<i>By <a href=mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>Chris Arrant, Newsarama Contributor</a></i> <p><b>The Avengers</b> movie is destined to be one of the biggest congregations of live-action heroes in, well, ever. But even with Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, The Hulk, Hawkeye, Black Widow and Nick Fury, there's still room for a couple Easter eggs, walk-ons and what-have-you. <p>Marvel's garnered a lot of buzz with its carefully planned hints and nuggets of information buried in its past movies like Cap's shield in <i>Iron Man</i> to the Infinity Gauntlet in <i>Thor</i>, so it's no doubt Joss Whedon and the crew might have something up their sleeve for this big-screen outing. <p>The Avengers have one of the largest rosters this side of the Legion of Super-Heroes, so there's a lot they could pull from to shock and entertain viewers. But with all that's there to choose from, they have to be careful not to bring up anything too obscure. (Sorry, Deathcry.) <p>So we've come up with a list of 10 heroes (and one villain) we'd love to see somewhere in the picture when it debuts on May 4. <p><i>Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's <a href=http://www.facebook.com/Newsarama><b>FACEBOOK</b></a> and <a href=http://twitter.com/newsarama><b>TWITTER</b></a>!</i> <p>
Outside of the founding Avengers and those added early on in Cap's recruitment drive like Hawkeye and Scarlet Witch, the Vision is arguably the most identifiable Avenger out there. Even though he's been on the shelf until recently in the comics, he still strikes a commanding presence and a unique role in the Avengers lineup. From his android take on life as a human and as a superhero to his flat-out cool powers of intangibility, he'd be an interesting addition to Marvel's movie franchises. <p>And don't forget, the cameo appearance of the original Human Torch in <i>Captain America: The First Avenger</i> could be a precursor to an appearance by the Vision in a Marvel movie. After all, at one point the Vision was said to be made of the android body of the original Human Torch.
The former Power Man is one of the more recent additions to the Avengers comic book franchise, but thanks to Brian Michael Bendis he's now a stalwart part of the team in the 21st century. <p>Joining the team by pure happenstance by being around during a prison breakout in 2004's <i>New Avengers #1</i>, Cage has since become the leader of that team as well as the Thunderbolts. "Sweet Christmas!" or not, Luke Cage could do a lot to add more depth to the team and even perhaps grow into their resident strong man, seeing how temperamental the Hulk can be.
Frank Castle's one of the few Marvel faces that hasn't (yet) become an Avenger, but who says you need to be part of the team to show up in the movie itself? Marvel Studios recently reacquired the movie rights to The Punisher, and no doubt they're already dreaming up ways to spin him off into a successful movie franchise and this could be it. <p>They could even borrow a page literally from a Marvel comic to insert him into the movie. Remember when Spider-Man was cornered in the sewers during <i>Civil War</i> and none other than Frank Castle comes in to save the day? That's a save on par with Han Solo at the end of the original <i>Star Wars</i>, and I imagine Frank would love every second of it.
Marvel movies already have the fingerprints of its chief comic writer on it; if you remember, it was Brian Michael Bendis who wrote the end credits scene for <i>Iron Man</i> in which Samuel L. Jackson-as-Nick Fury proposed the idea of the Avengers team to Tony Stark. <p>Seeing him in some shape or form in the Avengers movie would be a quick shout-out and something fans could talk about, not unlike J. Michael Straczynski's appearance in <i>Thor</i>. <p>But what could Bendis play? Stan Lee's played everything from Willie Lumpkin to Hugh Hefner on screen in various Marvel movies. Maybe Bendis could play a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent alongside Nick Fury, or perhaps something meatier like a real-life Jarvis or maybe Rick Jones?
Speaking of Rick Jones, who can forget his big role in the inception of the team way back in <b>The Avengers #1</b>? <p>Actually, most people can. Although Rick Jones will always be remembered as a sidekick in the Marvel U, he was a key support player in the early years of Marvel's hero line. He's been an official sidekick for the Hulk, Captain America, Rom the Spaceknight, and two different Captain Marvels. <p>In recent years, Rick was transformed to become the monstrous A-Bomb thanks to a blood transfusion from Abomination by M.O.D.O.K. Although that might be better left until a later Hulk movie itself, the introduction of Rick Jones now could make a lot of Hulk fans happy and seed stories down the road.
Much like her one-time husband Ant-Man, The Wasp has been largely forgotten about regarding her role as a founding Avenger. In fact, she's the one Stan Lee attributed to coming up with the team's name way back in <i>The Avengers #1</i>. During the build-up to the Avengers movie, there were rumors that the character would debut in the film but so far we've seen those rumors dismissed as wishful thinking. <p>Although <b>The Avengers</b> film already has enough heroes fighting for a chance in the spotlight, maybe they could fit the Wasp a.k.a. Janet Van Dyne in as a fashion designer for the team. They have to explain how Nick Fury came up with the modern duds you see Captain America wearing in the film, right?
Even though Marvel hasn't officially announced who's joining Loki as the antagonists in the Avengers movie, we're already dreaming up more that could join them. <p>At the top of our list is the big-headed brainiac, M.O.D.O.K.. S.H.I.E.L.D. isn't the only acronym in the Marvel Universe, and this Mobile Organism Designed Only For Killing would be a killer addition to the movie even if only for a short cameo. Joss Whedon, if you're reading this: <i>Game of Thrones</i> actor Peter Dinklage would be perfect.
Spider-Man's already coming into movie theatres this year via his own film <i>Amazing Spider-Man</i>, but think of the possibilities if he were to swing through <b>Avengers</b> for a spell. Although the wallcrawler's movie rights are owned by Columbia Pictures, it would really be something if Disney/Marvel and Columbia could come to an agreement to allow this to happen. <p>Seriously, would it harm either movie or would it only help both? <p>Story-wise, you could easily play it into a quick scene of Nick Fury recruiting the other heroes the way he's done for Thor, Captain America and Iron Man. In fact, Fox did this almost to the tee with the scene in <i>X-Men: First Class</i> where Xavier and Magneto attempt to recruit Wolverine only to be cut off for trying. Seeing the Avengers and Spider-Man franchises cross over, just this once, would get both hardcore and general fans buzzing like nothing else.
Although he might have been shunted to the sidelines in terms of prominence in the Avengers today, Hank Pym is still a founding Avenger. Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch showed how Pym could work in a modern context with <i>The Ultimates</i>, and putting a character like Henry in the mix could open up some powerful stories down the road. <p>And just think of the special effects from shrinking down to a miniscule size and teaming up with ants to change-ups to be a supersized hero as Giant-Man. I'm still holding out hope director/writer Joss Whedon would bring Ant-Man in for a cameo, especially since Marvel's got plans for an <i>Ant-Man</i> solo film down the line by Edgar Wright. Who knows, maybe they could get the long-rumored Nathan Fillon to play the role.
They created the concept, and between them had parts in creating all of the team members shown here in the movie. <p>Stan Lee's already confirmed he's playing a part in the movie, but Joss Whedon could really win over fans with a tip of the hat to the King himself. Sadly, Kirby passed away years ago, but there's still ways to do something special with perhaps an actor playing the part, some expert CG work, or even a photograph or illustration.