Marvel’s Fantastic Four movie could potentially set up the Avengers: Secret Wars storyline in a major way. The villain of the Fantastic Four movie is uncertain, with Doctor Doom being a popular choice but other options like Galactus and Blastaar also being possible. The inclusion of Doctor Doom in Avengers: Secret Wars is crucial to staying faithful to the source material, but Marvel has a history of making changes to comic adaptations, so another character could potentially replace him.

Marvel’s Fantastic Four reboot is an excellent position to set up Avengers: Secrets Wars in a massive way. In Phase 6 alone, Marvel already has three major MCU team-up movies planned, with one for Marvel’s First Family and two for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. The general expectation is that the Avengers will be up against Kang the Conqueror in both films while the Fantastic Four deal with one of their own villains in their Phase 6 adventure.

Aside from Kang’s involvement in the fifth Avengers movie, nothing concrete is known about what Marvel has in store for any of the three films. But since Marvel has two Avengers movies releasing in back-to-back years, it’s easy to gain the impression that like Infinity War and Endgame, they’ll be two halves of the same story. If that’s the case, whatever happens in Avengers: The Kang Dynasty is likely to serve as the basis for Secrets Wars’ plot. While that may be very well, it’s also possible that Fantastic Four – in spite of not having an obvious link to the Avengers – may be equally important to the setup for Secret Wars.

Doctor Doom May Not Be The Villain Of The Fantastic Four Movie But Set Up For Later

Much of the speculation revolving around Fantastic Four relates to Doctor Doom. Due to his reputation as their greatest enemy and an extremely popular Marvel Comics character in his own right, it’s often taken for granted that the Fantastic Four getting their own MCU movie means Doom, by extension, will have to be the villain. However, this should not be a foregone conclusion. There’s no denying that Doom is the most high-profile member of their rogues’ gallery, but there’s no guarantee that they’ll fight.

It shouldn’t be forgotten that Marvel has no shortage of appealing options for the villain role. Galactus is also a top candidate. And given their rich history in Fantastic Four comics, Blastaar and Annihilus shouldn’t be ignored either. Any of them could easily carry the role of Fantastic Four’s villain and deliver a compelling story arc for the MCU. In turn, this would allow Marvel to save Doom for later. Letting someone like Blastaar be the villain of the first movie and holding Doom back would make sense, as Marvel may not want the Fantastic Four’s greatest villain defeated as early as their debut movie.

Marvel’s Fantastic Four Movie Could Set Up Doctor Doom As Avengers 6’s Villain

Of course, centering a different villain – whether it be Galactus, Blastaar, Annihilus, or someone else entirely – wouldn’t call for Doom to be ignored altogether. He could still have a presence in the film, perhaps as a mystery figure biding his time to make his big move. In Marvel Comics, the Latverian dictator’s long-term goals usually put the heroes in his crosshairs (or vice versa), but it’s important to note that it’s very much in Doom’s nature for him to play the long game. Doctor Doom isn’t opposed to standing on the sidelines or even helping one of his enemies if he believes it will advance his own agenda in the long run. It’s not hard to imagine Doctor Doom filling this sort of role in Fantastic Four.

By heading in this direction, Marvel can introduce Doctor Doom in Fantastic Four without completing his villain story too soon. Instead, it can use Fantastic Four – which will release before both of the next two Avengers movies – to set up Doctor Doom as the villain of Secret Wars. Somehow, the events of Fantastic Four can culminate in the character obtaining the tools he needs to fulfill his masterplan, which can play out in Secret Wars, the finale of the Multiverse Saga.

Doctor Doom Is The Villain Of Secret Wars In The Marvel Comics

Adding credence to the notion that Doctor Doom is the true villain of Avengers: Secret Wars is the source material itself. The movie’s comic book namesake saw a large mix of heroes and villains brought together by a cosmic being known as the Beyonder for a fight in Battleworld, a dimension of his creation. Though the Beyonder was positioned as their biggest obstacle to getting home, it was Doom who emerged as their biggest threat. After orchestrating a carefully planned scheme, Doctor Doom seized power from the Beyonder and became the common foe of the Avengers, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, and all the other heroes on hand.

What’s more, Doctor Doom had to get through none other than Kang the Conqueror to get what he wanted. As a fellow big bad in the Marvel Universe, Kang was an obvious rival to Doom, as he too sought to steal the Beyonder’s power. In retaliation for striking out against Doom, the villain had Kang killed, solidifying his status as the bigger villain of the two. With that history in mind, there’s a good chance Kang’s story could end in the same, unceremonious fashion. While on the heels of becoming the ultimate villain of the Multiverse Saga in Avengers: Secret Wars, Kang could have his thunder stolen by Doom in a game-changing twist.

Can Marvel Adapt Secret Wars Without Doctor Doom?

Just how significant Doctor Doom is to the fabric of the original comic book crossover almost makes him come across as a must-have character for Avengers: Secret Wars’ cast. In fact, a Secret Wars adaptation would be inherently different from the comics if it goes without him. As the payoff to an arc that was years in the making and a crossover that made him the villain of the Marvel Universe, Secret Wars is the quintessential Doctor Doom story. Avengers: Secret Wars leaving out Doom would amount to a seismic shift from the comics.

But as Marvel’s track record reveals, it’s not unafraid to exclude characters from comic adaptations, regardless of their perceived importance. When Marvel decided to bring Ultron into the MCU for Avengers: Age of Ultron, it removed Hank Pym from the equation, ignoring his storied relationship with Ultron and history as the robot’s creator. The movie completely rewrote the villain’s origin story by replacing Pym with Tony Stark. Similarly, it adapted The Infinity Gauntlet in Infinity War and Endgame without including the comic story’s main protagonist, Adam Warlock.

What all this indicates is that if Marvel feels it doesn’t have enough room to give Doctor Doom the proper setup he needs to be Avengers: Secret Wars’ villain, it won’t hesitate to replace him with another character. As things stand, the setup heavily favors Kang getting this role, given that he’s already integral to the narrative of the Multiverse Saga. Things might change, though, if Doctor Doom gets a story in Fantastic Four that would justify the character ripping the rug out from under Kang’s feet in Avengers: Secret Wars.

Key Release Dates

The Marvels

Captain America: Brave New World

Blade (2025)

Marvel’s Thunderbolts

Deadpool 3

Marvel’s Fantastic Four

Avengers: The Kang Dynasty

Avengers: Secret Wars

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