I’ve recently posed the same scenario to a few people, just out of curiosity: Let’s say Marvel came up to you and asked who you felt 10 must-have characters are that need to survive Secret Wars and exist in the new Marvel Universe. Who would be on your list and why? The reason I ask this is because…well, let’s face it, after Secret Wars is over, and the Marvel Universe is rebooted, things will be VERY different, and it’s entirely possible that not everyone in the Marvel Universe that we know and love now will make it into the new one. And frankly, it’s not just who gets in, but which version of what characters get in. For example, let’s say Tony Stark makes it through to the post-Secret Wars universe, which he probably will. It could be any version of Tony throughout history and across the Multiverse, or a brand new take on the character. Hell, it could be a complete cut and paste of Robert Downey Jr.’s take on the character…which I’d actually be perfectly okay with, by the way. But yeah, point is, there’s no way to know, and a lot of people could potentially be losing some of their favourite characters with this reboot. As such, I’ve decided to list the 10 characters I feel need to survive Secret Wars, though I should note that I won’t be including any that are currently part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as I would imagine their positions are secure. So yeah, thankfully, I don’t see Carol Danvers going anywhere anytime soon. ^_^ So, let’s start off with the one that you all probably know I couldn’t stand to have the Marvel Universe be without…
#1 – Kamala Khan, AKA Ms. Marvel
…Yeah, I have a confession to make: For many years, Stephanie Brown has been my favourite superhero. While I wouldn’t say that she’s been usurped, if there was ever a hero in a position to possibly do so, it’s Kamala. She’s simultaneously able to reach out to a minority group, AND be extremely relatable to lots of people: She’s a geek, she writes fanfiction, she has trouble relating to her family, standard teen issues, non-standard teen issues (see aforementioned family), a good sense of humour, a love of superheroes, and a desire to be like them. Plus, while she isn’t always the most successful heroine at her job, she nonetheless keeps trying, learning new ways to use her powers and getting better at being a superhero, thus earning the praise of Wolverine and Spider-Man. She’s a very inspiring hero as a result. It’s really no wonder the trade paperback for issues 1 through 5 did as well as it did, ranking #2 on the New York Times Best Seller list. And frankly, we know that Marvel is always looking for ways to make money, so keeping Kamala around as Ms. Marvel is a must. Failing a solo book, however, she should at least be on a team, possibly a new version of the Young Avengers, or even a sort of Young Inhumans book.
#2 – Miles Morales, AKA The Ultimate Spider-Man
Honestly, I attribute the Ultimate Universe surviving for as long as it did to its Spider-Man books, and to be perfectly frank, I loved how they handled the death of Ultimate Peter Parker (or DID he?), and the rise of Miles Morales as his successor. Much like another entrant on this list, Miles takes a lot of what works about Peter’s character and goes in a somewhat different direction with it, but nonetheless in a way that works. He’s actually younger and more awkward than his predecessor was when he first got started, and his powers are just different enough that he’s a very unique Spider-Man. Plus, hey, we gotta keep SOMETHING from the Ultimate Universe around…although it’s a pity that it seems we’ll probably never get resolution on whether the Peter that he teamed with recently was the real thing or a clone. As for what to do with him…well, there’s a few options. One is that he could replace mainstream Peter as Spider-Man for the most part, with Peter acting as a mentor/occasional partner in action. Two, they could both operate as Spider-Man, working both as partners and with Miles working with my aforementioned Young Avengers idea. Or three, there IS seemingly an opening for the role of Scarlet Spider, with Kaine’s apparent death (still not 100% sure about that, but whatever), that Miles could fill in. But speaking of Multiverse Spiders…
#3 – Gwen Stacy, AKA The Insert-Cool-Sounding-Adjective Spider-Woman
Like with Miles, Spider-Gwen is able to take elements of what makes mainstream Peter’s character work and pull it in a new direction. In this case, it’s taking those elements and applying them to a character we sort of already know, but isn’t EXACTLY the same. As such, she’s a wonderful blend of the familiar and the fresh. However, here’s where there could be a problem. You see, as far as I can tell, all the worlds left in the Multiverse are getting merged together into Battleworld for Secret Wars, and that, following the event, Battleworld will be transformed into the new Earth of the new Marvel Universe. I’m not 100% sure where that leaves Gwen and her radically different world, where characters we know and love have a lot about them that are different (Daredevil actually WORKS for Kingpin). And true, I could say the same for the Ultimate Universe, but this one is far more fresh and new to the reader, with a lot of possibilities left undiscovered and unrealized. It’d be a shame to toss it all aside. That’s why I’m hoping that this world at least remains part of its own universe, and that we don’t see the COMPLETE collapse of the Multiverse. Plus, say she was made part of the main Marvel Universe. What would we call her? I know her book is called Spider-Gwen, as is she by fans, but I think calling herself that in canon would kinda compromise the whole secret identity thing. lol
#4 – James ‘Logan’ Howlett, AKA Wolverine
Of all the people that aren’t in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this is probably the one that’s the biggest no-brainer in terms of who will be making it into the new universe. And let’s be honest, you and I both know Logan’s coming back. As I’ve mentioned before, though, I hope we aren’t put in the same position we were in with the character prior to his losing his healing factor. I mean, he can have it, that’s fine, but there needs to be a limitation to it. He can’t be INVINCIBLE. Otherwise, you eventually lose interest in reading about him, because he can shrug off anything villains throw at him. Sure, just because he’s able to recover from anything doesn’t mean he’ll always win, but it certainly increases his overall success rate. And it’s not like he shouldn’t be able to win, it’s that we should have some tangible threat/concern-level so that it’s not a given that he’ll come out on top. That way, we can feel all the better for him when he does.
#5 – Ororo Munroe, AKA Storm
Another member of the X-Men, and like Wolverine, I just can’t see the new Marvel Universe without Storm. She’s just been too important a character for too long for her to just completely vanish. She’s also one of the most powerful Marvel Superheroes, to the point where I’ve often wondered why she only spent a VERY short tenure with the Avengers. Granted, I think that she’s currently best served as the leader of the all-female Adjectiveless X-Men, but there’s nothing saying she can’t pull double duty. Hopefully, A-Force does in fact stick around post-Secret Wars, and Storm can be one of the primary members.
#6 – Anna Marie, AKA Rogue
…Yeah, as I’ve made clear on a number of occasions, I’m a big fan of the Southern Belle known as Rogue. As both a high-profile X-Man and a founding member of the Uncanny Avengers, she has proven to be a force to be reckoned with, no matter who she’s fighting. One touch is literally all she needs to turn the tide of battle. Her touch can even be lethal, though…let’s face it, with most of us, it’s worth the risk. Honestly, though, I kinda wish they hadn’t undone her getting past that by merging her with Wonder Man, and I hope this can be fixed later. And frankly, while we’re on the subject of wishes, I wish that Rogue could appear in the MCU in her more badass self, because if Fox ain’t gonna do it, I know Marvel Studios would be more than happy to. ^_^
#7 – Norman Osborn, AKA The Green Goblin
I felt compelled to put in at least one villain. Granted, with the next new Spider-Man reboot on the way, I would imagine Green Goblin will eventually play a role, but it’s not set in stone just yet. And because Norman Osborn’s Green Goblin persona is one of the most scheming, conniving, and morally bankrupt villains in all of Marvel, who has not only had a number of memorable encounters with his arch-nemesis Spider-Man but with the Avengers as a whole, I feel that he’s a must among villains to make it into the new Marvel Universe.
#8 – Jessica Drew, AKA Spider-Woman
Admittedly, this is one that could very easily turn out to be in the MCU, as rumours are afloat that she may appear in AKA Jessica Jones, but since nothing’s finalized yet, and it wouldn’t be a huge role, I feel justified placing Spider-Woman here. She’s an integral part of the Marvel Universe, having worked for the Avengers, the Secret Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D., S.W.O.R.D., the Spider Army, the Lady Liberators, and even HYDRA for a time. In short, she’s had long-term interactions and relationships with multiple characters across the Marvel Universe, to the point where it would feel odd to see her not present in the new one, like it were incomplete. Besides, she just recently decided to pursue a whole new solo career in a new Batgirl of Burnside-esque costume. I’m sure plenty of people would love to see where that takes her.
#9 – Jennifer Walters, AKA She-Hulk
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m left wondering why the hell this character ISN’T part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but I digress. To be completely honest, I actually like She-Hulk a lot more than the Hulk. And no, it’s not because she’s a woman…though that helps. lol I guess I just find the relation between the Jennifer and She-Hulk personas more interesting, her civilian job allows her a unique perspective of the Marvel Universe and the people in it, and…well, Bruce Banner in the comics has become kind of a dick lately. It’s actually weird seeing him behave like that in the comics, and then in the movies, he’s potentially shacking up with Black Widow. And yeah, I will admit that She-Hulk being a super strong, super sexy woman helps, but what helps a lot more, and I really mean this, is that she’s super strong, super sexy, AND super smart, meaning she has the complete package.
#10 – Flash Thompson, AKA Agent Venom
Again, this is someone who could very easily turn out to be in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but he isn’t yet, so no guarantees about his status post-Secret Wars. I think what I like most about Flash Thompson being Agent Venom is that here is a guy who used to be a colossal dickhole to Peter, who enlisted in the military, lost his legs in a heroic fashion, and has evolved into someone you could easily see becoming a competent anti-hero who has even joined the ranks of the Secret Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy (which, btw, I hope to see happen someday in the movies). And again, it’s familiar powers and a familiar character, but done in a different way. Love it.
Anyway, that’s it for now. Next time, I’ll talk about what superhero teams I’d like to see in the post-Secret Wars Marvel Universe, and who I’d like to see on each one. Ja né!