Today we’re going to explore characters that are already in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but in iconic team-up scenarios that have yet to happen.
10. All-Winners Squad
The All-Winners Squad is among Marvel’s earliest team-ups, created in the 40’s back when Marvel Comics was called “Timely Comics”. They only lasted for a few issues, but gained fan interest upon being reprinted in the 60’s. A lot of these classic characters have no immediate plans to appear in the MCU – The Whizzer, Miss America, and Blonde Phantom, for example. However, Captain America and Bucky Barnes are around, the original android The Human Torch was seen in Captain America: The First Avenger, and later recruit The Patriot is appearing on the small screen in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. right now. Even Namor the Sub-Mariner is rumored to have a show or movie in the works at Marvel’s new studio in Oahu! Make it happen, Marvel!
9. Elders of the Universe
There are a lot of Elders of the Universe, but they are only just starting to crop up in the MCU. The Elders are a group of villains that are of an ancient extinct race, known for obsessively pursuing their vices – collecting, gambling, exploring, even gardening. Tanileer Tivan, also known as The Collector, is the first of the Elders to make his on-screen debut in Thor: The Dark World. En Dwi Gast the Grandmaster is set to appear in Thor: Ragnarok, and honorary Elder Ego the Living Planet is in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
8. The Punisher vs Spider-Man
Little known fact: The Punisher Frank Castle made his comic debut as a villain in the comic The Amazing Spider-Man before spinning off into a successful solo series. Despite this, the vigilante has teamed up with Spider-Man on many occasions. Their different approaches to crime-fighting ensure the duo never get along, and always end up parting ways until forced together by circumstance again. Though they would never admit it, they have a bit of a twisted father-son relationship, subconsciously compensating for the family they’ve lost. Tom Holland and Jon Bernthal are close in real life too, and even helped each other film their respective audition tapes for the characters!
7. West Coast Avengers
If you ask a MCU fan who Bobbi Morse is dating, they will say Lance Hunter. Who is Clint Barton married to? Laura Barton. But in the comics, Mockingbird and Hawkeye had one of the longest standing relationships in comics. The pair formed and led the West Coast Avengers, an Avengers spin-off including War Machine and Wonder Man (played by Nathan Fillion in a cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2), and eventually included Iron Man, Hank Pym’s Ant-Man, Janet van Dyne’s The Wasp, Scarlet Witch, Vision, and the currently-deceased-in-the-MCU Quicksilver.
6. The Defenders
Sure, sure, The Defenders are already in the MCU. But I’m talking about the real Defenders! The original team consisted of unlikely allies Doctor Strange, The Hulk and MCU hopeful The Sub-Mariner, and were eventually joined by Hawkeye, Luke Cage, Hank Pym as Yellowjacket, and Valkyrie (seen in upcoming Thor: Ragnarok). Trish “Patsy” Walker of Jessica Jones fame joined as Hellcat, and there were many “Defenders for a Day”, including Iron Fist and Falcon.
5. The Marvel Knights
Marvel Knights was a comic imprint during Marvel’s bankruptcy that inspired the Netflix series we know now. It consisted of titles largely unrelated to the Marvel Universe as a whole, with a focus on stories instead of interconnectivity. It was outsourced to Event Comics and published under the Marvel name – but it was so successful that Event Comics’ Joe Quesada was eventually appointed editor-in-chief of Marvel. The officially unnamed team nicknamed the Marvel Knights includes MCU heroes Daredevil, Black Widow, Luke Cage and Dagger from the upcoming show Cloak and Dagger – but the imprint itself had many other heroes as well, including Black Panther, The Punisher, Elektra, Spider-Man, The Hulk, Ghost Rider, Deathlok, Nick Fury and the upcoming Inhumans.
4. Heroes for Hire
The original Heroes for Hire – best friends Iron Fist and Luke Cage – will meet in the upcoming Netflix series The Defenders. If they choose to spin them off to a Heroes for Hire show, however, they could include some of the others across the MCU: Scott Lang’s Ant-Man, Black Widow, Elektra, Ghost Rider, Punisher, Falcon, Spider-Man, and even Misty Knight and Colleen Wing. But I have a better idea in store for the last two:
3. The Daughters of the Dragon
Luke Cage’s Misty Knight and Iron Fist’s Colleen Wing are fan favorite characters of their respective series. Like the original Heroes for Hire, they are set to meet in The Defenders – but in the comics, the femme fatales have a long-standing as the Daughters of the Dragon, a deadly duo. Colleen used the title as her ring name on Iron Fist, and who wouldn’t want to watch a spin-off of these two bad-ass characters shooting and slicing their way through the baddies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe?
2. The Masters of Evil
Thanos is the Big Bad of the MCU. But once they defeat him, where does the MCU go next? What other villain could pose such a threat to the Avengers? How about all of them? There are many incarnations of the Avenger’s biggest foes the Masters of Evil through the comics, but they have included Helmut Zemo, Ultron, Yellowjacket, Black Panther’s Klaw and Man-Ape, Thor: Ragnarok’s Executioner, Spider-Man: Homecoming’s Shocker, and even some baddies from TV: namely Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s The Absorbing Man, Blackout, Mister Hyde and Agent Carter’s Madame Masque.
1. The Illuminati
From the events of Captain America: Civil War, it’s clear that some form of oversight is needed into superheroics. However, the Sokovia Accords are not working – half the heroes didn’t sign, and the other half only seem to obey them when they feel like it. What we need is a council that understands the threats that superheroes face. Enter The Illuminati, a team consisting of the smartest superheroes in the Marvel Universe. Members have included Black Panther, The Sub-Mariner, The Inhumans’ Black Bolt and Medusa, Iron Man, Doctor Strange, The Hulk, Captain America, and Hank Pym’sYellowjacket.
Are there any you’d like to see but feel I missed? Let me know!