With new casting announcements being made with the X-Men franchise, rumors of at least two new Marvel TV shows, and seemingly more by the day, some people are beginning to ask what’s going to be left to adapt? It’s a valid question, and it’s worth noting there is a lot of fertile ground left to mine!
Here’s my list for the ten biggest Marvel heroes yet to be seen on the big or small screen!
10. New Warriors
This might seem like an odd first choice, but I think it’s pretty relevant given that Civil War is about to start filming. The young heroes that make up the Warriors are probably best known now for their brash actions that resulted in the deaths of hundred of civilians, a majority of which were elementary school children. Before that though, they were seen as the next generation of Marvel heroes. The series was actually first conceptualized as “Young Avengers” as well, so clearly the team was meant for big things. Although there are potentially rights issues with a couple members (Namorita may be tied up in the tangle of Namor’s film rights, and Justice and Firestar are both mutants), the team as a whole would make for a fun movie. Introduce the team as the youth they were, updated to the current times, and go nuts.
Best medium for adaptation: ABC TV series.
9. Moon Knight
Mercenary Marc Spector is often regarded as “Marvel’s Batman” but he’s not. Spector was beaten nearly to death by his partner and left for dead on a mission gone bad. Worshipers of Egyptian moon god Khonshu found Spector, and brought him to an idol of their god. As his heart stopped, Khonshu appeared to him in a vision and offered to resurrect him in exchange for becoming his avatar on Earth. Spector accepted and Moon Knight was born. For years he was defined by the fact that he was mentally ill (schizophrenia and/or multiple personality disorder) but recently, he was revamped by Warren Ellis and given a clear mission. He was the protector of those who traveled by night. In my opinion, that should be the basis for an potential film or TV project.
Best medium for adaptation: Netflix series.
Runaways was actually one of the earliest films put into production by Marvel Studios, with a script written, director chosen, and casting rumors swirling. However, before it began filming, the movie stalled, and it’s really too bad. It’s a great concept, and is still popular to this day, despite their most recent series having been put on hiatus/cancelled years ago. Six kids discover that their parents belong to a cabal of supervillains called the Pride, and they, well, run away in order to thwart their parents’ plans. Teenage romances, betrayals, and the discovery of their superpowers ensue.
Best medium for adaptation: Film trilogy.
7. New Mutants/Generation X/New X-Men
Marvel’s first X-Men spin-off has gotten virtually zero love from Fox. With the exception of Sunspot, none of the original line-up has been seen in live action. This extends to the 90’s spin-off Generation X, (which did have a TV movie seen on Fox, but this adaptation left out over half of the series’ main cast), and New X-Men, the mid 00’s series featuring the same concept. All of these characters have years of history and a solid fanbase ripe for the screen.
Best medium for adaptation: The basis of the next modern day X-Men movie, or a TV series on Fox.
Regarded as one of Marvel’s first heroes, and their first mutant character, there’s some confusion on who owns the film rights, given his mutant nature, and his ties to both Avengers and the Fantastic Four. However, it appears that his rights belong to Universal. Namor McKenzie is the king of Marvel’s Atlantis, and with DC’s Aquaman adaptation gaining steam, it’s the perfect time to get Namor up on the big screen. With Mark Ruffalo’s seeming confirmation that solo Hulk film rights belong to Universal, it appears Marvel has a good enough relationship with the studio to get some sort of film project with him moving.
Best medium for adaptation: Film trilogy and/or member of the Avengers.
5. Young Avengers
One of newest concepts of the list, Young Avengers is perhaps Marvel’s crown jewel when it comes to young heroes. Featuring characters with a legacy traced to each of the MCU’s big guns, the Young Avengers have been through a couple incarnations already. The concept is fairly simple- each of the kids are doing their best to live up to their namesakes. The stories themselves, however, have all been very nuanced with complex interpersonal relationships. The best thing about it is that Young Avengers has been VERY GOOD in each of their incarnations.
Best medium for adaptation: Film series.
It’s starting to appear that Thor is not going to be around for very much longer. Marvel needs a divine strongman to take his role. Lucky them, they have Hercules. A popular hero, Herc has spent much of his time on Earth, rather than adventures in other realms. He loves Earth vices- especially alcohol and sex. He also has once of the best co-stars in Marvel history, kid genius Amadeus Cho.
Best medium for adaptation: Film series.
Probably the biggest X-Man to have not been adapted for the screen yet. Cable is the time-tossed son of Cyclops and his second love, Madelyn Pryor. He’s also the mortal enemy of Apocalypse, and traveled to the modern day to stop his future from happening. He did this as a solo mercenary/hero, alongside Deadpool, and as the leader of the paramilitary/black ops mutant squad X-Force. It’s even more complicated than that sounds, but he’s a great character once you boil him down to the essentials.
Best medium for adaptation: The lead of an X-Force film series after a cameo in X-Men Apocalypse and/or Deadpool
Law student Jennifer Walters was injured, requiring a blood transfusion, which came from her Gamma-irradiated cousin Bruce Banner. Little did either know that this would result in Jen herself being able to transform into a jade giantess that came to be known as She-Hulk. Shulkie has always been a slightly more tongue in cheek and often just plain funny character. With her lawyer background, she’s primed for a TV adaptation in a series that could be Marvel and ABC’s answer to The Flash.
Best medium for adaptation: ABC TV series with appearances in future Avengers films.
Really, who else could top this list? Whether it’s classic Nova Rich Rider, current Nova Sam Alexander or both, a Nova spin-off was queued up by Guardians of the Galaxy, and would be a perfect fit for the MCU’s phase 4.
Best medium for adaptation: Film franchise.
Who else would you add?