Endgame is taking the world by storm smashing box office records and changing the tone of the MCU. The penultimate film of Phase Three and the 22nd MCU film, eleven years have been building towards Endgame and the Avengers’ attempt to defeat Thanos once and for all. However, with such a span of films building up one menacing villain, what villain could rise to challenge the Avengers without being a letdown? Here are five villains who could fuel the post-Thanos MCU.
Thanos was a cosmic-scale menace in the MCU, his actions having consequences across the entire universe. For new
villains following Thanos in the MCU, Earth-level threats really no longer serve a purpose. One character that has been outside of the MCU has a long history of cosmic-level danger in the comics: Galactus. He is the single survivor of the universe preceding the Big Bang of the main universe of the MCU. Surviving the processes of the old universe’s Big Crunch and the new universe’s Big Bang, he is infused with cosmic energies, cursed with a continuous need for sustenance… that he fuels by consuming entire planets. What makes Galactus different is that his destructive potential does not come from harm—it is merely the consequence of his need to survive. His appointment of powerful beings as his heralds (famously, the Silver Surfer) Galactus would prove a great challenge to future Avengers. Since Disney’s absorption of Fox the MCU may finally be able to use the popular character (alongside his nemeses, the Fantastic Four).
- Kang the Conqueror
Nathanial Richards, a genius 31st century descendant of Reed Richards, discovers time travel and hops around time in the pursuit of establishing his own tyranical rule. First he travels to ancient Egypt where he adopts the identity of the Pharaoh Rama-Tut, then to the far future where he adopts the identity Kang the Conqueror. With knowledge of the past, his genius level intellect, advanced future technology allowing powerful weapons, effortless time travel, and a vast array of enhanced powers, Kang the Conqueror has been a powerful and interesting challenger to the Avengers and other teams (like the Fantastic Four). Kang also often conspires with the Council of Kangs ,other time-displaced versions of himself who could further complicate the Avengers’ efforts to combat the villain. While Kang is less focused on cosmic scale pursuits compared to Thanos, his time-travel abilities would provide an entirely different sort of challenge for the Avengers in future MCU phases.
If fans are looking for cosmic-level threats that rival Thanos, a great choice would be Annihilus, an insectoid ruler of the Negative Zone (an antimatter universe). He has vast strength, invulnerability to many forms of injury, flight, and most importantly weapons like the Cosmic Control Rod (allowing him energy and concussive powers alongside the ability to manipulate matter) and Quantum Bands (allowing further manipulation of all forms of energy). Notably, besides these powers Annihilus’ most notable impact on the main MCU universe is the “Annihilation Wave”, where Annihilus emerged from the Negative Zone with a massive armada of spaceships, destroying or enslaving everything in his path throughout the universe only to be stopped by Galactus. Extremely powerful with a desire to destroy the entire universe, Annihilus and the Annihilation Wave would make for a thrilling and visually interesting threat for the future MCU.
- The Celestials
The powerful giant humanoid Celestials have already been in the MCU, and are some of the oldest entities in the Marvel Universe. Introduced briefly in Thor: The Dark World and expanded upon with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (as Ego was himself a Celestial), Celestials are extraterrestrial gods with power on the same scale of Galactus and Odin. They have near invulnerability due to their armor; created various pocket universes, move planets at will, and other feats that are greater than the power of many of the strongest villains. Mysterious, powerful, and destructive, the fact that there are a plethora of Celestials could provide a powerful cosmic threat, especially if a set of Celestials emerged for the conquer or destruction of the universe.
- Dr. Doom
Disney now having the rights to characters like Galactus and the Fantastic Four, another reacquired character is Victor von Doom. The genius Fantastic Four arch-nemesis is merely human, but his intellect has allowed him to create advanced technology including powerful Doombots and his power-amplifying armor. Over time Doom has mastered magic and is thus capable of energy manipulation, creating shields, summoning demonic creatures, and even becoming a worthy challenger to Sorcerer Supreme Doctor Strange himself. His will, genius intellect, magical and technological abilities, and unquenchable drive for power could lead to a long-game of Doom finding infinity stones or other cosmic artifacts in a bid to conquer and augment his own power, proving a challenge to the Avengers on the most cosmic of scales.
We will have to wait to see how the MCU pans out, but these are some villains I could see following Thanos. Is there someone I missed? Who would you like to see? Let us know in the comments!