The future of the MCU will be knocking down many unopened doors as now they’ve got a solid platform which can be used to give some more unique properties a chance. Disney+ is allowing Marvel to tell the stories that they couldn’t tell before and even the movies are getting more and more diverse in telling the stories of certain characters. Phase 4 is bringing us the first and final Black Widow solo film, which will be followed by Eternals and Shang-Chi. If that’s not diversity, then what is?
But there are certain things that Marvel hasn’t done yet. They haven’t made a movie purely involving the villains. They haven’t introduced Atlantis, and they haven’t made a female ensemble film. All of this will be done by DC by February 2020, but that doesn’t mean that Marvel will never touch these criteria. Namor is going to arrive soon. A Force could be in the making, and rumors suggest that Marvel is already considering Thunderbolts and Dark Avengers very hard.
Well, the upcoming films do seem to be creating a line up for the Dark Avengers, and a new theory suggests that Black Widow will be the first piece of that puzzle. According to Reddit user theincredibleshaq, the upcoming MCU movies are setting up a group of villains that are alternate versions of the original 6 Avengers. Here are villains that the Redditor thinks could potentially fill the roles of the OG 6:
“Black Widow: The upcoming Black Widow movie is including a different Black Widow named Yelana Belova played by Florence Pugh. It’s unknown how moral she will be, but she is often portrayed immorally in the comics. I believe that she is an easy candidate for an evil Black Widow
Captain America: The Black Widow movie is also introducing a Russian Captain America known as Red Guardian player by David Harbour. Having a significant portion of the Dark Avengers be Russian would provide a reason for a reverence for Red Guardian similar to Captain America’s. So I believe that the evil Cap will most likely be him, with a small chance of the evil Cap being any various evil Caps from the comics being introduced in Falcon and the Winter Soldier’s series such as U.S. Agent.
Hawkeye: Taskmaster is being introduced in the new Black Widow movie, and his powers include mimicking physical skills so he can easily learn to use the bow and arrow. The Hawkeye and Black Widow evil equivalents could even have a preexisting relationship like Hawkeye and Black Widow did in the first Avengers.
Hulk: I think the biggest two options for the Hulk is to either reintroduce Abomination to fill that role. While Abomination did help destroy Harlem, he could be portrayed to the public as a victim turned hero like the Hulk was. My preferred option is that it turns out Banner suppressed Hulk’s personality completely and something reactivates it and he is angry at Banner for suppressing him and we get an evil Hulk personality such as a Savage Hulk or Joe Fixit.
Iron Man: One obvious candidate for an evil Iron Man is Justin Hammer. He creates robot suits, and has worked with the Russians before with Whiplash. He also had the public eye already, and could have a similar celebrity status as Iron Man. Another candidate is a character being introduced in the Black Widow movie with the name of Melina. Melina was not given a last name yet, which leads me to believe her last name would be a spoiler. That spoiler would be the fact that she may be Melina Vostokoff also known as the Iron Maiden. While Iron Maiden doesn’t classically have a suit with flight and energy projection, but the MCU could easily add that to make her resemble Iron Man
Thor: An evil Thor is the toughest to predict, but any of the upcoming movies outside of the Black Widow movie could plausible introduce an evil Thor. Eternals is introducing a pantheon of gods who could have one take the role, and fill the ethereal, mysterious, and powerful role that Thor does. Shang Chi will introduce some high level magic, and could have a magical character mimic Thor. Dr Strange 2 will deal with the multiverse and higher magic level characters. And Thor 4 could easily have an evil alternate Thor, especially if they dip into the multiverse to justify Jane Thor. Or they could even make Jane Thor evil as a twist.”
Well, this theory does deal with its own version of the Dark Avengers. It does a great job at creating MCU’s own version of the Dark Avengers which are different from the books. Marvel could easily rely on such characters, but why would they need to use these alternate versions when they’ve unlocked all other characters with the Disney-Fox merger. Norman Osborn will be introduced in the upcoming future and he can certainly don the Iron Patriot suit in the MCU.
The characters that have been mentioned could actually be members of the Thunderbolts instead. It has been rumored that a Thunderbolts movie is in the making and it could include characters like the Abomination, Red Hulk, Zemo, Ghost, Justin Hammer, and a few others. It is suggested that Marvel is actually planning a trilogy with these characters and the Leader is going to be the antagonist against these characters.
Black Widow is bringing in Yelena Belova and Taskmaster which have both been members of the Thunderbolts. Taskmaster is a major character and could have a big future with the Thunderbolts. So, why not keep these characters in Thunderbolts and let others hop into their comic accurate Dark Avengers personas. Or perhaps the Thunderbolts could evolve into the Dark Avengers by their second or the third film, just as the comics have done it. In that case, the theory mentioned above would make perfect sense. It’d make sense for Marvel to run just one franchise with the villains taking charge instead of two since they’ve got so many more franchises to run. Let’s see what happens.