With the acquisition of 21st Century Fox last year, Disney saw an already incredible stable of Marvel characters grow even more impressive. While we are all excited for Dr. Doom, Magneto, the Fantastic Four and the X-Men, there are hundreds of lesser known characters waiting in the wings for their first shot on the silver screen. Let’s take a look at 10 of them that could shine in the MCU.
When you think of the Negative Zone, it’s understandable that Annihilus comes to mind first. We’ll certainly see Annihilus and the Negative Zone at some point and, when we do, Blastaar had better be there, too. First appearing in Fantastic Four #62, the brutal Baluurian warlord has a ton of potential as a possible entry-level threat from the Negative Zone and an ongoing presence that presents himself as a thorn in the side of the Living Death that Walks (that’s Annihilus to you and me, kids). Blastaar saw a major resurgence beginning with 2006’s Annihilation and played a major role in some big cosmic stories over the next several years. The Living Bomb-Burst could be an MCU mainstay and help sell a lot of toys as well.
Though he first appeared in Fantastic Four #30, Esteban Corazon de Ablo (get it, de Ablo/Diablo?!) is a character who could show up in any number of other properties and cause some chaos. Despite having been notoriously named by Stan Lee as the one character he regretted creating (Stan couldn’t remember why he even created him in the first place), the ancient alchemist could pop up just about anywhere throughout history and his history with the vampires of the Marvel Universe could make him an interesting choice when they come flying into the MCU. His true chance to shine, though, might be as part of Mephisto’s Legion Accursed or the Masters of Evil where he can team up with some other truly disturbed minds, some of which are found on this list as well.
What can you say about Dragon Man that hasn’t already been said…honestly, quite a bit because I’m not sure too many people know he exists. Originally an android foe of the Fantastic Four after being manipulated by the aforementioned Diablo, Dragon Man’s recent reformation allowed him to be a part of the Future Foundation where he worked as a guide the next generation of geniuses. He also served some time as the X-Men’s team mascot and developed a crush on Jean Grey, but it’s his newly formed relationship with the Richards’ children and their friends that could give him the chance to shine in the MCU.
The Fallen One (and all the other Heralds of Galactus)
As I’ve written in the past, for the Silver Surfer and Galactus to work in the MCU, they’re going to require a very different sort of introduction. Galactus deserves more than a one-off appearance and the Surfer could easily carry his own trilogy; the one character that could serves as the connective tissue between the two is The Fallen One, the first herald of Galactus. The Fallen One first appeared in 2004’s Thanos #11 ahead of a fairly large role in the Annihilation event and instantly changed everything we thought we knew about the Devourer. The Fallen One represent everything the Silver Surfer is not and his sprinkling in his story throughout the shared origin story of Galactus and the Surfer would plant the seed required for him to show up in a solo Surfer film alongside some of the other heralds. If you’ve read my Nova features, you already know how heralds like Air-Walker and Firelord could find their way into the MCU but if we’re going to go the route of working through a few heralds, we better see Terrax show up as well.
The biggest no brainer on the list is H.E.R.B.I.E. Reed Richards’ Humanoid Experimental Robot, B-type, Integrated Electronics (that’s worse than S.H.I.E.L.D., right?) first appeared in the 1978 animated The Fantastic Four as a replacement for Johnny Storm before making his way into the comics the following year. Originally a sleeper agent for some ridiculous evil forces, H.E.R.B.I.E. eventually (on like his third or fourth or twentieth body) found his role in the Baxter Building. This one is all about two things: the comic relief of blowing him up and building him again (see C-3PO) and selling toys. There’s a chance we won’t see H.E.R.B.I.E. when the First Family lands in the MCU, but I wouldn’t bet against the little guy, especially not if we see a Future Foundation streaming series on Disney Plus.
The Mad Thinker (and Awesome Andy!)
The Mad Thinker’s fascination with probability, his 99.9% recall rate and his mechanical genius make him an interesting yet overmatched foe of the Fantastic Four. Like others on the list, he’s more well-suited to teaming up (hello Puppet Master or maybe a different version of the Frightful Four) than trying to take anyone one individually and there’s a good chance that if we do see him, it would be in that way. I’m actually more excited about seeing The Awesome Android than I am the Mad Thinker and, for that reason, have been curious about him potentially teaming up with someone like Thundra and showing up in She-Hulk where Awesome Andy could really shine!
The Puppet Master
At first glance, Phillip Masters doesn’t seem like the kind of villain worthy of making his way into the MCU because the idea behind his bad guy powers really isn’t going to translate into something worth seeing on the big screen. Despite all that, I think it’s possible he shows up and not just as the father of the love of Ben Grimm’s life, Alicia Masters. Marvel Studios plans for the Fantastic Four remain totally hidden from view, but with Disney Plus now able to serve up exciting, high quality projects that add to the depth of the worlds these characters inhabit, the Puppet Master would be an excellent antagonist for Dragon Man and the Future Foundation in a limited, streaming series.
The Red Ghost
As much as I would love to see Ivan Kragoff’s Super-Apes on screen, it’s hardly that aspect of the character that could easily allow him into the MCU. Sure, he’s associated with the Fantastic Four, but it’s Ed Brubaker’s The Winter Soldier that could open the door for the Russian mad scientist. Kragoff’s work brainwashing sleeper agents for Department X could really come in handy with Yelena Belova set to take over the mantle of Black Widow in the MCU. Krafoff is exactly the type of character Marvel Studios could retool and give purpose, maybe working for AIM or with the Thunderbolts.
If the rumors about the Squadron Supreme appearing in the Loki streaming series are true, then there’s a path to the MCU for Thundra. Her traditional origins as a time traveler probably don’t work out very well, but there’s no reason she can’t be a multiversal character who ends up in the present day MCU at some point. Of course they could totally redo her origins and introduce her in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier as a member of the Grapplers. It’s almost like stunt actor Vanessa Cater would be just right in the role…
The college roomie and good buddy of Johnny Storm, Wyatt Wingfoot walked away from his destiny as chief of the Keewazi tribe to chose a life of adventure with the Fantastic Four. During that time, Wingfoot began a relationship with Jen Walters that would continue on and off for decades. Wyatt would work well as a window to the craziness that the Fantastic Four experience day to day, allowing us to see their adventures through someone without their incredible powers.