Summary

  • Marvel Studios may introduce a powerful multiversal villain in Thor 5, connecting to Loki season 2 and the Fantastic Four reboot.
  • The villain, Black Winter, threatens the multiverse in Marvel Comics, so could infect the MCU’s new multiversal Yggdrasil, putting both Thor and Loki at risk.
  • Thor 5 is suspected to have a darker tone, and the debut of the Black Winter and the potential return of past MCU villains would help to make the as-yet-unconfirmed project the most intense MCU installment yet.


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Marvel Studios may introduce a powerful multiversal villain into the MCU for Thor 5 who could create strong connections to Loki season 2 and the MCU’s upcoming Fantastic Four reboot. After the disappointing performance of 2022’s Thor: Love and Thunder, which saw Chris Hemsworth return for his fourth solo project as the Asgardian God of Thunder, major changes are expected for the MCU’s Thor franchise. Among these changes, the comedic tones introduced by director Taika Waititi are expected to be replaced by a darker storyline, and there has been talk of a new villain being introduced who is even more powerful than Thor: Ragnarok’s Hela, the Goddess of Death.

Thor 5 hasn’t yet been confirmed by Marvel Studios, but the ending of Thor: Love and Thunder did confirm that Thor would be returning to the MCU. To redeem itself from Love and Thunder’s mistakes, however, Thor 5 will need to be innovative in its storytelling, and would benefit from making connections to some of the MCU’s more positively-received projects, such as the acclaimed Loki season 2 and the highly-anticipated Fantastic Four. These connections can be made if Marvel Studios brings one of Marvel Comics most obscure and formidable villains into the MCU, and after Loki season 2’s finale, now may be the perfect time to introduce this terrifying foe.

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Loki Season 2’s Yggdrasil Could Be Threatened By The Black Winter

To create connections to Loki season 2, Marvel Studios could debut Black Winter as the villain of Thor 5. The Black Winter first appeared in Marvel Comics’ Silver Surfer: Black #4 in 2019 – following its debut as the Creeping Plague back in 1969 – and presented a major threat to the entire multiverse. The Black Winter, a being from outside the universe, devours entire realities in order to sustain itself, and much like the planet-eater Galactus, employs Heralds as a means to seek out suitable universes. During 2020’s Thor (Vol. 6), the Black Winter encroaches on the Prime Marvel Universe, posing a huge problem for the God of Thunder.

Loki season 2’s finale in November 2023 saw Tom Hiddleston’s God of Mischief become the protector of the multiverse, gathering the infinite branches of the multiverse and creating a new version of Yggdrasil – the World Tree housing the Nine Realms in Asgardian culture. This new version of the multiverse could be at serious threat if Thor 5 introduces the Black Winter, especially since the villain’s dark frost infects Yggdrasil in Marvel Comics, causing the World Tree to rot and die. Thor 5 debuting Black Winter could put both Thor and Loki at risk, potentially contributing to the much-anticipated reunion between the two Asgardian brothers in the MCU’s future.

Black Winter Would Contribute To Thor 5’s Darker Tones

Thor using Mjolnir to fight Malekith in Thor The Dark World

During a November 2022 interview on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Chris Hemsworth revealed that, while he is open to returning as Thor in the MCU’s future, upcoming Thor projects must have a different tone. 2011’s Thor and 2013’s Thor: The Dark World adopted Shakespearean themes, while 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok and 2022’s Thor: Love and Thunder saw an injection of comedy by director Taika Waititi. Hemsworth’s condition for a change of tone in Thor 5 has led many to speculate that the as-yet-unconfirmed project could tell a much darker narrative for the God of Thunder, and the debut of the Black Winter would contribute to this perfectly.

The Black Winter takes on the form of the God of Thunder himself.

The Black Winter is one of Thor’s most formidable, terrifying and ominous villains in Marvel Comics, so would certainly bring a much darker tone to Thor 5’s storyline. During the Black Winter’s most prominent story, the entity enters into some of Thor’s most intense and intimate battles, particularly when the Black Winter takes on the form of the God of Thunder himself. With the fate of the entire universe in jeopardy, and the Black Winter’s power being shown off when it destroys alternate realities, this storyline would make Thor 5 one of the MCU’s darkest projects, taking the Thor franchise from extreme comedy to extreme drama in a drastic shift.​​​​​​​

Fantastic Four’s Rumored Villain Can Set Up Black Winter For Thor 5

Galactus in purple clouds in Marvel Comics

While the Black Winter would be a fantastic addition to a darker Thor 5, yet another Marvel Comics villain can also play a role in the potential project. In Marvel Comics, Galactus was the Herald of the Black Winter, searching for suitable universes for the entity to consume. Long after Galactus escaped from the Black Winter’s employ, and wreaked his own havoc on the Marvel Universe by employing his own Heralds and devouring planets, the Black Winter journeyed to the Prime Marvel Universe in hopes of re-employing the planet-eater. Galactus’ involvement in Thor 5 would enhance the project’s suspected darker tones, and link Thor 5​​​​​​​ to another Phase 6 film.

Galactus has been rumored to appear in the MCU’s Fantastic Four reboot, which is set to release in May 2025 as the first project in the MCU’s Phase 6. It’s unlikely Thor 5 will release before Fantastic Four, so Galactus can be set up as a long-running adversary in the Phase 6 film before Thor 5 expands on his backstory with the Black Winter. Galactus could pose a persistent threat to the MCU, so Marvel Studios would perhaps alter his Marvel Comics death at the hands of Thor during battle with the Black Winter, but the use of these villains could make Thor 5 the most dramatic MCU project yet.

Javier Bardem has been the most recent actor suggested to be cast as the MCU’s Galactus, and he is expected to make his debut in Marvel Studios’ Fantastic Four alongside his own Herald, the Silver Surfer.

Black Winter In Thor 5 Could Bring Back Past MCU Villains

During Thor’s battle with the Black Winter in Marvel Comics, the entity created manifestations of Thor’s most frightening villains, taunting Thor and contributing to his increased rage. After four solo Thor projects, Marvel Studios has plenty of brilliant villains that it can bring back to face the God of Thunder in Thor 5. This would present opportunities to redeem some of Thor’s most-wasted villains, such as Christopher Eccleston’s Malekith and Christian Bale’s Gorr the God Butcher, while the likes of Colm Feore’s Laufey, Cate Blanchett’s Hela and even Tom Hiddleston’s Loki could return to battle Chris Hemsworth’s Asgardian hero, making Thor 5 the most intense and high-octane MCU project yet.

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