Characters who deserve a second chance in the MCU

Sam Ashurst
Contributor

With Marvel using pioneering de-aging technology (that they probably bought from Tony Stark) to bring a handful of characters we’ve seen elsewhere back to the MCU, it’s inspired us to get our thinking cap(tain America)s on, to make the case for whole bunch of people we’d like to see folded back into the mega-franchise – preferably before Infinity War 2‘s first post-credit sequence rolls.

So, what follows are all the characters we never thought we’d see in cinemas again… That we probably still won’t, to be honest.

The Abomination – Tim Roth

When people do their annual MCU re-watches, they’re often tempted to skip The Incredible Hulk, mainly because it stars Ed Norton (who was replaced by Mark Ruffalo for anyone who’s been in a Hulk-style fugue state for the past decade) and so it doesn’t feel as much of a part of the main narrative as every other film in the MCU.

It’s a shame, the movie’s entertaining, it’s one of two Marvel flicks to be shot on film (the other being the original Iron Man – both look great) and it’s packed with characters who deserve a second shot at the series.

Top of our list, Tim Roth’s Abomination, a villain mooted to re-appear in Avengers: Age Of Ultron, but is still languishing in some high-security prison somewhere.

Why do we want him back? Well, not only did he look cool when he was in monster mode, he was played by Tim Roth. And if you have an excuse to put Tim Roth in your movie, you take it.

And Roth’s up for it. “I don’t think Marvel will ever use me again, but it would be fun,” Roth told a Reddit user who asked if he’d return to the MCU.

Consider that a contractual statement, and give him his own spin-off series.

Trevor Slattery – Ben Kingsley

Oh, Trevor. Poor misunderstood Trevor. Iron Man 3 was our first proper glimpse at the kind of fan entitlement that would tarnish The Last Jedi’s release, with blogs and forums alike vibrating with rage at the idea that director Shane Black could make a big joke out of the beloved property, with the reveal that the Mandarin was just a bloke named Trevor.

It’s so similar to the controversy around the reveal that the most iconic Jedi was just a bloke named Luke, you’d have thought Disney would have learned their lesson.

In fact, the MCU so regretted their Trevor reveal, they released a short film – All Hail The King (which was also pretty funny, to be fair) – that retconned it, revealing that the Mandarin did actually exist in the MCU, and was actually pretty annoyed that Trevor was riffing on his reputation.

Now, we’re not saying that we want the Mandarin to be properly revealed, mainly as he’s a bit pointless without Iron Man, but we definitely want Slattery back. When we last saw him, he was being extracted from prison – to face the consequences of his actions.

We either want a Midnight Run style comedy where Ryan Gosling is tasked with finding Slattery and bringing him back to prison, or we want him to pop up in Captain Marvel as an out-of-work actor in the ‘90s (following the cancellation of his CBS show Caged Heat). But, however he comes back, we want more of Ben Kingsley being hilarious, please.

Red Skull – Hugo Weaving

Man, what a waste. The Red Skull is still the best out-and-out villain in the MCU (Loki doesn’t count, he’s more of an anti-hero these days), and, when you consider the fact he was in one of the first instalments, that’s pretty impressive.

We haven’t seen him since he was sent spiralling into space by The tesseract in The First Avenger, and he feels less like a defeated villain than a dangling plot-line – he’s still out there in the Nine Realms somewhere. We’d love him to make a cameo appearance in one of the two Infinity War movies, if that’s not too late to organise?

Justin Hammer – Sam Rockwell

We last saw Iron Man 2’s big bad bitching about Trevor Slattery in a post-credit cameo at the end of All Hail The King, and that brief glimpse was enough to convince us he needs another turn in the MCU.

After all, Iron Man 2 may have been disappointing, but Sam Rockwell certainly wasn’t. Could he pop up in Captain Marvel as he attempts to get Hammer Industries off the ground? Could Thanos break him out of prison to consult on how to take down Tony Stark in Infinity War 2? We don’t care, just let him dance his way back into the extended universe ASAP.

The Leader – Tim Blake Nelson

Dr Samuel Sterns – aka The Leader – got his villainous origin story in the Incredible Hulk, after the chemicals he used to create the Abomination spilled onto his head to mutate his bonce into the comic character’s more recognisable giant forehead (comics are a bit silly sometimes).

Sadly, when Kevin Feige was asked about The Leader, he had this to say, “It is an embarrassment of riches of places we could go or characters we could reprise or bring back now that we’re… I think Ragnarok is our seventeenth MCU film. And you would be surprised how many… it’s come up. It’s come up. Just finding the right place. And as I said, if you can’t do it right, don’t do it or do it later, and the notion of ‘Hey, I’m here too! Next!’ is not interesting to us. Abomination is in a prison somewhere too.”

It’s a massive shame if The Incredible Hulk was Tim Blake Nelson’s only contribution to the MCU as, like Roth, he’s a brilliant actor. Maybe a Troma-style mutant prison movie featuring the Leader and the Abomination wouldn’t be out of the question? Please?

Betty Ross – Liv Tyler

Played by the amazing Liv Tyler, Ross is another brilliant character Marvel’s currently got benched. In The Incredible Hulk, she was the only person capable of calming the big green guy’s rage, and while that position is currently filled by Black Widow, the super spy’s going to have her own problems to deal with in Infinity War, not least where the hell is her best friend Hawkeye?

We need Betty to properly conclude Bruce’s story – it feels weird that he seems to have completely forgotten the fact the love of his life exists. If Marvel uses Betty Ross in the last moments of Mark Ruffalo’s final appearance as the character, to bring back Banner from the brink of Hulking out forever, we’ll stand up and applaud in the cinema. Or, if they wanted to re-cast Tyler as She-Hulk for her own film, we’d be cool with that too.

Lady Sif – Jaime Alexander

Scheduling issues stopped Jaime Alexander from appearing in Thor Ragnarok, meaning the last time MCU movie-watchers saw her was in The Dark World. But, as it turned out, those scheduling issues may have saved the character’s life.

“If she had been on Asgard, she might not be alive, so that’s one of the advantages,” Feige said.

Alexander has said she’d return if asked. “I love Marvel. I’d be happy to do other projects with them at any time. They’re a great company — I love all the guys and girls over there — they always are able to get a really fun cast for almost every project they have, which is often. And, of course, who doesn’t want to be a superhero?”

Let’s give Lady Sif the send-off she deserves.


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