(WARNING: Spoilers for Thor: Ragnarok and Doctor Strange follow)
For the past eight years, #Marvel movies have set the bar for superhero movies. From excellent story telling to well developed character arcs, Marvel and its parent company, Disney, have presented us with amazing portrayals of some of our favorite Marvel heroes. That said, Marvel movies have lacked something quite integral to the dynamic of superhero-based movies: worthy villains. Fans would agree that Marvel's diversity of villains hasn't shown much variety in regards to villain archetypes.
Most of Marvel's past villains have been introduced as one-off characters never to be seen again. Apart from #Loki and #Thanos, Marvel movies lack worthwhile villains that fans can stand behind. Sure, some fans have found positive points in villains like the Red Skull, but he's been absent in the MCU since Captain America: The First Avenger, and since then, no villains have really matched up to that caliber of villain.
The MCU Needs Better Villains And Thor: Ragnarok Appears To Deliver
Keeping those things in mind, it appears as though Marvel/Disney has become aware of their vacancy for villains worth developing and will attempt to rectify that in #ThorRagnarok. Several well-known villains like the Grandmaster, #Hela, and Skurge the Executioner have all been confirmed for at least some part in the film, but there may be a few more secret villains joining Thor: Ragnarok as well.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been known to be mysterious when it comes to villain intros. Half of the time, fans don't know that a new Marvel villain is joining the #MCU until the audience sees them on screen. Dormammu's intro in Doctor Strange is a perfect example of a major character/villain kept secreted until the film's premiere.
Before Doctor Strange premiered, only a few speculative theories floating around guessed that Dormammu would be in the film. No evidence supporting those claims was ever founded, but those initial theories turned out to be true and Dormammu was the climactic villain of #DoctorStrange. And it looks like Thor: Ragnarok is following a similar path.
Thor: Ragnarok Has More Villains Than You Can Count, And Two You Probably Don't Know About
In early 2016, when filming started for Thor: Ragnarok, paparazzi images ran rampant everywhere, spoiling minor details of the film but one major aspect (character) was kept well hidden from spying cameras.
A female character with a striking appearance to that of Mistress Death in Marvel comics was seen on the set of Thor: Ragnarok. Most images of the female character have been deleted since being posted online, but before they were removed, one image provided us with a clear description of said character's costume
The female character in question could only be seen shrouded by a blanket when not filming but, one of the pictures taken was taken at such an angle that the female character's costume clearly matches up with that of #MistressDeath from Marvel comics.
Does 'Thor: Ragnarok' Introduce Mistress Death To The MCU?
Said image illustrates the female actresses' costume as a sleek, purple dress. The actress in the purple dress also has emphasized black makeup around her eyes, which is another key trait of Mistress Death's humanoid appearance.
If you're not familiar with Mistress Death, in Marvel comics she is the personification of #Death. Usually seen in a female form, Death's true form is that of a bare skeleton, but her more common appearance is of a fair-skinned woman in purple robes. Her role in the Marvel universe has varied, though she usually attempts to maintain balance between life and death, only taking lives that are ready to depart. However, Mistress Death has been known to indulge her own appetites, clearly outside of her strict nature to bring balance to the universe. Mistress Death proved this when she manipulated Thanos into committing all kinds of heinous deeds for her own personal satisfaction.
To be clear, Thanos's presumption of how to gain Mistress Death's attention was to deliver as many lives as possible to her — all at one time — in hopes that the number of lives taken would be proof of his worth, and subsequently gain him an audience with Mistress Death. Thanos even obliterated his homeworld and all its inhabitants as a display of loyalty to Mistress Death, but the act merely earned him the nickname "The Mad Titan."
What Role Could Mistress Death Play?
Now that we know who Mistress Death is in Marvel comics, does her shared appearance with that of a mysterious female character seen on the set of Thor: Ragnarok mean Mistress Death is on her way to the Marvel Cinematic Universe? If so, what role could Mistress Death play in Thor: Ragnarok? Is she affiliated with Hela's invasion of Asgard?
The recently released synopsis for Thor: Ragnarok revealed that Hela would indeed be invading Asgard while Thor is away. Accounting for Odin's absence from Asgard as well, it'll be left unprotected, which is why Hela and Mistress Death could both be converging on Asgard. Here's the official synopsis for Thor: Ragnarok:
In Marvel Studios' 'Thor: Ragnarok,' Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok – the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization – at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. But first he must survive a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger – the Incredible Hulk!
Now that none of the almighty are around to protect Asgard, entities like Hela and Mistress Death can take what they want, whether it be souls or prisoners. Asgard is up for the pickings and Hela is already causing mayhem and destruction, so there's nothing stopping Mistress Death from paying Asgard a visit, too.
Is Death Present To Take Lives Or To Save Them?
In the scenario of Asgard being under siege and Hela killing its inhabitants, this could be what calls Mistress Death to the footsteps of Asgard. However, what she'll do when she gets there is of great interest.
To be fair, Mistress Death isn't necessarily a villain; she has attributes that resemble that of a villain, but she doesn't seek to destroy the universe. She's mostly present to keep balance; making sure that people die when they're supposed to. With that in mind, Mistress Death's presence on Asgard may be a good thing.
If Hela's invasion of Asgard is unnatural and the death of numerous Asgardians isn't meant to happen at that time, Mistress Death could have cause to step in, inadvertently becoming a heroic presence in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Although, it's unlikely that Death will be the hero of Thor: Ragnarok since we expect Thor to be the hero who saves the day, it would be an interesting take on the character if Mistress Death teamed up with Thor for a brief moment to stop Hela. That type of scene would definitely be one to excite Marvel fans everywhere, especially when most assume that a character like Mistress Death will be introduced as a villain.
A Possible Rewrite For The Lady Death Character?
Having Mistress Death come to Thor's aide would be quite a surprise, though we shouldn't expect any partnership between the two to be long lived. Mistress Death's purpose in the Marvel universe is to assert balance between life and death, so once that balance is restored, Mistress Death has no reason to stick around.
Regardless of how much of Mistress Death's comic book counterpart will influence the MCU's version, Mistress Death's inclusion in Thor: Ragnarok is still to be determined. Though, the mysterious female character seen on set all but proves Mistress Death's presence in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Mistress Death is bound to be an interesting addition to Thor: Ragnarok, but she might not be the only character to have been kept hidden from the public's eye.
During 2016's San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC), the panel for Thor: Ragnarok featured some footage that only that hall got to see. None of that footage has been revealed yet, but the footage was leaked imminently after the panel at (SDCC) concluded. In that time, people around the world were able to see the early footage of Thor: Ragnarok, including a surprise appearance from an unknown character: #Surtur.
The Fire Demon, Surtur Will Probably Be In Thor: Ragnarok, Too
Only a few seconds of screen time were given to Surtur but it was enough time to identify the fiery entity. The MCU's version of Surtur looks similar to the Destroyer from Thor but appears fluid-like and filled with a pulsing fire. Most versions of Surtur depict him a red-horned creature, but the MCU's version doesn't appear to share any similarities other than possessing a pulsing flame in and around its body.
Surtur's appearance in Thor: Ragnarok looks to be mainly CGI, so the character will likely only require an actor to provide a voice-over for the character. while one or multiple motion capture actors provide the stand-in. Surtur being an all CGI character would also explain why no hints of Surtur were seen on the set during filming. Any number of motion capture actors on set could be Surtur, and no one outside of production would be the wiser. That said, Surtur's involvement in Thor: Ragnarok has been kept hidden very well.
Regardless, the sneak peek of Surtur in the (SDCC) footage for Thor: Ragnarok proves Surtur has some part in the film. It's just a matter of waiting for an official image to be released and any details on the character for his role in Thor: Ragnarok to be official.
Thor: Ragnarok is directed by Taika Waititi and sees Chris Hemsworth starring as Thor and Tom Hiddleston reprising his role as Loki. They are joined by Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson and Karl Urban, with Mark Ruffalo and Anthony Hopkins.
Thor: Ragnarok premieres November 3, 2017.
For more on Mistress Death's admirer, Thanos, check out the video below:
There's more to watch over at Movie Pilot video.