Building the MCU's Dark Avengers team
One of the newest castings for the MCU was Julia Louis-Dreyfus' who appeared as Val in Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Following John Walker's decision to publicly execute one of the Flag Smashers, he was stripped of his title as Captain America, then Val appears to offer Walker a future role as US Agent as she hints that she is building a new team outside of the Avengers. When Val hands Walker her card is just pure black, so we don't know who she could be working for a hand full of different organizations from HYDRA, Roxxon, A.I.M., S.W.O.R.D. or individual players like Dr. Doom, Norman Osborne or even Sharon Carter AKA the Powerbroker.
The Dark Avengers first appeared in 2009 following and in response to the the comic book events of Secret Invasion, where the Skrull began disguising themselves as various identities of prominent super heroes and civilians. During the Secret Invasion arc, the first person Nick Fury had discovered was actually a Skrull imposter was Valentina Allegra De Fontaine and since we have confirmation that Fury will be returning for Secret Invasion Disney+ Series, this could be a similar path the MCU decides to utilize. Although the MCU tends to give it a different spin then what we saw in the comics and considering the Studio has already admitted that they plan to it to be a smaller scale event. The other issue is the Skrulls have been on Earth for almost 30 years, since we first saw them in Captain Marvel's movie set in 1995, so it's unlikely they are all of a sudden evil but could have a splintering faction. If Val does in fact end up being apart of the faction of Skrulls seeking to take over the Earth it would only make sense that she would be trying to build her own team of heroes, especially ones that are willing to do the dirty work to accomplish the mission.
For over a year, there have been rumors suggesting that Sony and the MCU's character sharing deal may be larger then we thought this could work out well for both Studios and with the doors to the Multiverse open, Sony would get to utilize characters that Marvel wasn't planning on using or already has and we get an alternative version and MCU gets to use its own version of the Green Goblin. Keep in mind that in the MCU has only hinted at Osborn thus far and this could be for separating it from the other Spider-Man films, but that doesn't mean that he doesn't exist in the MCU just more of when will he be revealed. We could see a very similar layout for building the Dark Avengers team from the comics with an MCU spin and following (or during) the Skrull Invasion, Norman Osborn becomes the new Leader of S.H.I.E.L.D. (in the comics he reforms S.H.I.E.L.D. into H.A.M.M.E.R.). Osborn can from there, create the new Avengers team with himself acting as their Leader as he dons the finest Tech and Suit of Armor S.H.I.E.L.D. has to offer. Osborn would presumably then select a team based on his true motivations, so first let's cover the Villains we could see make an appearance under the assumption they are to be heroes.
Moonstone AKA Karla Sofen is a renowned and conniving psychiatrist, unfortunately she enjoyed steering her clients to paranoia rather than helping them. Eventually she was able to manipulate herself into becoming the psychiatrist for Lloyd Bloch, and using hypnosis she is able to convince Lloyd he is not worthy and unveils the location of the Moonstone to her, which she then takes for herself and becomes the 2nd Moonstone. The Moonstone comes from the Blue side of the Moon, and it grants its holder superhuman strength, speed, stamina and reflexes. Based on her origin the MCU could spin it as she is a psychiatrist for S.H.I.E.L.D. using that to get her power. To make her appearance in the MCU we could see her consoling S.H.I.E.L.D. agents but in reality she's just toying with them and her deception is largely unnoticed. Better yet she could be one of the main Psychiatrist of the Raft and be the person on the inside that will help facilitate this team coming together. Alternatively she could even be a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent hired to counsel the new younger heroes but in reality she is just making them question themselves and the value of being a hero in the first place; if Dark Avengers is slowly set up it would be fascinating to see her in the Young Avengers in this capacity.
Songbird (AKA Screaming Mimi/Melissa Gold) as her codename suggests she is able to emit Sonic-powered screams. Melissa was a runaway with a troubled past and developed a hard edge personality as she grew up on the streets. She began working for Roxxon and was provided high-frequency sonics for various effects which later she would have those vocal enhancements internalized as a throat implant. For her MCU debut, we imagine her joining as a fairly younger but troubled member of this team, she would be social but erratic considering her childhood. She could easily be introduced as a founding member of the team, in a role similar to that of Harley Quinn/Typhoid Mary type personality that is erratic, destructive, loud, and humorous.
Jolt (AKA Helen "Hallie" Takahama) can channel electricity kinetically through her own body to increase her speed and jumping, later on she can turn her body into electricity as well as emit it in a blast form. Also she would be a great younger character to introduce to the team as she is a huge Superhero fangirl. So it would make fit the team as the heart but they would keep her in the dark so she had plausible deniability, and in the Thunderbolts comics she pushes the team to become heroes. Eventually the team would either shift towards Heroism or she could leave to become a Young Avenger.
Paul Norbert Ebersol is a scientist who has worked in a variety of jobs from auto mechanic to television repairman, etc, thus adopted the name Fixer (later renamed as Techno). He is a genius level inventor and has worked for Villainous organizations like HYDRA and AIM, he would fit perfect on the team in that capacity. Although one thing to point out he tends to work with Baron Zemo on numerous occasions so maybe he already exists in the MCU. We can see him being introduced as the Inventor for the Team
Baron Helmut Zemo
Although I don't see him being on the team if it's lead by Osborn but perhaps its Zemo's plan along and he is the leader appearing as Iron Patriot. Zemo in the comics is always up to something nefarious but the version we saw in the MCU was more goal oriented in exacting his revenge. So going forward in order for Zemo to want to become a Hero or even presenting himself as a hero, we believe something else has to occur because last we saw he seemed content with going back to jail after destroying the last of the Super Soldier Serum. Although he would need a new goal for the MCU but perhaps he has a goal that we have not yet seen.
Considering MCU now has full rights to use Daredevil (even rumors that Charlie Cox was going to continue appearing as Matt Murdock) and his gallery of characters, that means we may get to see Elektra and Bullseye soon. When he joined the Dark Avengers in the comics, he was introduced as the new Hawkeye and considering in the MCU Hawkeye is looking to pass the mantle to Kate Bishop. The public who begins to adore the new Avengers would endorse the new Hawkeye as he cracks jokes with the public and they adore him for it. It would also serve as a heated point of contention for Bullseye to face off with Kate Bishop as he slowly begins to ruin the Hawkeye codename that she had already inherited.
Ares and or/Hercules
If there is one thing that this team would still be missing is that the lack God power. In the Comics, Ares the God of War, just chooses to join the team willingly, as he sees the Avengers as a need for society. Considering its the MCU we imagine a bit of a shake up and with Thor 4: Love and Thunder on the way, we do already know that Russel Crowe will be playing Zeus and who is the son of Zeus? We could see Ares but we think it would make more sense to go include Hercules instead. Also interestingly enough, Hercules plays a major role in the Secret Invasion storyline he creates a team called the God Squad in order to neutralize the Skrulls invading Gods; whether we will see this in the upcoming Secret Invasion Disney+ series remains to be seen but it would be a fantastic MCU debut. Also following that event he goes on adventuring with Ammadeus Cho which would also be a great method for introducing these two heroes into the MCU; and then in the Dark Reign comic arc, Cho and Hercules go on to create the Mighty Avengers along with US Agent, Vision, Hank Pym, Stature, Quicksilver and Jocasta (wife of Ultron).
Ghost (AKA Ava Starr) from Ant-Man and the Wasp, she was set up as a Villain but only because of the things that Shield had made her to do and all she wanted was to be free of the pain her powers caused. She already redeemed herself at the end of that movie, so she would be the perfect addition to the team as she seeks to do the right thing but is willingly to make the tough decisions in order to accomplish her goals. If Ghost was introduced as a member of the Dark Avengers and not the Thunderbolts, I can see her being one of the characters to be duped by the team's agenda in hopes that she can make amends for her past.
The most interesting rumor that we heard as of late, was Marvel Studios wanted Ryan Reynolds to join the Thunderbolts as Deadpool, and that would suggest that we could be getting mutants very soon in the MCU. If Deadpool is introduced as a Variant or a problem in the MCU, he will likely be depicted as a Villian in the beginning. As a character looking for redemption combined with his healing factor would be a great addition to the team as well as comedic relief.
The comic version of the Dark Avengers also consisted of Venom portraying himself as Spider-Man as well Daken (Wolverine's Son) who portrays himself as the new Wolverine. Considering the MCU's current predicament (being without Mutants [for now] or Spider-Man characters). Considering this it's very likely we will be seeing a couple members of this team that we have yet to see. We could also see the likes of Elektra, Daredevil, the Punisher or even Luke Cage join the team as well (sorry Danny Rand fans but not Iron Fist, he is rumored to be killed off right now).
Considering the current Avengers team is lead by Sam Wilson thus meaning every current member is loyal to the team and not S.H.I.E.L.D. or the U.S. Government, it would be highly unlikely any former Avengers joins this new team. This would most likely be a team that does operate with some oversight but from whom we don't know yet. The rumors have popped up in the past year that a Dark Avengers team as well as a Thunderbolts were in the works in the form of Disney+ show, movie or debuting in another series, but between this and the previous Thunderbolts article the MCU has a lot they can work without too much overlap. Let us know who you want to see or what you think could happen!