Every hero needs a good villain. And when you’re a group of heroes as high profile and high powered as The Avengers, then that villain better not be a limp wristed second-stringer. In fact, only officially certified badasses need apply. Rumours of exactly who will be throwing down against Captain America and friends have had
me the fanboys simply frothing at the mouth, as we they threw their favourite black hat into the ring.
Now ComingSoon.net has got wind of some quotes from an upcoming issue of Empire magazine in which they spoke to Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, and he gives the most straightforward answer yet on some of these rumours.
Obviously, some SPOILER WARNINGS are necessary.
We already knew that Loki would be the main antagonist, but since almost the start of this production, the “word on the street” has been that there would be a second villain. Somebody to do all the heavy lifting, so to speak, while Loki plots and schemes from the background. (Have you seen his horned hat? Very impractical in battle situations.) And since the first few leaked set images revealed some very extraterrestrial looking weapons, speculation was that the spacefaring Skrulls were somehow involved.
But Mr Feige has just thrown an alien-spanner into the works:
“Who said they were aliens?” he teases. Beings from the Nine Realms, then, ventures Empire? “Closer…It’s not Skrulls, I’ve been clear about that. Beyond that, we want to hide it. The identity of the alien race is not impactful. It exists in the comic books, but we’re not setting up the Kree-Skrull war or anything like that.”
So alien, but not alien alien, if you know what I mean. The Nine Realms indicate that they’re something from Thor’s Asgardian neck of the woods, which certainly ties into the Loki angle. Could we be seeing the Asgardian Demons of Muspelheim?
The realm of Muspelheim is ruled by Sutur; a 1000 foot tall, flame-headed, skyscraper-sized sword carrying demon that predates even Odin and is considered to be the most powerful of all of Asgard’s ancient enemies. On pure brute force alone, Sutur certainly ticks all the boxes as an appropriate Avengers villain, but I think that his inclusion may just be wishful thinking on my part, for two reasons:
1) His demonic imagery just doesn’t sit right with the established aesthetic of Marvel’s movie universe. They went out of their way to play down the religious/godly aspects of the Asgardians in Thor, so I doubt that they’re now going to introduce a character that is essentially a barbarian Satan on steroids.
2) Also, the fact that Feige says that the identity of the alien race is not impactful, implies to me that these aliens – whomever they are – are pretty much going to be used as foot soldiers. Sutur is not a foot soldier.
Feige also elaborated further on another secret villain rumour: the Red Skull. As we recently reported, the Skull’s inclusion actually made a whole lot of sense, but Feige was very unequivocal about his answer:
“Was Skull vaporised at the end of the movie, or thrust into another realm?” asks Feige. “That remains to be seen. It would be fun to see Skull in future, but he’s not in this one.”
That’s pretty clear-cut. Director Joss Whedon though, was not so forthcoming:
Whedon though is a little more circumspect when Empire confronts him. “I do have a comment on that,” he says, before pulling a move worthy of Loki himself. “It’s…oh, you’re breaking up!”
I do think that Whedon is just intentionally trying to be coy here to keep the flames of fandom burning and that we actually won’t be seeing Red Skull. Well at least not now. We know that Marvel wants to make a couple of these movies, so we may be seeing Herr Schmidt somewhere down the line. I just hope he brings his sweet Red Skull-Mobile with him.