2023’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3 introduced the brilliant threat of the High Evolutionary, Rocket Raccoon’s evil creator. While the High Evolutionary is a powerful villain who tied the loose threads of the Guardians franchise together, some fans felt that he wasn’t the best choice for the trilogy finale’s villain.
The Guardians of the Galaxy have faced a few incredibly dangerous villains in the comics. The original team assembled to stop a Badoon invasion from space while the modern team faced a dark threat from the Cancerverse known as the Many-Angled Ones. Even the Negative Zone’s Annihilus might have been a better villain for Vol. 3 than the High Evolutionary.
8 The Badoon
The original members of the Guardians of the Galaxy first assembled to fight the Badoon. While a long-standing gender war divided the alien race in the modern era between a Brotherhood and a Sisterhood, they eventually united to become future galactic conquerors.
The Badoon’s invasion of Earth’s solar system revolutionized a few survivors against them who would become known as the Guardians of the Galaxy. The modern MCU team proved themselves against powerful villains like Ronan and Thanos, so throwing a whole galactic army against the Guardians instead of a solo villain would have definitely raised the stakes of the third film.
7 Mr. Knife
The MCU made a huge change to Star-Lord’s origins, especially concerning his parentage. Peter Quill discovered that an ancient celestial being known as Ego the Living Planet was his real father in Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2.
In the comics, Star-Lord’s father was actually J’Son, leader of the Spartax Empire. After he lost his throne, he assumed a new masked alter ego known as Mr. Knife to continue his schemes against his son. While the High Evolutionary’s role in Vol. 3 focused on Rocket’s past instead of Star-Lord’s, Mr. Knife’s involvement could have added a new wrinkle to Star-Lord’s story.
6 Universal Church Of Truth
While the High Evolutionary had his own group of helpers and his creations on Counter-Earth, the Guardians of the Galaxy still largely faced a singular threat. In the comics, they often faced a larger organization known as the Universal Church of Truth.
The extremely religious group first organized to worship the future threat of Magus, Adam Warlock’s darker self. They used Faith Generators to power their massive ships and even warriors like Cardinal Raker. While High Evolutionary’s role in Adam Warlock’s creation worked in the film, the Universal Church of Truth would have given Warlock’s debut a bit more depth.
The Universal Church of Truth survived well into the future where the original Guardians of the Galaxy first formed. A child-like cosmic being known as Protégé led the Universal Church of Truth. He could mimic the powers of others, which made him a dangerous threat.
Protégé ascended to a new level of godhood when he mimicked the abilities of one of Marvel’s strongest cosmic entities, the Living Tribunal. The original Guardians of the Galaxy were powerless to stop Protégé. He could reshape reality though the Living Tribunal ended his threat. Protégé would have given the Guardians another cosmic-level challenge for their final entry in the MCU.
Quite a few Marvel villains come from alternate realms and dimensions like the Negative Zone. Reed Richards was one of the first Marvel heroes to explore the multiverse, and his exploration began with his discovery of the Negative Zone.
He encountered the planet conqueror known as Blastaar inside the Negative Zone, though the villain has threatened Earth’s reality on more than one occasion. He’s developed a personal rivalry with heroes like Star-Lord over the years due to their roles in events like Annihilation. Blastaar’s involvement in Vol. 3 could have teased an even bigger threat from the Negative Zone.
One of the powerful villains who claim to be the ruler of the Negative Zone is the deadly insectoid known as Annihilus. He wields the Cosmic Control Rod, which gives him access to incredible levels of energy and makes him nearly immortal.
Annihilus led his massive armada of ships and deadly insect warriors out of the Negative Zone which became known as the Annihilation Wave due to the incredible damage left in its wake. Annihilus is one of the greatest threats in the comic universe, and his debut in Vol. 3 could have set up an adaptation of one of Marvel’s best cosmic events.
Some of Adam Warlock’s original comic appearances focused on his encounters with the dark future version of himself known as the Magus. He frequently battled Magus alongside his followers in the Universal Church of Truth. While he succeeded in erasing Magus’ timeline, he continued to battle his dark half and fought to prevent his return for years.
Magus has all of the same powerful abilities as Adam Warlock. He created dark duplicates of Marvel heroes while he tried to usurp the power of the Cosmic Cubes in the Infinity War event. He has wielded the Infinity Gauntlet and manipulated events across the timeline. Magus would have given Adam Warlock’s character much more to deal with in Vol. 3.
1 The Many-Angled Ones
The modern roster of the Guardians of the Galaxy failed to stop a series of rips in the fabric of the universe, leading to a massive tear known as the Fault. Through the Fault, they encountered a dark alternate reality that became known as the Cancerverse.
Marvel’s heroes made a deal with the Many-Angled Ones to save Mar-Vell’s life, which led to the end of Death. Life then spread uncontrollably like a tumor as the Many-Angled Ones took control of a dark version of the Avengers. High Evolutionary tied up a few loose ends, but the Many-Angled Ones’ Revengers would have given the Guardians a real run for their money.
NEXT: Guardians of the Galaxy’s Best Rosters, Ranked
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