The age of the superhero is definitely upon us, and the king of exploiting this is Marvel. With an ever growing multiverse that is almost expanding daily, Marvel has managed to do what no other movie studio has ever done before and that's create an intricate web of movies and TV shows that cleverly interconnect with each other and lead from one into the next, all the while managing to be great stand alone stories in their own right.
With the Marvel multiverse in full swing, at its center is the Avengers themselves. The world's mightiest heroes are here to save us all. With so many comic books in Marvel's back catalogue, the list of heroes they could introduce in future projects is almost endless. With many factions of The Avengers such as The West Coast Avengers, The Secret Avengers and The New Avengers, there are so many directions they can go in and so many characters Marvel can use for future stages.
With this list we look at 15 powerful heroes that have been associated with The Avengers and would also be very welcome in future movies.
Within The Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D. there are a few characters that are often playing for different teams and their goals are never really known. Black Widow springs to our minds. However, there are also those characters that not only pit hero against hero, but also good and evil against each other. None do this more than Swordsman.
Born in the country of Sin, Cong, Swordsman was drawn in by the locals and their oppression against the French rule. Seeing himself as a cross between Zorro and The Scarlet Pimpernel, Swordsman fought for his people's freedom. Once that was over, Swordsman left for America. As an expert in hand to hand combat and with a sword, Swordsman ran into a young Clint Barton and taught him everything he know. However, when Swordsman was caught stealing from the carnival they were both in, Barton tried to stop him. But Swordsman beat him half to death and fled. This started the uncertain and sometimes dangerous association between Swordsman and The Avengers.
Having been in and out of The Avengers more times than we can count, Swordsman often joins the likes of the Emissaries of Evil. However, deep down Swordsman is a hero and always tries to do the right thing. We can't fault him too much for having the odd slip up! He always comes back to the side of good in the end and seeks redemption with The Avengers.
14 Black Knight
There have been many incarnations of the warrior known as The Black Knight, both on the side of good and the side of evil. The first was Percy of Scandia, a 6th century knight who served King Arthur and became his fiercest warrior. Percy wielded the Ebony Blade, which was forged by Merlin out of a meteorite. The Ebony Blade would be passed down through the ages and become the trademark of the Black Knight.
Out of all the incarnations of the Black Knight, the most honorable and famous is Dane Whitman. Being a direct descendant of Percy, Whitman was also the son of another incarnation of the Black Knight, only that one was a villain. Wanting to restore honor to the Black Knight name, Whitman used his skills for good and joined The Avengers as well as The Defenders.
As well as wielding the magic Ebony Blade, Whitman is a master in hand to hand combat and fighting tactics, even more so than the likes of Captain America and Wolverine. Whitman also had a run in with another magical foe which increased his strength and agility levels to above human level.
Angelica Jones is a mutant with the power to generate and control microwave radiation. She may not be as well known as many other mutants in the Marvel universe, but her powers make her one of the strongest. Being able to manipulate radiation gives her the power to focus that radiation in blasts, causing her targets to explode, melt or catch fire. She can also use things to give her strength on par with the likes of fellow mutant Colossus, and she can also fly at great speed.
After discovering that she was a mutant, her father sent her off to the Massachusetts Academy, where she met Hellfire Club's Emma Frost. Frost took the young Firestar under her wing and taught her how to use her powers. However, after a mission to attack the X-Men, Firestar faced off against Frost which resulted in the complete destruction of the Academy. Turning her back on Frost, Firestar went back home to her father. Having control of her powers made Firestar one of the most deadly mutants around. But using her abilities for good, Firestar joined The Avengers to fight against Ultron and Kang the Conqueror, becoming an invaluable member, not just with The Avengers but also with The X-Men and The New Warriors.
Wendell Vaughn graduated from the S.H.I.E.L.D. academy as one of the top and most promising recruits. Unfortunately he was considered to have a lack of "killer instinct" as he wouldn't cross the line and do whatever it took to win, and he was given security detail. On one such mission, Vaughn was sent to a facility in which they were testing the powerful Quantum bands. When they were attacked by A.I.M., Vaughn put on the bands to fight them off. Finding it easy to control the power, Vaughn was able to manipulate energy, construct solid light constructs and gained enhanced strength and flight; all of this with the Quantum bands that use the power of will to control them.
We know what you are all thinking; yes, the similarities between Quasar and the Green Lantern are very close, and you'd be right to think that. Quasar even becomes the protector of the universe when he travel to Uranus.
On his return to Earth, Quasar teams up with The Avengers to battle the likes of Super-Nova and Thanos. Shortly after he was inducted as a full member of The Avengers team.
11 Captain Britain
Often when you have a very popular comic book character, it can spawn different versions within the same universe. This is the case with Captain Britain. As you may expect, Captain Britain started out as a European version of Captain America. Born Brain Braddock and growing up in Essex, England, Braddock would soon come into contact with the legendary magician Merlyn and his daughter Roma. The would grant him the power and skill to protect the people of his native Britain and up hold the laws. Captain Britain's abilities are very similar to Captain America's: Increased strength, speed, agility and reflexes. However, because his power comes from magic, Captain Britain can also project force fields, shoot energy beams and fly.
Having been associated with many superhero teams, including MI-13, Excalibur and the Captain Britain Corps, Captain Britain was also offered an official spot on The Avengers. He accepted and would later go on to be in The Secret Avengers.
As with a few entries on our list, Mantis will soon be making her big screen debut in the up and coming Guardians of the Galaxy 2. Until then, this hero remains long overdue for some screen time.
Left as a child by her father in a Kree temple, known as The Priests of Pama, Mantis was raised believing that she was the Celestial Madonna and would bring forth the messiah. As an adult however, Mantis had her mind wiped and then pushed out into the world in order to gain life experience. Soon after this, she became a prostitute and first met the troubled Swordsman, who she would later fall in love with. After Swordsman left The Avengers, he went back to earn his place and took Mantis with him. With The Avengers, Mantis battled the likes of Thanos, Star-Stalker and Ultron. She would also go on to be a key member of The West Coast Avengers.
Mantis is a martial arts expert and possesses the powers of empathy, astral projection, accelerated healing and she can even communicate telepathically. This makes her a very valuable assist to both The Avengers and The Guardians of the Galaxy.
9 Moon Knight
Moon Knight actually first appeared in Marvel comic books as a villain, but the character proved so popular with fans that they decided to bring him back as a hero. As a wayward son of a Rabbi, Mark Spector's only outlet as a young man was to fight. Learning his trade as a boxer, Spector would later go on to join the Marines. However, on a trip to Egypt Spector came across the tomb of the moon god Khonshu, but looters ambushed Spector and left him for dead. As he lay there, the spirit of Khonshu came to him and not only offered him new life but special powers. Spector gladly accepted and used his new powers for good as the crime fighter Moon Knight.
As well as his heightened fighting skills, Moon Knight is also a master detective and he also possesses increased strength, durability, speed and agility. But he can only access these during the lunar cycle and his powers depend on how much power he can draw from the moon. Moon Knight has been involved with The Avengers and The Secret Avengers for some time. He was also an important part of the Avengers vs. X-Men story arc.
Dipping into the ancient realms of mythology is nothing new for the comic book world, or indeed Marvel. After all, without this we wouldn't have the much loved Thor and Asgard. This time it's Hercules that gets the Marvel makeover, being first introduced in a Thor story arc that saw the two giants of mythology pitted against each other, which Thor won. However, this was later revealed to be an alien imposter and not the real Hercules. When the real Hercules showed up, he teamed with Thor and aided him when he needed it. Later Hercules would join The Avengers and The Defenders.
Being a demigod, Hercules has extraordinary strength, agility, speed and invulnerability. He is also an expert in hand to hand fighting and can use any weapon as a master; including a mythical mace which was forged by the god Hephaestus and is on par with Thor's Mjolnir.
As the last member of the planet Xandar's Nova Corps starts to die, he selects high school student Richard Rider to continue the legacy of the Nova Corps. Being given the Nova Corps uniform and all the powers that come with it, Rider chooses the name Nova and gets to work as a superhero along side the likes of Spider-Man and Thor.
With his uniform, Nova has all the powers of the Nova Corps at his disposal. These include flight, superhuman strength, speed and durability. As well as this, Nova also has access to the Nova force which gives him energy forces and absorption, plus the control over wormholes. During the Secret Invasion story arc, Nova is asked by Captain America to join The Avengers to fight the Skrull and later he would join The Secret Avengers as well as help the Guardians of the Galaxy from time to time.
6 Wonder Man
After his father died, Simon Williams inherited his father's munitions factory. Unfortunately it was in direct competition with Tony Stark's company and it soon went broke. In steps Baron Zemo and he offers a deal to Williams; to take down Stark, who Williams blames for his failures, in exchange for Zemo giving Williams super powers. Williams agrees and Zemo gives him the serum. The ion powered serum enhances Williams with superhuman strength, speed and agility on a level with Thor. Williams also has enhanced hearing and sight and also has an extended life span. Impressed with his work, Zemo names Williams Wonder Man.
Once Wonder Man is ready, he joins The Avengers and gains their trust in order to trap them. When this is done, Zemo sets out to destroy them. However, Wonder Man has a change of heart and yearns to be the hero, so he saves The Avengers. Later Wonder Man would become a full member of The Avengers and he even helped form The West Coast Avengers.
5 Iron Fist
Since the success of Daredevil and Jessica Jones, Marvel and Netflix are bringing their next TV show, Iron Fist, to our screens soon.
While Daniel and his parents were on a trip to the lost city of K'un-L'un, his parents were killed and Daniel was left to be raised by the inhabitants and was taken under the wing of leader Lei Kung. Learning the ways of martial arts and how to harness the power of chi, Daniel was soon Lei Kung's most gifted student. With the power of chi, Daniel can unlock the Iron Fist and enhance his physical and mental abilities as well as gain advanced healing powers and psychic powers.
Adopting the name Iron Fist, he soon became a hero and teamed up with other heroes; in particular his close partnership with Luke Cage. Iron Fist, and in fact Luke Cage, would go on to not only be part of The Avengers but also The New Avengers as well as the Defenders.
4 Doctor Strange
The next two entries on our list are set to make their big screen debuts in the coming years. First up is Doctor Strange.
Stephen Strange was once a talented surgeon, however he was also arrogant and selfish. Only being interested in money and status, this soon got snatched away from him as a car accident crushed the bones in his hand. Losing his job, Strange went in search of a cure. Eventually Strange finds The Chosen One, Earth's sorcerer supreme. At first The Chosen one refuses to help Strange as he's deemed too selfish. This is soon rectified as Strange saves The Chosen One's life and proves himself worthy of a being hero. Soon Doctor Strange learns the mystic ways and becomes Earth's sorcerer supreme when The Chosen One dies.
With all this magic at his finger tips, Doctor Strange is one of the strongest and powerful mortals to wield magical powers. Putting this to good use, he has been part of The Avengers as well as The New Avengers and The Defenders.
3 She Hulk
Jennifer Walters, cousin to Bruce Banner, is a timid and shy defense lawyer. She crossed paths with a crime boss, who killed her father, and she ended up being badly wounded and in need of a blood transfusion. Being a perfect match, Banner offered himself up. However, due to his radioactive blood, the transfusion reacted with her body and turned her into the She Hulk. Although not as powerful or as strong as her cousin, she still has all the same powers he does such as extraordinary strength, speed, durability and invulnerability.
There are other subtle differences between She Hulk and the Hulk as well. Unlike The Hulk, She Hulk is able to keep a lot of her intellect and emotions while in her transformed state meaning that she has a better control over her condition. So much so that Walters actually prefers being the strong and confident She Hulk. So she decided to make the transition permanent and never change back. Being a key member of The Avengers on several occasions, She Hulk was also recruited as part of The Fantastic Four.
2 Ms. Marvel
The next entry, and the next big character to get their own movie is Ms. Marvel.
Carol Danvers was an expert pilot for the US Air force and chief of security at the military's secret base, which is where she met Walter Lawson. Unaware, Lawson was in fact an alien in disguise. Being a Kree known as Captain Mar-Vell, he and Danvers grew close. After an explosion from a Kree devise, Lawson reveals his true self and Danvers is caught in the explosion, putting her in a coma. When she awakes, she has developed superhuman abilities such as strength, flight, durability, energy projection and absorption as well as a perfect Human/Kree balance that makes her immune to most toxins.
Renaming herself Ms. Marvel, later Captain Marvel in honor of her friend, Ms. Marvel was ready to jump into the hero game. Since joining The Avengers officially, many say that she is the strongest of all The Avengers. It's been quoted that she's as tough as The Hulk and as strong as Thor. As well as The Avengers, she has also helped out The X-Men and The Guardians of the Galaxy.
Number one on our list is one of the most powerful characters in the Marvel universe. There have been several incarnations of Hyperion, most of them being evil villains with the expressed desire to rule the world. Or at least destroy as much of it as possible.
However, one version of the character was actually a hero and joined The Avengers in the fight against all the bad things in the universe. As with most versions of Hyperion, the back story, powers and sometimes even look of the character, mirror that of Superman.
This version is no different. Coming to Earth as a boy, Hyperion was the last of his kind and was the only one saved from his dying planet. Once he had grown up, Hyperion was noticed and captured by A.I.M. and it was The Avengers that saved him. After The Avengers, Hyperion joined The Squadron Supreme. This version of the Squadron are a lot more dangerous than other versions as they will do what ever it takes to protect the Earth and humanity. This outlook has put them at odds with The Avengers on many occasions.