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10 Potential Candidates For The Next ‘Big-Bad’ in The MCU

By Mohit Srivastava
June 23,2022

It’s Christmas for Marvel fans out there. With Marvel Studio President Kevin Feige’s latest tease of a “very soon” announcement of Phase 5 and upcoming events Comic-Con (July 2022) and D23 Expo (September 2022), fans are drooling for more treats. Speculations and expectations are once again soaring high, fans are eager to see where all of this is heading to.

Previously Phase 1 had individual character stories until Thanos appeared in The Avengers (2012) and Marvel’s plans became clear that he was the main villain going forward. Thereafter, with the next two phases, the movies converged into an ‘Infinity Saga’ storyline. The most impactful out of all of these was the antagonist – Thanos, portrayed brilliantly by Josh Brolin. Now, with Thanos gone, the hunt for the next Big-Bad, one who is fearsome enough to face our ‘New’ Avengers, is on.

So let’s follow the breadcrumbs left by Marvel so far in its movies and series and speculate on who he/she might be. Here are our 10 best candidates fitting the criteria-

10. Galactus

10. Galactus

Galactus

One of the most fearsome villains in the comics is the Galactus. With his lukewarm appearance in the 2007 movie Fantastic Four: The Rise of Silver Surfer, the character is still to make its debut in the current MCU timeline. Also known as the ‘planet-eater’, he surely can prove to be a BIG challenge for our new supes. However, with Marvel Fantastic Four set to release in late 2023 or 2024, a villain that is crucial to Marvel’s first family will still take its time. At present, he is the most unlikely candidate for the race for the next ‘Big-Bad’.

9. Mephisto

9. Mephisto

Mephisto – the devil

And it’s Mephisto again! Ever Since WandaVision days, Mephisto was (or at least the fans assumed so) teased and has been a talk of the town. In the comics, he is the closest thing to a demon that Marvel has. Ruler of Hell dimension, and foe to Ghost Rider and Silver Surfer, he is a cunning creature of pure evil. Bringing him forth might do a bit bush-kicking but will surely take MCU to another level. As of now, it still needs a lot of built-up.

8. Magneto

8. Magneto

Magneto  in Fox’s X Men:Days of Future Past (2014)

Portrayed by legendary actors like Ian McKellen and Michael Fassbender in Fox’s X-Men movies, Magneto has already a strong fanbase. Sometimes perceived as an anti-hero, Magneto does everything necessary to protect the mutant race. Although The Mutants is still waiting to get a release date by Marvel, the fact that Magneto will have a major role in it is undeniable. And if Feige wants he will surely grow to be a major foe for our heroes.

7. Skrulls

Skrulls in Captain Marvel

Skrulls as shown in Captian Marvel (2009)

With the Kree-Skrull war already established in Captain Marvel (2019), this shape-shifting alien race is now a ‘real thing’ in the Marvel universe. It has also been established that even Nick Fury has been working with these ‘good’ green aliens (SpiderMan: Far From Home). Skrulls not only impersonate the look of anyone but they also can mimic their voice and powers, making them almost unrecognizable. With Marvel’s announcement of a Secret Invasion series, it is evident that Skrulls have a major role to play in the future, and if gone bad, well that would be something worth watching on the big screen.

6. Norman Osborn aka Green Goblin

Green Goblin in Spider-Man No Way Home

Green Goblin in Spider-Man No Way Home (2021)

Norman Osborn is Peter Parker’s arch-nemesis. He is the answer to Tony Stark but in a more villainous way. In the Sam Raimi Spiderman saga or the Amazing SpiderMan series or even with his re-appearance in Spiderman: No Way Home, Mr. Osborn (Green Goblin) has proved himself to be a big looming threat in New York’s sky. In the comics, he has fought many times with avengers and has even formed a group of formidable villains known as Sinister Six. Let’s hope that in Tom Holland’s upcoming new trilogy, he finds his right place in the current universe.

5. Victor Von Doom aka Dr. Doom

5. doctor doom

Dr. Doom

Speaking of arch nemeses, Dr. Doom checks the list for the Fantastic Four. A hero in his own eyes, Doom wants to take control of Earth because he thinks he can make it a better place under his reign. In the comics, he played a major role in Ms. Marvel’s acquiring her powers. But in the Ms Marvel series, we saw Marvel taking a different route for her origin story. In the upcoming Marvel’s Fantastic Four, Doom is more likely to be the villain than Galactus. And if he does, the avengers have to be beware of this genius.

4. Wanda Maximoff aka Scarlet Witch

Doctor Strange

Scarlet Witch in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)

Scarlet Witch in the comics has not always been a good-hearted person. She has proved to be a menacing multi-dimensional threat, who has the power to rewrite reality completely. She even once wiped out all of the mutant race by just uttering the words ‘No More Mutants’ (House of M storyline). In the MCU however, her foul acts are shown to be a result of her grieves. Be it because of losing Vision (WandaVision) or losing her children (Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness), she slowly drove mad. If she did survive (as is believed) Mt. Montecore, and still believes in her madness, then she surely can end the universe as foretold in the Darkhold.

3. Dormammu

Dormammu

Dormammu in Doctor Strange (2016)

An interdimensional demonic being, Dormammu wreaks havoc across the multiverse. He is a master of mystic arts and can battle cosmic entities on his own. While barely shown in the Doctor Strange (2016) movie, with the post-credit scene of its sequel, it is clear that Dormammu is still a threat to the multiverse. In the scene, Clea tells Dr. Strange that he must help her in stopping the Incursion that he has caused and opens the portal to the Dark Dimension. If Dormammu does challenges the “bargain” made by Strange of ‘never returning to earth’, he could easily be a major obstacle for the new generation of Avengers.

2. Arishem, the Judge

2. Arishem

Arishem, the Judge in Eternals

Chloe Zhao surprised everyone with the sheer scale she used to depict the Celestials in Eternals. The CGI was perfect and the scenes of conversations between Arishem, the Judge (one of the Prime Celestials) with Sersi were awesome. He is credited for creating the first Sun and bringing light to the universe. By the end of the movie, he spares the Eternals but he declares that he will come back and judge if humanity is worth preserving. If he does return and the judgment is not in favor of humans, the mere thought of the coming battle between him and Earth’s mightiest Heroes gives goosebumps.

1. Kang, The Conqueror 

1. Kang, the Conquerer

Kang or He Who Remains in Loki

Known by many aliases like Rama Tut, Victor Timely, Nathaniel Richards, Immortus, Mr. Gryphon, etc., Kang is someone everybody should be afraid of. If done right, he can be the Voldemort of Marvel. He has access to advanced technology, has the time-traveling ability, and is resistant to any type of radiation.

Introduced as the He Who Remains (brilliantly played by Jonathan Majors) in the Loki season 1, he is set to reappear in Loki Season 2 and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. In the Loki finale, he tells Loki and Sylvie about the Multiversal War that he helped in stopping in the future. He tells that he alone can ensure that it doesn’t happen in the current timeline. But Sylvie stabs him. This sets loose a chain of events that is building towards the same Multiverse War Kang prophesied. Kang is thus, our number one pick as the next major antagonist of Marvel.

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