The Marvel Cinematic Universe has done a fine job of bringing costumed superheroes to the big screen, but frankly, it has a bit of a villain problem. Loki is undoubtedly Marvel’s most popular asset in this department (and their most frequent, having appeared in three films), but everyone else who’s aimed to give Earth’s Mightiest Heroes hell has failed to strike a similar chord.
They don’t last very long, either. Iron Man introduced and killed off the Iron Monger, Obadiah Stane, Iron Man 2 doubled down and introduced Whiplash and Justin Hammer, The Incredible Hulk brought in The Abomination and General Thunderbolt Ross, a constant thorn in the side of the giant green rage monster, and Thor: The Dark World featured dark elf Malekith (who was, honestly, incredibly forgettable). Then there are villains like Captain America: The First Avenger‘s Red Skull and Iron Man 3‘s Mandarin. Or…. sort-of-Mandarin.
Those characters weren’t killed off, leaving room for future appearances. Red Skull was seemingly zapped into space after touching the Tesseract, while the Mandarin was revealed to not be the “real” Mandarin at all, but an actor pretending to be him. In the Marvel One-Shot All Hail The King, it was teased that the “real” Mandarin was still out there somewhere. So, with these two iconic baddies still alive and well in the Marvel-verse, could they re-appear at some point?