With The Avengers being the cinematic behemoth that it is, thoughts are already turning to the future, which is something I also talked about a little in my own review. I don’t want to talk about villains, as that seems pretty obvious at this stage. I do want to talk about who’ll be on the next team – as rolling recruitment is kind of a trademark of the comic book Avengers. Let’s go one-by-one, shall we?
Here and now, I’d like to take a bet for there being an Avengers reference (at least one) in the new Spidey movie. Seriously – any takers? Okay, let’s do this in bullet-point form:
- Spidey is probably Marvel’s most popular hero and is therefore valuable property
- In the comic books, Spidey had a big role to play in the Civil War storyline. This is almost certainly coming, what with Fury’s last discussion with the council, and Maria Hill’s very presence
- He has a new movie franchise and comic book under the Marvel Studios header
- It would be stupid not to
Okay, that last one was just me. That said, I can’t see Fury, who has taken Pete under his wing in recent adaptations1, not doing exactly the same thing in the Movieverse. It just seems too obvious not to happen.
The problem with using the Movie X-Men in the Avengers is: which X-Men do they use? Is Mystique the transsexual from Ugly Betty or Blue Katniss? Is Xavier an old Yorkshireman or a young Scot? If it’s the guys from First Class, then the older X-Men are relegated to a not-so near future or to inexistence. Many of the old crew have moved on or away from the franchise. Do you really think they’d come back? Even assuming their deaths could be retconned.
Wolverine is the only X-Man I can see work in this situation. As an effectively immortal character, the chronology of the movies doesn’t really matter.
If (as I hope), the First Class franchise becomes a reboot, rather than a prequel, then Jackman has already been established as that universe’s Wolverine. So that’s all fine.
As another popular Marvel property with movies in the pipeline, it would make a lot of sense. Hugh Jackman is both hot and the only actor still dedicated/contracted to the Marvel U. I could see him on the team as a little sand in the comfortable Avengers family at any future Shawama get-togethers.
Or, by their hero names, the Wasp and Yellowjacket/Ant-Man/Giant-Man/etc.
The Wasp would be a welcome addition in breaking up the very male atmosphere in the Marvel Movieverse at the moment. That said, she brings her husband with her.
Janet is a sweet, attractive2, girly-girl with an interest in fashion design. She would make a nice contrast to the all-business Black Widow and Maria Hill, though she does have one problem: her powers suck. In every adaptation, the writers struggle to justify her membership. She needs to have a compelling character or it just won’t work. Basically, I can only see Mr. Whedon doing her justice.
Hank is another problem altogether. Is he a pacifist, a wife-beater or just an utter failure? In any event, is this a person you want in your three-hour action extravaganza. I think they should have a guest-shot in another movie (a la Black Widow) or just be skipped altogether. They’re screen hogs for little reward. In my humble opinion, of course.
Putting aside her ridiculously-exploitative costume for a moment, as another female staple of the comic book Avengers, Ms. Marvel seems like something of an obvious choice.
- Her origin and powers are tied up with aliens who made an appearance in the movie
- In her most recent adaptations, she is an employee of SHIELD or a SHIELD-related organisation
- She’d be another female Avengers
- She wouldn’t take an awful lot of introduction, perhaps with a post-Avengers cameo in another movie with alien equipment
- She could give Thor and Iron Man a run for their money
She was introduced recently in the Avengers cartoon (Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes) and was pretty effective. I don’t think you Captain Marvel to make her work, either.
A black Iron Man with a self-righteous stick up his arse? Yes please!
Seriously, though, I think if he gets more screen time in Iron Man 3 being something other than Tony’s Jiminy Cricket, I think he could work, but doesn’t his similar power set make him more than a little redundant? Maybe replacing Tony during the civil war? Now that could be interesting, if a bit repetitive of Iron Man 2.
Panther tends to appear as a late-addition Avenger in recent adaptations. The Ultimates and Avengers: EMH, to name but two. Let’s describe him in one-sentence, shall we? He looks like Gimpsuit Batman, has his own country he talks about all the time (if he talks at all) and is completely uncharismatic in a team setting, simply adding another dextrous fighter to a team of superhumans. Sounds like a winner, right? Yeah, not my first choice. The only advantage would be the addition of a little colour to the group. I’d like to see a little less racial and sexual homogeny on the team.
The Avengers, as they stand at the moment, are all beautiful, white and have American accents (whether American, Russian or Asguardian). They’re also mostly men. The addition of characters like Ms. Marvel or Black Panther would change that, which in my eyes can only be an advantage.
There are other characters I might suggest to fill the demographics, of course, but I’m really really loathe to see Halle Berry as po-faced Storm again, and Luke Cage is just a downgraded Hulk wrapped in a out-dated stereotype.
Spidey, Ms. Marvel and Wolverine are my choices in that order. With the nose-dived Fantastic Four and Elektra, I don’t think there are many other choices right now. I guess part of our answer will come with Marvel’s ‘Mystery Project’ we keep hearing about. I pray it’s an Agents of SHIELD movie. That would allow those characters to get more airtime, while we visit other parts of the Marvel Universe. That’d be an awesome intro for a character I haven’t thought of.
So what about you? What characters would you like to see in the new Marvel movie? Perhaps a cameo from Nick Fury Sr.?
1 Specifically the Ultimate Comics Universe and the new Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon.
2 Like all female comic book characters, really.