Iron Man might have been the first ever Marvel movie for the MCU, but the Merry Marvel Marching Society have been traipsing around the cinemas since 1944’s Captain America serial film. Don’t worry if you haven’t seen it – you weren’t missing much, even for its time. Nearly 44 years later, Howard The Duck was released. But it wouldn’t be until 1998’s Blade that the studios began to realize that The House Of Ideas could be cultivated into viable never-ending franchise of films.
Over the next ten years, we’d meet the X-Men, Spidey, Ghost Rider, The Fantastic Four, and several others; all to varying degrees of success. Disney’s MCU would completely shatter the mold in 2008 and the expectations for a superhero movie – not just from Marvel – were forever raised.
Adapting all of these characters could be a daunting task – condensing anywhere from thirty to fifty years of history into a two-hour story. Decades of storylines and various creators bestowing all kinds of wacky ideas onto the characters. All of the creative teams doing their best to leave their footprint on the character while staying true to the origins that Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, John Romita, and others created long ago.
There have been several storylines over the years where our favorite characters have displayed some crazy powers. Abilities that their cinematic counterparts have yet to reveal. Whether they will or won’t, here are 25 Superpowers Marvel Superheroes Have But Won't Use.
24 Blade: Can Turn Into A Bat
While the MCU all started with Iron Man, Wesley Snipes’ Blade showed the world how a serious take on these characters could go. The Daywalker had three cinematic adventures, and all of them had some cool moments. But none of them featured the half-vampire doing some of the sillier vampiric things to do.
In one comic storyline, “Dracula’s Gauntlet,” The Vampire Hunter and Deadpool are teaming up. Surrounded by all kinds of monsters ready to feast, Blade threatens to turn into a bat and leave Wade to fend for himself. He has yet to actually turn into a bat, but considering he has all of the abilities of a bat, it stands to reason, he has this one in his back pocket.
23 Rogue: Superhuman Strength
For several X–movies, Rogue was more of an analog for Jubilee than for herself. She was young and clung to Wolverine, much like Jubilee had during her early appearances. Now that the MCU has their mutants back (because of the Fox deal) and are introducing us to Captain Marvel, perhaps it’s only a matter of time before we’re introduced to the superwoman Rogue eventually becomes.
In the comic books, her super strength and flight come from siphoning off all of Carol Danvers' powers. But instead of merely borrowing them, as with other powers, she took so much of Danvers that she retained all that Captain Marvel had to offer.
22 Magneto: Wormhole Travel
Thanks to the sheer power of Magneto, we have seen the Master Of Magnetism do some pretty unsettling things both on the screen and on the page. Ripping the Golden Gate Bridge from its foundation, turning guns onto soldiers, and most vile - ripping the adamantium right out of Wolverine; to name a few of Erik’s intense crimes and feats of strength.
Even inter-dimensional travel isn’t an issue for Magneto. Utilizing the power of a unified field of magnetism, Erik has been able to open wormholes and safely travel between them.
21 Iron Man: Can Re-Write His Own DNA / Director Of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Tony Stark has created a slew of cool gadgets for both himself and his Avenger friends. Thanks to Robert Downey Jr. fans have gravitated towards the armored Avenger like never before. In the comics, Marvel has spun Tony into an antagonist of sorts – the registration act and becoming the Director Of S.H.I.E.L.D. to name a few things.
One thing he’s done in the books is rewrite his own DNA code, which allowed him to inject an Extremis suit into the hollow parts of his bones. He gave himself a healing factor as well.
20 Thor: Goat-Driven Chariot
The God Of Thunder has a ton of abilities that have yet to be seen on the big screen. Some he uses, some he shows great restraint; he can fling our planet around like a paddleball if he wanted to!
In the movies, Thor darts around thanks to his hammer or the Rainbow Bridge. It might be pretty cool though if he showed up in the zany world of Guardians, on his goat-driven chariot. He rides atop Toothgnasher and Toothgrinder, based on their own Norse legends.
19 Groot: Control Over Trees
For anyone who thought that a giant tree roaming around in MCU couldn’t have worked, did you ever see a giant tree, Treebeard roaming around Middle-Earth during The Two Towers? Guardians Of The Galaxy was a heck of a gamble for the House Of Ideas, but it paid off in spades – introducing the fans to the galactic part of the Marvel Universe.
Similar to his Ent counterpart in Tolkien, Groot also can speak to trees. Furthermore, he can control the less sentient ones and utilize them to his control.
18 Drax: Telepathy
Wrestling fans never saw this side of Batista in the WWE. The big brawny brawler was dubbed The Animal and was seldom allowed to show his dramatic chops. As Drax, Batista virtually steals every scene he’s in.
But the behemoth actor’s portrayal of Drax has always been more brawn than brains. Which means we’re probably not going to see Drax’s telepathic abilities. They once helped him nearly bring Thanos to his knees. The battle resulted in a stalemate, but surely Drax would have been done for otherwise. (Captain Marvel # 1 vol 28)
17 Hulk: Underwater Savagery
Other than the scaredy cat we saw in Infinity War, there’s very little doubt that the Hulk is the strongest there is. Once Banner and the Beast figure out their issues in the upcoming Endgame, it will be quite the crowd-rousing scene to see the Hulk back in action.
Unless it will be happening underwater, then a sift we have yet to see is the Beast unleashed as an unstoppable submarine. Maybe Marvel’s saving that scene for when the Avengers eventually meet Namor and the residents of Atlantis.
16 Luke Cage: Can Make Fire
Netflix and Disney canceling all of their Marvel shows was not putting the fans first at all. Which meant that Mike Colter and his Luke Cage is currently gone from the MCU. The character had been gaining some traction, thanks to Coulter’s quiet, soulful, and strong performance.
While it wouldn’t have the series’ date, it might have been cool to see Luke Cage pull off one of his man-made superpowers. Because his skin is impervious to everything, if he rubs his hands together hard enough, he can make fire.
Debuting in a post-credits scene in Captain America: Winter Soldier, Wanda Maximoff has been one of the more intriguing supporting characters of the MCU. Elizabeth Olsen plays her as a steely-eyed, but sometimes fragile girl. Her powers have shown all kinds of potential. Showing the Avengers their futures, brainwashing the Hulk, and even destroying an Infinity Stone.
But fans haven’t seen anything yet. In the comics, she brought all of Mutantkind to its breaking point, when she used her reality-altering powers to try and rid the world of all Mutants.
15 Ant-Man: Doesn’t Need The Suit
The moment Paul Rudd was cast as Ant-Man, it was clear that Ant-Man was going to be a variation to the Marvel Movie Formula. The always charming and comedic Rudd was fronting a big-time Superhero movie that was masquerading as a heist movie.
Maybe Marvel cast him for his dashing good looks. Right now, he spends half the movie in a mask. But as the comics go, thanks to prolonged exposure to the Pym Particles, Scott Lang, as well as Hope Van Dyne, don’t need to use their suits to shrink down to size anymore.
14 Captain America: Can Lift Mjolnir
One of the complete comic book geek-out moments of Age Of Ultron was when all of Thor’s buddies tried to prove their mettle and hoist Mjolnir proving they were worthy of the power of Thor. Even Odinson looked concerned that Captain America would be able to lift the hammer of the god.
If anyone would be worthy, it would be Steve Rogers; it’s not about physical strength, being worthy is about the strength of one’s character. Plenty of characters have proven worthy in the comics, sometimes actually being worthy, sometimes through trickery, but Captain America has always been able to wield the power with ease.
13 Black Widow: Healing Factor
Always a force to be reckoned with, for a human in a super-powered world, Natasha Romanov has been expertly trained all over the world to be able to hold her own in a fight with any and all superpowered beings. Scarlett Johansson has been one of the brighter spots of all of the MCU movies she’s in playing the Black Widow.
To keep things convincing, perhaps the MCU should introduce an aspect of Widow from the comics – her healing factor. Being experimented on during her formative years have allowed Natasha to age slower and heal faster from most battle scars.
12 Spider-Man: Extra Limbs
When Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider, he gained some of the abilities of an actual spider. Others, like his web shooters, he created himself. But the one feature that he didn’t originally have was having eight limbs like an arachnid.
That became the problem for several issues of Spider-Man, he grew four more arms and started turning into a giant man-spider! He turned to a Dr. Crawford for help. She in turned asked her boyfriend, Kraven, to help find him. Seeing as how Kraven looks like Kraven, it might be a good time for Disney to start talking to Rami Malek?
11 Mr. Fantastic: Enhanced Brain Capacity
You might not know it from the fantastical terrible four Fantastic Four movies out there, but Reed Richards is a pretty smart guy. He’s actually pretty smart in ever Marvel reality. There’s even a Council Of Reeds ruled by three Reeds who each possessed their Universe’s Infinity Gauntlet.
While he was smart before the accident that created the Fantastic Four, Reed is able to use his elasticity to stretch his skin and give his brain room to breathe, therefore allowing Mr. Fantastic to use far more than the 10% mere mortals get to use.
10 Jessica Jones: Just About Every Superpower
Krysten Ritter was doing a great job at bringing the sassy superhero private investigator, Jessica Jones to life. The hard-drinking ex-costumed hero had a compelling few seasons until Netflix and Disney pulled the plug.
By the character’s very nature, there was a slew of powers that Jessica didn’t pull off during the show. We’ve seen some of her super strength, but the girl was able to fly too and block mind control.
9 Quicksilver: Faster Than A Speeding Bullet
In two of the new X-Men movies, we’re treated to an amazing effects bonanza to truly showcase how fast Evan Peters’ version of Quicksilver really is. We got a brief teaser of what he’s going to try and do during Dark Phoenix in that trailer as well.
His Age Of Ultron counterpart? Not so much. If he was even half as fast as he boasted, then he wouldn’t have had to sacrifice himself to save Wanda and Hawkeye. Instead, he wound up saving his sister and friend and he has yet to be resurrected in any MCU flick.
8 Nick Fury: The Watcher
Nick Fury has been behind a lot of all of the ongoing of the MCU. Thanks to the Infinity Formula he had been using since World War II, he had maintained his youth and was aging slower. Once the formula had begun to wear off, Fury began to age rapidly. When he sought out his replacement, he began a plot that would wind up with becoming the Watcher of Earth-616.
In “Original Sin,” (Spoilers), he straight up eliminates Uatu to get his eyes and be able to truly have eyes over everything. As punishment for his crime, the other Watchers chain him up and make him, The Unseen - forced to watch and never intervene.
7 Falcon: Birdmaster
In the movies and in the comic books, Sam Wilson has had Captain America’s back for years. The way the duo met in the comic books is far different than their meeting in Winter Soldier. Sam was under the Red Skull’s influence he is able to communicate with birds, particularly his own Redwing.
After Cap saved him, Sam Wilson became a hero as well. Thanks to his ordeal with the Cosmic Cube, Sam would have a telepathic link with Redwing, if he works hard at it, he can extend that to all birds.
6 Winter Soldier: EMP And Holographic Arm
When Captain America bolts after Fury’s would be assassin, he is shocked to see a metallic arm catching his shield with relative ease. He’d be even more devastated to realize that the assailant was actually his old friend Bucky.
The cybernetic arm, though, is capable of a lot more than the films have revealed at this point. Aside from helping strength and being able to avoid knives; Bucky’s arm has a blade of its own. He can also unleash electrical bolts from it and use it as a makeshift EMP.
5 Hulk: Two Hulks
You just never know what that Gamma Radiation is going to do next. Hulk’s blood created She-Hulk, there’s a Grey Hulk and a Red Hulk, sometimes the Green Goliath is as smart as he is strong, sometimes he’s a brainless oaf that gets pointed in the direction he needs to smash things in.
At least there’s just one of him to contend with, unless there’s not. Thanks to Jean Grey, Banner was able to have two separate Beasts running around. One even became one Of Apocalypse’s Horsemen, War.
4 Cyclops: Beams Come From Alternate Dimension
As the first X-Man Charles picked to be the leader of the X-Men, there was always a tremendous amount of pressure on Scott Summers to be the ideal vision of what a Mutant Superhero could be. That pressure was added to by the very nature of his optic blasts - he was unable to control them.
Perhaps more so in recent years. Instead if just being optic beams, now Cyclops’ blasts open a portal to another dimension filled with concussive energy that Scott can keep in using his ruby quartz visor.
3 Cloak And Dagger: Hunger For Light / Cure Addictions
Netflix might have sacked all of their Marvel shows, but Cloak And Dagger season two of coming up on Freeform. Like many first seasons, it took a while for the actors and creative team to find their footing, but a few solid episodes towards the end of the first season showcased a lot of potential for two of Marvel’s most underestimated Mutants.
The characters were always more “street level,” dealing with street level bad guys and problems. One of the big problems facing the duo were substances and substance trafficking. A danger, Dagger was able to help take away by infusing light into addicts and alleviating them of their addictions. One of those addictions is Cloak’s constant hunger for light itself.
2 Iceman: Ice Slides
Good job Fox, for making Bobby Drake, aka – Iceman one of the original Mutants in the first X-Men movie. But after four separate appearances, they still weren’t able to pull off the guy’s most famous and notable attribute – he’s Iceman for crying out loud!
The millisecond of screen time an iced-out Bobby had in Days Of Future Past doesn’t count. Not when special effects can depict anything. It’s about time one of the first X-Men gets their due.
1 Cable: The World’s Most Dangerous Telepath
Cable has the distinction of having one of the most insane origin stories in all of comics – and that’s saying something! The son of Cyclops and Jean Grey clone, Madeline Pryor; Cable is taken into the far future to help save him from the Techno-Organic virus. The very same virus that he spends most of his mutant powers suppressing.
Every so often though, Cable seemingly says “to heck with it,” forgets about the virus constantly eliminating him and unleashes psionic telekinetic power that rivals Xavier’s and other powerful telepaths combined.