Who Will Be the Next Big MCU Villain? Fans Weigh in on Thanos’ Successor Following ‘Avengers: Endgame’

Now that Avengers: Endgame is fading into the past as fans flock to see Spider-Man: Far From Home, the MCU’s Phase 3 is, at last, coming to an epic finish. Deemed an epilogue to Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man: Far From Home grapples with loss, as well as the widespread damage the previous Avengers films have caused. 

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

Though it has been difficult to say goodbye to the team-up we have loved for so long, the MCU has managed to get us hyped for Phase Four, with each announcement that makes its way to the internet. Black Widow is coming soon, The Eternals starring Angelina Jolie is in the cards, and a Shang-Chi-inspired movie is reportedly in the very early stages of production – still hunting for a cast and crew.

As Phase 4 comes together, fans wonder: who will be the next major MCU villain? Who will take over after Thanos, and present a challenge to whatever team comprises the “New Avengers,” for we all know another grand mash-up is merely a decade or so away?

Fans have already taken to the internet to weigh in on this consequential matter, and a few trends seem to emerge. While there exists great variation in peoples’ opinions, certain villains come up more frequently than others as the “most desired” or “most likely” choices based on Marvel’s previous industry decisions. This list will examine the villains whom fans deem most probable to succeed Thanos. 

Doctor Doom 

Following the Disney/Fox merger, many fans feel it would be logical for Marvel to bring in a villain who would have otherwise been off the table. In the comics, Dr. Doom first confronts the Fantastic Four when he holds Sue Storm hostage. Dr. Doom and Mr. Fantastic were scientific rivals; the former always assumed Mr. Fantastic was trying to thwart his scientific plans when he warned him of the dangers associated with such cutting-edge technologies. 

In the Fantastic Four movie, Julian McMahon plays the villain – one who comes stocked with next level powers, ranging from technopathy and energy absorption to superhuman strength, mind transference, and forcefield generation. 

According to many fans, Doom would be a strong follow-up, for he is much different than Thanos, which would help the MCU prevent fans from comparing the two. One fan wrote:

“…Doctor Doom is more low-key and a human, and MCU will probably want to go low-key after IF and EG”

Another fan chimed in, explaining how Dr. Doom could fit nicely into a narrative, stating: 

“They could have doom figure out how to steal captain marvel’s power and add it to his own. Would make for a good avengers movie.”

One fan, browsing through the online discussion, even goes on to claim, “I think we would all want Doom”

If Marvel is listening to fans, Dr. Doom may be the next big MCU villain; however, as many fans have noted, recent reports indicate Norman Osborn may be the choice, following a casting announcement that made him seem the most probable. 

Norman Osborn 

While Marvel may be on the hunt for their next Phase 4 villain, Norman Osborn may be just that, the “next” villain; it’s important to remember that there will be several villains before another Thanos-level one comes to play. 

As we all know, Norman Osborn, The Green Goblin, is Spider-Man’s greatest foe, which would likely lead to Peter Parker taking on Captain America’s mantle if this is the villain chosen to succeed Thanos.

While Osborn isn’t the most popular choice among fan theories, recent reports made excluding him unreasonable. Not to mention, several fans believe he is the next great choice. One fan wrote,

“I would be all over Osborn as the next big sort of villain.”

Another fan placed Osborn at the top of their list for Thanos successors (naming ten villains total). One Marvel enthusiast explained that Osborn is a “medium type” of villain, making him a strong alternate to Thanos. 

Galactus

While reading through many a forum, you will realize that several fans believe Galactus is the next great choice; however, others believe he would not “be good enough.” So, know that this villain’s reviews are mixed.

Galactus is the sole survivor of the sixth incarnation of the multiverse, and he is called the Devourer of Worlds, illustrating his mission rather clearly. Fans who support Galactus as the next great MCU villain stated the following:

“Most people I’ve asked are guessing galactus”

Reddit user

“Galactus. I believe he will be the grand finale of the entire MCU.”

Reddit User 

Fans who disagree with the above sentiments – echoed by several others engaging in the discussion – explain that Galactus is too similar to Thanos. Both are big, bad, intergalactic villains on a mission with destiny (so they believe). Others note that his comic book narrative wouldn’t lend way to two movies, while some fans say he’s merely not the best fit. 

Honorable Mentions 

  • Kang
  • Super Skrull
  • No “big” villain for a very long time following Avengers: Endgame