Doug: So about this Thanos fellow. It sounds to me like everyone is pretty excited about his potential storyline unfolding in Avengers 2, what with the Infinity Gauntlet already having been shown in Odin's trophy room in Thor. But what of some other super-baddies Joss Wheedon could have chosen? There were certainly other possibilities. Let's take a look at five marquis names that I don't think we'd have hated:
Kang the Conqueror. Seems like I've moved from a purple-faced guy to a blue-faced guy. For my money, Kang's the Avengers #1 enemy. Of course, a fellow we'll get to in just a bit is 1A, but let's stick with Kang for right now. With CGI, the possibilities for stories across time and space are endless. And wouldn't we all get a kick out of seeing Thor on the big screen with the Two-Gun Kid?? Heck yeah! I also thought some of the scenes out of the "Celestial Madonna", particularly the labyrinth under the castle of Immortus would play well onscreen. You know, it's funny -- my older son is a Marvel fan, primarily because of the films as well as action figures. He reads the occasional tpb, but doesn't by any means have a comic collection. So when he saw the movie he was under the impression that the big reveal at the end of the film was Kang. I decided to accept the spoiler and let him tell me -- I was pretty juiced about it, but when we went to see it together and I told him that it was Thanos we were still excited. But I am a bit surprised that they didn't choose Kang.
Ultron. Here he is -- 1A. This adamantium maniac might have been harder to pull off, simply because there would have to be quite a bit of backstory squeezed into a 2 1/2 hour film. But the possibilities of having the Pyms and of course the Vision join up are goose-bumping. And you know what? With a pic like the Avengers, where the cast is already pretty large, I'm not sure subsequent installments in the franchise will suffer from the busy-ness that the latter two Schumacher Batman films and Spider-Man 3 fell into. Really, in the Avengers situation, the more the merrier! I'd make one request for this character, however -- don't fall into the recent traps of making an army of Ultrons. We've seen this overused recently in the comics as well as the DisneyXD cartoon. He is big and bad enough on his own. "Bride of Ultron", anyone? Yeah, he had his nasty on in that story.
Dr. Doom. What a golden opportunity for a reboot of the Fantastic Four franchise! I'd re-do all five of the main characters from that movie. It's not that I totally hated those two pictures, but let's face it -- they are quickly falling down the care-o-meter for superhero flicks. The good Doctor just oozes silver screen appeal. Think JR Ewing meets Amon Goeth meets Darth Vader. Man... Again, the castle motif comes to mind, as does the potential for time travel. And you can't beat the visual of a Thing/Hulk slugfest somewhere along the line!
Baron Zemo. This one might be a stretch, given the narrow Red Skull-focus of the Cap film. But, we don't know what they have in store for Captain America 2 (do we?). The possibilities of also introducing a Masters of Evil makes Zemo an attractive choice. Again, you might walk the line of too many characters, but that classic line-up with the Black Knight, Radioactive Man, and the Enchantress and Executioner (see? Thor tie-in!) would be a blast.
Mandarin. We know he's the do-badder in Iron Man 3, so why not extend him over into the greater Avengers? Seriously -- was there a better Bronze Age reprint comic than Giant-Size Avengers #5? Yeah, I know it was an encore of Avengers King-Size Special #1, but I didn't grasp that at the time. So many heroes, and so many bad guys! Who among you wouldn't think it was cool to see the Swordsman and Hawkeye square off? Power Man vs. Cap? I picture the Mandarin like some dark crime lord, behind the scenes but pulling all of the strings. He could work out just fine.