Here are ten Marvel villains, including those who have and have not shown up in the MCU, who deserve their own movie or series.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe used to chiefly be the home of heroes, but with projects like Loki and the upcoming Agatha: Coven of Chaos and Thunderbolts, bad guys — reformed or otherwise — are starting to make more of the spotlight. We thought it might be a good idea to talk about other antagonists that could do with their own movies or series, including a bunch who have yet to be introduced. Here are our top 10 picks, in no particular order, for Marvel villains who deserve their own movies or series.
Jennifer Lawrence got us used to seeing Mystique as someone much more on the side of the angels, but both in earlier X-Men films and in the comics, Mystique starts off as Magneto’s successor in the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. With the word “Evil” in there, no one ever mistook he or her followers as anything other than Marvel villains.
Mystique’s abilities could make her the perfect lead for a Marvel espionage series. After all, the upcoming Secret Invasion is all about an entire species able to do what Mystique can — shapeshift to disguise themselves as anyone they choose.
9. Norman Osborn
I wrote “Norman Osborn” rather than “Green Goblin” because Spider-Man‘s chief antagonist has been much more than just a cackling bad guy in the comics. For a time he was working on the side of the government to track down anti-registration superheroes. He even changed his “super” identity to that of Iron Patriot, leader of the Dark Avengers.
With such a rich history to pull from, a Norman Osborn led series could go in any number of different directions, including perhaps even teasing the possibility one of Marvel’s greatest villains could be reformed. One caveat though: cast Willem Dafoe, or forget about it.
There is one often forgotten line in 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War that makes me desperate to see a Thanos-led prequel series. Just before Thanos sacrifices Gamora to secure the Soul Stone, he tells his adoptive daughter, “I ignored my destiny once. I cannot do that again. Even for you.”
The line is delivered with such weight, that I was convinced in Avengers: Endgame that we would get to see this one time Thanos set aside his mad goals, and that it would prove integral to the story. Obviously, that didn’t happen, but getting a series or film in which we see the Marvel villain wrestling with whether or not to go forward with his genocidal quest could be very interesting.
7. The Elders Of The Universe
You’ve met three members of this group of powerful cosmic Marvel villains in the MCU, even if you don’t realize it. In the source material Guardians of the Galaxy‘s The Collector, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2‘s Ego, and Thor: Ragnarok‘s Grandmaster are all members of the Elders of the Universe.
Each one of these meddling cosmic beings are usually obsessed with a specific activity; like gardening (The Gardener), killing (Obliterator), or fighting (Champion). If they were adapted to be as powerful and yet as ridiculous as Jeff Goldblum‘s Grandmaster, an Elders of the Universe project could be something to behold.
6. Namor The Sub-Mariner
Because of rights issues similar to those that keep an Incredible Hulk 2 from happening, there will likely never be a solo Namor project with Tenoch Huerta in the lead role. But this list is as much a wish list as anything, so just just like the Marvel Universe itself, questions of what is and isn’t possible shouldn’t stop us.
He may have been a Marvel villain in his debut in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, but Namor is a compelling character all on his own. Like the late T’Challa and his successor Shuri, Namor’s chief concern is his people. Under the right circumstances, Namor could be portrayed as heroic as any other Marvel lead.
DC isn’t the only studio that gets to use Michael Keaton. As of 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, Keaton became an integral part of the Spider-Man mythos. A relatively uninteresting crook in the source material, Adrian Toomes was turned into a compelling and even sympathetic Marvel villain who went bad because he was screwed over by the system.
Fans have been waiting for Keaton’s return to the role ever since Homecoming, and the disappointing and nonsensical cameo from Morbius did little to placate them. A Vulture series or movie could be just what the doctor ordered.
While Erik Killmonger dies at the end of 2018’s Black Panther, this extraordinary Marvel villain could always come back for a prequel series or movie. In fact, the bones of such a project have already been made.
The same year audiences were introduced to Michael B. Jordan’s version of the character in Black Panther, Marvel Comics released the excellent miniseries Killmonger written by Bryan Edward Hill with art by Juan Ferreyra. It told the story of Erik’s rise to become someone who could challenge and even defeat the King of Wakanda.
3. The Maestro
If you want to defeat the Strongest One There Is, the only one who can do the job might be the guy himself. So the 1992 miniseries Incredible Hulk: Future Imperfect introduced The Maestro, a future evil version of the Hulk who — because of the increased radiation in Earth’s atmosphere — was more powerful than ever.
The Maestro has only grown in popularity since Future Imperfect, eventually leading to a number of miniseries chronicling how he first rises to power amidst the ashes of Earth’s civilizations. I don’t think Marvel would ever green light a series or movie like that, but if they did I’d be the first one to hit “play.”
2. Typhoid Mary
The first season of Netflix‘s Iron Fist is bad and honestly it’s kind of surprising it even got a Season 2, but cancellation or no, that second season was a huge improvement on the first. One of the things that made Season 2 so much more riveting is the introduction of Alice Eve as Mary Walker, aka Typhoid Mary.
Traditionally a Daredevil villain in the source material, Mary Walker was the best reason to keep bingeing Iron Fist. I’ve no doubt she could lead her own Marvel series.
Perhaps no other Marvel villain deserves a solo project than the mutant Magneto. Both Ian McKellen and Michael Fassbender impressed fans with their respective portrayals of the Master of Magentism, and whoever takes up the role next is bound to follow in the footsteps of Michael B. Jordan and Tom Hiddleston in playing one of Marvel’s most sympathetic villains.
There were plans to give Magneto his own movie over a decade ago, but the moronic flop that was X-Men Origins: Wolverine ruined those hopes. With the X-Men not yet canonically part of the MCU, Marvel might actually want to consider introducing this villain first to give us a reason to consider his point of view.