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Marvel is nearing the end of their current era of films, with many of their current stars nearing the end of their contracts and other franchises, such as the Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers, ending. Because of that, I’ve put together a list of the ten properties that Marvel could certainly turn into bankable franchises. I’ve excluded characters and teams associated with the Fantastic Four and the X-Men, since we’re pretty much guaranteed to get those movies now that the Fox/Disney merger has been approved by the US Department of Justice.
10. Moon Knight
Marc Spector was a rich mercenary who, during a mission in Egypt, was beaten close to death by his rival, Bushmaster. Dying at the foot of a statue dedicated to the Moon God, Khonshu, the deity healed Marc, making him his avatar, The Moon Knight. Being Marvel’s counterpart to Batman, he fights with shuriken shaped like crescent moons, a jet plane shaped like a crescent moon, and works in the shadows as New York’s dark protector. And he has multiple personality disorder, meaning that at any given moment he could be the brooding Marc Spector, the brutish Jake Lockley, the charming Steven Grant, or the righteous Egyptian Moon God Khonshu. While James Gunn has a movie pitch for Marc, this crazy crime fighter would make a great addition to the Marvel Netflix shows, focusing on the idea of four personalities shaping one crime fighter.
9. Warlock and the Infinity Watch
In the aftermath of the wild Infinity Gauntlet event that saw Thanos wipe out half of all life in the universe, Adam Warlock (Marvel’s resident space Jesus) claimed the titular Infinity Gauntlet for himself. He was then ordered by the Living Tribunal to split the seven Infinity Gems up to ensure that the power of the Gauntlet doesn’t tempt him. Complying, he split them between himself, Gamora, Drax, Pip the Troll, Moondragon, and Thanos, of all people. These individuals form the Infinity Watch, protecting the Gems and, by extension, the universe, from anyone who would wish to use them for their own nefarious purposes. With the end of the Guardians of the Galaxy coming with Vol. 3, this could be Marvel’s new flagship cosmic franchise. And, of course, with the contracts of Zoe Saldana an Dave Bautista potentially running up, Marvel could, of course, use creative license to mold the team into something more familiar. If it were up to me, I’d fill the team with Warlock, Pip, Captain Marvel, Korg, Valkyrie, and Nova, and have them face off with Warlock’s evil future self, The Magus.
Ever since the introduction of the Nova Corps in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy, fans of the ever-vigilant space cop have been clamoring for Nova to appear in the live-action films in a greater capacity. Originally from Earth, Richard Rider became a superhero when the last member of the Nova Corps, Rhomann Dey, died and passed his outfit and abilities on to Rider, who dubbed himself Nova and fought crime in New York alongside the likes of Spider-Man and Thor. During this time, he was a member of both the New Warriors and the Defenders before joining the newly rebuilt Nova Corps on Xandar. Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has expressed interest in a Nova movie in the past, as well as voicing a desire to expand on the cosmic side of the MCU, and Nova would be a perfect place to do just that. With Nova, Marvel can adapt such brilliant storylines such as Antihalation and War of Kings for the screen.
7. The Champions
While there are two different teams in the Marvel Universe that use the name “The Champions”, I would suggest that Marvel use the more recent team as inspiration should they ever consider making a Champions movie. Created due to a disillusionment with the Avengers, X-Men, and other adult teams, Marvel’s young heroes took it upon themselves to create a team to inspire the world for themselves. The Champions are made up of Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan), Nova (Sam Alexander), Spider-Man (Miles Morales), The Totally Awesome Hulk (Amadeus Cho), Viv Vision (Vision’s ‘daughter’), and a time-displaced teenage Cyclops (Scott Summers). This team has proven incredibly popular among readers and features some of the most popular teenage heroes Marvel has created in recent years. Kevin Feige has already stated that there are plans for Kamala Khan at Marvel Studios, and Miles Morales was referenced in Spider-Man: Homecoming, so it’s not too much of a stretch to bring these characters together.
6. Beta Ray Bill
The creation and use of Stormbreaker in Avengers: Infinity War was incredible, to say the least. What a lot of fans might not know, however, was that Thor’s new weapon is inspired by fan-favorite comic book character Beta Ray Bill. The chosen protector of his people, the Korbonites, Beta Ray Bill was cybernetically enhanced to keep his cryogenically frozen people from harm during a great migration to a new world. Coming across Thor one fateful day, the two fought, mistaking each other for a villain. During the fight, Bill could lift Thor’s hammer, and was then whisked away to Asgard, where he was given his own hammer, Stormbreaker, and became one of Thor’s closest friends and allies, as well as a love interest to Lady Sif. With the movie going public feeling a rejuvenated love for the God of Thunder, Marvel Studios could potentially be sitting on a gold mine with Beta Ray Bill.
5. Squadron Supreme
Even though I’m part of the small percentage that enjoyed Justice League, I’ll admit it wasn’t the best movie it could be. And, while I don’t subscribe to the idea that you can only like Marvel or DC Comics, I do think that Marvel has an opportunity to show Warner Bros. how to make an exceptional Justice League movie. Marvel created the Squadron Supreme as a dark counterpart to the Justice League, initially consisting of Hyperion (Superman), Nighthawk (Batman), Power Princess (Wonder Woman), Amphibian (Aquaman), Doctor Spectrum (Green Lantern), Whizzer (The Flash), and Skrullian Spymaster (Martian Manhunter) before adding more blatant copies of DC's flagship superhero team. All of them were slightly darker versions of their DC counterparts, and often, they are fighting more villainess versions of themselves from across the multiverse. I grew up as a Marvel fan, so I may be biased, but I believe Marvel has the chops to make a better JL movie than Warner Bros.
4. The Sentry
Much like how Moon Knight is Batman with multiple personality disorder, The Sentry is Superman if he had Lex Luthor living in his brain. When laboratory janitor Bob Reynolds ingested an experimental serum, he found himself imbued with super strength, flight, near invulnerability, and light-based energy manipulation, He became the superhero The Sentry. But when a side effect of the serum resulted in all of Bob’s darkest desires and impulses manifesting as an alternate personality called The Void, Sentry made it so the whole world forgot he existed and locked himself in The Raft super-prison to keep the word safe from The Void. Later, he rejoined the Marvel U as a member of the New Avengers, Mighty Avengers, and Dark Avengers. He was manipulated into nearly destroying Asgard by Norman Osbourne, he was killed by Thor until being brought back to life as a Horseman of the Apocalypse, until Dr. Strange was able to clear his mind and devise a way to keep The Void at bay. Sentry has a rich history and interesting concept that could prove a box office smash if done right.
Evangeline Lilly, who plays Hope van Dyne/The Wasp in both 2015's Ant-Man and 2018's Ant-Man and The Wasp, has said multiple times in the past that she would like an all-female Avengers movie, which in the comics is a team called A-Force. This could be an awesome opportunity to showcase the phenomenal actresses of the MCU, such as Zoe Saldana and Scarlett Johansson, as well as put together some really cool character pairings, such as Valkyrie and Mantis. It could also be a chance for Marvel to introduce characters such as She-Hulk and Tigra.
2. The Goddesses of Thunder
In 2013, prolific comic book writer Jason Aaron started his lengthy run on the Thor comics over at Marvel with Thor: God of Thunder. In issue 8, Aaron introduced Thor’s granddaughters the Goddesses of Thunder. Frigg, Ellisiv, and Atli Wodendottir all command the same thunder that their grandfather can, and wield the various weapons of their grandfather and his closest friends. Frigg wields Stormbreaker, Ellisiv wields Hogun’s mace and Fandral’s sword, and Atli wields Thor’s old ax, Jarnbjorn. The storyline they were introduced in featured villain Gorr the God Butcher, who used All-Black the Necrosword to kill as many gods as he can. While the comic featured Thor, Teenage Thor, and Old King Thor as the main characters, a film version of the story could easily be adapted to feature the Goddesses of Thunder as the main characters fighting Gorr and bringing honor back to Asgard. Plus, who wouldn’t want to see three female Thors throwing a guy through a planet and into a collapsing star?
A character who may very well be the most obscure character on this list, Darkhawk is an interesting character. Chris Powell, the son of a dirty cop looking to clear his family name, finds himself the possessor of a crystal that connects his body and mind to that of Razor, a member of the Fraternity of Raptors, whose goal it was to rule the universe through an iron fist. Deciding to use this potentially evil power for good, Chris became Darkhawk, one of the many heroes of New York. He joined the New Warriors and even became best friends with Nova, a.k.a Richard Rider, and even went into space and became an intergalactic hero. Eventually, Chris was rid of the Darkhawk crystal, and became a good cop, making up for the legacy of his crooked father. Recently, Chris became Darkhawk once again, only more powerful and more connected to Razor. This character could be considered a dark horse, but Marvel Studios has proven that they can take previously obscure characters and teams and turn them into household names and profitable properties.
Disclaimer: I do not own anything. All images and names belong to their respective owners.