There are hundreds of villains from Marvel Comics that have never been adapted into live-action.
Marvel Studios has the opportunity to introduce some of Marvel Comics’ most iconic villains in the MCU’s upcoming projects.
Villains such as Ares, the Magus, Onslaught, Annihilus and Mister Sinister all make sense for an upcoming MCU debut.

Many villains from Marvel Comics have never been adapted into live-action, but still deserve to be brought into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Since the MCU kicked off with 2008’s Iron Man, Marvel Studios has introduced dozens of powerful and terrifying villains from Marvel Comics into live-action. Legendary Marvel Comics villains such as Thanos, Loki, Ultron and the Red Skull have all been pitted against the strongest superheroes in the MCU, but there are many more fantastic foes from the comics that have never been adapted into live-action. However, Marvel Studios’ upcoming slate of movies and TV shows could change this.

Indeed, there are thousands of villains in Marvel Comics that have never been brought into live-action, but Marvel Studios’ upcoming projects could hint at some of the most formidable and dangerous antagonists being adapted for the MCU. Villains such as Onslaught, Mister Sinister and even Death herself could even debut during the MCU’s Phase 5, while Marvel Studios’ upcoming Blade, The Fantastic Four and Avengers: Secret Wars projects could introduce even more. This poses an exciting prospect for the MCU’s future, which could change the power levels of the MCU, and see the landscape of the Multiverse Saga changed significantly.


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10 Ares

Ares Made His Marvel Comics Debut In 1966’s Thor #129

Based on the Greek god of the same name, Ares was initially introduced into Marvel Comics as a powerful godly supervillain, opposing the likes of Thor, Hercules and the Avengers. Of course, Ares was later transformed into an antihero, and was even a member of the Mighty Avengers, so his MCU debut could begin a vibrant career for the new Greek god. With so many deities already being personified in the MCU, Ares’ introduction would make sense.

Where Could Ares Fit Into The MCU?

Following the introduction of the Greek gods in Omnipotence City in 2022’s Thor: Love and Thunder, Ares’ debut may be more likely than ever. Ares is the son of Zeus and the brother of Hercules, both of whom debuted in Love and Thunder, and have established a vendetta against Chris Hemsworth’s God of Thunder. This means Ares would fit perfectly into a Thor sequel, which could introduce him as Thor’s perfect MCU replacement.

Brett Goldstein debuted as Hercules in
Thor: Love and Thunder
alongside Russell Crowe’s Zeus.

9 Adam Warlock, A.K.A. The Magus

Adam Warlock’s Magus Made His Marvel Comics Debut In 1974’s Strange Tales #178

Introduced in 1974, the Magus was an evil, future version of the cosmic superhero Adam Warlock, born from the cosmic entities of universal balance, Lord Chaos and Master Order, in the hopes of creating the perfect opposition to Thanos. The Magus and his empire, the Universal Church of Truth, engaged in battle many times with his earlier, more heroic self, who was portrayed by Will Poulter in the MCU’s Phase 5. The Magus is considered one of the most monstrous and powerful villains in the universe.

Where Could Adam Warlock’s Magus Fit Into The MCU?

Will Poulter’s debut as Adam Warlock in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 created the perfect opportunity to introduce the Magus. While Poulter’s Adam Warlock is still at the very beginning of his career, potential Guardians of the Galaxy sequels could develop his story much further. The Magus would pose a significant threat to the MCU, and would expand on the franchise’s time-twisting storylines.

8 Lilith, Mother Of All Demons

Lilith, Mother Of All Demons, Made Her Marvel Comics Debut In 1992’s Ghost Rider (Vol. 3) #28

Ancient demon goddess and sorceress Lilith created her own army of her demon children, known as the Lilin, in Marvel Comics, and posed a huge threat to some of the MCU’s more supernaturally-focused superheroes. Originally from Atlantis – adapted into Talokan in the MCU – Lilith, Mother of All Demons, is considered as one of the strongest and most magically-skilled demons in the Marvel Universe. Since Marvel Studios is putting more focus on its supernatural characters, Lilith would make an excellent addition to the MCU.

Where Could Lilith, Mother Of All Demons, Fit Into The MCU?

Although it hasn’t yet been confirmed by Marvel Studios, there is speculation that Marvel Comics’ Midnight Sons team will be adapted for the MCU. Marvel Comics’ Midnight Sons were first formed to battle Lilith, Mother of All Demons, in 1992, so she’d make the perfect villain for the MCU. It’s possible Lilith could appear in Marvel Studios’ Blade, which will expand the MCU’s supernatural stories.


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7 Reed Richards, A.K.A. The Maker

Reed Richards’ Maker Made His Marvel Comics Debut In 2004’s Ultimate Fantastic Four #1

The Ultimate Marvel Universe introduced many different versions of the Marvel Universe’s pre-established heroes, residing on Earth-1610, rather than Earth-616. Among them was an alternate iteration of the Fantastic Four, with Reed Richards being a younger, more-modernized version who, although originally depicted as heroic and altruistic, later turns into the villainous Maker. This came after a series of traumas and mental turmoil, establishing him as a powerful adversary to the Avengers and Venom.

Where Could Reed Richards’ Maker Fit Into The MCU?

Marvel Studios’ The Fantastic Four is set to debut Pedro Pascal as Reed Richards’ Mister Fantastic, but has also been speculated to be introducing the Council of Reeds, which could include the Maker. Miles Teller’s Reed Richards in 2015’s Fantastic Four was inspired by the Maker, but never actually transformed into the iconic villain. However, since the Maker and Mister Fantastic play a huge role in 2015’s Secret Wars event, Avengers: Secret Wars could reinvent this story.

6 Onslaught

Onslaught Made His Marvel Comics Debut In 1996’s X-Men (Vol. 2) #53

After Magneto used his magnetic ability to rip the adamantium from Wolverine’s skeleton, Professor X’s anger led to him invading Magneto’s mind and leaving him catatonic. During this assault, Magneto’s anger, lust, grief and vengeance combined with every negative feeling Professor X had endured to create the psionic being Onslaught. Onslaught was an incredibly powerful being who opposed the X-Men, the Avengers and the Fantastic Four, and contributed to one of Marvel Comics’ most expansive and destructive battles.

Where Could Onslaught Fit Into The MCU?

With Marvel Studios’ X-Men reboot set to bring the titular mutant team into the MCU, Onslaught may be on the cards for the future of the franchise. Prior to the MCU’s X-Men release, however, 2024’s Deadpool & Wolverine will revisit the mutant superheroes of 20th Century Fox’s X-Men franchise, perhaps including cameos from Patrick Stewart’s Professor X and Ian McKellen’s Magneto. This means Onslaught’s MCU debut could be right around the corner.

Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen have teased their returns in
Deadpool & Wolverine
, but Marvel Studios hasn’t confirmed their involvement.

5 Karla Sofen, A.K.A. Moonstone

Karla Sofen’s Moonstone Made Her Marvel Comics Debut In 1975’s Captain America #192

Former psychologist Karla Sofen became the supervillain Moonstone after being fused with a gravity stone designed by the Kree. This gifted her incredible abilities, including flight, intangibility, energy projection, enhanced strength and a regenerative healing factor. Sofen’s impressive abilities made her a great fit for Baron Zemo’s Masters of Evil, who disguised themselves as the Thunderbolts, though her work with this team transformed Moonstone, later known as Meteorite, into an antihero.

Where Could Karla Sofen’s Moonstone Fit Into The MCU?

Marvel Studios’ Thunderbolts is set to bring the titular team into the MCU for the first time, and though Moonstone hasn’t been confirmed to debut in the project, it’s possible she could be teased. Moonstone is one of the most iconic members of the Thunderbolts in Marvel Comics. It would be fantastic to see Karla Sofen pop up in the MCU’s Phase 5, perhaps teasing the evolution of the Dark Avengers and future Thunderbolts teams in the MCU’s future.

4 Annihilus

Annihilus Made His Marvel Comics Debut In 1968’s Fantastic Four Annual #6

Annihilus is one of the most iconic villains in Marvel Comics, so it’s shocking that he’s never been adapted into live-action. The ruler of the Negative Zone has been a regular foe of the Fantastic Four, who often visit the otherworldly dimension, but Annihilus also opposes many notable cosmic superheroes. Specifically, Marvel Comics’ Annihilation event in 2006 saw Annihilus and his Annihilation Wave invade the positive matter universe, though the insectoid antagonist was defeated by Nova and the United Front.

Where Could Annihilus Fit Into The MCU?

With speculation that Marvel Studios may be moving away from Kang the Conqueror, Annihilus has been suggested as the perfect villain to replace him. The Fantastic Four could debut the Negative Zone, presenting a strong opportunity for Annihilus to make his live-action debut. With a Silver Surfer, a new Guardians of the Galaxy team and Nova joining the MCU in the Multiverse Saga, Annihilus would be a brilliant potential villain.

3 The Beyonder

The Beyonder Made His Marvel Comics Debut In 1984’s Secret Wars #1

The Beyonder is regarded as one of the most powerful and significant villains in Marvel Comics’ history. The Beyonder debuted during 1984’s Secret Wars event, which saw the villain pluck dozens of heroes and villains from the Marvel Universe to fight on Battleworld. He later takes a human form and threatens the entire multiverse, and was eventually revealed as one of the Beyonders species, whose abilities are stolen by Doctor Doom to create Battleworld in 2015’s Secret Wars.

Where Could The Beyonder Fit Into The MCU?

The Beyonder’s significance in both of Marvel Comics’ Secret Wars storylines means it’s very likely he’ll debut in 2027’s Avengers: Secret Wars. Whether Marvel Studios adapts Secret Wars faithfully is yet to be seen, but the Beyonder would still be an excellent and supremely powerful addition to the MCU. There have been theories that the Beyonder may be a variant of Kang the Conqueror, cementing him even further in the Multiverse Saga.


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2 Death

Death Made Her Marvel Comics Debut In 1973’s Captain Marvel #26

Death, also known as Lady Death and Mistress Death, is a powerful cosmic entity most prominently depicted as a hooded skeleton, but also sometimes as a human woman. The Mad Titan Thanos began his Infintiy War conquest to try and court Death, while the entity also played a major role in 1982’s Contest of Champions. Death is connected to many characters in the Marvel Universe, particularly those who have the ability to cheat death, so it’s a wonder she hasn’t yet appeared in the MCU.

Where Could Death Fit Into The MCU?

Death could appear in any number of upcoming MCU projects. Perhaps most comically, however, Death may be glimpsed in Marvel Studios’ Deadpool & Wolverine, as Deadpool and Death strike up an unlikely romance in Marvel Comics, making Thanos jealous. Many MCU heroes are expected to die before the end of the Multiverse Saga, so Death could make for a pivotal introduction in the MCU’s future.

1 Nathaniel Essex, A.K.A. Mister Sinister

Nathaniel Essex’s Mister Sinister Made His Marvel Comics Debut In 1987’s The Uncanny X-Men #221

Mister Sinister is one of the most legendary and notable villains in Marvel Comics’ history. Nathaniel Essex was born in Victorian London, and became obsessed with genetic evolution as a peer of Charles Darwin. This obsession led to him running experiments on mutants, and eventually gifting himself superhuman abilities, including agelessness and precognition. Mister Sinister is one of the most powerful X-Men villains in history, who has been teased relentlessly in live-action, but never actually debuted.

Christopher Britton voiced Mister Sinister in
X-Men: The Animated Series
, and reprised the role in Marvel Studios Animation’s
X-Men ’97

Where Could Nathaniel Essex’s Mister Sinister Fit Into The MCU?

20th Century Fox’s X-Men franchise hinted at the existence of Mister Sinister many times, but never got around to introducing the iconic villain. After Sinister’s reappearance in the animated series, X-Men ’97, it’s possible that Marvel Studios may be gearing up to forge him into the X-Men’s first villain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After years of being teased, Mister Sinister deserves to finally appear in live-action more than many other Marvel Comics villains.

Key Release Dates

Deadpool & Wolverine

Thunderbolts (2025)

The Fantastic Four (2025)

Blade (2025)

Avengers: The Kang Dynasty

Avengers: Secret Wars

“}]] Many comic villains deserve live-action adaptations.  Read More