Sunday, 18 July 2010

Avengers Assemble? part 5

What's that you say? You want to read the fifth in my series of blogs looking at which Avengers we might see in the upcoming movie? Oh, okay then. Let's start right now, with a character who should need no introduction.

Spider-Man (Peter Parker)
Joined: Avengers #314

Spidey first joined the Avengers during a fight against Nebula and the Stranger, two of the Avengers cosmic foes with the fate of all reality in the balance. However, the massively powerful enemies and universe threatening stakes were too much for Spidey, who at the time felt himself a more street level superhero, and he quit the team immediately after his first mission with them. Subsequently rejoining when Captain America invited him to be one of the New Avengers, Spider-Man has now amassed enough appearances to put him in the top twenty Avengers of all time, and with membership in two current Avengers teams, shows no sign of leaving the group any time soon. He won't be in the movie though. Sony still own the movie rights to Spidey, which means Marvels most popular character is one of the few who can't be a part of their shared universe beyond the odd oblique reference.

Stingray (Walter Newell)
Joined: Avengers #319

Stingray's an interesting character. His powers come from his specially constructed suit, which allows him to breathe underwater, survive in depths which would crush a normal human being and grants him a degree of super strength. But he didn't design it to be any sort of superhero. A marine biologist, Stingray designed his suit simply to aid in his research. Sure, when you have a suit like that and you come across Tiger Shark making mischief, then you would punch him on the nose, but despite fighting a number of aquatic based bad guys, and joining the Avengers, even giving them his artificial island to use as a base of operations at one point, Stingray still doesn't think of himself as a superhero. It's this aspect of the character that would make him a good choice to explore in a movie. If it ever does happen though, it's a long way off. He's just too obscure at the moment. If Namor ever gets a solo movie, Stingray may show up in that before crossing over into the Avengers, but that's a big if.

Rage (Elvin Halliday)
Joined: Avengers #329

The fun thing about Rage isn't that he was mutated by radioactive materials to become super strong, but that he was also a child at the time. The mutation aged his body, but inside, at the time of joining the Avengers, he was only thirteen. When Captain America found out Rage's real age, he reluctantly had to ask him to leave the Avengers, who, not wanting to put children in danger, had a strict rule about only letting adults join the team. Rage joined the New Warriors, a group of superpowered youths, instead, though he has still returned to help the Avengers out on occasion, and has been promised that he can rejoin the team full time when he's old enough. He won't be in the Avengers movie, but don't be surprised if Marvel make moves to get a New Warriors movie out, and for Rage to be a major player in that.

Sandman (William Baker)
Joined: Avengers #329

Yep, not only did this classic Spider-Man villain reform, he actually became an Avenger for a short time. Sandman's reforming and becoming a good guy was a very popular move for Marvel, and his portrayal within the comics as a guy who was actually a good person who had made some bad choices was a very rounded one. So it's a shame that he's a villain again now, thanks to John Byrne's legendarily awful run on the Spider-Man comics in the late nineties, during which the Wizard used a device to change his brain and make him bad again. It sucked, and while later writers have made the most of it and told some good stories with Sandman as a bad guy, and even possibly hinted that he could reform again, it's still not the same. Having appeared in Spider-Man 3, pkayed by a very sympathetic Thomas Haden Church, and been the second best thing in it (J.K. Simmons as Jonah was the best thing), we won't be seeing Sandman in an Avengers movie any time soon. If at all.

Spider-Woman / Arachne (Julia Carpenter)
Joined: Avengers West Coast #74

The second Spider-Woman (there have been loads!), Julia Carpenter first appeared in the Secret Wars mini series, and then went on to join the Avengers and Force Works, and even appeared in the nineties Iron Man cartoon. Having her appear in an Avengers movie could prove complicated though. It's unclear how Marvel want to deal with the various Spider-Women on the screen at the moment, but if one of them was going to appear, it would be almost certainly be the original Spider-Woman, Jessica Drew, rather than Arachne.

Living Lightning (Miguel Santos)
Joined: Avengers West Coast #74

Living Lightning wears massive shoulder pads. And that is why he won't be in the Avengers movie.

Crystal (Crystalia Amaquelin)
Joined: Avengers #343

A member of the Inhuman royal family with power over the elements, Crystal originally appeared in early issues of Fantastic Four as the Human Torch's girlfriend, later joining the FF for a time. When they eventually broke up, she met and fell in love with Quicksilver, marrying him and having a daughter, Luna, with him. She also had a very brief romance with the Black Knight when she and Quicksilver were having some marital problems, though this ended when she and Pietro reconciled, though they are now divorced. Crystal won't be in the Avengers movie. It's far more likely that Marvel will want to use her and her fellow Inhumans in their own film, or a future Fantastic Four movie. Once these have happened, then Crystal could be a character who crosses over to the Avengers, but not for a while.

Thor / Thunderstrike (Eric Masterson)
Joined: Avengers #343

Eric Masterson started out as the human alter ego for Thor, in much the same way as Donald Blake had once been, but things soon changed when Masterson actually became Thor himself. He joined the Avengers at this time, before finally being seperated from Thor. However, so impressed with Masterson was Odin, that he granted him his own enchanted mace, named Thunderstrike, which would grant him powers on a par with that of the Norse Gods. Using the Thunderstrike name for himself, Masterson continued to serve with the Avengers until he died as a result of the Bloodaxe curse. Thunderstrike won't be in the first Avengers movie, but is a likely candidate to show up in a future Thor film.

Machine Man (X-51, Aaron Stack)
Joined: Avengers West Coast #83

Originally created by Jack Kirby to be a robot superheror, Machine Man recently had a bit of an overhaul in the comics, thanks to writer Warren Ellis. These days he's a beligerent drunk whose robot brain runs on beer and who refers to humans as "fleshy ones". If he did appear in the Avengers movie, you have to hope it would be this version. It would be hilarious, especially under Joss Whedon. The chances of it happening though? Not great, but better than you might think. Whedon and Ellis are friends, so there's the possibility Whedon gives us a Machine Man reference as a favour to Ellis.

Swordsman (Philip Jarvert)
Joined: Avengers #357

A Swordsman from an alternate reality, he won't be appearing in an Avengers movie, except maybe as an alter ego for the original Swordsman.

Darkhawk (Chris Powell)
Joined: Avengers West Coast #94

Able to transfer his mind into a powerful android body, Darkhawk is more closely associated with the New Warriors than the Avengers, so is unlikely to appear in an Avengers movie. Actually, what Marvel should do with Darkhawk is make a movie of The Loners, a comic featuring a group of former teenaged superheroes who are trying to stop being superheroes. It's like a superpowered version of alcohoics anonymous, and is an excellent idea for a film. Please Marvel?

Joined: Avengers #363

The lover of the Philip Jarvert version of the Swordsman, Magdalene basically went wherever he went. If he shows up in the Avengers (which he won't), then so will she. If he doesn't (and he won't), then neither will she.

Joined: Avengers #364

No. Just... no.

To be continued...

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