Sentry has been rumored to debut in Thunderbolts, but this could be a huge mistake for Marvel Studios. Thunderbolts was officially announced to be in development at 2022’s San Diego Comic Con, joining other exciting projects as part of Marvel Studios’ Phase 5 slate. The upcoming film will see antiheroes and reformed villains returning from previous MCU projects to form a new super-powered team, comprised of Yelena Belova, Red Guardian, Bucky Barnes, Ghost, Taskmaster, and US Agent, with Valentina Allegra de Fontaine bringing the team together during various Phase 4 projects.
Since the confirmation of the Thunderbolts’ first lineup at 2022’s D23 Expo, questions have risen concerning which Marvel villain the Thunderbolts will battle in their premiere adventure. Many names have been thrown in the hat, but the most recent popular theory would see Sentry introduced into the MCU, a remarkable character from Marvel Comics whose dark side would perhaps make for an epic first outing for the MCU’s Thunderbolts. However, with anticipation building for the official crossover of the MCU’s newest team, Thunderbolts would benefit more from introducing a smaller-scale villain for the team in Phase 5.
Thunderbolts Should Get The Full Focus Of Their MCU Film
The MCU’s Thunderbolts have been teased since Julia Louis-Dreyfus debuted as Valentina in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, with John Walker, a.k.a. US Agent (Wyatt Russell), being the first character recruited on-screen for the new team. Black Widow saw Valentina bring Yelena Belova into the fray, while other Black Widow characters, including Red Guardian and Taskmaster have, taken their spots on the team. The slow build-up of the Thunderbolts has been building anticipation for their official team-up in Thunderbolts, but since the initial lineup of the Thunderbolts has been met with some scrutiny, Marvel Studios’ needs to be careful about which villain they pit the team against.
Even though Marvel Studios’ hasn’t yet confirmed nor denied the involvement of Sentry in Thunderbolts, the rumors surrounding the introduction of the hero have gained a lot of traction. However, Sentry is such a huge character from Marvel Comics that his debut in Thunderbolts runs the risk of overshadowing the first mission of the Thunderbolts team. The team should be given the full focus of their first adventure, perhaps being pitted against a lower-level villain rather than someone who could quite literally threaten the entire universe, which would perfectly mirror the Avengers’ first battle against Loki in The Avengers.
Who Thunderbolts’ Villain Could Be (If Not Sentry)
While Sentry might not be the right villain for the Thunderbolts in their first MCU story, several other Marvel villains could be introduced to battle the misfit team. Curious omissions from the team could provide the perfect answer since many questioned why some iconic Thunderbolts members weren’t featured in the first official lineup, despite still having active roles in the MCU. The most prominent of these was Baron Zemo, portrayed by Daniel Brühl since Captain America: Civil War, who, despite having a larger role in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, could still see a lot more development in future MCU projects.
Thunderbolts could also see Marvel Studios continue with a theme that started in Phase 4, that being the introduction and development of more Hulk characters. She-Hulk: Attorney at Law brought Emil Blonsky, a.k.a. the Abomination (Tim Roth), back to the MCU, who could make a formidable foe to the Thunderbolts. Along the same lines, Thunderbolts could battle the Red Hulk, who has been speculated to make his first transformation in Captain America: New World Order, as General Ross is now portrayed by Harrison Ford after William Hurt’s passing. There is also speculation that the much-anticipated Doctor Doom could make his MCU debut in Thunderbolts.
Sentry Deserves A Solo MCU Project First
Sentry is one of Marvel Comics most powerful but unusual superheroes who has too much personality and backstory that it shouldn’t be wasted as the villain in a team-up movie, but would better fit a solo project. Introduced in 2000’s The Sentry #1, Bob Reynolds wakes one day remembering that he is the superhero known as Sentry, who gained his power of “one million exploding suns” from a super-soldier-style serum. Throughout his initial run, the Sentry was conflicted with the idea of his archenemy, the Void, returning to threaten the universe, though it’s revealed that the Void is in fact a dark part of Reynolds’ own personality.
Sentry is an almost all-powerful character in Marvel Comics who constantly battles with his own identity as both a hero and a villain. This makes him a gold mine for the MCU, but his story is so intricate that it would be a shame to see it brushed aside in a team-up film such as Thunderbolts. Instead, a Special Presentation or Disney+ series might better fit the Sentry’s debut into the MCU before he teams up with the likes of the Avengers or even battles against them. Thunderbolts has many other Marvel villains to choose from for their premiere MCU adventure, so perhaps Sentry should be kept in Marvel Studios’ pocket.
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