Source: Marvel Unlimited. Thunderbolts #141, Adi Granov and Frank Martin. © 2006 MARVEL

I’m sure I’m not blowing any minds by revealing that there are, in fact, a lot of heroes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. One thing that might be news to a lot of people, however, is that there are a lot of heroes to be.

What does that mean? Well, a lot of the characters from the comics start out as civilians and eventually get super-powered alter-egos. In the MCU, we have some of these – War Machine and Winter Soldier come to mind – but many of these characters are still civilians.

I’ve examined a lot of the “villains to be” in the past (Will Simpson from Jessica Jones is “Nuke”, Leland Owlsley from Daredevil is “The Owl”), but let’s take a look at some heroes that have yet to don their cape.

Pepper Potts – Rescue


Source: Marvel Unlimited. Superior Iron Man #9, Yildinay Cinar and Guru-eFX. © 2014 MARVEL

Tony Stark’s girlfriend Virginia “Pepper” Potts is not a new character, first introduced in Tales of Suspense #45 in September 1963 (the same month the Avengers were introduced!). Her alter-ego Rescue, however, has donned the suit for less than a decade. After being made CEO of Stark Industries in 2009, Pepper discovers a suit of Starktech armor designed specifically for her. This is alluded to in the film Iron Man 3, when Pepper briefly wields her boyfriend’s armor against Aldrich Killian.

Cassie Lang – Stature


Source: Marvel Unlimited. Avengers: Children’s Crusade #6, Jim Cheung, Justin Ponsay and Martin Morales. © 2010 MARVEL

In the film Ant-Man, she may seem a bit young for the role now, but Ant-Man Scott Lang’s daughter Cassandra “Cassie” Lang had 27 years before her introduction in 1979 and her rise as a Young Avenger in 2006. Cassie discovered her powers after attempting to join the Young Avengers with her father’s suit. Growing angry after being rejected, she grows to gigantic proportions. The teenager realizes that sneaking away Pym Particles for years did actually have an effect, and adopts the codename Stature – growing giant when she is angry and shrinking when she feels guilt.

Leonard Samson – Doc Samson


Source: Marvel Unlimited. Doc Samson #1, Daniel Acuña and Val Staples. © 2006 MARVEL

Unlike the others on the list, Doc Samson actually got his powers when he was introduced, in an issue of The Incredible Hulk back in 1971. In the comics, the Doc is Leonard Skivorski, Jr. – a Jewish psychiatrist experimenting on the Hulk. After Bruce Banner is temporarily cured by extracting the gamma radiation, Skivorski uses the radiation to become Doc Samson – a super-strong man who – like his biblical namesake – derives his power based on the length of his long (green) hair. This has yet to happen to Leonard Samson, first and only seen in the film The Incredible Hulk.

Thunderbolt Ross – Red Hulk


Source: Marvel Unlimited. Hulk #42, Patch Zircher and Rachelle Rosenberg. © 2008 MARVEL

Between the events of the films The Incredible Hulk and Captain America: Civil War, General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross has been a pain in the ass for almost all the Avengers so far. Introduced in the very first issue of Incredible Hulk in 1962, General Ross eventually becomes the very thing he hates in the aptly named Hulk #1, 46 years laterPossessing strikingly similar appearance and physical attributes to his nemesis and namesake, the Red Hulk is a polar opposite, using his calculating tactical mind over brute force.

Jane Foster – Thor


Source: Marvel Unlimited. All-New, All-Different Avengers #2, Adam Kubert and Sonia Oback. © 2015 MARVEL

Jane and Thor are already in the MCU. But the MCU’s Jane is not Thor! Introduced as little more than a love interest in 1962, Nurse Jane Foster took many years to elevate herself beyond that status – even after becoming a doctor in 1998 and being diagnosed with cancer in 2012 (though she did become a female Thor named “Thordis” in a What If? comic in the 70s!). After Thor Odinson was deemed unworthy of wielding Mjolnir in 2014, a new, unknown female Thor picked up the hammer – revealed a year later to be Jane, whose cancer has only worsened from her use of Mjolnir. Jane has appeared in the films Thor and it’s sequel Thor: The Dark World, but is unlikely to become Thor anytime soon as she is not returning for Thor: Ragnarok this year.

Stay tuned for next week, when I recap Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s return!