Marvel boasts hordes of iconic characters, many of whom have made the leap from page to screen. Comic book shows and movies are nothing new, but they’ve never been so mainstream as they are right now. It can be challenging to make it big in Hollywood, though. Projects get scrapped, perform poorly, and some characters can’t seem to catch a break. There are many that deserve every bit of the popularity they enjoy, even more, that could use a little extra recognition and a few that are in dire need of a miracle.
With that in mind, we present you with ten Marvel characters who deserve a solo movie. Enjoy!
10. Happy Hogan
Throughout the course of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Happy has babysat the likes of Robert Downey Junior’s Tony Stark and Tom Holland’s Peter Parker, fought alongside (and against) Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff, and taken on Mickey Rourke’s Ivan Vanko (with a car). He’s also played by the man himself, Jon Favreau, who has been acting, directing, and producing through large swathes of the MCU since kicking the whole thing off with Iron Man. Of anyone, he may be the most deserving of his own movie, just for the work he’s put in on- and off-screen, in- and out of character. Be that as it may, Jon is probably content with his current role in the MCU, nevermind how busy he must be, especially with his work on The Mandalorian. Still love the tagline “More than a forehead of security.”
In the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Guardians of the Galaxy, we’re introduced to the Nova Corps, the police force and military 2-in-1 that teams with the Guardians to defeat Ronan the Accuser. After having already suffered heavy losses in the battle of Xandar, they are later dusted by Thanos when he claims the Infinity Stone of Power. Fortunately, or unfortunately, that is the setup for Richard Rider, the man called Nova. In the comics, Nova is born of the destruction of the Nova Corps, being the inheritor of the Nova Force. In one take on Nova’s origin, this power is bestowed upon him by none other than Rhomann Dey, portrayed in the first Guardians movie by John C. Reilly, who we’d love to see reprise his role. If you still need convincing that this movie needs to happen, Nova befriends heroes such as Star-Lord and Spider-Man, portrayed in the MCU by Chris Pratt and Tom Holland, respectively. We see this as an absolute win.
At a time when antagonist and anti-hero leads are a growing trend, and when Marvel has reclaimed the rights to some choice characters, it seems an obvious move to, shall we say, act on it. There is no shortage of characters who have proven to be so popular with fans as to land them more prominent roles, including their own line of comics. When it comes to such magnetism, one mutant has proven undeniable. So great is the pull of Magneto that it has brought factions together, and torn them asunder. It also doesn’t hurt that he has both fought against and lead the X-Men, one of Marvel’s premier supergroups, or that he has been somewhat favorably cast in the movies, with the role being shared by Sir Ian McKellen and Michael Fassbender. While we could do without sitting through a retelling of the origins of either the X-Men or Magneto, we would welcome a movie depicting his descent into infamy and rise to power, which would culminate in the introduction of the former. I mean, letting Magneto have the first move always worked for Fox.
7. Ghost Rider
Johnny Blaze and the demon Zarathos are a match made in Hell. In Ghost Rider and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, starring Nicholas Cage, the origins and adventures of these characters are explored but briefly. The latter of the two films also introduces would-be Ghost Rider, Danny Ketch, portrayed by Fergus Riordan. The Marvel Cinematic Universe introduced yet another Ghost Rider, Robbie Reyes, who is played by Gabriel Luna in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. television series. Blaze also appears in a cameo in the show, and the Spirit of Vengeance changes hands a few times. The list of Riders goes on, including the Punisher, Frank Castle, who becomes the Cosmic Ghost Rider. There are a lot of stories to be told here, as tends to be the case with comic books. With Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, coming to theaters May 7th, 2021, we hope to see the Rider (as well as the next character on this list) make a return to the big screen. Introducing Mephisto, at least, would be a start, and, in time, it could be that we see Blaze take the throne and become the King of Hell. Were that the case, we could well be in for the ride of our lives.
6. Doctor Doom
Yes, Victor Von Doom is an antagonist too, well, the whole of the Marvel multiverse, and the Fantastic Four in particular, but, on several occasions, Doom has also been a hero or, at least, an anti-hero. Portrayed by Joseph Culp, Julian McMahon, and Toby Kebbell over the course of four less than fantastic films (The Fantastic Four, Fantastic Four (2005) and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, and Fantastic Four (2015), respectively), Doom has suffered through the repeated rebooting of his rivals’ origin stories, while his own has been both brushed over, and/or butchered. To right this wrongdoing, Doom could (and should) be introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe independently from his adversaries, and the upcoming Strange sequel, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, could be as good an opportunity as any to do so (because of reasons). Doom could then be explored in-depth in his much deserved solo movie, where we would see him transition from an anti-hero role into the primary antagonist he would, of course, need to become, setting up a Fantastic Four follow-up film (or trilogy). If you ask us, the future of the MCU is Doomed.
5. James “Rhodey” Rhodes
Rhodey has been a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe from day one, though the role was re-cast for Iron Man 2, with the mantle passing from Terrence Howard to Don Cheadle, who has featured prominently since. While having a pair of Iron Men like Stark and Rhodes around has its advantages, being able to split the iconic duo to have them go solo was not one of those, and we imagine that to be at least part of the reason we haven’t seen a spin-off thus far. Now, not to seem opportunistic but, following the events of Avengers: Endgame, there is something of an opening within the MCU. That is, if ever there was a time for a War Machine or an Iron Patriot movie, we think now’s that time. #ThisTimeBaby
We’ve always been something of a Hawkeye fan, so we were quite glad when he’d turned up in the movies to sling a few arrows and comedic remarks. It’s not a bad gig, really. Besides, not everyone can be the star of their own movie — or can they? With Black Widow releasing on May 1st of this year, Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye will be the only member of The Avengers line-up to not have a solo on the so-called silver screen. As you may know, a Hawkeye series is slated to debut on Disney+ sometime in Fall 2021, but it just seems like a missed opportunity to complete the cinematic set. In this case, it isn’t so much a matter of why, as it is, why not? We say give Hawkeye a shot.
3. Nick Fury
While Iron Man has often been attributed to giving rise to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Nick Fury must be given his fair share of credit in assembling The Avengers, whose combined, continued success has ushered in a new age of comic book adaptations. Though Fury has gleaned a good deal of screen time over the course of the franchise (including post-credit scenes, television appearances, and more extensive roles in select installments), at this point, he’s entitled to a movie to call his own. We have no doubt that Samuel L. Jackson would rock a Fury flick, or that it would serve the MCU well, but it remains to be seen if the folks at Marvel Studios agree. Still, it’s something to keep an eye out for in the future.
In one of the earliest entries in what would come to be known as the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Hulk took to the big screen, and not for the first time. Yet, neither Hulk nor the MCU’s The Incredible Hulk featured The Avengers’ star, Mark Ruffalo, who has since brought much-needed credibility to the dual role(s) of Banner and the Hulk. While his fellow Avengers, Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor all enjoy trilogy status, the franchises’ fourth cornerstone seems to be relegated to appearing only as a team player, despite his tendency to otherwise isolate himself. After flexing his full potential to carry a film in Thor: Ragnarok, and Avengers: Endgame, we think it’s time the franchise revisit the character’s personal journey. 10/10, would SMASH!
Though Spider-Man has already starred in a number of films and film franchises, as both a solo act and as a member of a supergroup, we’re all for another Spider-Sequel. Now, we know that just such a movie is due to hit theaters July 16th, 2021, but it wasn’t so long ago that the future of the franchise was somewhat less certain. After the Sam Raimi/Tobey Maguire succession ended on something of a low note, and the Marc Webb/Andrew Garfield pairing failed to produce a third installment, the Disney/Sony dealings coming to an impasse last year had us entertaining the possibility of a Spider-Man movie curse. Despite each of us likely having their personal favorite (and least favorite) Peter Parker/Spider-Man, we all just want to see the character(s) done justice. We, the fans, as much as Spider-Man, deserve that, and we’re sure to get that, and more, if the Jon Watts/Tom Holland Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home have been any indicator. Peter-Tingle, anyone?
With a cast of characters as diverse as their fans, and everyone vying for attention, some are bound to get overlooked, but that doesn’t make them any less deserving. There are, and always will be, more characters that could stand to have the spotlight shone on them. There are plenty that almost made this list, like Gwen Stacy, Squirrel Girl, and Rescue. Remember, as their fans, it’s you and your opinions that give these characters their powers. If you love them, buy their comics and other merchandise, and let market research do its thing; or maybe you’re the type to get a job at Marvel, writing or drawing, helping to actively steer the course of the characters you grew up reading about.
Who would make your list of Marvel Characters Who Deserve a Solo Movie? Tell us in the comments.