After the board was set and the pieces were moved into place, we caught our first ever glimpse of Thanos in the post-credits stinger to The Avengers back in 2012. Up until that point the MCU had been loosely connected via Samuel Jackson cameos and brief post-credits sequences. However from that point on it was all kicked into high gear as Thanos’ quest for the Infinity Stones drove everything and bound everything in the MCU.

Thanos was defeated in Avengers: Endgame… twice. Score one for the good guys! However this leaves something of a hole in the world of the MCU after he loomed large over everything for so long.

The MCU is ramping up content with Disney+ shows alongside the Phase 4 movies all in the pipleine. On top of this the relationship with Sony regarding Spider-Man appears to be going well again. Marvel Studios also find themselves with a brand new bag of tricks after the Fox acquisition brought X-Men and Fantastic Four back into the family. So with all this content, what will they do to fill their bad guy hole?

The movies and TV shows will be interconnected, weaving an Infinity Saga type story as before, and we have already spotted X-Men related clues in Falcon And Winter Soldier set pics that point to Madripoor. We also reported on the rumor around Captain Marvel’s reappearance and an eventual clash. So does this mean somebody X-Men related will be lurking in the background?

Not so, according to the rumors out there. Some scoops and commentary are starting to align around the introduction of somebody many consider as Marvel’s greatest villain, and that they will serve as the overall “big bad” for the next phase across all channels and content.

Doctor Doom is the guy, and Fantastic Four projects are underway in the very early stages of development.

It is likely that Latveria and Doom will be introduced into the MCU before the Fantastic Four. Whereas Fox never quite managed to bring us a convincing antagonist, this version of Doom will be introduced first to allow a building of his background, how Latveria works and where it fits into the world of Marvel. This will apparently make him more layered and nuanced than previous versions. Key characters from the comics will be introduced in order to support this effort.

Among the many outlets and rumors starting to coalesce around this being the route Marvel have chosen, one loud voice is Jeremy Conrad from MCU Cosmic. He has given more details about who one of these supporting characters will be:

As we haven’t been introduced to Doom yet, it’s possible Lucia Von Bardas could be used as a way to introduce Latveria, perhaps even as its prime minister (as in the comics), who then would be replaced with Doom.

However she’s used in the MCU, that they’re wanting to bring in a character like Lucia Von Bardas shows that Marvel Studios knows that there is a lot more to Doctor Doom than him just screaming ‘Richards!’ all the time.

In the comics, Von Bardas is Doom’s successor after he’s deposed as ruler of Latveria. So we should look to her appearing in some form, maybe with Doom lurking in the background in some post credits stingers before a big reveal.

What do you think? Is he big enough to carry an entire Phase as a villain even without his adversaries being in the MCU yet? How will this fit into the supernatural nature of The Eternals or the Cosmic realms of the Guardians Of The Galaxy and Thor?

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