Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been (for as long as it has been around) the way that certain plot elements were introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), while dealing with, improving on, and expanding ideas that the movies either touched on or mishandled, but could the show be set to introduce some major Avengers villains who could make their debut after Infinity War (especially if the Avengers lineup is stirred up and new, more inexperienced members are put in, etc.)? Of course they could, they’re already playing around with the idea of Inhumans, which are still set to debut after Infinity War Part 2. Who is this team, you ask? Well, it’s none other than:
The Masters of Evil
Before you go saying that the following characters wouldn’t have a problem with the Avengers if they’re only S.H.I.E.L.D. villains, here’s the thing about the Masters of Evil: they love that name. They love being evil, and any form of anything “good” is fair game for them. In fact, when the Avengers lineup COMPLETELY CHANGES (bar one character) for the first time ever, the Masters of Evil still attack, even though some have vendettas against other members that aren't even present. I believe the show will set them up, because the Masters – while usually led by and sometimes made up of A-list villains – are mostly B and C-level villains, which is perfect for the show.
So, here are the possible Masters of Evil:
The original villain who formed the Masters of Evil, Baron Zemo is set to be introduced in Captain America: Civil War and he could definitely be the force that creates the team (especially considering how massively the previous Captain America movie affected the show).
For me, Whiplash was always Marcus Scarlotti. Ivan Vanko was a made-up name for Iron Man 2, which was harking back to the name for the Crimson Dynamo (Anton Vanko). Soon, the comics followed suit and introduced a second Whiplash, Ivan Vanko. But to me, Scarlotti was the original and the best. Whiplash was mishandled in Iron Man 2, so what if (in typical Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fashion), the show re-jigs the idea and makes it better. I mean, they already have their Marcus Scarlotti (introduced in the Season 2 sixth episode ‘A Fractured House’):
He uses a whip and, if given more time, could definitely become a viable threat. He’s currently in S.H.I.E.L.D. custody.
Melter is one of the classic members of the Masters of Evil, and I’ve previously explained how he could be introduced HERE. Basically, I believe he is Joey Gutierrez, who is also in S.H.I.E.L.D. custody.
Absorbing Man is a classic Thor villain and has also served in the Masters of Evil. He was a main villain for the first few episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 and was subsequently put into custody in the military, with his actual fate being left up in the air.
Blackout was a villain in the first season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and was apparently destroyed, although he could very well still be alive, given the nature of his power.
Angar the Screamer
The Season 2 villain Angar the Screamer was part of Cal’s group. He’s already appeared and is in S.H.I.E.L.D. custody. He could potentially be a Screaming Mimi stand-in.
Calvin Zabo was a major antagonist in Season 2, but had his memory wiped by the end of the season and was living peacefully. His memories were wiped, but they could definitely come back. Maybe he just naturally has a penchant for destroying things and being evil, and the formula will come back in his mind and now he’ll be driven evil purely for scientific purposes, just like his comic book counterpart.
The big “maybe” of the team, I believe Taskmaster will definitely be involved in this team. He’s been hired to work for them before and I just believe that if Taskmaster is who I hope it’ll be, he could even work as a leader. I wrote my explanation of the Taskmaster theory HERE and a possible role for him in Civil War HERE.
Gladiator (as Melvin Potter) was introduced in the Daredevil TV show, and I believe he could definitely come back with a vengeance, especially given how the Masters of Evil have had identity and allegiance issues, just like Potter himself. Plus, he’d be a brutal addition.
Batroc the Leaper
Introduced in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, he could definitely work as a small member of the group.
The character from Season 1, turned partial antagonist in Season 2, could come back as a fully-fledged villain. He’s not confirmed to be dead or alive.
While never having served on the Masters of Evil (probably due to his tendency to think himself above everyone else), he would be a great addition to the group, especially since he was teased back in the third episode of the first season, with Franklin Hall getting sucked into the Gravitonium.
The person I thought would be Madame Masque already died in the Season 2 finale (Agent 33), but someone else could definitely don the mask and join the team, especially given the lack of females.
Lorelei has never served on the Masters of Evil, but her sister (the Enchantress) has, and she could definitely work as a viable replacement for her sister. Lorelei appeared as a villain in the fourteenth episode of Season 1.
Set up in Jessica Jones, Nuke could definitely come back with a vengeance in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Crossbones could definitely cross swords (that wasn’t meant to be a pun, but I’m just rolling with it) with the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. after finishing his fight with Captain America in Captain America: Civil War.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. likes to embrace the funny side of things. In the show Daredevil, there were allusions to the classic villain, but I highly doubt he’ll appear in that show. He could definitely appear in Agents, especially given the fact that Lady Stilt Man served on the Masters of Evil
While incredibly unlikely, I believe a different actor could come on to play a new, updated Ultron, who could serve on the Masters of Evil.
Yellowjacket got sucked into the microverse in Ant-Man, but he could come back. Scott did and Wasp might. There was a female Yellowjacket who served on the Masters of Evil though, but it could definitely be someone taking on his mantle.
Klaw has been set up (in Avengers: Age of Ultron) and he could really be a threat on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
But Then Again, ANY Previous Villain Could Come Back
We could be seeing the Destroyer, Loki, Malekith or even Red Skull (if you’re not that much into Thor villains), so I should probably stop before I take it too far. What I’m saying is, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has introduced a lot of characters who could become Masters of Evil, while the movies have pushed certain characters aside. I believe a Masters of Evil is coming, or maybe even a gang of villains led by the Hood.
Either way, these villains will be back, whether it be in a small team or in a massive breakout of custody (which a lot of them seem to be in) á la New Avengers in the comic books (when Electro breaks several prisoners out of the Raft and the new Avengers have to deal with them. Trust me, it’s awesome).
So, what do you think? Could the Masters of Evil be coming? Let’s talk about it in the comments.
Thanks for reading!