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With Netflix bringing four of Marvel’s cult favorite heroes to the small screen, there are possibly dozens of comic book bad guys waiting to make their Marvel Cinematic Universe debut. Even if Daredevil, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage are four of the more street-level Marvel superheroes and could spend all of their televised exploits battling generic drug dealers and crime lords, they each have opponents that wouldn’t break any budgets and make for great television.
With that in mind, here are eight super villains that have to appear on the upcoming Netflix series – including the Defenders team-up mini-series.
It might be hard to erase Colin Farrell’s over-the-top performance as the master assassin in 2003’s live-action film from pop culture’s memory, but there’s no reason why Netflix’s Daredevil shouldn’t try. After all, Farrell’s goatee’d interpretation was so different from the darkly disturbing comic book character, it’s possible that a faithful portrayal of Lester wouldn’t even be recognizable as the same villain. Bullseye’s ability to never miss his mark is both deadly and cheaply accomplished, making him an ideal candidate for inclusion.
Elektra Natchios needs redemption. That can be said for the love interest-turned-assassin herself as well as her general standing in the public consciousness. This great character has been sadly associated with two of Marvel’s least-respected films, and her film’s failure has been unfairly accused of keeping solo heroines off the big screen since 2005. If anyone needs redemption more than Daredevil, it’s Elektra – and here’s hoping that the Netflix series will give this character the showcase and development fit for one of Marvel’s most complicated anti-heroes.
Luke Cage needs a small-screen archenemy, and that archenemy could easily be Hardcore. This assassin tormented Cage during his short-lived ongoing series in the early ’90s before literally exploding into obscurity. While he may not have flashy powers, he does possess augmented hands that enable him to slice through steel and a kinetic Kevlar vest that allows him to withstand blows from the super strong Cage. If Marvel’s big screen endeavors are resurrecting forgotten characters like Guardians of the Galaxy‘s Collector, then there’s no reason why Hardcore couldn’t run amuck on Luke Cage.
Whereas Bullseye and Elektra might face a few obstacles on their way to the small screen, the Kingpin’s inclusion in Daredevil is pretty much a necessity. Considering newly appointed writer Drew Goddard’s affinity for Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli’s Kingpin-centric “Born Again” storyline, the larger-than-life crime boss seems like a no-brainer for inclusion. Unlike most of the other villains on this list, the Kingpin’s position as the figurehead of the New York underworld makes him important enough to possibly appear in multiple episodes as he slowly tries to destroy Matt Murdock’s life.
When Brian Michael Bendis introduced the Purple Man into Jessica Jones’ back story in the character’s ongoing series Alias, he reinvented a D-List Marvel villain into a credible threat. The mental manipulator has gone from a nobody to the Hannibal Lecter of the Marvel Universe – except he also has mental powers. While the character’s oddball skin tone might not work in live-action, his mental powers and unrelentingly creepy vibe will still make him stand out.
Every hero needs a polar opposite, and the martial arts master Davos provided Iron Fist with just that. As the Steel Serpent, this native of the mystical city K’un-L’un has even been able to absorb Iron Fist’s power into his own body. Including the Steel Serpent in Iron Fist would both allow for a natural exploration of the history of K’un-L’un and lead to the elaborate martial arts melees that fans expect out of a series starring Danny Rand.
This little-known villain cut a swath through the Marvel Universe in the ’70s and ’80s, taking on everyone from Luke Cage and Iron Fist to the X-Men. Protected by his steel hard omnium skin, this ex-soldier sold his abilities as a marksman and proficient hand-to-hand combatant to the highest bidder – bidders that usually wanted someone dead. With his strong comic book ties to both halves of the Heroes for Hire, he could be the one villain to tie the Luke Cage and Iron Fist series together.
When all of these heroes come together in The Defenders, they’re going to need a threat worthy of their might. The Wrecking Crew can pose at least one threat during the course of the mini-series. The quartet of super-powered powerhouses debuted in a Defenders comic guest-starring Luke Cage, giving them solid ties to the Netflix franchise. The villains also derive power from Asgardian sorcery, meaning that their involvement could allow for a natural tie-in with the big-screen Thor franchise. Since all of their powers are crushingly physical, that also means they’re easy to translate to television. Let’s hope that The Defenders puts the Wrecking Crew to work.