MCU Villains Who Could Appear in Thunderbolts
The Thunderbolts are a team of Marvel villains who banded together following the disappearance of most Avengers and superheroes to take up the role of heroes. This was a follow on to the ‘Onslaught’ story event – which we’re not even going to try and explain – and eventually turned out to be evil. I mean…obviously. They were later headed up by Hawkeye, leading to much speculation about their potential role in the MCU. Although the team are often referred to as a Marvel equivalent of the DC Suicide Squad, it is thematically and tonally distinct, being more about villains seeking redemption rather than freedom.
Seeing Hawkeye take on a leadership role outside of the Avengers is a fun idea. Most of the Avengers have moved on to be replaced by the next generation of characters, but there’s a couple of villains still kicking around. Putting Hawkeye in the position of dealing with them has plenty of potential. Here’s a couple of picks for the team.
Whiplash was the more memorable villain in Iron Man 2, with a more distinct design and gimmick. Hammer, played by the immensely talented Sam Rockwell, didn’t get enough screen time to flesh out his role as a poor man’s Tony Stark. With Stark now out of the picture the stage is set for Hammer to come back into the picture and construct his own version of the Iron Man armour. To maintain consistency, this tech would have to fail at key moments of battle. Mostly for laughs.
Another early foe in the MCU, but one we’ve had recent confirmation of a return. Tim Roth played the human counterpart of this twisted version of Hulk, being a bigger and uglier version of the rage monster. We’re not sure where Abomination is holed up, especially as he’d be a military asset, but he was seen throwing matches with Wong in Shang-Chi. Every team needs their muscle and he’s the obvious choice.
Unlike some of the other Avengers, Spider-Man will do everything he can to avoid killing his opponents. As such, Michael Keaton’s Vulture found himself behind bars rather than in the ground. With a bone to pick, Vulture will take any chance he can get to have a second chance at the kid who ruined his life. We know Vulture is expected to return, since we’ve seen him chatting with a potential Scorpion and in the upcoming Morbius movie…hurry up and use him.
Having been returned to the Raft after the events of Falcon and Winter Soldier, this nightclubbing villain would make up the brains of any team he joins. Crafty and manipulative, Zemo managed to drive a wedge between the members of the Avengers and shake up the global political systems for the sake of a personal vendetta. He’s one of the most interesting villains in the MCU, perfectly played by Daniel Brühl, and we always want to see more of him.
A recurring story thread for Black Widow involved seeking redemption for the ‘red’ in her ledger. The same thread can be picked up by Taskmaster, played by Olga Kurylenko, who spent years being forced to carry out assassinations and wetworks on the behalf of her father. With the ability to replicate other fighter’s abilities, there’s plenty of potential for great action sequences – something we didn’t get a great deal of in the Black Widow movie.
GHOST and GOLIATH
This pair of villains from Ant-Man and the Wasp, played by Hannah John-Kamen and Lawrence Fishburne, were acting out of a need for survival than a desire to rule the universe. Having stabilised Ghost’s phasing powers and gone into hiding, these two are still out there somewhere. We never saw Goliath using his powers, but even if he’s on the science support team it would be a cool inclusion.
Wilson Bethel played Bullseye in the third season of Daredevil (which is now definitely in the MCU), and was left with his spine broken. Keeping in mind that Rhodey has already walked one of those off, he’s prime material for a return. His remarkable fighting abilities were well implemented in the series, and he was given a well rounded tragic backstory. If we’re looking for characters to introduce to the wider MCU audience, this is a good starting point.
With magic users playing an increasingly larger role in the MCU, it would be remiss to not include some kind of spell-weaver. Mordo is on his own quest to rid the world of sorcerers, so that leaves the witch Agatha Harkness and her catchy theme song. Played by Kathryn Hahn in Wandavision, she quickly became a fan favourite and would be a fantastic character to bounce off Zemo and his machinations.
Also on the lam after the events of Wandavision, this alternative version of the android character wound up questioning his very existence. Like Vision, this white copy is played by Paul Bettany and features the same power set as the original. Having his mind and memory, but not a Mind Stone, leaving him without emotions. Its unclear what his role will be moving forward, so this could be a chance to explore his purpose.