Fans wonder who’s going to be the big bad of ‘Thunderbolts’

leader incredible hulk
via Universal/Marvel Studios

One of the most obvious problems to overcome when piecing together a movie that uses bad guys as protagonists is trying to figure out who or what will be their major adversary. After all, if audiences are supposed to treat villains as heroes within the context of the story, then their opposition needs to be exponentially worse and much easier to hate. With that in mind, Marvel Cinematic Universe fans have questions regarding Thunderbolts.

It would be reductive to directly compare the antihero ensemble pic to the DCEU’s Suicide Squad (even if that’s what people have been doing anyway), but we’ll make it quick. David Ayer’s first installment utilized a belly-dancing Cara Delevigne and a poorly-rendered Incubus to oppose Task Force X, and it sucked. James Gunn brought in a giant alien starfish, which was a definite improvement, although we can expect Marvel to take a different path entirely.

Either way, fans have been debating over who could act as the big bad of Thunderbolts given the proclivities of the titular team themselves, and plenty of eye-opening suggestions have been bandied around, for better and worse.

Tim Blake Nelson’s Leader has once again re-entered the chat, so it could be time for another Incredible Hulk alumni to make a surprise return to official canon. Red Hulk comes up quite a lot, but given the recent passing of franchise stalwart William Hurt, it’s unlikely they’d use Thaddeus Ross’ gamma-radiated alter ego.

There’s a lot of fans who can’t see past Bruce Banner’s big-brained nemesis for the role, and it would make sense to have him emerge from hiding to finally put that colossal cranium of his to good use 15 years after it was first teased.