You’d be forgiven in thinking that the well is dry - from now on, we’ll be seeing nothing but sequels and spin offs as the MCU enters its second decade of existence next year. But thankfully, Marvel still have some bullets in the chamber, should they feel the need to add a new movie headliner.
What?: Blade is utterly obsessed with destroying vampires and every other type of monster you can think of. His powers stem from his Mom being bitten by a vampire while Eric was still in the womb. He’s basically the supernatural Punisher.
Likelihood?: Very high. Of everyone on this, Blade is by far and away the most likely to pop up sooner rather than later. He’s already proven popular thanks to the Wesley Snipes fronted trilogy, which actually kicked off the modern superhero movie boom by predating X-Men by 2 years (1998 vs 2000). But the failure of Blade: Trinity and the follow-up TV series in 2006 led to the rights reverting back to Marvel.
The company got The Punisher back around the same time and have since put him to use, first as an antagonist/anti hero in the second season of Daredevil, and now as the star of his own series set to debut in late 2017. With Doctor Strange bringing supernatural elements to the MCU, surely Phase 4 of the MCU won’t pass without the Daywalker making a return? It would be quite poetic if he pops up next year, most likely on Netflix, to mark the 20th anniversary (!) of his first movie.
What?: Following a near-fatal motorbike crash, physicist Braddock was approached by Merlin. Yes, the Merlin. He wanted Braddock, who he had deemed worthy, to become the next champion of Britain. He offered him a choice between an amulet and a sword, and Braddock correctly chose the amulet, favouring life over death. He was transformed into Captain Britain, with all the same powers as his American namesake, but he also possesses a staff that allows him to fly and project force fields.
Likelihood?: Even. Captain America was seen as a risky movie way back when (oh how the times have changed) because he is so strongly linked to one country. But Cap has a long history in comics that extend his popularity past being a figurehead for the good old US of A. Captain Britain has not enjoyed such popularity, and thus would likely be seen as a shoddy knock-off of Steve Rogers. However, I could easily see him as a supporting character in the future, or as the leader of some form of Excalibur, a British style Avengers (although the Excalibur name may belong to Fox as it was originally an X-Men spin off).
Also, in the comics he is the twin brother of the X-Men’s Psylocke, so don’t expect that to be brought over. They’ll hopefully also get rid of the character quirk that makes him lose power the longer he is away from the UK. We don’t need a superhero who can be defeated by a two week holiday in Benidorm.
What?: Turns out Thor wasn’t the only ancient God that Marvel decided they want to modernise. Hercules has been a comic presence since 1965, meaning Thor has only been around 2 years longer. He’s the same Hercules of legend, playing a similar role to the God of Thunder, but with nothing but contempt for Thor because people keep comparing them (oops).
Likelihood?: Low. Marvel smartly reimagined the Asgardians as aliens that early civilisation mistook as Gods. Greek mythology is much more Earth based, with Mount Olympus and the like being real places that you can visit, unlike Valhalla. This means an adaptation would be much harder to pull off, not to mention the fact that Hercules was eons less popular than Thor even before the latter’s first movie. I’d love to see him turn up as a cameo in the fighting pits of Sakaar during Thor: Ragnarok, but I think he is unfortunately too similar to Odinson to get his own movie.
What?: Kevin’s Dad discovered the Savage Land, the primeval jungle oasis in the middle of Antarctica, and a large deposit of vibranium. Hunted for the vibranium he had returned to England with, he and his son Kevin sought refuge in the Savage Land, only to be kidnapped by Man-Apes. These slightly more developed cave men killed Lord Plunder, but Kevin was saved by saber-toothed tiger Zabu. Kevin, now known by the name Ka-Zar, and Zabu form a close bond, and fight for survival as they master the territory, before eventually becoming the protectors of the Savage Land.
Likelihood?: Even to high. Black Panther may well be the test Marvel is waiting on before taking their jungle based escapades to the next level with their version of Tarzan. Ka-Zar himself may not be anything new character-wise, but the Savage Land is rife for possibilities. Not only are there saber-tooth tigers and neanderthals, but there are also DINOSAURS. DINOSAURS CAN EXIST IN THE MCU. Tell me you don’t want that.
What?: From the outside looking in, Moon Knight is Marvel’s truest equivalent to Batman. He fights crime on an obsessive level, and doesn’t seem to have any superpowers. However, Moon Knight differs because he is clinically insane. He has multi-personality disorder, and it isn’t even clear if he was resurrected by Egyptian God Khonshu. But he believes he was, and that gives him his scary drive to eradicate crime.
Likelihood?: High. Moon Knight has “Netflix” written all over him. I actually thought Marvel would use him as the basis for their Telltale video game, so they can conquer another media platform with a new star. Alas, they went with the Guardians of the Galaxy, so Netflix still looks the most likely destination as an easy slot in post-Defenders. That said, Iron Fist and it’s mythical tilt failing to connect to audiences may give Marvel pause.
What?: The son of a British explorer and an Atlantean princess, Namor is the ruler of the hidden underwater city. Technically a mutant, he has long clashed with the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, and the rest of the Marvel superhero world whenever they come knocking on his door. He’s basically the surliest son of a bitch in comics.
Likelihood?: Low. If it wasn’t for the fact that he is Marvel’s first superhero, Namor would not be on this list. My admittedly limited exposure to him has only shown him to be a grumpy, pinch faced king, perpetually folding his arms and getting ratty with everyone. He is also most closely associated with the X-Men, and the question over who truly owns him is actually a bit of a mystery. But surely you can’t completely rule out someone so pivotal to the early days of the publisher, can you? Let’s see how Aquaman fairs for DC before we call anything.
What?: The Nova Corps are essentially “space cops”, and after using his powers to protect his home town of New York for a while, Nova eventually left to travel to the Nova Corp home planet of Xandar. On top of the ability to fly through space, Nova can control cosmic energy, and at the height of his powers even has the equivalent of an intergalactic “internet” inside his head, containing the sum of all Xandarian knowledge.
Likelihood?: High. The Nova Corps and Xandar played a big role in the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, and with Cosmic Marvel set to expand, Nova is the most logical choice to head up the first spin-off. The only reason I think we haven’t seen it yet is the solo film failure of his close DC analogue Green Lantern. This may be another case of Marvel waiting for DC to test the waters, namely with their upcoming Green Lantern Corps movie in 2019, before taking the plunge.
Plus we’ll finally get to hear Mike stop moaning about Nova not having a film.
What?: Although originally created simply to stave off rival companies from simply taking the Hulk concept and applying it to a woman (more on that tactic later), She-Hulk has become quite the fan favourite. She differs from her cousin in several ways - she retains her hulk form the majority of the time without losing intelligence, and is quite the comedienne, regularly breaking the 4th wall.
Likelihood?: Even. The lack of a Hulk solo movie makes naturally introducing Jennifer difficult. In an ideal world, she would have been seeded in the second Hulk solo outing before getting her powers in the third one, leading to solo movie possibilities of her own. Alas, there doesn’t look like there will be any new Hulk movies any time soon, but if they can find a way to introduce her in another MCU movie, having She-Hulk headline the movie could be a roundabout way of having Hulk films without Universal’s involvement.
What?: Falling ill as a child, Jessica was injected with an untested serum by her scientist father in hopes of curing her. Locked in a cryogenic pod for decades, she emerged as a full grown adult but with no memories of her childhood. She has basically all of Spider-Man’s powers, only with web-shooting replaced by bio-electric blasts she can launch from her hands, and the ability to glide.
Likelihood?: Low (MCU) / High (Sony). As she isn’t actually related to Peter Parker in the same way She-Hulk and Hulk are cousins, and was also created just so Marvel could beat others to the concept of “Spider-Man but with ovaries”, there’s no easy way to throw her into the mix. She has to be likened to Spider-Man, but yet the two haven’t crossed paths that much historically.
This means an MCU more than happy to play with their new Spider toy for the foreseeable future are unlikely to broach the subject, unless they have her play a role on Agents of Shield given her history with the organisation. Sony, however, may want to include her in their weird side-bubble populated by Venom: Carnage, and possibly Sinister Six and Black Cat/Silver Sable movies.
And that’s everyone I could think of. Is there anybody you feel could be thrown into the MCU in the coming years that I missed? Let us know below!
Darren is a columnist and a co-host on almost all our podcasts, including PopScorn and Gotta Cast 'Em All. He is a long time blogger, known for his previous website The Gutteridge Log, and his in-depth analysis and explanation of pop culture media.