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...

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