So the Guardians of the Galaxy teaser trailer has been online for a few days now, and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. The bigwigs at Marvel Studios are claiming that they only plan to make the one Guardians film, but if it performs well at the box office you can bet that we'll be seeing more from Star Lord and his motley crew in the future. With that in mind, should this film succeed and Marvel decide to dive deeper into their well of characters for future projects, here is a list of the ten lesser known characters I would like to see them put on the big screen.
10. Alpha Flight
A Canadian team of superheroes that boasts one of Marvel's first openly gay characters (Northstar) would be a perfect way for Marvel to show off how diverse its cinematic universe can be. Somebody over at the House of Ideas must agree as last December they filed for several new trademark applications, with Alpha Flight being among them. Could this mean that Wolverine's former home team could have their big screen debut (albeit without any references to Wolverine or mutants in general)? I certainly hope so.
9. The Thunderbolts
Who doesn't love a story of redemption, as former villains and antiheroes realize that it doesn't hurt to use one's gifts to help rather than harm? The current roster of the team is comprised of characters that Marvel either already possesses the rights to, or has recently reacquired (like Punisher, Ghost Rider, and Elektra) so this team could definitely make an appearance in their movie universe.
8. Namor the Submariner
The short tempered ruler of Atlantis has been a member of numerous super hero teams, most notably the Avengers and the X-Men (it turns out that he's not only half Atlantean, but also a mutant). Of course he can't have ties to the X-Men thanks to Fox Studios owning the film rights to those characters (the same applies to his connection to the Fantastic Four), but his connection to Earth's Mightiest Heroes is still strong. Unfortunately the film rights to the character reside with Universal Pictures, so we'll have to wait and see what comes of that.
The Nova Corps are already set to appear in Guardians of the Galaxy, and you can catch a glimpse of John C. Reilly in the uniform during the teaser trailer. Even still it is yet to be seen as to how close the film's version will adhere to the comics. It doesn't look like they will be utilizing the special armor enabling them to tap into the "Nova Force," a cosmic power that grants the wielder energy based powers, flight, and strength (basically they're Marvel's Green Lanterns). I would hope that Marvel plans to introduce the most famous Nova Corps member, Richard Rider, at some point.
6. Luke Cage and Iron Fist
I've been saying for a long time that Luke Cage, a Harlem born super hero with the powers of invulnerability and super strength, and Iron Fist, an expert martial artist who can channel his energy (or "chi") into his fists, need to appear in the movies. Apparently Marvel is sending them to Netflix alongside the recently reacquired Daredevil, but I still have hopes that we might see them on the silver screen.
Talks of this book about a collection of super powered youth who run away from their homes after finding out their parents are actually a secret cabal of super villains have been going on for years. Currently the word is that the film is shelved due to the success of The Avengers, but that doesn't mean it will stay that way. This is a title that would definitely appeal to the teenage demographic, which so many studios seem so desperate to cater to lately. If it doesn't get made into a movie then it should at least be turned into a TV program, similar to the deal Marvel has with Netflix regarding the earlier mentioned Luke Cage and Iron Fist.
4. Cloak and Dagger
Admittedly I didn't know much about these characters when I first started reading comics. After some much needed research I firmly believe that this interracial couple would make for a great movie. A pair of runaway mutants, one with the power of darkness and the other with the power of light, who wage war on inner city crime and anyone that tries to stand in their way would make for a great dark and gritty movie. Iron Man 3 scribe, Drew Pearce, has even gone on record as saying he'd love to see these two in a film.
3. Sgt. Fury and his Howling Commandos
We all loved Samuel L. Jackson in the Iron Man films and The Avengers, but I think it's high time he got the spotlight all to himself. Well not completely to himself, as Marvel can introduce the team that brought comic book fans their favorite eye-patch wearing super spy. Admittedly we did get a glimpse of some of the team in Captain America: The First Avenger, but I think Marvel can give us a more current take led by Fury rather than Cap. The studio could use the story of Nick Fury's military exploits as a sort-of prequel to The Avengers, delving into the character's past and explaining how he became the leader of S.H.I.E.L.D. and concocted the Avengers Initiative.
2. The Inhumans
This property could solve all of Marvel's mutant related issues. They are just like mutants, only these guys were created by aliens instead of natural genetic mutation. These characters have already come at odds with various Marvel superhero teams in the comics, and it's not hard to see them going up against the Avengers in later films, eventually becoming unlikely allies.
1. Black Panther
T'Challa (a.k.a. Black Panther), ruler of the African nation of Wakanda, has to be one of the most demanded Marvel superheroes out right now. Fans have been practically begging for him to make an appearance in the Cinematic Universe and it looks like Marvel is finally giving the people what they want. Marvel President, Kevin Feige, has gone on record saying that a Black Panther movie is definitely in the works, though when we can expect to see it is still up in the air. Don't worry Mr. Feige, we can wait.