Originally started as Timely Comics in 1939, Marvel Comics earned its namesake in 1961. And ever since, it has been publishing fantasy, action and sci-fi stories in the form of successional comic strips. While the Marvel Cinematic Universe, consisting of 23 films, seems like a grand franchise, there is still an enormous amount of Marvel Comics characters yet to receive a live-action adaptation.
Because Marvel Studios cut out a deal with competing networks, it has held off on incorporating some very famous characters into the fold. But that changed recently, when Marvel announced the MCU reboot of the Fantastic Four movie. Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) director Job Watts will man the film. But that’s all we know so far. Safe to say, Marvel has a long way to go before debuting Fantastic Four-related characters like Silver Surfer and Galactus in the MCU.
Similarly, 20th Century Fox held the rights to the X-Men franchise for the last 20 years. Now that the scenario has been altered, the MCU could paint a trilogy revolving around each major X-Men. Thus, giving Marvel Studios enough content to last until 2050.
However, there are a bunch of popular Marvel Comics characters that the MCU has yet to tap. And we have narrowed the long list down to a few.
Considering the X-Men to be a collective term for all mutants makes it easier for us, as there are more than a dozen of these characters that MCU is yet to confirm. That is, aside from Deadpool.
Less than two years after Disney acquired the rights to Fox characters, the IPs falling under the X-Men patronage stand beside the world of Iron Man and Thor. In addition, Marvel has confirmed that Deadpool 3 will be set in the MCU. But will the gang from the previous movies say hello to the Merc with the Mouth in the MCU? Will Deadpool 3 feature Colossus, Negasonic Teenage Warhead, Cable, or Domino?
Well, that decision still lies in Kevin Feige’s hat.
But still, what are the chances that a third installment of an already established superhero will feature any major X-Men? Giving an MCU debut to a character as iconic as Wolverine in Deadpool 3 would be a huge risk. Not to mention, the chaos that comes with an already packed, elaborate cast.
Despite being inactive for the last many years, Netflix has a section dedicated entirely to Marvel content. After Charlie Cox’s Matt Murdock middle a debut in Spider-Man: No Way Home, chances for other Netflix rangers to appear in the MCU just went higher.
With that said, Marvel has not made any official announcements regarding their plans for Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Punisher, Elektra, The Kingpin, or any other characters associated with the now-canceled Netflix shows. But all these characters are quite beloved among audiences. So if MCU intended to make any use of those, they would return with a brand new live-action storyline.
In 2015, Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios collaborated together and divided licensing for Peter Parker. Following this, we saw the MCU debut the character in Captain America: Civil War. MCU’s Peter Parker earned a spectacular trilogy with Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017), Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019), and the latest Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021).
Moving on to Venom (2018). Initially, the franchise was owned by Sony. But after Marvel bought the film rights for Spider-Man-associated characters, the MCU even gave Tom Hardy an interesting cameo. While the MCU seems to be fabricating a whole new narrative using Spidey’s supporting cast, there are a number of things to clarify.
The upcoming Morbius (2022) starring Jared Leto as Marvel’s version of Bat-Man features Michael Keaton, presumably as Vulture. This means that the film has some connection to the universe that saw Avengers: Endgame (2019). And if the MCU’s Morbius shares the same universe as Morbius, and if Morbius is associated with Venom, does it mean that Tom Hardy is the MCU’s Venom?
Let’s leave it to Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures to simplify the projects in the future. But for now, we can assume that the Olivia Wilde-directed Spider-related movie, and the Madame Web movie, that are under development will have strong links to the MCU.
As odd as it sounds, the MCU has shown signs of the existence of the Korbinite thunderer, Beta Ray Bill. We saw in Thor: Ragnarok (2017), someone on Sakaar thought it would be beneficial to forge a copy of Marvel’s other hammer-wielding dispenser of justice across Grandmaster Palace. This is clearly Sakaar’s answer to Mount Rushmore.
Walt Simonson first sketched Beta Ray Bill in comics from the early 1980s.the hero wears a mask that makes his face resemble a horse. His weapon of choice was a hammer gifted to him by Odin. The recent appearances of BRB in the comics have been in Donny Cates’ cluster of loosely-connected series, joining the Guardians of the Galaxy 2019 comics, and stopping by to help out in the presently ongoing Thor run by Cates and Nic Klein.
As a future bet, when Chris Hemsworth decides that he has given Disney all that was owed to him, Marvel Studios will have a CG horse monster from space who is willing to join the force with his magic hammer.
It comes as a shock that Squirrel Girl hasn’t already gotten a trilogy. This is because the character has seen an escalated fame in the last ten years or so.
There were rumors that Squirrel Girl would make her live-action debut in the New Warriors TV series. However, the idea never came to fruition. And the potential for it vanished after Marvel Television was shut down in 2019.
No offense to Night Thrasher and Speedball, but the show was called New Warriors and not Squirrel Girl and The New Warriors. Needless to say, the title left no room for exploration for the popular character.
Introduced in 1991, Doreen Green became an official marquee superhero when The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by Ryan North and Erica Henderson quickly rose to fame in 2015.
Unbeatable combines the age-appropriate, forward-thinking story with a striking sense of self of former Howard The Duck stories from the 1970s. Clearly, Kevin Feige is still on the lookout for the perfect narrative to introduce the peculiarity of Unbeatable with the MCU’s curious but indistinguishable approach. With that said, Marvel has not entirely abandoned Squirrel Girl. As she frequently appears in Marvel Rising animated projects.
Grant Morrison and J.G. Jones created Noh-Varr to first appear in Marvel Boy #1 (2000). Noh-Varr is already a star, except with no films in his pocket. His powers include mind-control saliva, explosive fingernail clippings, superhuman strength and reflexes. Also, he has access to very cool space weapons which he can use to face literally any cosmic or terrestrial threat. While his powers may seem quite bizarre, the hero has full intentions toof usthem ing them in a larger capacity.
Being a Kree from another reality, introducing Noh-Varr into the MCU isn’t as impractical. The Kree first appeared in Captain Marvel (2019). And as we know, Kevin Feige and the production are currently planning on expanding their Multiversal horizons with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022). It is a matter of time before Marvel decides they are in need of an ego-centric weirdo from the cosmos who is waiting on a chance to shoot lasers and use saliva to defeat enemies.
Richard Rider’s multi-solar system spanning the police forane made a MCU cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014). Regardless of being a prominent presence in the ink and wood pulp iteration of the Guardians, the space cop has not found himself in the MCU. Not only him, the next-in-line and the youngest member of the Nova Corps, Sam Alexander, has left no traces either. Another Nova flying around Marvel’s intergalactic universe is actually a herald of Galactus and not exactly a part of the Nova Corps.
In an interview with Comicbook.com, Marvel chief creative officer Kevin Feige teased the possibility of including Nova in the MCU. But if Disney invests time and money to give Richard Rider and/or Sam Alexander a solo project, there are chances that fans will try to compare it to Green Lantern. And since the Nova Corps is basically Felicia Hardy to the Green Lantern Corps’ Selina Kyle, the idea is quite unreasonable.
Because of Cara Delevingne’s Suicide Squad (2016) iteration of Enchantress from the DC Comics, it is understandable why Marvel hasn’t tapped one of Thor’s biggest rivals to appear in the MCU. While it is still unofficial, Thor: Love and Thunder could surprise fans with a sorceress who has her eyes set on the Avenger’s Norse God of Handsomeness.
With that said, the cast list on the IMDB page for Disney+’s upcoming Loki series sees the names of Sophia Di Martino and Gugu Mbatha-Raw. The two actors would fit perfectly for the role of Amora. And so far, Marvel has not given both of these actors a publicly-designated character. But it is a long shot, since the MCU residents have never made mention of The Enchantress.
Created by Stan Lee and Gene Colan in the 1960s, Leap-Frog is a less-popular character among the lot. But he can be comedic and painfully nasty at the same time. Thus, giving the MCU a fresh addition to the lot.
Vincent Patilio wears a frog costume, and adds springs to his boots that allow him to jump to vast heights. He uses his odd abilities to commit petty theft. Of course, on the surface Leap-Frog appears to be harmless in comparison to enormous threats like Galactus and Doctor Doom. but the Daredevil arc titled Wake Up by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist David Mack introduces us to a malicious version of Patio. Told from his son’s perspective, Patilio’s Leap-Frog surpasses the cruelty of even the biggest MCU baddies.
Given Marvel’s current Disney-friendly content, adapting Wake Up as it is would be quite an enduring approach. However, the studio has a good history with adapting comic book sociopaths with funny costumes and a filthy past.
The only mention of the star-hopping telepath has been in the rumors that declare Drax, the Destroyer’s in-comics daughter, to be his onscreen daughter once the Guardians trilogy ends. But Marvel Studios does not seem keen on depicting another bald-headed mind reader. Given that, Moondragon’s chances of appearing in the MCU are very low.
Although, it is important to know that Mantis has a lot of similarities with Moondragon. Originally in the comics, Mantis was a human prostitute/martial arts master/racist stereotype. But in the Guardians, she is a telepath who wears green and lives in outer space. So, it is possible that Mantic is the closest that Moondragon will get to an introduction in the MCU.
While Netflix did an astounding job in portraying The Owl and The Gladiator, many of the Daredevil villains stayed clear from the televised version of 2015. One of these villains in Stilt Man. His suit allows him to become ridiculously tall. Obviously, it is impossible to picture the amount of harm his monolithic metal arms can cause to a person. Stilt Man has had several face-offs with Spider-Man, Daredevil, Thor, Iron Man, and others in the Marvel Comics since the late 1960s. But the MCU still shows no signs of him.
What makes Stilt Man so unique is that he was penned by Wally Wood. While all the remarkable Marvel characters of the 1960s were published by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Steve Ditko, Stilt Man remains distinguished.
If Disney executives have any underlying intentions of producing fan-favorite characters to add into the fold, why hasn’t it created a long line of Cosmic Ghost Rider films?
Writer Donny Cates and artist Geoff Shaw first came up with the new character in 2018. The old version of Frank Castle sold his soul to Mephisto and became an alternate world version of the Ghost Rider, and then went ahead to be a herald of Galactus. Thus, being The Punisher, Ghost Rider, and Silver Surfer all joined in one. Cosmic Ghost Rider has incredible potential in the MCU with his deranged driving skills and awesomeness.
Consisting of a huge, amazing team, this Canadian crime fighting squad would be a great addition to the MCU. Both Puck and Sasquatch have a longer, more significant role in Marvel Comics than other pop-culture dominant names on this list. But the MCU has not represented them in any way, and it is something that can be altered with the help of Snowbird, Shaman, and Talisman.
The first mention of Alpha Fight in the Marvel Comics was made in Uncanny X-Men #120 (1979). Alpha Flight existed heavily in the pre-X-Men phase of Wolverine’s superhero career. And the squad often sees input from mutant siblings Aurora and Northstar.
Despite Marvel and Fox’s licensing issues being resolved, the production has not announced any plans for Alpha Fight yet.
Again, DC’s own interwithtion of a superwoman blessed with magical powers stops Marvel Studios from giving their own intellectual property a major outing. Based on legal grounds, chances for confusion are very high. And that for the character to gain equal popularity are way less.
Simon Williams is a former businessman and part-time professional actor-stuntman with ion-based powers. While she does not have any resemblanctoth Princess Diana of Themyscira, her overall personality and powers might confuse audiences to the point of boredom. And yet, director James Gunn almost gave him a cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, with Nathan Fillion playing Williams on movie posters. But the final cut excluded him from the film.
Rick Jones was ultimately responsible for Bruce Banner getting in the way of the gamma rays that turned him into the Hulk. Neglecting his obvious connections to Captain America and Captain Mar-Vell, Rick Jones is definitely a Marvel Comics character who does not get his deserved story. In the MCU, we have seen his name for a nanosecond in The Avengers (2012). Which means that we cannot entirely dismiss his existence. It is just a matter of time before the studio decided to give him powers and introduce him in the form of A-Bomb or The Abomination or one of his other aliases.
Gwenpool’s entry into the MCU comes with some uncertainties. Because she is a merger of two alternate universe characters of Deadpool and Spider-Gwen, does she belong to X-Men-affiliated characters, or Spider-Man-affiliated characters? And does it matter that her real name is Gwendolyn Poole and not Gwen Stacy? Well, the answers lie with Marvel and SoSony’sverlords. But currently, Gwenpool is an untapped character.
Another point to note is that none of Marvel’s female characters are recognized for their sense of humor. Avengers: Endgame (2019) proved this in one scene. Apart from Mantis, Okoye and Shuri, the rest of the lot mainly quips in with straight-faced comments. Gwenpool will definitely bring a fresh flavor intohe mix with her quirky humor. That is, if Scarlet Witch, She-Hulk and/or Ms. Marvel didn’t fix the problem first.
Marvel Comics now knows Hulking as Dorrek VIII, Emperor of the Kree-Skrull Alliance. Imagine the hold of the American president on the world, and amplify it by a hundred. And that is the scale of power that the son of Mar-Vell possesses.
Skrulls were first seen in Captain Marvel (2019), which is pretty recent. But Hulkling’s generation of Young Avengers only just made their debut in the MCU. Kate Bishop in the Disney+ Hawkeye series, and America Chavez in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. But these projects are yet to set up the accurate premises to pick on Hulkling’s side of the Marvel canon. So a live-action version might be part of the future.
WandaVision explored Wanda Maximoff’s powers to the fullest. And it gave us a modified version of Scarlet Witch. We saw her give birth to her twin sons, Tommy and Billy, who got separated from her as the show concluded. We still have no idea how the MCU will progress with the boys’ narrative. But the journey will surely be an interesting one.
Although, according to the Marvel canon, Tommy and Billy will grow up to become a part of the Young Avengers team. While Speed (Tommy) will have nothing new to offer to the MCU, Wiccan (William) could add a new element to Scarlet Witch’s story. Paired with his iconic headgear, Wiccan is sure to draw in a truckload of Naruto fans.
In over 60 years, writers and artists have fabricated a bunch of fantastic superhero characters for the same two companies, Marvel and DC. it is difficult to make a distinction, but we can say that a creative incest brought Man-Thing as a hero fiddling around the Marvel Universe. Man-Thing strangely reminds us of Wes Craven and Adrienne Barbeau’s ill-fated Swamp Thing (1982).
Initially known as Dr. Ted Sallis, his likeness appears in Thor: Ragnarok. Almost near the special mentions of Ray Bill, Ares, and Bi-Beast on the GrandMaster Palace on planet Sakaar.
Speedball was created by Tom DeFalco and Spider-Man architect Steve Ditko in 1998. Robbie Baldwin possesses powers connected to kinetic energy that enable him to bounce off stuff. He has a cool ability to use his mid-air appearances to shoot multi-colored balls filled with so-called ‘ball pits’.
Baldwin altered his identity and costume and became Penance after he underwent a drastic “Civil War” event. But he soon turned back to Speedball. Like Squirrel Girl, Speedball would fit into the storyline of the New Warriors TV series. But Marvel still has scope to give him a shot.
Darkhawk is basically a ripoff of Marvel’s own characters. He wears a suit of armor that shoots lasers, kind of like Iron Man. One of the suit’s features is retractable claws, like the claws that pop out of Wolverine’s forearms. And he creates this suit with the help of an amulet he stumbles upon when escaping from thugs, similar to Danny Ketch accidentally encountering the enchanted motorcycle that turns him into Ghost Rider.
While this is a creative injustice, Darkhawk would make a great hero into the MCU. His costume portrays him as a dark-hued vigilante with a winged-animal theme, with an uncanny 90s vibe. He would, of course, require a new range of powers and a backstory. But the idea is not far-fetched.