Which MIGHTY Heroes Might Be Joining Luke Cage?
CREDIT: Marvel Comics
Marvel teased a "Mighty" new team on Monday, formed by Luke Cage as a response to the upcoming Infinity event. That starts in August, the teaser points to the team debuting in September.
The promotional image shows six slots, with five beyond Cage yet to be revealed. Though the answers will likely come quickly from the publisher (including what creators are involved), we're getting ahead of things a bit, and presenting some potential candidates to fill out the squad — "Mighty Avengers," it looks like? — focusing on characters that aren't currently a part of any Avengers series, or another high-profile ongoing Marvel team book.
Iron Fist: Where Luke Cage goes, Danny Rand is often likely to follow, starting from their early days as the Heroes for Hire up until the end of Brian Michael Bendis's Avengers run. Like Cage, Iron Fist hasn't seemed to be too busy lately, and seems like a natural fit (there's already a fist on the first teaser image, after all, even if it's representing Cage).
Jessica Jones: Speaking of people who are close to Luke Cage: Formerly known as "Jewel," Jessica Jones is Cage's wife and the mother of his daughter. Though her initial stint as a superhero went poorly for a number of reasons, she's sporadically returned to proper crimefighting in recent years, though the realities of raising a child amid battles with supervillains have caused both her and Cage to reexamine their priorities.
War Machine: Though James Rhodes was recently seen in Secret Avengers — and there appears to be much more of that story yet to play out — he hasn't been regularly featured in a book since the end of Matt Fraction's run on Invincible Iron Man last fall. He's got considerable history with various Avengers teams and was recently featured on the big screen in the billion-plus grossing Iron Man 3, making him a legitimate candidate for Cage's new team, or just futher exposure elsewhere.
Tigra: Ever since the Avengers Academy series ended, Tigra has been quiet within the Marvel Universe, but given her vast background as an Avenger, it'd make sense for her to get a call.
Quicksilver: Another former Avengers Academy instructor, Quicksilver helped out his teammates in Earth's Mightiest Heroes in Avengers vs. X-Men, but didn't end up with a regular gig on a team. He's making appearances in the final issues of X-Factor, but given the unprecedented amount of media attention around Pietro Maximoff lately due to the character's planned appearance in both X-Men: Days of Future Past and Avengers 2 movies, it might be time for him to get the spotlight that comes with being in a high-profile team spinning out of a major event.
Speedball & Justice: The former New Warriors were last seen leaving their teaching positions at Avengers Academy (notice a theme?), to resume their full-time superhero careers. What better way to do that then with joining a new team, formed at a time of unique crisis? (Especially if it gives Speedball another shot at closure due to his involvement in the tragedy that started 2006's Civil War.)
Songbird & Mach-V: Another duo, and former villains who worked closely with Luke Cage during his stint leading the Thunderbolts. The original T-Bolts still have a lot of vocal fans, especially these two, who were there from the beginning.
Winter Soldier: The Winter Soldier ongoing series is ending this month, but no one thinks that the character will be gone for long (if at all), given that his name is in the title of a major motion picture (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) out next fall. Though he's been said to have some role to play in Secret Avengers — not as a member, per se, according to series writer Nick Spencer — he seems available to join this new squad.
Red She-Hulk: Another character with a solo ongoing book ending imminently, and thus presumably a schedule that's about to open up. Plus, Betty Ross has some experience working in teams, in her case, the 2011-2012 Defenders series.
Daredevil: An unconventional choice at the time, Matt Murdock joined New Avengers towards the end of Brian Michael Bendis's stint. While he's plenty busy in his own ongoing series, he likely may be called upon to pitch in on a global scale during Infinity.
Moon Knight: Marc Spector served with War Machine in the previous incarnation of Secret Avengers, and now that he's been without a solo series for a while, he appears to have some time on his hands.
Hercules: Following the end of Herc in late 2011, The Lion of Olympus has been uncharacteristically quiet in the Marvel Universe. But as a former Avengers mainstay, he might be at home alongside fellow powerhouse Luke Cage. And with Frank Cho's run on Savage Wolverine wrapped, Hercules' pal Amadeus Cho, a former Avenger himself, could be another option.
Rage: Though it hasn't yet been publicly revealed who J. August Richards is playing in ABC's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series, many have speculated that he's portraying former New Warrior (and short-time Avenger) Rage. If that's true, he's got to be considered to show up in the comics in a big way soon, and this seems like as good a place as any to do it. Even if not, he's a Marvel character that hasn't been seen in more than a year, so it might be his time anyway.
A new character: Since new characters have been a part of the recent launches (or relaunches) of team books like Avengers, Avengers A.I. and FF, it's reasonable to think that at least one of the spots on Luke Cage's group might belong to someone totally new to Marvel — which makes this type of speculation kind of tricky.