Top 10 MCU Villains Being Set Up for Phase 5
VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
WRITTEN BY: Andrew Tejada
Keep an eye out for these baddies in future Marvel projects. For this list, we'll be looking at past comic storylines and the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to guess what antagonists might threaten the heroes in the future. Our countdown includes Mephisto, Galactus, Kang the Conqueror, and more!
Top 10 MCU Villains Being Set Up for Phase 5
Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 MCU villains being set up for Phase 5.
For this list, we’ll be looking at past comic storylines and the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to guess what antagonists might threaten the heroes in the future. Since some of these clues are tied to major events, a spoiler warning is in effect.
Which Marvel villain do you want to see next? Shout them out in the comments below.
When “WandaVision” was rolling out weekly episodes, many fans speculated the demonic Mephisto was the main villain. Despite a few promising hints and a comic connection to Wanda, he wasn’t the villain she had to worry about. But Mephisto has been tied to many heroes in the comics. The demon has a particularly interesting connection to Moon Knight. In one storyline, the lunar anti-hero got visions of Mephisto ending the world. So, Moon Knight stole the powers from different Avengers to defeat the demon. We know that Oscar Isaac is playing the character in an upcoming Disney+ series. Once they establish his backstory and abilities in Phase 4, he could steal other people’s powers to fight Mephisto in Phase 5.
#9: The Leader
Samuel Sterns was first introduced as Bruce Banner’s ally in 2008’s “The Incredible Hulk.” But after a lab accident with gamma irradiated blood, he began to look like the comic villain The Leader. Since he typically has massive intelligence and various psychic abilities, he could be a big threat to the Avengers going forward. Although we haven't seen Sterns onscreen in years, another Hulk antagonist is hinting at his return. Emil Blonsky A.K.A. The Abomination first appeared in the same film. We know for certain he'll appear in the “She-Hulk” Disney+ series and the upcoming “Shang-Chi” film. If a major Hulk villain can show up in multiple places, then it’s not hard to believe that Banner’s old ally can return as well.
#8: Doctor Victor Von Doom
Once Marvel announced a “Fantastic Four” film was on the horizon, they pretty much confirmed that we would see Doctor Doom. This legendary antagonist is one of the super team's oldest enemies. Doom has also appeared in video games, numerous animated shows and every single live action “Fantastic Four” movie that’s been released. It’s incredibly unlikely they’d leave him out of the new adaptation. Although Doctor Doom was introduced as a “Fantastic Four” foe, he has the resources and power to take on heroes like the Avengers. We can easily see Earth’s mightiest heroes meeting the MCU’s Doom within the next few years.
Speaking of “The Fantastic Four,” they’re also famous for doing battle with Galactus. This cosmic being is known for having a huge appetite that can only be satisfied by consuming the energy of planets. Between the incredible might Galactus wields and his world-destroying tendencies, he could easily surpass Thanos as the universe’s biggest threat. While the cosmic villain debuted in a “Fantastic Four” story, he also shares a connection with another famous Marvel character. The Eternal Thena went on a mission to find Galactus so he could defeat the Kree. Whether she wakes him to fight a threat or the villain faces the “Fantastic Four”, his arrival feels inevitable.
A demon named Nightmare will have you afraid to close your eyes. Originally hailing from the Dream Dimension, he can imprison a being’s astral form and torment them. There have been several hints of Nightmare lurking in the background. On “Loki,” Mobius appears to make a reference to the villain’s name. And although Marvel’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” might not be canon, it definitely introduced the concept of a Dream Dimension. Dr. Strange may stumble upon that dimension during “The Multiverse of Madness.” And since Nightmare is one of his oldest foes, the villain’s reign of terror over dreams could accidentally begin thanks to the Sorcerer Supreme.
#5: Norman Osborn
After Skrulls infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D., the government starts a new security organization called H.A.M.M.E.R. This may not happen in the upcoming “Secret Invasion” Disney+ series, but if it does, the first director of this agency has historically been Norman Osborn. This iconic villain is best known for tormenting Spider-Man as the Green Goblin. Since Osborn hasn’t been introduced in the MCU yet, he could make a grand entrance as a powerful government figure. Considering there’s plenty of people who don’t trust the MCU’s S.H.I.E.L.D., the public may want him to glide in and protect them with H.A.M.M.E.R.
Since Chthon is an Elder God who can warp reality with his powers, the MCU’s Avengers will want to stay out of his way. Unfortunately for them, he may have already started indirectly messing with the world. Chthon historically creates a powerful book of spells known as the Darkhold. The last person who read this dangerous magical tome in the MCU was Wanda Maximoff. In one story, Chthon possesses her body and tries to use her powers to come to Earth. Scarlet Witch has grown into an incredibly powerful magic user over the last few years. The Avengers would be in for the fight of their lives if Chthon stopped indirectly causing chaos with the Darkhold and actively got a hold of Wanda.
#3: Zemo’s Thunderbolts
There was a time in the comics where it looked like Earth had lost most of its heroes and Baron Zemo saw this lull as the perfect time to organize a super team of his own. Although his crew, composed mostly of villains, pretended to be a force for good, they originally had evil intentions. The MCU’s Zemo definitely has the intelligence and financial resources to pull together a Thunderbolts crew. And although there are Avengers on Earth, they don’t exactly seem to be holding regular meetings nowadays. Zemo could take advantage of this low point for the MCU’s Avengers to introduce his Thunderbolts. While he is being held in the Raft prison, he has orchestrated impressive feats behind bars before.
#2: Sinister Six
In 1964, a group of Spider-Man’s worst enemies joined forces to squash the webhead for the first time. Although this version of the Sinister Six failed, variations of this group kept trying to end Spider-Man over the decades. Tom Holland’s Spidey already has a few angry foes who want revenge. To make matters worse, it’s been rumored that villains like Dr. Octopus will travel from alternate universes to appear in “Spider-Man: No Way Home.” And if the multiverse is in play, original Sinister Six team member Kraven the Hunter could leap from his Sony movie to the MCU. Holland’s Peter Parker better have a few heroic friends on speed dial because there are more than enough enemies to make up a new Sinister Six.
#1: Kang the Conqueror
Shortly after Kang the Conqueror introduced himself to the Avengers in the comics, he imprisoned almost all of them. Jonathan Majors will portray this notable villain in “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” for the first time. But we have a feeling it won’t be his last appearance. Kang’s advanced tech, large intellect and ability to time travel means he can make intricate plans to attack enemies before they even know what hit them. He can also travel across time and dimensions to gather more evil allies for the heroes to fight. While Ant-Man and the Wasp are impressive, it’s unclear if they can take out Kang on their own. If this villain survives “Quatumania”, he could become a big bad that’s more dangerous than Thanos.