Marvel has created a cinematic universe that rakes in billions of dollars with each passing year, primarily using B-list heroes that logically shouldn’t be able to sustain their own films. Somehow, however, the folks at Disney have managed to churn out not only passable, but downright enjoyable film adaptations of comic book characters as silly as Thor, Ant-Man, and the Guardians of the Galaxy. But even Marvel Studios can only manage so much with their extensive back-catalog of comic book characters, many of whom are simply too silly, weak, or just plain boring to support their own films. Yes, even sillier than Ant-Man. These are the Marvel characters who shouldn’t, and probably won’t, ever headline their own feature film.
Marvel has already essentially acknowledged Hawkeye’s flimsiness as a character by including him in their Avengers films without daring to give Jeremy Renner’s interpretation of the character his own film, or even much to do. The reason? Because Hawkeye is silly in this context.
He’s an amazing archer, but how much good can an archer do when facing an army of intergalactic invaders alongside a flying suit of super-armor and a green giant that’s literally the most powerful thing in the world? Hawkeye doesn’t even boast the espionage angle of his partner Black Widow — he has nothing but his bow and arrow, plus a boring subplot in Age of Ultron about his marriage to Linda Cardellini. We don’t really need to see anymore of him.
A hero even more ridiculous than his name might lead you to believe, Frog-Man is a Brooklyn teenager who possess no superpowers, but likes to dress up in a resilient frog suit and boots that contain electric coils enabling him to leap great distances. You know, like a frog! Eugene Patilio is the son of a short-lived Daredevil villain with crime-fighting aspirations, but even the comic books couldn’t take the character too seriously and he quickly devolved into something of a joke. His villains included the Alice in Wonderland-inspired villainess White Rabbit and Walrus, who’s a man with the powers of a walrus. Frog-Man usually defeated his villains out of dumb luck, bouncing around uncontrollably in his ultra-bouncy suit until he accidentally achieved victory. It’s hard to see how such a so-called hero could star in any kind of compelling film.
No, Snowbird isn’t an old Minnesotan vacationing in Florida for the winter, but instead a poorly-named female member of the X-Men whose very existence can be seen as a product of Marvel’s inexplicable pandering to Canadian audiences. The product of a man and an Inuit goddess, Snowbird’s severely limited powers allow her to take the form of any animal… as long as it’s native to the Canadian Arctic. It’d be hard enough to depict a shapeshifting heroine in a live-action film, and the bizarre limitations of Snowbird’s powers would only make her that much more laughable. No, this bizarre chapter of Marvel history is best confined to comic books alone.
Even comic books fall victim to distressing cultural trends, as evidenced by the very existence of X-Treme, a hand-drawn incarnation of every “extreme” ’90s marketing cliche rolled into one. Adam X has a backwards baseball cap, braided blonde grunge hair, a biker suit, an edgy mean look in his eyes, and the ridiculous power to set fire to people’s blood. Plus, his own blood is acid. Thankfully nothing much has come of the character since his introduction in 1993’s X-Force Annual #2. If you’re interested in seeing a movie about him, you’re probably a middle-schooler from 1993 who stumbled into a time warp. Good luck getting back to your own time period.
5. The Great Lakes Avengers
The Avengers are Earth’s mightiest heroes. The Great Lake Avengers are… the North Midwest’s most passable heroes, a group of mediocre heroes who teamed up primarily because none of their powers are impressive enough to function on their own. Mr. Immortal of Milwaukee, who can’t be killed, placed a classified ad looking for heroes with powers to compliment his own. The team that reluctantly assembled includes, Flatman (who can make himself look two-dimensional), Big Bertha (who can become morbidly obese whenever the need arises), Dinah Soar (a woman with a dangerously annoying high-pitched voice), Doorman (who can turn his body into a portal to the next room, and nowhere else), and Leather Boy (a fetishist who answered the personal ad by mistake). None of their powers could be depicted onscreen without looking completely ridiculous, because they are completely ridiculous.
6. Squirrel Girl
Plenty of superheroes have been inspired by animals, but few are as cute and cuddly as the titular rodent that inspired Steve Ditko’s Squirrel Girl, who briefly served as a member of the Great Lake Avengers (of course) and tried to convince Iron Man to adopt her as a sidekick. She was created as an attempt to counteract the darker superhero origin stories, and her lighthearted powers include a furry tail, strong buck teeth, long nails good for climbing, superhuman strength and agility, and of course, the ability to communicate with squirrels, who are surprisingly willing and effective in a fight. The chipper hero has taken down a lot of high-profile villains, usually because they don’t consider her enough of a threat to worry about her. You know what, Squirrel Girl might actually make a decent film, so long as it banks on her status as a silly, lovable underdog. Or maybe I’m just a little more forgiving after Frog-Man.