Avenger’s Month: Marvel Characters Who Should be Recruited
Ever since Avengers Disassembled, the Avengers roster has had its fair share of shake-ups. The events of Civil War did not help much when the Avengers essentially broke off into 2 teams, not to mention Cap’s Secret Ops team. The mistrust built around Marvel’s biggest events of the last few years has kept it this way even though most of the hatchet’s have been buried. Nevertheless, the Avengers have remained the big league in the Marvel universe, what ballplayers call “the show.” Spiderman and Wolverine are some of the newest recruit, funny considering how tentpole those characters are. Now that Daredevil has joined the ranks, there are a bunch of other heroes I’d like to see get the membership.
Captain America’s Premeire Team
When I refer to Cap’s Premeire team, I am talking about the team that is currently starring in the Avengers title.
The Blue Marvel
The Blue Marvel is a brand new character that debuted in his own series, Adam: The Legend of the Blue Marvel. He was a college football player, magna cum laude graduate, and a Marine veteran of the Korean War with 2 Silver Stars. After a science project turned him into a superhero in classic fashion, he became the masked vigilante, The Blue Marvel, with a grocery list of awesome powers including flight, super strength and speed, and a regenerative healing factor. He is also African American, and when that became public, President Kennedy asked him to retire. Ashamed, he traveled to the moon where Uatu, the Watcher, persuaded him to continue being a hero. Blue Marvel has the power to kick it with the best of the best. Namor said he hit as hard as Hulk or Thor. Plus, he is black, and black superheroes are few and far between.
Melissa Gold did not have the best childhood causing her to turn criminal. She took her mother’s name, Mimi, and was outfitted with a sonic scream weapon as a member of the all-female, Grapplers. Later, as a member of the Masters of Evil, they posed as a group of heroes called the Thunderbolts to acquire some Fantastic Four tech. Melissa’s hero alias was Songbird, and she was given a sonic generator that used sound waves to create solid constructs, like Green Lantern’s ring does with light. She eventually turned on Zemo claiming that she really wants to redeem herself. She has fought for that ideal through every incarnation of the Thunderbolts including rebelling against Norman Osborne’s “cape hunters” during Civil War and working as a prison guard during Luke Cage’s current Suicide-Squad-style team. Villain redemption stories are a dime a dozen and many don’t even stick, but considering that the Avengers have recruited plenty of former rogues, I think it’s time to reward Songbird’s hard work.
Lady Sif is the brother of Heimdall and a consistent romantic interest for Thor. She was born as a second generation Asgardian famous for her golden hair. She became so grief-stricken when Loki changed her hair to black that her parents grew tired of her vanity and sent her to be trained as a warrior. After the last Ragnarok, she found her spirit trapped in the body of an ill elderly woman while Loki stole the body her spirit was meant for. When Thor finally release her, she lived with him in Oklahoma feeling like less a hero. She got her mojo back when she helped Beta Ray Bill stop an alien virus. She was last seen during the Seige of Asgard. Sif is a badass and Marvel keeps demoting their badass women. For instance, Ms. Marvel has been kind of boring since losing her leadership spot on the Mighty Avengers, and her upcoming role as the next Captain Marvel might mean she’ll give up her Avengers spot leaving a void for a truly badass female Avenger. Might as well team her up with Thor.
Luke Cage’s New Avengers
Luke Cage’s New Avengers is the roster that is currently living in the old Avengers mansion serving as a brother team to Cap’s.
Iceman is one of the original X-Men known as the class clown of Xavier’s first class. Over the years, he has proven his ability in the field and even succeeded in a leadership position during Operation: Zero Tolerance. After M-Day, when he thought he lost his powers, Emma Frost was able to turn them back on but at their full omega level strength. Instead of covering himself with ice, he actually turns into ice, allowing him to shatter, melt, or evaporate and still be able to reassemble himself. Given that kind of development , Iceman has been relegated to soldier all too often, used by artists to fill in a battle scene. Only lately has he gained some more respect by joining Wolverine’s new academy. Wolverine asked for him specifically due to his abilities in the field and his often forgotten skills as an accountant. Iceman has the power to go up against the big baddies, the personality to click with Luke Cage’s more casual roster, and the overall lack of panel time in the X-Men books to justify the move (regardless, even Wolverine, Beast, and now Storm can pull double duty).
Ken Hale was a thrillseeking soldier of fortune who was afraid to die. He searched out an old African folktale that if you kill the Gorilla-Man, you become immortal. He succeeded but at the expense of becoming the new Gorilla-Man. He made his first debut in the 1950s when Marvel was known as Atlas Comics. He was brought back later during a retcon that turned the Atlas superheroes into a team called the Agents of Atlas founded by the FBI and first brought together to rescue President Eisenhower. The Agents of Atlas were victims of cancellations, but the characters remain cult favorites, especially Gorilla-Man. He was featured in a banner teaser for Marvel’s Heroic Age which started rumors of Avengers membership. Nothing materialized, but I still think it would be a great idea to add him to Luke’s team.
Puck was born in Canada in the early 1900s. He travelled the world working as a soldier of fortune and hired muscle. On one of his adventurers, he faced off with a mystical being named Raazor. The only way too defeat Raazor was for Puck to absorb him. This transformed him into his diminutive size but kept the athleticism of his former 7′ tall body. He would eventually join the Canadian superhero team, Alpha Flight, where he was known as the heart and soul of the team. He is basically in the same boat as Gorilla-Man. He is an affable cult favorite on a team that just cannot sustain an on-going book.
This is probably the most controversial character on the list. Mantra was originally published by Malibu comics, which started in 1986 and bought by Marvel in 1994. If you haven’t been able to tell by her costume, the publisher wreaked of ’90s extremism. The character is actually a male warrior from a technologically superior team of heroes who faced down magical foes. When each soldier died, their soul would take a new body, but when their leader was captured, all but one of the soldiers were destroyed permanently. Thus, a contingency plan was activated and the remaining warrior was placed in the body a single mother with latent magical abilities. Marvel has since run into legal trouble, and the Malibu characters have not been heard of in a long time. Which is too bad because a number of the characters seem tailor made for the Marvel Knights corner of the Marvel universe, a corner that seems well reflected in New Avengers.
Captain America’s Secret Avengers
With so much backstabbing, spying, and shapeshifters stealing identities, espionage has been a growing trend in the Marvel universe prompting Captain America to create a black ops team of Avengers.
Taskmaster is a mercenary, and as such is loyal to the highest bidder. He is gifted with photographic reflexes, meaning he can study and mimic any fighting style or technique. When the Secret Avengers first formed, there was a silhouette promo of a man in a hood and cape talking about redemption. It turned out to be Moon Knight, but I had hoped for Taskmaster. Taskmaster has always been more fun as a protagonist. The UDON Taskmaster mini was really fun and that version of the character (pictured above) went on to be a supporting player in the Agent X series. The last time he worked for the good guys he was forced to join the Avengers Initiative as a drill instructor to work off some jail time. Its obviously he is capable of heroism, and his skills are finely tuned for the Secret Avegners.
Chamber is a British mutant who is a well of psychic energy so powerful that it blew a hole in his chest cavity. He first debuted in Generation X, a title about a second Xavier Academy in Massachusetts. He started off as an outsider, but eventually came into the fold. He even earned a spot on the X-Men roster for a short time. He lost his powers during M-Day and went through an Apocalypse phase, but that all changed after the events of Age of X left him with his original power. He is now working as a staff member of Wolverine’s new mutant academy. I find it strange that the Secret Avengers do not have a mind reader on the team, and seeing as Chamber doesn’t get that much play in the X-books, he should be recruited for the Secret Avengers. He even has espionage experience. One time, Wolverine sent him into one of the incarnations of Weapon X to gather intel.
Morph is another refugee from a cancelled team. He was a member of the Exiles, a group of superheroes from different alternate realities tasked with fixing problems in the timestream. Although he looks like his Age of Apocalypse counterpart, he is in fact from a whole new reality where he served on that reality’s Avengers. Morph has the ability to alter his appearance and size. Over the course of his run on Exiles, he has demonstrated flight and super strength. When the Exiles were rebooted, he was the only character to return, although as a mentor/boss rather than an official teammate. He wouldn’t be the first refugee from an alternate history or future to make his way to the official timeline, and I know he has fans out there dying to see him. Cap’s black ops team would certainly benefit from a shapeshifter.