The Avengers have survived an alien invasion of New York and a super computer named Ultron, but in 2018 they will face one of the biggest threats to ever appear in the Marvel Universe, comics or otherwise, Thanos. If facing Thanos wasn't bad enough in and of itself, Thanos is expected to have all six Infinity Stones gathered and resting on his golden gauntlet affectionately called the Infinity Gauntlet in the comics. Despite how big of a threat Thanos is, no one expects him to win, though he is sure to shake up the MCU. While others are focusing on what sort of army or back-up Thanos could bring with him, I am looking to the future and trying to predict who will be the next threat to the universe that the Avengers have to put down. What follows is 6 villains the Avengers could face after Infinity War and how it might happen.
6: The Maestro
If you have no idea who The Maestro is nor could you venture a guess based on the picture, he is an evil version of the Hulk from the future. The Maestro is stronger, smarter, and far more nasty than any version of the Hulk and in several comics he not only rules the world but has killed off every other hero and villain who dared to oppose him. With the Hulk showing up in Thor Ragnarok and being part of some sort of gladiatorial arena I expect the Hulk to be portrayed as having a far greater intellect than we have seen from him thus far. In fact, if they truly embrace the Planet Hulk storyline as they claim they are, then Bruce Banner and The Hulk finding peace and becoming one would be a great way to sow the seeds of a Maestro appearance in the MCU. As a being stronger than any member of the Avengers he would prove a truly formidable opponent, but when you add in his intellect and strategic planning abilities then he could be the deadliest enemy the Avengers will ever face.
5: Immortus and Kang The Conquer
Immortus and Kang are both time traveling humans who have crossed the paths of the Avengers in the comics and cartoons plenty of times. Immortus is less a villain and more of a misguided "hero" who is charged with protecting the timeline. As such, I could see him show up, and to paraphrase Mordo in the Dr. Strange movie, to make Dr. Strange and the Avengers "pay the bill that has come due" do to all the use of the Time Stone in both Dr. Strange and Avengers Infinity War. Immortus could revive any dead Avengers or villains as part of his Legion of the Unliving like he does in the comics forcing the Avengers to fight their dead friends. After defeating Immortus the Avengers could find out he was trying to fix the timeline in order to stop the coming of Kang! Kang, the evil despotic future version of Immortus, wants nothing more than to defeat the Avengers and add the 21st Century to his list of claimed time domains. Kang using his power of time travel could allow Marvel to slip in new actors for the roles of key characters by saying Kang or Immortus changed the past thus causing a new version of the present. An example would be causing Tony Stark to lose the use of his legs and thus Col. Rhodes became Iron Man with Stark acting as his armor maker. They could make any changes they needed to casting and it would all fit into the narrative and shoot new life into the MCU.
4: The Champion (The Contest of The Champion)
With The Collecter already in the MCU and The Grandmaster set to appear in Thor Ragnarok, the appearance of a third, or fourth if Ego turns out to be an Elder like I predict, Elder wouldn't be too far fetched. The Champion of the Universe, or Tryco Slatterus, is a powerful being who has dedicated his nearly immortal life to fighting and winning. I could see him showing up to challenge the members of the MCU to combat lest Earth be destroyed either on his own or as part of a plan set in motion by The Grandmaster. This could lead to the heroes of the MCU having to face off with one another to pick several warriors to face The Champion, or we could see The Champion make his way through them one by one until he faces either The Hulk or a Destroyer powered Iron Man suit.
3: Loki (Acts of Vengeance)
As one of the most popular characters in the MCU, Loki slipping into the role of main threat would be very well received by fans of the movies. Now, in the comics Loki once orchestrated an event called Acts of Vengeance where he convinced the villains of the Marvel comics to switch heroes and go after targets that would be unfamiliar with them, giving them a better chance at victory. Now in the comics it wasn't revealed to be Loki until midway through the event, with each main villain thinking it was them who came up with this idea. This could allow a lot of set-up in each heroes own movie, such as a Captain America movie where he faces off with The Mandarin or an Iron Man movie that sees Iron Man try to stop a rampaging Abomination. This would all lead up to an Avengers movie that sees all the heroes of the MCU face off with all the MCU villains!
2: The X-Men
This is a long shot, but if they want to introduce the X-Men into the MCU they have to either reboot the MCU or show the X-Men exist in an alternate reality/dimension. Imagine if The Grandmaster challenges the Avengers to a contest and instead of picking villains from the MCU like you might expect, instead shows up with The X-Men! A drag out, knock down, winner take all contest between these two teams would be freaking epic! Making this movie would basically allow Marvel Studios and Fox to print money with the amount of tickets they would sell.
1: Galactus and his Heralds
Like the X-Men this is another long shot as the rights to Galctus are held by Fox, but if Marvel Studios and Sony can cut a deal then anything is possible. Galactus showing up and trying to devour the Earth would cause every hero in the MCU to take up arms and go on the offensive. Add in the many heralds he has had over the years as lieutenants and you got the recipe for a great battle between to powerful forces. So, what do you think? Did I forget someone who could be a better villain? As always. feel free to comment, like, share, tweet, or whatever other thing you kids do on your social media these days.
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