The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been around for a decade. The actors portraying some of the biggest MCU characters are all a decade older and more than one has expressed thought of moving on from the franchise. Marvel Studios has already started introducing a new wave of characters such as Black Panther, Doctor Strange, a new version of Spider-Man and the yet-to-be-seen Captain Marvel. But will these characters be enough to carry the torch after the MCU’s first generation of heroes leave?
I don’t think so, and I think the people behind Marvel Studios would agree, which is why I am certain that they will be introducing new superheroes once Infinity War and its sequel is over. I’ve got a few characters in mind that would be a good fit in the MCU and I’d like to talk about them today. Please note that I had to work within self-imposed restrictions when I selected these characters; I didn’t choose any of the obvious characters like anyone licensed to Fox or those who are in Marvel’s shows for Netflix, Freeform, ABC and so on. So characters like Daredevil, Cloak and Dagger, and the New Warriors won’t be in this list. With that said, let’s begin!
I already wrote about Nova around three years ago and I think the perfect time to introduce him into the MCU is right after the dust from Infinity War settles. Based on the Infinity War trailers, Thanos WILL get a hold of the Power Stone which is currently in possession of the Nova Corps. This is all just guesswork – it looks like the Nova Corps defense will fall against Thanos.
Similar to how the origins of the Vulture was tied to the Battle of New York in the first Avengers film, Nova’ s origins can be directly tied into Thanos’ assault on Xandar. In the Annihilation comic book storyline, the Annihilation Wave basically obliterated Xandar, leaving Nova as the sole survivor of both the planet and the Nova Corps. This also resulted in Nova wielding the entirety of the Nova Force, a cosmic energy force that powers the Nova Corps members, further augmenting his enhanced physical capabilities even more.
Originally a part of the first New Warriors lineup, Nova isn’t part of the New Warriors TV series that is currently in development so this means he’s free to be used for the MCU. He has also proven to have enough staying power as a solo character, having prominent roles in Marvel Comic’s big intergalactic events.
Hercules and Amadeus Cho
Introducing another mythological god into the MCU may seem redundant as we already have Thor in the universe but hear me out – the Infinity War trailer hints at Thanos attacking the Asgardians and quite frankly, I don’t see them surviving that. Chris Hemsworth’s contract with Marvel Studios only lasts up to Avengers 4 and while he has not been as vocal about moving on from his Marvel superhero role as Chris Evans is, Marvel Studios could possibly move on from the Thor character now that he’s had his trilogy.
That gives us some room for a similar character based on mythology, just Greek instead of Norse. Hercules actually fits the comedic brute role more than Thor does, and Thor: Ragnarok’s success at the box office shows that there is a market for a more comedic take on superheroes.
To further differentiate Hercules from Thor, the franchise can add the eighth smartest person in the world, Amadeus Cho, as a major supporting character or even as a co-lead. The dynamic between Hercules and Amadeus Cho was refreshing at the time and their popularity even put the pair at the forefront of Marvel’s Chaos War event. In the MCU, the duo can serve as the franchise’s “buddy cop” characters with a brains/brawn twist, with Hercules continuing Thor’s fish out of water schtick. Amadeus Cho already has a tie-in to the MCU; we’ve already seen his comic book mother, Helen Cho, in Avengers: Age of Ultron so it shouldn’t be hard to introduce him.
I might be in the minority in this but I actually thought that The Sentry was an interesting character – before Bendis tried to shove him down our throats, that is. A man with powers rivalling Superman’s, the Sentry had an intriguing flaw: his main archenemy and equal in terms of power, the Void, is actually another side of him, a force that balances out whatever good the Sentry does. The first Sentry mini-series presented him as a long-time superhero who had to make the world, including himself, forget who he really was to prevent the Void from causing more havoc.
Unlike the other MCU characters, the Sentry can work really well as a one-and-done character/film. But Marvel Studios can also explore the Sentry as a long term character – a Superman pastiche who is destined to forever deal with himself as an enemy. His comic book origin would also work well in introducing him to the MCU; we (the audience) don’t “remember” him being a part of the franchise even though he’s been there since Day One because he had to make everyone forget who he was.
Finally, we have the Thunderbolts – a superhero team that formed after the Avengers and the Fantastic Four “died” at the hands of Onslaught. They can serve the same purpose in the MCU; it’s very possible for the Avengers to no longer exist after Infinity War, and the Thunderbolts can be the replacement team until after the Avengers are reformed/resurrected.
The twist with the original Thunderbolts is that they’re actually supervillains pretending to be superheroes, with the objective of gaining the world’s trust and then world domination after. And this can work in the MCU – we still have good villains left alive like Zemo (the original leader of the Thunderbolts in the comics), the Vulture, the Abomination, and so on. Also, Marvel Studios can easily fill up the roster with characters a la Suicide Squad flashbacks – villains that weren’t featured in previous films due to their stories not worth telling in a full length feature. We can then follow the original story arc of the Thunderbolts, with the team being split between the ones who have had a change of heart due to their heroics and the ones who still want to remain as bad guys.
Another take on the Thunderbolts would be to follow the Hawkeye-led version (straight up heroes featuring reformed villains) or the Luke Cage version (villains forced into performing heroic deeds). In the MCU, we can have either Hawkeye or War Machine serve as the leader of the team, two established characters that can continue to be a part of the MCU.
And there you have it – characters who I think are good enough to shine in the superhero blockbuster spotlight, characters who can further add to the new wave of MCU characters that have already been introduced. What do you think about my list? Are there any characters whom I missed out on? Let us know by leaving a comment or two below!