Friday, 30 July 2010

Avengers Assemble? part 9

Right then, we've covered the Avengers themselves and the villains we may or may not see in the Avengers movie. What next? Why, the supporting characters of course! There have been plenty of characters throughout the history of the Avengers who have helped (or hindered) the team in some capacity that could appear in the Avengers movie. Let's start with someone who's definitely going to be there.

Nick Fury

The commander of SHIELD has a long history working alongside, and against on occasion, the Avengers. The film would appear to have them coming together under SHIELD, as in the Ultimate line of comics, and we all know that Samuel L. Jackson has signed an unprecedented nine film deal with Marvel, and that one of those films is, yep, the Avengers.

Edwin Jarvis

Jarvis has been the Avengers butler since the very beginning. He'd spent his life working in Tony Stark's mansion, and continued to do so when Stark donated the mansion to the Avengers. Even when the mansion was destroyed, Jarvis stayed on, serving the Avengers on Hydro Base or in Avengers Tower. His loyalty to the team is absolute, and there are many who would say that, despite no official membership, he himself is an Avenger. Jarvis should be in the Avengers movie, but how that would fit in with existing continuity is unclear. Tony Stark's villa in the Iron Man films is served by an artificial intelligence named Jarvis, voiced by Paul Bettany. Did Stark name this Jarvis after the real deal though? We'll see.

Henry Gyrich

When the American government ordered the Avengers to accept a liaison officer onto the team, it came in the form of Henry Peter Gyrich. Gyrich enforced sanctions on the Avengers, capping their membership number, firing Hawkeye and forcing the Falcon onto the team simply because the Avengers currently didn't have a black member. He caused friction and butted heads with the team a lot, and continued to do so even after he left the post. He had a second tenure as the teams government liaison a few years later, though this time he wished to atone for the past wrongs he'd done the team, and even made piece with the Falcon. Gyrich is one of those characters who shows up in a lot of Marvel books on behalf of the American government, and with SHIELD playing a prominent role in the Avengers movie, having him not appear in some capacity would be a surprise.

Maria Hill

When Nick Fury found out that Latveria was bank rolling a number of technologically powered supervillains, he sent a small group of superheroes into the country. Spider-Man, Wolverine, Luke Cage, the Black Widow, Daredevil and Captain America waged a Secret War against the Latverian government, all the while questioning what they were doing. Fury had their memories of the event wiped. So when Latveria struck back using a veritable army of techno villains, the American Government wasn't best pleased with what Fury had done. They stripped him of his command of SHIELD and installed Maria Hill instead. Hill and the Avengers, it's fair to say, didn't get on for a good long while, but she eventually mellowed towards them, aiding them during the Secret Invasion and the Siege of Asgard. While no longer the head of SHIELD, Maria Hill continues to work with the Avengers. Her appearance in the Avengers movie would be a surprise, but expect her to show up in the planned Nick Fury movie.

Daredevil (Matthew Murdock)

Daredevil is probably the biggest of Marvel's superheroes to never have been an Avenger, with the possible exception of the Human Torch. DD has worked with them a number of times however, both in his superhero and civilian identities. As DD, he's teamed up with them, as well as working with solo members Spider-Man, Captain America, Wolverine and the Hulk. As Matt Murdock, one of the Marvel universe's best lawyers, he's often gotten involved when the Avengers needed legal aid (that is when She-Hulk, also a lawyer, wasn't on the team). Throw in the act that one of his ex-girlfriends is the Black Widow, and DD has some real ties to the team, despite never joining. His appearance in the Avengers movie is a longshot, but that said, Marvel are trying to prep a DD movie, which would take part in their shared universe, so a vague reference isn't off the cards.

The X-Men

The Avengers, the Fantastic Four and the X-Men have all worked together closely a fair few times. The FF don't appear on this list because there's only four of them, and we've already covered three of them in the individual Avengers lists. The X-Men though? There's loads of those guys, and only three of them have been Avengers (Beast, Wolverine and Sub-Mariner). It won't happen. No way, no how. How awesome would it be if it did though?

Timothy "Dum-Dum" Dugan

Nick Fury's right hand man, Dugan fought alongside Fury in the Howling Commando's during World War II, and subsequently acted as the deputy director of SHIELD for much of Fury's time there, as well as serving under both Maria Hill and Tony Stark. It'd be nice to see him in the Avengers, mostly because of his moustache and bowler hat, both of which are awesome. I'd say chances are fifty-fifty at this point, but he will surely be in the Nick Fury movie regardless.

Col. John Jameson

The son of Daily Bugle publisher J. Jonah Jameson, John Jameson was part of the Avengers support staff for a while, serving as Captain America's personal pilot. He also (very briefly) married She-Hulk, and has a long history with Spider-Man, so Jameson's ties to the Avengers are pretty strong. Ya know, when he's not being a crazy werewolf type creature known as the Man-Wolf, but I digress. Since he was in Spider-Man 3, the rights issues with the Spider franchise mean we won't be seeing him in the Avengers movie.

Fabian Stankowicz

Starting out as a truly inept supervillain, the Mechano Marauder, Fabian Stankowicz fought the Avengers a few times. And when I say fought, I mean had his ass handed to him. The first time he showed up, Iron Man challenged him solo, even declining help from other Avengers who happened upon them. To add insult to injury, these Avengers would simply pass by without further comment. The second time Stankowicz attacked, he was beaten by the Wasp. Things finally seemed to pick up when he attacked the Avengers while they were being interviewed on the David Letterman show (really!). Due to the number of innocent bystanders in the audience, and the fact that Stankowicz had built a pretty good forcefield, the Avengers options were limited. However, when Stankowicz demanded Letterman interview him instead, he got close enough that he was finally defeated. By Letterman. Who smacked him one with a comedy oversized doorknob prop. Tiring of life as a joke villain, when Stankowicz was released from prison and offered a second chance by Captain America, he took it. He became the Avengers resident tech support guy, and aided the team right up until they were presumed killed by Onslaught. With the Avengers gone, Stankowicz took it upon himself to protect the world, and using discarded Sentinel parts, created giant robot versions of Thor, Iron Man, Captain America and Giant Man. However, in doing so he spent over a year in total seclusion, going a little crazy in the process. His Sentinel-Avengers malfunctioned, and had to be taken down by the now returned Avengers. Stankowicz has yet to be seen since. Chances of being in the movie? You know what, it wouldn't be at all surprising if SHIELD had a tech guy named Stankowicz who cameos somewhere.

Doc Samson (Leonard Samson)

Just as Daredevil is the Marvel universes main lawyer, so too is Doc Samson it's resident psychiatrist. He's worked with the Hulk, the Avengers, X-Factor and the Thunderbolts, among others. Oh, yeah, he also has gamma irradiated blood which turned his hair long and green, and super strength which, I shit you not, was for a while directly in proportion to the length of his hair. No Marvel, that name wasn't too on the nose at all. He's often shown up to council the Hulk, then have a big fight with him. But will he appear in a Marvel movie? Well, he already has. Remember in the Incredible Hulk, Ty Burrell played the new guy in Betty Ross's life? What was his name again? Oh, yeah. Leonard. If that doesn't smack of set up, then what the hell does?

General Thaddeus "Thunderbolt" Ross

Speaking of the Incredible Hulk, his erstwhile antagonist, Thunderbolt Ross, is almost certain to appear. After being played by a wonderful William Hurt in The Incredbile Hulk, his little conversation with Tony Stark at the end of that movie would seem to indicate that he's somehow involved with the forming of the Avengers.

MODOK (Mobile Organism Designed Only For Killing)

Okay, so we already covered him last time out in the villains section and established he won't be appearing. I just wanted to show you another picture of him. Beware MODOK! Beware his freakishly large head!

Achem. Right, done then. That's it, I guess. But... seems a shame to end this on part nine. Ten's a much better number. Yes, let's do one more.

To be continued...

Monday, 26 July 2010

Avengers Assemble? part 8

"Wait, what?" I hear you cry. "Part eight? But, you've already covered every member of the Avengers, haven't you?" Yes. Yes I did, in the previous seven chapters of this very blog. Haven't read them yet? For shame. Go back and do it now. Take your time, I'll wait here.


Tum ti tum. I might have Chinese for tea tonight. I am a bit hungry. Hey, wait, is that supposed to look like that? Maybe I should- Oh, you're back. Did you enjoy them? Good. So, yes, I have, indeed, covered every member of the Avengers and their chances of appearing in the movie.

And, as of San Diego Comic-Con last weekend, we officially have our team. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo playing Bruce Banner, Hulk himself being a big green pixel or three), Black Widow (Scarlett Johanssen) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). No real surprises there, except maybe a distinct lack of Ant-Man, despite Joss Whedon joking that Nathan Fillion would be playing him. And of course, there's still plenty of room for other characters to make cameo appearances.

But who will they be fighting? What threat could possibly be big enough to bring together Earth's Mightiest Heroes? Well, the Hulk, yes, but he won't be the big bad. While we will get a smack down between the Avengers and the green goliath, there's gonna be someone else there who the team will have to eventually work together to defeat, Hulk included. But who could it be? The Avengers have fought so many villains over the years, that to go into all of them would take another seven blogs at least. I won't do that. Instead, I'll just go through some of the more prominent candidates. Starting with...

Loki (Loki Laufeyson)

Back in the first ever issue of The Avengers, by the legendary and incomparable Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the Avengers were brought together as a result of one of Loki's mad schemes to defeat his brother, Thor. Loki planned to use the Hulk to finally defeat the thunder god, framing Hulk for attacking a train and rerouting a subsequent distress call meant for the Fantastic Four to Thor. Unfortunately for Loki, Iron Man, Ant-Man and the Wasp also picked up the distress call, and the four heroes teamed up against the Hulk, until they realised who it was that was behind the whole thing. Four became five, as the Hulk joined the others in defeating Loki, and the group elected to stay together. To this day, it is a constant source of annoyance to Loki that he inadvertantly brought the Avengers together. Tom Hiddleston is already playing Loki in the Thor movie, and while nothing is confirmed, there are rumours that he'll play a prominent part in the Avengers. For my money, Loki's the most likely option for the movies main villain.


Loki may have brought the Avengers together and been the first villain the team faced, but when it comes to Avengers bad guys, Ultron is the worst. Created by one of their own, Ultron has twisted family ties to many on the team. He sees Hank Pym, his creator, as his father, and has developed a disturbing Oedipal complex regarding his "mother", the Wasp. Ultron himself created the Vision, making him his own son, and used the brain patterns of the deceased (at the time) Wonder Man to do so. As such, Vision and Wonder Man see each other as brothers, bringing Wonder Man and his biological brother (Avengers villain the Grim Reaper) into the Ultron clan. Ultron also created another Avenger, Jocasta, using the brain patters of the Wasp, and another robot, Alkhema, using the brain patterns of Mockingbird, who married Hawkeye. Lost yet? Don't worry, very little of this will make it into the Avengers movie. Ultron may be THE Avengers bad guy, but he won't be in the movie. To do so, you need to have Hank Pym. Anyone else creating him just wouldn't be right. However, expect them to find a way to use Ultron in any potential sequel.

The Masters of Evil

When heroes start banding together as the Avengers did, it's only a matter of time before the villains start to get the same idea. Captain America's enemy, Baron Zemo, formed the original Masters of Evil to fight the Avengers, recruiting the Enchantress, the Executioner, the Black Knight, Radioactive Man and the Melter to do so. The line up has changed many times over the years, with a large number of characters joining and leaving the team, but in one form or another the Masters always return to plague the Avengers. Avengers Under Siege, a storyline in which the Masters invade Avengers Mansion and come as close as anyone ever has to defeating the team, remains a classic story to this day. As for a movie appearance? It isn't entirely off the cards, but requires most of the characters be introduced in the Avengers individual movies first. Maybe in a few movies time.

The Red Skull (Johann Schmidt)

Captain America's arch nemesis has clashed with the Avengers a number of times. No real surprise, given his absolute hatred of Steve Rogers and everything he stands for. His appearance in the Avengers movie entirely depends on what they do with him in Captain America, where Hugo Weaving will be playing him. Don't be surprised if he shows up though.

Kang the Conqueror

A time travelling despot from the far future, Kang is the villain who just won't stay down. And why should he? He can fight the Avengers, and if defeated (as he inevitably must be, lets face it), he can spend years coming up with another scheme, then simply travel back to five minutes after the Avengers beat him and try again. Kang is one of the more imaginitive Avengers bad guys, especially when you consider he not only has his own future incarnation in Immortus as a seperate Avengers villain, but may even himself be a possible future incarnation, or at the very least a descendant of, Doctor Doom. The problem lies with the fact that Kang can be very difficult to write well, and the writers of any movie featuring him would have to be very careful indeed, but if they can do it and get it right, it would make for an awesome movie. Expect him to show up for a sequel somewhere down the line.

The Mandarin

Iron Man's erstwhile enemy has fought the Avengers a number of times, and was even responsible for creating the Swordsman's trick sword. He's already been hinted at in the first Iron Man movie (the Ten Rings is a direct reference to him, and he is most likely the man running that particular operation), so is bound to show up sooner or later, and in terms of the movie versions of the characters, it might make more sense for him to appear in an Avengers movie than an Iron Man movie.

Hydra / AIM

In the Marvel universe, these two groups represent the biggest terrorist organisations going. Many supervillains have worked for them, and there isn't a hero who hasn't faced them. Hydra are pretty much the reason SHIELD, run by Sam Jackson's Nick Fury, exists at all, and AIM (Advanced Idea Mechanics) are originally an offshoot of Hydra themselves. It would make sense to have either one show up as a player in an Avengers movie. Either organisation would quite happily use the Hulk to their own ends. Just hope that if it happens, MODOK (Mobile Organism Designed Only for Killing) doesn't also appear. I love MODOK. He's awesome. But he wouldn't work on film because he looks like this:-

Magneto (Erik Magnus Lensherr)

Yep, the Master of Magnetism and main X-Men bad guy has fought the Avengers plenty of times, both on his own and alongside his Brotherhood of Mutants. He has ties to the Avengers through his children, Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch (which also puts him into Ultron's family unit, given Scarlet Witch married the Vision) and his powers make him a heavyweight in the Marvel universe. The guy's fought Thor to a standstill for crying out loud! How awesome would it be to see Sir Ian McKellan, so perfect as Magneto in the X-Movies, hurling Mjolnir right back at Chris Hemsworth's face while he peels apart Robert Downey Jr's armour? Very awesome, that's how awesome! It won't happen, largely 'cos of that whole rights thing with the X-characters, and that's a damn shame!

Count Nefaria

Not only does Count Nefaria have super powers comparable to those of Wonder Man, himself a pretty heavy hitter, but he also runs the Maggia, a major crime syndicate in the Marvel universe. He's also the father of Madame Masque, Iron Man's enemy and ex-girlfriend. Having him in a movie also allows them to bring in any number of bad guys who have worked for the Maggia in the past, including the Taskmaster, a villain with photographic reflexes who can mimic any move he sees, which makes him pretty handy in a fight against someone like Captain America. Nefaria and the Maggia are among the more unlikely villains on this list to appear, but never say never.

Doctor Doom (Victor Von Doom)

Doctor Doom isn't just the Fantastic Four's arch enemy, he's the premier bad guy for the entire Marvel universe. The Avengers have faced him in both their own book, and all their individual solo books. Really, you haven't made it as a hero in Marvel comics until you've faced Doom. Sadly, like the X-Men, the Fantastic Four characters have rights issues which prevent them appearing in Avengers movies, and since he's already been in two FF films, Doom won't be in any Avengers films for a while. However, once Marvel get the FF rights back, expect Doom to be a major player in all of their film franchises.

So, that's the villains down then. Are we done yet?


To be continued...

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Avengers Assemble? part 7

The seventh part of my series looking at which characters will and won't show up in the upcoming Avengers movie. This is it, the final group of superheroes who have been members of the Avengers at one time or another. It's not the final part of the blog though. No, I've still got villains and supporting characters to cover. Well, we've come this far.

Joined: Mighty Avengers #1

A former enemy of the Avengers, the Greek god of War (and half brother to long time Avengers member Hercules), Ares agreed to join the team so that he would be better able to provide a good life for his son. He was also promised many opportunities for hitting things, which suited him just nicely. God of war, remember? He served on Iron Man's Mighty Avengers team, before joining the Dark Avengers (more on them soon), with whom he reluctantly joined in the Siege of Asgard. It was during the Siege event that Ares was killed, when he attempted to battle the Sentry and was ripped in half for his troubles. We won't be seeing Ares in the first Avengers movie, but he could well show up somewhere down the line if Marvel do end up doing anything with Hercules.

Captain America (James Buchanan "Bucky" Barnes)
Joined: New Avengers #48

Formerly Captain America's sidekick during WWII, Bucky was thought dead in the same explosion which sent Cap into suspended animation. For a good forty years, the unwritten rule at Marvel was that "no one is really dead. Except Uncle Ben, Gwen Stacy and Bucky." Then writer Ed Brubaker only went and brought Bucky back, didn't he. It was the kind of move which could easily have been written off as a publicity stunt, if Brubaker hadn't handled it so well. Bucky lost an arm and suffered brain damage as a result of the explosion, but his body was found by the Russians. They gave him a bionic arm, and used his brain damage to enable them to brain wash him into thinking he was their operative, the Winter Soldier. Over the years, the Winter Soldier became a myth, a dangerous assassin the Russians kept in suspended animation, only bringing him out when they needed him to perform a mission. As was bound to happen, one of those missions eventually brought him into conflict with Captain America. Cap was finally able to use the cosmic cube to return Bucky's memories to him, and the Winter Soldier became one of the good guys again. When Cap was then killed at the end of the Civil War, Bucky took up the mantle and the shield as a new Captain America. When Steve inevitably returned from the dead himself, he decided he didn't want to be Captain America any more, leaving Bucky to continue in the role. Both men continue to serve as Avengers. Bucky is going to appear in the Captain America movie, and there's rumours that the Winter Soldier storyline is planned for a future Cap movie. However, it's unlikely we'll ever see him on screen as Captain America, or in an Avengers movie.

Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew)
Joined: New Avengers #48

The original, and best, Spider-Woman, Jessica Drew had retired from superheroics for a good long while. So when Brian Michael Bendis brought her back in New Avengers #1 and put her on the Avengers, fanboys everywhere cheered. Then of course, Bendis revealed that it wasn't Spider-Woman at all, but the Skrull queen, and the real Spider-Woman was in a Skrull prison. Fanboys everywhere jeered. But then, at the end of Secret Invasion, the real Spider-Woman came back! And joined the Avengers! Properly this time! Fanboys everywhere cheered! Again! She probably won't be in the Avengers, but it wouldn't be a surprise if Marvel used her for one of their short film projects.

The Dark Avengers
Active: Dark Avengers #1

At the end of Secret Invasion, the world was saved from the Skrulls by, of all people, Norman Osborne. Yep, the Green Goblin himself. He had been part of the governments Thunderbolts programme, a team of supervillains the government was trying to rehabilitate. Osborne had been running the programme for them, and sent his Thunderbolts into the battle during Secret Invasion, then killed the Skrull Queen himself live on TV. Following this, Osborne was basically made the new Nick Fury by the president, put in charge of SHIELD (which he promprtly disbanded and replaced with his own organisation, HAMMER) and, most shockingly, the Avengers. Osborne lead the new team of Avengers as the Iron Patriot, then added to the team corrupt versions of other Avengers. Venom (Mac Gargan) as Spider-Man, Bullseye as Hawkeye, Moonstone (Karla Sofen) as Ms. Marvel, Daken Akihiro, the twisted son of Wolverine, as Wolverine and Marvel Boy (Noh Varr) as Captain Marvel. Also joining the team were the Sentry (who Osborne promised to help with his insanity, using his own experiences as the Green Goblin to do so) and Ares (see above). While Captain Marvel soon left the team, wanting to become a better man and a genuine hero rather than a dark perversion under Osborne (and is even now appearing in the main Avengers book), the rest of the team stayed on right up until the real Avengers came back during Siege and kicked their arses. As for movie appearances, it'll never happen collectively, though Moonstone was originally an Avengers villain, so we could well see her at some point in the future.

Amadeus Cho
Joined: Mighty Avengers #21

Officially the seventh smartest person on Earth, Amadeus Cho was also Hercules' sidekick for a while, joining the Avengers when Herc rejoined the team, and using his incredible brain power to help the Avengers out on more than one occasion. He's unlikely to appear in any Marvel movies for a while, if ever, which is a shame, because as a character, Cho is a lot of fun.

Stature (Cassie Lang)
Joined: Mighty Avengers #21

The daughter of the second Ant-Man, Scott Lang, Cassie Lang recently followed in her father's footsteps when she joined Hank Pym's team of Mighty Avengers. After the death of her father, Cassie found that long term exposure to Pym Particles (the particles which power many of the size-changing Marvel characters) had granted her the same powers. Cassie had been appearing in comics for years, but only moved into superheroics recently in the pages of Young Avengers, then Avengers: The Initiative, and finally, Mighty Avengers. She won't be in the Avengers movie, but if it does turn out to be Scott Lang featured in the Ant-Man movie, then she's certain to appear there.

Vision (Jonas)
Joined: Mighty Avengers #21

A teenage Vision who was created from the remains of the original Vision and the armour of Iron Lad in the pages of Young Avengers, the second Vision is Stature's boyfriend, and joined the Mighty Avengers alongside her. It's highly doubtful that he'll ever be in an Avengers movie. It would require them bringing in the Vision, killing him off, bringing in Kang the Conqueror, then bringing in Iron Lad, who was a young Kang, and finally merging Iron Lad's armour with the dead Vision. It won't happen.

Jewel (Jessica Jones)
Joined: New Avengers Annual #3

Originally created as a forgotten superhero in Brian Bendis's Alias, Jessica Jones lead the life of a private investigator, before she became involved with Luke Cage, eventually marrying him and having his baby. Moving into Avengers Tower with Cage when he joined the team, Jessica stayed retired from superheroics up until recently, when Norman Osborne was holding Cage prisoner. Jewel returned to action to save her husband, and is now a member of his New Avengers team. Avengers movie? No. But, adapting Alias is something Marvel should seriously consider doing.

Agent 13 (Sharon Carter)
Joined: Secret Avengers #1

Steve Rogers' on again / off again (currently on) girlfriend, and former SHIELD agent, Sharon Carter now serves as the tactical ops gal for Steve's new team of Secret Avengers, a team designed for black ops missions the other Avengers can't handle. Sharon almost certainly won't be in the Avengers movie, but almost certainly will be in the Captain America movie.

Nova (Richard Rider)
Joined: Secret Avengers #1

Another New Warriors graduate, what's surprising about Nova is how long it's actually taken to get him on an Avengers team. He was one of the more experienced New Warriors, and has had his own solo series a few times, remaining one of Marvel's more popular cosmic characters. He's only just joined the team though, so won't be in an Avengers movie. However, if a New Warriors movie ever does happen, Nova's a dead cert, and I also wouldn't be surprised if Marvel try their short film tactic with him too.

Valkyrie (Brunnhilde)
Joined: Secret Avengers #1

An actual Valkyrie who was kicked out of Asgard by Odin, expect her to be in the Thor movie. Not the Avengers movie though. No way, no how.

Ant-Man (Eric O'Grady)
Joined: Secret Avengers #1

The so called "irredeemable" Ant-Man, Eric O'Grady gained his powers by, yep, stealing a costume from Hank Pym. He first appeared in his own solo comic, in which he was revealed to be selfish and egotistical, but a recent stint on the Thunderbolts under Norman Osborne has seen him beginning to want to make something better of himself. Who better to redeem the irredeemable than Steve Rogers? O'Grady won't be in the Avengers, but there are rumours that if Edgar Wright's Ant-Man movie happens, it might be O'Grady in the costume, and not Scott Lang as has been suggested. We'll just have to wait and see.

And that's it! Every (hopefully. I may have missed one or two) superhero in the Marvel universe who has been an Avenger. Will I have called any of this correctly? Or am I wrong on every single count? We have a while to find out, but expect some kind of announcement at San Diego Comic Con this weekend, most likely during the Captain America panel.

In the mean time, I'll be back next week musing on which villains we might see. I won't go through all the Avengers bad guys (boy, have there been a lot), just some key players. But in the mean time, I hope you've enjoyed my run down of Earth's Mightiest Heroes. If not... Well, I hope Thor smites you down with Mjolnir.

To be continued...

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Avengers Assemble? part 6

We're on the home stretch! Only a few more members to go, and we're done. Well, unless I do that blog on Avengers bad guys as well. It's possible. Anyway...

Iron Man (Tony Stark)
Joined: Avengers: Timeslide

I know what you're thining. "But we already covered Iron Man in part one!" Well, yes, we did. But this isn't that Tony Stark. You see, during The Crossing storyline, Marvel decided that Iron Man had been working under the control of Immortus all along, right back since the beginning, and that he should betray the Avengers, kill a number of them, and only be defeated when the Avengers brought an alternate reality teenage version of Tony Stark into their universe who built his own armour and killed off the Iron Man we all know and love. It was a really, really bad idea. Thankfully, it happened right before the Onslaught storyline, which lead straight into Heroes Reborn and returned the real Tony Stark to us fairly quickly. The teenage version hasn't been seen since, apparently "merging" with the real Tony when they crossed back into the regular Marvel universe in Heroes Return, giving us the real Iron Man, though still with the memories of this other Tony, who was only around a few months anyway. There's not a chance in hell we'll ever see this version of Iron Man in a film. That's a good thing.

Joined: Avengers #397

Masque was a bio-duplicate (clone, basically) of Iron Man villain Madame Masque. She rebelled against her creator, and joined the Avengers, only to be kidnapped by another agent of the original Madame Masque two issues later. She then returned briefly a few years later and promptly died fighting Madame Masque's father, Count Nefaria. While it would be surprising if Madame Masque didn't show up in a future Iron Man movie, it would be equally surprising if we ever Masque in an Avengers movie. Oh, and yes, that is a picture of Madame Masque. Couldn't find one of Masque. But they're basically identical, just Masque wore her hair in a pony tail.

Joined: Avengers (vol. 2) #1

Okay, we're starting this part with a bad bunch, but keep with me. We've got some good characters coming up, I promise. So the Avengers were "killed" at the end of the Onslaught storyline. But they weren't. They were instead shunted to Counter-Earth by Franklin Richards, the son of Mister Fantastic and the Invisible Woman, where they proceeded to live their lives again. Unfortunately, the Avengers were forced to live their lives under the direction of one Rob Liefeld, a man who can't draw, but is better at drawing than he is writing. He put together a new team of Avengers, including this just awful version of the Swordsman. He had nothing to do wiht either of the previous Swordsmen who had been members of the Avengers. At all. In fact, his origins weren't even really covered in the issues I read (which, admittedly, wasn't many). Later on, in a series of one shots, it was revealed who this Swordsman really was: Counter Earth's version of Deadpool. Chances of seeing him in an Avengers movie? Absolute zero.

Justice and Firestar (Vance Astrovik and Angelica Jones)
Joined: Avengers (vol. 3) #4

Former members of the New Warriors who later joined the Avengers, Justice and Firestar, despite being a couple, had very different ideas about what being an Avenger meant. For Justice, being invited to joing the Avengers was a dream come true, while Firestar found herself wondering if it was really the place for her, and thinking about going back to the New Warriors. Things took an interesting turn though, when Justice's hero worship of the Avengers began to affect him to the extent that he would freeze up in battle, worried about letting his heroes down. Just as he was thinking that the Avengers was too much for him, and maybe he and Firestar should go back to the Warriors, Firestar's opinion of being an Avenger was also changed, so that she was happier with them than she ever had been with the New Warriors. Justice eventually overcame his fears, and shortly after, he and Firestar took a leave of absence from the team to concentrate on their relationship. Unfortunately, this didn't work out, but while Firestar has yet to return to the ranks of Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Justice has played a key role as an instructor to the Avengers of tomorrow, both with the Initiative, and now with the Avengers Academy. Chances are, Marvel will save these two for a New Warriors movie, but they have crossover potential. Justice has become a popular Avenger in his own right, and Firestar has a large fanbase from her earliest appearances in Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends. Give it time.

Triathlon / 3-D Man (Delroy Garrett Jr.)
Joined: Avengers (vol. 3) #27

Originally introduced as Triathlon, a man who had the "triple power within" unlocked so that he had physical strength, speed and agility three times that of the peak of human proficiency (think three Captain America's), Garrett eventually enrolled in the Initiative programme to become a better superhero. Upon graduating, he was granted the name and costume of the original 3-D Man, granting him one of the stupidest names in Marvel history, but oh well. It's not like he'll be appearing on a cinema screen near you at any point in the future. Again, he's just too damn obscure.

Silverclaw (Lupe Santiago)
Joined: Avengers (vol. 3) #30

The daughter of Peliali, a volcano goddess, Silverclaw has the ability to transform into a variety of jungle animals. One of the least interesting characters in an otherwise stellar run on Avengers from Kurt Busiek, Silverclaw's a very long shot for any screen appearances.

Jack of Hearts (Jonathan Hart)
Joined: Avengers (vol. 3) #43

Jack of Hearts gained his powers from a "zero fluid" invented by his father, combined with alien genes from his mother. As a result of the zero fluid, the entire left half of his body was turned purplish-black in colour. This was hardly the worst thing about it though. His powers were deeply unstable, and poor Jack of Hearts had to spend fourteen hours a day locked up in a "zero room", otherwise his body would overload and he would explode. Which is exactly what happened. Jack of Hearts decided to end his own life to ensure the safety of Cassie Lang, the daughter of his Avengers team mate, Ant-Man. Jack flew Cassie's kidnapper into space, and let himself explode, taking the man with him. Unfortunately for the Avengers, the Scarlet Witch, who had gone just a bit crazy at the time, brought him back as a zombie, and he exploded again on the steps of Avengers Mansion, destroying the building in the process. Jack's an unlikely choice for an Avengers movie, but could be an interesting character to explore somewhere down the line.

Ant-Man (Scott Lang)
Joined: Avengers (vol. 3) #62

The second Ant-Man, Scott Lang was a long time ally of both the Fantastic Four and the Avengers, though it was a while before he became a fully fledged member of Earth's Mightiest Heroes. Sadly, Ant-Man was killed when Jack of Hearts blew up Avengers Mansion during Avengers Disassembled, but that doesn't mean we won't be seeing him on screen. While unlikely for the first Avengers film, the rumours about Edgar Wright's Ant-Man movie just won't go away, and all those rumours seem to indicate that if it does happen, it'll be Scott Lang, not Hank Pym, in the costume.

Captain Britain / Lionheart (Kelsey Leigh)
Joined: Avengers (vol. 3) #80

Granted the powers of Captain Britain by the original Cap, Brian Braddock, while he was trapped in Otherworld, Kelsey Leigh joined the Avengers, fought alongside them against the Invaders, then left the team after Avengers Disassembled. She did show up later in the pages of Excalibur, but you won't see her in a Marvel movie. If Captain Britain does get a film (and he really, really should), it'll be Brian Braddock wearing the Union Jack, not Kelsey Leigh.

Luke Cage
Joined: New Avengers #3

The former Power Man joined the New Avengers under the leadership of Captain America, taking Cap's side in the superhero Civil War which happened soon after. Upon Captain America's death at the end of the Civil War, Cage found himself leading the team. When Steve Rogers returned from the dead and was forming a new team of Avengers, Cage decided he couldn't be on a team that included Iron Man, who he had fought against in the Civil War. Instead, Cage was given Avengers Mansion, and told to recruit whoever he wanted to for his own team of Avengers. Not bad for a man who used to wear a tiara. Cage is unlikely to appear in an Avengers movie, though don't be surprised if Marvel give him a solo film, or partner him with Iron Fist for a Power Man and Iron Fist movie. If that happens, then an Avengers appearance could be on the cards.

Wolverine (Logan / James Howlett)
Joined: New Avengers #7

C'mon, who doesn't love Wolvie? He's awesome. He won't be in an Avengers movie due to the fact that Fox own the movie rights to the X-Men characters, but that doesn't mean it'll never happen. He was referenced (albeit subtly) in The Incredible Hulk movie, so it seems that Marvel are keeping their options open for the day they get the X-Rights back. And it doesn't matter if he's being used in X-Movies. After all, tha man appears in about four different X-Men books, three of his own solo books, two Avengers books and numerous mini series and one-shots every month. By his own admission, his mutant power is multi tasking.

The Sentry (Bob Reynolds)
Joined: New Avengers #10

One of the most fascinating and complex characters in Marvel's rich history, to go into detail about the Sentry would take more space than I've so far taken over all six parts of this Avengers blog. The Golden Guardian of Good has the power of a million eploding suns, suffers from a series of personality disorders, is also his own arch enemy, the Void, likes to throw things into the sun, and is actually one of the first heroes of the modern age in the Marvel universe, though no one can remember him. The fact is, you don't want the Sentry in an Avengers movie. You want him in his own movie, but it would have to be done incredibly well. Sentry is much easier to get wrong than right, as some of todays best writers have found out more than once.

Ronin / Echo (Maya Lopez)
Joined: New Avengers #11

When Captain America needed an Avenger who was familiar with the Hand, the Japanese ninja cult, (and while Wolverine was out of town) he approached Daredevil. DD said no. But he did point Cap towards Echo, a deaf woman who can mimic anything she sees, and when you consider she's fought alongside or against Daredevil, Wolverine, Captain America, Hawkeye, Iron Fist, the Black Widow and Elektra that makes her pretty formidable. Not likely to appear in an Avengers movie, the rumours that Marvel are considering rebooting the Daredevil movie franchise mean you should really watch out for her there.

Doctor Strange (Stephen Strange)
Joined: New Avengers #27

The Master of the Mystic Arts (sorry Doctor Druid, but he is much better than you), Stephen Strange was once a gifted surgeon whose hands were badly damaged in a car accident. Damage to the nerve endings meant he was no longer able to operate as he once had. He travelled to the home of the Ancient One, hoping his hands could be healed through mystical means. Instead, the Ancient One took Strange as his disciple, and trained him to take the mantle of the Sorceror Supreme. Doctor Strange is awesome, if difficult to write by the very nature of his powers. However, Marvel do seem keen to get him on screen. There's already been a straight to DVD animated movie (by all accounts very good), and it's looking increasingly likely he'll be the first of their characters to get the short film treatment as a springboard to a feature. Will this lead to an Avengers appearance? Maybe, but not for a good long time.

Iron Fist (Danny Rand)
Joined: New Avengers #27

Basically, go back and read the Luke Cage entry again, but ignore all the stuff about leading the Avengers and exchange "tiara" for "yellow slippers". By the way, I actually love Iron Fist and realy want to see him on screen kicking people in the head in some fashion. Make it happen Marvel!

To be continued...