Avengers is awesome and was a ginormous success, so of course everybody's talking sequel possibilities. Now if you have seen the movie, there is a scene that hints at who the next foe probably is, but there's no reason they couldn't drag out that battle til at least the 3rd film, because frankly it's kind of hard to top that guy after. In addition, if Joss Whedon does come back (and with the gobs of money it's making I'm betting Marvel will give just about anything to get him back), he's already said his idea for the sequel would be to make it smaller and more personal, so upping the ante to some galactic scale might not be the way to go just yet. With that in mind here's 10 very plausible villains the Avengers could face next:
10. M.O.D.O.K.: A big subplot of the Avengers movie was Shield having ulterior motives and secret plans, which Nick Fury basically defended by saying the Earth is not prepared to take on galactic threats. M.O.D.O.K. is a villain that can spring very organically from that simple idea, after all, he was basically created to help understand the Cosmic Cube (aka the Tesseract) and turned on his creators. This would be a good fresh storyline because the Avengers don't really trust Nick Fury and one of their own creations going rogue could cause plenty of good tension between them.
9. Ares: Yeah, another Asgardian villain may be seen as doing the same thing over again, but Tom Hiddleston is so great as Loki it'd be a shame for him to be marginalized or done completely. Ares isn't a bad guy per se, but it'd be easy to have Loki manipulate his bloodlust and pride into fighting the Avengers. It could also open the door for members such as Hercules or Valkyrie to join the team, which I wouldn't be surprised to see expand somewhat.
8. The Leader: Arguably the biggest problem with someone fighting the Avengers is The Hulk. He's virtually unstoppable. So bring in one of his greatest foils, the Leader. It's the classic brains vs. brawn match-up, as The Leader usually is 3 steps ahead of everyone else. Plus, Hulk may not be getting his own movie, so one of his better villains could make a good opponent for the whole team.
7. Mephisto: Yeah this pretty much writes itself. You want darker and more personal? Mephisto is your guy. Sure, he's probably nearly as powerful as Loki, but he'd focus a lot more on manipulating each Anengers personal demons. He could (and has) claim he's the actual devil come to unleash hell on earth, breaking down the Avengers mentally before they obviously rally and prove he's just another super villain to defeat.
6. Norman Osborn: Granted, the Green Goblin started out as a great Spider-Man villain, but his original incarnation wouldn't be much of a match for the combined might of the Avengers. However in later years. he's essentially become the closest thing Marvel has to Lex Luthor, a ruthless brilliant billionaire who believes he knows how to run the world and isn't afraid to do immoral stuff to get it accomplished. This could be a personal, smaller villain that could still pose a credible threat.
5. Doctor Doom: Few normal humans pose as much of a threat as Doom. He's one of the smartest villains in the Marvel universe, with resources and magic to match, which would make him and his army of Doom bots a more than worthy opponent of the Avengers. Sure he's mainly a Fantastic Four nemesis, but he's taken on virtually everybody in the Marvel universe, no reason he can't clash with the Avengers for their next film.
4. Red Skull: If Captain America is worthy not only to be an Avenger, but be the leader, then surely his primary nemesis is just as worthy to be a major opponent for the Avengers. Hydra is still a heavy presence in the Marvel film universe after all, and and having him still at the head of that terrorist organization would be a pretty natural fit. The cosmic cube is also a lifelong obsession of his, which would naturally lead to taking on the Avengers in order to get it back.
3. Apocalypse: Most of the guys on this list wouldn't be a physical match for the likes of Thor and Hulk, but Apocalypse absolutely would. And while he's primarily an X-men foe, his ultimate goal is usually the subjugation of all mankind, which makes him a natural enemy of the Avengers.
2. Kang the Conqueror: Kang is one the Avengers' more well known foes. Coming from the future with an array of dazzling technology, he's always a real threat. Add to that SHIELD's desperate search for technology that can defeat super beings and that could play into the whole conflict between the two organizations.
1. Ultron: You want smaller, darker and more personal while upping the ante on the threat the Avengers face? There is no better choice than Ultron. Why? Because he was created by the Avengers. More specifically, Ant-Man, which could be a great tie-in to the heavily rumored Ant-Man movie that may finally be getting some real traction since Avengers opened so huge. Again this is something that's so easy it writes itself. The Avengers create this machine, it goes bad, and so they are responsible for the destruction it causes, placing a huge amount of mistrust in the Avengers from S.H.I.E.L.D. and the public, even when they eventually stop him, their image may be irreparably damaged, which would be a great basis to start a third movie from.
Ok that's the list. Obviously if you've seen the movie and stayed through the credits, you know who the most likely next villain is, but again I think it'd be great if they held that off for just one more film and save a battle that big for a 3rd and possibly final Avengers film. If I can do another post this weekend I will, but most likely it'll be next week. Until then, here's your BIG BANG OF THE WEEK: