When it was announced that Fox was looking to sell its movie arm last month nerds everywhere rejoiced in the hopes that Disney would end up purchasing the rights to all of the intellectual properties Fox owns for reasons that may not seem obvious to the non-nerd out there.
Considering that Fox owns the film rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four, Marvel Studios could actually unite the Avengers with the X-Men, Tony Stark with Wolverine and even Deadpool with Spider-Man! So, let’s look at the top 15 characters Disney would get if they indeed purchase 20th Century Fox!
15. Jean Grey
There are mutants and then there’s Jean Grey — one of the more powerful mutants around. On top of that, she’s also imbued with the power of the Phoenix Force, a storyline the Fox franchise is going to tackle for a second time after the disappointing X-Men: The Last Stand.
While the next X-film promises to take them to space for the first time, the thought of bringing the X-Men to space in the MCU is quite compelling. In the MCU they’d be able to hang out with the Guardians of the Galaxy, characters from the Thor movies — especially Ragnarok — and upcoming films like Captain Marvel as well.
The MCU may struggle to find a baddie to replace Thanos after the events of the third and fourth Avengers films. You’d have to think that the Dark Phoenix could be the perfect replacement as it would take awhile for the powers to overtake Jean. Once fighting her, it would be a lot more personal as it’s hard to murder someone you love.
14. The Fantastic Four
This list wouldn’t be credible if it didn’t have the Fantastic Four on it. Half of this list is comprised of villains of the Fantastic Four and all of those baddies are cosmic entities. If Marvel Studios had the rights to the Fantastic Four, you’d have to think that they’d be the first family on film — as they were in the books.
They’d be the entry point into the cosmic side of Marvel — think the Guardians of the Galaxy with more science and actual bloodlines. Sue Storm (The Invisible Woman) and Dr. Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic) have a child named Franklin Richards who is so powerful that he can control reality as a toddler.
Introducing a character of that power level would be interesting and different for the MCU. Their descendant, Nathaniel Richards, becomes Kang the Conquerer, which shows you just how important Marvel’s first family is.
13. Professor X
Besides Wolverine, when most people think of the X-Men they obviously think of the man the team is named after. Played by Patrick Stewart and James McAvoy for almost two decades, Professor Charles Xavier has been battling Magneto for even longer.
It’s no coincidence that the two resemble Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X in their respective philosophies; the Civil Rights struggle was front and center around the time that the original ‘Uncanny X-Men’ was created.
While the MCU has touched on that a bit with their Inhumans storylines — mainly on Agents of SHIELD — it’d be amazing to see one of their films tackle the socio-political realm. And there aren’t a ton of telepaths in the MCU, so having someone with that power would just be cool to see.
12. Kang the Conquerer
A few years ago fans of the MCU came to a horrifying conclusion: after Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet storyline, Marvel really didn’t have a lot of powerful baddies to choose. A lot of comic book fans had a solution:bringing in Kang the Conqueror. The villain he has been fighting the Avengers for as long as most people could remember.
However, film rights rely on where the character first appeared. That’s why both the MCU and Fox have rights to Quicksilver, as he is as much a part of the Avengers as the X-Men. Kang the Conqueror may have become a much larger villain for the Avengers over the years but he first appeared in Fantastic Four #19 (although his name was Rama-Tut in that book).
He appeared as Kang a year later in Avengers #8. An important character in the comic books, he is a descendant of the Richards family born in the 30th century. He initially traveled back in time to become Pharaoh of Egypt, where he selected Apocalypse as his heir and provided him with a lot of his technology.
So using Kang as the next villain could be a great way to introduce the X-Men as well since Apocalypse is thought of as the first mutant.
11. Super Skrull
Another villain tied to the Fantastic Four — and a great representation of how crazy the film right are — is Super Skrull. The Skrulls are an alien race known for their ability to shape-shift. It’s been rumored that 2019’s Captain Marvel will be a film that serves as a prequel of sorts, showing Nick Fury in the 90’s before he lost his eye —”The last time I trusted someone I lost an eye.”
Because the Skrulls can change shape, it’s thought that perhaps they sneakily invaded earth during the 90’s/early 00’s, which could explain why Fury wasn’t very surprised by the Alien invasion in Avengers.
However, they’ll be without their most famous member, Super Skrull, as both Fox and the MCU can use the Skrulls as a race but not Super Skrull himself, who not only can shape shift but also can mimic the powers of all four of the Fantastic Four.
His ability to mimic their powers could be a game changer. He can take down the FF because his powers are stronger than theirs.
Yet another enemy from the Fantastic Four’s rogues gallery is Annihilus, a bug-like creature who wields one of the strongest weapons in the Marvel universe, the Cosmic Control Rod, which he uses to control the Negative Zone. The most recent Fantastic Four film could’ve actually been a good movie; it felt like the perfect tone for Annihilus as its antagonist.
In that film the group ends up in another dimension, and while it’s just named Planet X, it is thought that they entered (and gained their powers from) The Negative Zone. With Captain America: Civil War introducing the Raft as a prison, it could make sense for more high level baddies to be sent to the Negative Zone — a lot like the DCEU’s Man of Steel saw Zod and company being sent to the Phantom Zone.
Annihilus was the main antagonist during the Annihilation Event in Marvel Comics back in 2006. Considering the fact that the MCU has been using a lot of post 2000 storylines, this could be the best post-Infinity Gauntlet storyline out there. It includes Thanos, Star Lord, Drax the Destroyer and Ronan the Accuser as well as Super Skrull and Silver Surfer.
9. Alpha Flight
One of the longer running but lesser known teams out there is are Wolverine’s Canadian friends — Alpha Flight. Basically known as the Canadian X-Men, the group has worked with the Canadian government in the past and is made up of heroes like Wolverine, Puck, Sasquatch, Northstar, Snowbird, Shaman, Guardian, Marrina and Aurora.
This would be a great way to establish Wolverine’s earlier work. While it could cost a fortune to CGI characters like Sasquatch and Snowbird, it would definitely be worth it. Alpha Flight seems like the good fit especially now that the Great Lakes Avengers are getting their own show on Freeform — under the title New Mutants.
Iceman’s an original member of the Uncanny X-Men and would have to be part of the first formation of the team in the MCU. He’s also one of the most powerful mutants in existence — one of the few Omega-level mutants known. Besides, he was the first homosexual character in the X-Men and one of the first in comic book history.
What made Marvel so popular and such a thorn in the side of DC comics was the fact that Marvel heroes were a lot like regular people, especially regular teenagers. They dealt with real world problems and were just more relatable, especially when compared to people like Superman.
Part of that extends to the films and the fact that the Avengers, for example, aren’t nearly as powerful as their less popular counterpart the Justice League (at least until Captain Marvel shows up).
While that does make them more interesting and engaging they’re still mostly comprised of cisgendered straight white men. So, adding Iceman would add an interesting dynamic to the movies as well as a bad ass character who can basically freeze the whole planet if he wants to.
A founding member of the X-Men and a longtime member of the Avengers, Beast is known for his strength as well as his intellect. Thus, he would be a great fit with the silver screen Avengers. With Thor: Ragnarok explaining that the Hulk had taken over Bruce Banners’ body for two years, Tony Stark was without his science bro for a long time.
Who better to replace Banner than Hank McCoy? A scientist whose experiments turned him into a freak — he’s a mutant but in the attempts to hide his mutation he actually turned himself from a large man into a blue beast — McCoy has nearly unparalleled intellect.
6. Silver Surfer
Originally Galactus’ herald, Silver Surfer has been a hero for longer than he he’s been a villain. Considering the fact that the MCU is spacebound, it’d make sense to have someone who, you know, wields the power cosmic!
In addition to that, in the book, he was the first person to warn Earth of Thanos during the Infinity Gauntlet arc — he crashed into Dr. Stranges’ Sanctum Santorum. While that would be an amazing way to introduce the threat, it’s probably not going to happen.
Luckily for us fans though, there is still time for Silver Surfer and even Galactus to show up to help fight Thanos in the still unnamed sequel.
With the MCU on the precipice of having to deal with Thanos and the completed Infinity Gauntlet, the most daunting task is who the MCU will follow up Thanos with. Thanos has been the big bad acting behind the scenes since 2012’s Avengers.
Galactus is the largest threat both literally and figuratively; he is large enough to consume entire planets. He represents destruction in a universe that is actually younger than he is! His backstory is kinda crazy — even for comic books. Galactus has the ability to both wield and bestow people with the power cosmic.
He definitely could be a huge part of the MCU moving forward, especially as they move into the cosmic realm.
While it is incredibly exciting to think about integrating these characters with the MCU, it also raises the question of exactly how they’d do it. Either way they end up doing it, there’s no doubt Deadpool would have to comment on it as he’s the only character in either universe to break the fourth wall.
While he isn’t as aware as he is in the comics — he ends the Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe storyline by coming out of the comic and killing the artist — he would be a strong option for helping bridge the gap between the two universes.
While the MCU could reboot the X-Men, it would be hard to replace an R-rated fan-favorite like Deadpool. Then again, it’d be hard to picture a hard R in the MCU, at least on the big screen — that’s what Netflix is for!
Magneto is easily a top five Marvel villain and his story is just too amazing. Should the X-Men pop up in the MCU, someone would have to protect the innocent mutants that are being persecuted because of their abilities.
While that’s what’s been happening to the Inhumans (in lieu of the Mutants) in the MCU, there’s no reason to believe that it wouldn’t continue or tie in with the Inhuman storyline. It could even be the impetus for introducing the X-Men in the MCU.
Bringing someone who can control metal in universe where the main character is Iron Man is interesting enough for its own movie.
If not for the success of 2000’s X-Men we very well may not have had a Marvel Cinematic Universe and that film was mostly about the story of Wolverine. That story ended after 17 years. While Hugh Jackman had initially said that he planned to play Logan forever, he hung up the claws after this year’s Logan.
And he went out on top. Logan is not only considered one of the best superhero films of all time but one of the best films of the new millennium as well. Jackman said that the only way he’d return would be to star alongside Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark and company.
1. Dr. Doom
The Fantastic Four’s most compelling villain — and really the best Marvel Comics villain period — is Dr. Doom. When you look at superheroes, a lot of the best villains simply mirror the main hero. Dr. Doom makes no exception.
He is extremely jealous of Reed Richards (aka Mr. Fantastic) but is equally brilliant. A master of both science and mysticism, Doom can give Dr. Strange a run for his money. The timing for bringing the Fox characters into the fold couldn’t be much better. With Dr. Strange the MCU is delving more into magic — something that the Fantastic Four films have basically ignored.
So here’s to hoping that Disney does buy 20th Century Fox. The price could be would be worth it in the long run — if only to see Doom’s whirlwind romance with Scarlet Witch.