Sunday, May 14, 2017

These Marvel Universe Characters Deserve Their Own Movies

By Dathan Kazsuk | May 14, 2017
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Out of my group of "comic book" friends, I'm probably the last one in the bunch to have seen Marvel's latest hit, Guardians of the Galaxy 2. To be honest, I have been slacking off on my Marvel Universe these days. I didn't see Doctor Strange until I picked it up on Blu-ray. And haven't watched a single episode of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. this season. So this past Saturday, we finally made it out to see Guardians 2.

I won't drop any spoilers if you haven't seen the movie, but must say I was impressed. What I'm more so impressed with is how Marvel can take an unknown comic book and its rag-tag characters and turn it into a movie where the characters are household names. I'm talking about baby Groot and Rocket. Or how brilliant actor, Michael Rooker, who I'll always remember as "Henry" from the 1986 movie Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer or Jared Svenning from the 1995 underground classic, Mallrats, will now be known as Yondu.

So I thought to myself. Why can't Marvel make movies featuring some of my favorite MCU characters of all time. Sure, some of them have been portrayed in celluloid in the past – and were pretty horrible. So here I will name off my top 10. You might agree. You might disagree. You might have never even heard of them ... but then again, you probably never heard of Star-Lord, Drax the Destroyer or Gamora until a couple years ago.

So listed below are what I would consider to be my personal top considerations for Marvel Universe movies to be released before I die! 

Rom the Spaceknight. Honestly, I think they could have worked him into Guardians of the Galaxy this time around. Sure, he wasn't, but I still have faith that a Rom movie would kick some movie ass. Now I know Rom's rights technically belong to Parker Brothers/Hasbro, but back when I use to collect the comics it was Marvel. Imagine a cyborg from the planet of Galador who fights off the magic of the Dire Wraiths. Rom's armor is made of Plandanium, which is almost similar to Wolverine's Adamantium bones and claws. Yup, he's almost indestructible, and with self healing abilities to boot. And his Neutralizer gun, which was designed just to banish those darn Dire Wraiths, was used to send them back to limbo. In the comic book world, Rom has been introduced to such characters as Iron Fist and the Hulk.

Groo the Wanderer was a comic written and drawn by Sergio Aragonés. If you ever used to have your mom buy you an issue of Mad magazine, then you've seen the work by Aragonés. Widely regarded as "the world's fastest cartoonist" I used to love seeing his drawings in Mad. And then along came Groo! If you haven't figured it out, Groo is a satire take on Conan the Barbarian. He has been described as a large-nosed buffoon and usually found himself getting in sticky situations. And as like most barbarians who will do anything for money, power or sex ... all you need to do for Groo was offer him Cheese Dip, and then you might hear, "Now Groo does what Groo does best." It's far-fetched to see this on film, but I'd love to see Duane "the Rock" Johnson play this role!

The first time I recall seeing Scourge in the comic was when he killed one of my favorite b-list villains, Death Adder, of the Serpent Society. Since then he killed off a total of 36 other villains in the comics, typically appearing in the Captain America series. Scourge was a master of disguise and used those skills and a powerful rifle to kill his victims. Right after the Serpent Society were hired to kill M.O.D.O.K., Death Adder disguised himself in a trench coat and hat (which everyone did in the comic book world) and got into a cab. The cab driver, who was Scourge, shot off a round from his gun into Adder belly and said the three words Scourge was known for ... Justice Is Served! Who would play Scourge in a movie? Well, I would have said Karl Urban, who will appear in Thor 3 as The Executioner.

Think Wolverine and Deadpool and you would have Madcap. No, not a near-invinsible human with a witty sense of humor and tons of weapons and razor sharp claws. Just a witty sense of humor and someone you can't kill. The villain who is Madcap was always a pain in Captain America's side. After a serious car accidents with a tanker truck where Madcap was introduced to Compound X07 (an experimental nerve agent made by A.I.M.), he virtually became immortal. Madcap heals from ANY physical injury instantly – he's been decapitated and incinerated, and has come back each and every time. Plus he feels no pain – how cool would that be? He also has a specialized form of insanity-inducement which will drive anyone bonkers upon eye contact. Back in the day I thought Jim Carrey would have been the perfect Madcap – Think Carrey in the movie The Mask, but even more insane!

Probably the first one on the list that you might know. But then again, who doesn't know The Punisher? Dolph Lundgren played him in 1989. Thomas Jane played him in 2004. Ray Stevenson played him in 2008. And last but not least, Walking Dead actor Jon Bernthal took on the role in season 2 of Netflix's Daredevil in 2016. Dolph and Thomas pretty much sucked as Frank Castle – but I have to say that Stevenson's rendition of The Punisher was my favorite. The violence was there. The look was there. However, in that movie, I thought the actor who played Jigsaw was awful! Later this year, Bernthal will get an entire season devoted to the vigilante, and I'm curious to see how this plays out! But in my opinion so far, Stevenson was the best Punisher.

"I'm the Juggernaut, bitch!" That should have been a line from one of the most menacing characters in Marvel Universe history. Instead it comes from a lame ass character who gets outwitted by the X-Men's Kitty Pryde in X-Men's The Last Stand movie. Cain Marko, aka Juggernaut, has held his own against characters such as Colossus, Hulk, The Thing and Thor – and is probably one of the most powerful "humanoids" that subside on the planet Earth. If Marvel ever gets the rights to the X-Men, I hope they would bring back Juggs and have a massive battle with Colossus. Who would play Juggernaut? I say a mix between CGI and Brock Lesnar.

Based on the line of toys, the Micronauts were one of my favorite childhood memories. I had several different colors of the Pharoids, adored my Baron Karza and his hell-horse, Andromeda. I had the vicious Terraphant, which squirted water out its trunk and the rare Acroyer figure. Forget about the Transformers, Michael Bay would have scored a hit if he would have based a couple movies on these action figures – no disrespect to Optimus Prime and Megatron. Even if this was 100 percent CGI it would probably be a killer movie.The Micronauts comic came out in 1979, and I remember picking up issue #1 at our local comic store. Marvel Universe released the comics, so in time, the Micronauts were introduced to characters such as The Fantastic Four, Psycho Man and even Galactus.

Yes, I know Netflix just release Iron Fist in the line of series leading up to The Defenders. But I also didn't see the Danny Rand I was used to seeing in the comics. I'm still not sure that Finn Jones was the right choice for this character. I'll give them until The Defenders to see if the character grows on me ... and becomes the bad to the bone martial artist who is best friends with Luke Cage. As far as a good Iron First, I would have stuck with one of the original concepts of using Ray Park (a.k.a. Darth Maul and Toad), even though he might be too old now.

It seems I usually favor the bad guys in the comic world. If you take a look at my top 10, they are equally divided between "good" and "evil." But as far as groups go, sure I collected The Avengers, X-Men and Fantastic Four, but I really enjoyed when The Serpent Society wound up in the comics. Of course all the villains were named after snakes, so we had characters such as Cobra, Viper, Cottonmouth, Constrictor, Diamondback, Sidewinder, Anaconda and Death Adder. Now here's a pitch to Marvel to finally do a movie based around the bad guys and do a movie with The Serpent Society. And I have the perfect story line (look into when they were hired to kill M.O.D.O.K ... and use that!). The movie would be filled with male and female characters, great CGI with Bushmaster, and here's your opportunity to get Peter Dinklage to play the Mechanized Organism Designed Only for Killing!

Here we go ... my favorite character in the Marvel Universe ... Victor Creed! I remember the best comic with him, at least in my childhood was when I bought The Uncanny X-Men issue #213. It was an epic fight between Sabretooth and Wolverine that essentially went from cover to cover. In the movie world, Sabretooth has appeared twice in X-Men movies. The first time was in the premiere X-Men motion picture in 2000, when Tyler Mane played Creed. Mane stands 6'8" so he was close to the same height as Sabre, but he was again another comic book character who fell flat. Then nine years later Sabretooth made his second appearance in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, played this time by Liev Schreiber. This time, he was a little more like the comics – and I thought Schreiber did a good job. Now, with Hugh Jackman stepping down as Wolverine, I think they can continue on by bringing back Schreiber and start a new realm of Sabretooth. Hell, the character has been existing in the comic world for 40 years now, I think they'll have some backstories they can use!