This could well be the year of heroes teaming up in comic book movies! This June brings “Spider-Man: Homecoming” to cinemas, which has Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and Spider-Man (Tom Holland) working together in New York as Spidey tries to show that he’s more than the young kid that got a call-up in “Captain America: Civil War.”
It doesn’t end there as Hulk smashes back into action in his first appearance since “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” alongside Thor in “Thor: Ragnarok,” partnering in a gladiator arena on an alien planet. With “Ant-Man and the Wasp” set to follow (clearly showing the MCU loves their dynamic duos), CBR decided to look at 15 other comic book movie team-ups we’d love to see on the big screen!
SPOILER WARNING: Spoilers ahead for movies based on Marvel and DC characters.
15. CABLE & X-23
If you read comic events like “Messiah War” and “Messiah Complex,” then you’d know how dramatic and action-packed it was with Cable fending off friends and foe to traverse the timestream with Hope Summers (the first mutant born since Wanda depowered mutants in M-Day). While doing so, he trained her to become a warrior, which saw the Avengers and X-Men take stock of her when they returned to the present. It’s unlikely Fox will go this route using Hope (who was once an avatar for the Phoenix Force), but with Cable in need of a protege, why not X-23?
She’s in a future with scared youngsters, fatherless and maybe in need of a mentor to shape her into the leader Wolverine never officially became. Cable could easily arrive in her time and train her as the new Wolverine for something big. Their rapport would be very poignant as they both have a soldier mentality and are all about killing to stay alive. They could end up being the family that both badly need, in wars that never seem to escape their paths.
14. BATMAN & FLASH
From what we’ve seen from Zack Snyder’s “Justice League” movie so far, it’s obvious that Bruce Wayne and Barry Allen have quite a funny rapport with each other. They also showed how quippy they are when suited up as Batman and the Flash, reiterating that DC’s filmverse could be getting more lighthearted and less grim like how Marvel Studios handles things with their films. It would be bombastic if a “Flashpoint” arc was done cinematically with Flash navigating two different eras (due to his Speed Force) and thusly, meeting two different Batmans.
Imagine Ezra Miller’s speedster and Ben Affleck’s Batman in the present on a detective mission investigating the death of Barry’s mom, only for Flash to later find himself trying to alter the timestream, to find himself with the murderous Thomas Wayne (played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan) in an alternate universe. The movie could shift tempos from light to dark, packing a heavy emotional thread of family to it, which could end with Barry bringing back a letter from Thomas to the son he lost, a major tear-jerker in the books.
13. HULK & WOLVERINE
In the comics, Hulk and Wolverine have quite a testy history. Despite both being Avengers, they’ve often run into conflict. Their encounter in the Ultimate universe was most brutal with Hulk ripping Wolverine in half in the cold wilderness. In “Old Man Logan,” Wolverine went after Bruce Banner’s murderous family and ended up being swallowed by this lurid version of a post-apocalyptic Hulk, only to claw him apart from the inside. The “Logan” movie couldn’t give us this, but rather than a movie where they fought, why not a story about them joining forces?
They’re not always enemies and what would make this partnership solid is how they would play off each other. Imagine Hugh Jackman, or whoever succeeds him, going into berserker mode, while Banner tries to keep his cool. They would both learn the repercussions of not controlling their temper by watching each other, because if the Hulk loses it, it usually ends in citywide destruction. Think of this as superhero anger management 101 with these two sponsoring each other.
12. SPIDER-MAN & VENOM
Sony’s “Venom” movie is rumored to be R-rated, and what irks fans most is that it’s disconnected from their Spider-Man setup. This robs us from seeing the symbiote taking over Peter Parker. In an ideal world, we’d get his rivalry with Eddie Brock done much better than “Spider-Man 3,” with an eventual feud, but it seems that Marvel Studios just wants Pete as a protege to Iron Man. If at some point we do get Sony to give us a soldier out of Brock or say, Flash Thompson (as per the “Agent Venom” comics), it would be cool seeing them teaming up, if briefly, with Spidey.
This would have the wall-crawler looking at a dark reflection of what he could be, and turn out to be a good cop-bad cop dynamic like in “Lethal Weapon.” Venom took a heroic path later on in his career with “Thunderbolts” so it’s not just wishful thinking here. This would appeal more than the horror-in-space direction that Sony could be eyeing, because a Venom without Spider-Man lacks any sort of poignant sting.
11. STEVE ROGERS & SHARON CARTER
In “Civil War,” when Sharon Carter (Peggy’s niece) helped Steve and his team, and outside of her role as Agent 13, we also saw their romance blossom as it did in the books. She had a part to play when Steve died in the comics, and when he returned, his love for her was as good as new. Chris Evans and Emily VanCamp have amazing chemistry together and we’d love to see them in a spy-action thriller trying to suss out Tony Stark’s next moves or perhaps freeing other heroes wrongly imprisoned due to the Sokovia Accords.
It could start with Stark and General Ross trying to interrogate her only for Steve and his team to break her out and induct her with them. It’s not often we see an endearing side to Steve, as he’s usually about the mission, but teaming them up would give him a chance to actually look at his teammate as more than just a soldier. A more emotional Steve always makes for better stories and tethering him to a loved one could be what offsets his disappointment at breaking ranks with Stark.
10. NICK FURY & MARIA HILL
In the books, Maria Hill quickly became an iron-fisted senior figure, policing the Marvel universe when Nick Fury went A.W.O.L. after attacking Latveria in “Secret War.” In “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” Fury similarly went incognito when he realized S.H.I.E.L.D. was compromised, but unlike the books, Hill didn’t become a Stark advocate and enemy of Team Cap. She has constantly showed great loyalty to Fury in the MCU and we’d love to see Cobie Smulders and Sam Jackson continue this partnership.
Having them go after organizations such as A.I.M. (which we saw in “Iron Man 3”), HYDRA offshoots or even following up on the Infinity Stones and alien invasions would add relevance to them, and more so, rebuild them as crucial figures in the Avengers setup. We hardly learned anything about Hill in these movies and, as someone who’s now building a shield around the Earth to protect against aliens in the comics, it would be nice to see her camaraderie as Fury’s right hand woman explored in depth.
9. IRON MAN & GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
Stark has always reached for the stars and what better way to affirm this than by having him go one up on the Chitauri wormwhole from “The Avengers” and actually head into space? In the comics, he recently teamed up with Peter Quill a.k.a Star-Lord, and the “Guardians of the Galaxy” after helping them thwart a Badoon attack on Earth. This could be a great arc, not only bringing the reptilian alien invaders into play, but also for Quill and Stark, who share a lot of similar qualities as jokesters yet heroes.
Iron Man could also bring new suits into his cosmic missions, because let’s face it, when it comes to tech and inventions, he’s done it all on Earth. The Infinity Stones and Thanos may also be reason enough to try to safeguard the galaxy with Quill’s team as a first wave of defense. Gamora and company could also find themselves learning a lot from the more experienced Stark as a leader, and we can already picture her and Stark flirting much to the chagrin of Quill.
8. SCARLET WITCH & VISION
The Scarlet Witch and Vision have had a very long-winded romance in the comics, even having kids. The MCU doesn’t seem like their relationship will get that complex, although it hinted Vision did have a crush on her. That said, their friendship was strong, as both accepted each other as outsiders, making their “Civil War” fallout all the more heartbreaking. A clever twist would see Vision take time off from being Stark’s right-hand man and going after Wanda to convince (and not apprehend) her to rejoin them.
Given their powers, they would also make a formidable power couple in the field. The fact that Vision has the Mind Stone in his head (which was used to experiment on Wanda and her brother by Baron von Strucker) has immense potential. We could also dive into Wanda dealing with her powers evolving, which may not be for the best as she could go unstable like in “House of M.” This would further freshen up Vision as someone who isn’t Stark’s lackey, and help teach him more about humanity and liberty.
7. MAGNETO & QUICKSILVER
“X-Men: Days of Future Past” vaguely teased that Quicksilver could be Magneto’s son, only for “X:Men-Apocalypse” to hint at it more firmly. It would be intriguing watching them go off to find an unstable reality-altering Wanda (Fox’s version of the Scarlet Witch) after only just finding out she existed. It would be a powerful family movie, repurposing Magneto as a mentor to his son, which would be a new dynamic for him (placing him in a Professor X role) and the impetuous speedster.
It could take its lead from what Sony did with Iron Man and Spidey, but also touch on notes from the “House of M” event which focused on this family. Marvel may have retconned them out as blood in the comics, but this approach would reinvigorate things at Fox where both characters feel stagnant and need a new dimension to them to make them interesting again. Having Magneto also learning to lighten up a bit and taking heroic cues from his fearless and selfless son would be the icing on the cake.
6. BLACK WIDOW & HAWKEYE
In Joss Whedon’s “The Avengers,” while fighting the Chitauri, Hawkeye a.k.a. Clint Barton, and Black Widow mentioned a Budapest mission. We can only imagine how many of these exist. This movie hinted at a romance, but “Civil War” quickly diffused it to a sibling bond, so why not expand on this and give us some of their more infamous missions? It could be set in the past, or given they’re both enemies of Stark at present, it could take shape in a way similar to what was seen in “Secret Avengers.”
Given that Stark knows where Clint’s wife and kids are, having both of these heroes go after them and try to escape Stark’s squadron would give us another spy thriller and really make things personal. Furthermore, both heroes understand each other really well and are willing to sacrifice for one another, and what would make this even more impressive is that it would be a superhero movie without super-powered individuals, giving it a deeply human and relatable element.
5. FALCON & ANT-MAN
In “Ant-Man,” Scott Lang had to steal key materials from the Avengers training base. There, he encountered and shockingly defeated the Falcon. This led to Falcon recruiting Lang for Team Cap when they opposed the Sokovia Accords and Iron Man’s vision. Once more, we got Lang as comical as ever, but proving worthy in the field. They would be another great one-two punch in cinemas, especially in terms of the comedy factor.
If you remember “Pain and Gain,” it’s no surprise how much Mackie loves humor when he takes on action roles, and he brought that in spades as Falcon. With him and Lang on the run after breaking out of the Raft (thanks to Steve’s heroics), it would be pretty cool watching them engage in black-ops missions, also like in “Secret Avengers.” Despite their aloof way of doing things, Steve knows he can trust them to get the job done, and we can already visualize Falcon and Giant Man hilariously tackling folks like Taskmaster, the Wrecking Crew or the Masters of Evil.
4. BATMAN & DEADSHOT
In David Ayer’s “Suicide Squad” we saw Batman apprehending Deadshot (played by Will Smith), which led to his incarceration and subsequent use by Amanda Waller for Task Force X. This movie did manage to show that Deadshot had heroic qualities and a lot of his sinister motivations were fueled by trying to provide a better life for his daughter. It would make for powerful storytelling if we saw Batman recognize these virtues and use him for good, and not under duress like Waller did.
Deadshot’s not a fan of Batman because he has some selfish traits in him, but he could learn a lot if they take on a mission as a better version of Suicide Squad, and along the lines of “The Outsiders” (Batman’s covert ops unit). This could also see Batman cutting loose and doing things a bit in the grey area, showing Deadshot that he could be an anti-hero when he wants. Their contrasting styles would help refine both characters better in the DC filmverse, showing that redemption doesn’t necessary have to be all boy scout-ish.
3. BUCKY BARNES & BLACK WIDOW
In the comics, Bucky and Black Widow a.k.a. Natasha Romanoff, have quite a past together. She was one of the few who accepted his redemptive arc and gave him a second chance like Steve did, even with all the blood in his past. They were similar to each other, which also saw a romance blossom. While the MCU isn’t set up like this, Widow made it clear she knew about the myths of his assassinations as the Winter Soldier, and actually showed a bit of fear.
There’s potential here to build on this kinship, with Bucky and Natasha both chasing demons of old. She’s always said she had red in her ledger, so if a common enemy comes for them based on their old kills, then we could get another spy thriller on our hands. The Thunderbolts are great villainous options, or perhaps a HYDRA faction from Jonathan Hickman’s “Secret Warriors.” This could bring them together as comrades, and pit Widow in Bucky’s corner if he’s ever lined up to wield Cap’s shield as per the books.
2. WOLVERINE & DEADPOOL
Fans have been calling for Wolverine and Deadpool to team up after the success of their last two movies. Both were rated R, kickstarted by “Deadpool,” who was perfectly played by Ryan Reynolds. James Mangold then unleashed the gory, violent and foul-mouthed “Logan” we’d spent nearly a decade clamoring for, giving us characters that finally felt like their comic book counterparts. Reynolds himself has been campaigning for a team-up, but Hugh Jackman remains adamant that he won’t return as Wolverine.
With “Deadpool 2” moving along, we’re certain Reynolds won’t dwell on this, but imagine their dynamic like what we saw on Rick Remender’s “Uncanny X-Force.” This had Wolverine leading a black-ops team that killed threats against mutants, with the banter between him and Deadpool being pure gold. On screen, they would bring a degree of humor to the violence that would be absolutely unconventional, yet totally enjoyable. Deadpool’s recklessness plus Logan’s short temper would make a great bad cop-bad cop film just because of their chemistry, morality and overall ideals on what justice is.
1. STEVE ROGERS & BUCKY BARNES
The Russo Bros. really took the MCU for a more aggressive spin when they took over the “Captain America” franchise from Joe Johnston. Bringing Bucky back as the Winter Soldier, only to have Steve Rogers try to redeem and save him in “Civil War” split the Avengers, and saw Steve return his shield to Stark. It would be awesome seeing Bucky (who was placed back into cryogenic stasis in Wakanda) return and partner with Steve like the old days, only this time on a mission to cure him of his mental triggers, (which lead to his assassin mode).
They could also end up dealing with threats, old and new, like finding the remnants of a fallen HYDRA (who broke S.H.I.E.L.D. apart), or perhaps investigating the resurfacing of Red Skull. The MCU could even have them battling a Thunderbolts unit aiming to free the imprisoned Helmut Zemo after his terrorist actions. Both characters have a lot to explore and these missions could really give us the duo as brothers-in-arms.
Let us know in the comments what team-ups you’d love to see in upcoming comic book movies!