Marvel’s turning over a new leaf, so to speak, as it enters the Marvel NOW! era. But in that amid the flurry of new titles, new line-ups and new creators, we’re finding some notable absences — notable to us at least. While some missed heroes like Luke Cage, Iron Fist and Mockingbird have popped up in cameos here and there, there are still a significant number of popular players waiting to be brought onto the field. In this installment of “Six by 6,” we suss out six such characters and zero in on their last whereabouts, and where some of them might show up next.
War Machine: You know, for being Iron Man’s right-hand man and a movie star in his own right, James “Rhodey” Rhodes sure has trouble finding a seat at the table. While he’s headlined his own series, there have been long swaths of time in which Rhodey is nowhere to be found … and we’re in one of those now. War Machine’s last in-continuity appearance was in the pages of Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley’s 2012 Avengers Assemble run, but since then he’s become difficult to find. We hope that with a certain movie on its way we might see War Machine make his whereabouts known in the very near future.
Nick Fury: Nick Fury Sr., to be exact. While his long-lost son Nick Fury Jr. is heading up the Secret Avengers squad, the elder Fury has been keeping his head down. He appeared last year in both Defenders and Ed Brubaker’s final issue of Captain America, but now he’s in the wind. He’s due to pop up in Winter Soldier, where I hope he’ll play a larger role.
Moon Knight: Ah, Moonie. Less than two years ago you were the subject of a Hail Mary revamp by Marvel’s top writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Alex Maleev. Twelve issues later, and not much changed. In the past six months, Moon Knight has shown up in X-Men Legacy and in Bendis’ Avengers finale, but in Marvel NOW! he’s been invisible.
Norman Osborn/Green Goblin: For being the one-time government bigwig in charge of all things superheroes, Norman Osborn keeps an awfully low profile. After he was deposed in the pages of Siege, Osborn’s appearances in the Marvel Universe, as himself or as the Green Goblin, have been sparse, relegated primarily to that great Osborn miniseries. In his absence, Doctor Octopus has put in a firm challenge to supplant Osborn as the wall-crawler’s No. 1 foe with the whole body-snatching thing, but I can’t wait to see what Norman thinks of that.
Ghost Rider: He’s one of Marvel’s most recognizable heroes, but also one that’s proved difficult for the publisher to integrate into its plans. (Man, imagine what Ghost Rider would have done in Avengers Vs. X-Men!) Instead, the Spirit of Vengeance, whether Blaze, Ketch or Alejandra, has been a ghost lately. Much like the Punisher, Ghost Rider’s a hard nut to crack — but there’s bound to be a way to make him work in Marvel NOW!
Marvelman/Miracleman: No matter what you call him, Micky Moran has been a no-show since Marvel announced in July 2009 that it had acquired the rights to the character. But now, nearly four years later, we’re still waiting to see Marvelman in one of the publisher’s comics. Some people thought he might appear in Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers run, but it looks to be the New Universe instead. Maybe it’s wishful thinking, but imagine Marvel NOW! turning into Marvelman NOW!