Thursday, October 8, 2015

All-New, All-Different Marvel: Non-MCU Teams

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Marvel announced last year that they would be completely rebooting their universe following the Secret Wars/Battleworld event.  As part of this reboot they are going to be focusing on some new and altered characters, particularly those whose TV and movie rights are owned by Marvel Studios.  This is leading Marvel to focus its efforts on promoting the Inhumans while downplaying the mutants, as well as to the splitting up of the Fantastic Four, with Human Torch joining the Inhumans and the Thing joining the Guardians of the Galaxy.  So because the All-New, All-Different Marvel is going all-in on Marvel Studios properties, I started to wonder if some of the other characters in the A-N, A-D Marvel might be getting a push for a future movie or TV appearance.  As such, this series will look at all the characters in the All-New, All-Different Marvel lineup whose live-action rights are owned by either Marvel Studios or Sony and who have not appeared in a movie yet.

Some of these are characters I’ve written about in the past, so I will include links to those articles and only provide relatively brief summaries.

If there are any additional characters that you would like to see me cover in this series, let me know in the comments.

This time I will be talking about the teams which do not have an equivalent in the MCU.

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A-Force is a new team created specifically for the Secret Wars event.  The team roster is essentially a “who’s who” of all the female Marvel heroes, brought together to bring peace to a Battleworld domain ruled by She-Hulk.  The main characters are as follows:

She-Hulk- Jennifer Walters is the cousin of Bruce Banner and became She-Hulk after receiving a blood transfusion from Bruce.  She has many of the same powers as the Hulk, with her strength related to her emotional state.  However, she retains her regular personality while in She-Hulk form.  She is also a skilled lawyer who represents heroes on a regular basis.  I previously wrote about the possibility of She-Hulk appearing on Netflix.
Dazzler- Alison Blaire, a.k.a. Dazzler, is a mutant singer with the ability to convert vibrations into light (because Marvel made a deal with a record company).
Medusa- Medusa is the Queen of the Inhumans and has super-strong hair over each strand of which she has complete control.
Singularity- A pocket universe that gained sentience during the Secret War
Nico Minoru- Nico Minoru is the daughter of dark wizards, but ran away from home to join the Runaways, a team of other hero-children of supervillains.  Nico has magical abilities.

Of the five characters, I think Medusa is all-but guaranteed to appear alongside the rest of the Inhuman Royal Family and that She-Hulk and Nico Minoru are both likely to appear at some point as well.  However, Dazzler, as a mutant, only could appear in the FOX X-Men Universe.  Likewise, without knowing more about the character Singularity it seems unlikely that she could work outside of the Secret Wars—though maybe she could fit into the Guardians of the Galaxy’s cosmic realm; if Bradley Cooper’s a talking raccoon and Vin Diesel’s a talking tree, pretty much anything can work!

What I think is more important than the characters themselves, however, is the concept of an all-female team of heroes.  I think this can absolutely fit into the MCU—and even more than that, it can be done right now:

The first question to ask is, “why are there only women on this team?”  Answer: the threat poses a unique danger to men, but women are unaffected.  And what character have we already seen in the MCU that fits that description?  Lorelei (“Yes Men,” AoS 1x15).  Lorelei can coerce men into doing her bidding, and after her escape from Asgard’s prison Loki had her brought back to Asgard.  Consequently, it would be entirely possible for her to either escape Loki’s custody or join him in ruling Asgard.  If that were to happen and all the men on Asgard became Lorelei’s minions, Sif would need some help to retake the Nine Realms.  And where would she turn but Earth, and her good friends at S.H.I.E.L.D.

Coulson and Maria Hill would then bring together all the female heroes in the Marvel Universe to confront Lorelei’s forces.  Surprisingly, the MCU actually contains enough female heroes to create a decent superhero team:  Sif, Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, Quake, Mockingbird, Cavalry, Jessica Jones, Elektra, and Wasp, with several more on their way in the near future.  I doubt Marvel would go this direction before Avengers: Infinity War, but afterward they may consider it.

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Howling Commandos

There have been several teams called the Howling Commandos throughout the history of Marvel Comics.  The first was a team of soldiers led by Nick Fury/Captain America during World War II, but the team we are talking about now is a group of supernatural heroes that fight supernatural threats.  The All-New, All-Different team is codenamed the “Supernatural Threat Analysis and Kill Experts” (S.T.A.K.E.) and consists of the following:

LMD of Dum Dum Dugan- After Dum Dum Dugan was killed in 1966, Nick Fury replaced him with a life-model decoy without telling anyone.
Zombie Jasper Sitwell- It’s Agent Sitwell, but he’s a zombie.  I think that’s fairly self-explanatory.  I would assume he’s from the Marvel Zombies Universe.
Vampire by Night- Nina Price is descended from a long line of werewolves, but she was also bitten by a vampire, making her both a werewolf and a vampire.  During the day she is a regular human, at night she is a vampire, and during the full moon she becomes a white wolf.  She is not affected by sunlight and has an advanced healing factor.
Man-Thing- I previously talked about Man-Thing in conjunction with possible Secret Warriors.  Basically, it’s a man who was bonded with swamp ooze.
Warwolf- Vince Marcus is a cyborg built by the creator of Deathlok.  He has the standard superhuman traits of super strength, speed, senses, durability, and the like, as well as claws and fangs.  In addition he uses a dagger and energy pistol.
Manphibian- Manphibian is an alien that came to Earth thousands of years ago.  He has super strength, sharp claws, and extremely durable skin.
Orrgo- Orrgo is a “space god” who has attempted to take over the Earth multiple times.  However, he was captured by S.H.I.E.L.D. and joined the Howling Commandos.  He has “great mental powers.”
Teen Abomination- Jamie Carlson was exposed to gamma radiation at the age of 13 when a machine malfunctioned during an experiment.  The gamma radiation turns him into a creature similar to the Abomination.
Hit-Monkey- Hit-Monkey is a Japanese Macaque that learned martial arts by watching a hunted assassin living with his troop.  After the group hunting the assassin found him and killed both him and the monkeys, Hit-Monkey attacked and killed the killers and then vowed to spend the rest of his life killing assassins.

Considering that Man-Thing technically already exists in the MCU (Maria Hill had to answer questions about him before Congress in “Nothing Personal,” AoS 1x20), I don’t think we can really rule any of these characters out.  However, I find the LMD of Dum Dum Dugan and Zombie Sitwell to be somewhat unlikely—though ironically both of those characters would be easy enough to bring into the MCU as they’ve already sort-of been cast.  Of the other 6 characters, I think Warwolf would be the easiest to introduce as we’ve already seen Deathlok and the program that created him.

The bigger question is, “where would this particular Howling Commandos team fit into the MCU?”  This team could theoretically fit anywhere, though a movie would be the obvious choice:  a movie would offer a much better budget to create Man-Thing, Manphibian, Orrgo, and Teen Abomination.  Conversely, an appearance on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. might work just as well, especially as it is being billed as a S.H.I.E.L.D.-sponsored team.  If it were to appear on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., I would expect it to make a few small cameos, rather than becoming regular characters and making regular appearances.

However, the ideal scenario might be a Netflix mini-series which could explore all the characters more fully.

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Most people are familiar with the Illuminati as a group comprised of the smartest minds in the Marvel Universe, representing the various superhero groups—this is the group responsible for shooting the Hulk into outer space, kicking off the Planet Hulk and World War Hulk storylines.  They also protected the Infinity Stones for a while after Thanos’ defeat.

However, in the All-New, All-Different Marvel the Illuminati will actually be a group of villains:

The Hood- Parker Robbins becomes the Hood when he kills a demon and takes its hood and boots.  Robbins then works to become the Kingpin of the New York supervillains by bribing them into helping him.  He has also possessed and used the Infinity Stones.  Using his mystical boots gives him the ability to walk on air, and wearing the cloak and holding his breath makes him invisible.
Titania- Mary MacPherran gained superpowers from Doctor Doom in exchange for her service in his army of supervillains.  She later becomes the wife of Carl Creel, a.k.a. the Absorbing Man (who has appeared on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and was referenced on Daredevil).  She was also given the Power Gem to get revenge against She-Hulk.  Titania possesses superhuman strength and is resistant to injury.
Enchantress- Amora the Enchantress is an Asgardian magic user and the sister of Lorelei.  Amora has been a member of a number of different supervillain teams, most notably the Masters of Evil.  She has a wide range of magical abilities, including teleportation and illusions.
Mad Thinker- The Mad Thinker is an evil genius (if the name didn’t give it away) who has fought the Fantastic Four, X-Men, and Avengers over the years.  He is a genius who designs and builds a lot of different robots, armor, weapons, and the like.
Thunderball- Thunderball is a member of the Wrecking Crew, a group of villains who received super strength from a magic crowbar enchanted by Loki.  Before this, however, Thunderball (Dr. Eliot Franklin) was a genius physicist and specialist in gamma radiation.  Thunderball has super strength and limited invulnerability and uses an indestructible wrecking ball as a weapon.
Black Ant- Eric O’Grady is the third Ant-Man, a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who stole the suit to use for his own purposes.

None of these characters seem particularly unlikely to appear in the MCU at some point down the line.  Titania could easily be referenced or appear on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as the wife of Carl Creel.  Enchantress would fit well in Thor: Ragnarok or even on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (which has already shown her sister).  Thunderball and the rest of the Wrecking Crew could appear in the in-development Damage Control series.  Black Ant would make a decent villain for a future Ant-Man movie, or alternatively could appear on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (or elsewhere) as a Hydra agent using a version of the Yellowjacket suit powered by the Pym Particles stolen from Pym Technologies.

As far as the team itself, I had thought that the Illuminati (the group of heroes) would be an interesting concept for Phase 4 after the Infinity War, once Thanos is defeated and the heroes need to figure out what to do with the Infinity Stones.  However, the villainous Illuminati could also be an interesting way to go with the Infinity Stones, as a couple of them are already associated with the Infinity Stones.  Another alternative is for the Illuminati to be introduced as the parents of the Runaways.

Even if some iteration of this particular villain team doesn’t appear in the MCU, it’s all-but inevitable that there will be a villain team-up sooner than later.  After all, we’ve already seen one team of villains on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the episode “One of Us” (2x13), and there may be one coming in Luke Cage.  The Masters of Evil, Thunderbolts (Marvel’s Most Wanted, perhaps?), and Sinister Six are all options for other villain teams to appear in the MCU.

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Squadron Supreme

The Squadron Supreme was originally introduced to Marvel Comics to answer the age-old question:  “Who would win in a fight between the Avengers and the Justice League?”  Unfortunately, the Justice League was already taken, so Marvel settled for introducing their own versions of all the major members of the Justice League.

In the All-New, All-Different Marvel, however, the Squadron Supreme will have many of the same members, but they will all be the last survivors from their respective universes.  Consequently, they desire to prevent this universe from suffering the same fate as their own.  The members are as follows:

Hyperion (Earth-13034)- Hyperion is an Eternal sent to Earth as a baby to escape his dying world.  He was raised with a high degree of morality and became a superhero.  His powers are essentially those of Superman.  (But he’s totally not Superman!)  When the multiverse started collapsing, his universe started to collide with another one.  He and all the heroes from the 2 universes attempted to hold them apart, but the universes and all the other heroes were destroyed, leaving him the sole survivor.
Doctor Spectrum (Earth- 4290001)- Doctor Spectrum receives his/her power from a sentient gem called the Power Prism.  He has the abilities of flight, energy projection and manipulation, and the ability to survive in space.  However, the Power Prism is vulnerable to ultraviolet light.  (But he’s totally not Green Lantern!)  This particular Doctor Spectrum is a woman, though not much else is known about her.
Nighthawk (Earth-31916)- Kyle Richmond does not have any superpowers. Instead, he is a rich kid who uses his wealth to train in martial arts and develop weapons and gadgets to become a vigilante.  He also remains aloof from the Squadron Supreme of his original universe. (But he’s totally not Batman!)  This Nighthawk is African-American.
Thundra (Earth-715)- Thundra is a “Femizon” from a technologically-advanced matriarchal society.  She traveled back in time to fight the Thing, considered to be the strongest man ever.  She has superhuman strength, resistance, and the like, and is a trained warrior who uses a sword, chain, and bracelet.  (But she’s totally not Wonder Woman!)
Blur (Earth-148611)- Jeff Walters is a fast food restaurant manager whose body vibrates extremely fast.  He has superhuman metabolism and speed.  (But he’s totally not the Flash!)
Power Princess (Utopolis)- Power Princess is a genetically-advanced human (or alien) who is the princess of her island (or realm).  She has superhuman strength and durability and fights with a shield.  (But she’s totally not Wonder Woman, either!)

Simply put, I don’t see the Squadron Supreme getting their own movie any time soon, considering that DC is bringing the actual Justice League to the big screen!  That’s not to say that they can’t appear in Avengers: Infinity War or another movie—or even on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.—as a team that’s sort of a combination between the Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers.  In fact, I even suggested in my Damage Control article that they could serve as a sort of universal protection force seeking to preserve the MCU.  However, I would expect whatever role they play in the MCU to be greatly minimized, considering that every member of the team is essentially a carbon-copy of a DC character.


Even if none of these characters or teams ever appear in the MCU, I hope that you found this article interesting.  Each of these teams has a lot to offer to the MCU in terms of characters and potential stories.  Will they all appear in the MCU?  Probably not, but if any of them did I would not be upset.  I think that of the four listed, A-Force (an all-female team-up) and the Illuminati (a super-villain team-up) are the most likely to appear at some point.

Which of these characters would you like to see in the MCU?  Which of the teams do you think is most likely to appear in the MCU?  Let me know in the comments!

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