5 Strange Choices for Marvel Studios to Bet on Next
So Guardians of the Galaxy was a hard sell coming from Marvel. After a strong beginning developing their Avengers roster, they took a chance with an ensemble out of the gate rather than bringing a bunch of solo acts together. Best thing, it worked and, in my opinion, is one of their best movies yet, bested only by Captain America: Winter Soldier. Now, with Marvel having released a bunch of release dates they are trying to hit, everyone is asking for the remaining biggies to get their due. Black Panther. Ms. Marvel. Black Widow. Hulk. Dr. Strange, who has a director and getting script polishes. I like that Marvel likes to think outside of the box, though. Here are some of the weirder and more risky projects they could greenlight.
Agents of Atlas
Agents of Atlas was a team of heroes that become a cult favorite over at Marvel. They started off in a What if… story (remember those?) that asked “What if the Avengers Had Been Formed During the 1950s?” Instead of the group that we know today, they were ’50s style pulp heroes and not entirely unlike the real team. A super spy. A robot. A man from space. A goddess. A cursed adventurer stuck in the body of a gorilla. There’s a few things I like about it. For one, Nick Fury talks about the Avengers: Initiative as if he has the idea brewing for awhile, yet heroes like Hulk, Iron Man, and Thor were just hitting the scene. I like the idea SHIELD tried it once before and it failed. Also, it would be nice to develop the decades between Captain America being frozen and Iron Man’s origin. I mean hopefully, Ant-Man covers it too with a young Hank Pym active as Ant-Man in the 60s and 70s, but this would be a great concept too.
Patsy Walker is a strange character. She got her start in romance comics published by Timely (the precursor to Marvel) as a character that would have probably been more at home with Archie than a bunch of superheroes. When Timely became Marvel and started focusing solely on superheroes, a long time fan Steve Englehart introduced her as Beast’s assistant, you know, the Beast from the X-Men but during his tenure as an Avenger. She was so infatuated with superheroes, she wanted to be one. When she proved herself, Beast gave her the old costume that Tigra used before she went all fuzzy. Beast would have to be dropped all together, but they could just go with Tigra for its entirety. Patsy for a long time was essentially a girlie-girl, who would probably fit in well in Clueless or Sex and the City, more light-hearted teenaged hero like the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Spider-Man. She could also show that this is now an Age of Superheroes. No longer are random circumstance transforming people for greatness, but people are seeking out such opportunities. She could be like Kick-Ass but way less R-rated.
Werewolf by Night vs Moon Knight
Remember back when X-Men and Spider-Man made it big, and Marvel, fearing a bankruptcy, started dealing out licenses like they were dealing poker. For some reason, Werewolf by Night was one of the earliest rumored, even though his heyday was in the 70s. Marvel tried a few times to bring him back, but he never stuck. A character that debuted in Werewolf by Night, Moon Knight, hit big. He is very reminiscent of other street level heroes, cherry picking characterizations from Daredevil and Punisher, but still being cool all on his own. The one facet of his character that I feel was never rightly utilized was his status as werewolf hunter, especially when later into his publication history he was given enhanced strength and speed that would increase the fuller the moon got. With Daredevil heading to Netflix and a new Batman inevitable, I think this would be an interesting way to introduce Moon Knight without crossing over ground that was too familiar.
Terror is probably the most impossible Marvel Comics character for Marvel Studios to tackle, even more so than Howard the Duck. He was a sword-and-sandal warrior, cursed with immortality after slaying a demon. He doesn’t just live forever. His body decays, and he needs to constantly replace parts of his body with some of his victims. Adding body parts also comes with the added bonus of absorbing their talents and abilities. That would probably need a pretty hard R-rating. In the modern age, Terror has been both private investigator, hit man, and mercenary standing against a number of occult forces. He is a C-list character that I just see a lot of potential in, and I am also a sucker for supernatural detectives of some kind.
The Avengers have their heads in the clouds. The Defenders will have their feet on the ground. The Guardians are travelling the outer reaches of space, and Dr. Strange will be exploring the underworld. But what about time and the space between spaces? The Marvel Cinematic Universe is sadly without their scientific adventurers what with the Fantastic Four stuck at 20th Century Fox, but the Fantastic Four spun off a concept that might still be at Marvel Studios: The Future Foundation, a scientific council that also teaches children. Marvel definitely has all the characters. Ant-Man? Check. Hank Pym’s current role in the comics is the Headmaster of the Avengers Academy so it would sort of make sense. A Hulk? Check. An Inhuman? Check. Dragon Man? Probably. Power Pack? I think so. Human Torch? Well, they definitely have the Jim Hammond version.
You know what? That isn’t that weird. I can do better.
I think it is just because I am on a bit of a 90s nostalgia kick. It is probably the strange but awesome ’90s mixtape that is Detention, a movie that revolves around a group of high schoolers, each with their own weird sci-fi origin stories dealing with even grander sci-fi tropes. New Warriors offers a very similar kind of team. Each of its members comes from a different corner of the comic book world. Mutants. Alien power. High tech gear. Lab accidents. Atlanteans. The new team even has a clone, an inhuman, and a demigod. It’s Marvel’s kitchen sink.