After playing a pivotal role in four feature films and being a constant presence in the Marvel Universe for over 50 years, the mutant known as Magneto is finally getting his first ongoing series. The new comic, written by Cullen Bunn with art by Gabriel Hernandez Walta, will follow Magneto as he strikes out on his own after years standing at Cyclops’ side on the X-Men. Even though he’s been around since 1963, this will be the first time that readers will get to see the Master of Magnetism as the protagonist on a regular basis.
Magneto’s not the only prominent Marvel character to go decades without an ongoing series, but now that Marvel’s cranking out new solo titles on a near weekly basis, it makes sense that a perpetual team player like Magneto would finally headline his own. But why stop there? There are plenty of Marvel characters just ready to fly solo, and a lot of them have been waiting a long time for that opportunity! Here are five characters CBR feels are ready for prime time, headlining their own self-titled books.
Since debuting in 1961, Sue Storm has played a pivotal role in the Marvel Universe without ever having even a single limited series to her name., unlike her brother the Human Torch or the Thing, as both have had a few series, ongoing and mini, between them. As both Marvel Comics’ literal first lady and the Marvel Universe’s spiritual first lady, Sue Storm enjoys a level of prominence and importance that could prove to be fascinating material for a series. Turn Sue Storm into the Michelle Obama of the Marvel hero community. Make her inspiring and proactive; have her spearhead outreach opportunities to those in need, and have her go on diplomatic missions in hostile territories. Jonathan Hickman played with a lot of these ideas in his “Fantastic Four” run, and it’s time someone continued those stories.
When he debuted in 1969, Sam Wilson was the first African-American superhero at either of the Big Two comic book publishers. With a big role in April’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” Falcon’s about to get a lot more exposure, and Marvel should strike now, giving him his first ongoing series in order to match that raised profile, making him the A-List hero he deserves to be. Make him the hero of Harlem, his home neighborhood, and place him in intensely personal action stories similar to what we’ve seen in both “Hawkeye” and the newly launched “Black Widow.” Falcon is important to comic book history, and with his role in the next big Marvel movie and second “Avengers” film, he’s about to become important to the wider movie-going audience. A solo title needs to happen.
Aside from a few limited series, Marvel’s most prominent female character (and there are stats to back that claim up) has been relegated to leading roles in team books since her debut almost 40 years ago. While good chunks of Chris Claremont’s lengthy run on “Uncanny X-Men” could be very well have been pulled from a Storm ongoing series, it was not until recently that the character has genuinely started to feel bigger than the books she’s in. Brian Wood’s work on “X-Men” over the past few years has re-elevated Storm back to Claremont-levels of will and determination, two traits that would make her a compelling lead in an ongoing series. As Marvel’s most widely known female character, the company needs to be as devoted to her ongoing adventures at least as much as DC is to Wonder Woman’s.
There aren’t many super hero names as cool as Black Knight, and this guy’s not had an ongoing series despite being around — and usually an Avenger — since 1967. Unlike a lot of other Marvel characters, Black Knight could actually incorporate a lot of the elements that make shows like “Doctor Who” and “Game of Thrones” massive hits, resulting in a potential ongoing series unlike any other the company publishes. The latest in a long line of Black Knights, the book could explore the lineage of the character a la the Phantom, diving in and out of historical Black Knight tales while dealing with the current one, Dane Whitman. Some of those flashbacks could even take place in medieval Marvel England, injecting a lot of that “Thrones” grit into the Marvel U.
Marvel’s commitment to representing the gay community has grown a lot over the past decade, but those characters have been kept mostly in team titles. Writer Al Ewing has promised “Loki: Agent of Asgard” (also Loki’s first ongoing series ever) will explore the character’s bisexuality, but the god of mischief shouldn’t have to bear the burden of representation alone. Northstar has now been around for 35 years, and he’s been out of the closet for 22 of those. John Byrne almost gave Marvel their first comic with an LGBT lead 20 years ago when he pitched a Northstar ongoing that was ultimately nixed. Still, the character persevered and became a big part of the X-Men line. His wedding issue, “Astonishing X-Men” #51, gained national attention for depicting the first gay wedding in superhero comics. As an established character with historical importance, a growing supporting cast of characters and a built-in ‘relationship’ with the mainstream press, Northstar is a perfect candidate for an ongoing series.