After all, following its record-breaking success, there’s no way Disney will sit on the franchise for long and a fifth instalment is going to happen sooner rather than later. The question is, when it does, which of the many storylines from Marvel Comics should Kevin Feige consider adapting?
There are some obvious choices like Secret Wars but it seems a little too soon for that when it comes to Avengers 5, so we’ve compiled a breakdown of some more unexpected suggestions.
So, to check these out, all you guys have to do is click on the “View List” button down below!
It’s fair to say that Earth’s Mightiest Heroes were “disassembled” in Avengers: Endgame, so taking inspiration from the storyline that introduced the New Avengers might be a smart move for this fifth instalment of the franchise.
Featuring a massive breakout at The Raft, an unlikely team of heroes made up of characters like Captain America, Wolverine, Luke Cage, and Spider-Man came together to try and stop the villains from causing chaos in New York City. This led to a confrontation with Electro and a trip to the Savage Land and there are lots of elements here which could he adapted for the big screen.
There would definitely need to be some changes in order to make it feel bigger and more epic but providing Marvel Studios continues jailing it’s bad guys rather than killing them, this has a ton of potential.
Rumours continue to swirl that Norman Osborn is coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and assuming Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures continue to play nice, we could definitely be in store for a Dark Reign to hit this shared world.
After all, Earth has been left without its greatest defenders (no, that’s not a reference to those cancelled heroes on Netflix) and so there’s definitely a void there that could be filled by this charismatic villain as he poses as a superhero. There was a lot to Dark Reign and Marvel Studios can pick and choose whatever they like from it but Spider-Man must be more heavily involved and the formation of the Dark Avengers is a must.
This is a storyline that needs space to breathe, though, so here’s hoping Osborn is introduced sooner rather than later and that builds to a battle for the very soul of the MCU in Avengers 5.
The Kang Dynasty
The Kang Dynasty is rightly considered a classic and it revolved around the time-travelling villain deciding that to protect the Earth, he would have to conquer it. Telling the world’s villains that they can keep the lands they conquer for themselves, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes are forced to scatter themselves across the globe in order to keep the peace.
Ultimately, it may not be a strong enough premise to carry an entire movie but it would make a great basis and Kang’s big screen introduction is definitely long overdue at this stage.
Throw in some time-travel elements and pick some of the more memorable moments from other Kang stories and this could be an instant classic pitting The Avengers against one of their most formidable foes to date.
There is, of course, a chance that Marvel Studios will do something totally unexpected with this franchise. Rather than creating a new team made up of heroes like Captain Marvel, Black Panther, and The Hulk, they could shift the spotlight to the Young Avengers instead.
Introduced shortly after the team was “disassembled” in the comic books, Marvel could mix Wiccan and Speed (both of whom could be introduced in WandaVision) with the of Ironheart and Clint Barton’s daughter, a.k.a. the new Hawkeye.
Essentially taking the Avengers franchise down the “YA” route would definitely be a bold and potentially controversial move but there’s a lot of story to be told here and it’s hard to escape the feeling that this is what Kevin Feige has planned, especially after Cassie Lang was aged up and now ready to suit up as the size changing Stature!
Heading into Captain Marvel, it’s fair to say we all expected the movie to set the stage for a Secret Invasion in Phase 5. Instead, the Skrulls were taken down a more heroic route and it now seems as if it will be up to that movie’s sequel to possibly delve into the more villainous side of the shape shifting aliens.
The potential of this storyline factoring into Avengers 5 is clear to see, especially as building this lack of trust in the MCU would be really exciting, as would seeing the heroes fighting themselves and trying to figure out who is who. A very different sort of alien invasion, this would be more grounded than previous instalments but still epic and very exciting.
Civil War II
Civil War II is a terrible comic book series but it would be no bad thing to revisit this particular event for Avengers 5. Superheroes fighting each other is always fun and while Iron Man is no longer around, Black Panther would be a great substitute and T’Challa having a disagreement with Captain Marvel could have some incredible ramifications.
Ultimately, this would have to be a very loose adaptation but Ulysses could easily be swapped out for a mutant character and Marvel Studios could even incorporate elements of Avengers Vs. X-Men.
Ultimately, this might be best off being saved for even further down the line but I can’t help but feel like Captain America: Civil War was just a warm up for an even bigger clash between our favourite heroes, especially after Avengers: Endgame left them fractured.
Elements of Ultron Unlimited were included in Avengers: Age of Ultron but there’s still a lot here which could be used in a fifth Avengers movie. The villainous android may have been destroyed by The Vision but I’m sure he could have survived somehow and the addition of characters like Jocasta and Wonder Man would obviously be a lot of fun.
A huge part of this storyline involved taking Ultron from being a jilted creation to Hank Pym’s evil reflection and while Iron Man is dead and gone, Ultron could easily try to replace his “father” as the world’s greatest hero in a suitably twisted manner.
Marvel Studios could also use Ultron’s return to set the stage for an adaptation of Annihilation, especially as he played a key role in that event when he travelled into outer space and decided to conquer the cosmos rather than Earth. Either way, there’s a lot of potential here for greatness.
Avengers Vs. X-Men
Marvel Studios is going to reboot the X-Men franchise after the disastrous Dark Phoenix but it’s not going to be easy, especially as moviegoers are clearly sick and tired of the mutant superheroes.
So, why not skip straight past that initial movie and do with the X-Men what they did with Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War? Kicking things off for the MCU’s mutants with an Avengers Vs. X-Men movie would be awesome and it’s hard to imagine it being anything other than a box office hit.
Providing Marvel Studios can find a way to convincingly introduce them and find a good reason for the two teams of heroes to clash, then there’s no reason this couldn’t be the basis of Avengers 5!
World War Hulk
The Hulk now has Bruce Banner’s intelligence but using the Infinity Gauntlet took its toll on the Jade Giant and it’s hard to imagine where things will go next for him. However, one possibility is that the character will take a villainous turn and if Marvel Studios takes him down the Maestro route, we could still get an adaptation of World War Hulk.
We’ve already seen Planet Hulk, of course, but this storyline featured the Green Goliath declaring war on Earth and its Mightiest Heroes and had game-changing consequences for a number of heroes.
The first Avengers movie was supposed to pit the team against The Hulk, and it would be amazing seeing the likes of Doctor Strange, Black Panther, and Spider-Man battling the former hero who has been driven mad by his duelling natures. Honestly, not doing this would be a missed opportunity…
The Kree/Skrull War played out in Captain Marvel and assuming that movie’s sequel takes place in the past, then there’s a very good chance the battle between these alien races has already concluded.
If not, though, it’s about time this conflict reaches Earth and that Earth’s Mightiest Heroes get involved. Just like Civil War II and Avengers Vs. X-Men could be combined, so too could this and Secret Invasion, and it would be great to see the likes of Black Panther and Scarlet Witch in space.
There are a huge number of iconic moments throughout this storyline and after Captain Marvel‘s success, tying her franchise into The Avengers is just a smart business decision of Marvel’s part.
Continue reading below to see some forgotten
villains we want to see more of in Phase 4!
While he was quite a bit different to the version of Zemo we’re used to seeing in the comic books, Daniel Bruhl’s vengeance-fueled former special ops soldier was a great big bad in Captain America: Civil War and managed to do something no one else had until Thanos came along: he broke The Avengers.
While he presumably remains behind bars, his story is far from over, and it was recently confirmed that he will return in the Disney+ series revolving around The Winter Soldier and Falcon.
In terms of the big screen, another clash with Captain America would be no bad thing and while it might take a fair bit of work to get him in that mask from the comics, I’m sure that’s something Marvel Studios could do relatively effortlessly given their track record.
Iron Man 2 may have been a bit of a mess but an undeniable highlight was Sam Rockwell’s Justin Hammer. The actor made a brief and unexpected return in the “All Hail the King” One-Shot but hasn’t been seen since.
Unfortunately, a fourth Iron Man movie seems highly unlikely at this point but Hammer could easily target a different superhero or even designs some armours for a group like the Masters of Evil or Norman Osborn’s Dark Avengers. Even if he’s just a supporting player, there’s a lot of potential for Hammer to still make an impact in the MCU.
Personally, I could easily imagine him helping the Green Goblin design some of his tech…
Yes, Alexander Pierce died while uttering one final “Hail Hydra!” but that doesn’t mean he can’t come back in another way. Just think about it for a second; Black Widow is going to be set during the 90s/early 2000s, so a younger version of the character could easily come into play there, especially as we’re bound to see some Hydra Easter Eggs. Honestly, he could even show up in Captain Marvel!
Another Hulk movie probably isn’t going to happen due to some complicated legal issues with Universal Pictures but that doesn’t mean Marvel Studios can’t continue utilising characters from the Jade Giant’s world.
The Abomination has presumably been in S.H.I.E.L.D. custody ever since the events of The Incredible Hulk and Marvel wouldn’t even need to bring Tim Roth back (assuming he doesn’t wish to return) considering the fact the villain is a CGI creation. This guy is a heavy hitter and would be a fantastic addition to any villainous group that steps up to challenge The Avengers.
Fans want to see this happen too and I’m sure Kevin Feige and company are well aware of that.
Arnim Zola made an awesome return in Captain America: The Winter Soldier but was seemingly destroyed when that old S.H.I.E.L.D. base was blown up. However, this is a world of superheroes and supervillain so who’s to say he couldn’t have transferred his mind elsewhere before building himself a robot body?
Sure, he’s on the goofier side of the spectrum when it comes to bad guys but that doesn’t mean this wouldn’t work and if we’re not getting another Captain America movie, I can’t help but think that he would be a great fit for the aforementioned Winter Soldier and Falcon series coming to the Disney+ streaming service.
Iron Monger is also dead but I’m not suggesting that Obidiah Stane make a miraculous return! Instead, I would much prefer to see his son Ezekiel Stane show up in a bid to get revenge on Tony Stark (assuming he’s still alive in Phase 4, of course).
Wearing a suit of armour he’s spent years perfecting since his father’s demise, Zeke could pose a problem for any number of heroes and if Marvel Studios is planning to surprise us with an Iron Man 4, then this guy teaming up with The Mandarin would be a lot of fun. Once again, though, this guy definitely feels like someone who would be a solid team player.
In other words, Marvel has to bring together some sort of villainous group in Phase 4 and that’s what a lot of these returning characters could actually end up being used for.
The Red Skull made his return in Avengers: Infinity War but his future was very much left up in the air after Thanos threw his daughter Gamora off the side of a cliff in order to retrieve the Soul Stone.
The question is, has he been freed from Vormir in order to finally return to Earth and get his vengeance on Captain America or does he remain trapped, a shadow of his former self? It’s impossible to say but Ross Marquand did a fantastic job, so I would have nothing against him reprising the role and possibly putting some of those supernatural powers to good use.
Honestly, though, the only way this could work would be if Marvel is planning a new Captain America movie and, as of right now, there’s nothing to say that’s actually going to happen during Phase 4.
During the “All Hail the King” One-Shot, we learned that there’s a real leader of the Ten Rings called The Mandarin and he wasn’t happy with Trevor Slattery impersonating him for the world to see.
Now, that should lead to the real deal making an appearance somewhere down the line but nothing is guaranteed, especially as Iron Man’s big screen future is very much up in the air as of right now. Unlike a lot of the other characters here, it would be hard to get invested in this guy showing up if Tony Stark isn’t involved somehow as there’s just so much history between them.
I guess we’ll have to wait and see but this would be one heck of a throwback to 2008’s Iron Man!
Doctor Strange ended with Karl Mordo making his new villainous nature known and it’s pretty obvious that we’ll see him return in the sequel. Whether he’s the lead villain or a secondary bad guy, there’s an awful lot that can be done with Mordo now that he’s on a mission to take magic away from those he doesn’t believe deserve it.
That’s bound to lead to him crossing paths with Strange again and the battle between these two could be downright epic, especially if Nightmare – Scott Derrickson’s top choice of villain for the sequel if past comments are to be believed – ends up also making an appearance. The sequel wouldn’t be complete without this guy returning.
There are rumblings that Mac Gargan will make an appearance in Spider-Man: Far From Home and while his origin story was a tad uninspired and rushed compared to his comic book counterpart, it would still be amazing to see him suit up as the Scorpion.
Marvel Studios will need to flesh Mac out in the Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel to make this work but this character’s big screen debut is long overdue and while I would have liked to see him take centre stage as a lead villain, a member of the Sinister Six would be just fine thinking about it.
I definitely expect to see Gargan make this transformation during Marvel’s Phase 4 so stay tuned!
Ultron is one of my favourite villains and I think Joss Whedon did a great job with him in Avengers: Age of Ultron (even if he did let off a few too many wisecracks). While it appeared as if The Vision destroyed him at the end of the sequel, the door is definitely open to the android once again taking aim at Earth’s Mightiest Heroes in the MCU.
There are many ways Ultron could make a comeback; it could be as an outer space villain in a Guardians of the Galaxy movie or even back on Earth when he assembles the Masters of Evil.
Whatever the case may be, Ultron should not be a one and done villain and I would love to see what another filmmaker would do with the villain. One thing I can say for sure, though, is that James Spader should return to voice him because it’s hard to imagine anyone else doing a better job.
The Winter Soldier
No, I don’t want to see Bucky return to his villainous ways but it’s absolutely essential that The Winter Soldier makes his return in the planned Black Widow movie next year.
We know that Natasha has history with the Hydra assassin so even if this ends up being little more than a cameo, it would be fascinating to learn more about that and great fun seeing the Winter Soldier when he was doing the whole assassin thing we caught a glimpse of in the Captain America: The First Avenger sequel.
It’s also possible that we’ll get some flashbacks to this era of Bucky’s life during his Disney+ series with The Falcon or if Marvel Studios chooses to remain firmly in the present there.
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