While Thor: Ragnarok certainly brought a certain sense of finality to that corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and things aren’t likely to get any easier for the God of Thunder in Avengers: Infinity War, it would appear that his story is far from over. Chris Hemsworth recently said he thinks Thor 4 (hey, that rhymes!) could happen and we would be 100% okay with that particular turn of events.
But after a story the size of Ragnarok, what could be next? Thor has some awesome enemies in his list of mythic, nefarious, and sometimes human rogues, some of them well known, and others (perhaps thankfully) are somewhat forgotten. This could be our last chance to see some of these characters make it to the big screen.
If Marvel Studios is listening, here is a list for future possible villains to take on Thor and his surviving Asgardian pals!
Between Loki, Malekith, the Destroyer, and Kurse, Thor has had his hands full with mythic threats from all over the Nine Realms. What he has yet to face is a worthy human adversary. One of the most fascinating aspects regarding Thor is the perception that he’s a god (it’s just a perception, of course). How would this change established world religious views?
Charles Blackwood is a modern day warrior of the Biblical God. He is sworn to protect the world from any and all pagan symbols. Imagine a film Crusader as part of a Westboro Baptist Church type organization sworn to destroy Thor (God hates gods?). Crusader’s power stems from his unwavering faith in his God, a power that diminishes if he ever questions his Lord. How would Crusader’s faith hold against Thor?
A cinematic clash of modern day Crusaders and Asgard could be pretty intense if pulled off correctly. The Crusader might not be Thor’s biggest marquee baddie but there is a lot here to work with thematically. It would also make sense if Asgard is going to set itself up on Earth after the events of Thor: Ragnarok.
Ah, Bloodaxe, the perennial Thor villain of the ’90s, that magical era when it was law that every new character had to have blood, wind, rage, or axe in his name. But Bloodaxe is actually pretty cool with a connection to one of Thor’s greatest foes, Skurge (yes, that Skurge!).
The coolest twist surrounding Bloodaxe is that he is actually a she! A woman named Jackie Lucas, lover of mulleted hero Thunderstrike, was secretly cursed by the Axe to become Bloodaxe. But it’s probably best to keep Thunderstrike away from the Marvel Movie Universe…the world is not ready for our ’90s shame.
While usually a benevolent race, the Asgardians and Odin’s past sins are many. Odin himself once committed genocide against the Vanir, a rival race of beings that warred with the Asgardians. Mangog is a creature made up of the rage of the billions and billions of Vanir that Odin slew.
Mangog is Odin’s sins made flesh, and a chance for Sir Anthony Hopkins to return as Odin (via flashback). Mangog is one of Jack Kirby’s more nightmarish and striking designs and would make a fearsome image on screen.
Later on in Marvel lore, Mangog was a minion of none other than Thanos! See how easy this would be?
No, not The Simpsons character! One of Thor’s oldest foes, Radioactive Man, aka Chen Lu, is another Earthbound villain. A loyal Chinese soldier, the Radioactive Man purposely exposed himself to radiation in order to serve his country better as a super-agent. It was established in the first Avengers film that the world’s governments started freaking out when Thor arrived on Earth.
The Radioactive Man could be China’s response to Thor’s arrival, especially if he’s going to be hanging around on Earth more in Thor 4. Radioactive Man can show film audiences the political ramifications of having a being like Thor around and allow the usually fantasy-based franchise to explore some new themes and conflicts. As a recurring Avengers villain and a member of the Thunderbolts, Radioactive Man certainly has the cache to warrant a future film spotlight.
Zarrko, the Tomorrow Man
A time-traveling despot from the 23rd Century, Zarrko could introduce the element of time travel into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. You just know Kang will show up sooner or later in the Avengers films and Zarrko’s presence can be a precursor to that inevitable main event.
Listen, it would be Thor versus an evil freaking Doctor Who, what more do you need to know?
He was one of Thor’s earliest villains and has been used to great effect by Mark Waid over in the pages of The Indestructible Hulk, proving the villain translates well in the modern era. Thor and Asgard versus an evil Time Lord. Film it!
Y’know what…no, I can’t do it. I made Zarrko work, but I can’t work miracles.
Another product of Odin’s relentless smiting, Fafnir was the last survivor of an evil race that used a mystic pool to transform himself into a mighty dragon. Fafnir has a power set that sets him apart from more mundane dragon adversaries (I’m looking at you, Fin Fang Foom) as he has the ability to cast illusions and shape-shift.
Thor’s encounters with Fafnir as rendered by Jack Kirby resonate to this day with eyeball-punching power and would translate well into film. Fafnir has been a pawn of Loki and Kurse so he does have ties to established film villains. Plus, hello, Kirby dragon!
Karnilla, the Norn Queen
A frequent ally of Loki, Karnilla can be a way to finally introduce Balder the Brave into the cinematic world of Thor. Karnilla can kind of be seen as the female Loki (except when Loki is the female Loki), a powerful sorceress with a chaotic nature and a huge ego. She is deeply in love with Balder and would do anything to win his affections while the hapless and innocent Balder is addled by her attentions, an amusing and complex dichotomy between the two Thor mainstays.
Karnilla is directly responsible, along with Loki, in granting powers to the villainous Wrecker, another villain ready for a film appearance. Her cunning, beauty, and love of Balder make Karnilla a multi-faceted threat to Thor and company.
Is she even still alive after Thor: Ragnarok? Who knows!
There are seven of them, they all have hammers, and they are all established Marvel badasses working for the Serpent. In the comic crossover event Fear Itself, the Serpent was the daughter of the Red Skull using dark Asgardian magics to bring fear and darkness to Earth in order to punish Odin, and transformed some Marvel mainstays into the Worthy to do it.
A familial connection to the Skull is certainly doable in the Marvel Movie Universe and now that other members of the Worthy, like Thing and Juggernaut, are available for Marvel to use, the idea of familiar heroes and villains corrupted by dark magic would certainly make for an intense film. Imagine audience reaction when the Hulk is revealed as Nul, Breaker of Worlds and goes hammer to hammer against Thor. That’s a rematch, right there.
In the pages of Invincible Iron Man, writer Matt Fraction proved how terrifying a nihilist with the powers of turning someone to stone can be.
The Gargoyle received his powers through the ever-popular chemical accident but the film can make him a minion of Loki or any other Asgardian puppet master, or a struggling artist trying to get publicity by turning a god into a statue. As Marvel’s Medusa (but French), the Gargoyle has been a joke for too long and deserves some respect. There’s a worshipping false idol joke here somewhere, but I’m not finding it.
Now that audiences are more than comfortable with the concept of the Asgardian gods existing side-by-side with humanity in the Marvel Universe, it might be time to explore the other pantheons. Crossover those Greek gods with Thor and the Asgardians and you have one wholly unique storytelling experience.
In the Marvel Universe, Pluto’s status of god of the underworld can bring into play the nature of death in the Nine Realms and allow Kevin Feige and company to bring Hercules into the fold. Who says Ragnarok only has to effect Asgard? Maybe Thor can save Hercules from Pluto’s realm, or Hercules and Thor are forced into a competition by Loki and Pluto? Whatever the case, the Greek gods getting showcased in Thor is a natural progression as each installment branches out into new realms…and offers Marvel more spinoff opportunities down the road.
Yeah, Mephisto appeared in Ghost Rider, but it doesn’t count because it was Ghost Rider. Mephisto started out as a Silver Surfer villain but has become an all-purpose tempter that has plagued all the heroes of the Marvel Universe, including Thor.
Mephisto has entered into pacts with Loki and Hela over the years, and let’s face it, what fan would pass up seeing Thor versus the Devil versus Loki on the silver screen? A duel of liars with Thor in the middle. Film…This!
Wrecker and the Wrecking Crew
As stated previously, there is a bevy of Earthbound villains waiting for Thor, and if that’s where the big guy is gonna hang his winged helmet for a while, then it’s time we see these guys. The Wrecker and the Wrecking Crew are some of Thor’s greatest Earthbound baddies. They are no strangers to god-bashing as they violently took out Hercules in Roger Stern’s classic Masters of Evil story in the pages of The Avengers, plus they were created by the machinations of Loki and Karnilla, so there is a deep Asgardian connection.
There could be drama and infighting between the members of the Crew to give the film an extra edge. Between the crowbar, the wrecking ball, and the hammer, this would be like Bob Villa’s worst nightmare, but pretty awesome for Marvel fans.
Ulik and the Trolls
Fans got the Dark Elves in Thor: The Dark World, so why not take things in the other direction and go with the Trolls of Nornheim? So, the Dark Elves were pretty cool, but they weren’t really much of a physical threat to Thor (‘cept Kurse…Kurse ruled), they were kind of just really aggressive ballet dancers in mime masks. The Trolls are brutish and merciless, and their greatest warrior, Ulik, is the worst of the bunch.
For a time, Ulik even replaced Thor on Earth by disguising himself as the god Tanarus when Thor was believed dead. An earthly showdown between Thor and a disguised Ulik would be pretty cool. They’re probably as annoyed about the fate of Asgard as anyone else, and want to take it out on somebody.
The legend and history of the Frost Giants are deeply ingrained in the cinematic Thor’s mythology. As Loki descendants, the presence of the Frost Giants are never far away and fans know Laufey and his people are just itching for revenge after the way the gods defeated them and Loki used them in the first Thor movie. Perhaps their Frost Giant god, Ymir, will want revenge for the slight his proud race suffered. Or maybe he survived Ragnarok and wants revenge.
Ymir is one of Kirby’s most grandiose creations, a walking, angry glacier fueled by hatred of the Asgardians. The final battle between Frost Giants and Asgard is just an epic waiting to be told, and Ymir could be Thor’s greatest challenge if this conflict comes to fruition.
Where Pluto would provide the master villain for Thor if the Asgardians meet the Greek Pantheon, Ares would provide an arch rival, a foil, and possibly a future Avenger if the God of War were to show up in a Thor film. Ares’ 2006 mini-series by Michael Avon Oeming and Travel Foreman was a critical darling and the character eventually became a full-fledged Avenger. This journey could be mirrored in a film.
Ares is a complex character with a son who is the center of his world; he is constantly torn by his duties to the gods and his duties as a father. Really, Ares’ story is so gripping it would make a fine movie of its own someday, but until then, the God of Thunder versus the God of War is just too awesome to resist.
Ares could be the perfect adversary for Thor, a great anti-hero, and if Marvel is brave, a future film franchise.
Amora the Enchantress
One of the greatest romances in the Marvel Universe was Skurge and Amora. At first, Skurge seemed like a pawn for Amora to exploit, but in recent years it has been revealed that Amora had deep feelings for Skurge, the only man who ever was truly devoted to her. This star-crossed love would make any movie plot soar as Amora wants someone to answer for Skurge’s fate.
The Enchantress is every bit as cunning as Loki and would be a perfect foil for him. The ready-made love triangle (rhombus, hexagon?) with Thor, Jane, Sif, and Amora’s sister, Lorelei is just too much melodrama to resist. Then again, both Jane and Sif were strangely absent from Ragnarok, so it’s tough to imagine they’d show up in Thor 4. Again, Amora was a founding member of the Masters of Evil and it is about time Marvel focus their energies on a worthy female adversary for their heroes. It can be argued that she is the greatest villainess in the Marvel Universe and it is time the world came under Amora’s spell.
Gorr, the God Butcher
A villain has to be pretty damn evil to land in this top spot when he was just introduced in 2013, but Gorr is just that vile. While many on this list are gods, Gorr is devoted to the destruction of all gods. Yes, he is an alien serial killer that preys on gods.
Long ago, Gorr’s family was killed as a result of a battle between the gods on Gorr’s world, after which, he devoted his life to punishing the beings that dare calls themselves divine. In Aaron’s tale, Thor must team with his brash, younger self and his older post-Ragnarok self in order to defeat Gorr, so get ready for a trifecta of Hemsworth…Three Thors versus one bloodthirsty god butcher. This was the biggest Thor story that didn’t have the name Kirby or Simonson in the credits and is the standard to which all modern Thor stories will be held to.