I think I have finally recovered off my high from watching Avengers: Age of Ultron enough to continue my regularly scheduled programming. Since I have had my fill of “punchsplosions”, as one friend of Reel World Theology put it in his review, I got to thinking about some of the periphery characters of many comic book universes and who is left that could really carry a movie on their own. With Ant-Man being a testament to how even more obscure and seemingly dull (but not dull to us comic book guys) superheroes can get a whole movie (see also obscure property Big Hero 6 and even Guardians of the Galaxy), I still believe there are more compelling superheroes that have yet to get their own solo movie.
A word about parameters before I jump into this. Since Marvel and DC have announced an extensive lineup of future movies, I am not counting any forthcoming movies that are already in the works. Also, I have done my best to scour the internet to make sure to disqualify any comic book character who had a solo movie in the theaters. Lastly, the actor re-iterations of some characters, i.e. Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk, does not count, since the character has already had solo movies. Hopefully, I stay within my own parameters and anyone is free to correct me or shame me if I miss something.
For a guy who has carried his own comic book series in the past, Cable is probably one of the cooler X-Men that very few people outside the comic book world actually know anything about. Cable is essentially the Clint Eastwood of the X-Men. He’s the antihero, the enigma/wild card of the mutants and also a fan favorite.
He was left out of Days of Future Past even though the movie was about time travel, one of Cable’s powers. Now, that is not to say that Days of Future Past was bad by any stretch, but it probably would have been even better with Cable a part of it, or at least introduced him in the movie as Nathan Summers, but it would have been complicated and I can see why he wasn’t in it.
He could easily be introduced in X-Men: Apocalypse since he and Apocalypse have history and a rivalry. From there, it would only be a matter of time before everyone is shouting for a Cable movie, much like they shouted for so long for a Gambit film and finally got what they asked for. He’s too awesome to keep out of the movies for much longer.
4) Blue Beetle
Let me clarify that I do not mean the Ted Kord Blue Beetle who teams with Booster Gold or Dan Garrett. I’m referring to the latest incarnation of Jaime Reyes as the Blue Beetle; one that younger kids and comic book fans will be much more familiar with. He has been in Teen Titans, Batman: Brave and the Bold, a series my son loves, as well as the New 52 initiative from the early 2010’s. A lot of kids would love to see Blue Beetle get his own movie and possibly be a much more significant player in the DC Cinematic Universe.
Reyes’ Hispanic family background gives him a cool grounding that could provide some interesting territory to explore as far as it comes to family, community, and love. Also, he is just a regular teenager that has to rise to the responsibility of being a superhero, much like his Marvel counterpart (besides the super intelligent mind) Spider-Man/Peter Parker. Since Spider-Man is coming into the MCU with a lot of baggage, DC could gain some ground with a no-baggage version of the web-slinger in Blue Beetle.
3) Static Shock
Boasted as the geeky superhero for geeks, Static Shock has a long proud history in the comics and on TV. Receiving his own four-season TV show on the WB that some of you may remember (voiced by Phil LaMarr), Static Shock developed into an incredibly well-loved character in the DC Universe that is a contemporary version of Marvel’s Spider-Man, like Blue Beetle. Also like Blue Beetle, he is a part of Teen Titans, as well as a popular part of the New 52 Initiative.
What really sets him apart is his TV presence and his popularity among younger audiences. Some of us who were in our teens when the WB aired Static Shock would join in that enthusiasm, as well. I’d be really excited to see this one and I know that Cyborg will be DC Comics answer to Black Panther, but why not one-up Marvel and get Static Shock his own movie?
2) Black Widow
This has to be the biggest omission of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. They already have an established A-List star in Scarlett Johansson, as well as having established Natasha in previous Marvel movies. Heck, they even call her “Nat” in Age of Ultron, as if we already know her name well enough to call her that in a movie. I know the whole deal with Feige not “believing” in female superheroes has been a bit of a controversy and put a shadow of doubt around Captain Marvel using one of the female iterations of Captain Marvel/Ms. Marvel. I still think that it is a huge mistake Marvel is not stepping out and giving Black Widow her own movie.
Who wouldn’t want to see a Black Widow spy movie? Johansson has such a dynamic and commanding presence that she could easily match any James Bond film in charisma, allure, and kick-butt awesomeness. It was already “test marketed” with The Winter Soldier, which was a superhero spy movie, but it could be even more shadowy and spy-like and less CGI, punch-fest madness that a lot of the final third of Marvel movies turn into. Again, it could be a real win for Marvel, and it could still happen, but despite the push for it, it looks like it might not happen which is a shame.
Of all the Avengers, and I say this even though I fully believe that Scarlett Johansson could carry a movie over Jeremy Renner any day, Hawkeye is probably the most widely known and popular Avenger that doesn’t have and probably won’t get his own solo movie. I get all the politics and other reasons that Marvel does not have a long-term plan for any Hawkeye solo movies, but it seems like a miscarriage of comic book awesome to avoid a Hawkeye movie.
First of all, he’s got the past. In the most recent re-imagining of Hawkeye, the Shattered Heroes series of comics, Hawkeye has a very troubled past and struggles with alcoholism. It puts him in a little different camp than Iron Man, who is following an arc of battling his own past and overcompensating for that past, and also contrasts him with Captain America and even the Hulk, who struggles with some more overt personal demons (the monster inside).
Also, in some comic book iterations and I believe in the most current one, Hawkeye is deaf. Now we already have a blind superhero in Daredevil, but Hawkeye’s deafness is something that can equally be relatable and could potentially be quite a win on the big screen for Marvel. I’m not suggesting that being handicapped can sell or something, but Marvel has always been known for having much more relatable superheroes, especially among more marginalized communities within the United States (i.e. Khamala Khan, the new Spider-Man, Daredevil, etc.). It would be quite a feat to translate that to the big screen, and personally, I would love to see Marvel tackle that on a larger, bigger budget scale.