The Top Contenders for the MCU’s Next Big Bad

As Thanos becomes the big bad villain of days gone by, questions concerning the next great threat to humankind and the Avengers continue to surface. While it will likely be quite some time until a Thanos-caliber villain appears on the silver screen, the Marvel Cinematic Universe tends to plant seeds early on, laying the proper foundation for eventual entrances. So, when the next baddie finally appears, who’s in line? Based on narrative plausibility, insider information, and upcoming productions, three villains seem to be the top contenders. 

Marvel Studios MCU
Marvel Studios | Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Avengers: Infinity War

1. Kang the Conqueror 

While Owen Wilson’s role in Disney+’s Loki remains unconfirmed, recent reports suggest that he may enter the landscape as Kang the Conqueror. Marvel Insider Mikey Sutton claims that the character will appear in Loki before transitioning into the greater cinematic landscape. 

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The argument posits that the Avengers’ recent time-traveling endeavors have laid the foundation for Kang’s entrance, as he is the time-traveling evil mastermind in the comics. While the casting choice may seem controversial, Sutton states that insiders wanted just that — someone who could deliver but do so unexpectedly. 

2. Galactus 

Galactus is the oldest living entity in the Universe. He is the devourer of worlds, and a threat not to be underestimated. As for his connection to the Marvel landscape, the character is introduced in Fantastic Four Issue number 522. If Galactus is the next big bad, the MCU is planning a slow boil. 

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First, The Fantastic Four must come onto the scene, and with the Silver Surfer presented as one of their first antagonists. Why? The Silver Surfer is Galactus’ herald, following Galactus’ orders merely to protect his family and planet. The Silver Surfer spends his time search for planets that his master can consume. Galactus makes sense, as the journey to his entrance would likely require multiple films across multiple phases, in a formulaic fashion similar to the Infinity Saga’s sequence.

3. Tie: Doctor Doom and Norman Osborn 

While the above two antagonists seem more likely to take on the “big bad” responsibility next, Doctor Doom and Norman Osborn are also contenders. Doctor Doom is yet another character tied to the Fantastic Four. So, when the family of explorers enter the landscape, he could easily follow suit. And, if the MCU chooses to go all the way with his powers and ability, it may take more than the family of four to take him down. 

As for Norman Osborn, a while back, reports surfaced that the MCU was looking to cast a mysterious benefactor with physical descriptions that suggested Osborn. With multiple Spidey villains coming from the Sony Spider-Verse and the MCU, Osborn could come to lead the ultimate Sinister Six team, and the friendly neighborhood web-slinger would need some help defeating them.