It's a small multiverse

Avengers 5 could reveal a time-bending villain set up in Guardians Vol. 3

Cosmic power is at his disposal.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is currently on hold. Due to the pandemic, release date delays, and production shutdowns, Marvel Studios has put Black Widow, Eternals, and several Disney+ shows on the back burner for now. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and WandaVision have wrapped filming, but plans for another big Avengers team-up aren't coming anytime soon.

Before another Avengers outing can happen, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has to lay the groundwork for their reunion. With that in mind, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 may introduce an all-powerful cosmic villain who will prove formidable enough to return in Avengers 5.

The supervillain Korvac was initially meant to be a throwaway character, but he went on to become one of the Avengers' and the Guardians of the Galaxy’s primary enemies. First introduced in 1975’s Giant-Size Defenders #3, Michael Korvac was a regular man before he stole Galactus’ power source, obtaining the ability to control energy, teleport, and manipulate time and space.

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Before he happened upon Galactus’ ship, however, Korvac lived on an alternate Earth and worked for Badoon, a reptilian and antagonistic alien species. As punishment for not taking his job as seriously as they wanted, the Badoon transformed Korvac’s upper body into a mechanical control panel used to draw energy from any available source.

In the animated series Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Korvac actually obtained his powers after he was kidnapped and experimented on by the Kree, an advanced alien species hellbent on war you might remember from Captain Marvel. At one point, Korvac even attempts to steal the cosmic cube (known in the MCU as the Tesseract) from Red Skull and used Captain America to do it. He also appeared as the main villain in a comic book tie-in for Captain America: The First Avenger — where Cap chased him through the future.

Korvac constantly schemes and plots in a bid to obtain even more power and often crosses paths with the Guardians of the Galaxy along the way. At one point, he was made to battle Doctor Strange in the Grandmaster’s games and, when he attempted to steal the entity’s cosmic force and rule the universe, was thwarted by the Guardians and Thor. However, he later escapes through the multiverse to land on Marvel’s primary Earth (aka, Earth-616). The Guardians follow him there and join the Avengers to defeat Korvac before he causes any more cosmic destruction.

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We know that Thor joined the Guardians of the Galaxy at the end of Avengers: Endgame and there’s a chance their next adventure landed them in the crosshairs of Korvac. Of course, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3’s release date was pushed back long before the pandemic, with Thor: Love and Thunder arriving in theaters ahead of it. Still, whether or not Thor appears in Guardians 3 shouldn’t make a difference on Korvac’s potential introduction.

Korvac's cosmic abilities make him the ideal villain for the Guardians to battle in the third installment. What’s more, Korvac is a formidable foe who can bounce through dimensions. That gives him an edge over the well-meaning but klutzy Guardians, which could set him up as the big bad in Avengers 5. Let’s say that he stole the Tesseract from Loki himself and is using it to stage a cosmic takeover. These plans would undoubtedly make Korvac a major threat to Earth and it will require the strength of the Avengers and their allies to bring him down for good.