10 Powerful Marvel Villains The MCU Can Introduce in Thunderbolts

  • The Thunderbolts film in Phase 5 of the MCU can introduce powerful, lesser-known villains and potential team members to the franchise.
  • The Thunderbolts may face double-crossing from their director, Valentina, and could recruit super-powered criminals to fight alongside them.
  • Characters like Headsman, King Cobra, and Nuke from the comics could make their MCU debut and potentially join the Thunderbolts team for a more dynamic and ever-changing lineup.
The upcoming Thunderbolts film in the MCU Phase 5 has the potential to introduce some powerful, if lesser-known, villains to the franchise. The team has had many iterations, led by the likes of Baron Zemo and Norman Osborn in the comics. While the starting roster of the MCU's Thunderbolts team has been revealed, who exactly they'll be up against or who may join their ranks throughout the movie remains a mystery.
Some subterfuge and double-crossing from the MCU's Thunderbolt's director, Valentina, could paint the CIA director as a likely twist villain pulling the strings. But the MCU's Thunderbolts still need some bombastic super-powered criminals to fight, and these lesser-known antagonists from the comics who have yet to have a true MCU debut are great candidates. In addition, with the Thunderbolts being an ever-changing patchwork team of shifting allegiances and villains trying to make the most of their circumstances, there's a strong possibility that some of these names could wind up on the team by the film's end.
Your browser does not support the video tag. 10 Headsman Before becoming Headsman, the aptly named Cleavon Twain was a member of a biker gang out of Louisiana, the Headhunters. Learning to fight in bars and making a name for himself as a criminal, Cleavon was eventually as a villain by Norman Osborn, granting him the cutting-edge technology that allowed him to fully adopt his Headsman persona. In the comics, he is used as a pawn by Osborn, taking advantage of his brute force bravado and lack of questions to further the Green Goblin's own nefarious ends.
Headsman has access to an arsenal of Oscorp-built experimental technology, including a harness that enhances his strength, a flying disc similar to the Goblin Glider, and his signature adamantium-alloy axe. With these weapons, he was nearly able to put down Spider-Man in the comics. While the events of Spider-Man: Now Way Home did away with Norman Osborn, leaving him cured of the Goblin and back in his home reality, criminals appropriating scavenged technology has historically been a common practice in the MCU.
9 King Cobra Klaus Voorhees was an ex-convict on the path to redemption, working in medical research with the esteemed Professor Ezekiel Shecktor. In their goal to create a universal antivenom for snake bites, Voorhees' criminal urges got the better of him; consumed with jealousy of Professor Ezekiel's success, he staged a fatal snake bite accident but wound up getting himself bitten in the process. Thanks to a combination of radioactive snake venom and experimental anti-toxin coursing through his veins, Vorhees developed snake-like powers, becoming King Cobra. Later, he was forced to join the Thunderbolts as a result of the Superhuman Registration Act following the Civil War storyline of the comics.
Essentially a serpentine version of Spider-Man, the radioactive snake that bit King Cobra grants him superhuman elasticity, flexibility, and durability. A great contortionist, Voorhees excels at slithering behind enemy lines before unleashing his variety of poisonous venoms and toxins. His snake-like nature extends to his personality as well, being one of the Thunderbolts to help organize a rebellion against the government-funded version of the team's interests. King Cobra would be a fantastic choice to serve as a double-crossing Thunderbolts member to sell the team's instability and air of subterfuge.
8 Nuke One of the most unstable and dangerous members to ever grace the Thunderbolts' roster, Frank Simpson was a P.O.W. of the Vietnam War. Suffering torture at the hands of Wolverine, Simpson had the American flag tattooed on his face, and his mind shattered. Similar to The Winter Soldier, he was implanted with trigger words that threw him into explosive fits of violence, capable of taking out entire villages single-handedly. From there, he was inducted into the Project Homegrown, a program similar to Weapon X that enhanced his biology, granting him cybernetic enhancements, a second heart, and incredibly durable skin.


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