Tag Archives: superheroes

10 MARVEL SUPER-HEROES WHO DESERVE THEIR OWN MOVIES!

We’ve seen the X-Men, Spider-Man, Thor, Captain America, The Hulk, The FF, Guardians of the Galaxy, and even Ant Man. On TV we have Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and Daredevil. But there are plenty of less well-known Marvel Super-Heroes who possibly deserve their own movies. Here’s a selection of some of the best candidates:

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Nova

Teenager Richard Ryder (because every superhero needs an alliterated name) gets blasted with a space ray and turned into a human rocket! Nova was never much more than a Spider-man clone. In the Psychedelic Seventies he fought such far-out cats as The Sphinx, Megaman (whose key attribute was having no face), and The Condor (a guy with wings) amongst others before becoming a member of the less-than-super New Warriors. James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy introduced us to the Nova Core of Xanthar, the alien race that gave Nova his powers. But surely anyone with a costume this cool deserves his own movie?

 

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Dazzler

Interesting fact: Dazzler was supposed to be a movie right from the start. The character was ushered into the pages of X-Men purely to plug an onscreen character who was to both sing and act! The movie and the songstress never materialized, but Alison Blaire, a disco queen who can shoot light out of her body, became a regular member of the X-Men. With the rocking ’70s soundtrack of Guardians of the Galaxy, and her discotastic costume, has the time finally come for the Dazzler to shine?

 

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Moon Knight

Of all the characters in the Marvel Universe, few have undergone so many changes as Moon Knight. Appearing in Werewolf by Night #32 as a mercenary who was given a silver costume to hunt down the titular werewolf, Marc Spector morphed into a caped crusader to rival even Batman, before becoming endowed with supernatural powers courtesy of Egyptian god Konshu, dying, being resurrected, being briefly possessed by a demon, infected with lycanthropy, and even suffering multi-personality disorder from the pressure of adopting too many disguises a-la Mission Impossible!

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Captain Britain

The good captain was designed by Marvell UK in the 1970s to be Britain’s answer to Captain America. Unfortunately, he had a shaky start. Given a magic staff by Merlin (yes, the King Arthur one) Brian Braddock becomes a superhuman powerhouse who fought the Red Skull alongside Steve Rogers. The series hobbled along until scribe Alan Moore reinvented the character in the 1980’s as a strapping blonde mimbo who survived rather than won his battles against foes far cleverer than himself. Later stories had him joining comedy superhero team Excalibur alongside several former X-Men. But maybe it’s time Cap had his own movie. Heck, it worked for Ant-Man. Interesting factoid: his sister is Betsy Braddock, aka Psyclocke!

 

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The Son of Satan

Yes, you heard right. It’s fair to say that Marvel in the 1970s was… experimental. One of the better inventions of that time was Daimon Hellstrom, the son of Satan himself! Debuting in the pages of Ghost Rider #1 Hellstrom is constantly at war both with his own infernal nature and his demonic dad. He eventually got his own series before it was cancelled due to a panel that was considered too blasphemous ever to be reproduced! Surely a character this dark deserves his own TV show!

 

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Power Pack

Louise Simonson and June Brigman created this unique superhero team of children. The Power family find themselves in the middle of a secret war between the warlike alien Snarks (who look like walking crickets) and the peace-loving Kymellians (who look like sea-horses). When a Kymelian sacrifices himself to save the kids, they each gain one of his super-abilities. The series was ground-breaking for its realistic psychology, showing the kids scared, brave, petulant and spoiled, just like real kids. I have a soft spot for Power Pack. It’s my very favourite comic, and I’ll personally love to see it become a live action movie, if only as an antidote to all the dark and depressing fare that’s been served up recently.

 

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Machine Man

Here’s a character who’s better than he looks. Aaron Stack, a.k.a. Machine Man, is an unusual comic book superhero, because he’s a robot! X-51 is a sentient and rather sensitive android. When his creator is killed, he decides to go off and tackle crime, along with his Go-Go-Gadget arms and legs. Created by comics legend Jack Kirby in the back pages of “2001: A Space Odyssey” , X-51 was also memorably drawn by Spider-Man artist Steve Ditko. There’s something both moving and creepy about a character trying to pretend to be human, even down to wearing a latex face mask and dark glasses! One of Marvel’s more interesting characters.

 

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Howard the Duck

I know what you’re thinking. But try and forget the sickeningly-sweet George Lucas aberration and think more along the lines of a rather adult ALF. Now you’re closer to Steve Gerber’s bizarre vision of a duck trapped in a world not of his own making. Hailing from another dimension, cigar-smoking, wise-cracking Howard finds himself in Cleveland and up to his feathers in trouble. The comic was a satirical take on superheroes that sometimes had to be read to be believed. Vegetarian supervillain, anyone?

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Doctor Zero and Saint George

In the mid-1980s Marvel’s mature comics line, Epic, launched a series of titles outside the Marvel Universe. “The Shadowline Saga” involved a world where superheroes were non-existent, but where a second race lived alongside our own. Possessing awesome powers, some of these were sinister, others heroic, but none were what they seemed. Cue Doctor Zero, an immortal who pretends to be a superhero. Is he really a supervillain, or does he have a more Machiavellian scheme for the human race? Saint George, meanwhile, is a human priest who is given a suit of technologically advanced armour and sent on a crusade to rid the world of dangerous “shadows”. Each series, along with another about a super team called “Powerline” ran for a limited time before being wrapped up. But the series crated some memorable characters and had some interesting artwork by Klaus Janson and Bill Sienkiewicz (of TV’s “Legion” fame), and just might be something fresh and different compared to the existing Cinematic Universe. Time for a change, anyone?

 

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So there you have it. Plenty of weirder options for Marvel to explore. And I haven’t even mentioned Alpha Flight, Ka-Zar, The Human Fly, Killraven, The Living Mummy, Skull the Slayer, or Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner! Do you agree with my choices or have I left out anyone you’d like to see? Maybe you have a burning desire to see a West Coast Avengers movie or to witness the Avengers clash with the Squadron Supreme? Food for thought for the movie gods at Marvel Studios.

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10 comic book superheroes who deserve their own movie…

Ahem…

(In ominous voice)

In this blog, dear reader, I tempt vilification by geekdom. Should I leave out a beloved favourite, I will no doubt suffer the wrath of comic book fanatics everywhere. And yet it would be remiss of me indeed not to at least attempt a short compendium of comic books which should have their own movie.

Some of the creations listed below may have already had their own movies, but these were either so bad they have been entirely forgotten, or so low budget as to demand a proper blockbuster version. You decide…

Marvel enters the 1970s with Heroes for Hire.

Marvel enters the 1970s with Heroes for Hire.

10. HEROES FOR HIRE

Created at the height of the Kung-Fu/Blaxploitation movie genre craze in the 1970s, the Heroes for Hire became major fixtures in the Marvel Universe. Comprising Iron Fist — a Westerner trained in mystical kung-fu arts by interdimensional monks — and Luke Cage aka Power Man — a street fighter given a second chance by an experiment that made him virtually indestructible, the Heroes for Hire were just that. Motivated by dollar bills rather than altruism, they usually managed to stay on the side of good. Actor Nicholas Cage was so taken with Power Man that he adopted the character’s second name as his own. Surely worth a movie?

9. POWER PACK

Invented by Marvel in the 1980s, this is the story of four ordinary children who receive super-powers from a dying alien, Power Pack faced the menace of the alien Snarks, who were hell bent on Earth’s destruction. Tasked with rescuing their inventor father from the Snark mothership, these kids behaved like real kids — squabbling, crying, and discovering their inner heroes. This one has Disney stamped all over it. A terrible TV pilot made in the 1990s is best forgotten.

8. HOURMAN

An unfairly maligned character, Hourman was a Golden Age superhero who appeared in All Star comics before being revamped in DC comics by supergenius comic book creator Gardner Fox (Flash, Green Lantern etc etc). Chemist Rex Tyler discovers a miracle pill (Miraclo) that gives him superpowers… but only for one hour.  The twist was that Miraclo was addictive, which gave this character a greater psychological realism than others of his era.

7. THE MAN CALLED NOVA

Richard Ryder was Marvel’s 1970s version of Peter Parker  — a weedy loser who was given incredible powers and became “the human rocket” when he was zapped by a spaceship and given the powers of a Centurian Nova Prime, guardian of the planet Xandar.  Ryder had a popular comic book, teaming up with other heroes such as Spider-Man, before finally relinquishing his powers. An awesome-looking new version of the superhero was launched for the Annihilation: Conquest storyline in the 2010s, proving that Nova can still attract the fans.

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Nova rockets into the 1970s!

6. SLAINE

Pat Mills’ extraordinary Celtic barbarian warrior first graced the pages of 2000AD at the turn of the 1980s. Since then his popularity has endured. A rather “earthy” hero, Slaine is accompanied on his journeys across time by the disgusting dwarf Ukko, and has faced off against both aliens and dinosaurs. But Slaine’s most unique feature is his “warping” power, in which he channels the energy of ley-lines to became a monstrous, Hulk-like behemoth!

5.DR. STRANGE

Created by Stan Lee in the 1960s, Stephen Strange was a gifted surgeon with a drink problem. After crashing his car, he was found by the Ancient One and schooled in the mystic arts to become Earth’s sorceror supreme. A classic, old-school superhero, Dr. Strange’s adventures took him to all manner of fantastic and bizarre dimensions thanks to legendary comics artist Steve Ditko. A TV movie was made in the early 1980s with John Mills that actually wasn’t all that bad. Time for another try, methinks.

4. THE SUB-MARINER

Originally a villainous foe of The Fantastic Four, Prince Namor of Atlantis grew to become much more than that. Namor’s supreme pride and arrogance makes him the perfect anti-hero. He’s had his own comic book on and off since the 1960s. But a movie? Well, it would be better than “Aquaman”. If only they could get rid of those nutty wings…

Prince Namor, cousin of Colonel Sanders.

Prince Namor, cousin of Colonel Sanders!

3. THE BALLAD OF HALO JONES

Before Watchmen, Alan Moore created a host of genius characters, many for British comic 2000AD. Halo Jones is an Everyman, or rather, an “Everygirl”. Born into an overpopulated Earth in the far future, she seeks escape and adventure beyond the stars, only to find abject misery, cruelty, and exploitation at every turn as both a scantily-dressed hostess and a battle-hardened warrior in a horrific future war. Gloriously pessimistic.

2. WONDER WOMAN

The archetypal female superhero — so why has she never had her own movie? Played by Linda Carter on TV in the 1970s in a series that was far too campy for its own good,and invented by psychologist William Moulton Marston, Wonder Woman exemplified the fighting spirit of America in WWII. This is a superhero with a  history as long as Batman and Superman. An attempt was made to revitalize the character recently but proved a misfire. But who could step into Wonder Woman’s boots and lasso?

1. SWAMP THING

When Alan Moore was lured to America by DC comics in the 1980s, he reimagined this floundering comic book property. From his humdrum origins as yet another product of a scientific experiment gone wrong, Swamp Thing was transformed into one of the finest comic books ever written. Moore’s magnificent “American Gothic” cycle sees Swamp Thing encounter all manner of staple horror monsters, all wonderfully reinvented to reflect modern America…. menstrual werewolves, water-dwelling vampires, radioactive zombies, haunted houses filled with the victims of gun crime. Swamp Thing journeys across the multiverse, from Heaven to a Hell that is the most completely imagined vision of the afterlife in the history of comics. During this we are also introduced to a British psychic called John Constantine. Swamp Thing was made into two attrociously bad movies in the 1980s as well as a TV series. None of them have (thankfully) anything to do with Moore’s work. This is a comic book that is ripe for the big screen (pun intended). Forget the other big green guy. Swamp Thing is where it’s at!