Christian Bale in the Marvel Universe

From Gritty DC Hero to Intergalactic Marvel Villain…

As confirms talks are underway with Christian Bale to join the cast of the next Thor movie , web site provides confirmation Bale will play an “Intergalactic Villain” in the film, a character “who is specifically stated to be the main villain of the film…. an alien species…’otherworldly’.” Speculation is now rife over villain Bale may embody on the screen.

Christian Bale. Credit: Image by GabboT is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

With the actor, known for his portrayal of Iconic hero in the Christopher Nolan Trilogy, now up for a more sinister role in the , we turn to comic book history for some ideas on who he might be.

Knowing that things in the may not always be what they seem at first glance, and understanding that Marvel now has access to intergalactic characters from the ’s Universe, there’s a chance Bale could be playing a villain from the alien .

The and their empire are a part of intergalactic pantheon, a race as powerful and populous as the or the , led much of the time by a female empress, . They are humanoid-looking but avian (yes, bird people. Sort of), cold-blooded, and have crests atop their heads.

The make a great deal of sense as foils for and company in the forthcoming movie — we’ve already learned Natalie Portman will rejoin the MU as becoming a sort of female . That resembles a storyline recently in the comics, but last fall writer and director comments to downplayed any connections. facing off against an empire led by a woman, however — and ultimately ceding his hammer to Jane for the final face-off against Lilandra — would neatly inform an underlying theme of female power for the film.

What does that mean for Christian Bale?

There are two distinct possibilities.

The term “otherworldly” has led to speculation that Bale might play a quasi-deity from the comics akin to father, the (Kurt Russell), like the , who caused the original , or even , whose cocoon was supposedly seen after the credits of . But neither of these is likely, as the ’s introduction is tied into his own, huge saga, the , and much as Bale might make a magnificent , it’s not likely they would “poach” the character from .

But the are uncharted territory for the , as the Shi’ar’s stories grew out of the X-Men books, and so have been off-limits. With takeover of , the are available. And didn’t use them, either — though they may have originally been part of the plan for . We’ve seen the and the in the , so the idea of alien races and empires is well-established.

Bale could portray Imperial Guardsman Praetor . A , he serves the Empire and leads their elite warriors. has hung around with and the , and even served for a time as Emperor. He is devoted to the and — he has been both an enemy and a friend to humans, depending on the will of his Empire. If and company were to come up against the, Bale as would be their main villain through most of the film, until it was revealed he served an empress. He could become a hero — there’s ambiguity to play with there.

Gladiator. Credit: Marvel Comics.

Though would to be the big bad, the reveal of and the Empire would be a worthy plot twist to fuel the third act. “Who is this guy?” — could be attacking them for apparently unknown reasons, resolved through discovery of the empire behind him.

Yet that doesn’t seem twisty for Waititi, and might not be big enough a player for a star of Bale’s magnitude. Another prominent -related character could provide heft suited to Bale, as well as provide a back-door entrance for mutants and the into the — the Emperor .

Vulcan. Credit: Marvel Comics.

is long-lost , an incredibly potent mutant with energy manipulation powers, and brother to , of the Vulcan loves power, and eventually takes over the Empire. For an extra twist, the plot could work as above (with a different actor as ), only to have Lilandra turn to ? — when takes over her empire. We might not even know he’s a human mutant at first.

Bale as would provide plenty of twists, with a cool X-Men related reveal at the ending.

Again, this is all speculation. We may not see the . Bale could play a completely different villain, or hero who seems a villain at first. The cosmic universe is packed with possible roles. For another example, if and company ran afoul of the NOVA Corps, Bale could appear as — who might seem a villain at first if he’s after our heroes. Though is a little like in space — they may be thinking of a younger person for that character, whom they’ve said would appear in future films.

All that said, it’s not a done deal yet, according to the reports. And the above is only educated speculation. But either or would allow Bale to play a role with complex motivations and ambiguous notions of right and wrong, a character with gravitas and weight. Which would seem to be right up his intergalactic alley.

Thinker, Radio host, Music lover, Science Fiction writer, Comic Book creator. From Vermont.

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