[Note: The following contains spoilers for Doctor Strange.]
Doctor Strange sets the bar high for expectations for future #Marvel movies. In addition to revealing another Infinity Stone and giving us the most psychedelic cinematic experience since Inception, Doctor Strange also introduces the dread Dormammu. This is indeed the entity from which Mads Mikkelsen's character Kaecilius harnesses his powers. The movie portrays Dormammu as a being of immeasurable power, with so much might that even Doctor Strange couldn’t defeat him. Dormammu is looking to becoming Phase 4’s new Big Bad, but I think he won’t be the only one.
Dormammu In 'Doctor Strange'
Doctor Strange reveals that #Dormammu has always wanted to take over the realm of Earth. When Kaecilius was fooled by Dormammu into receiving eternal life, a trans-dimensional door was opened for Dormammu’s great entrance to our plane. Fortunately for Earth, we had Doctor Strange.
The threat of Thanos is drawing closer, but even with Strange set to return to action in Avengers: Infinity War (and possibly in Thor: Ragnarok), we have to look forward. Thanos might be bringing the apocalypse in the next Avengers movies, but I bet we won’t be seeing much of him after Phase 3. So does this means Dormammu will become the next Thanos in the #MCU’s Phase 4? Not exactly.
Who Will Be The Big Bad In The MCU's Phase 4?
It wasn’t until the end of Phase 1 in The Avengers that we learned Thanos was lurking in the shadows. Later in Phase 2 we were introduced to new players like Ant-Man and the Guardians of the Galaxy. The end of Phase 2 left us with a small taste of Phase 3’s grand opening, Captain America: Civil War. When Phase 3 ends in 2019 with the fourth Avengers film, it's my guess that, as with the first Avengers, we’ll finally see who the Big Bad is for Phase 4, and it won’t be just one enemy.
We are finally seeing cosmic entities of tremendous power enter the spotlight, so it’s unlikely that only one person will act as the largest threat. After we say our goodbyes to Thanos, Marvel will need someone to step into those villainous shoes, and the best way to go is by having more than one villain: a group. Each Phase has carried more momentum than the last, and with the MCU’s popularity ever rising, Marvel has all the cards in place to give us the best material they’ve ever produced. So who will these baddies be?
Dormammu, Hela, Galactus or The Beyonder
Seeing how Dormammu worked in the context of Doctor Strange (and keeping a promising future appearance in mind), a possibility exists that the same will happen to Hela in Thor: Ragnarok. This ensures that we’ll see her again, even if she is out of the picture in Avengers: Infinity War or the Avengers film that follows. The way I see it, a demonic collective could emulate the comic run Chaos War, in which Dormammu, Hela and other demonic beings joined forces.
By the end of the fourth Avengers, we might see Dormammu and Hela come together with other entities that have yet not been introduced. They would all be answering to a higher being, one that could potentially be a Celestial god, or even the Beyonder. This could potentially set Phase 4 for a storyline similar to Secret Wars. While it sounds like a fantastic theory, the one Big Bad fans really want to see is Galactus, a possibility that could actually happen. The thing is, while it might not be a major aspect, during Doctor Strange, the nickname of #Galactus, "The Devourer of Worlds," was given to Dormammu.
Dormammu was introduced in Doctor Strange as a being more powerful than Thanos, and with Hela making her debut in Thor: Ragnarok, it would be a missed opportunity to not bring this evildoers together. Who do you want to see replace Thanos as the Big Bad in Phase 4? Let me know in the comments!