We’re at just over a week and a half before AVENGERS hits theatres here in the U.S. (and I don’t need to hear from any of you European types who have already seen it, thank you very much), and it’s already more than clear that this is going to be a massive hit, and that a sequel is all but guaranteed. Which brings the obvious, if slightly premature question: who should be the villain?
Rumor has it that there’s a hint in the film, but as I haven’t seen it yet and don’t want to be spoiled, y’all can just keep it to yourselves. So with that in mind and going on exactly zero actual information, let’s stroll through the Avengers’ rogues’ gallery and see who’d make the best cinematic Big Bad for AVENGERS 2 in 2015.
First things first: I think Loki is off the table.
He absolutely needed to be in this one, as he was the threat that brought the team together way back in 1963, but we’ll have seen him in at least two films by then (more if he appears in THOR 2, which certainly seems likely), so I think he’ll be a little played out.
Personally, when I think Avengers villains, I think one name: Ultron.
The insane, hate-filled robot with an Adamantium hide has always made for some of the best Avengers stories, and he’s a powerful enough threat, with his endless robot armies and weapons, to make a viable threat for a movie. The only problem is that Ultron’s origin is so closely tied in to Avengers history, in that he was created by longtime member Hank Pym, that it’s hard to introduce him without Pym on the team and still retain the depth that makes the character dynamic cool, and introducing Pym, the Wasp and Ultron in a single film would make for a pretty tall order. I’d vote to bring in Hank and the Wasp in the second film and save Ultron for a third.
What about Kang the Conqueror?
The time-travelling warlord certainly has the gravitas, but time-travel stories are really hard to do well without seeming overly confusing or predictable, and the best Kang stories in Avengers have been protracted tales taking place over months and months, so making it work within a two-hour running time could be problematic.
Unfortunately, one of the best Avengers antagonists over the years is unavailable for the foreseeable future, as Doctor Doom is tied up with the FANTASTIC FOUR license over at 20th Century Fox.
Although it has to be admitted that Victor Von Doom here hasn’t had the best of luck when it comes to feature-film adaptations: as a matter of fact, he’s 0 for 2. Maybe it’s best to keep him on the shelf a while longer…
Then there’s Korvac, the far-future cyborg turned omnipotent cosmic being.
I don’t know… Korvac would be a tough sell. Not only was the original story lengthy and a little convoluted, but the Avengers pretty much get their asses kicked stem to stern, and then get resurrected on a whim. Doesn’t scream “summer blockbuster” to me. Although it does deprive us of the sight of a literal busload of Avengers heading for a big super-fight…
If you’re talking cosmic, though, there’s only one way to go: Thanos.
The “Mad God from Titan” has brought Earth and the Avengers to the brink several times, his initial Jim Starlin-penned faceoff with the Avengers is considered by all a classic, he’s a heavy hitter in every sense of the term, and he’s got the interplanetary resources to be a big-time threat to the cinematic Avengers. My only concern is just how in the hell do you make this guy work in live-action? Would he be all CGI like the Hulk? That’s a lot of digital acting to accomplish. Use a giant actor in heavy makeup and re-dub the voice? It wouldn’t be easy to get right.
A simpler answer might be something a little more down to earth: The Masters of Evil.
The best Avengers villains are the ones with a deep connection to one of the core Avengers, and the Masters, under the leadership of longtime Captain America foe Baron Zemo, would totally fit the bill. All they’d have to do is set up Zemo and his revenge-obsessed son in flashback in the next CAPTAIN AMERICA movie, and they’d be all set. And introducing a whole team of secondary villains (potentially including returns from Whiplash and the Abomination) would really help cement that idea of a Marvel Universe in film. My vote goes to the Masters of Evil.
Scott is dying to see the movie already. If you have questions about the Avengers or comics in general, send them here.