Marvel Studios has had quite the monumental track record over the past few years. Fresh on the heels of the recent success of Iron Man 3, and with the world-building Avengers franchise leading the way to guaranteed box office smashes in the upcoming Thor: Dark World and Captain America: Winter Soldier, the studio has decided to stretch its legs. Marvel is taking one of their lesser-known properties in Guardians of the Galaxy and running with it, as it’s already set for an August 1, 2014 release date.
Alongside the likes of Guardians of the Galaxy’s Rocket Raccoon and Drax the Destroyer, Marvel has a veritable treasure trove of properties over its 70 year history to draw from that few outside of the comic book world have heard of; we’ve compiled a select few that are already primed for the big screen and would make for solid feature film adaptations. Hit the jump for our rundown of Marvel’s hidden gems.
Think “Supernatural Avengers.” With names like Morbius the Living Vampire, Werewolf by Night, and Man-Thing, this rag tag group of monsters-turned-heroes will surely turn some heads. There have been various incarnations of the team over the years, so if Marvel wanted to bring in some more household names for the sake of familiarity (assuming they could buy the film rights back), Ghost Rider and Blade were part of the roster long before their silver screen debuts.
One part Iron Man, one part Peter Parker, Darkhawk is a Marvel relic of the 90’s waiting for his time to shine. Chris Powell is an ordinary teenager until he comes in contact with a mysterious amulet that bonds him to an alien suit of armor. In a recent comic book storyline, Chris found himself alongside the Guardians of the Galaxy, fighting threats in the reaches of outer space. The crossover possibilities are there for the taking.
Heroes for Hire
Luke Cage and Iron Fist, the two mainstays of the Heroes, have had a resurgence in Marvel’s comics in the past decade, with good reason. Originally created in the swinging 70’s, the duo fights against the forces of evil – for a reasonable fee. Joining the ranks of the comic book Avengers’ ever-growing roster, the two continued their swing of popularity but never forgot their down-to-earth roots. To be fair, I really just want to hear “Sweet Christmas!”, Luke Cage’s go-to catchphrase, yelled on the big screen.
The Young Avengers
This one’s a gimme. The Young Avengers are a team of teenage superheroes with origins tied to their older counterparts. Outside of fighting super villains, the team must also be wary of Tony Stark and co. as the originals aren’t too thrilled to see untrained kids hitting the street under their banner. The team would also offer Marvel Studios some much needed diversity, as team members Wiccan and Hulkling offer a realistic portrayal of a young gay couple, one who just so happens to cast spells and another who can shapeshift to look like the Hulk.
Moon-Boy and Devil Dinosaur
Jack “The King” Kirby was responsible for many of Marvel’s greatest characters, but not all of his creations have gotten their due. Enter Moon-Boy and Devil Dinosaur – an innocent tale of an ape boy and his red, seven-story Tyrannosaurus Rex – the duo fight crime in a prehistoric time. It’s Marvel’s answer to Calvin and Hobbes and the perfect property for kid-friendly Pixar to sink its teeth into after Marvel’s acquisition by Disney.
Whether these properties ever see the light of day in theaters is beyond me, but Marvel Studios’ success is apparent and their future has never been brighter.