The Usual Suspects #45
Welcome back for another edition of The Usual Suspects. This week I should be moving on to something else, but Endgame is still on my mind. In fact I am going to see it again today as this is posted to the site. I’m going to do my best to still avoid spoilers as there are some folks who may only be able to get to it this weekend. Besides, this article isn’t about anything specifically related to Endgame, but rather what’s next. So no worries, there are no specific spoilers below.
So I am going to do a bit more guesswork and throw out some ideas of who the next Big Bad of the MCU will be now that that Infinity saga with Thanos is over.
I think we can all agree that at some point we are getting Galactus. Thanos isn’t Inevitable, Galactus is. That said, I will be honest that I believe Kevin Feige when he says that the X-men and the Fantastic Four are still a ways off. We’re talking years. And we can’t have Galactus without the FF. I mean the whole run of FF48-FF50 was about as epic a storyline as there ever was. Classic in every sense of the word. We have to be getting a version of that at some point.
On that note, we probably won’t see The FF and the X-Men until maybe phase 5 or even Phase 6. We’re talking at least 5-7 years from now. And then Galactus will need a Thanos type build up where he’s teased over Phase 7 and 8, before coming in the close out Phase 9.
Ok that may be projecting waaaay to far out, now that I am re-reading this.
So maybe Galactus shows up sooner than that, but we are still talking at least more than 5 years away. But before I move on to some of my other ideas, let’s take a stab at what I would like to see if it were to happen sooner rather than later.
Galactus will obviously be mostly CGI. They can model the face off of someone but when we see the Giant purple headdress, it will be CGI. So then out casting would be mostly based on the voice. Now who has the epic gravitas to really sell Galactus as the biggest bad we have? Let’s take a look at some Usual Suspects.
So my first thought was James Earl Jones. With Darth Vader, Mufasa, Coach Couzo from Best of the Best, you don’t get much more epic than that. But that feels too easy and somewhat lazy. Plus it could take away from the character as everyone will simply hear Vader.
Next I thought of Bryan Cranston. Come on, he’s the one who knocks. He’s come a long way from Malcolm in the Middle, but it still doesn’t seem like the right fit. He would be a much better Norman Osbourne in my opinion. Marvel/Sony, get on that.
Now I realize my next choice has already voiced the Silver Surfer, so that could be confusing for some viewers. But then again, no one cares that Chris Evans was Johnny Storm before he was Cap so maybe it could work. I mean he was Morpheus and Furious in Boyz in the Hood. His voice just has that low baritone goodness that just works here. But he was also Goliath in the MCU, so that also is a big strike against. Moving on.
Now we have Morgan Freeman. He voiced God. And just has the quality to his voice that whatever he is saying just seems important, even in a movie like Last Vegas. Being from the DCU doesn’t scare me as much as his voice, while epic, also has a casualness to it that doesn’t work for Galactus. He just comes off as too cool, so I gotta look elsewhere. Sorry Morgan.
That brings me to my choice for Galactus. I would cast John Noble. You know, Walter from Fringe. Ok so Walter isn’t the best example, but how about his turn as Denethor in Lord of the Rings? That icy disposition, and his voice could rattle your soul.
His voice would be perfect. I joked before about Walter from Fringe not being a good example, but that was untrue. When he played Evil Walter that was the tone I’m talking about. But you could even use he face to map the nose/chin area to the CGI Galactus. Let someone else mo-cap the body but pull the facial performance from Noble.
But again, this is getting way ahead of ourselves. Galactus is a ways off. I don’t even think we will get an Avengers movie in Phase 4. I think they take a breath and give us some smaller movies to establish the new status quo.
Then let these movies be a lead in a big Bad for Phase 5 and Avengers 5. This would pave the way for the Fox Properties leading towards a huge blowout in Phase 6/Avengers 6. Then build towards Galactus as I noted before.
So who could be featured in the meantime? Who could give our beloved heroes fits for the next few years? I have a few options, so let’s have some fun and speculate on what may come.
So with that said…let’s get into it.
1st appearance of Kang the Conqueror
Time Travel is a concept that was introduced into the MCU in Doctor Strange. What better character to work into the MCU than one of the greatest Avenger villains, Kang the Conqueror?
I was always a big fan of Kang growing up. Maybe it was just the character design, but it was probably my favorite Secret Wars figure.
But Kang has been one of the all-time great villains. So many great storylines they could pull from. Avengers Forever, Kang Dynasty, or Once and Future Kang are all possibilities in some fashion.
Now would be a good time to mention that Kang, being a Time Traveler, has had his origin retconned along the way and altered along the way. He’s gone by many names: Victor Timely, Pharaoh Rama-Tut, Blue Man, King of Kings, Master of Men, Lord of the Seven Suns, Victor Timely Jr, Victor Timely III, Kang Conqueror of the Universe, and Scarlet Centurion. The man has more nicknames than Apollo Creed.
Also, Kang technically 1st appeared in Fantastic Four #19, but as the character Rama Tut. I’m not going to attempt to explain how Rama Tut, who was to become Kang, but after Rama-Tut became Scarlet Centurion, and later abandoned the name to become Kang. Time Travel. My head hurts just thinking about it.
With that said, Time Travel makes Kang a candidate to weave himself into a few appearances before a potential face off in Avengers 5. So with that said, who could play Kang? For some, the obvious answer would be some British guy. Brits play wonderful villains. A Ralph Fiennes, or a Mark Strong, or possibly a Gary Oldman.
All would be wonderful choices, but personally I had my pick come from the States. I personally would love to see this role played by Denzel Washington. Now hear me out. Who wouldn’t want to see Denzel play a villain again? Remember Training Day? He easily can play smooth, charismatic, and highly intelligent.
Considering he travelled back in time, to pose as a pharaoh, it would make sense that the role be played by a person of color. I’m just saying, I love Gary Oldman, but could he pass for an Egyptian? That said, as an added bonus, Denzel has a son (John David Washington) who is a pretty solid actor in his own right and they could share the role. Showing Kang in different timelines, flashbacks, and adjoining histories. Time Travel puts it all on the table.
Market Analysis: Given I am doing something different this week, I am not going to provide the regular Active Listings or Market Analysis. You can see below that this, along with most books on my list, are some big boy books. You want one? Better bring your checkbook.
Origin and 1st appearance of Dr. Doom
Now my next villain possibility is pretty contingent on the arrival of the Fantastic Four into the MCU. With that said, it’s a travesty that Fox never did get Doctor Doom right. He is arguably one of the top villains of all-time. He’s bigger than the Avengers alone, so he could easily be a god build up villain to take on the entire MCU after the Fox properties are introduced.
That said, you could theoretically introduce Doom in teasers prior to the FF. You know a post credit scene in a Doctor Strange 2 that whisks us off to Latveria to show Doom sitting on the throne. Maybe even work it into the Disney+ Streaming shows. Close out the Loki series with the below panel, it’s already written. Finally getting interesting indeed.
Now I am not going to bother recapping the history of Doctor Doom or retell his introduction in this mega key issue. If you don’t know who Doctor Doom is, then like Public Enemy, I can’t do nuttin’ for ya man.
So who could I see playing Doom in the MCU? One idea is that Nikolaj Coster-Waldau could pull it off. He’s used to acting in armor. He’s a handsome guy, he’s charismatic. But can Jaime Lannister act thru the mask?
My Doctor Doom will be wearing the mask, so whomever is donning the armor needs to be comfortable acting in an iron mask where only your eyes can be seen. Man in the Iron Mask? Leo? I suppose this could work. Leonardo DiCaprio proved in Django Unchained that he can portray a pretty sadistic villain. But would Leo really sign on for a Marvel movie?
Having said that I feel another option could be Dan Stevens. Stevens, who had to act as a CGI Beast in that rather successful Beauty and the Beast live action remake, could manage it. He was actually rumored to be playing Doom a couple years back when Fox was contemplating a Doom spinoff movie for some reason.
I have no interest in that, but the idea of Stevens as Doom, is a good one. He has the acting chops to pull it off if you’ve seen Legion. So I could see Doom introduced as mentioned above, and maybe he becomes a big bad that leads towards Secret Wars in the much later Phases of 7, 8, or 9. After the Galactus event. Doom is a lasting villain so having him show up a few times before really taking center stage in either version of Secret wars would be something would like to see.
And for good measure I included a shot of my second favorite Secret Wars figure.
Market Analysis: Once again, this is a super big boy book. I will most certainly not own one of these myself. But you never know. Maybe I stumble into a low grade reader for a price that my wife won’t kill me over.
Birth of Franklin Richards., 1st appearance of Annihilus
Annihilus has been a popular speculation ick the last couple years. It makes a lot of sense. The Annihilation Wave could be a nice bridge to a larger cosmic universe and fill that gap until we get Galactus here. They could even frame him as a precursor. Not a herald, because there’s no way we do Galactus without my favorite, Silver Surfer.
Anyway, Annihilus could lead to a newly rebuilt Nova Core that is much closer to the source material. Richard Rider would be a welcome addition to the universe and allow for expansion to bring in Sam Alexander down the line. This could also link in and some new Guardians, Captain Marvel, or other cosmic stuff.
Then again, who is to say any of Phase 4 will even be movies that follow the events of Endgame. What if instead they do a few movies that are actually events that happened in the past? Sort of secret history of the marvel universe. An origin tale for Black Widow and an Eternals movie that took place ages ago to introduce the characters to set them up for introduction in the MCU proper in a couple years.
I mean they could even through a Captain Marvel sequel that ties in to Annihilation as an even that took place in that gap between the 90’s and today. Maybe the original Nova Corp with Richard Rider were more super powered beings with special helmets. They get decimated during this event that occurs outside of the current Avengers as it happened out in Space in the past. It would allow you to continue Ronan’s and his descent into fanaticism as well. Then we could have a Richard Rider, and maybe even lay the groundwork to set up Sam Alexander in today’s world where he finds out about his dad’s helmet like in the comics. This is all starting to make a lot of sense as I follow this thread to its logical end.
Anyway, whom should we cast as our Annihilus? No stranger to a motion capture performance my pick would be Toby Kebbell. Been a fan of his since Rock n Rolla. But he was unfortunately cast as Hacker Doom in the awfully generic Fantastic Four reboot a few years ago. He also played Kong in Skull Island (underrated flick BTW). It’s not Citizen Kane, but for what it is, I thought it was well put together. But I believe Kebbel would give us a memorable villain in what could be an otherwise easily forgettable generic CGI bad guy.
Market Analysis: This one is a relatively affordable book. It’s been steadily on the rise the last couple of years as speculation has grown. This book also has the added bonus of the birth of Franklin Richards, though that would be some time down the line.
1st appearance of Mephisto
This could be a change of pace big bad. I realize the character’s history and introduction here with The Silver Surfer. However, we don’t need Norrin Radd to introduce Mephisto to the MCU. This could possibly be done in a sequel to Doctor Strange and play up the more mystical elements on the Marvel Universe.
A palette cleanse after the heavy cosmic focus of the Infinity Saga, and yet a storyline that could have some real stakes for our heroes. I think Doctor Strange earned a larger role in the MCU going forward so a mystical villain could be a nice way to put him center stage.
Perhaps even loosely base it on the recent Damnation storyline. This would allow you to possibly tie in the recently announced Ghost Rider series. More connectivity and synergy with their TV/Streaming shows with the larger MCU. Mix in a few of the other Avengers and Ghost Rider them up and that could be an event that is a lot of fun.
My initial thought was to cast Willem Dafoe. I mean you look at his face and he looks like how Mephisto is typically drawn. But he may be getting a bit long in the tooth. Maybe if this was done 10 years ago. Granted he could still pull it off, but it may not be something he is into.
So how about Javier Bardem? He can up the creep factor and yet manage to pull off suave and persuasive. It’s a delicate balance to be able to come off as charming while you are obviously not to be trusted.
Market Analysis: Prices are on the way up of late. Much like FF Annual #6, this is relatively affordable for now, but even low grade copies are hitting over $100 raw. And this is not an easy book to find in a decent grade. It’s one of the thicker square-bound Marvel books that are notoriously difficult to press.
1st appearance of Magus
My last selection is one tied to a rumor we have been hearing for years. Ever since we first saw Thanos and heard of the Infinity Gems, the notion that Adam Warlock was nearly immediate. And yes, I called them the Infinity Gems because that is how I knew them for decades so it’s not easy to simply call them stones now.
Now I will admit that tying back to the Infinity Gems/Stones would be unwise. I mean the Infinity saga just ended. Do we really want to go back to that well again so soon? But with Adam Warlock Rumors still floating around, if they did decide to go this way, Magus would not be far behind.
Perhaps Adam Warlock is introduced in GotG 3, leading to an eventual Magus appearance. Even if they don’t explicitly tie into the Gauntlet storyline, those ties to the Infinity Stones will be here. This could even piggyback my past idea and tell a secret story of a time once before the stones were brought together that is now long forgotten, except by Adam Warlock who has been in a cocoon for centuries.
Now the Magus is basically an Evil version of Adam Warlock. So this could be explored in this backstory of the secret Marvel History. Sure it could take place modern day as well, but like I said, it could be cause for fatigue going to the well again. Just like me reusing that analogy again.
But this would allow the MCU an easy way to set the stakes. Everyone knows the stones now, so imagine them in the hands of a truly evil character as opposed the misguided fanatic they made Thanos.
So who to cast in this duplicitous role. They would have to sell the idea of being the perfect being. If his were modern day, they’d have to do so whilst possibly sharing the screen with Thor, so how about Armie Hammer? He could hold his own as Warlock, but could he pull off the flipside of that coin and do the Magus as well? A twisted version of himself? I’m not sre but I’d sure like to see him try.
Market Analysis: This book can still be found. Perhaps the multitude of 1st appearances and debate over which is the first Adam Warlock has all of these early Warlock books holding each other back. But as this is the 1st Magus, this is a bit easier. But then since the Magus is basically Warlock, this also makes it nearly as confusing as Time Travel. Oye Vey.
Ok that’s it for this week. I realize I did things a little different. But my mind started thinking of what comes next, plus I had so much fun doing Casting Call in Wizard Rewind this week, I just wanted to do it again. Anyway I hope you enjoyed it. Now onto Person of Interest where I will throw you a few more ideas for fun.
Okay this will be a tough sell. An infinitely powerful being that rocks a disco outfit?
But Secret Wars would be super fun, and if anyone could rock the deep V and man-perm, it’s Oscar Isaac. I know he underwhelmed as Apocalypse, but that wasn’t his fault he was miscast, and it was just a bad movie. Here’s to hoping Marvel does right by him and makes this a part worth playing.
Typical Sales Data:
CGC Census 9.8 – 754
This would tie into a larger story that involved Blackheart’s “father” Mephisto. This role was played admirably by Wes Bentley in that lackluster Nicholas Cage adaptation of Ghost Rider
Here I would have Blackheart be a completely CGI demonic creature. This would call for a unique voice, ad whom better to voice a demon than Al Swearengen himself, Ian McShane.
Typical Sales Data:
CGC Census 9.8 – 39
The Korvac Saga is a classic. This could be a good one off “Avenger” tale that hopefully plays better than the disappointing Age of Ultron.
This would involve time travel, the Badoon, and a version of the Avengers that could be more like the Defenders led by Doctor Strange. It goes cosmic and could involve the Guardians as well.
This seems like a perfect role for Michael Shannon.
Typical Sales Data:
CGC Census 9.8 – 7
This is a super oldie and basically impossible to find. That said it is the 1st appearance of Namor.
Credit to fellow CBSI writer Valiant Dale Horton who pitched Namor as the bad buy for Black Panther 2. It’s a really good idea and a way to introduce Atlantis, and he could still be the 1st mutant in the MCU.
I think Luke Evans would kill in this role.
Typical Sales Data:
CGC Census 9.0 – 1
Last but not least, why not give us a one off What If? style tale where The Hulk goes bad and gives us The Maestro.
This possible future tale would be a lot of fun.
Give us one more ride Mark Ruffalo as this would be an epic tale that could bring back some super fun cameos from some characters that are no longer with us.
Typical Sales Data:
CGC Census 9.8 – 119
…So now that the Thanos era is over….