2020 marks the first time in a decade that Marvel hasn’t released a new superhero movie. Avengers: Endgame (and Spider-Man: Far From Home) capped the end of an era and the pandemic has unexpectedly given Marvel fans a break from the superhero juggernaut. Black Widow and Eternals have been delayed to 2021, subsequently pushing back the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's planned Phase Four.
There’s no telling when Avengers 5 will be released at this point, but the team — whether made up of new heroes or not — will almost definitely assemble once more. What will unite Earth's mightiest heroes next time? Perhaps the next big villain will be one of Marvel’s most destructive mystical entities.
In the comics, Shuma-Gorath (aka Lord of Chaos) is an ancient, mystical, and immortal god-like creature with one eye and an enormous tentacled body. It looks like a monster from one of H.P. Lovecraft's books. First introduced in 1972’s Marvel Premiere #5, this teleporting mystic once ruled the world in ancient times before being exiled back to his home dimension of Crom by the time-traveling sorcerer Sise-Neg.
Shuma-Gorath finds a way back to Earth on multiple occasions, once after being summoned by Nicholas Scratch, Agatha Harkness’ son. The creature has battled Doctor Strange, the Fantastic Four, Monica Rambeau, and the Avengers. While Shuma-Gorath is thwarted every time, the creature is a dangerous foe. to beat and is revealed to be one of the "many-angled ones," a group of undying extra-dimensional villains that can warp, consume, and destroy reality. At one point, Shuma-Gorath and the other many-angled ones attempt to kill Death itself. It’s pretty wild.
Considering how ancient and powerful Shuma-Gorath is, it’s possible the creature has ties to the Celestials, the cosmic beings who created the Eternals. Shuma-Gorath can also shapeshift into anything, which means the creature could show up in any upcoming MCU films before revealing its true form later on.
However, the first time we meet Shuma-Gorath may be in WandaVision. We know that reality is being warped to some degree on the DIsney+ show, and it may be Shuma-Gorath’s doing. What if Wanda and Agatha Harkness realize what the tentacled entity is up to, but aren’t able to defeat him?
The creature’s appearance in the Disney+ series could then roll over into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, where the sorcerer and Scarlet Witch team up to battle the powerful villain. If their battle is metaphysical in nature, then it’s possible that it’s Shuma-Gorath’s arrival that unleashes the multiverse.
Knowing that Shuma-Gorath can’t really be killed makes the villain a worthy and terrifying adversary for the Avengers. If Doctor Strange somehow banishes the creature, who’s to say that it can’t come back as the main antagonist in Avengers 5?
Now that the MCU is opening the door for ancient, reality-bending beings to walk through, there has never been a better time for Shuma-Gorath to show up to wreak multidimensional chaos on the realms.