As the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand – with Phase 3 set to kick off next year and potentially more new films to be announced at Disney’s D23 Expo later this week – its time to consider what new characters could be added to the already massive roster seen throughout the past twelve films (and three television series). In addition to the superheroes who have already been brought to life on the big screen and small, Marvel has a bevy of lesser-known heroes that can be brought to the world. If this year’s Ant-Man proved anything, it’s that Marvel has the clout to bring audiences out, even for smaller properties.
Without further ado, here is Screen Rant’s list of 10 underrated Marvel characters that should have their own movies.
A character that blends together the best aspects of Spider-Man and Iron Man, Darkhawk is the alter-ego of Chris Powell, a teenager who unassumingly comes to possess a mystic alien artifact that grafts a suit of armour to his body. Incorporating abilities of flight, enhanced vision and strength, claws, glider wingers, and a force blast and shield capabilities, Darkhawk is a serious force to be reckoned with. With storylines that have seen him team up with characters both on Earth and in outer space, the possibilities are limitless for a solo outing, or an appearance in a Phase 3 film.
Considered by many to be the Batman of Marvel, Moon Knight certainly offers an exotic, more supernatural story to play around with. After mercenary Marc Spector comes in contact with ancient Egyptian artifacts on a mission, he is killed by his squad, then resurrected by the moon god Khonsu. Spector decides to use his second chance at life to become a crimefighter, with his powers appearing during various points of the lunar cycle. An intriguing character who has been relegated to C-list status, Moon Knight has great potential for an origin story at the very least. The chances of him appearing in the MCU have increased recently, after S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Jasper Sitwell briefly mentions “a man in Cairo” in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Michael Morbius, a scientist who transforms into a vampiric being after a science experiment gone wrong, first appeared as a member of Spiderman’s rogues gallery in 1971. Endowed with powers of flight, super strength, agile speed, and an accelerated healing factor, he is a formidable opponent who went up against the web-slinger time and time again. He doesn’t have all the traits of a traditional vampire, though his condition does require feasting on human blood for sustenance and aversion to sunlight. Over time, Morbius was slowly rewritten from antagonist to hero, eventually getting his own series and a renewed sense of fan interest. There are numerous options for portrayal should a Morbius film ever be made, but the character would surely make for a fine gothic addition to the MCU.
First debuting in 1939, Namor the Sub-Mariner is often equated with DC Comics’ Aquaman, namely that of various aquatic abilities and super strength. The major point of divergence comes from Namor’s sense of hostility towards land-based beings, and as such he has been regarded as a definitive anti-hero. The rights to Namor were purchased by Universal Studios several years ago during the initial Marvel craze kicked off by X-Men, though no film ever materialized. Kevin Feige has recently confirmed that Marvel Studios does have the rights back now, though a number of contracts and agreements still need to be resolved before any chance of a green light could happen.
As Marvel has begun to move into the cosmic realm – with Thor, Guardians of the Galaxy and next fall’s Doctor Strange – it would make sense to give the titular Nova of the Nova Corps his own film. The moniker has been adorned by two notable figures, originally Richard Rider, and more recently the teenager Sam Alexander in the Marvel Now! relaunch of the series. Both characters have similar origins – through alien contact that granted each a super suit with the powers of flight, super strength, and invulnerability. Director James Gunn has already stated that Richard Rider will not appear in his upcoming sequel Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, but that doesn’t count out a solo film for either Nova. If Marvel wanted to use Sam Alexander instead, it would be the perfect way to craft a more family-friendly entry to the MCU.
A reformed criminal with a vast array of gadgetry, the Prowler is the embodiment of many comic fans desires to become a hero in their own right, without the aid of superhuman abilities. The original Prowler, Hobie Brown, was inspired to create his own secret identity after witnessing Spider-Man battle Stilt-Man, though initially he decided to use it for personal gain over helping others. After foregoing a life of crime, Prowler would team up with Spider-Man on various occasions, and even team up with other reformed villains to form a group known as The Outlaws. The inspiration for the Prowler came from a teenage John Romita Jr., who years later became a famous illustrator and co-created Kick-Ass with Mark Millar, a story with many thematic similarities.
A hero who has been reinvented and existed as the alter-ego for several beings, Quasar derives his power from a set of ‘quantum bands’, which he uses to fight the evils of intergalactic tyranny. Another potential figure that could lend themselves to a cosmic outing, Quasar mainly deals with supremely powerful beings with god-like attributes. While he is more obscure than Doctor Strange or Star-Lord, the character demonstrates a sense of decency and ethics to his actions, all in the aim of peace. Such purely good-willed characters are not that common in the MCU so far, which could make for an interesting confrontation with any pre-established super-powered team or being further down the line.
Jennifer Walters, a lawyer known for representing superheroes, becomes She-Hulk after receiving a blood transfusion from her cousin, Dr. Bruce Banner. Shortly thereafter, she begins to exhibit the same shade of green skin and abilities of incredible strength and rage, albeit with more control of her intelligence and personality. Having been a member of various organizations within Marvel lore, such as The Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D. The Defenders, and the Fantastic Four, there’s no telling to the possibilities the character has in terms of on-screen representation. On top of that, Walters is a progressive female character who could serve as a positive role model for many young girls, should she be considered for inclusion.
One of the most famous Marvel characters that lacks any powers whatsoever, Silver Sable has appeared frequently over the last 30 years as both an opponent and ally to Marvel characters. Displaying sublime athleticism and detailed knowledge of various martial arts, she is the closest thing to a female version of The Punisher, though her primary goals revolve around bringing justice to war criminals and those who commit acts of terrorism. A film based entirely around this character could certainly play up the real-world aspect of the MCU, foregoing the more fantastic elements more commonly seen, grounded in real world circumstances.
Doreen Green, otherwise known as Squirrel Girl, might be one of the oddest superheroes in Marvel’s roster, but a potential film could certainly result in a comedic outing on-par with this summer’s Ant-Man. Squirrel Girl possesses super-strength, sharp claws and a rapacious bushy tail. She can leap to great heights and – most importantly of all – communicate with squirrels. The character has gone through an increase in popularity recently with the launch of her own series, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, last fall. Besides that, she’s one of the most powerful beings in the entire Marvel universe, having defeated the likes of Doctor Doom, Galactus, and even Thanos at various points in her existence. Whether or not she displays this level of fortitude on-screen, if Marvel is serious about adding more strong female characters to the MCU, Squirrel Girl would be an inspired choice.
Which of these characters would you most like to see get their own film? Who else do you think needs to be recognized in the MCU? Sound off in the comments below!