The Marvel Cinematic Universe has quickly become one of the biggest grossing, most popular cinema franchises of all time, with the expanded universe growing larger and larger by the month. It all started with Iron Man, way before the Mouse House of Disney bought the superhero super-platform and turned it into what it is today. 14 films have so far been produced as part of the ongoing universe, with many more planned from a multitude of avenues, characters and even multimedia channels. I for one get excited as soon as Marvel announces a new batch of films, and even though some people complain about the scale of the project ‘ruining the cinema experience’, the in-jokes, sideways nods and crossover references are all so exciting if you’re a fan of the Marvel franchise.
Marvel is no longer just about comic books. That medium is the staple for the company, and the creative licence allowed through books allows more of a niche experience, meaning that the creators can allow for more interesting, unusual and even divisive characters because comic books aren’t forced on the social consciousness, unlike films, which are marketed, sold and packaged for a mass market where every dollar counts. With this in mind, we thought it would be interesting to take a look at which of the comic book characters created by Marvel would in fact never be in the Marvel Cinematic Universe going forward. We have some weird, some wonderful and some downright terrible superheroes in our list of 15 Marvel Characters That Will Never See the Big Screen.
Our first sight of Crossfire within the Marvel ranks was in 1979, where he appeared in Marvel’s Two-in-One, a combination take on The Thing, Fantastic Four and Spiderman. And whilst only one of these characters has gone on to be a success (thank God for you, Spiderman) the others, including Crossfire have never really amounted to anything decent.
An age-old foe of Hawkeye, the super-villain is kind of a damp squib. Hawkeye himself isn’t the most exciting character, and Crossfire seems to have gone down that route, too. With no supernatural powers to speak of, he is an expert of hand-to-hand combat, brainwashing and other unusual human abilities. Although there is a real clamour for more characters and fresher stories within the Universe, fans can do without a villain who can be taken down by any number of superhuman adversaries with relative ease. We can cross Crossfire off our list.
14 Angar the Screamer
OK, so now we’re onto one of the worst— and I mean worst— characters on the list. Angar the Screamer, as you might be able to guess, has the power of a really loud voice. Which, as far as practicalities in the real world go, might be quite handy. In a world where superheroes roam the planet, however, this as a power should in theory be dreadful. With a little twist, he can invoke memory loss on his victims with his loud scream, but in the grand scheme of things, his powers are unfortunately not really suitable for a setting— a cinema— that is loud enough as it is. First introduced to us in Daredevil 100 in 1973, I can only imagine Marvel were running out of ideas when they thought up a guy who can essentially just shout really loud. We will never see Angar the Screamer on our big screen. Thankfully.
I think Frog-Man is actually a pretty cool superhero. He’s a little unknown, whereby Spiderman and Antman are some of the better known animal-based heroes, Frog-Man has been left by the wayside considering he is in no way, shape or form super. The whole idea behind Frog-Man is that he is a bit lame. His powers are in his ability to capture villains by clumsily bouncing into them with his frog suit. He’s cool being he is a bit of an anti-hero. He would never fit in with the Marvel Cinematic Universe because there’s not enough you could do with his character. While a comedy film about him could be fun, it doesn’t fit with the arc we’re seeing develop between the current Avengers, the TV shows or the wider story. With no serious stories behind him, it’s safe to say that we will in fact not be seeing Frog-Man bouncing to our cinema screens in future.
Unlike some of the other characters within this list, Flag-Smasher isn’t quite as unusual or pathetic. He’s on this list, though, because he just isn’t quite sinister enough to make it through to his own film. Or anyone else’s, for that matter.
Flag-Smasher, as his name alludes to, is a symbol created to magnify the dislike for those who are unpatriotic within America and the world. This, in theory, could be an idea that would make it into a film, but through another character. Yet, the Marvel series seems to be heading in a slightly more out-of-this-world approach, especially with the addition of Dr. Strange and the Guardians of the Galaxy entering the fray. Created in the vein of Red Skull, Flag-Smasher often found himself battling Captain America. His powers are strategy, hand-to-hand combat and his relationship with ULTIMATUM, the Marvel terrorist organization. Although the writers have good intentions, this isn’t a character we’ll see much off any time soon.
In many ways, Xemnu was the very first Hulk. Large, strong and subhuman, he came to Earth via spaceship after being exiled from his home planet for crimes against the rest of the universe. After an adventure including mind control (obviously) and an asteroid, Xemnu came back to Earth to exact revenge for his foiled plan to leave on a newly made spaceship. He was detected by Dr. Strange, yet subsequently beat Strange in battle. After this, Xemnu fought Hulk, and was beaten.
Xemnu has since had many battles with Hulk, and is seen as a classic Marvel bad guy. Unfortunately for him, though, he just doesn’t suit 2016. Big and furry, he suffers from the same issues that plague Hulk, in regard to a tough cinematic representation, and I can never see him joining the silver screen gang. It would have been much better for him if he had stayed on his own planet, suffering the shame of never having a film or TV reimagining.
What a massively unfortunate, hugely underwhelming character Hellcow is. As you can see, she is a cow. And she isn’t exactly a good guy. Created in 1975, Hellcow is a vampire cow with links to Deadpool. Normal, I know. She can also fly and shape-shift, which means she’s got a little bit of a miss-match of abilities which are all a bit on, in the context that she’s a cow. The reason she won’t be seen on the big screen is because she’s basically a terrible character to transfer on to TV. She is very niche. So niche, that even I don’t care about her. There’s just nothing appealing about seeing a weird, vampire cow on screen for an hour and a half. And just as I feel it, the rest of the cinema-going world will feel it too. Marvel has a good thing going right now, no need to mess it up with Hellcow.
This character is just downright cool. It’s a little bit of a refresh on Spiderman, granted, but it’s one that is fun and kind of works. Never meant as a serious, multi-platform hero, Spider-Ham riffs off the Spiderman story once more, with the name Peter Porker. The whole story is very tongue in cheek, which also makes it a quite likeable addition to the Marvel umbrella. Even though it’s pretty fun, the studio would have to go through quite the change in direction to really consider adding Spider-Ham to its list of future films.
As complicated as it is, Peter Porker’s story starts out with him being a spider, who is turned into a pig-like animal by scientist Mary Porker. The rest of his story is quite complicated, as it involves various other animal-like mock superheroes such as Captain Americant and Ducktor Doom. As a universe unto itself, it’s quite good fun. For film fans everywhere, it would be a little too much.
Unlike her male counterpart, who has taken center stage in a few movies through the years, She-Hulk has remained virtually anonymous on the big screen. And because of the troubles we’ve had with the adaptations of various Hulk incarnations, I can’t see Marvel scurrying to shoot a She-Hulk film any time soon. It’s tough to see where she would fit in with this current Marvel universe. A lesser version of the Hulk, She-Hulk became a superhero through receiving a blood transfusion from her uncle, Bruce Banner. Her condition isn’t as harsh as Banner’s, and she usually remains her normal self, with the side effects of super-strength and change in skin color. In a later series, She-Hulk's transformation becomes permanent. First appearing in comics in 1980, she is a creation of Stan Lee as a female alternative to Hulk, and a less outraged version of Bruce Banner. I think the past of Hulk has stunted the future of She-Hulk.
7 Beta Ray Bill
Beta Ray Bill is a superhero in the same ilk as Thor as he comes from a similar universe as the Asgardian god. After a small, shallow rivalry with Thor for the use of his hammer, Bill was given the right to a hammer of his own. Beta Ray Bill is actually quite a popular character with Marvel, after appearing in films, books, toys and a joint adventure with Hulk in Planet Hulk. I think the main reason that he won’t find his way to the silver screen is that Thor’s story arc seems to be coming to an end, along with some of the initial Avengers, so there really isn’t room for an additional Thor-type character in such a small window. Whether he would get his own show would remain a possibility, considering he branches out into other characters' schedules often, but sorry Bill. There’s no room for you on the big screen.
Looking very strange and straight out of a B-movie we have MODOK— standing for Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing, and it’s easy to see just how menacing this bad guy is supposed to be. And for the most part, he succeeds in being just that. But his only problem in regards to being part of the huge universe created by Disney for Marvel is that he hasn’t even started to be introduced and he’s essentially a character that most of the non-Marvel fan world would need to be introduced to a-fresh. I happen to think he could have been an awesome evil villain to have part of the franchise, if not even for just one film. He looks cool and his name is purely sinister, but no we’re too far gone in the timeframe to integrate this little dude into the script. MODOK does make it into IGN’s top 100 comic book villains, and he’s affiliated with some other games and TV shows, a dedicated movie is just a little too far.
Next on the list is yet another bad guy, this time in the form of big, fat slob MOJO. What’s really exciting about MOJO is that he’s actually a parody character as such with writer and creator Ann Nocenti taking inspiration from the classic TV network executives as inspiration for MOJO. An alien known as part of the ‘Spineless Ones’, MOJO and his alien species can't move or walk without the aid of advanced technology. That being said, he has just that, which allows him to rule over the world from which he comes from, the Mojoverse. The way he rules is by enticing his citizens into a hypnotic addiction to the TV shows he creates, which are gladiatorial shows that sees creatures fight against each other. This wouldn’t get anywhere near the big screen because he is just plain weird. There really is no advance needed on that.
The first mutant we have on this list comes in the form of superhero Maggott. Maggott, the South African mutant who has the power of a sentient digestive system in the form of two slugs. His origin dates back to links with Magneto and stomach cancer, and while his initial story sounds exciting, he has offered little in the form of genuine interest. I’m not a massive fan of the X-Men anyway, and he just seems to make me feel that way even more.
The reason we’ll never see him in the movies is because, apart from his average ability, we’re just so far down the X-Men cinematic road that one can only feel we’re coming to a close on their story. A couple of reboots later and we still haven’t seen Maggott (and for good reason), you can only feel that if you’re a superhero and you haven’t been involved in the X-Men film universe yet, then you must be pretty awful.
I order you to stop what you’re doing and Google the name Doop. Have you done it? Good! Isn’t he the coolest, cutest looking little guy in the world? What’s that, you say? He looks a little like another film's character from another franchise? Slimer, from Ghostbusters? Never. Actually, come to think of it...
This is one of the reasons he will never get his own film. Another reason is that he just plain and simply doesn’t need one. He’s a little guy, who appears in in the X-Force X-Men set of comics. His origin comes in the form of military creation (what on Earth were they trying to create?!) in order to bring down the Soviet Union. A little bit of an unimportant character, he was one of the first names that found its way onto this list. If you’re making a film about Doop, you’re really running out of ideas.
I must admit, I was kind of torn on this one, until I started telling his story below, anyway. One the one hand, he is part of a whole new dimension of Marvel comic heroes that haven’t even been touched on yet, and while there feels like little point opening the can of worms that Corsair comes from (he is a spacefaring superhero and leader of the space pirate group Starjammers), he’s also the father of one of the most important X-Men, Cyclops. It is easy to see how he could come into the X-story, but to be honest that would make things a whole lot untidier, and I’m unsure how much more diversity can come from the X-Men franchise before people become seriously turned off by the series. He began his story as an employee of NASA. After a chase scene involving an alien species, Corsair— then known as Christopher Summers— was abducted and teleported back onto said ship where he bumped into 4 aliens who would turn out to be the founding members of the Starjammers. I know, the story kind of goes on a bit, doesn’t it? No movie here, please.
1 The Whizzer
Every comic book list needs the obligatory fast guy, and here is ours. The Whizzer— civilian name Robert Frank— is a hand-to-hand combat expert (which superhero isn’t?) and holder of super-quick speed and reflexes. So, the reason I don’t think we’ll ever see The Whizzer on our screen is because of his name and the era he hails from. Invented in the 1920s, they clearly weren’t great at coming up with overly marketable titles for their superheroes, so the man who could whizz by people got named basically that... The Whizzer. You couldn’t get away with that in this day and age. It’s old school and uninteresting, and at least DC Comics' The Flash sounds a little cooler. The most exciting thing about him is that he thinks he is— but isn’t— the father of superhero pair Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. After spending time talking about 14 other naff superheroes, you get to know, quite quickly, which ones you don’t want to pay to go and see in a film. Sorry, The Whizzer. You just don’t make the cut.