West Coast Avengers
From left to right: Mockingbird, Iron Man, Wonder Man who is above Tigra, and Hawkeye to the right.
Created by Hawkeye after fellow Avenger Vision suggested that the Avengers expand their influence beyond the Eastern United States, the team initially consisted of Mockingbord, Tigra, Wonder Man, Iron Man (this is where he had the upside down triangle on his chest), and of course Hawkeye. They fought many Marvel villains, even the demon Mephisto. Film-wise, this cold be an excuse to highlight lesser-known characters while still having the star-power of Robert Downey Jr. to headline the movie for optimum box office performance (even though the Iron Man in this group was initially Jim Rhodes, not Stark, but I won’t tell if you won’t).
Force Works, from left to right: Wonder Man, Scarlet Witch, Iron Man, Spider-Woman, U.S. Agent.
Force Works from the Iron Man cartoon, from left to right: Spider-Woman, War Machine, Iron Man, Century, Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch.
Formed by Tony Stark after the West Coast Avengers disbanded, Stark sought out heroes with the same philosophy he had (a view opposed by his Avengers mates) which was to prevent disasters before they occur rather than stop them when they happen. The initial recruits were U.S. Agent, Wonder Man, Scarlet Witch, Spider-Woman and of course Iron Man. Wonder Man was thought dead at the end of the first mission, so the alien known as Century took his place. The group used a supercomputer known as The Chaos Computer that took incoming information and predicted future events and Scarlet Witch used her hex powers of probabilities in order to prevent major world disasters. Force Works was actually featured in season one of the 90’s Iron Man cartoon, with Hawkeye replacing U.S. Agent. This would be a nice compliment to a West Coast Avengers movie if one were to ever be made. The team could be used to explore the idea of what would happen if the government had the power to predict and preventing disasters, planned terrorist attacks, etc. If Marvel ever had its Spider-Man related properties back from Sony, they could lead in with a Spider-Woman movie, and maybe a U.S. Agent movie with a strong appearance from Captain America to boost ticket sales. I admit, this one is an extreme stretch.
The Invaders, from left to right: Torch, Captain America, Namor the Submariner.
When Marvel finally reacquires the screen rights for Torch and Namor from Fox, maybe they can do a flashback movie set in WWII with Captain America, the original Human Torch (who was an android), Torch’s younger self Toro, and Namor the Submariner who is Prince of Atlantis, banding together to crush the Axis powers.
The New Warriors, from left to right: Firestar, Nova, Night Thrasher, Marvel Boy, Namorita, Speedball.
I love the New Warriors. Debuting in 1989, the team was formed by urban vigilante Night Thrasher (a skate-boarding hero) made up of young superheroes to help him combat an escalating crime problem in urban centers. In my opinion he recruits characters far too powerful for his purposes, but they’re still awesome: Nova (a superhuman who’s part of an intergalactic police force), Speedball (who gains energy every time he’s hit), Namorita (cousin on Namor the Submariner with his powers), Marvel Boy (with the power of telekinesis) and Firestar (with the power to start and control fire). For a movie, depict urban crime to be way out of control a la Robocop with a generally nasty, mean spirited vibe taking control of streets, and goons with super-powered weapons and occasional superhuman abilities that overwhelm the cops. Enter the New Warriors who try their best to turn the tide while dealing with life and love within the group, and shunning government interference and S.H.I.E.L.D. tries to recruit them for their own purposes. The New Warriors would be the younger, more hip Avengers.
The Defenders clockwise from left: Namor the Submariner, Hulk (picking his noes?), Silver Surfer, Dr. Strange.
Hopefully Marvel can get back their screen rights for Silver Surfer and Namor the Submariner from Fox for the most powerful team in the Marvel Universe. Originally summoned by Dr. Strange to battle supernatural threats, the Defenders consists of the Hulk (the most powerful mortal on the planet), Silver Surfer (one of the most powerful beings in the universe), Namor the Submariner (ruler of the oceans, which means he controls 70% of the planet) and of course Dr. Strange (master of the occult, which means he can deal with any supernatural threat). These guys can tackle anything, but also have fights we’ve always wanted to see on screen, like Hulk vs. Namor, or Hulk vs. Silver Surfer. Some gigantic threat would have to bring these dudes together, so the movie would have to be appropriately epic.
The amazing world of the X-Men! 'Nuff said.
Can't recognize some of the X-Men characters and situations in the picture above? There's a good reason for that. After Fox’s 60’s/70’s reboot peters out and the next Wolverine movie fails, it’s high time for Marvel/Disney to buy this lucrative property back from Fox and reboot the living f*ck out of it. Seriously. Let’s do this franchise right for once. When Wolverine 2 and the X-Men: First Class sequel come out (they’re currently in production), we will be eight movies into a franchise that has clouded its own continuity needlessly with timelines that don’t make sense, wasted characters like Cyclops and Gambit, and absolutely squandered all of the wonderful stories like Days of Future Past to Onslaught to name a few, and villains from Apocalypse to the Sentinels. What happened? This is not the X-Men film franchise I envisioned when I was a kid dreaming of the possibilities of what an X-Men movie could bring. It’s time to do this right for a change, and apparently that can only happen when if Marvel gets their hands on their beloved X-Men again. And please, no more black leather biker outfits.
Fantastic Four, clockwise from bottom: Thing, Human Torch, Reed Richards, Sue Storm.
Speaking of doing something right for a change, Fantastic Four is in desperate need of a makeover, and not the forthcoming one from Fox. Dr. Doom’s story and his relation to the FF origin is epic. Galactus was totally wasted. The Inhumans will never be done now. Mole Man and his giant monsters don’t seem to be on the horizon. As much as the two existing FF films are fun to look at, they’re completely sloppy. Thing starts a tragedy of accidents on a bridge, the FF rescue everyone and are hailed as heroes? But they started the problem!? Later, Thing and Dr. Doom destroy a moving bus, and conveniently there’s nobody inside!? But it was moving. Wasn’t the driver at least killed? No, let’s start this over, and have Marvel do this and do this right.