phase Four.
Let’s now take a look at a villain who could be Phase Four’s big-bad.
A lot of people are actually expecting Dormammu to be the villain in Phase Three’s Doctor Strange movie, which is to be released at the end of this year, but that seems very unlikely. Seeing him in Phase Four, however, is a distinct possibility.
With Mads Mikkelsen portraying an as-yet-unknown character (who looks nothing like Dormammu) and Lego toy sets for the Doctor Strange movie showing a tentacled monster, Dormammu will have to wait his turn.
There’s every chance he could be Phase Four’s big-bad (which could mean that he’s teased in a Phase Three credits scene), as he’s every bit as powerful as Thanos, but very, very different. Expect the flame-headed Faltine sorcerer to look awesome on the big screen from 2020 onward.
Now let’s move on to the final entry in this list.
Marvel Studios may want to keep the Infinity Gauntlet in play after Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe comes to an end and, if that’s the case, there’s every chance that Magus could be a major villain in Phase Four.
Magus is the evil side of Adam Warlock who was, in one instance, released when Warlock acquired the Infinity Gauntlet – and that could happen in the MCU too.
Picture the scene; Warlock has been a key factor in the defeat of Thanos in the Avengers: Infinity War movies. The Infinity Gauntlet is given to him – along with the Infinity Stones within it – for safekeeping, and he heads off into space to get it away from Earth as the Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2 comes to an end. Then, in a post-credits scene in deep space, with the Infinity Gauntlet still in his possession, his eyes turn purple to end Phase Three. Phase Four would need to ready itself for the coming of Magus.
And that’s all, folks! We hope you enjoyed this article!
What do you think? Will we see any of these villains in Phase Four? Which others are we likely to see? Have your say below!