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The Marvel Cinematic Universe has a seemingly endless combination of characters to include in films together. They also have a multitude of interesting villains to include in the franchise.
That said, one area in which the MCU has been lacking is featuring multiple major villains in one story. While many of their villains have had great storylines, there hasn’t been a lot of opportunities for major villains to team up or square off against each other. Some fans think that should change.
Why the MCU is expanding in a big way
The MCU had a sizable roster of characters during its first three phases. With stand-alone films and the Avengers series tying everything together, there were plenty of opportunities for villain roles to spring up. That culminated in the Infinity Saga, which saw the entire MCU stable of superheroes team up to take down Thanos.
Now the universe is only going to get bigger. Disney’s acquisition of Fox led to the conglomerate acquiring the film licensing rights to characters such as the X-Men and Fantastic Four. Both of those groups have some rather famous and beloved villains like Dr. Doom and Magneto.
Combine that with the fact that Marvel has announced more projects related to characters it already owns (The Eternals, Moon Knight, She-Hulk, etc.), and there are going to be a lot more heroes and villains appearing in the next few years.
How the MCU has used its villains so far
For the most part, the MCU has had one major villain in each movie. That doesn’t mean there aren’t supporting villains. For example, in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Bucky Barnes served as the main villain while Batroc the Leaper was a secondary villain featured earlier in the film. Or look at Avengers: Infinity War.
While Thanos was the big bad guy, his loyal minions in the Black Order did battle with the Avengers and also served as worthy adversaries.
But for the most part, each MCU film has focused around one central villain. In some ways, this is a good thing.
One of the criticisms levied against the Batman sequels of the 90s was that they focused on too many villains, confusing the narrative and sacrificing the main character’s story. Spider-Man 3 suffered from this as well: the movie’s three villains left the story feeling crowded, without any one of them getting a truly fulfilling storyline.
While Marvel has taken care to protect its villains from this, one of the best parts of Marvel Comics is when fans can see their favorite heroes (and villains) interact with each other. There have been plenty of instances where the heroes have teamed up, but none where the villains have done so.
If some Marvel fans have anything to say about it, that may change in the MCU’s Phase Four.
MCU fans want villain team-ups and villain vs. villain fights
A Reddit thread appeared recently to discuss the possibility of Marvel villains having to team up to take on Thanos. It led to one fan speculating on what they’d like to see from Marvel’s villains going forward:
“Stuff like this is why I really hope we get to see more of the villains interacting with one another in the future, as well as villain vs villain fights.”
There are plenty of instances from Marvel Comics where villains either teamed up or faced off that proved to be compelling. There’s no reason the MCU shouldn’t make that a part of its next set of films. Who wouldn’t want to see Dr. Doom and Norman Osborn match wits? Or wouldn’t it be interesting to see a returning Thanos team up with the time-traveling Kang the Conqueror?
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