Bring 'Em Back!1 of 12The Marvel Studios marketing machine is up-shifting ahead of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and next year's Avengers: Infinity War, pulling out all the bells and whistles for its major tentpole movies.
With so many movies going on, we've highlighted some MCU alumnus that we would suggest could be called back into action one more time.
Hey, William Hurt's Thunderbolt Ross returned for Captain America: Civil War, so why not these?
Doc Samson2 of 12Leonard Samson may not have gotten super when Ty Burrell played him in The Incredible Hulk, but that doesn’t mean the Hulk’s psychiatrist wouldn’t have a place in the MCU if he returned.
Marvel wouldn’t even have to hulk Doc Samson out to give him a niche; make him S.H.I.E.L.D.’s top expert on superhero psychology and have him play a supporting role in the new government-sanctioned team that is surely forming in the wake of Captain America: Civil War.
Of course, if Marvel wanted to give him a green ponytail and blue tights, the cult favorite character’s fans would likely not argue.
Helen Cho3 of 12Helen Cho played a small but key role in Avengers: Age of Ultron as the scientist whose technology allowed Ultron to build the Vibranium body that would eventually become the Vision. But there’s still lots of untapped potential for the character, whose comic book son is none other than Amadeus Cho.
And honestly, having a female Science-Bro who can go toe-to-toe with Stark’s intelligence would be a major asset to the MCU, even (and maybe especially) If she doesn’t have a superhero identity.
Howard the Duck4 of 12In some ways, a major role for Howard the Duck in a Marvel movie just might be a bridge too far (and more than a little comical considering Disney once sued Marvel over the character allegedly infringing on Donald Duck), but fans seem to have been delighted by his cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy. And given his hilarious role in Marvel Comics, he might at least have enough juice in him for an extended cameo or subplot.
Or, if Marvel is feeling brave, they could go all the way and try a feature film – as long as they learn every possible lesson from the George Lucas-produced box office bomb of the 80s.
Human Torch5 of 12“Human Torch?” you’re asking. “Isn’t he part of the Fantastic Four, and off limits to Marvel?”
Well, not so fast. We’re actually talking about Jim Hammond, the original Human Torch who fought alongside Captain America and Namor as the Invaders in World War II.
And though Hammond hasn’t exactly played a role in the MCU previously, he did appear as an Easter egg in Captain America: The First Avenger, so what we’re after is a role for him as a fully fleshed-out character.
Given Hammond’s origin as an android built with advanced science, and his comic book connection to the Vision (whose original body was built with components of one of Hammond’s bodies), he’d make for a very interesting addition to the MCU.
Justin Hammer6 of 12Sam Rockwell’s quirky Justin Hammer was one of the best parts of the not-so-well-regarded Iron Man 2, and references to Hammer-tech have made their way into several other MCU properties since that film. So why not bring back Stark’s former rival for another go round in the movies?
There’s an easy in, here – Stark may be on board with the government-sponsored Avengers spinning out of Captain America: Civil War, but he likely won’t brook some of the shadier government practices that won’t stop now that he’s on the payroll.
Solution: Bring in Hammer to do the dirty work Stark won’t do. Someone’s gotta reverse-engineer all the tech the government seized when they captured Ant-Man, Hawkeye, and Falcon.
Agent Coulson7 of 12Phil Coulson may be the star of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but he was actually the cinematic Marvel Universe’s first breakout star. Debuting in Iron Man, Agent Coulson was just a bit character who became a fan favorite, eventually acting as a S.H.I.E.L.D. liaison to the Avengers.
In fact, it was Coulson’s “death” in Avengers that solidified the team’s bond and made them the premiere protectors of the Marvel Universe, so bringing him back to the fold for Avengers: Infinity War would be a perfect way to bring that story full circle – perhaps even rallying the team against a seemingly insurmountable threat.
For good measure, Coulson could also bring Daisy Johnson along, uniting the current generation of Marvel heroes with an up-and-comer, and making the strongest connection between Marvel movies and TV yet.
Abomination & Leader8 of 12The Abomination may have been defeated at the end of The Incredible Hulk, but it takes a hell of a lot to keep a gamma-irradiated super-monster down. Given that the MCU has a bit of a dearth of super strong villains that can pose a physical threat to characters as strong as the Avengers, it seems like the Abomination would be a perfect dark horse choice to return and take them on – especially if someone like Baron Zemo forms a Masters of Evil-type team. He was reportedly in an early draft of Avengers: Age of Ultron in just such a role.
And while we’re at it, how about bringing back Tim Blake Nelson’s Samuel Sterns? When last we saw him – almost a decade ago – Hulk’s gamma-tainted blood was flooding his brain, potentially turning him into the Leader, Hulk’s super-smart arch-foe. Let’s tie up those loose ends, Marvel!
The Destroyer9 of 12OK, the Destroyer was more of a weapon than an actual character, but given the premise of Thor: Ragnarok, we can’t help but want it to come back. Think about it – Hulk and Thor teaming up to find the exiled Odin just lends itself to a throwdown between Ol’ Jade Jaws and Odin’s magical enforcer.
Plus, if Loki shows up, maybe controlling the Destroyer would give him a leg up on a second round against the Hulk. “Puny God,” indeed.
Pepper Potts & Jane Foster10 of 12Considering how central Pepper Potts has been to the MCU, it seems odd that she’d be unceremoniously shuffled out of the picture with an off-screen break up with Tony Stark in Captain America: Civil War. Sure, it makes sense that there wasn’t necessarily room for Gwyneth Paltrow in that already packed-to-the-gills movie, but we don’t think it’s too much to ask for a little closure – or for her to finally claim the mantle of Rescue. She already knows how to use the armor!
For that matter, we’d like some resolution for the relationship between Thor and Jane Foster - even if Marvel Studios won't go ahead with Foster's current comic book stories as Thor herself.
Given that the most recent synopsis for Thor: Ragnarok has Thor imprisoned on an alien planet when the movie kicks off, it makes sense that Natalie Portman isn’t part of the film. However, we know Thor will return to Earth at some point – he’s already visited Doctor Strange. With that in mind, we’re hoping for at least a cameo to wrap things up, if not in that film, then maybe in Avengers: Infinity War.
Red Skull11 of 12Of all the “long lost” characters of the MCU, none has been talked about as much as Hugo Weaving’s Red Skull, who was sucked into the Tesseract at the end of Captain America: The Last Avenger. Every time an Avengers or Captain America movie is on the horizon, fan theories start about whether one of the villains will secretly turn out to be the Red Skull, with everyone from Robert Redford’s Alexander Pierce to Daniel Bruhl’s Zemo being theorized to actually be the Skull.
For his part, Hugo Weaving has expressed reticence at reprising the role – but it’s clear fans are already willing to accept that the Skull’s trip through the Tesseract could have fundamentally changed him – perhaps even giving him an entirely different appearance, and allowing Marvel to recast if necessary.
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