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If you haven't seen Avengers: Endgame by now, chances are you know what happens with the spoiler ban lifted on most sites now. However, if you have not and do not wish to SPOIL it, stop reading now.
Now that the heroes have united in the biggest superhero film of all time, the universe is now safe from the threat of Thanos. But fans are already asking, who will replace him? Now, to say Marvel Comics has a lot of options is an understatement, but here we will look at some very good contenders as to who may take the mad titans mantel and become the next threat to the MCU.
Doctor Doom is a villain we are highly likely to see enter the MCU. Marvel is seemingly planning a Fantastic Four film, and let's face it, anything they make is going to be superior to past installments. But back to Doom, he is actually a villain with ambition, intellect, and his own country. This allows him to be open about his plans for world domination and grants him diplomatic immunity. But you may be asking, is that enough to replace Thanos? Well, the answer is yes.
He thirsts for power!
Doom uses his intellect on a level unlike any other genius from Marvel. Rather than using it to better mankind, advance nations, or save environments, he uses his purely to gain more power. This has enabled him more than once to bring all the heroes of Marvel down to their knees. However, if the MCU is set to bring in the multiverse, this could be the catalyst to make this ruler emerge in the MCU. Doom would rather rule all, conquering more than one Earth, which may cause him to take Thanos's place.
Now some may be thinking, "Hang on we have already done this one," but if that truly is the case then Marvel has dishonoured one of the greatest villains in the comics. Ultron has proven again and again in the comics that he is pretty much indestructible, as he can upload himself and slowly restore his program until ready to return. Avengers: Age of Ultron may have shown his demise, but let's hope he isn't gone for good and here is why.
He brings it every time in the comics
Ultron is Marvel's answer to Terminator. His return could literally result in all sorts. Wanda could see him as someone who may be able to restore Vision, his ideal bride Jocasta could revolt against him and join the Avengers, he could see Wasp as his ideal companion, and he could even force Pepper to return and end one of Iron Man's greatest failures. Ultron could represent a much greater threat than he already has in the MCU and all it would take is a simple upload with time to return.
Much like the Fantastic Four, it is believed Marvel is making plans with everyone's favourite mutants. Magneto could literally shake up the threat in the MCU, as his cause is not actually an evil one. Wanting equality for a race is not an evil motive, it is just how he goes about it that causes his status as a villain. Much like Thanos, whose cause was to stop hunger and suffering, Magneto offers a lot as the next MCU threat. If they choose Magneto, it could end up creating a movie many Marvel fans would love to see.
AVX - let the battle begin
With the right twists and turns in a series of movies, the results could see the X-Men and the Avengers going against each other in an all out battle. All it would take is for the government to enact a mutant registration act to force the X-Men to fight against the system with Magneto. We would effectively see the second civil war in the MCU. Magneto arriving could also result in a shock for Wanda as she discovers her true father's identity if they retcon her and her brother gaining their powers from Hydra.
Introduced in Captain Marvel, the Skrull were victims being hunted around the galaxy by the Kree Empire. But that was back in 1995 and nearly 25 years have passed in the MCU. We last saw them heading off with Captain Marvel to find other refugees and a new home. However, their holy texts in the comics claim the Skrull would reclaim their true home, Earth, after the loss of their capital Tarnax IV. This caused them to play the long game in the comics through a secret invasion.
As it is written
With their motto "as it is written," they took the places of many key figures to infiltrate major organisations and government branches. The replacements included Elektra, Hank Pym, Sue Storm, and Black Bolt, but there was not a title in the comics that did not have a Skrull infiltrator in the midst of the characters. If Marvel did go down the route of a secret Skrull invasion, literally anyone could be a Skrull and we would not know about it. For example Falcon, who has just become Captain America II, could in fact be a Skrull right now and we wouldn't know it. Just that alone makes you wonder, could he be? But if not him, then who? That is the fun of a secret invasion.
Now this one would be interesting because Sentry is a hero who joins the Avengers in an ultimate powerhouse. With Captain Marvel now in the MCU, the power levels have gone up a notch, but with Sentry they would need to turn that dial up again. However, this mighty Avenger has some darkness inside him and an unstable mind, which can cause things to go south fast.
Unleash the Void
The Void is an entity that resides within Sentry, also like a dark half of himself which is pure evil and near unstoppable. When the Void was unleashed in the comics it made short work of the heroes, villains, and destroyed New Asgard. The Sentry would essentially be a ticking time bomb that fans would see coming while hoping it could be stopped. While Thanos had his plans, this being is just evil and wants to simply wipe out everything to create a void.
Many know this guy as the Green Goblin, however, in the comics his true reign came as Normal Osbourne. As mentioned above, the comics saw a secret invasion from the Skrulls, but it was Norman Osbourne who killed their queen live on TV. This resulted in the nation seeing him as their saviour and Norman was basically given the keys to the kingdom. It even resulted in him creating his own team of "heroes."
The dark reign of the Dark Avengers
For a time, the comics saw a dark reign as Norman created his own order and his own team of Avengers. Taking villains, he made his own Spider-Man, Wolverine, Hawkeye, and Ms. Marvel. This era in the comics saw heroes going underground and trying to evade the law while restoring order, and could make an interesting story in the MCU. The heroes have reigned for long enough, perhaps it is now time for the villains. Norman Osbourne could be their chance to take centre stage.
Now Wanda may surprise a few, as surely she is a hero. Well, she is, but in the comics she went through her share of pain, resulting in her having a mental breakdown. Some may be saying, not a problem get her to the shrink. But the problem lay in her pain and her powers. In the comics, Wanda's powers allow her to manipulate reality and change things. Her first time using her powers had devastating consequences, and it only got worse from there.
She started off by making She-Hulk go savage and kill Vision and Scott Lang, and critically wound many of her friends before being stopped. Then Wanda altered all of reality to make the House of M where mutants were the ruling race. Her final act was to then put reality back to how it was—but with one change, no more mutants. This took the mutant population from millions to only 198, dubbed decimation in the comics. Just her mental break alone offers an entire phase of films and could let fans see an MCU hero fall from grace. We also have to admit Wanda has already been through an emotional time in the MCU, which could indicate she is already on the path to madness.
Galactus is known as a threat in the comics, but rather than your typical villain, he is simply trying to eat. The only problem is his favourite meal is whole planets. This has seen many races lose their home planets and mass populations being wiped out due to his hunger. This makes him more of a force of nature that would appear unbeatable, but the best part is he comes with an entourage.
The heralds signal their master
Every now and then an individual can convince Galactus to spare their planet in exchange for them becoming one of his Heralds. They then are imbued with his power and seek new worlds for him to consume. He has had many Heralds over the decades, but his most popular and a fan favourite is Silver Surfer. If the MCU chose Galactus next, he could send his Heralds several times to try and prepare Earth before arriving himself. The mystery behind the Heralds could be played out until Silver Surfer arrives and turns against his master, joining the heroes of Earth.
The Beyonder is the wildest card on this list, but would be a great contender to replace Thanos. He claims he is omnipotent and loves to toy with beings for his own amusement. His greatest facsination is on the idea of heroes and villains, and he is intrigued by the concepts of good and evil. This causes him to create his own arena to test which is actually right.
He created his own world for a secret war
By taking chunks of other worlds, he mashed them together to create a planet for the heroes and villains to use as a battleground. It was during this time the Venom Symbiote first joined with Peter Parker, the second Spider-Woman made her debut, and heroes had to accept that someone like Magneto is not evil. It was a mere game of amusement for the Beyonder, but did mark some massive changes in the comics. Considering the power level of Thanos with the stones, the Beyonder is a being with that power already and could easily replace Thanos in the MCU.
Who do you think will be the next threat in the MCU? Is their a villain or storyline you would like to take the place of Thanos that is not listed in this article?