As the Marvel Cinematic Universe progresses, it's slowly leaving a huge backlog of characters and concepts floating in its wake. At this point, it’s truly reached comic book levels of random s**t floating around, just waiting for some new writer to pick it up. But a lot of the characters – especially the villains – are pretty done and gone.
The history of comic book movies springs from the history of action movies, and action movies have a pretty distinct pattern of the villain dying at the end of the film. Iron Monger dies at the end of Iron Man (2008) because The Joker died at the end of Batman (1989) because Hans Gruber died at the end of Die Hard. It's all the same pattern.
But a handful of MCU villains pulled off a miracle and survived their first appearances. Some have returned, some probably never will, but the chance is always there, and we should try not to miss out on getting more mileage out of them. So, if we're picking villains to make nice big surprise returns, I can think of a few good contenders.
WARNING: THIS LIST CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR. DO NOT PRETEND I DIDN'T WARN YOU, BECAUSE I’M WARNING YOU RIGHT NOW, IN ALL CAPS, BOLD, AND EVERYTHING.
10. The Vulture
Speaking of Batman '89"¦Michael Keaton rules so hard.
Keaton’s work made Adrian Toomes one of the best recent Marvel Cinematic Universe villains. He's both sympathetic and a total tool. He has some good points, but he’s wrong about his solutions. Plus, he's the perfect depiction of a hypocritical revolutionary. Yeah, he has a point about the rich not caring about the poor, but the dude lives in a mansion and drives a luxury car. He literally complains that Tony Stark is too rich to do anything for the people other than fly around in an armored suit for his own benefit"¦At the same time, he’s too rich to do anything for people other than fly around in an armored suit for his own benefit.
And it’s a terrifying flying armored suit. That vulture helmet is creepy as all get out, and I want to see waaaayyyyy more of it. How in the hell did they make the Vulture scary? I don’t know, but they did. And he ends that movie still alive and in jail. And while it sounds like he might be over his feud with Spider-Man, that doesn't preclude him from taking on some other heroes.
I have an idea of where I'd like to see him next, and while I won't say now because I want to get into it in a future article, let's just say it involves justice like lightning.