With the upcoming introduction of Elektra and Punisher into the MCU, Hell’s Kitchen is expanding. While not everyone might merit the top shelf ranking of Hell’s Kitchen’s defenders, there are plenty of other characters within that could add color and intriguing storylines for our TV avengers to deal with. Here are the top five characters that we’d like to see introduced into Hell’s Kitchen and the television cinematic universe. They add unique storylines and represent sides of the ever-expanding marvel properties that we may not have seen yet, as well as present opportunities for diversity and for new actors and actresses to showcase their talents.
Not only that, but these are characters who deserve an opportunity to shine and who’s presence could provide some much needed connective tissue between the MCU. Marvel has delivered on it’s promise of it’s all connected in a very real way. These would simply be ornaments to an already wonderfully built room – and their stories deserve to be told.
WHITE TIGER: ANGELA DEL TORO
Angela Del Toro had a very subtle mention in Jessica Jones, and Marvel’s “White Tiger” could provide another hero for hire that would make a potential defender’s roster (or a potential future defender’s roster) Angela’s powers are rooted in magical amulets and ability that stem from the Jade Tiger, an amulet that came from the fabled kingdom of K’un-Lun. It’s head and paws surfaced in America and were found by her uncle Hector Ayala. Hector’s teamed up with Daredevil and the Defenders, retiring after the Ayala family was slaughtered by Gideon Mace. With Hector retiring after Spiderman fought Mace, this provides an excellent opportunity for Angela to step up.
Then again, why have Hector at all? Let Angela stand on her own as a heroine with these abilities. We have had some hints that we might see the White Tiger prowl in Marvel’s action figure line, complete with an Angela Del Toro action figure for those lucky enough to prowl target and find her. Meow and Excelsior!
Parker Robbins is a small time hood who represents a foil for Doctor Strange, and could be a good way of bringing the sorcerer supreme’s presence to the television MCU without having to pay a movie star salary to the good doctor himself. A small time criminal, Parker’s life changed the day he found a pair of boots and a cloak belonging to Dormammu – Doctor Strange’s major foe. The Hood has had ties with Madame Masque and criminals throughout the MCU. Parker’s original ties to Dormammu were retconned, but with the recent Illuminati comic book means that Parker has his magic back. While Parker is a stone cold criminal and a killer, depending on the circumstances Parker’s story could vary between tragic and horrific, and he could be a good opportunity to cast another actor in a diverse role.
The Hood’s current stint, trying to reform the illuminati, could also bring another power player into the MCU – one that focuses on Magic and provide other people for the Secret Warriors and the Agents of SHIELD to fight against. As far as villains go – if the MCU is looking for the next Grant Ward, a potentially sympathetic character who is a genuinely terrible person, Parker fits the bill.
Maya Lopez, aka Echo was created by David Mack and Joe Queseda. A foe turned friend of Daredevil, she was the daughter of one of Kingpin’s mob enforcers. Kingpin, impressed by her talent, took her in and sent her to the best schools. After trying to turn her against Daredevil, she left to work on her father’s reservation. She’s since carried the Ronin label, had a relationship with the avenger hawkeye, and died – only to be ressurected by Elektra and the Hand. Saved by Luke Cage, she’s proven herself as a notable Avengers ally time and again.
Maya is both deaf and native american and is another one of those characters who’s inclusion in any project brings it class and flare. She could also provide an interesting foil and potential story arc for Vincent D’nofrio’s Kingpin, showing more of that softer side that makes us question where he stands and where she stands most of all. With the hopeful inclusion of Taskmaster, seeing Echo and Taskmaster, two individuals who make their living copying the moves of others could prove an interesting fight and one that we haven’t seen in the comic books. Rendered in beautiful color by David Mack she’s a brave Avengers ally and another character who deserves inclusion to the MCU on any screen, big or small.
With the domination of coming of age shows, Marvel should consider getting in on the game with the presence of the Runaways. The sons and daughters of one of the many criminal groups in the MCU, the Runaways include Nico Minoru, Alex Wilder, Chase Stein, Gertrude Yorkes, and Karolina Dean. With parents who have made pacts with the forces of darkness, The Runaways is a timeless tale about coming of age, family, and leaving home that could very easily compete with anything that the CW has to offer about groups of kids fighting for the right to live. With each kid learning how to use their powers, their parents struggling with trying to hunt them down and still loving them – in some cases – the Runaways universe provides a wealth of opportunity for Marvel to stretch it’s creative wings and break further into the young adult market with awesome material.
Plus, as any comic book fan will tell you, the opportunity to bring Gertrude Yorkes to the screen with her pet dinosaur in a world where Jurassic World has just become a viable franchise again – would be the best thing ever. Old Lace’s relationship with Gertrude is quintessentially Disney, something that could mean opportunities for both merchandising as well as storytelling. Join me in asking Marvel Television and Marvel films to bring them to life.
Number one on our list of people who belong in the MCU? Kamala Khan. The character currently wearing the Ms. Marvel mantle, Kamala Khan, first appeared in Captain Marvel 14. Since then she’s taken the world by storm with her inhumanly cool abilities and genuinely touching storyline. Kamala touches on many violatile issues in society today, race, being a teenager, and being a woman. Kamala meets the transition from human to inhuman with a smile and she could provide a much needed note of positivity in a post civil war world. Her comic books are pure fun, and for the specifically MCU driven crowd, IE the ones owned by Disney, she could be a character to drive the introduction of inhumanity forward. Kamala is beloved by allies, enemies (I mean who couldn’t love Kamala? Except Karnak.) and fans alike. She is an adaptation that must occur for the MCU.
With over 70 years of history and a proven penchant for picking out the most unusual characters for the MCU, Marvel has dozens to pick from. Who do you want to see join the Avengers? Comment below or share on twitter with @TheMarvelReport using the hashtag #MakeThemMarvel!