With Marvel’s slew of box-office toppling superhero flicks culminating in next summer’s The Avengers, it should come as no surprise that they are already scouring their archives for more possible money-makers to put on film. But with most of their obvious superheroes already getting their turn on the silver screen, Marvel has to dig a little deeper. Here are some superheroes that should definitely get their own movies, with just as many that should probably be forgotten forever.
You know, after this article.
The Bottom of the Barrel:
#5: Major Mapleleaf
Captain America isn’t the only superhero that loves his country. There are countless others, most notable among them being Captain Britain. Then, somewhere at the back of the line, there’s the Canadian Major Mapleleaf. On a supervillain’s list of things to be worried about, the good Major ranks somewhere between herpes and a mall cop. A short-term member of Canadian super-team Alpha Flight (a team mostly used as cannon fodder), Major Mapleleaf has no superhuman abilities. He does however have a super-powered horse named Thunder. I was going to make more fun of him, but I started getting very vivid images of a Kevin James-starring Major Mapleleaf movie, featuring Chris Rock as Thunder, so I’ll be stopping here.
The Irish-born (You know, ’cause she has red hair) Theresa Maeve Rourke Cassidy is a mutant and a former member of X-Force, X-Factor and a whole host of other really clever usages of the X-Men brand. Like her father, Sean Cassidy (who was featured in X-Men: First Class), Theresa has the power of the sonic scream. There really aren’t many superpowers I can imagine that would be as incredibly irritating to watch for two hours than screaming really loudly. While she can do a bunch of trippy stuff with her sonic scream, like fly, that’s a pretty great way of letting the bad guys know you’re coming.
“Those bad guys are threatening to blow up a bus full of orphans if they see or hear a superhero!”
“I’m on it! SHREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE”
Back in 1980, Marvel were commissioned by Casablanca Records to create a singing superhero while Casablanca themselves would produce the singer. There were to be comic-books, hit records, a movie, and swimming pools full of cash for all those involved. Initially, Casablanca wanted to promote Dazzler by cramming her into popular books such as Spider-Man, Fantastic Four and the X-Men. So right off the bat she’s like your little brat cousin that your mom made you play with. But hey, sometimes those cousins were pretty cool, right? I mean, let’s at least take a look at her powers and see if-SHIT.
Dazzler has the mutant ability to convert sound into light. I’m going to need you to try and come up with an exciting climax for a movie that gets solved by a totally rad laser-show. Can’t do it? Well, neither could Marvel. Surprisingly, Dazzler never became the next big thing. She continues to pop up from time to time and I can only imagine most of those appearances go like this:
“Did someone call my name? No? Oh. Okay then.”
Just take a look at that picture up there and let the fact that it is exactly what it sounds like sink in. Ol’ Bessie was just a regular cow until, one day, she was assaulted by that rascal Count Dracula. Either Dracula had lowered his standards or he had a killer case of the munchies, because he went to town on that cow. He made the mistake of leaving her alive, though, so she turned into a vampire cow. As one does.
Bessie the Hellcow traversed the land to exact her revenge on Count Dracula and all vampires, but ended up getting staked. Even writing this, I can’t decide if this is the worst idea for a character I have ever heard, or the greatest thing that has ever existed.
Maggott is a pretty good example of when an editor probably should not have said ‘yes’ to a writer, but slapped him really hard in the face instead. An African-born mutant, Maggott’s digestive system is composed of two large slugs. That’s right. Those slugs can eat anything and everything, and each time they ingest something, Maggott gets stronger. Also? He turns blue. It’s like the writer asked his dealer, “What kind of drugs do you have?”
And then took all of them.
Just to really hammer home just how useless this character is, he was captured by the mutant-abusing, Wolverine-creating organization Weapon X. After being taken to a concentration camp he was marked with a red M, signifying the fact that he was useless.
I was going to show you a picture of his origin, but I’m going to save it for last. Trust me, it’s worth it.
Give Me These Movies Now, Damn it!
When comic book fans found out Deadpool, the Merc with the Mouth, was going to be in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, we got really psyched. When we saw Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, most of us went psychotic. Created by the Weapon X program, Deadpool is a disfigured and mentally unstable mercenary. But that doesn’t quite do him justice. He is fucking ballistic.
Deadpool is pretty badass, too. His powers include a Wolverine-like healing factor, superhuman reflexes and weapons mastery. So it says a lot that most of the time he could just talk people to death with his crazy. Sporting an undying appetite for chimichangas and an unhealthy obsession with Bea Arthur, Deadpool is also one of the only characters who actually knows he is in a comic book.
Fans are closer than ever to getting an actual, honest-to-God Deadpool movie, so nobody say anything that might jinx it.
It’ll be awesome.
#4: Doctor Strange
Dr. Stephen Strange was a surgeon before getting into a car crash that ruined his hands. Deciding that giving up on life was a bit too passive, he decided to become the motherfucking Sorcerer Supreme of the Marvel Universe instead. Because that’s just how he rolls. The job description of Sorcerer Supreme includes things like protecting the earthly realm from inter-dimensional threats and dressing like a damn pimp. He is a master of magic, having been described as one of the most powerful beings in the Marvel universe by everybody else in the Marvel universe. Don’t believe me? Here’s a list of some the things he can do on any given Monday.
- Create any material he desires
- Resurrecting the dead
- Stopping and reversing time
- Sealing black holes
- Restoring galaxies
- Unconsciously destroy galaxies
Did you just get a little moist?
Doctor Strange’s comic books were so surreal that people actually thought the writers were on drugs. Wait, why has this movie not been made already?
#3: Guardians of the Galaxy
One of Marvel’s most unexpected hits was a space war-epic called Annihilation, a fantastic story that gave fans one of the most entertaining teams to ever grace the comics. Consisting of a war hero, a warlock, a killing machine, an assassin, a talking racoon and a giant tree, the Guardians had no business being in a room together, much less a team. Nonetheless, the group of reluctant heroes ended up saving the galaxy a few times despite nobody believing in them, least of all they themselves.
Should The Avengers prove that a team movie of this scope is a viable option, Marvel honcho Kevin Feige has implied a movie featuring the Guardians could be on its way. A bunch of hilarious, bickering space badasses saving the galaxy? If you don’t see the appeal, I’m going to have to ask you to hand in your ‘Right to an Opinion’ card.
#2: Iron Fist
Whereas most other heroes get their powers by accident or birth, Daniel Rand is the latest in a long line of warriors to bear the mantle of Iron Fist. To become Iron Fist, he had to punch a fucking dragon through the heart.
Danny is a billionaire playboy who traveled to the hidden city of K’un Lun and, after rigorous training, fought Shou-Lao the Undying and touched its heart, becoming Iron Fist. Aside from a complete mastery of martial arts, Danny can focus his chi into his fist to deliver a punch that would make Thor shit a brick. The Iron Fist lore could be the source of a countless epic films. From the centuries of Iron Fist warriors, to Danny’s fight to become Iron Fist, to the revelation that K’un Lun is only one of seven mystical cities that pit their champions against each other in deadly combat. A perfect blend of mysticism and martial arts, Iron Fist could become one of the coolest superhero franchises ever.
#1: The Runaways
The Runaways have been stuck in development hell ever since Iron Man brought Marvel to the forefront of the comic book movie business. The brilliant, but short-lived, series focused on a group of teens who run away together once they realize all their parents are supervillains. Slowly, but surely, they learn about their heritage and discover hidden abilities, so they decide it’s up to them to put a stop to their parents’ plans.
If ever there was a comic book franchise that could break into Harry Potter-levels of success, this is the one. The sheer amount of fun to be had in a Runaways film is outlandish. We have a girl who shares a telepathic link with a dinosaur, an alien, a super-strong 12 year old girl, a witch and a tech-whiz. We have comedy, drama, romance. We have kids fighting their parents. I’m telling you, it’s money in the bank.
But, like I said, the movie has been stuck in development hell for years and it’s doubtful that it’ll ever see the light of day. Why? Probably because Marvel can’t find a group of teenage actors who aren’t giant assholes.
Before I go, remember how I told you I’d show you Maggott’s origin?
I FUCKING KNOW, RIGHT?
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