Editorials

‘Avengers: Infinity War’: Will Past MCU Villains Join Thanos?

Avengers: Infinity War has the opportunity to bring back a few villains in the MCU who’ve, not necessarily been killed off, but come and gone. As a fan, I’ve often wondered why such memorable characters like Red Skull and Abomination have yet to return. Perhaps the filmmakers are saving them for a major battle?

Now I know what some of you are thinking. “Thanos doesn’t need any help, especially now that he’s got the Infinity Gauntlet!” Yes, very true. It’s certainly possible that with all six infinity stones (Mind, Space, Time, Power, Reality, and Soul), Thanos won’t need any help taking on the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and anyone else standing in his way. However, Thanos is fully aware that he must not underestimate these humans and their allies, after seeing both Loki and Ronan the Accuser fail him. Even his late servant and former leader of the Chitauri, known as The Other, warned him in the Avengers post-credits teaser: “Humans, they were not the cowering wrenches we were promised. They stand, and they are unruly, and therefore cannot be ruled. To challenge them is to court death.”

Point is, even with the Infinity Gauntlet, it’s possible that Thanos will need some help taking over Earth, and he’s know it. My hope is the filmmakers don’t give the Mad Titan another faceless army just for the Avengers to easily beat again. Instead, have him gather his version of “The Sinister Six” featuring our long lost villains of the MCU:

  • The Abomination (currently locked up in prison)
  • Red Skull (last seen transported somewhere unknown by the Tesseract)
  • The (real) Mandarin 
  • Kaecilius (currently trapped in the dark dimension by Dormammu)
  • Possibly Loki or another villain who makes it out of Thor: Ragnarok (Hela?)

These villains can return fueled by revenge, and powered by the Infinity Stones. We’ve already seen the kind of power these stones are capable of producing through experimentations (such as Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, Vision). Just imagine Thanos with his gauntlet granting some of his newfound power to these villains under his command. Captain America facing off against a Cosmic Skull. Hulk in a violent fist fight with a more powerful Abomination. The Mandarin and his Ten Rings (powered by the stones) giving Iron Man a beating so bad, it’ll make him wish Trevor Slattery was the real Mandarin. A rematch between Kaecilius and Doctor Strange, this time without the Eye of Agamotto. And so on, and so on. It’s a great opportunity, considering most of these villains will likely not return in Phase Four. Why not go all out, and give these main Avengers a real fight? Save the army of faceless soldiers for the street level Avengers, like teenage Spider-Man, Falcon, Hawkeye, Black Widow, etc. (no offense guys).

Obviously, it’s a tall order to ask of Marvel. However, a reported production budget of $500 million, and an Avengers follow up film, a year after Infinity War, make it feasible to set all of this up. I’m also certain Marvel signed Tim Roth (Abomination) and Hugo Weaving (Red Skull) to multi-picture deals, with the latter recently expressing interest to return. Time to take advantage of that underused talent!

As a fan of the MCU, I’d love to see a true all-out war, with Thanos uniting these villains and leading them against the heroes. Because 30+ good guys against one, albeit powerful, bad guy just doesn’t sound quite as exciting. What do you think? Would you want to see these villains return and join Thanos? Or do you have another idea that you hope to see? Sound off in the comments!

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