Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Avengers Assemble? part 2

So here we go, with the second part of my series of blogs wondering who will and who won't make it into the Avengers movie. Let's get on, shall we?

The Black Knight (Dane Whitman)
Joined: Avengers #71

A descendant of Sir Percy of Scandia, the original Black Knight of Arthurian legend, and the nephew of the villainous Black Knight who fought the Avengers as a member of the Masters of Evil, Dane Whitman helped the Avengers out a number of times before eventually joining their ranks in order to redeem the name of the Black Knight. He's actually one of the more interesting Avengers characters, wielding a cursed sword that corrupts its owner when it spills blood, and has a pretty cool looking costume to boot. Chances we'll see him in the movie? Slim to none.

Black Widow (Natasha Romanoff)
Joined: Avengers #111

Former Soviet spy turned agent of SHIELD, the Black Widow has not only lead the Avengers, but has a tangled romantic past with Hawkeye. And, having debuted in Iron Man 2 in the shapely form of Scarlett Johanssen, she's also confirmed for the Avengers.

Joined: Giant-Sized Avengers #4

To say Mantis has a complex history is putting it mildly. She's one of only a handful of characters who has appearances considered to be "in continuity" spanning over three seperate comics companies, all written by her creator, Steve Englehart. Appearing first in the Avengers, she then appeared in DC's Justice League of America (under a different name, for obvious legal reasons), then showed up in Eclipse Comics Scorpio Rose book, before finally returning to the Marvel Universe. Mantis is a key figure in one of the most popular Avengers stories, The Celestial Madonna saga. She's a key part of Avengers history, and while a full appearance is highly unlikely, don't be surprised if "this one" (as she always refers to herself) shows up for a cameo role or is referenced somewhere in the film.

Beast (Henry "Hank" McCoy)
Joined: Avengers #151

Nope. Won't happen. Despite being tied to the Avengers almost as much as he is to the X-Men, Beast won't appear in the Avengers movie, largely down to a rights issue. The X-Men film franchise, as previously noted, is still owned by Fox, so while vague references aren't out of the question (Wolverine was sort of mentioned in the Incredible Hulk), a full appearance isn't on the cards. And that's a shame, as Kelsey Grammar was one of the things which made the otherwise disappointing X-Men: The Last Stand worth watching, and any excuse to see him back in the role would be fine by me!

Moondragon (Heather Douglas)
Joined: Avengers #151

The daughter of Drax the Destroyer, raised by Mentor on Titan and gaining psychic powers after a battle with the Dragon of the Moon, Moondragon is one of the weirder Avengers characters going. She's also a bitch, with a massive superiority complex who once mentally enslaved Thor to be her lover. Chances of her appearing or even being referenced are firmly zero.

Hellcat (Patsy Walker)
Joined: Avengers #144

Patsy Walker orginally appeared in self-styled teen humour comics (think Archie) published by Marvel's predecessors, Timely and Atlas Comics throughout the forties and fifties. It was with some surprise that Marvel brought the character back in the seventies, and then turned her into a superhero! It was a bold move, but one that paid dividends, as these days, Hellcat is one of Marvel's more popular female heroes. She's a firm favourite of mine, and I'd love to see her on screen. It's not likely to happen, but a cameo isn't entirely out of the question.

The Guardians of the Galaxy (Aleta, Charlie-27, Martinex, Nikki, Starhawk, Major Victory, Yondu)
Joined: Avengers #168

A team of cosmic heroes from the far future, the Guardians of the Galaxy helped the Avengers out during the Korvac saga (one of the best Avengers stories of all time, and something any comic fan should seek out), against the unimaginably powerful Michael Korvac, and were afterwards granted official membership. There's not a chance in hell they'll make the movie though (with the possible exception of Major Victory, but we'll cover that when we reach the entry for Justice later), so let's move on.

Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell)
Joined: Avengers #173

A Kree soldier who became the protector of the universe when he was granted superpowers by the Nega Bands, Captain Marvel is that rarest of characters in comics: a superhero who died, and stayed dead. Even more surprising is what killed him: Cancer. Yes, the cause of the cancer was radioactive fumes inhaled during a battle with the supervillain Nitro, but it doesn't change the fact that Mar-Vell didn't die in battle with some evil despot, but on a sick bed surrounded by his friends. Captain Marvel's an unlikely candidate for any Avengers movie, especially given his membership was technically posthumous. He'd helped the Avengers out a number of times, but wasn't officially recognised as a member until after his death. That said though, it wouldn't at all surprise me if he turned out to be one of the characters Marvel was considering for its short film projects.

The Whizzer (Bob Frank)
Joined: Avengers #173

The Golden Age speedster who fought alongside Captain America in the All Winners Squad during World War II probably won't feature in the Avengers movie, except maybe as a reference to Cap's WWII teams, the previously mentioned Squad and the Invaders. That said, I wouldn't rule him out for a cameo in the upcoming Captain America movie.

Two-Gun Kid (Matt Hawk)
Joined: Avengers #174

A time travelling outlaw from the old west, it's a pretty sure thing that Two-Gun will not appear in the Avengers movie. Part of me is disappointed by this.

Wonder Man (Simon Williams)
Joined: Avengers #182

One of the more powerful Avengers, Wonder Man was powered by ionic radiation by Captain America's enemy, Baron Zemo, in order to infiltrate the Avengers, but ended up turning on Zemo (this seems to happen a lot), and die helping the Avengers instead. His brain patterns were then used by Ultron to create the Vision, before Wonder Man himself came back from the dead. Sure, he's died a couple more times since then and come back (up there with Magneto, Jean Grey and Cable in terms of how many times Marvel have killed him), but Wonder Man remains a popular Avenger. When he first came back from the dead, he was so traumatised that despite his efforts, he remained incredibly afraid all the time, causing him to hesitate in battle more than once. He also embezzled funds from his own company, before admitting to his crime live on the David Letterman show! No, really! Wonder Man would be an interesting character to explore in the Avengers movie universe, and while I'd be surprised to see him as a main character in the first film, a cameo is almost assured.

To be continued...

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