Movie Reviews

MCU: 10 Characters That Still Haven't Become Their Superpowered Counterpart

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is filled with an expansive and diverse cast of super-powered heroes and villains that only grows with each passing project. Already, the cast of this superhero franchise is larger than most other fictional worlds committed to screen, showing no signs of stopping its unprecedented growth.

Though the MCU focuses on major heroes like Captain America, Iron Man, and Spider-Man, it also features plenty of lesser-known comic book characters that will one day take over as the franchise’s lead. However, some such characters have yet to fully adopt their super-powered alter-ego from the comics.

Cassie Lang is the daughter of Scott Lang, the Ant-Man, and his ex-wife Maggie. Played by Abby Ryder Fortson in the original two Ant-Man films, Emma Fuhrmann took over the role after the five-year time jump in Avengers: Endgame. However, Marvel Studios has since announced that Katheryn Newton will be playing the role in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and, presumably, in any future appearances.

In recent comic books, Cassie Lang has adopted a similar power set to her father’s, becoming the superhero known as Stature. As her super-powered counterpart, Casie could prove to be a vital part of the MCU’s rumored Young Avengers team and, with her recent recasting, it would seem that the MCU isn’t quite finished with her story yet.

Danny Ramirez made his MCU debut last summer in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier as Joaquín Torres, a first lieutenant in the Air Force and a close friend to Sam Wilson in the years following the Blip. While the character has not yet been confirmed for any future appearances in the MCU, it seems likely that he will reappear at some point in the franchise’s near future.

Many comic book readers will recognize Torres as the man who took over as the Falcon after Sam Wilson became Captain America, acting as the elder hero’s sidekick during that time. Torres was last seen in possession of Wilson’s older model of wings, indicating that he could very well adopt his superhero moniker sooner rather than later.

Ned Leeds is Peter Parker’s best friend in high school and one of the first people to find out about his true identity as Spider-Man. Played by Jacob Batalon in all three of the MCU’s Spider-Man films, Ned’s future was recently put into question after he, along with the rest of the world, had his memories of Peter Parker wiped at the end of Spider-Man: No Way Home.

Ned has a far darker fate in the comics than has yet been hinted at in the MCU, eventually revealed as the villainous Hobgoblin. While later comics have retconned Leeds’s involvement as the Hobgoblin, many fans have theorized that such could be the character’s fate in future Spider-Man movies. However, given Ned’s comedic nature in the MCU, he may never become his super-powered counterpart.

Elijah Bradley had a small role in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier that may prove to be quite bigger as the franchise progresses. Portrayed by Elijah Richardson, Elijah is the grandson of Isaiah Bradley, one of the few successful super-soldiers in the years following the supposed death of Steve Rogers. Elijah lives with his grandfather, whose country betrayed and imprisoned him for decades.

In the comics, Elijah Bradley uses strength-enhancing drugs to become the superhero known as Patriot, who is a member of the Young Avengers. With vials of super-soldier serum already in play in the MCU and Eli Bradley already set up in The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, fans may not have to wait long to see a comics-accurate portrayal of the Young Avenger.

Tony Revolori portrays Flash Thompson, Peter Parker’s school bully in the MCU’s Spider-Man trilogy. Pompous and overconfident in his abilities, Flash appreciates any attention he can get, coming to loath the far more talented Peter Parker.

While most versions of Flash Thompson never inherit superpowers, the early 2000s saw a stark change for the character in comics wherein he bonded with an alien symbiote to become Agent Venom, though, at other points in his history, he has also been branded Venom and Anti-Venom. However, given the relative obscurity of this storyline with general audiences, it seems unlikely that Tony Revolori’s Flash will ever adopt any of these monikers.

Rachel Weisz joined the MCU in Black Widow as the Russian operative Melina Vostokoff. Melina was a spy designated for a special mission in Ohio during the Cold War, posing as the mother of fellow agents Natasha Romanoff and Yelena Belova. Her current whereabouts in the MCU are unknown.

The Iron Maiden, as it would turn out, is more than a heavy metal band. In Marvel Comics, Melina Vostokoff is a supervillain who operated under the name Iron Maiden, primarily serving as an antagonist of the Black Widow. Given the open-ended fate of Melina after Black Widow, a similar future could await her in live-action.

Harley Keener is a young boy that Tony Stark encounters in Tennessee during the events of Iron Man 3. Harley helps Tony to recuperate after his near-death at the hands of the Mandarin, only to disappear from the MCU for several years. Ty Simpkins would later reprise the role in a brief cameo at Tony Stark’s funeral in Avengers: Endgame.

Tony Dalton had a featured role in Disney+’s end-of-the-year buddy cop series Hawkeye, wherein he portrayed Jack Duquesne, the seemingly conniving stepfather of Kate Bishop who is eventually revealed to simply be a strange man with a strong enthusiasm for deadly weaponry. The character aids Clint and Kate in protecting innocent lives during Hawkeye‘s final episode, finally putting his swordsmanship skills to the test.

Jack Duquesne is one of several men who have worn the title of Swordsman in the Marvel Universe. As the original trainer of Hawkeye and an Avenger himself, the Swordsman has a memorable role in the early days of Marvel. While Hawkeye doesn’t seem to directly set up Jack’s superhero debut, the day may yet come when his sword skills are called upon once more, and hopefully so, as the Swordsman is certainly an Avenger that deserves to join the MCU.

Liv Tyler has made one appearance throughout the MCU as Betty Ross, Bruce Banner’s love interest in 2008’s The Incredible Hulk. Though some fans have come around to The Incredible Hulk in the years since its release, Liv Tyler has yet to indicate any further involvement with the MCU, though her character did appear in an animated episode of What If, where she was portrayed by Stephanie Panisello.

Though Betty Ross is primarily known for serving as a love interest to Bruce Banner, recent comic books have seen her transformation into the Red She-Hulk. As a somewhat morally ambiguous counterpart to She-Hulk, the Red She-Hulk has served as a member of the Defenders in recent years. Her character could make an intriguing addition to future seasons of She-Hulk, or even as a replacement for her father as a member of the Thunderbolts.

Kit Harrington made his exciting MCU debut in last year’s Eternals, appearing as Dane Whitman, Sersi’s human boyfriend who resides in London. Although he has very little screen time in this film, Eternals makes it clear that Dane’s introduction forebodes a long future in the MCU.

Dane Whitman is better known for his superhero alter-ego, the Black Knight. In Marvel Comics, the Black Knight wields a powerful sword known as the Ebony Blade, which has the power to kill even Celestials. Though Dane doesn’t fully adopt this moniker by the end of Eternals, the film’s post-credit scene hints that, when he inevitably returns to the MCU, he will do so not merely as Dane Whitman, but as the Black Knight.

NEXT: 10 Ms. Marvel Characters & Their Avengers Counterpart

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