[Featurama] 3 Marvel heroes that don’t get no respect

This isn’t one of them…

Ask anybody to name a superhero from the Marvel universe and chances are they’ll say Spider-Man, Wolverine, or the Fantastic Four. There’s nothing wrong with that but I feel it’s time for Marvel to start bringing attention to their heroes that haven’t shared the same popularity but have just as much potential. From the king of a technologically advanced fictional African nation, to a member of an intergalactic peace keeping force, to an ex-con who got his powers in a good-old fashioned experiment gone wrong, there are characters within the Marvel U that could be the next generation of famous heroes.
***some spoilers ahead***

[Black Panther]

I honestly think the Panther’s powers are the least interesting thing about him. Genius level intellect, peak physical fitness, and enhanced senses are nothing special. Neither is the fact that he designs and builds his own gadgets like Batman. To me, the most fascinating thing about him is his secret identity as King T’Challa of Wakanda, a fictional African country which is one of the most wealthiest and the most technologically advanced country in the world. While most heroes only have to worry about protecting their city or neighborhood, T’Challa has to worry about an entire country, protecting it from threats like Wilson Fisk aka the Kingpin and Doctor Doom, who want to exploit Wakanda’s wealth. On top of all this, the Black Panther is a member of the Avengers and was, for a short time, a fill-in member of the Fantastic Four.

That’s an alien head in his hand.

The Panther has been featured in Marvel cartoons and video games in the past but hasn’t starred in anything until recently. A Panther cartoon was made for BET with Djimon Hounsou’s voice used, but after the initial 6 episodes, nothing new has been released. A feature film has been in limbo since 1992, and with the success of Marvel Studios, I hope they finally get this made. With the right cast, *cough*Djimon Hounsou*cough*, and the right script, I can see this as a mix of the action from a typical comic book movie and couple scenes of the tactical breakdown from Robert Downey Jr.’s Sherlock Holmes.


I feel like Nova was Marvel’s attempt to have a Green Lantern-type character in their stable. He has pretty much the same origin story, “dying alien gives him powers and drafts him into becoming a space cop”, and he has similar powers: flight and energy projection. Like Green Lantern, he has to constantly balance his life on Earth with his duties as a member of the Nova Corps. This rather boring character got a major overhaul after the 2006 crossover event, Annihilation Wave, where the entire Corps was wiped out except for Nova and he was forced to download their vast library of knowledge into his brain for preservation. This ramped him up from your everyday hero to one of the strongest beings in existence.
Before shit hit the fan

Not content to have Nova be another overpowered “Deus Ex Machina” for future story arcs, his writers immediately pitted him against cosmic threats that challenge seasoned, veteran heroes such as Annihilus, the technorganic Phalanx, the entire Shi’ar Empire, and Thanos the Mad Titan; these battles tested not only his physical strength but also his mental and emotional strength. Eventually, Nova sacrificed himself to save the universe from the attacks of an alternate universe, where there is no death, called the Cancerverse. But whether this is a final death or a comic book death (where he shows up fine in a few months’ time) remains to be seen.

After. And yes this is him ripping someone inside out

[Luke Cage]

Luke Cage is an ex-con who got his powers of hardened skin and superhuman strength and stamina from a prison experiment that was sabotaged. Once out of prison, he forms the Heroes for Hire agency with his friend and partner, the kung-fu expert, Iron Fist. Luke is more of an everyman than his fellow heroes. He doesn’t have a secret identity, doesn’t have a secret hideout, he doesn’t even have a costume.
They all end up like this anyway.

Luke has gone through some pretty drastic changes recently. He’s gone from a loner to a husband and father. He has grown from a solo hero into the leaders of two different groups. The first is the leader of one of the 75 teams of Avengers, where he leads bigger name heroes like Wolverine, Spider-Man, and the Thing. The other group he is the head of is the supervillian convict rehabilitation program, the Thunderbolts. As an ex-con, he feels like he can show them a future where they aren’t falling into the same cycle of crime and imprisonment. All this extra responsibility has easily fallen on his bulletproof shoulders.

While all these heroes are relatively unknown by the majority of people, Marvel seems to be showing more care to their “B-List” heroes and are finding amazing story arcs for them. All these heroes have movie scripts that have been either green lit or are in the process of being created. Hopefully, they’ll be given the same amount of care and attention as the big dogs like Spider-Man and the X-Men.

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