Saturday, 17 July 2010

Avengers Assemble? part 4

Being the fourth part of my look at the Avengers team members and their chances of appearing in the upcoming Avengers movie.

Doctor Druid (Anthony Druid)
Joined: Avengers #278

Doctor Druid may simply appear to be a carbon copy of Doctor Strange, but the truth is a little different. The Silver Age of comics is generally thought to have started in nineteen fifty-six with the debut of the Barry Allen version of the Flash in DC's Showcase Comics. Over the next few years, DC introduced a number of other superheroes before banding them together in the Justice League of America. Their closest rivals, Marvel Comics, wanted a slice of the superhero pie for themselves, and so Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created the Fantastic Four, the first Marvel superheroes of the Silver Age. Except, they weren't. The Fantastic Four debuted in November, nineteen sixty-one, five months after a character named Doctor Droom appeaered in the pages of the premier issue of Amazing Adventures, the title which would later become Amazing Fantasy and see the first appearance of Spider-Man. Doctor Droom, also created by Stan and Jack, appeared regularly for the first few issues of Amazing Adventures, fighting bizarre monsters and aliens using powers taught to him by the Ancient One, but he never really took off. Droom was forgotten, and Stan created Doctor Strange with Steve Ditko, using a very similar origin indeed. Strange caught on, and Droom slipped into obscurity. Until he was revived in the pages of The Incredible Hulk in the seventies, now renamed Doctor Druid to avoid any confusion with the infamous Doctor Doom. Druid continued to appear regularly throughout the eighties and early nineties, to little fanfare or acclaim, and was eventually killed off. We won't see him in the Avengers movie, largely due to his similarities with the much more popular Doctor Strange. It's understandable, but a shame for the character who really was Marvel's first silver age superhero.

Marrina (Marrina Smallwood)
Joined: Avengers #286

Originally appearing in Alpha Flight, Marrina was a member of an alien race called the Plodex. She eventually met, fell in love with and married Namor, the Sub-Mariner, who was himself an Avenger at this time. Marrina joined the team as well, then turned into a giant monster and had to be killed by the Black Knight. It was all very strange, and not something you'll be seeing on a cinema screen any time soon.

Moon Knight (Marc Spector)
Joined: West Coast Avengers #33

Moon Knight was basically Marvel's answer to Batman. A dark avenger who also happens to be a rich millionaire with all sorts of wonderful toys and a butler from Europe? All there. His original tenure as an Avenger was brief, to say the least, though thanks to a recent resurgence in popularity, due in no small part to a successful solo comic which played up Spector's instability and the mystical angle of the charater (he gained his abilities when he was resurrected by the Moon God, Khonshu), Moon Knight is once again working with Earth's Mightiest Heroes as one of Steve Rogers' Secret Avengers. He's a good character, with a pretty cool look, but the chances of him showing up in an Avengers movie are slim to none for the forseeable future.

Yellowjacket (Rita DeMara)
Joined: Avengers Annual #17

The second Yellowjacket was originally a villain, who stole one of Hank Pym's costumes (making her one of three Marvel heroes who have gained their powers by stealing a suit off Pym. He should be more careful) and joined the Masters of Evil. Eventually reforming and joining the Avengers, she was killed by Iron Man when he was being controlled by the time travelling Immortus in one of the worst Avengers storylines ever, The Crossing. Chances of her showing up in the Avengers movie? Actually, don't be surprised. She won't appear as Yellowjacket, but there's a slim chance Rita DeMara could well have a cameo as Pym's lab assistant.

Demolition Man (Dennis Dunphy)
Joined: Captain America #349

A homeless superhero? Yep, that's Demolition Man, also known as D-Man. He was invited into the Avengers after working with Captain America, but didn't stick around for long, preferring to use his powers to help the homeless and the destitute of New York. He still aided the Avengers on occasion when asked, but was last seen in the pages of Daredevil, where he'd gone a bit crazy and was stealing cash and jewellery while talking to voices in his head. He's quite an interesting character, but not one we'll be seeing in the movies.

Gilgamesh, the Forgotten One
Joined: Avengers #300

An Eternal who joined the Avengers for a very brief period, Gilgamesh was another character who was killed during the events of the Crossing, although he has since reappeared in the pages of the Eternals. He won't be in the Avengers movie.

Mister Fantastic and the Invisible Woman (Reed Richards and Susan Richards)
Joined: Avengers #300

There was a time when Marvel's power couple had retired from the life of superheroes, leaving the Thing to lead a Fantastic Four line-up which didn't include them. Of course, they didn't stay retired for long, as Captain America soon recruited them into an emergency team of Avengers during the Inferno crisis. They stayed on for a short period, before returning to their true home with the other members of the FF. They wont't appear in the Avengers, for the exact same reasons we went over last time around for the Thing.

USAgent (John Walker)
Joined: West Coast Avengers #44

When the US government grew unhappy with Steve Rogers and forced him to quit being Captain America, they gave the costume and the shield to John Walker, who became the new Cap for a short time. Of course, it wasn't long before Steve Rogers reclaimed the mantle, but Walker got a new costume, shield and name, and became the USAgent. A much gruffer character than Steve Rogers, USAgent isn't afraid to get his hands dirty when he has to, and is more than willing to go against his fellow Avengers if he feels the situation warrants it. He won't be in the first Avengers movie, but it would make sense for him to appear later on in a Captain America sequel. If that happens, expect a move to the Avengers to follow.

Firebird / Espirita (Bonita Juarez)
Joined: Avengers #305

While not the most well known Avenger, Firebird is an interesting charater. She may or may not be immortal, but doesn't know for sure. All she knows is that twice now, she has ingested poisonous materials, and is still alive. This aspect of her character is one that could be very interesting to explore in a movie, though it's not likely to happen. Perhaps in one of Marvel's planned short films though?

Quasar (Wendell Vaughan)
Joined: Avengers Annual #18

The man who took up the mantle of Protector of the Universe after Captain Marvel died, Quasar served as an Avenger for quite a long period of time in the nineties. He was one of the more powerful Avengers of the time, and subsequent adventures took him into the far reaches of space on more than one occasion. An amusing side note, Quasar was at one point one of those heroes who don't wear a mask, but still try to keep a secret identity. How did he do this? He slicked back his hair and wore glasses in his Wendell Vaughan identity. It didn't really work though, as everyone who saw him as both Vaughan and Quasar instantly twigged that they were the same person. Quasar's one of those characters who won't show up in the first movie, but will likely appear somewhere down the line.

Human Torch (Jim Hammond)
Joined: Avengers West Coast #50

No, not the more well known member of the Fantastic Four, but Marvel's very first superhero character, from back in the forties when the company was known as Timely. Jim Hammond was an android whose body would burst into flame on contact with the air. Eventually learning to control this ability, Hammond became the Human Torch, and joined with Captain America and the Sub-Mariner to fight the Nazis in World War II. His tenure as an Avenger was brief, and it's unlikely we'll see him in the Avengers movie, but expect him to be mentioned or referenced, either in the Avengers or Captain America. After all, he was there before anyone else in Marvel Comics, and to ignore that would be a crime.

Joined: Avengers #314

The second Eternal to join the Avengers, Sersi had a tempestuous relationship with the Black Knight, who also had a thing for Crystal (more on her later), who was married to Quicksilver. Who says superhero comics can't do soap opera? Anyway, Sersi eventually left the Avengers with the Black Knight, and their relationship later ended, though she has returned to help the Avengers on occasion. She won't show up in the first Avengers movie, but the chances of her showing up in a future installment? I'd say about fifty-fifty. More likely, she'll appear first in an Eternals movie. Hopefully penned by Neil Gaiman. What? I can dream.

To be continued...

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