Kevin Feige has famously said that Marvel Studios already has plans through 2028. With the roster of heroes Marvel still has left, we can believe it. This is Part 2 of a five part series. Part 1 is the Marvel Retro Realm. Part 3 is the Marvel Cosmic Realm. Part 4 is the Marvel Espionage Realm. Part 5 is the potential of the Inhumans in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Though Marvel has a full universe, it’s generally segmented into specific realms; high science, street crime, magical horror, and more. Even now, Marvel Studios is paving the way for multiple realms within the MCU. James Gunn has said that GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY will lead to a distinct Marvel Cosmic realm, unattached to the Avengers. Marvel’s Netflix series, beginning with DAREDEVIL, Marvel’s building a street-level realm, focused on crime, drugs, and vigilante violence.
We’ll get our first true glimpse of the supernatural in DOCTOR STRANGE. Stephen Strange is the Sorcerer Supreme, protecting Earth from all sorts of supernatural monsters and demons. Though Strange is one of the most powerful humans in the Marvel Universe, there are other heroes battling the forces of darkness alongside him. It’s very possible that we might see DOCTOR STRANGE introduce a whole new Marvel Horror Realm.
What might that look like?
Blade is perhaps one of the most famous Marvel heroes not yet featured in the MCU, mostly thanks to the Wesley Snipes film series. Blade specializes in hunting vampires, which is appropriate, since he’s half-vampire himself. Born as Eric Brooks in a 1920s London brothel, his mother was assaulted and killed by a vampire during childbirth. This passed along vampiric enzymes, giving the young Eric certain vampire’s attributes. He is immune to a vampire’s bite and ages very slowly, but he doesn’t crave blood and isn’t burned by the touch of sunlight. At the age of nine, Eric begins training with Jamal Afari, a vampire hunter and jazz musician. Because of his proficiency with knives, he quickly earns the nickname of Blade.
Though we love the previous film series, it took some liberties with Blade’s origin that a Marvel Studios film can correct. Our BLADE would be a full-fledged origin story, with the first act following Blade through the 1900s as he hunted down vampires and honed his abilities. However, when Afari is killed at the hands of the legendary Dracula, Blade swears vengeance. Allying with Quincy Harper and Rachel van Helsing, Blade ventures into Dracula’s very tomb to finally put a stake in the creature’s heart.
Blade originally debuted in the long-running ‘70s horror comic, TOMB OF DRACULA. We can think of no better title for Marvel Studios’ BLADE reboot.
Blade is not the only horror hero who debuted outside of Marvel Studios. While Blade’s reputation is intact, our next hero could really use Marvel Studios’ magic touch…
Ghost Rider is one of Marvel’s most popular heroes of any genre. There was a period where he was as ubiquitous as Spider-Man. Ghost Rider is the name used by a few superheroes, all chain-wielding monsters with leather jackets and flaming skulls. Ghost Rider is more of a demon than a superhero, a creature that comes out in the presence of evil to punish the wicked. The most famous Ghost Rider is Johnny Blaze, star of the reviled Nicolas Cage GHOST RIDER films. Because those two films have tainted the character in the public eye, we think it’s possible for Marvel to distinguish itself by focusing on the third Ghost Rider, Danny Ketch.
Danny is a young boy from Brooklyn whose sister was shot by gangsters. Danny ran and hid in a junkyard, discovering a motorcycle with an enchanted sigil on it. Touching it, Danny transforms into Ghost Rider, attacking the gangsters but unable to save his sister. An MCU GHOST RIDER should take a similar approach as ANT-MAN: make it a story about passing the mantle. Johnny Blaze, sensing the new Ghost Rider, arrives and tries to free Danny from his curse. But Danny only sees the strength and power from his new demonic abilities. It would be a real philosophical loggerheads between the two, and a much different dynamic than most of Marvel’s superhero films.
In our version, we’d also tie GHOST RIDER distinctly to the THOR series. The Ghost Riders hunt down demons escaped from Hell, or Niflheim, the Realm of the Dead. The Ghost Riders are a cosmic force, needed to preserve the borders between the Realms. They are as much Midgard’s defenders as Thor, but they’re dangerous and used for nefarious purposes by the demon Mephisto. While THOR is cosmic mythos and DOCTOR STRANGE is psychedelic mysticism, GHOST RIDER should show the fearsome, mean, demonic side of the MCU.
GHOST RIDER would be the perfect bridge to introducing Marvel’s most eclectic mix of cursed creatures yet…
While DOCTOR STRANGE, BLADE and GHOST RIDER are all about the monster hunters, The Legion of Monsters is distinctly told from the monsters’ point of view. The team is basically exactly how it sounds: a collection of Marvel’s monstrous heroes fighting creatures more heinous than themselves. The team mostly consists of members homaging Universal’s classic monsters, though each character has grown into their own distinct identity. Our Legion would pull from a few distinct sources, including the 1976 LEGION OF MONSTERS, the 2010 LEGION, and NICK FURY’S HOWLING COMMANDOS, a supernatural team from the mid-2000s.
Much like GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, our LEGION OF MONSTERS film would unite a misfit team of outsiders to take on monsters and demons greater than themselves. The leader would be Jack Russell, a young drifter who transforms into a werewolf by night. Jack is abducted early on by Hydra, perhaps as part of the same program that will create Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch in AGE OF ULTRON. Thrown into a prison for freaks, with nothing but experimentation in his future, Jack organizes a prison break with people including…
- Topaz, an Indian girl feared as a witch her whole life;
- Man-Thing, a mute human/tree hybrid who may be dimwitted or a total genius;
- Satana, a young woman claiming to be the daughter of Satan himself;
- N’Kantu the Living Mummy, the chief of an ancient African tribe trapped in a state between life and death;
- Michael Morbius, a scientist who creates a scientifically-based strain of vampirism, but tragically tranforming into a vampire himself.
The Legion would not be a team fighting monsters, but fighting monster hunters. The team discovers that Hydra has access to the Darkhold, an ancient grimoire believed to create the first vampire. Among the obscure arcane spells filling the Darkhold, Hydra has apparently discovered one that could see every Monster on the planet fall under their control. The Legion of Monsters travels the world, hunting down clues to the Darkhold before an explosive climax in Monster Metropolis, a sprawling underground city located below Manhattan.
Upon recovering the Darkhold, the team passes it to Doctor Strange, believing he’s the one least likely to use it. Though the Legion vanishes into the wind, a post-credits scene reveals that the Darkhold is coveted by a mysterious woman far deadlier than Hydra…
In the past, Marvel has intimated that Doctor Strange could be their new Tony Stark, someone to lead the universe into brave new corners. The Midnight Sons could very well be Strange’s Avengers. Working from the shadows, Doctor Strange assembles a team of monster hunters to fight Lilith, an ancient goddess called the Mother of All Demons (pictured above in the thigh-high boots and fishnets). She’s the direct mother of the Lilin, shapeshifting demons primarily hunted by the Ghost Riders. Sealed away at the bottom of the ocean thousands of years before, Lilith is finally freed and swears vengeance for the deaths of her children.
Our MIDNIGHT SONS film starts there. Lilith, through ancient magics unknown even to Doctor Strange, breaks into his sanctuary and steals the Darkhold, planning on using it to transform all humans into the Lilin. Doctor Strange, needing an expert on both vampires and the Lilin, recruits Blade & Ghost Rider. He might be able to sway Topaz and Satana, but most of the Legion of Monster would sit this one out fixbodygroup.com. Forming the Midnight Sons, Strange leads a strike-team to destroy the Darkhold and fight the most fearsome god to ever walk the Earth.
I’m not sure that all of these characters will make it into the MCU. However, I am fairly sure that DOCTOR STRANGE will open the doors to a darker, more mystic MCU. Doctor Strange won’t just be another Avenger to fill out the ranks. He’ll be Marvel’s gateway to a world where the heroes look like nightmares.
What do you think? Which of these spooky Marvel monsters do you want to see first? Sound off in this Reddit thread or the comments below.