Ten years ago, Raccoons with guns and talking trees weren’t the type of characters we’d expect in a big-budget superhero film. Today, however, we’re waiting with baited breath for their return in Avengers 4. Marvel has managed to introduce all types of strange characters into it’s MCU movies, often with unforeseen success. And with clever easter eggs like Howard the Duck and glorious characters like Baby Groot, we have to wonder, is there anything Marvel can’t do? With villains like Loki and Killmonger, is there any enemy we couldn’t learn to love? If the MCU could build a franchise around a character named Ant-Man, is there any character they couldn’t successfully bring to the MCU? Yes, quite a few, actually.
Marvel may be home to more than 8,000 characters, but not all of these characters are equally made. There are several great heroes and villains who, for one reason or another, just wouldn’t translate well to a big screen. Other characters have useless powers or don’t even live their name. Some characters have offensive or disturbing powers that wouldn’t sit well with many PG-13 viewers. Many characters should be disqualified for their names alone, which says a lot considering Ant-Man and the Wasp is about to hit theaters. And of course, there are a few characters that we’re surprised even exists. Whatever the reason, there are quite a few characters that shouldn’t show up in the MCU. Here are 20 difficult, obscure, or just plain weird characters that fans couldn’t fall in love with in the MCU.
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20. ARMLESS TIGER MAN
Eric Hertz was an average German mechanic from the ’40s until a machine accident cost him his arms. Instead of building mechanical arms and seeking vengeance from those responsible, Hertz trained himself to fight, sharpened his teeth to resemble razor-sharp fangs, and took the name Armless Tiger Man. He then set off on a quest to destroy all machinery in Germany until the Nazis caught him and sent him to destroy machinery in America instead.
Somewhere between his initial rampage and his work for the Red Skull during WWII, he also developed some odd habits. Needless to say, Armless Tiger Man wouldn’t be much of a hit in the MCU. Between the misplaced motivation and the name, he doesn’t have much going for him.
While dressed as a clown, Steven Harmon entered an interdimensional portal inside a funhouse. Before arriving in Dimension X, Harmon’s molecules were stretched over thousands of dimensions. The event transformed his body into a mass of unstable molecules (Electroplasm), which essentially turned him into a living cartoon character. Slapstick was invincible and as a cartoon character, could manipulate his body in ways that defied the laws of physics.
Much like Deadpool, he frequently broke the fourth wall. Slapstick is a well-liked character, but the nature of his powers isn’t something that would translate well. And as an eccentric fourth-wall breaker who can’t be killed, he also seems like the cartoon clown version of Deadpool, and he deserves better than that.
If someone needs a door to anywhere, who do they need? Doorman! DeMarr Davis was one of the frequently rebranded Great Lakes Avengers. He had a special connection to the Darkforce Dimension, which allowed him to become intangible and walk through walls. If Doorman stood against a wall or other solid object, others could pass through him to the other side, effectively making Davis a portable door.
After his death, Oblivion resurrected him to serve as an Angel of Death. Oblivion gave him additional powers to help him with his new work. He had the power of flight, teleportation, and the ability to create objects out of Darkforce energy. For some reason, even after he received these new powers, he was still called Doorman.
17. FATHER TIME
There are actually two Father Times in Marvel comics. The first is a WWII hero who fought with Captain America, and the other was an Elder of the Universe. This Elder of the Universe described himself as the Dispatcher of Destiny, and his purpose was to commemorate significant events in the universe. For some reason, this meant collecting legendary Americans and placing them in another dimension to preserve them.
Father Time claimed responsibility for helping John Henry, Johnny Appleseed, Uncle Sam, and other notable Americans achieve legendary status. At one point, he kidnapped Captain America in the hopes that his disappearance would solidify Cap’s standing as a legendary figure. It’s an interesting concept, but would a patriotic-themed Collector be that exciting in the MCU? No, not at all.
While Thanos made it over to the MCU pretty quickly, his younger brother Eros will hopefully not follow anytime soon. Like his name implies, Eros spent most of his life chasing women and adventure. When he joined the Avengers, they gave him the name Starfox because they felt the government wouldn’t give a security clearance to someone called Eros.
While Starfox had the typical powers that Titan Eternals possessed, he also had the ability to stimulate the pleasure center of anyone in close proximity to him. Occasionally, he used this power to subdue an enemy on a mission. However, he also used his powers off duty to make others like him more. Not exactly the kind of hero we’re looking for on the big screen.
Fritz von Meyer was a former Nazi scientist who made the mistake of studying mutated bees. Said bees attacked von Meyer and as there was nothing left but his skeleton, he should have died. Instead, the skeleton’s consciousness imbued itself into the bees and took control of the swarm.
Von Meyer took the name Swarm and set off to wreak havoc on the human race. Swarm faced quite a few enemies but considered Spider-Man to be his “natural” enemy. On one hand, Swarm is actually pretty cool. Aside from making a swarm of evil “Nazi Bees”, he could also mutate his bees to reach incredible sizes. On the other hand, all it takes to stop Swarm is insect repellant.
14. 3-D MAN
3-D Man is just as ridiculous as he sounds, as well as a little complicated. He was comprised of two brothers, Charles and Hal Chandler. Charles and Hal were kidnapped by Skrulls and placed aboard the Skrull’s ship. While attempting to escape, Charles was caught in a radiation blast that seemingly killed him, while his brother looked on. What really happened was that the explosion imprinted 2-D images of Charles onto Hal’s glasses.
Through intense concentration, Hal could temporarily reconstitute his brother as 3-D Man. During this time, Hal would slip into a comatose state, but he would still be connected to his brother’s consciousness. 3-D Man is certainly an original concept, but not one we’d be able to take seriously on the big screen.
Skin is basically what Mr. Fantastic would be like if he could only stretch his skin and only stretch it a few feet out. Angelo Espinosa discovered he was a mutant when his powers emerged after a car crash. Following the accident, Espinosa found he had as much as six feet of extra skin that he learned to control. His skin, although discolored, also became far more resilient than normal.
When he wasn’t stretching it or actively trying to control it, the extra skin hung limp on his body. After Espinosa gained powers, he eventually joined Generation X. Unlike the majority of the other recruits, though, Skin did not join to become an X-Man — he only wanted to be able to control his powers.
Ebenezer Laughton was a professional contortionist and escape artist. During one of his performances, he helped Iron Man stop a robbery. Seeing how effective his talents were in combat, he decided to try his hand at crime and he trained crows to help him with his endeavors.
Scarecrow started off as an average lower level criminal and became progressively stranger. He developed a deep fascination with fear. The Organization known as the Firm eventually helped Scarecrow develop the ability to instill fear in others and feed off of fear. He was also able to augment his strength, speed, and healing. At one point, the villain was also a disembodied spirit with the power to resurrect the dead and possess people.
11. THE LIVING ERASER
If there’s one thing worse than a villain with a ridiculous name, it’s a villain who doesn’t live up to his ridiculous name. Cutza, the Living Eraser worked for the Supremacy in Dimension Z. At the Supremacy’s request, Cutza traveled to Earth to kidnap notable scientists. To do this, the Living Eraser used his Dimensionizer, a device that transported people between Earth and Dimension Z.
While someone was in transit between dimensions, it would look like they were disappearing in one dimension until the process was complete and they made it to the other dimension. Despite his name, the Living Eraser doesn’t actually erase anything permanently (that actually might have made a terrifying villain to face). Instead, he just moves whatever he “erased” to another dimension.
Mandrill is a formidable foe in the comics, but hopefully not one that will show up in the MCU. Jerome Beecham had the appearance and strength of an actual mandrill, which caused him nothing but pain and ridicule as a child. His father abandoned him when he was only ten, which gave him a hatred of American ideals and a burning desire to seek vengeance from his parents.
Later, Beecham’s mutant powers emerged, which gave him the ability to control women by releasing pheromones. Mandrill used his gifts to raise multiple all-female armies for the purpose of overthrowing nations and punishing his parents for the pain they had caused him.
9. RUBY THURSDAY
Thursday Rubinstein was a brilliant scientist who decided the best use of her intellect would be to replace her head with an orb of plastic circuitry. With this red ball in place of her head, she became Ruby Thursday and joined the group of villains aptly-named the Headmen. She clashed with the Defenders most often. Ruby’s computerized head could shapeshift into virtually anything from weapons to a pair of wings.
While she could make her head appear like a normal head, some of her more memorable shapes included just a standard orb or a giant pair of lips. Ruby could detach her head from her body, grow up to eight tentacles out of her head, make her head explode and regrow, and shoot bursts of force.
Vincent Patilio was a small-time, incredibly unsuccessful inventor. One fateful day, he finally developed a set of electric-powered leaping coils. Instead of being content to get rich from patenting and selling his invention, Patilio decided it would be better to use his invention to commit crimes. And since there are only so many themes to chose from when leaping coils are concerned, Patilio designed a bright green costume and became Leap-Frog.
Leap-Frog was never a very successful villain. He normally blamed this on the superheroes, although other criminals such as Stilt-Man considered him an amateur. Should Leap-Frog made an appearance in the MCU. it’s not likely that he’d be anything more than an amateur. Just think how easily one of the Avengers could beat him.
Laussa Odindottir is Thor younger sister — one of the few children of Odin who was not hidden or cast out of Asgard. Due to some interesting events evens in an in-between realm though, the Asgardian princess also developed some disturbing fire powers, courtesy of Surtur. Even as a baby, Laussa would sporadically turn into a Fire Demon.
To save the Baby, Angela threw the child into Heven’s furnace, which burned most of the disease out of Laussa. However, after the child went back to Asgard, she exhibited signs that Surtur’s power could resurface. Aside from the difficulty of writing her into the MCU, an innocent baby that turns into a demonic ball of fire isn’t a character we want to see.
While some characters wouldn’t translate well to the big screen, other characters leave us wondering why they even exist. Carlos Cabrera and his gang of thugs first appeared in Captain America #183, when Boss Morgan hired him to kill the Falcon.
Gamecock did not have powers, but he was an excellent fighter. His suit included sharp claws on the hands and feet of his costume, which somehow justified that fact that he and his group dressed liked a bunch of chickens. Cabrera is a pretty low-profile character, so we don’t expect him to show up in the MCU anytime soon. And really, there’s only so much they could do with a mercenary who dresses like a chicken and doesn’t have any powers.
5. BLUE STREAK
Sometimes, all that’s needed to be a supervillain is a pair of skates. Don Thomas was a member of the criminal organization called the Corporation. He managed to infiltrate the ranks of the S.H.I.E.L.D. Super-spies and was even trained by the Falcon. What set the Blue Streak apart from other villains was his mechanized suit.
The suit featured a set of rocket-powered skates that could reach speeds of 125 miles an hour, and a set of lasers. Even after Justin Hammer agreed to sponsor him, he still went around robbing banks on a pair of skates. Thomas eventually died (twice) and Jonathan Swift took up his mantle. He even took it a step further and created a gang of rollerskating criminals called the Fast Five.
Following a motorcycle accident that disfigured his face, Drake Shannon received an eyeball-shaped mask from the They Who Wield the Power. The mask could fire laser beams and hypnotize anyone who looked at it. The second Orb, whose name remains a mystery, was actually born with a giant eyeball for a head.
This mercenary also had an obsession with eyeballs in general. During the events of “Original Sin” Orb took possession of one of the Watcher’s eyes, which attached itself to Orb and gave him the ability to shoot a laser out of his eye. He then took on his own variation of the Watcher’s duties, which involved observing events and encouraging murderers and criminals to embrace their destinies.
Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing, or M.O.D.O.K., is basically a giant head with a small, frail body. His head is so big that he has to ride around in a hoverchair. He was originally George Tarleton, a member of A.I.M. mutated for the purpose of studying a Cosmic Cube. However, after he gained a staggering intellect and an impressive set of psionic powers, he quickly became a supervillain.
While M.O.D.O.K. is a well-known villain, he’s one of those few characters that just shouldn’t ever be live-action. Do we really want to see that grotesque brain brought to life with cutting-edge CGI? No, he’d just look ridiculous. Would we be happy if they drastically changed his appearance instead? No, he wouldn’t be M.O.D.O.K. then.
2. THE PHONE RANGER
What do you get when you cross a telephone repairman with a miniature spaceship? Somehow, you get a superhero called the Phone Ranger. A. G. Bell was just an ordinary phone repairman until he repaired a phone that had a small spaceship trapped inside the receiver. While repairing the phone, Bell came across some of the ship’s tech, which he studied and recreated.
As it turned out, the tech allowed Bell to access every conceivable communications system, which inspired him to become a superhero. Bell designed a costume and declared himself the Phone Ranger. Considering his unique skill set and his strong desire to protect and avenge phones, it’s not likely that he’ll pop up in the MCU. Ever.
What exactly is Doop? No one is entirely sure. He has a mother and speaks a language that appears to be alien. However, Captain America mentioned that Doop was a weapon created in the Cold War. Doop has as extensive and conveniently diverse powers, the full scope of which is not known. He has at least enough strength to battle Thor and can shoot psionic blasts. He can also use a bass guitar to channel the lethal Power of the Funk.
Other powers include Doopish Magic, levitation, and the ability to send something to another dimension via his mouth. His weapons of choice include an Ultimate Nullifier, a gun that shoots bees, a chainsaw, and bowling balls. Long story short, Doop is just weird.
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