Hugh Jackman has done wonders for 20th Century Fox in the role of Wolverine, both in the character’s solo films and in the X-Men franchise. Since he was introduced in The Incredible Hulk #180, Wolverine has developed a reputation as a brutal anti-hero with a bad attitude. He does what needs to be done. As there are few characters in the Marvel Universe with as much as blood on their hands as Wolverine, he believes that he’s someone both the X-Men and the Avengers truly need.
The character has been a major source of friction in both teams, earning the enmity of some and the respect of others. In major Marvel events such as Avengers vs. X-Men, Age of Ultron, Civil War, Wolverine is a wild card character whose actions are hard to predict due to the fact that his morals aren’t as squeaky-clean as Captain America’s.
Wolverine is off-limits to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but Marvel has a stable of other characters who could take his place. As the MCU stands now, there is a great lack of characters who can create the kind of tension that Wolverine is able to do in the X-Men. A tough-talking, violent anti-hero could be just what the doctor ordered. So with that said, let’s take a look at 15 Marvel Characters Who Could Be The MCU’s Answer To Wolverine.
15. Agent Venom
Flash Thompson first appeared in Amazing Fantasy #15 in 1962 as a bully who constantly picked on “Puny Parker,” never guessing that he was actually his hero, Spider-Man. As time passed, the character matured and eventually joined the military where he suffered an accident that took away his legs. Years later, Flash went through another evolution when a government program called “Project Rebirth 2.0” bonded the “Venom” symbiote to Flash’s body, healing his legs. Flash became “Agent Venom,” and used the powers he gained from the symbiote to serve as a member of the superhero black-ops team, the Secret Avengers, and the Guardians of the Galaxy.
As a dark character whose experiences in the military has caused him to deal with alcoholism and depression, Flash could be an interesting addition to the MCU.
14. Moon Knight
Since the character was created in the 1970s, Marc Spector has often been labeled a clone of Batman, but the character is actually a lot more convoluted than Batman ever was. As a crime-fighter, Moon Knight may seem like a Batman in white clothing, but if you look deeper, you’d see a character unlike any other. Moon Knight is a superhero with multiple personality disorder. In his earliest stories, he created different identities to better protect his “Moon Knight” identity, but as he carried on with the farce, his other identities became intertwined with his personality. Other characters in the Marvel Universe characterize him as unhinged and too much of an unknown factor to trust as an ally. If introduced to the MCU, Moon Knight would be one of their darkest heroes yet. His unconventional personality would keep him from being a clone of anyone.
13. Elsa Bloodstone
Elsa Bloodstone is the daughter of Ulysses Bloodstone, an obscure character from the 1970s who in the comic books has a reputation as a legendary, immortal monster hunter. His daughter was introduced in 2001 and has already far exceeded her father’s popularity. Having learned much of her father’s skills, Elsa is shown to be a more-than-capable monster hunter and a deadly warrior in combat. Elsa is a character who got into the business of hunting down monsters at a young age and has no problems with killing her enemies. Though considered a hero, Elsa is a character who puts her duties as a monster hunter first and doesn’t usually operate as part of a superhero team. Recently, however, Elsa’s connections to the Marvel Universe has grown stronger with her appearances in AXIS, Civil War II, and Monsters Unleashed. Is a role in the MCU in Elsa’s future?
Blade the Vampire Hunter is a half-human, half-vampire warrior who has pledged his life to hunting down supernatural creatures. The character was introduced in The Tomb of Dracula #10 in 1973. Having been born in 1929, Blade’s prolonged lifespan has allowed him to have decades of experience as a warrior against the supernatural. Blade is merciless when it comes to his enemies, and believes that he alone can wipe out Dracula and his vampire army. The “loner” aspect of his personality makes him similar to Wolverine, as both characters are burdened by what they feel has to be a one-man journey.
Like Wolverine, the blood on his hands makes Blade struggle with his humanity. As one of Marvel’s darker characters, he could bring out a new side of the MCU, and would be easier to introduce now that Doctor Strange has already shown us that magic exists in their world outside of Asgard.
Introduced in Web of Spider-Man #19 in 1986, Solo is a mercenary and expert gunman with the ability to teleport. He’s known for the catchphrase, “While Solo lives, terror dies!” which sums up his purpose in life. Solo is a cold-blooded killer who clashes with Spider-Man and other heroes over his methods, but when necessary they put aside their differences to bring down the enemy. In a way, Solo could be described as the Punisher with superpowers—which may or may not be a good thing.
Though Solo was initially associated with Spider-Man, he was recently seen as a member of Deadpool’s Mercs for Money. The character usually appears sporadically in other comic book titles but in 2016 he carried his own self-titled series for five issues.
10. Werewolf by Night
Jack Russell first appeared in Marvel Spotlight #2 in 1972 as a young man whose bloodline is cursed with lycanthropy, causing Jack to transform into a werewolf. Jack had his own series titled Werewolf by Night for a few years in the 1970s before dropping off the radar. The character was revived in the ’90s and in the last few years has been seen working with various teams of monsters.
Werewolf by Night exists in one of the darker corners of the Marvel Universe due to his gory nature as a monstrous beast. In the ’70s, the character fit perfectly into the “horror” category of comics but has seen become fully immersed in the world of superheroes, interacting with characters such as Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, and Moon Knight.
9. Red Hulk
Thunderbolt Ross is one of Marvel’s oldest characters, having first appeared in The Incredible Hulk #1 in 1962 as the general who made it his mission to take down the Hulk. The character already exists in the MCU, with his latest appearance being in Captain America: Civil War. In the comic books, Thunderbolt Ross has evolved beyond the general with a grudge against the Hulk and has been transformed into the thing he hates the most: a hulk. Ross’ hulk, however, is red instead of green. He gets his strength from radiation, rather than anger. Another thing that makes Red Hulk different from Banner’s Hulk is that Red Hulk has Ross’ tactical mind.
Red Hulk has served as the leader of his own version of the Thunderbolts, a strike team that acts as a much darker superhero team than the Avengers. If Thunderbolt Ross were to become the Red Hulk in the MCU, his methods would certainly contrast with those of Captain America and Iron Man.
A 13-year-old boy named Elvin Haliday was exposed to toxic waste that gave him superhuman abilities and the appearance of a man in his 30s. After taking the name “Rage,” he became a reserve Avenger and an important member of the New Warriors. True to his name, Rage can be reckless, emotional, and prone to violence, especially over issues that he’s passionate about. As an African American superhero living in a poor neighborhood, Rage often appears in stories that take on political issues involving race. Rage has consistently been portrayed as a hero who fights to protect the people living on the streets from gang violence and racist organizations like the Sons of the Serpent.
Greer Grant was a superhero called the Cat who abandoned her costume when she was magically transformed by the Cat People into Tigra, a half-human, half-cat warrior. With her sharp claws, superhuman strength and agility, and cat-like reflexes, Tigra is a formidable fighter who was a longtime member of the West Coast Avengers and a teacher at Avengers Academy.
One of her cat-like attributes is her need for affection which makes her flirty around men. And two of her less friendly attributes are her aggressiveness in combat and animal-like ferociousness. Like Wolverine, Tigra can go berserk, and can occasionally seem more animal than human. These bouts of violence make it difficult for her to balance both sides of herself. Her animalistic behavior would understandably unnerve the people around her, not unlike the effect Wolverine has had on others at times.
Chris Powell was a teenager when he found an ancient amulet that allowed him to trade places with an android body, but Chris’ mind remained in control. Becoming the superhero “Darkhawk,” Chris fought crime as a solo hero for a few years in the 1990s and even headlined his own series for 50 issues. The character later became associated with the New Warriors. He was placed on the backburner for a while until he was made a key player in major space events such as War of Kings and Realm of Kings.
The main aspect of Darkhawk’s personality that held him back as a hero was his anger issues. Stress over being Darkhawk made the character suffer from angry outbursts. One bout of rage led Darkhawk to viciously attack the Venom. After believing he had murdered the Venom, Darkhawk was overwhelmed with guilt. A superhero with a nasty temper could be extremely dangerous—but interesting nonetheless.
5. Winter Soldier
Winter Soldier is the World War II sidekick of Captain America who was presumed dead for 70 years until it was revealed that he was brainwashed and turned into an assassin. His character already exists in the MCU, having been a major character in all three Captain America films. When the character was last seen, he was placed back in suspended animation in Wakanda under the care of Black Panther.
What we don’t know about the character is his future in the MCU. Sebastian Stan is already set to return as the Winter Soldier in Avengers: Infinity War, but what kind of role will he have in the world of the Avengers? Captain America: Civil War didn’t answer that question since he spent most of that movie on the run, but soon we should have a better idea of what to expect from him. Will the character lose his dark tone and become the new Captain America, or does he have other plans?
4. Morbius the Living Vampire
Morbius the Living Vampire was created in the 1960s as a supervillain. Despite his bloodthirsty nature, It was indicated in Morbius’ earliest appearances in Amazing Spider-Man that he was not an evil person, but a tortured soul controlled by an overwhelming thirst for blood. Morbius is not a vampire in the supernatural sense, as he was given his abilities by science. His goal is to find a cure, and on occasion he has, but it never lasts. Morbius finally did away with his reputation as a villain and eventually became more of an anti-hero, dealing with his own problems but also providing assistance to characters like Doctor Strange and Spider-Man. Morbius is often thought of as a monster—for understandable reasons—but a monster is never what he wanted to be.
3. U.S. Agent
When Steve Rogers was forced to hang up the shield, John Walker became the next hero to take up the mantle of “Captain America.” As a much stronger Captain America, Walker felt that he was superior to his predecessor and never felt inclined to follow in Rogers’ footsteps. Walker did things his own way, and sometimes his way ended in death, angering Rogers, who felt that Walker was an insult to everything he stood for. When Rogers defeated Walker, Walker gave him back the costume and became “U.S. Agent,” an identity he has maintained ever since.
John Walker appearing in the MCU is a huge possibility since Rogers gave up the shield in Captain America: Civil War. If Rogers doesn’t immediately change his mind in Avengers: Infinity War, we could see Walker in the role, at least temporarily. We would surely a clash of personalities as other Avengers would fail to see him as a worthy successor.
2. Namor the Sub-Mariner
Namor the Sub-Mariner is Marvel’s first superhero, as well as their first anti-hero. Namor is the Prince of Atlantis and one of Marvel’s most powerful characters. After being reintroduced in the Silver Age, he tangled with the Fantastic Four and the Avengers. Namor was portrayed as an enemy to the United States, believing that the country was a threat to his people. Namor later cooled down and fought alongside the superheroes rather than against them. The arrogant prince has long been viewed by many fans as one of the biggest jerks in comics. Though it’s certainly true that Namor has had difficulties getting along with his fellow superheroes, his strength makes him a major asset. Namor is possibly the most important Marvel character that has yet to have a live-action appearance.
1. Captain Marvel
After years of calling herself “Ms. Marvel,” Carol Danvers became the successor to the title of “Captain Marvel,” and since then, her popularity has soared to new heights. The original Captain Marvel was a Kree warrior named Mar-Vell whose legacy Carol strives to uphold. Carol Danvers is already set to appear in the title role in the film Captain Marvel which has a release date of March 19, 2019.
The comic book version of Carol Danvers is not a superhero in the vein of Captain America. Though both are soldiers, Carol Danvers is not what you would call a nice person. She’s the aggressive, gung-ho type who always prefers the direct approach over stealth. She isn’t afraid to kill and sometimes struggles with anger. At heart, she’s a warrior who loves to fight on the frontlines. Will these aspects of her character be toned down on the big screen, or will they make her one of the most unique characters of the MCU?