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Now that we know that Marvel Studios will be moving forward with a SHIELD television series set in the movie universe we can start to speculate on characters that will be featured in the series. Who is better to start with than the villains?

Red Skull. This pick is likely the most obvious. He was the main villain in Captain America: The First Avenger and his fate was left a bit undetermined (no body means that anything is possible). With his connections to the terrorist organizations such as HYDRA and AIM, Joss Whedon and company would have a lot of possibilities for stories all around the world. The Red Skull could be guiding the other bad guys from the shadows while plotting to get the Cosmic Cube or another device that will help him take over the world and/or get revenge. After his reveal as the big bad, it could lead to an epic season finale that could feature SHIELD turning to Captain America for help (ratings gold!). Another great thing about the Red Skull is that if Marvel can’t get Hugo Weaving to reprise the role for television (or just want to save money) they can easily hire another actor and put him in the make up. Other possibilities are to use one of the Red Skulls that followed Johann Schmidt, such as Albert Malik, or they could even feature Sinthea Schmidt, the daughter and newest version of the Red Skull in the comics.

MODOK or the Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing could be SHIELD’s version of Doctor Who’s incredible race of villains, the Dalek. On first glance MODOK looks a bit goofy (rather, he IS a bit goofy) and would need a redesign to work better on TV. He has the right level of intelligence to keep SHIELD on the defense and he could keep things interesting by being a gate way to other villains, such as the Hulk villain Abomination and Black Lama. Just like the Red Skull, MODOK has connections to AIM and the Cosmic Cube.

Ultron. Okay, I know what you are thinking… Ultron is the ultimate Avengers villain, why in the world would you waste him on a SHIELD television series? As seen in the credits (spoiler alert, talking about the end of The Avengers, stop reading or you could be spoiled!) of The Avngers, Thanos was revealed as the big bad behind Loki’s grab for power on Earth and has likely set up him being the main villain for the sequel. That would mean we likely would not see Ultron until a third or forth movie which would bring us to 2019 at the earliest. What a waste of an awesome bad guy. Imagine a pre Ant-Man Henry Pym as a SHIELD scientist who develops Ultron as a weapon for SHIELD to use against the growing thread of supervilalins, but something goes wrong and he inadvertently creates their worst enemy. It could be a great way to introduce the future Avenger while giving SHIELD a villain that they created and need to hunt down and stop before he kills millions of people and starts a war.

What villains would you like to see featured in the possible SHIELD series from Joss Whedon and ABC?

With the recent rumors of Ben Affleck sliding into the director’s chair for a big budget Justice League movie (I’ll believe it when I see it), lets take a look at some of the possible villains that the DC Comics heroes might faceoff against.

Starro. We might as well start at the beginning with the first villain that the League faced off against, Starro the Conqueror. Created way back in 1960 in Brave and the Bold #28, Starro has had a very long career of giving the Justice League headaches (literately, he grows little parasite starfish that latch onto their heads and takes control of their bodies). Visually Starro is a little goofy- he is a giant purple and blue starfish with a target logo as an eye and, oh, did I mention he can fly and shoot energy blasts? Yeah, he was born in the silver age of comics where everyone had a smorgasbord of powers. In story terms, Starro could do a lot to help push the Justice League together. Nothing rallies the troops better than an alien that comes to earth and enslaves humans. Even better, Starro can pit the Justice League against each other by taking control of their bodies. He can help fans finally decide who would win in a fight, Superman or Batman? Green Lantern or Flash? Visually, that aspect could be a lot of fun (maybe have the parasites latch onto the heroes backs or go inside their bodies as to not cover their faces).

Black Adam. In terms of power level and personality, Black Adam flies above the pack of possible Justice League villains. Single handed, he could take out each individual League member and could give them a pretty impressive battle all together as well. A team of archaeologists accidentally awaken the ancient Egyptian prince named Teth-Adam, who proceeds to assert his power over the people to declare himself King Black Adam of the world. After taking out each of the Justice League members in their own cities (and countries like Atlantis and Themyscira), the heroes must ban together to distract Black Adam long enough so they can find a way to awaken the legend known as Captain Marvel- the key to which might be a little boy named Billy Batson. Sure it is a Captain Marvel/Shazam origin story, but who is to say that something like that couldn’t tie all of the heroes together and give them purpose. In terms of visuals, Black Atom is a powerful villain and the lightening effects alone while he fights could be a real visual treat (especially in 3D). With people used to DC heroes fighting Lex Luthor, the Joker, and evil clouds (why Green Lantern movie, why?), Black Adam could give the team a villain that is as powerful and charismatic as they are. On the other hand, Black Adam might just be a bit too similar to the Avenger’s Loki with Captain Marvel as his Thor.

Darkseid. Enough is enough with all of the cameos, hints to bigger threads, etc. Do you know who would have been a cooler villain then Loki for The Avengers? Thanos. Instead we got a weaker threat and more set up. With Warner Brothers and DC Comics jumping right into Justice League without a series of solo movies, why don’t they jump right ahead to the biggest thread of the DC Universe, Darkseid and Apokolips. Not only could he take down the Justice League on his own, making him the highest level of threat, but he has a planet of warriors created by comic legend Jack Kirby that could also take down the Justice League. Superman The Animated Series did an awesome multiple episode Darkseid invasion, and now imagine that live action and with the whole Justice League. You have seven heroes standing against an army with super powerful generals (Desaad, Godfrey, Granny Goodness, Mantis, Female Furies to name a few) and a warlord who is one of the most powerful beings in the universe. Don’t use Justice League to hype of future movies, let the s#it hit the fan from the get go and prove why the Earth (and universe) needs the Justice League.

We are getting closer to Christopher Nolan’s final Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises, every day. In order to go in blind and enjoy every twist and turn the film has to offer I’ve been staying away from news for the flick. I even passed the writing of the Film Spotlight over to our contributor Kris Greet so I wouldn’t accidentally get spoiled. While we slowly march to July 20th, lets change paces like we did for The Amazing Spider-Man and speculate on possible villains in a Batman reboot (which I don’t think will be very far away if this is indeed the last Nolan/Bale Batman adventure).

Nolan was very smart to stay away from villains that appeared in other Batman films with Batman Begins when he used Ra’s al Ghul and Scarecrow, two lesser known villains that still have a lot of history. I think a new director/writer team will do the same and stay away from Nolan’s main baddies, including the Joker, Ra, Scarecrow, Two-Face, and now of course Bane, at least for the first movie in a new series. I also think the new series will start with Batman already being established, maybe a short montage origin recap (as used in The Incredible Hulk). So, who might they bring into the mix to face off with the Dark Knight?

Professor Hugo Strange. Not to be confused with Marvel Comic’s Doctor Strange, Hugo Strange might not be a house hold name, but he definitely has his place among Batman’s classic rogue gallery having first appeared in 1940. Strange is an insane psychologist who invented a serum to drive his victims in to mindless killing machines and him obsession with Batman lead him to want to become him. He is as smart as he is insane and is a formidable opponent for the Dark Knight. To take things one step further, you can have Strange’s serum create some of Batman’s other classic villains, like Man-Bat or Clayface, giving the movie a more superhuman vibe which could separate it from Nolan’s super realistic take on the hero.

Man-Bat. Playing off my last entry of Hugo Strange, I think this combo of villains could work really well. On the flip side, if done right, Man-Bat could work for the main villain also. You can make Dr. Kirk Langstrom a Wayne Enterprises scientist who has the best intentions who accidentally mutates himself in to the Man-Bat. Of course this would be very similar to the movie Spider-Man’s Green Goblin, Doc Ock and the remake’s Lizard stories. But just think how cool a Batman vs Man-Bat fight flying across the Gotham skyline would be! None of Nolan’s villains were any bit as monstrous as this guy, none nearly as scary either. (and for Warner Brothers, just think of all the toys they could sell!)

Deadshot. Yeah, I know he was in the last season of Smallville, but who cares? The “second greatest assassin” in the DC Universe could give Batman a run for his money. Sure, I can’t see him being the main villain, but imagine he is sent to kill Bruce Wayne in public during the day. Bruce has to hide the fact that he is Batman, but still get out of the situation alive– maybe enter Robin or Batgirl to come to his aid? This would be another thing to separate a remake from Nolan, the introduction of the Batman “family” of allies. Of course, who would send an assassin to kill Bruce Wayne? How about…

Lex Luthor. Yes, Superman’s top villain. Why would he be in Gotham going head to head with Batman? Luthor could be bank rolling Hugo Strange or he could send Deadshot to take out the head of Wayne Enterprises, one of his top defense competitors. Hopefully Luthor will be in Zack Synder’s upcoming Superman reboot, Man of Steel, in a cameo and maybe he can do the same in a possible Batman reboot. Luthor could be in the background, pulling the strings, in all of the upcoming DC Comics movies creating an actual shared universe. Setting up an epic World’s Finest crossover with Superman and Batman, or maybe he could be forming the Injustice Gang to go head to head with the Justice League in a future crossover of all of DC’s top heroes.

If DC Comics and Warner Brothers are going to reboot Batman so soon after Nolan’s acclaimed trilogy, then they better give us something special. And Batman in a fantastic universe sharing scenes with the likes of Superman, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman would be the perfect hook and give a reason for the reboot that no one would complain about. Now, who should play Bruce Wayne/Batman?

Okay, I know what you are thinking… The Amazing Spider-Man hasn’t even come out in theaters yet, so why are we thinking ahead to the next one? Well, simply put, we know that there will be a next one and it is fun to play the guessing game as to who might be in it (assuming that they aren’t in the first flick of the rebooted series). I have stayed away from spoilers and our spotlight (Film Spotlight: The Amazing Spider-man) is the extent of my knowledge of the new film. The Lizard appears to be the only villain getting the spotlight in commercials, but we know that Oscorp plays a hand, so how far can Norman Osborn (aka the Green Goblin) truly be? In this list I’ll also be staying away from villains I thought/hoped would be apart of Spider-Man 4, which turned into The Amazing Spider-Man (hey, I was right on the money with the Lizard).

Lets start with a less likely possibility, Mysterio. He is one of Spider-Man’s oldest villains, having first  appeared in Amazing Spider-Man #13 in 1964. While many different people have donned the fishbowl, the original and best Mysterio was Quentin Beck, a failed special effects artist who uses parlor tricks and illusions to try and drive Spider-Man mad. Visually his costume is a bit cheesy and would need a big time movie makeover, but his “powers” could be pretty visually amazing (pun intended) in 3D and on the big screen. Plus, using him in even a smaller role in the sequel could be a nice early set up for bringing together the Sinister Six in a future movie (whose to say Spider-Man can’t face multiple villains over the course of the movie while dealing with a bigger threat– one villain at a time seems too easy on the hero).

How about the Scorpion? He appeared a couple issues after Mysterio in 1965. J Jonah Jameson (is he even in Amazing Spider-Man?) was responsible for this villain’s creation. He paid Mac Gargan to be apart of an experimental animal mutation therapy, which granted him with enhanced speed, strength and endurance, but had a side effect of driving him mad. He wears a (of course) scorpion based costume with a long stinger. Just like Mysterio it might be hard to make him a central villain, but who is to say he can’t work for Jameson- who in his quest to rid the city of the masked menace that is Spider-Man sets a few different villains loose. Only realizing what he has done too late. More recently Gargan took over the mantle of Venom during Marvel’s “Dark Reign”.

The living vampire Morbius! Hey, vampires are all the rage, right? Well, here is a way to have a vampire styled character but not have the need to incorperate the supernatural into the world of Spider-Man. Dr Michael Morbius attempts to cure his rare blood disease by testing an experimental treatment that uses vampire bats and electroshock therapy on himself. The result is that he turns himself into a horrible looking vampire like creature who needs to digest blood to survive. “Side effects” include the power of flight, super strength and a quick healing ability. Morbius and Spider-Men fighting through NYC at night would be quite breathtaking. His story would also be strong enough to focus a whole film on. The only problem is that his backstory might be a bit too similar to the Lizard’s origin (both are doctors trying to “cure” something about themselves). Morbius has a better handle and is a more outspoken villain than the Lizard.

Okay, now don’t get me wrong, I can totally understand why Marvel/Sony/Marc Webb would want to stay away from rehashing any of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man movies by reusing villains like the Green Goblin. But there is a way around that! Who wouldn’t love to see the Hobgoblin on the big screen? Instead of having Norman Osborn accidentally become the Green Goblin after the goblin serum drives him insane, lets have a man who purposely turns himself into a “goblin” villain to become a successful villain.  Sure, there have been a half dozen Hobgoblins, but that works towards the filmmaker’s advantage as it would be a lot harder to piss off fans even if you make big changes to the person behind the mask. Roderick Kingsley could be an Osborn employee who uses the serum on himself to get all of the abilities, but then messes with it so the next person that takes it is driven insane (Norman Osborn). This could lead to a pretty cool climax with Spider-Man stuck in the middle of an epic fight between the Green Goblin and the Hobgoblin.

Are you excited for The Amazing Spider-Man? What villains would you like to show up in future sequels? Who would you like to portray them?

Written by Daniel Way with pencils by Paco Medina, Deadpool #4 is the first part of “Say ‘Hi’ to the Bad Guy”. This two part story is a much better starting point for the new series which unfortunately began smack in the middle of Marvel’s universe wide crossover event “Secret Invasion”.  I’ve always liked Deadpool, aka the Merc with a Mouth, because hes a fun character who is usually thrown into off the wall (and over the top) situtations.

Marvel’s official description: His mission in “Secret Invasion” completed, Deadpool goes back to business as usual, completely unaware that he’s been sold up the river by a villain of incalculable guile — a villain who won’t soon forget — or forgive — Wade’s sins. As the Skrull War winds to its climactic conclusion, the Merc with a Mouth has no idea that the worst for him is yet ahead.

The issue comes out on November 19. Click these thumbnails to check out the full pages.

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Posted on November 16th, 2008 by ThePit | Leave a Comment
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