Marvel Comics is home to a ton of superhero teams, but so far, only a handful (X-Men, Fantastic Four and now, The Avengers) have gotten big, blockbuster movies.
But hey, Marvel’s going to keep making movies, right? And the company has proven some of its B- and C-list characters can be the stars of pretty sweet flicks (you guys know in your heart Blade is B-list, at best, right?). Why not give some of the company’s quirkier teams, the ones whose titles have been canceled at least once, the opportunity for silver screen stardom? They might not have the name recognition that the Avengers have nowadays, but hell, the Avengers didn’t have the name recognition the Avengers have nowadays until a couple of years ago.
12) New Warriors
For a good while, the New Warriors (the team with Speedball, Justice, Firestar, Night Thrasher, sometimes Nova and others), weren’t a team that particularly stood out. A couple of its members moved up to the Avengers in the late ’90s, and there was a big storyline where the foundation that was running the team turned out to be corrupt, but nothing huge. However right around the time of the Civil War event, the team did something that’d be great fodder for a superhero movie: They starred in a reality show about being superheroes. That’d be a flick worth seeing.
11) Pet Avengers
Here’s my thought process with this one: I wanted to include a team with Lockjaw, the Inhumans’ awesome teleporting dog. I’m not a huge Inhumans fan, and I think their convoluted mythology wouldn’t make a terrific movie anyway. And the Pet Avengers include Lockheed the dragon, a cat with Speedball’s powers, Frog Thor and Ka-Zar’s sabretooth tiger. That’s pure entertainment right there.
10) Damage Control
There have been enough superhero movies now that the concept of Damage Control, the construction firm that cleans up all the messes when superheroes fight and destroy tons of property, wouldn’t be that foreign of a concept to moviegoers. Their movie could even be something of a semi-sequel to The Avengers. Things could just pick up right where the movie ends, and the team (I’d figure a less-’90s Edifice Rex would be involved) could have lots of encounters with the universe’s heroes.
9) The Order
Marvel’s second team called The Order (the first was basically just the Defenders) was the California team in the 50-state Initiative after Civil War. Its leader, Henry Hellrung, is an old friend of Tony Stark’s, and the other members include a former Miss America, two soldiers, an injured track runner, a famous actress, and the kid of two musicians. Each one underwent a genetic procedure to obtain powers for a limited time, and would lose their powers if they violated an ethics clause. They were heroes under contract, and it was a fascinating concept. Incidentally, the team was originally called The Champions, the same name as a team featuring Ghost Rider and Hercules, and which was also awesome.
Kids of supervillains discover their parents’ villainous ways and form a superhero team to rebel against them! One is a mole! Intrigue! Teen romance! Snappy dialogue! I’m shocked this isn’t a movie already.
7) Agents of Atlas
A team of mostly unused characters from Marvel’s predecessor, Atlas Comics, in the 1950s, the Agents of Atlas consists of Gorilla Man (seriously, the best dude), M-11 (a.k.a. The Human Robot), Secret Agent Jimmy Woo, Venus (not the Venus, but a siren), Marvel Boy and Namora (Namor’s cousin). A movie version could do some great stuff switching back and forth between the ’50s and the present.
6) Guardians of the Galaxy
The original version from an alternate universe is all well and good (and pretty clearly a rip-off of the Legion of Superheroes), but the current incarnation of the team includes Rocket Goddamn Raccoon, which makes it automatically worth making it the basis of Marvel’s first cosmic film.
Before the New Warriors had a reality show, Marvel already had a take on celebrity superheroes in the form of the X-Statix (previously X-Force). Filmed by their cameraman, the floating green blob Doop, the team went on incredibly violent missions where members often died (in one, where they attempted to save the boy band Boyz R Us from a kidnapping, and almost everyone on the team was killed). If Marvel really really wanted to follow through on the superhero-reality-show-movie concept, this would be the way to go.
4) Great Lakes Avengers
A few filmmakers have tried to pull off superhero parody or satire, some more successfully (Super) than others (Superhero Movie), but wouldn’t it be neat if Marvel tried one of its own? And it featured Squirrel Girl and Flatman? They could change their name like a dozen times throughout the movie and it’d be great.
3) Heroes for Hire
It’s about damn time we had a movie with Luke Cage and Iron Fist in it, isn’t it? (However, the sexy ladies version of the team would also make a pretty great film.)
2) Team America
You may know Team America as that anti-terrorist group from the Trey Parker and Matt Stone marionette movie, but Marvel’s Team America (alternately known as the Thunderiders) are motorcycle racers who have a psychic link with one another so that they can, Captain Planet-style, combine their powers to create The Marauder, a mysterious motorcyclist who does amazing stuff. You know what the two teams have in common? They fight terrorists. But one has motorcycles!
No joke, Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. was the best comic Marvel was putting out when it was being published, and it ended much too fast. But we could see it resurrected on film. And really, who wouldn’t want to see this scene in a movie?
The answer is no one, that’s who.