The Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to succeed and is showing no signs of stopping any time soon. We have already been introduced to a huge number of characters, and upcoming films promise to introduce even more into the vast tapestry that is the MCU. The upcoming Avengers: Infinity War will reportedly have 67 characters taking part which will most likely mean EVERY character they have introduced so far will feature in some way (with some possible exceptions). Juggling all of these characters will probably be a Herculean task, but if it works out, it could prove to be the MCU's masterpiece.
Despite all of this, there are still a number of characters we have yet to see in the MCU. Some of this may be down to the rebooting of certain heroes (Spider-Man), the changes made to characters or even the progression of the story. Marvel's illustrious history features a smorgasbord of characters of varying importance, so there are plenty to choose from. Perhaps Marvel's master plan will introduce some of these characters over time, but there is a very real chance that certain heroes (and villains) will never get their moment of glory on the silver screen, so let's take a look at five of them (technically six, all will be explained!).
1. Rick Jones
Rick Jones was first introduced as a key component in the Hulk's origin story. Rick was challenged to ride his motorcycle into the testing area for the gamma bomb that Bruce Banner had created. As the detonation time approached, Bruce noticed the teenager was in danger of being killed and rushed off to save him. He barely made it in time, but Banner managed to save Rick by pushing him into a nearby trench. However, Banner took the full force of the bomb and was forever transformed into the Incredible Hulk.
As such an integral part of the Hulk's mythology, it seems very strange that we have not already seen Rick Jones in the MCU, though he is alluded to as a confidante of Bruce Banner during The Incredible Hulk. It isn't just the Hulk who has a strong connection with Rick Jones either, he has been heavily involved in a number of other storylines throughout Marvel's history. As well as becoming his own Hulk-like creature called A-Bomb, Rick was also closely connected to Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell). It was because of this connection that Rick became a vital part of the "Kree-Skrull War" storyline. The Supreme Intelligence influenced Mar-Vell to build an Omni-Wave Projector and imbue Rick with the "Destiny Force." He used this to summon duplicates of various Marvel heroes to fight off the Kree army and then caused all of the battling Kree and Skull to freeze, effectively ending the Kree-Skrull War.
Because of his connections to a number of heroes, it does seem strange that Rick Jones has yet to appear. Yes, he is alluded to, but we have not yet met him in the films.
2. Felicia Hardy / The Black Cat
Felicia Hardy is the daughter of a notorious cat-burglar who follows in her father's footsteps. A student at Empire State University, she begins to train in martial arts and acrobatics after being raped by her boyfriend. Her motivation is simply to kill her boyfriend, as she hates the idea of being viewed as a victim. In a twist of fate, Felicia discovers that her boyfriend has been killed in a drunk-driving accident so she decides to use her newfound skills to become a thief. Her first encounter with Spider-Man encouraged her to change her ways after she developed a respect for him. She also acquires the ability to control luck around her.
Black Cat has been both a hero and a villain over the years and is a hugely popular character. A character named Felicia did appear as Harry Osborn's assistant in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but since the agreement was reached between Sony and Marvel for Spider-Man to appear in the MCU, Spidey has been rebooted once more. So it is safe to say that if Marvel did want to introduce the Black Cat, they would have to start again with the character. But would she even fit into the world of a younger Peter Parker? Perhaps if Marvel use a similar story to the Ultimate Spider-Man comic when Felicia is older than Peter and is disgusted to find out he is only 15. But for now, only time will tell if she appears in any further films.
3. Beta Ray Bill
Perhaps one of the more interesting Marvel characters, Beta Ray Bill is an alien being known as a Korbinite that was transformed into a cybernetic warrior. As the chosen champion of his race, Beta Ray Bill was placed in suspended animation by his race and imbued with the abilities of a wild beast that killed many of his brethren (which weirdly resembles some sort of horse). After a chance encounter with Thor, Beta Ray Bill chances upon Donald Blake's cane, which of course is the disguised Mjolnir. Bill strikes the cane on the ground and, amazingly, acquires the powers of the Thunder God.
This was the first time that another character had proven to be worthy of the powers of Thor. Bill's creator, Walt Simonson explains:
"One of the cool things about Thor was the enchantment around Mjolnir and the original inscription on it. So I thought, well that means someone else can pick up this hammer and get this power, if they're worthy! So since then, some other big characters, people's favorites, have picked up the hammer, Captain America, Superman, whoever. But at this point, no one had ever picked up the hammer."
After learning of Bill's worthiness, Odin decrees that the two warriors should fight to the death for the right to claim Mjolnir. The battle rages on and eventually, the two warriors render each other unconscious. Bill awakens first and is declared the winner. Just as Thor is about to be thrown into a pit of lava, Bill intervenes and saves the Thunderer, declaring that he is too worthy an opponent to die. After seeing this act, Odin decides to make Bill his own hammer, the Stormbreaker, and allows both men to possess the powers of Thor.
Bill would be an interesting character to bring into film, though because of his look, he would most likely be a CGI character. The issue of Bill's worthiness to wield Mjolnir would also be an interesting aspect to explore. Though after Avengers: Age of Ultron, it seems that Thor may have already came to terms with the fact that there may be others worthy of wielding his hammer (The Vision and Captain America).
One of the most notorious villains in Spider-Man's rogues gallery, Carnage was first introduced in Amazing Spider-Man #361. The character was first devised as a darker version of Venom, but due to the popularity of Venom, changes had to be made to his origin story. Instead, Carnage was introduced as the offspring of the Venom symbiote that was discarded by it's parent in Ryker's Island. After Venom had escaped, the new symbiote bonded with Eddie Brock's cellmate, Cletus Kasady, a psychotic serial killer.
The new bond amplified Kasady's unhinged nature, which led to Carnage becoming one of the most dangerous villains in the Marvel Universe. Spider-Man could not beat Carnage alone and needed to team up with Venom to stop him in their first encounter. Many other heroes have struggled to deal with Carnage as well. At one point, the hero, Sentry, took Carnage into space and literally ripped him in half to prevent him from killing any other innocents. Clearly, Carnage is a very dangerous being.
Because of the need to reboot Venom, it may take a long time for Carnage to appear in the MCU. Because the two characters are so intrinsically linked, it wouldn't make much sense to introduce Carnage without Venom. Allied to that is his nature. Pretty much the only place he would fit into the MCU would be the Netflix series. After Daredevil brilliantly (and violently) introduced the Punisher, there is definitely potential however, and there are rumors that he could already be making an appearance in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
5. Kaine Parker / Ben Reilly
Alright, you got me, technically these are two characters, but this is another situation where you can't have one without the other. Ben Reilly and Kaine Parker are both clones of Peter Parker who emerged in the (somewhat messy) Clone Saga of the '90s. The two men have the same abilities as Peter Parker and have both had the mantle of the Scarlet Spider. The Clone Saga was long, drawn-out affair that lasted for two years of Amazing Spider-Man comics. Essentially, the storyline was Marvel's attempt at a soft reboot of the Spider-Man character. At this point, Peter Parker was married to Mary Jane Watson and she was pregnant with their child. Marvel's higher-ups decided that this had aged the character too much so sought a solution to bring the character back to his more relatable roots. Enter: Ben Reilly. In the 1970s Amazing Spider-Man featured a storyline in which The Jackal created a clone of Spider-Man. After initially fighting, the two men decide to work together until it seems that the clone has been killed.
Many years later the clone reappears after hearing the news that Aunt May is dying. He fights with Peter when he first encounters him, but he ultimately begins to work alongside him as the Scarlet Spider. A little bit later, Ben takes over from Peter as Spider-Man after Peter decides to leave New York and start a new life with Mary Jane and their child. It was during this time that tests had revealed that it was Peter who was the clone. Peter's eventual return culminates in a battle between the two Spider-Men and the Green Goblin. During this battle, Ben sacrifices himself to save Peter and is ultimately revealed to be the clone. Though a controversial character, Ben has gained a huge following and remains a fan-favorite character to this day.
Kaine is another clone of Peter who initially began as an imperfect clone who was very bitter of his "brothers". He relentlessly stalked Peter and Ben for years leaving a trail of bodies all marked with the "Mark of Kaine," said to be an extension of Peter's ability to cling to walls. In many of his early stories, Kaine acted as a super villain, but later in his life he becomes a reluctant hero. After being cured of his imperfections he moves to Houston and takes a costume from Peter. During this time he saves a young girl named Aracely from some human traffickers. The people of Houston declare him the Scarlet Spider, much to his chagrin. He is revealed to be the host for The Other (a spider-totem granting Kaine some additional powers over Peter) and goes on to play a key role in the "Spider-Verse" story.
Because of the rebooting of the Spider-Man character in the MCU, it is highly unlikely that we will see either of these characters any time soon. Peter Parker's story is in its fledgling status in the MCU, so breaking straight into the Clone Saga would be a strange move. Peter needs to establish himself as the flagship hero of the Marvel Universe, just as he is in the comics.
Is There Any Hope?
Of course, none of this is for certain. Marvel has a master plan when it comes to their films so it is perfectly logical that they may have plans to introduce some of these characters. Rick Jones does exist within the MCU — as proven in The Incredible Hulk — we just have yet to meet him. Perhaps one day we will meet all of these characters, we will just have to be patient.
Though it would be nice to see some of them teased, perhaps in a post-credits sequence? Check out all of Marvel's teasers in the video below:
Are there any other characters you would like to see in the MCU? Would you like to see any of the above characters? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!