While Fox is busy getting ready to push out those highly anticipated Gambit and Multiple Man films, we’ve had out minds busied by thought of the potential Disney purchase of 21st Century Fox and the eventual return of the rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four and associated characters. Obviously we’re excited about the potential to see characters such as Dr. Doom, Galactus (and ALL his heralds), Annihilus, Kang and more take on the MCU, but while many fans have been quick to focus on those characters and the potential for an Avengers vs. X-Men film, we came up with a handful of characters that have either never made the big screen or weren’t used to their potential.
A man who can manipulate the building blocks of reality in such a way that he can reshape it, Owen Reece would open the door to some mind-bending, inter-dimensional stories including, but not limited to, the introduction of the Beyonder.
Owen Reece’s story is the stuff of classic Marvel comics: an ordinary man given powers in a science accident gone wrong. Over the years, his character has ascended from an occasional foe of the Fantastic Four and Avengers to a multiversal composite entity whose existence within any given universe is essential to continued survival of that universe (thank you, Jonathan Hickman!). A character whose power is so great would certainly be too much for any of the individual heroes or their teams, so it happens that Reece, while criminal, often finds himself compelled to do good and help save the day and who really paints a fantastic picture of humanity: he’s only limited by his perceptions of himself. While I’m not certain that even Stan Lee imagined such great things for Reece when he created him, I’m sure he’d be thrilled to see his guy make his way to the screen after being ignored by Fox.
Gladiator and the Shi’ar
For reasons we aren’t able to quite understand, it seems that Fox is doing their adaptation of the Dark Phoenix story line without the Shi’ar. While we originally heard they would be a part of the film, it now seems as though the Skrulls are going to be the alien race and that much of the film will actually take place on Earth, leaving the Shi’ar, one of the major alien races in the comics, on the sidelines.
The ability to use the Shi’ar would provide Marvel Studios with some incredibly interesting potential stories as they expand their Cosmic universe. The alien empire has several interesting and impressive characters, perhaps none moreso than Kallark, aka Gladiator. Created by legendary writer Chris Claremont, Kallark is a Superman analog who initially served in the Shi’ar Imperial Guard before becoming the Majestor for a short time. He’s served alongside other Cosmic heroes as a member of the Annihilators and his strong personality would make for an imposing on screen presence as either an ally or foe.
There’s hardly any downside for Marvel Studios, who already have a well-established Cosmic presence, to get their hand on the Shi’ar and give general audiences there first look at the avianesque aliens and their crew.
“Whosoever touches this gem shall possess the power of the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak. Henceforth, you who read these words shall become forevermore a human juggernaut.”
Among the characters on this list, this is the first one that has been done dirty and deserves new life in the hands of a creative team that understands how the character can truly be used. As it stand, the Juggernaut has only seen the big screen as a one-note dumbass played by Vinnie Jones and then turned into a (hilarious) parody. “I’m the Juggernaut, bitch,” is all modern audiences might know about the character. Given a second chance at life under the guidance of Kevin Feige, the Juggernaut could be much more than that.
Cain Marko is the step-brother of Charles Xavier and was first introduced in an X-Men comic, but he would make for a compelling secondary antagonist in a Doctor Strange film given the mystical nature of his powers. After a rough childhood, Marko found himself under fire in the Korean War and deserted his post. On the run, he stumbled across the Temple of Cyttorak. Cyttorak was a demon-god and a member of the Octessence, a group of ancient, extra-dimensional beings who once placed artifacts imbued with a fraction of their mystical power at various locations on Earth. Cyttorak chose to place his power in the Crimson Crystal of Cyttorak, which Marko found in the temple. Upon touching it, Marko was transformed into the Juggernaut, an avatar of Cyttorak’s power and an unstoppable force who played roles in many X-Men stories but also appeared in a number of non-X-books as well.
One such story that could be reworked to make for a fascinating Doctor Strange film is The Eighth Day. In it, the members of the Octessence used their power over those who had found their avatars to force them to build the God Machine. With it, they would drain the free will from all of humanity, ruling over them forever. We know that at least two of the Octessence are already a part of the MCU thanks to the Vaulting Boots of Valtoor and the Wand of Watoomb appearing in Doctor Strange. If the Sorcerer Supreme were to have a third solo film (I mean I think we all assume he’s at least getting a second), this could make for one hell of a story.
To be 100% clear, I’m not entirely sure that Mephisto belong to Fox, but part of me thinks he must have somehow been tied up in the rights with the Silver Surfer and the Fantastic Four and NOT with the rights of Ghost Rider. In the comics he’s been everywhere and been a part of everything.
An immortal demon who has learned to manipulate energies as a master of magic and has made his way through time bargaining for the souls of mortals. While his most famous roles have been played while bedeviling Johnny Blaze (count me as those who would still love to see a new version of the Rider on the big screen), Peter Parker and even the Mad Titan Thanos, he’s also hung out with Everett Ross in his underpants. So while it’s easy to think that he might appear in a Doctor Strange film, he is immortal and could legitimately appear anywhere and anywhen. With Marvel Studios potentially straying away from the large-scale features such as Avengers: Infinity War, Mephisto could still be the type of character who pops in from time to time before hatching a plan in a film more similar in scale to Captain America: Civil War. At any rate, maybe it’s time for Marvel Studios to give the devil his due.
An Eldritch abomination from before time itself, Shuma-Gorath, the Unclosing Eye, ruled over the Earth, among many other places and dimensions, over one million years ago. His very presence is enough to destroy entire galaxies and he may well be one of the most powerful foes ever to face the Marvel Universe. An enemy of the Vishanti and just about every sorcerer since then, Shuma-Gorath provides Marvel Studios with an opportunity to make truly terrifying monster movie unlike anything they’ve made.
Like Mephisto, the film rights to Shuma-Gorath aren’t something about which we are entirely certain (though we did reach out to a Marvel Studios representative who told us he could not comment on the matter), but we’ve seen at least some internet chatter to suggest they have been at Fox. Debuting in Marvel Premiere #5, Shuma-Gorath is in the category of those characters who don’t seem to have any real rhyme or reason behind why the rights are where they are. While it’s sometimes very easy (Molecule Man first appeared in a Fantastic Four comic and he belongs to Fox), it’s also hardly ever that easy (Black Panther first appeared in a Fantastic Four comic and he belongs to Marvel Studios). So his rights aren’t very clear, but we can say we’d love to see this giant, floating eyeball push his way into the MCU.
What other characters not discussed here would you all like to see on screen if/when Marvel Studios gets their hands on the live-action rights to the Fantastic Four and X-Men? Let us know in the comments.