I’m sure most Marvel fans would agree that there’s been a big hole in the MCU since Thanos’ defeat. Without a big threat looming, none of the films truly feel tied together. Our suggestion: Make the Beyonder the next big villain in the MCU.
After the epic conclusion of Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it’s safe to say that the franchise has been somewhat struggling to find its focus. We can’t blame them, really – after all, it took the studio nearly ten years to tell the entire story of the Infinity Saga.
With that in mind, we’d venture to guess that we are still in the very early stages of planning of the mysterious Phase Four. Still, one thing has been made abundantly clear thus far: we’re going to explore a much more monumental side of the Marvel mythoi than ever before.
Thanos was, without a doubt, one of the greatest sci-fi movie villains of all time. It would be somewhat unfair to expect the same level of character building from the next big threat to strike the MCU, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t expect the next main villain to be a veritable threat to the entire fabric of the Multiverse.
Massive intergalactic villains are in no short order in the Marvel Universe, especially in the comic books. With the focus on the Multiverse that Phase Four has demonstrated, it would be a pretty safe bet to say that the next big bad of the MCU franchise might be one of these cosmic entities – and none of them is as fascinating as the Beyonder.
As we mentioned earlier, the Multiverse in the comics is full of beings of unfathomable power. In the MCU, the closest we’ve seen so far in terms of might would be Kang the Conqueror, who acted as the “villain” for the Loki series. However, there’s a pivotal difference between Kang and the Beyonder, and that is the latter’s obsession with humanity and their lives.
Kang understands that he’s beyond the scope of the Multiverse, while the Beyonder, one of the most powerful characters in the Marvel Universe, longs to belong with the rest of the creatures in the Multiverse, especially with humans. The being we know as the Beyonder is, in fact, a youngling of an ancient species of cosmical beings.
Still, there are some materials in the Marvel comics that refer to the Beyonder as the sum total of the entire Multiverse. This should give us a clear reference as to the scope of the Beyonder’s powers. Just imagine the mightiest individual in the entire MCU, and then consider that all of their powers combined are but a part of what the Beyonder is capable of.
Even more upsetting is the realization that the Beyonder might be a conscious representation of the Multiverse. After all, a big part of the ending of Phase Three and the beginning of Phase Four has messed with the weave of the Multiverse in some way or another. It’s safe to say that, if the Multiverse had any say in what happened in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, it’d be rightly exasperated.
The fact that both Phase Four and Phase Five are leading to a Secret Wars crossover event is an open secret for Marvel fans. Kevin Feige himself has essentially confirmed that they have plans to introduce the Secret Wars storyline into the MCU sooner than later, which just happens to be further confirmation that the Beyonder might be the next Thanos.
In the comics, the Beyonder’s first appearance happened in the pages of Secret Wars #1, released in May of 1984. More importantly, this new chapter in the Marvel publication history brought with it a heap of changes that would endure even today, redefining some long-established character designs and traits.
Going a bit further than that, it makes perfect sense for Secret Wars to happen right now in the MCU for a lot of characters and their storylines. Perhaps the strongest indication that the Beyonder might be just around the corner comes from one of the most unexpected movies in the MCU’s Phase Four: Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.
We can’t help but see the irony in that the most diminutive hero in the entire Marvel roster might be the one to usher in some of the biggest changes for the franchise. In all fairness, it’s not him who will be changing the landscape of the MCU, but rather Quantumania’s villain, M.O.D.O.K.
M.O.D.O.K. has already been confirmed for Quantumania, and if that’s the case, then the rumours about Secret Wars and the Beyonder are more credible than ever. After all, in the comics, it was M.O.D.O.K., along with Intelligencia, who brought the entity to Earth, eventually unleashing the events of Secret Wars and the Battleworld saga.
Rumours and Half-truths – Is the Beyonder Coming to the MCU?
A big part of the MCU’s secret to success has been its subversion of fans’ expectations. Even long-time comic book readers have been caught unprepared for some of the curve balls that the MCU has delivered over the years. Just look at how contrived the introduction of the Mandarin was.
Marvel might be taking a similar approach to the Beyonder in the MCU, as the character has a lot of narrative potential as is. He could easily be introduced in a solo movie or used as a background threat in future Avengers films without having to spend much time establishing his backstory or motivation. Maybe we’ll get to see glimpses of him as we did with Thanos before Infinity War.
There’s one thing that we have to keep in mind this time around – something that didn’t exist back when Thanos was introduced to the MCU: the Disney+ shows.
Before Disney+, every new revelation in the MCU happened in major films, with the after-credits scenes serving as the point of convergence for the overarching narrative of the MCU’s first three Phases. Now, the shows are arguably more important to the MCU than the films themselves, as we’ve seen with Wanda and her character development between WandaVision and Multiverse of Madness.
If the Beyonder will become the next Thanos for the MCU, the most likely possibility is that he’s going to be featured in a Disney+ show before his big-screen debut. This might be somewhat discouraging for long-time fans of the MCU, but it is what makes the most sense from a marketing point of view for Disney.
Whatever the case, we can’t wait to see what new cosmic entities from the Marvel Multiverse Phase Four will introduce. The brief cameo by the Living Tribunal in Multiverse of Madness has got our hopes up that this Phase could be even more ambitious than anything we’ve seen in the franchise before. It just needs to find its footing after the monumental event that was Avengers: Endgame.
Don’t hold your breath, though. Let’s not forget that the Thanos storyline took more than ten movies to prepare. Following that rule, we believe that the Beyonder’s reveal might be the big finale for Phase Four, so we might still have a year ahead of us before the next bombastic villain of the MCU makes their big entrance.