Saturday, 25 May 2013

5 Heroes Worth Seeing In Avengers 2

With the Second Phase of Marvel's film franchise now fully underway, a few people are already discussing who will be in the line-up for Avengers 2. A few estimated guesses can already be made as to who will be in the sequel. With Luke Cage apparently showing up in S.H.I.E.L.D.'s series and Winter Soldier being in Captain America's next film there's no shortage of heroes. That's not even mentioning those we already have in side roles or rumored to show up in the near future.

Beyond that there's an entire universe of heroes, villains and ideas which could be used for the next Avengers films and even those beyond them. So which ones deserve to be introduced and given more focus? Here's a few options. Please note before we begin though, these are limited to those who currently have little or no involvement. Those who have been confirmed to have films of their own coming up or will soon be introduced aren't a part of this. Hence why Scarlet Witch, Doctor Strange, Quicksilver and Wasp aren't listed here.

5 - War Machine

Who Is He? If you've not seen the Iron Man films War Machine, now called the Iron Patriot, is Iron Man's counterpart in the American military. While in the comics James Rhodes largely served as Tony's right hand man and a great supporting character his role in the movies seems to have given him a bit more independence. Their relationship being friendly but considerably more fractious than what we've seen before.

Why Should He Be In It? Honestly, why not? It was something of a surprise not to see him make any kind of appearance in Avengers and there's little reason more can't be done with him. His powers are close enough to Iron Man's not to require vastly different designs or thought while still having his own style, there's a talented actor playing his role, and Iron Man 3's ending should only make him even more of an option.

Furthermore unlike the other heroes he has close ties to the military and governmental organisations beyond S.H.I.E.L.D. Avengers showed a brief opportunity for there to be tension between the heroes and Nick Fury's lot, and it would be interesting to have someone else potentially siding with them. Someone who, as much as I liked Black Widow and Hawkeye, is more of a powerhouse who can go toe to toe with Thor and Cap.

Much like Tony however, Rhodes has been shown to upgrade his armour in more than a few different ways ranging from the colour scheme to his shoulder mounted cannon. Despite this we've seen him in actual combat only once and the films have given him little time or focus. Iron Man 3 in particular shoved him so far into the background that the writers seemed to be bending over backwards to make sure he had no involvement within the plot.

4 - The Sentry

Who Is He? A forgotten part of Marvel's history, the Robert Reynolds was a very twisted version of DC's Superman. Powerful beyond reckoning, his powers are limited by two things: his personal demons and mental instabilities, and the being known as the Void. His own dark side and mass murdering counterpart, which he tried and failed to destroy when seemingly renouncing his powers and erasing all memory of him from the world.

Why Should He Be In It? I already know this is going to spark some very negative reactions but just hear me out. While the inception of the idea behind the character was flawed, retconning him into being the most important character in all of Marvel history, there was some potential behind him. He had a few fans initially and his involvement with World War Hulk being one of the highlights of that comic. However, things quickly went downhill once Brian Michael Bendis got his hands on him. Whatever your opinion on the author, he's definitely very tone deaf when it comes to certain charactisations. Just look at how he wrote Doctor Doom.

Along with having him join Norman Osborn as he took over the world and becoming his personal mass murdering attack dog, Bendis didn't do a good job with any aspect of him. The Sentry's backstory was changed, revised and re-edited more times than can be counted for no real reason. Only succeeding in making him more confusing and causing readers to hate the character. His personality also went from severely ill, struggling but ultimately sympathetic hero into a callow, easily manipulated, drug addicted, borderline-sociopath. This was only made worse with his send off Sentry: Fallen Sun, which was not only poorly written but was insulting to nearly everyone involved. Especially Rogue.

By this point everyone reading Marvel seems to be just thankful he's gone. The problem is he isn't and Marvel is apparently bringing him back yet again.

The films have served as a means to give certain characters attention and allow them to be renewed in a good light in the past. Iron Man's film was released at the time when he'd been turned into a militaristic dictator who was imprisoning people in hell without trial. After people who watched that film tried to read the comics, and not liking the vastly out of character actions, Marvel suddenly shifted gears. Turning Stark from someone who was a monster to someone who was at least sympathetic and fighting a bigger evil. If they stuck to the original idea and did away with the nonsense Bendis added and the retcons of his funeral, It could be a chance for a new beginning. An opportunity to actually have the ideas behind him work and not turn into a badly written villain. Or for them to try to insert him into secretly being vital in defeating every villain ever.

Away from the comics though, on screen Sentry would be an additionally good character and an interesting problem for the heroes to deal with. It would be easy to imagine the movieverse S.H.I.E.L.D. to imprison him over risk of the Void or keep him hidden but consider using him if a big enough threat showed up. Or for them to have considered approaching him in the past but felt he was too risky, even in the face of Loki's invasion.

I'll freely admit this could be just my wish to see the idea behind the Sentry done well, but it just seems there is some decent potential behind him.

3 - Captain Marvel

Who Is She? Originally known as Ms. Marvel, Carol Danvers was once an officer within the United States airforce who was caught in an accident with an alien device. Having originated from the Kree, the device gave her all of their powers from solar energy projection to super strength and flight. After the death of the latest Captain Marvel she assumed the title of the Kree hero out of respect and the desire to see the name continue.

Why Should She Be In It? With that last hint of Thanos in the last film, not to mention the Guardians of the Galaxy being on the horizon, it's obvious Marvel's moving to show things on a bigger scale. To help explore some of the more galactic aspects it needs to incorporate a few heroes with alien origins or powers to make this feel more natural. Captain Marvel is one of the best examples of this as she balances the two out, having human origins and aspects but is tied close enough to some unseen aspects of Marvel's alien empires to make use of them. Perhaps altering her origins slightly or experiences could have her be more knowledgeable about the universe beyond earth and help to confront future threats.

Many aspects of her comic counterpart's past and events could also be used to explore a few more details. Perhaps strengthening the introduction of mutants or the possibility of a superhuman arms race between nations as seen in the Ultimate universe. Given how much of the film have been base upon the Ultimate universe, minus the stupidity or unrelenting bleakness, it wouldn't be a surprise to see. It might also offer a chance to have the board of silhouetted sinister figures to have more involvement if one of them was behind her gaining the powers in the first place.

Plus having another character with flight, super strength, endurance and the ability to fire energy beams is never a bad thing to see in a huge fight.

2 - Adam Warlock

Who Is He? Another characters with ties to the universe beyond Earth in Marvel, Warlock is an artificially created human originating from earth. Unlike Captain Marvel however, he has fewer ties to his homeworld and less understood cosmic powers; along with ownership of one of the Infinity Gems. His curse is that he is seemingly fated to become his arch nemesis, Magus, in his future.

Why Should He Be In It? This is again a character suggested due to having fewer ties with earth, but he also has a closer connection to the direction the story is going in. Best remembered for the Infinity Gauntlet storyline, Warlock's character is often associated with Thanos and would be able to deliver some of the exposition of who exactly he is. Furthermore if the Infinity Gauntlet is intended to be used in a future plotline, it would be criminal to write it without his involvement. Plus, again if we're going in the superhuman arms race direction, his origins would fit in well with that theme.

Another interesting aspect is Warlock's manipulative abilities and scheming, being willing to sacrifice others in the name of the greater good if need be. Given what we saw from Nick Fury during the Avengers it would be interesting to see the two stuck working together and the possible power play which might go on between them.

The only problem is that being one of the universe's more outlandish characters, it might be hard to sell him to audiences. People thought Thor was going to be hard, so Warlock with an extensive background and involvement with everyone from the High Evolutionary to several major powers might be a step too far.

1- Black Panther

Who Is He?  King of the technologically advanced but isolationist nation of Wakanda. An extremely skilled fighter with a genius level intellect and master strategist, he's a match for Captain America in combat. Only that he additional edge of his scientific understanding and access to a uniform weaved with, and weapons made of. vibranium. 

Why Should He Be In It? Besides the above? It would be easy just to say "track down anything Christopher Priest wrote about the character" or something similar but you probably want some actual reasons.

The first among these is that he offers something the other heroes don't - The idea that Earth still has secrets which are unknown to them. If Wakanda was introduced, due to its high tech nature and how heavily the movieverse is based off of the real world it would undoubtedly be kept secret from everyone else. It would be the only real way to make sure people who would exploit it weren't slavering over trying to get hold of the advanced tech or industrialists like Stark hadn't even heard of it.
Much like Namor would if he were introduced it would give the idea that rather than everything unnatural didn't have to come from the stars. Rather than coming from Asgard, the higher dimensions or far beyond the solar system; advanced tech or unknown empire were already of Earth. Something which would definitely shake up the Avengers and even S.H.I.E.L.D. if they didn't know of Wakanda.

Rather than looking outwards for signs of an threat above, they would suddenly have to look for an threat from within.

Panther's presence would also give a chance for more of a variety among the superheroes, showing they existed outside of America and the possibility of one even taking power. Well, taking power and not going insane from it. Let's face it one of the big concerns which seems to keep coming up is "What if these people with all these abilities took charge?" and turning them into monsters. It would be good to see one example on screen of one remaining benevolent.

Still, these are just personal choices and mostly based upon how good they would be at expanding the universe. If you have ideas or choices of your own who you think deserve to be in the next Avengers film or as focus characters in the future, please list them in the comments section.

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