With Marvel Studios cranking out quality pictures at a seemingly rapid pace, both on the big screen and the small one (Daredevil was one of the best things we saw this year, on any medium), one has to wonder when they’re going to get to some of their lesser known characters. They’ve already got films scheduled for characters as varied as Doctor Strange, Ms. Marvel and Black Panther (along with some hefty looking Infinity War films set to be released in 2018 and 2019), but we wanted to highlight some characters we’d like to see make their way into the Marvel Cinematic Universe sooner rather than later. We’ve got a nice mix of good guys and bad guys (what’s life without variety?), so amp up your comic excitement and check out these 9 Marvel characters we want to see on screen.
Making his first appearance in Nova #1 (published in 1976), Richard Rider , a.k.a. Nova, is the Marvel equivalent to the Green Lantern. A member of the intergalactic police force known as the Nova Corps (which we saw featured in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy), Nova derives his power from the Nova Force, and it gives him enhanced strength, speed and the ability of flight. While we’re pretty sure Nova will find his way into the section of the Marvel universe established in Guardians of the Galaxy, we also think it’d be pretty cool to see him teaming up with The Avengers (or the New Avengers, whomever is working together at that particular moment) to take on someone monolithic like Thanos. Nova, ranked the 98th best character in comic book lore, has a bit of an attitude and would be well served played by an actor with a bit of a wild streak, someone who could hold his own conversationally with Chris Pratt’s Star Lord (Peter Quill).
Whoa, gamechanger! We know what you’re thinking. We’ve already got some pretty good Blade films with Blade (1998) and Blade II (2002), starring Wesley Snipes (we’re going to go ahead and forget the third one, Blade: Trinity, ever happened). And we agree with you; overall, those are two very strong comic book films that mix action, horror and a little bit of comedy to great effect. While they’re great, they aren’t part of the continuity Marvel Studios has worked hard to establish since the release of 2008’s Iron Man. We think it’d be really cool to see Blade join the connected fabric of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, perhaps in the form of his own Netflix television series a la Daredevil. Now, whether he’d be played by Snipes or by a new actor, so as to avoid any confusion with the original trilogy, would be a subject very much up for debate; we like Snipes for the role, but we wouldn’t be upset to see the character taken up by another. Either way, it’d be great to have the dreaded slayer back where he belongs.
7. Adam Warlock
The cosmic crusader Adam Warlock was the subject of much online speculation following 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy; rumor has it the hero’s cocoon (in which he hibernates and regenerates on occasion) was spotted inside one of The Collector’s (Benicio Del Toro) clear containers, only to be released when that character’s laboratory/collecting room/strange place was destroyed by an Infinity Stone. Seeing as how Warlock has played a primary role in the cosmic storylines of Marvel since his introduction in 1976, it makes sense that he’d be included in that facet of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with a potential appearance as early as the much-anticipated sequel to Guardians (or perhaps in Scott Derrickson’s Doctor Strange?). Warlock, the guardian of the Soul Gem in the Marvel comics, is a heavy hitter capable of going toe to toe with just about anyone in the universe (Thanos included); we’d like to see him on screen alongside the Guardians of the Galaxy, tossing punches and manipulating cosmic energy to his gain.
6. The Leader
Marvel Studios actually did a pretty good job setting up The Leader as the primary villain for the projected sequel to Louis Leterrier’s 2008 film The Incredible Hulk; that film introduced Tim Blake Nelson as Dr. Samuel Sterns and even saw his transformation into The Leader (one of The Hulk’s most formidable opponents) begin when The Hulk’s blood fell into an open wound on his head. While the sequel to The Incredible Hulk never developed and that film’s star, Edward Norton, was replaced by Mark Ruffalo in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we’d still like to see the incredibly underrated Tim Blake Nelson given a chance to play The Leader at some point in the future. The Leader, who combines limited telekinetic and telepathic abilities with a superhuman intelligence that grants him exceptional strategic and intuitive capacities, bordering on precognition. He’d make a great villain for a Hulk sequel, if we are ever to get one…Sigh.
Annihilus is an interesting character, since we’re not really sure whose movie we could expect him to show up in were Marvel to include him in their cinematic canon. An alien being who calls the Negative Zone his home, Annihilus has been a primary villain for the Fantastic Four at times, while also appearing occasionally to torment the Guardians of the Galaxy, Adam Warlock and Dr. Strange. Annihilus, who wields an extremely powerful staff known as the Cosmic Control Rod, which gives him the ability to manipulate matter on an atomic level, also has superhuman strength, speed and is capable of flight (he does have big, giant wings after all). He’s a hefty opponent and we’d love to see him throw down with someone like the aforementioned Adam Warlock or even Thor, whose inter-dimensional travelling might ensure he runs afoul of Annihilus while checking out the Negative Zone.
4. Moon Knight
While we’re pretty sure Marc Spector, a.k.a. Moon Knight, will make an appearance in the Marvel/Netflix canon at some point in the distant future, we’re hoping it comes sooner rather than later since Moon Knight is kind of a badass. And by kind of, we mean total. Originally criticised as somewhat of a Batman knockoff (Both Batman and the Moon Knight use similar combat techniques in combination with a variety of gadgets to defeat their opponents), Moon Knight has become one of the more popular B-tier heroes in Marvel’s canon, as his brutality and dissociative personality disorder render him closer to antihero than true blue savior. A former Marine and boxer who is given supernatural powers by the Egyptian moon god, Moon Knight’s powers fluctuate in strength with the lunar cycle, but he’s always equipped to cause chaos with his trusty extendable staff and sturdy armor, which has been compared to Iron Man’s on more than one occasion.
An older character who debuted way back in 1964, Dormammu holds the distinction of being one of Doctor Strange’s most iconic and formidable opponents. This adversary of the Sorcerer Supreme is an entity composed entirely of mystical energies that take the physical form of a large, demon-like creature with a flaming head, and Dormammu has the powers to match his imposing physical stature; capable of most anything he can dream up, Dormammu has powers and abilities far too dangerous and varied to list here (needless to say, he can cause some ruckus when he wants to). While we can’t see Dormammu acting as the primary villain in the upcoming Doctor Strange film (we’re betting on the scheming Baron Mordo acting as the primary foil to Benedict Cumberbatch’s Stephen Strange in that film), it’s very likely Dormammu’s presence is hinted at, setting him up for potential appearances in future films. A titanic opponent who would more than likely require the forces of several superheroes to defeat him, Dormammu would be a wild and terrifying villain to see on screen.
2. Namor, the Sub-Mariner
It took us a little while to dig up the details on why Namor, the incredibly awesome Marvel equivalent to Aquaman, hasn’t found his way into the Marvel Cinematic Universe yet. Apparently, the rights to the character were sold to Universal during the dire times at Marvel (the company almost went bankrupt prior to the explosion in popularity of comic book movies circa 2000), and have only recently reverted back to Marvel Studios; however, Marvel overseer Kevin Feige has stated that there are still various contractual obligations which need to be sorted out before we’ll be seeing the Sub-Mariner in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That’s a bummer, since Namor is actually a really cool character; a human/Atlantean hybrid (yes, that Atlantis), Namor is a brawler who thrives underwater and is a big hit with the ladies, despite the fact that he occasionally come off as aloof. He’d be a great counterweight to some of the more light-hearted Avengers, and it’d be swell to get some superhero action occurring underneath the waves.
1. Dr. Doom
Yes, we understand that this one is strictly above board, but we couldn’t help ourselves when trying to figure out who to put atop this list. But after seeing the newest Fantastic Four (2015) film where Victor Von Doom is once again butchered to a point beyond recognition (we’re unwilling to accept the fluorescent green crash test dummy that appeared in the final 10 minutes of that film as Dr. Doom), we realized that it’s well past the point where that character should be appearing in Marvel Studios films, not those produced by Fox. The most iconic villain in Marvel’s history, Doom’s complex background and motivations make him an extremely engaging character who is exactly the kind of three-dimensional adversary the Marvel Cinematic Universe could use, and it’s a damn shame to see him wasting away in the mediocre films being put out by Fox. Doom has antagonized most every superhero at one point or another, and fitting him into the existing Marvel Cinematic Universe would be no problem at all. In the hands of a capable actor, Doom could be the Phase 3 (4?) equivalent to Tom Hiddleston’s Loki.