With the release of Avengers: Endgame, an era of Marvel movies has come to a conclusion, but we have definitely not seen the last of the famed Marvel team. While the roster may end up being very different, the MCU will still need a group of heroes to protect (or avenge) them. Later, we will spotlight the potential new roster, but for now lets look at some of the comic book villains that we could see taking the mantle of big bad in Avengers 5. (some spoilers may follow)
Kang the Conqueror
With Endgame introducing the idea of time travel, that opens up the door of MCU to introduce the classic Marvel villain Kang the Conqueror, created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in the 60s. While originally a Fantastic Four villain, Kang has showed down with the Avengers numerous times in the past (in comics and animated form). It could be as straightforward as Kang traveling to the current MCU from his dying timeline to conquer earth, or he could come looking for revenge blaming the Avenger’s time travel adventure for killing his future (or alternate future). Visually there is a lot that Marvel could do with Kang and with his connections to the Fantastic Four, it could potentially be a good way to introduce them into the proper MCU.
Yes, another Fantastic Four villain (sorry, they have a great rouges gallery). Annihilus is a super/cosmic/powerful warlord and sometimes ruler of the Negative Zone. Visually he is like a cross between Ultron and Thanos and like Thanos he commands a fleet of spaceships and an army of followers. Is that too soon? Is Annihilus just too similar to the threat that Thanos posed? I love villains that can go head to head with the heroes (just say no to smoke monsters and human big bads). Annihilus could bring the Avenger’s fight into space and would introduce some awesome new MCU science including the Negative Zone (and hopefully the Richards family).
One of the MCU’s disappointing missteps was how badly the Ten Rings and the Mandarin were handled in Iron Man 3. People were so angry at what they did to the classic Ironman villain, that Marvel Studios did an about face and hinted at there being a real Mandarin in a MCU One Shot short movie. The Ten Rings was introduced in Ironman and it is about time that we see some payoff from the group. Maybe in the five year gap in Endgame, the group gained even more power; recruited new followers and took over land in more countries. Could the Mandarin have risen to power in the shadows? Were they next on Hawkeye’s kill list? Using the Mandarin and the Ten Rings, we could have a very powerful earth-bound Avengers movie. And with characters on the Avengers like the Falcon, War Machine, Black Panther, Wasp, and Ant-Man, we have a much more even balance of power.
How do you top Infinity War and Endgame? Introduce the Beyonder and Secret Wars and just let the MCU go bat-shit crazy. Heroes and villains both past and present fighting each other in Battleworld while the cosmic god-like entity tries to decide if earth is worth saving. This could be a good way to gather up characters form all movies again, but is it too soon for that? Would it be too much of a rehash? And would it feel forced? Either way, using the Beyonder and Secret Wars could potentially be a lot of fun (but maybe hold off until the X-Men and Fantastic Four are firmly established into the MCU).
Who would you like to see in Avengers 5? I left Galactus off my above list, because I feel like the next Avengers film would be too soon. We need to build him up over another 20 movies first!