Welcome to the second installment of No Movie For You, a semi-regular feature that examines the world of live action movie adaptations and figures out which character will never make the transition from the source material to the film versions. The first examined ‘Civil War’ the 2006-07 miniseries that serves as the inspiration for next year’s ‘Captain America: Civil War.’
This list treads similar territory, but as the ‘Avengers’ movies continue and the roster evolves (nearly the entire roster changed by the end of ‘Age of Ultron’) fans are hoping to see more and more of Marvel’s heroes brought into the ranks of the company’s flagship super team.
Of course in the comics, nearly every Marvel hero has served as an Avenger in some capacity, even the most unexpected. Certain characters are obviously off-limits, namely the X-Men and the Fantastic Four, many members of which have also served as Avengers. The rights to those franchises belong to Fox, for better or worse and therefore, moviegoers will not get to experience such gems as the Beast/Wonder Man bromance or see Storm and Black Panther’s romance play out onscreen. Just for argument’s sake, let’s just throw Spider-Man and his related characters into the “hands-off” pile. It’s unclear how Sony and Marvel’s relationship affects the wall-crawler and any chance of him being in the movie Avengers, but let’s just, for the sake of this list, assume he is off the table along with the Sandman. And I don’t even want to try and guess how Spider-Woman– any of them– are affected.
Also, this isn’t a “worst of” list. The characters chosen aren’t on the list because they suck (although some do), it’s because for one reason or another it may be too hard to make them work in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
So with that out of the way, I also wouldn’t count on seeing the following characters:
In Marvel Comics, Hercules is a fun character– a drunken, lusty party god– the anti-Thor. He could be a hoot on the big screen! The problem is that Marvel can’t lay claim to him. Unlike the more obscure Norse gods, the Greek and Roman pantheon are much better known by the modern public– there were two separate Hercules movies released last year. The idea of Hercules is public domain. ANYONE can make a Hercules movie and they do. There have been maybe thousands of Hercules movies, which makes it that much harder for Marvel to establish their version as a unique offering. The poor performance of the two movies last year could cast a negative shadow over a Marvel attempt and should Marvel’s Hercules prove a hit, nothing would stop any other studio from cranking out yet more of their own Hercules movies to cash in. With so many past Avengers to choose from, why pick an uphill battle?
Sentry’s backstory is interesting– a powerful hero who sacrificed himself to stop an evil force but in the process was wiped from history, with everyone forgetting his existence. But that story alone could be the focus of an entire movie and that might be a good thing, except the character of The Sentry isn’t exactly worth the focus.
Sentry was essentially designed to be Marvel’s version of Superman with a similar power set, with the twist that his arch enemy, The Void was actually a manifestation of his own fractured mind. Once again, that sound interesting but the resulting comic book character was anything but. Sentry quickly proved to be one of the least favorite Avengers ever for fans, despite a “stand up and cheer” moment when he ripped Carnage in half, taking a symbolic jab at trendy “event” comics of the 90s.
Even that gesture wasn’t enough to win over fans and the fact that he could come across as a Superman knock-off probably wouldn’t impress those unfamiliar with the character.
8. Starbrand and Nightmask
Popular writer Jonathan Hickman felt the need to resuscitate these two concepts from Marvel Comics’ biggest flop, the New Universe. In 1985, in honor of Marvel’s 25th anniversary, the publisher launched a new imprint featuring ordinary humans in the “real world” developing powers. The intention was to depict a more realistic spin on super beings, but the result was a line that was TOO realistic, lacking the flash and energy of regular super hero comics. The New Universe was cancelled within two years, but for some reason, Hickman felt the need to dust off two of the cancelled concepts and reinvent them for his lineup of Avengers. Probably sensing that no other writers would want to use them after he left the book, he graciously killed them both off himself.
For one thing, the concept is too complicated to delve into and for another, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is already pretty grounded in reality. No need to go back to basics.
Triathlon was a modern update of an older character called 3D Man, a fifties-inspired character who donned a pair of 3D glasses to gain the strength and abilities of… three whole men. The updated twist is that Triathlon was granted his powers by the Triune Understanding, becoming a celebrity spokesman for this empowerment group.
The problem is that the Triune Understanding was a thinly veiled take on the Church of Scientology, a celebrity-heavy religious group whose beliefs were built upon the science fiction writing of L. Ron Hubbard. While a large percentage of the population views the Church as a cult or celebrity quackery, it boasts a number of powerful members including Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Beck and Jason Lee, just to name a few, and is alleged to exert much power behind-the-scenes in Hollywood, so it’s probably best that Marvel not open that can of worms.
Also, the power of three men? Big whoop.
Joining around the same time as Triathlon, Silverclaw was Lupe Santiago, a girl from the fictional South American nation of Costa Verde, who was sponsored by Tony Stark’s butler Edwin Jarvis, whom she considered her “uncle.” he character was co-created by famed penciller George Perez who wanted a Latin character on the team. Sadly, she smacked of tokenism in that regard and her wide-eyed innocent personality and trite animal shape-shifting powers lacked enough creativity to endear her with fans, who saw her– rightfully– as a Mary Sue.
5. Gilgamesh The Forgotten One
You’re forgiven if you forgot this guy was an Avenger. He had it coming. This blah character had zero personality and his super strength and invulnerability were redundant, considering he was on the team at the same time as Thor. Plus, he’s an Eternal, a godlike race of beings that aren’t as popular as the Asgardians or Inhumans. These characters haven’t amounted to anything in recent comics and unless Marvel pushes them the way that have the Inhumans recently, it would be too much trouble to explain them in a movie. Much too much trouble.
Demolition Man or D-Man as he is more commonly known, was yet another sidekick of Captain America’s. This character was a former pro wrestler whose costume looked like a cross between Daredevil’s and Wolverine’s. He eventually became homeless, leading a group of fellow indigents called the Zero People.
He occasionally pops up at Avengers gatherings, but is shown to be mentally disturbed and… well dirty and smelly.
Considering that even as a (clean) super hero, his powers are mundane, his costume is derivative and the fact that Captain America already has plenty of sidekicks– Black Widow, The Falcon, The Winter Soldier– he doesn’t need another that brings practically nothing fresh (smelling) to the table.
Legally speaking, Deathcry is off the table because she is from the alien race the Shi’Ar, who are part of the X-Men’s rights package at Fox. But she is also not a very creative character in the first place, a vicious, animalistic bad girl created in the 90s when everything was XTREME, she was clearly an attempt to make the Avengers more like the X-Men, who were on top of the comic book world at the time.
But yeah, rights.
2. The Two-Gun Kid
The Two-Gun Kid was one of several cowboy heroes in Marvel’s western books, which ruled before super heroes became the reigning genre in comics. But the character was revived and thanks to time travel, he journeyed to the present and joined the Avengers, before leaving to travel America with Hawkeye. The character later went to work at She-Hulk’s law firm as a mercenary.
He’ll never work because as Steven Spielberg said, super hero movies are going to go the way of westerns, meaning that super hero flicks are dying and westerns are already dead. So why hitch your successful movies to a dead genre?
Although, it might be funny if Marvel DID use the Two-Gun Kid and the result was a huge hit, proving Spielberg wrong twice!
1. The Whizzer
This Golden Age speedster was made an Avenger in modern times and for a while was thought to be the father of Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch. For one thing, the Golden Age of heroes doesn’t seem to exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Captain America was the only super being from that time until The Hulk emerged in modern times. And it appears that Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch got their powers from Baron Strucker’s experiments, not heredity and CERTAINLY not because they were mutants.
And… yeah yeah, his name is The Whizzer and his costume is yellow. Like that joke hasn’t been made a million times. But… it’s true.
What do you think? Do you disagree? Could some of these characters work on the big screen? Or are they any that you think are even less likely to make it to live action? Comment below!