Marvel in 2022 has seen the publisher challenge its heroes in all kinds of ways. From the Progenitor judging the Earth in A.X.E.: Judgment Day to Mr. Sinister making his move in Immortal X-Men to Tombstone trying to take down Spider-man in The Amazing Spider-Man, the House of Ideas’ icons have faced everything thrown at them with a smile. On top of that, there were new villains as well, all of them out to destroy their heroic enemies.
With 2023 dawning, there are some villains that it would be great to see more of. Some of them made moves in 2022, so maybe 2023 can be their big year.
10/10 Kraven The Hunter Needs To Up His Game In 2023
Kraven the Hunter targets heroes other than Spider-Man, something that he proved in 2022. The recently back-from-the-dead villain set his sights on Wolverine and X-Force. He used the chaos of the Progenitor’s decree in A.X.E.: Judgment Day to sneak onto Krakoa using Deadpool’s skin, capturing the Beast, and challenging Wolverine.
Kraven can be way more than a Spider-Man villain and pitting him against Wolverine, and X-Force showed that. This grudge match opened up a whole world of possibilities, showing just how crafty Kraven can be. He doesn’t have to merely be a Spider-Man villain, and 2023 can prove that.
9/10 Nimrod And Omega Sentinel Have Been Absent For Most Of 2022
The mutants of Krakoa have mastered death and created a nation that brings hero and villain together. Their main foe is humanity, in the form of the Orchis Initiative. Orchis has many operatives, but its most dangerous are Nimrod and the Omega Sentinel.
Nimrod is the most powerful Sentinel ever, and the Omega Sentinel is a version of the former X-Men ally Karima from an alternate future where the X-Men defeated Orchis. 2021 ended with them having a massive battle against Xavier and Magneto, but since then they haven’t really done anything. With Fall Of X happening in 2023, Nimrod and Omega Sentinel need to make some big moves.
8/10 Dark Beast Should Make His Presence Known On Krakoa
Immortal X-Men #9 saw Mister Sinister enact his latest scheme against the X-Men. Readers were taken into his labs and witnessed some of his secrets. One of those was a huge shock, as Sinister kept the severed but still living head of Dark Beast, the Age of Apocalypse Hank McCoy, in a tube.
Fans had speculated that Dark Beast had taken Beast’s place as head of X-Force, but this issue proved differently. It also opened the possibility of Dark Beast somehow escaping, perhaps after Sins Of Sinister, and wreaking havoc on Krakoa. Dark Beast has always been a fun villain, and seeing how he’d comport himself on Krakoa would be excellent.
7/10 Vulcan Is A Powerful Wild Card
Many Marvel villains have loads of powers, challenging the heroes they battle. Over in X-Men Red, Vulcan has been a constant source of antagonism. The unpredictable and ultra-powerful Summers brother has been used as a cat’s paw by SWORD director Abigail Brand, first trying to fight his way onto the Great Ring of Arakko and then trying to take back his place as Emperor of the Shi’Ar.
Vulcan is such a fun villain because everyone thinks they can manipulate him, but it’s like playing catch with a lawn dart; eventually, he’s going to kill someone. Plus, even though he keeps getting beat, he just gets more dangerous every time he loses. Vulcan is going to explode and cause all kinds of chaos, with the only question being when. 2023 would be a great answer to that question.
6/10 Thanos Is Always Welcome To Cause More Havoc
Thanos is an A-list Marvel villain. He spent some of 2022 as Prime Eternal before being defeated by Ikaris and the other Eternals and tricked out of the position by Druig. The last time anyone saw him, he was laughing about his coming death, as his constant resurrections had wreaked havoc with his Eternal physiology.
The Thanos: Death Notes one-shot was the next time he appeared, an anthology of stories about the Mad Titan that felt like it was there to remind fans that he was still around. 2023 could be a big year for Thanos. He’s prophesied to find a whole new Infinity Stone and face off against Thor, so he’ll definitely be around in 2023.
5/10 Sabretooth Deserves His Revenge Against Krakoa
Marvel is full of great rivalries, with few as bloody as the one between Wolverine and Sabretooth. The two haven’t battled in a long time, mostly because Sabretooth was relegated to the Pit, the Krakoan prison, for killing humans while on a mission that benefited the burgeoning nation. Since then, he’s psychologically tortured several fellow inmates, escaped, and was captured by Orchis.
Sabretooth was done dirty by the powers that be on Krakoa, thrown into the Pit to prove that the new government would imprison mutants. The irony is that X-Force has been killing in the name of Krakoa the whole time he was there, making Xavier and the Quiet Council hypocrites for imprisoning him. Sabretooth deserves his revenge against Krakoa, and hopefully, he’ll get it in 2023.
4/10 Ultron Is A Shoo-in For 2023 Appearances
Marvel is known to misuse villains, and a perfect example of that is Ultron. After 1999’s phenomenal “Ultron Unlimited,” the evil android’s appearances have been underwhelming, with gems like 2015’s Avengers: Rage Of Ultron getting lost in the shuffle when compared to something like 2013’s Age Of Ultron, an okay event book that Ultron is barely in.
Ultron 2099 has been appearing in Savage Avengers in 2022, and those appearances show just how great Ultron is. He’s actually scary again, something he hasn’t been in a long time. A return to form is what Ultron needs, and 2023 could give him that, hopefully in the Marvel Universe’s present day and not just its far-off future.
3/10 Tombstone Showed That He Could Still Make Waves
The Amazing Spider-Man in 2022 hasn’t exactly been a beloved comic. Fans don’t like the mystery box at the center of it, and they care for the book’s treatment of Peter and Mary Jane’s relationship — or lack thereof — even less. However, no one has a problem when the book is about Spider-Man fighting his foes, with Tombstone making a huge splash in 2022.
Tombstone has always been a C-list Spider-Man villain, but his appearances in The Amazing Spider-Man this year proved he doesn’t have to be. Tombstone would be a great nemesis to strike at Spidey again or battle other New York City heroes. It’s very well possible that Tombstone could become an A-lister in 2023.
2/10 Doctor Doom Needs To Remind People Why He’s The Best
Among Marvel’s most ruthless villains, Doctor Doom is a special case. Fans love the Latverian monarch, as there’s something about him that makes him seem reasonable in many ways. 2022 has seen a multiversal version of Doom, known as Doom Supreme, lead the Multiversal Masters of Evil against the Avengers, while the 616 Doom helped out in the Reckoning War.
Doom is Marvel’s premiere villain, and it’s been a long time since he reminded readers why. Sure, multiversal Dooms are nice, but the 616 version has literally been God. He’s Marvel’s best villain ever, and hopefully, 2023 will show why.
1/10 Apocalypse Deserves A Big Villainous Comeback
Marvel villains have had some great face turns, with Apocalypse’s recent turn to an altruistic mutant savior surprising many readers. He became a leader of Krakoa and during the conflict with Arakko and the demonic hordes of Amenth, he proved his heroism. At the end of the battle, he joined his wife, Genesis, and their children in Amenth as part of the peace treaty.
Apocalypse’s time as a heroic character was all well and good, but it needs to end. It would be great to see him come back to Krakoa with his powerful family after slaughtering all the demons of Amenth, decree them weak, and strike the mutant nation. Apocalypse is a perfect big bad for the X-Men, and 2023 could remind everyone why that is.
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