The MCU has been growing since its birth in 2008's Iron Man. That original film, introduced us to one of our biggest heroes, his babe, and two members of S.H.I.E.L.D. who would forever shape the franchise. In the eleven movies that followed we have met dozens of new characters. Some have become iconic fan favorites, but some have disappeared after a single appearance.
Several characters such as the Guardians, Scarlet Witch, Vision have already been confirmed for their second appearance, so they're disqualified from this list. Here are eleven MCU characters that need to return!
Red Skull isn't just an iconic film villain, he's a long standing foe of Captain America, but he's only appeared in Captain America: The First Avenger as the leader of Hydra. He was obsessed with the tesseract, and it's unlimited power. In the end his obsession is what "killed" him. As he touched the tesseract it engulfed him and his body dissolved.
Red Skull absolutely has to come back to the MCU, he's just as iconic as Loki and can you imagine Loki only making a single appearance?. Fans believe that Red Skull was not killed when he touched the tesseract, but that he actually is trapped inside of it!
Hammer's appearance was in Iron Man 2 as longtime rival of Tony Stark. When we met him he had become a villain by allying with Vanko, hiring him to build a rival Iron Man suit. His plan failed when Vanko double crossed him, and he was arrested. We can assume that Hammer has lost most of his company, and we know from Marvel One Shot: All Hail the King that Hammer was in prison with Trevor Slattery.
Hammer may have been a second rate villain from the worst of the the Iron Man trilogy, however I still very much want to see what kind of a man he becomes in prison. With his tech background it would be very easy to bring him in as a villain for Ant-Man and the Wasp, with a backstory connecting Hammer and Pym.
Fans remember Slattery as the red-herring villain of Iron Man 3. Most were disappointed that comic book villain turned out to be nothing more than an out of work actor playing the part so the real villain could distract our heroes. Unfortunately for Slattery the world knew him as the leader of the largest terrorist organization in the West. He ended being served a life sentence in prison.
In the Marvel One Shot: All Hail the King, we see Slattery imprisoned, and talking to the press about his time as an actor/terrorist. At the end of the short Slattery is "rescued" from prison, and told that the real Mandarin wishes to meet him. This cliffhanger makes me believe that Slattery will return, and with the mysterious Mandarin!
Matthew Ellis was introduced to the MCU in Iron Man 3, where he worked closely with Rhodey and the United States Army. Ellis was kidnapped by Aldrich Killian, and later rescued by Iron Man and Iron Patriot.
Ellis briefly appeared on a BREAKING NEWS bulletin this season on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but despite this cameo has not returned throughout the rest of Marvel's Phase 2. It was rumored that he would appear in Captain America: Civil War giving Iron Man support in chasing Captain America and his rogue heroes, however, this has yet to be confirmed. Ellis would be very easy to bring back as he was elected in 2012, and could still play the role of POTUS up until 2020!
Glenn Close's character became an instant fan favorite in Guardians of the Galaxy, but so far there's been no announcement of her return for the sequel! Nova Prime is the leader of the Xandar's Nova Corps, an elite army that successfully defended their planet against Ronan.
At the end of the film we see Prime lock up the Orb, one of the six infinity stones, in a Xandar vault. Eventually Thanos will need all six stones, so he'll somehow interact with the Nova Corps in the future. Will he destroy the entire planet and the Nova Corps in the process? It's very likely. In the comics Xandar is destroyed, and the Nova Corps with it. It would be an extremely epic way to open up Avengers: Infinity War Part I! Imagine Thanos landing on Xandar, finding the Orb and killing everyone. It would be a pretty effective way to finally show what the Mad Titan is capable of! I hope that when we do get to see Xandar again that Glenn Close returns as Nova Prime! I would love to see her attempt to fight Thanos in a scene where the planet is burning around them and Prime seems to be briefly hold her own against the Titan as he demands to know where the Orb is.
Unfortunately for fans we've never even seen The Leader! Samuel Sterns played a large part in The Incredible Hulk helping Bruce Banner look for ways to "cure" himself of the Hulk, but he never truly became the Leader. During the climax of the film Abomination knocked Sterns around in his lab, and as he lay on the floor bleeding out, a blood sample of the Hulk falls to the ground, and the seeps into Sterns' brain mutating it.
In the comics the Leader is Hulk's opposite. The gamma radiation didn't make him physically strong, it made him incredibly intelligent. Leader could easily become a future Avengers villain as he is smarter than both Stark and Banner. He could easily be a villain only the Avengers could defeat as a team! Sterns needs to come back, he's one of the largest loose threads of the MCU!
Ronan the Accuser
Ronan is another big time comic book villain that has already met his demise in the MCU. The Kree leader appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy as a pawn of Thanos as they searched for the infinity stones. Ronan betrayed Thanos and took the Orb for himself, but in the end the Guardians used the stone to "kill" him. Just as Red Skull was "dissolved" by the tesseract, I believe there's a chance that Ronan has been absorbed by the Orb and is alive within it.
Ronan betrayed Thanos, and even though he was defeated by the Guardians, I still believe that this choice needs to come back and haunt him. Thanos has had two big time Marvel villains fail him: Ronan and Loki. I am hopeful that we'll see both return in Avengers Infinity War.
In 2008's Incredible Hulk we met Abomination. Abomination is, arguably, Hulk's greatest foe and even though we haven't seen him since his defeat and arrest we have heard updates on him. In Marvel's One Shot: The Consultant we know that the Abomination is in S.H.I.E.L.D. custody in Alaska, and that the World Security Council believed Blonsky to be a war hero, and a candidate for the Avengers Initiative. Coulson and Sitwell discuss how to stop this from happening. Likewise in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Coulson threatened to banish Ward to Alaska to guard Blonsky in his cell.
We've since learned that Sitwell and Ward were Hydra so it could be very possible that Abomination has been released and is now with the new Hydra. S.H.I.E.L.D. is all but gone, so we can assume that in the very least that Abomination has escaped custody and is on his own.
In the comics Abomination is one of the villains that make up the Masters of Evil. This team is often led by Red Skull, Loki, Ultron or even Doctor Octopus and has included many villains spanning the comics. I would love to see this played out in Marvel's Phase 4! If the Red Skull is in fact alive I would prefer him to create the team as he did in the comics. Now with the inclusion of Spider-Man and his villains, the possible combinations that we could see within the Masters of Evil is endless! Abomination would be a necessary addition to this villainous team!
One of the best parts of Captain America: the Winter Soldier was the opening sequence where Cap, Black Widow and their S.H.I.E.L.D. team dropped onto an aircraft carrier to liberate it from pirates. Batroc was a short lived villain who had this wonderful fight scene with Cap! The two seemed equally matched, but with Widow distracting Cap the fight didn't even end and Batroc escaped!
Batroc isn't a major villain from the comics, but he does play a large role on occasion. I was hopeful we would see his return in Captain America: Civil War, however it's not been announced. How cool would it be to see Crossbones and Batroc working together? Batroc would also be another fun villain to see return as a member of the Masters of Evil!
Now Laufey, King of the Frost Giants, is confirmed dead in the MCU so his return seems unlikely. We watched Loki kill him as he attempted to prove his loyalty to Odin and Frigga, even though it was Loki who led the giants into Asgard in the first place.
Laufey only appeared in Thor, but he was visually stunning, and seemed to be a great villain! I would have loved to see him get more screen time, and see more of his relationship with his biological son Loki.
If Thanos is indeed going to use the infinity gauntlet to resurrect dead villains to do his bidding, how awesome would it be if one of them was Laufey? I would love to see Laufey on Earth stomping through the city, freezing taxicabs and fighting our wide array of heroes.
Most recently in Avengers: Age of Ultron we were introduced to the villain twins: Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. The two were experimented and made super by Hydra, but sided with Ultron until they realized he planned to kill all of humankind. They came to the Avengers aid, and even though Quicksilver died saving Hawkeye, his sister survived to become of one Cap's New Avengers, and she's set to appear in the upcoming Captain America: Civil War. Unfortunately for fans Quicksilver does not seem to be coming back from the dead, or making another appearance. At least not anytime soon.
While it does get tiring that no heroes have yet to stay dead inside the Marvel Cinematic Universe, (Nick Fury, Pepper Potts and Coulson to name a few) and it makes all the mortal danger seem less dangerous. On the other hand it is unfortunate when someone dies with so much potential, and Quicksilver has such a huge history in the comics. While he did get his redemption to briefly become a hero in Age of Ultron, there's still so much that we'll never get to see if he does not return. With the upcoming Inhumans film for example, Quicksilver has a long history with these people, including marrying the princess and having a daughter, and even learning that he and his sister are actually Inhumans!
There's my top eleven choices to return! Most of which are villains, one thing that I feel that's missing from Marvel is long running villains. Instead of killing them off each film, it's time to start saving them up so we can see the Masters of Evil! One of the best things about the MCU is that characters can pop up anywhere and everywhere! With such a huge expanding, and connected, universe anything could happen! Nova Prime in Spider-Man? Batroc in Ant-Man and the Wasp? WHY NOT?