Bring 'Em Back!1 of 10
This week, Marvel released a cast list for its now in-production 2019 Captain Marvel film that revealed the impending return of several "long lost" MCU characters - including Ronan the Accuser, Korath, and Agent Phil Coulson (Marvel TV's not Marvel films, you know).
With the Captain Marvel set in the MCU's past, there's an easy explanation for the returns. But there are plenty of MCU characters still waiting to get their due.
Here are nine Marvel movie characters ready for a comeback.
Doc Samson2 of 10
Leonard 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 the Avenger’s top expert on superhero psychology and have him play a supporting role in the new government-sanctioned team that at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron included Helen Cho (more on her in a sec) and Erik Selvig.
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 10
Helen Cho played a small but key role in 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 another female Science-Bro would be a major asset to the MCU. Sure, we now have Shuri kicking all kinds of technological ass in Wakanda, but if we can have Tony Stark and Bruce Banner and Henry Pym, there's more than enough room for Helen too.
Howard the Duck4 of 10
In 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 cameos in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies. 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 10“Human Torch? Comeback?” you’re asking. “Isn’t he part of the Fantastic Four, and off limits to Marvel?”
Well, not so fast. Possible/pending Disney-Fox merger aside, 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 10
Sam 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 - not to mention what Thanos' minions might leave behind.
Abomination & The Leader7 of 10
The 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!
Jane Foster8 of 10
Now that Pepper Potts has made her MCU comeback in Spider-Man: Homecoming, 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 Foster's absence from Thor: Ragnarok, we're not holding our breaths. But with Thor returning to Earth (maybe?) in Avengers: Infinity War, we're hoping to get more than an off-handed comment about a break-up to settle one of the MCU's earliest romances.
Red Skull9 of 10Of 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 swirling 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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