Will The Masters of Evil Debut in Infinity War? (A Spotted Tie-In)

Avengers: Infinity War is roughly about a month away, folks, and boy, it really cannot come here any sooner. While everyone is busy talking about who will die in the forthcoming crossover, Dad and I are just here discussing, "Who the hell is going to help them?" When you think about it, the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy, plus with the combined might of the Wakandans, are still hopelessly outnumbered by Thanos' Black Order and his new alien army, the Outriders.

Considering that this is basically the end of the entire universe as we know it, our heroes should consider every single option in order to prevent Thanos from bringing about total annihilation. Yes, the Defenders (Y'know, Netflix's street-based Avengers) should might as well be concerned, but due to the fact that the movies are currently ignoring much of the events of the shows, it seems unlikely that we would see the two teams fight side-by-side, although there might be some few subtle nods to their actions during the film. Welcome to Dateline Movies, and we might have a pretty great idea on who our heroes will turn to, and they are none other than ... the villains?

Right, because the last thing the Avengers and the Guardians really need right now are a bunch of villains running around doing other evil things while a bigger threat gives them the advantage to do so. Although there has been no official confirmation that any other villain would be returning for the flick, there is still a chance that they could help out, and could even be referenced or be seen through cameos.

It is actually already a particularly cliched thing to do for heroes who are in desperate need of assistance, especially in the face of something as catastrophic as Thanos and his Black Order. We have seen that happen already before, with Loki, played by Tom Hiddleston (High-Rise) already teaming-up with Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth (The Ghostbusters Reboot) twice (Thrice, if you would be counting his appearance as a "fully reformed" villain in Infinity War). It is also a given fact that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has a serious villain problem, and it does not help that much of their more interesting villains had already been killed-off unceremoniously. Luckily for us though, we still have a few living villains who are either incarcerated and are grinding their axes for future revenge schemes, or are turning a new leaf. What better way to finally flesh these evildoers out than a massive crossover with lasting consequences?

Given that, how would the likes of Tony Stark, played by Robert Downey, Jr. (Good Night, and Good Luck) considering he seems to be the man leading the battle, even convince them that they should help the very people that brought them behind bars? Not surprisingly, it really is not that difficult to convince them. And while the focus is still with the Avengers and the Guardians, the film does not really need to put one huge montage dedicated to their recruitment, but perhaps just one scene that showed all of them entering Quinjets, or going through portals made by Doctor Strange, played by Benedict Cumberbatch (The Current War), all ready for battle, but not before making harsh exchanges with their mortal enemies.  

Tony realizes that they are indeed outnumbered, and despite Wakanda's technological advancements, they will not be able to combat the entire Outrider attack force. To make things worse, and considering that the directors Joe and Anthony Russo have confirmed that Infinity War works more like a heist film, Thanos, played by Josh Brolin (Sicario: Day of the Soldado) is allowing his forces to cause distractions worldwide, leaving the Avengers thinly spread-out. In a desperate move, Tony would gather the files of all of the currently alive villains, and recruit them, with some through other heroes, wherever they are currently located.

The "Masters of Evil", an obvious anti-Avengers team, which is a name that could be given by someone like Spider-Man, played by Tom Holland (Spies in Disguise), or Ant-Man, played by Paul Rudd (Clueless) as a joke ("I don't feel like working with these 'Masters of Evil', Mr. Stark.", or something within that line), would be deployed to certain parts of Wakanda, or other nations, to hold-off the invasion.

Adrian Toomes / The Vulture

New York City looks as if its going to be ground zero for Thanos' first strike, and here I thought that the city itself did not sustain enough damage already from the events of The Avengers. Given the potential threat that the giant floating disc from space poses, Adrian Toomes, also known as The Vulture, played by Michael Keaton (The Founder) would be the first to accept Tony's invitation, despite his distrust and hatred of Stark, as seen in his debut film. In fact, he would be the only one who would accept it in a heartbeat.

Since he knows him well much more than Tony, Spider-Man might be the one to pick him up from prison, given that we see him incarcerated in a New York City prison. Toomes might be slightly hesitant, but being a family man, he offers his skills and knowledge of the Vulture harness to fight the invaders. His connections to two other villains from Spider-Man: Homecoming, namely The Shocker, played by Bokeem Woodbine (Riddick), and the man who made his gadgets, The Tinkerer, played by Michael Chernus (The Most Hated Woman in America) would lead to try and recruit them to the fight. However, both would decline. In The Shocker's case, provided that he is more or less just your average, money minded henchman, would rather run away, fearing for his own survival, while The Tinkerer is nowhere to be seen, since he managed to escape in Homecoming. This forces The Vulture to join alone, but not before getting enough Chitauri-enhanced weapons and supplies from his old workplace.

The Vulture, with his Chitauri-upgraded arsenal, could be the one to provide air support for the villain's counterattacks.

Helmut Zemo
(from Captain America: Civil War)

How fitting it is that the man who is solely responsible for the disbandment of the Avengers, would eventually help them out. Tony could personally recruit him from his European prison, where we last saw him gloating to Everett K. Ross, played by Martin Freeman (Ghost Stories) of his master plan's success. While Helmut Zemo, played by Daniel BrΓΌhl (The Cloverfield Paradox) would be reluctant to assist the people, that type of people that he despises, the Enhanced, his own belief that no other Enhanced should be able to cause further damage to the world would convince him to join in. Since we did not see him show-off his military skills from his days as a Sokovian kill squad leader, this could be his chance to inflict some serious damage.

However, considering that he has no powers whatsoever, and it is more or less clear that simple bullets would not be enough, Zemo might become truly desperate. This would eventually force him to inject an unstable "Super Soldier Serum" that can give him advanced reflexes and strength. And as a reference to the comics, his face might become disfigured, which leads him to wear his signature purple mask.

Helmut Zemo could serve as the field leader, and the marksman of the Masters of Evil.

Karl Mordo
(from Doctor Strange)

Among all of the recruits, he is the only one whose existence Tony is not aware of. Doctor Strange, being his former colleague in the "Masters of the Mystic Arts", would be able to track Karl Mordo, played by Chiwetal Ejiofor (Children of Men) down anywhere in the world. Since we last saw him kidnapping Jonathan Pangborn, played by Benjamin Bratt (Coco), in the post-credits scene of Doctor Strange, we might be able to see him mastering his skills further. Strange would be able to convince him to aid the Avengers and the Guardians in the fight against Thanos by telling him that he can be better than their former mentor, The Ancient One, played by Tilda Swinton (Okja) by making the world better. Although he would still abide to his "no more sorcerers" philosophy, Mordo's desire in making a better world would convince him to form an uneasy alliance with the heroes.

Karl Mordo could be the one to provide magical support, and additional air assistance, for the counterattacks.


Justin Hammer

(from Iron Man 2)

Now, it does make sense for someone with no powers, but has practically enough experience in battle to fight in an intergalactic onslaught. But what can a genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist, minus a certain suit of armor and a moral compass, can contribute in the battlefield? When we last saw him in the Marvel One-Shot entitled "All Hail The King", Hammer is simply living a rather pleasant experience in prison, until a riot erupted. Given that he practically has no fighting skills, there is no possible way for him to escape easily, and more or less he is incarcerated again, and never heard from again.

That might be the end of his story, but as evidenced in Netflix's Luke Cage series, it would appear that his company, which might be managed by him from prison, is joining the weapons dealing market, specifically on the Chitauri weapons side, similar to The Vulture's former operation. While we just saw some weapons such as a few upgraded state-of-the-art bullets, and a really terribly designed exoskeleton, perhaps Hammer might have finally gotten the edge that he has always desired in order to best Stark at his own game, and that is the right Chitauri technology, and the know-how, to build an alien armor, probably similar to how it was done for his animated counterpart in Iron Man: Armored Adventures, where he gained an armor from Stark's blueprints and became the "Titanium Man". With this in mind, Hammer, who might be convinced by Stark himself that he can one-up his corporate rival with his advanced technology in the battle against Thanos. Considering that Hammer possesses an ego and a happy-go-lucky vibe that matches Stark in more ways than one, Hammer would more or less accept the challenge, even at the risk of getting himself terribly altered from his vanity project.

Justin Hammer, with his upgrades, plus with some additional Wakandan weaponry, could be the primary ground support for the Masters of Evil.

Emil Blonsky / The Abomination,
and Samuel Sterns / The Leader
(from The Incredible Hulk)

And finally we make it to the two unfortunate black sheep of the M.C.U. rogues' gallery. Both of these villains have managed to survive the events of The Incredible Hulk, but after that movie, they are never heard from ever since, except for a few subtle references, which is a huge waste considering that these two villains have rather interesting stories in the comics. This could be the best chance to bring them back, and finally have themselves shine.

Bruce Banner, or the Hulk, played by Mark Ruffalo (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) could be the one to recruit them in their prison, appealing once more to their inferior and insecure personalities. Arguably, these two would be the most difficult to recruit, considering that Emil Blonsky, The Abomination, played by Tim Roth (Reservoir Dogs) has no qualms about other people's lives, while Samuel Sterns, The Leader, played by Tim Blake Nelson (FANT4STIC), being one of the smartest superpowered beings yet, predicts that a new empire could be formed from the ashes. However, given that The Leader can predict any outcome, he might also predict that Thanos might see him as a threat, then eventually kill him. Because of this, The Leader, who convinces The Abomination, to join the fight, with The Abomination reluctantly joining, hoping that after the fight, he will be able to kill The Hulk himself.

The Abomination will most likely be the muscle of the group, while The Leader, with his telepathy, could be the wheelchair-bound compass of the team.

And there you have it. We have shown our case on how the Masters of Evil could debut in Avengers: Infinity War. There are notable excluded villains from this post, including Georges Batroc, played by Georges St. Pierre (Kickboxer: Vengeance), considering  that he would basically be killed because of his limited fighting abilities, and the Red Skull, played by Hugo Weaving (The Matrix) whose status remains unknown after being teleported to outer space. Do you believe that the Masters of Evil will be coming to the M.C.U.? Let us know in the comments, and please enjoy this awesome second trailer for the obvious movie. Stay tuned for more Dateline Movies! 


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