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...

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