You can’t swing a dead mutant around these days without hitting a movie theater playing a Marvel comic film. An overwhelming amount of films based on the X-Men and Avengers books are on their way, and that’s just the tip of the Bobby Drake-created iceberg.
With the original Blade film, Marvel proved they could take a lesser known character and turn it into a reasonably profitable film, thus opening the doors for the first X-Men and Spider-Man movies, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Now all their main heroes either already have or very soon will have movies of their own, and the cinematic Marvel universe is becoming almost as overpopulated as its funny book equivalent. But what about the great characters they haven’t tapped yet?
A few that spring to mind:
The Black Cat — Felicia Hardy’s anti-hero alter ego is the prima donna of the Spider-man series, a morally ambiguous and emotionally complex character, and looks damn good in black leather. But the Spider-man films so far have had an unwritten rule that women are only allowed to pout, look tempting, or be kidnapped, thus sadly the Black Cat has been absent from the silver screen.
She would make a great addition to the series: beyond the fact that she would be a nice foil for Mary Jane, she is practically Spider-man’s physical equal, and could provide some nice rooftop sexual tension the likes of which we haven’t seen since Batman Returns.
Of course, I’m not suggesting hastily adding her to one of the future films just for the sake of having her there - remember what happened to Venom.
Apocalypse – Really? ALL those X-Men films on the horizon and no whispers yet of the biggest baddie of them all? Apocalypse has been making life hell for the X-men, and in fact, much of the world, since the days of Ancient Egypt, and isn’t looking to slow down any time soon.
We only got a small dose of Warren Worthington 111, aka Angel, in X-Men 3, but that character’s storyline with Apocalypse is unforgettable. Born rich, smooth, blond, and handsome (if angel wings are your thing), Warren was a fun-loving playboy until a devastating battle in which he lost his wings. After this, Apocalypse transformed him into an evil follower, turning his skin blue and giving him razor-sharp metal wings. Though he eventually turned good again, Warrne was never the same. And that’s just a taste of the nastiness Apocalypse gets up to.
Northstar – I’m just going to put this out there: it’s time for a gay super-hero on screen. I’m sure studios are iffy about the idea, worrisome that it may be too risky a venture, but the world is ready. While the Marvel universe has a small handful of LGBT characters, none is more well-known than Northstar, the first Marvel superhero to come out of the closet, and in 1992, no less.
Northstar has a very cinematic appeal: handsome, edgy, and the movie-friendly powers of super-speed and flight. Hopefully in one of the estimated 26,985 X-men films coming out in the next few years, Northstar just may pop up. Fingers crossed.
Moonstar – While we’re on the topic of inclusion, a demographic that’s widely overlooked on the big screen is Native Americans (and it currently seems that their only filmic representation is as werewolves in the Twilight series). Marvel has always been ahead of its time in its inclusion of minorities, and one of these examples is the New Mutants’ Danielle Moonstar, who could communicate telepathically with animals as well as project bursts of psionic energy.
There is some chatter about a New Mutants film some day, and let’s hope that Moonstar is part of the action.
These are only a few examples of currently-overlooked characters. We all have characters we’d like to see. Feel free to share some of your own.