Several MCU Phase 4 villains have been created by the actions of the beloved heroes themselves. Some were born directly from their actions, while others were created as an answer to them. Thus far, it appears that this may be a common, recurring theme in Phase 4 – as it is indeed also a reoccurring trait of many Marvel villains’ origin stories.
Though the MCU ended an era with Avengers: Endgame, Phase 4 is hardly a fresh start. A large number of Marvel’s upcoming projects are linked in one way or another to the legacies of existing characters and major events from past films. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier explored the future of Captain America’s mantle through the conflict between Sam Wilson, Bucky Barnes, and John Walker. WandaVision saw Wanda suffer from a breakdown brought on by all the pain she endured in the Infinity Saga. Loki followed the consequences of tampering with time in Avengers: Endgame. And even though Iron Man died, the mark he left on the MCU will be clearly felt in upcoming titles such as Armor Wars and Ironheart.
All things considered, it’s clear that while all the Phase 4 movies and shows explore new aspects of the MCU, many of the biggest problems the heroes are now facing have originated from the events of the Infinity Saga. Here’s every known MCU Phase 4 villain that was inspired by the heroes, and what makes said hero responsible.
The conflict in Captain America: Civil War was driven by Baron Zemo and his hunger for revenge against the Avengers. His entire reason for tearing the team apart was motivated by the loss of his family in Sokovia during the Avengers’ catastrophic battle with Ultron. Zemo was arrested at the end of the movie, but he returned in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier when Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes broke him out of prison. Although Zemo showcased his heroic side to help Sam and Bucky fight the Flag-Smashers, he isn’t someone who should be easily trusted. Based on his evident lack of concern while imprisoned at the Raft, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Zemo comes back in the future as an even more dangerous villain — perhaps leading the Thunderbolt this time.
The Flag-Smashers were formed as a direct consequence of Avengers: Endgame‘s Blip, brought on by the five-year period between Thanos and Hulk’s snaps. The Flag-Smashers saw a unified world when the Mad Titan eliminated half of all life in the universe, and they fought to keep it that way. Although they started as a rebellious group with a somewhat noble cause, they soon transformed into a full-fledged terrorist group. Unlike her comic book counterpart, Karli Morgenthau wasn’t as interested in fighting Captain America or his allies as much as she wanted to spread her message. It could be said that the Hulk’s snap is what originated the Flag-Smashers, but it would be more accurate to say that the collective effort of all of the Avengers brought back those who had vanished along with a new set of problems.
Kang the Conqueror
Although the Avengers’ Time Heist in Avengers: Endgame was witnessed by the Time Variance Authority, it didn’t have much of a negative impact on the flow of time. Loki instead revealed that the Sacred Timeline had been judged, regulated, and steered by the mysterious Time-Keepers until Loki and Sylvie exposed them as mere puppets. The Gods of Mischief had the best intentions at heart, but their determination to save all Multiversal variants led them to kill He Who Remains, the one character who kept the Sacred Timeline under control. Ominously, He Who Remains let Sylvie kill him with a smile on his face, which suggests that he was telling the truth when he said that killing him would unleash chaos throughout the MCU, as one of the first things Loki sees when he returns to the TVA is what appears to be the statue of Kang the Conqueror — the most dangerous variant of He Who Remains and the main villain of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
Hank Pym’s Yellowjacket
The alternate realities of What If…? don’t affect the main MCU timeline the same way other shows do, but they still take place somewhere in Marvel’s Multiverse. In What If…? episode 3, all of the candidates for the Avengers Initiative start dying without an apparent reason. It’s then revealed that an evil Hank Pym has used the Yellowjacket suit to assassinate the original Avengers in order to get even with Nick Fury, who he blames for the death of his daughter Hope van Dyne. In this universe, Hope died while working for SHIELD, and although Nick Fury isn’t really to blame for it, Pym believes that sabotaging his plans is the best retribution. As a result of Hank Pym’s successful revenge, Loki invades Earth sooner than expected.
Tim Roth’s Emil Blonsky transformed into the MCU’s Abomination in The Incredible Hulk thanks to an untested version of Captain America’s Super Soldier Serum. The point of giving Blonsky the injection of the serum was so that the military would have a weapon against the Hulk. But due to Blonsky’s hunger for power and a push from the Hulk’s blood, Blonsky transformed into a grotesque monster even more aggressive than Bruce Banner’s alter ego. It’s been over a decade since Abomination was introduced, but he will finally make a comeback as one of the contestants in the fighting tournament from Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. After that, Tim Roth’s character will appear in She-Hulk, where he will possibly reunite with Bruce Banner and meet with the MCU’s new Gamma-powered hero, Jennifer Walters.
Eternals presents the conflict between the titular race of godlike heroes and their corrupted counterparts, the Deviants. In this case, the Deviants weren’t created by the Eternals, but by an even higher species of powerful individuals called the Celestials. As an imperfect offshoot of the Eternals, the Deviants take any chance they get to confront the heroes and attempt to harm the humans they’ve helped. The events of Eternals will follow the consequences of Hulk’s Snap in Avengers: Endgame, as the energy it awakened caused an impending catastrophe called the “Emergence.” It’s still unknown what this “Emergence” entails, but it could refer to the rise of the Deviants as a direct result of the Avengers’ successful Time Heist from Avengers: Endgame.
Gorr the God Butcher
In Marvel Comics, Gorr the God Butcher was an alien warrior from a distant planet who blamed his personal tragedies on the inaction of the gods. In Thor: Love and Thunder, he’ll be brought to life by Christian Bale. Not much is known about what his MCU origin is, but it’s sure to be similar in concept, at least in regards to his hatred for the gods. To justify his crusade against Thor, Marvel may explain it by digging into the histories of characters like Odin and Zeus, who may be two of the gods that Gorr the God Butcher despises so deeply. Something they may or may not have done in the past could have a lot to do with why he becomes known as the “God Butcher.”
Armor Wars’ Villains
Marvel hasn’t revealed who War Machine will be fighting in Armor Wars, but the source material gives viewers a good idea of what to expect. In the original “Armor Wars” event, Tony Stark was up against people who were using his stolen armor designs. In the MCU show, it will have to be War Machine who takes Iron Man’s place in the story to stop his technology from being misused. Nevertheless, the void Tony Stark has left in the MCU will result in the birth of potential villains who may attempt to replicate Stark’s designs. Some of these new armored antagonists could be Titanium Man, Firepower, Beetle, and the Crimson Dynamo, just a few of the villains created by the actions of heroes in Phase 4 of the MCU.
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Release date: Sep 03, 2021
- Eternals (2021)Release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)Release date: Dec 17, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: Mar 25, 2022
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
- Black Panther: Wakanda Forever/Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
- The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022
- Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023)Release date: Feb 17, 2023
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023)Release date: May 05, 2023
Why Kong Being The Last Of His Kind Is Godzilla’s Fault
About The Author