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The Avengers’ Grimmest Variants were Earth’s Vilest Villains – and Could Come to the MCU

The original Incursions Saga introduced ruthless variants of the founding Avengers — who could inspire the MCU’s own future.

Throughout the years of Avengers and New Avengers, Jonathan Hickman’s Incursions Saga played out on a cosmic scale. Slowly wiping out the multiverse before restoring everything with a bang in the aftermath of Secret Wars.

Along the way, the heroes encountered all sorts of threats that they weren’t prepared for. Including some pretty devious variants of the founding Avengers that, in theory, could now make their way to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

RELATED: Avengers: The Bizarre Return of Avengers Mansion, Explained

Avengers #25 (by Jonathan Hickman and Salvador Larroca) revealed that scientists with AIM had found themselves investigating a series of anomalies that resulted in the construction of the Auger, a multiversal gate. Testing the limits of the gate, the device ended up bringing the Avengers of Earth-14325 to Earth-616, helping them escape an Incursion that had doomed their reality. However, the roster (which included variants of Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, Ant-Man and the Wasp) was quickly revealed to be far darker than the heroes of the core-Marvel reality. In their world, the Avengers had become despots, quickly taking over the planet and building a massive fortress to serve as their base of operations.

Led by the fully militaristic super-soldier, General America, these Avengers were quick to turn their attention towards the civilian population of Earth-616 and kill hundreds in a bid to establish their power. This world’s Thorr is a far more brutal God of Thunder, who sees most humans as ants who are far beneath him. The Iron Monger of this timeline was not Tony Stark but rather a villainous version of the typically loyal Jarvis who had murdered Howard Stark and an infant Tony to steal a prototype of the Iron Man armor. Ant-Man and Wasp were casually cruel. They created a device that allowed them to more or less control the Hulk, who had been experimented on and could no longer naturally feel emotions like anger. Luckily, these Tyrant Avengers weren’t prepared for what came after their initial rampage.

RELATED: Marvel’s ‘Lightsabers’ Completely Destroy a Major Hero’s Most Powerful Asset

From Avengers #25 through Avengers #28, the villains were increasingly confronted by various forces. First, AIM used them as targets to test their newly improved Adaptoids. This leads to the death of Ant-Man and the release of the Hulk, who quickly reverted to Bruce Banner and fled. Then, Earth-616’s Avengers got involved and did their best to bring down the team. In the end, the Tyrant Avengers were defeated but spirited away by AIM, who were seeking to hide their experiments from the world. They sent the Tyrant Avengers back into the multiverse, giving them their own world to ravage. Two remnants remained on Earth-616, however, the hammer of Thorr and their variant of Hulk, both of which became important in the “Time Runs Out” storyline.

The Tyrant Avengers is a dark reflection of the genuine heroes who defend the Marvel Universe, and their role in the Incursions Saga could inform the eventual direction of the MCU. Incursions were formally introduced to the MCU in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, setting the stage for some truly cosmic conflicts going forward. Similar concepts could play out in the MCU, with more villainous variants of major heroes making an appearance. It’s possible the Tyrant Avengers themselves could even make an appearance, posing a dangerous but familiar threat to the MCU as the storyline progresses.

Brandon Zachary is an Associate Writer with Comic Book Resources and has written for CBR since 2018. He covers breakouts on comics, film, television, video games, and anime. He also conducts industry interviews, is a Rotten Tomatoes certified film critic, and knows SO MUCH about the X-Men. For requests, comments, or to hear his pitch for a third Avatar series that incorporates robots, you can contact him through bs.zachary@gmail.com.

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