- Marvel has introduced some incredibly powerful and intriguing villains this year, setting the stage for epic conflicts in the future.
- Villains like Mother of Horrors, Cubisk Core, and General Strange pose major threats to the Marvel Universe and its heroes.
- The expansion of Marvel’s cosmic landscape gives these villains the opportunity to become even more significant antagonists, operating at unimaginable levels, going forward.
2023 introduced some exceptional villains into the Marvel Universe. Every year, the publishing company tries to up the ante, not only when it comes to characters and storytelling, but as far as the hierarchy levels within its in-comic universe. If the Marvel Universe stares down the biggest threat its ever faced, then the creative team needs to conjure an even more grandiose enemy for the next year.
Constantly trying to up the ante like that is easier said than done, but for this year at least, Marvel has pulled it off by introducing some of the biggest villains they could offer. Even better, many of these villains are on track to return in even more prominent antagonistic positions in the coming year, producing intrigue for what to expect moving forward. Below are the 10 Marvel villains introduced this year that could become significant threats in the future. Especially with the publisher significantly expanding its cosmic landscape, some of these villains will inevitably find themselves moving on to even more pivotal conflicts.
10 Mother of Horrors
A Cosmic Villain From The Beginning Of Time
Long before the advent of the Marvel Universe most readers are familiar with, the Mother of Horrors served the One-Above-All, but would eventually betray the Marvel God, creating a demon named Udru to conquer Earth for itself. Once the betrayal was unearthed, The One killed Udru, before dealing with Mother. Now, the Mother is on course to make a major comeback as the Hulk’s latest villain. A road is slowly being paved, brick by brick, for the Mother of Horrors to return among the living, and when it does, imminent doom for everyone involved has been foreshadowed for the future.
9 Cubisk Core
Already Holding Immense World-Ending Power
Marvel’s new and eagerly anticipated G.O.D.S. has introduced the universe’s most powerful and destructive group in the form of the Natural Order of Things. The team as a whole is capable of both creating and destroying universes, and that’s concerning enough, but still not as concerning as the villainous force that brings them together with the Powers That Be to stop it: Cubisk Core. Cubisk still holds a lot of mystery, but he’s already stolen the Staff of the Living Tribunal, holding world-ending power that positions him as a major antagonist moving forward. In the coming year, with the climax to G.O.D.S., and beyond, this mysterious new villain could be here to stay.
8 General Strange
Doctor Strange’s War-Ravaged Dark Side
General Strange is a version of Doctor Strange who fought in the War of the Seven Spheres for thousands of years. Several millennia worth of war has naturally changed the good doctor, turning him into an uncompromising, vengence-seeking antagonist. Staying true to his codename, Doctor Strange returns feelings of guilt and remorse to General Strange before the latter can spread chaos to the universe. He has plans to rehabilitate the villain going into the new year, but if the good Doctor fails in his attempt, the Marvel Universe may need to prepare for an all-powerful antagonist ready for war, one who wields all of Doctor Strange’s power and intelligence, but has lost his moral center.
A Herald Of Something Much Darker
Omen arrives to the Marvel Universe as the herald of The Undone, a Galactus-style cosmic God. The Undone itself is still largely unknown, except that it will surely be a major threat in the future. Omen, meanwhile, has already made her presence known across the Marvel Universe. In just three issues of a revamped Captain Marvel series, the Omen has managed to kill and take control of the original Captain Marvel’s son, turning him into her zombie minion. Most recently, Omen’s civilian identity was revealed to be the crush and love interest of Carol’s new sidekick, further complicating the feud going into next year.
God Of The Super-Storm
The Mighty Thor was forced into his toughest battle yet this year in the pages of Al Ewing’s Immortal Thor, when he found himself face-to-face with the Utgard-Thor, Toranos, Marvel’s most powerful god. Primordial cosmic entities, whose identities prefigured even the Asgardians, the Utgard Gods themselves could be the greatest threat the Marvel Universe has ever faced, but in Toranos’ case, Thor immediately knew he was outmatched. Thor had no choice but to form the Thor Corps to combat him. Although they were successful, Toranos’ defeat didn’t feel definitive – and could open the door for a return, and a more sustained role as a large-scale enemy, for the coming year.
5 The Lost One
Redefines The Beyonders
Avengers Beyond this past summer introduced the Lost One – another powerful cosmic Marvel god – into the canon. As the series revealed, he created the Beyonders, imbuing them with a fraction of his power. To show their “gratitude” (or lack there of), the Beyonders subsequently trapped him for eons, after stealing all of his powers. He then returned, seeking to take all of his power back, even banishing the Beyonder from existence. Now that he has his incredible power back, there is no telling what he could do with it all next year. The heroes of the Marvel Universe best beware, and proceed with caution.
4 April Booth / Anathema
Meet The New Hulk
Last year’s She-Hulk introduced Mark and April Booth of Booth Cybernetics, depicting both of them as obsessed with gaining superpowers. They thought they cracked the code to do just that after stealing She-Hulk’s blood samples from Stark Industries, but as these things tend to go, everything went wrong. The experiment resulted in April gaining superintelligence, with an abnormally large head, and Mark with super strength with a Hulk body, but deteriorated mental stability. April cured Mark by absorbing his radiation at the cost of losing herself in the process. Sensational She-Hulk then reintroduced April as Anathema, now obsessed with becoming the new Hulk – and she almost did just that by taking out the original.
3 The Demons Targeting Daredevil
Matt Murdock Didn’t Return From Hell Alone
In the previous Daredevil run by Chip Zdarsky, Matt Murdock ventured to Hell to save his captured friends from the Beast, going in as the Hand of God. He sacrificed his life to save them, but was revived by God as a rechristened priest. However, the current run by Saladin Ahmed reveals that he didn’t come alone, as demons from Hell are gunning for Matt, appearing to him by possessing his friends. Daredevil was able to exorcise the first two demons he encountered, first from Elektra, and then Ben Urich, but he’s been warned that others are coming with no hint as to when or how they’ll appear, or who they’ll possess next.
2 Ryan Topper
A Scarier New Sentry
A new mystery shrouding the Marvel Universe is that random citizens around the world are obtaining the powers of the late Sentry. One of these citizens is Ryan Topper, who readers still don’t know too much about coming out of the series’ first issue. All audiences know is that he’s a force to be reckoned with, and is on a mission to cull all the remaining Sentries to obtain their powers. The first issue introduces him in only five pages, but in those pages, he claims his first victim. Already a natural at wielding his newfound Sentry powers, Ryan proves that there’s nothing more dangerous than a psychopath on a mission.
1 The Adana
The End Feels Nigh For Blade
Under a ruse of playing a damsel in distress, an ancient demon returns to prominence by tricking Blade into killing the only warrior capable of killing her. Since then, The Adana has made Blade’s life a living hell while plunging the world into hell itself. With moves in her arsenal like creating her own actual hell dimension and having a Ghost-Rider-esque Penance Stare, she collects the final tool in her plan – the sword of Lucifer – after defeating Blade. She uses it to turn people around the world into monsters. Blade is going to need the help of Dracula and a Monster Slayer Hulk to save the Marvel Universe from the Adana.