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6 Marvel Characters Who Deserve Their Own Solo Series

I love it when comic book companies put creativity and diversity over commercialism, and the New York Comic-Con this past weekend proved that Marvel Comics still has their head on straight. Whereas it would make the most financial sense to just publish comics about Spider-Man, Wolverine, Iron Man and the Avengers, Marvel instead revealed a whole host of new series dedicated to exploring lesser known and less marketable heroes.

But I think they could add a few more names to their upcoming catalogue.

All of them already have comics!

Solo series are very hit and miss in today’s comic book market. The heroes that have been around forever – like Spider-Man, Captain America, Hulk, etc. – have no problem maintaining their own comic, even multiple comics. But it’s very hard for a new solo series to take off. For every success like Hawkeye or Deadpool, you’ve got dozens of cancelled comics like Scarlet Spider, X-23, Gambit, Moon Knight and more. I applaud Marvel for giving characters like Silver Surfer, Iron Patriot, Loki and Black Widow a try, even if cancellation is a distinct possibility. And here are six more suggestions for characters who deserve the spotlight, even if only for a little while.


6. Nightcrawler


He will do his German dance for you

Who is he: Kurt Wagner has been one of the premiere X-Men for decades, but he’s rarely had the chance to step out on his own. He may look like a demon, but he’s one of the friendliest, funniest, most cheerful characters in the Marvel Universe. Plus I’m pretty sure everyone agrees that he was the best part of X2: X-Men United.

My Pitch: Nightcrawler is coming back from the dead this fall in the pages of The Amazing X-Men. But what’s Marvel going to do with him? Just stick him on some random X-team? Nightcrawler was killed because he was expendable, because the drama of the X-Men franchise has surpassed him. He doesn’t have any interesting relationships or storylines of his own. So I think that frees him up for all manner of story. In a solo series, I would send Nightcrawler out into the world as a superhero pilgrim. They don’t need him at the X-Mansion, so perhaps he goes out to find himself and find a new calling in life. Turn him into a humble international man of mystery and see what his demonic appearance does to people from different cultures.


5. Angela


Please give her something worthwhile to do!

Who is she: Angela is a renegade angel who actually used to be a major character in Spawn comics, publishing by an entirely different company. But after a legal battle landed the rights to Angela firmly in the hands of Neil Gaiman, he quickly partnered up with Marvel and gave Angela to them. She’s popped up in Guardians of the Galaxy since then, but she can’t exactly talk about her time with Spawn, so her history is kind of a blank slate.

My Pitch: First of all, Marvel were all manner of excited to reveal that Angela was coming to the Marvel Universe. I have no idea why they were so excited, but they really really were. Second, when she did show up, it was randomly as part of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Granted, they’re getting a big push because of the movie next year, but Marvel really couldn’t think of anything better to do with Angela? I say Marvel needs to go all out and give Angela her own solo series. Whether set on Earth or in outer space, she should be an ass-kicking, bone-breaking badass warrior woman who cruises the world or the galaxy having shenanigans. She’s a woman cast from her own world, but that shouldn’t be something to get hung up on. Put it behind her and turn her into the biggest, meanest bruiser in the galaxy.


4. Iceman


The shorts are more cute than necessary

Who is he: Bobby Drake was one of the first X-Men, with the ability to control and manipulate ice and air temperatures. He’s a blast to have at parties that need ice sculptures. He’s always been the X-Men’s class clown, and is currently dating Kitty Pryde.

My Pitch: Iceman is the average guy X-Man. He’s not a blood thirsty killer. He’s not a leader of men. He’s just an average, kinda funny guy who never pushes himself and has trouble with women. I think Iceman would be perfect for a day-in-the-life kind of comic as he juggles life, super-powers and his girlfriend. He’s a funny, charming sort of guy with very creative, eye-catching powers. No need for excessive angst or drama. Just fun, cheerful stories about a man made of ice.


3. Squirrel Girl: Adventures in Babysitting


I’m a cheek man

Who is she: Squirrel Girl is a silly little fan favorite character that has risen to cult status in recent years. She first appeared in a random Iron Man comic, where her mutant ability to communicate with squirrels helped her defeat Doctor Doom. Doreen Green has popped up a lot more recently, living up to her reputation as a quiet, unassuming young woman with the power and skill to take down big baddies like Doom. Most recently, Squirrel Girl was hired as the nanny for Luke Cage’s baby girl, and therein lies the pitch.

My Pitch: Squirrel Girl: Nanny to the Superheroes! You take the adorable, girl-next-door appeal of Squirrel Girl, saddle her with a super-powered baby or two, and have her casually saving the day every month. She doesn’t mean to get wrapped up in epic, cosmic events, but that’s just what happens to her, so she saves the day and takes care of the kids. It could be a fun, wacky, heartfelt romp through the cosmos of the Marvel Universe. Clean family fun!


2. Ant-Man


Worst enemy: dust bunnies!

Who is he: Scott Lang is the second man to don the mantle of Ant-Man, and he’s currently leading the Fantastic Four. He used to be a thief who stole the costume, but when the Avengers found out he did it to save his daughter, they forgave him and let Scott be Ant-Man for real. He’s a pretty blue collar hero, and recently his daughter was killed by a super-villain, so he’s got a lot of drama in his life. There’s also a little Ant-Man movie coming out in two years, so Marvel might want to work on boosting his appeal.

My Pitch: Scott Lang is a pretty perfect everyman hero. He’s young, is fairly skilled, and has a unique and interesting type of super-power. He used to be a single dad, which would have played well, but Marvel had to go and ruin that. But after FF is cancelled, Scott could be spun off into his own book where he fights crime, tries to get revenge for his daughter, dates his music star girlfriend and tries to succeed in a world where Captain America, Iron Man and Thor get all the glory.

Or really, whatever Edgar Wright comes up with for the plot of the Ant-Man movie, Marvel should just make a comic book about that.


1. Doctor Strange


Biggest pimp in the Marvel Universe

Who is he: The Master of Mysticism and Sorcerer Supreme, Stephen Strange is the guardian of Earth from all things magical. He’s a modern day wizard living in Greenwich Village. He’s droll, handsome and a little conceited. He’s also one of the best dressed fellas in the Marvel Universe.

My Pitch: Why Dr. Strange hasn’t had an ongoing series in so long is beyond me. He’s perfect, especially the modern day Dr. Strange. This is the perfect comic for a writer with a vivid and unending imagination as Dr. Strange takes on all manner of mystical mumbo-jumbo. But it shouldn’t just be classic villains like Dormammu. My take on Dr. Strange would have him traveling the world to take on mystical mysteries from the real world. Maybe he knows the true origins of Stonehendge. Maybe he has to deal with witch doctors in Africa. Maybe Dr. Strange and the one true Santa Claus have tea every Friday. A new Dr. Strange series should combine the mystical with the mundane to make for a great comic.

———————-

Those are my pitches, what are some of yours? What heroes, heroines or even villains do you think deserve a shot at a solo series at Marvel? They seem to be eager to print some nowadays! Let me know in the comments. 

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About Sean Ian Mills

Hello, this is Sean, the Henchman-4-Hire! By day I am a mild-mannered newspaper reporter in Central New York, and by the rest of the day I'm a pretty big geek when it comes to video games, comic books, movies, cartoons and more.

Posted on October 16, 2013, in Comics, Lists of Six!, Marvel. Bookmark the permalink. 15 Comments.

  1. thedadgentlemangeek

    I’ve long thought Daredevil would make for the perfect TV show. Legal drama meets vigilante type thing. Should be relatively inexpensive to show his radar sense too so effects budget kept reasonable. Could film on location in New York, lots of famous and not-so-famous heroes and villains interact with Matt plus you can have an over-arching story with the Kingpin pulling the strings in the background.

    • It would be pretty brilliant. DC’s doing something similar with Arrow. I did an earlier list a few months ago about Marvel characters that I think could appear on Agents of SHIELD and I think Daredevil was my #1 pick. He’s the perfect sort of reoccurring vigilante that would exist in the Marvel Universe, but is small enough that he doesn’t necessarily have or need another big budget Hollywood movie in the works.

  2. Black Panther could definitely use another solo series; globetrotting espionage with some royal intrigue mixed in. But I’d REALLY love to see a Beast series; imagine Hank McCoy as an old-school science adventurer like Doc Savage or Tom Strong, fighting bad guys like the High Evolutionary or the Children of the Vault. Tons of potential there, especially with the developments with Hank over Endangered Species, Agents of SWORD, and New Avengers.

    • Now that is an amazing idea! He could be like a Marvel version of Atomic Robo, an action scientist exploring all the nooks and crannies of the world! Plus Beast would just look awesome in a tan-colored survival vest/outfit. I can just picture him swinging through the trees in the Amazon to explore some ancient temple and having to battle a resurrected Incan God while figuring out its scientific plausibility!

  3. I think Dr. Strange hasn’t had a solo series in a while because editorial doesn’t want him to have a solo series until the rules of magic in the Marvel Universe are nailed down. So don’t expect one any time soon.

    As far as characters I think should be given a solo series: I’d like to see Scarlet Witch given a solo that takes her out of the insular world of the Avengers. Have her get an apartment in the city, where she interacts with normal people. Have her volunteer at a counseling centre for new mutants, helping them adjust to having powers. Have her have a tense and emotional confrontation with a former mutant that she de-powered when she was crazy. That sort of thing. And she can fight supervillains, too. And of course she could hang out with other superheroes now and then. But keep the focus on her trying to connect to normal people.

    Storm is one who might be worth giving another shot at a solo title. She’s a popular character. X-Men solos just don’t seem to work in general, but it might be worth a try. Have her occasionally have to leave the team to do her own thing, often dragging other X-Men along with her. And also have an arc where it’s made clear that she and Yukio are lovers. Just confirm her bisexuality already.

    It’ll never happen, but Karma. A series about Karma working as a spy. I’m telling you, the woman is built for spy work.

    Sif. I want my Sif solo back, dammit! With Kathryn Immonen and Valerio Schiti. That was an amazing series and I want it back.

    Finesse. Another one that’ll never happen. No particular premise in mind, I just adore the character and want to see more of her.

    Huh. All my picks so far are women. I should probably think of a guy. I’ll go with Black Panther, I guess.

    • I agree on Sif; disappointing that Journey into Mystery was shutdown. And your idea for Scarlet Witch is pretty good, the idea of her going down to the streets (maybe in District X/Mutant Town) and trying to atone for her mistakes is solid, and sounds a bit like the social worker equivalent of She-Hulk, which is far from a bad thing

    • You’re good! I struggled to think of a female character to put on this list. I considered Scarlet Witch and Storm, but I fear they are too closely aligned with their respective teams to stand a chance as a solo title. But I really like your Scarlet Witch idea, definitely.

      As for Sif, I think that idea could be set up with curzan176’s idea in my ‘Marvel Has a Mega-Load…” article to launch a couples comic. I would pay very, very good money for a Sif/Beta Ray Bill comic by Kathryn Immonen and Valerio Schiti.

  4. theyellowranger

    The captions to the pictures made me laugh. Great post.

  5. Tough list. If you had made it for DC, I’d have been done in seconds. Mainly because all Marvel characters are going to get a solo series, have one currently, had one that failed, or you listed them. So slim pickings.

    6. Phil Urich – It’d be like how The Hood was before he got too big for his britches. Just a super-powered street criminal working under the heel of two different bosses who are also too big for their britches. Phil would work his way to the top. I’d read the hell out of that. Frankly you could trade out Phil for anybody, but I think when he was Hobgoblin he’d have been perfect. Mac Gargan could probably do it now.

    5. Angel – His job as mutant scout is a pretty neat one. Actually I don’t even know if that’s his job anymore. But that one issue where he picked up Shark Girl was great. I’d love to see him keep doing that but with new and crazy mutants. He doesn’t have to recruit all of them. Maybe he just makes their lives a little better. While in the meantime secret people are trying to track him down and make him Death again. Oh and he needs a plucky sidekick. One of the mutants he finds sticks with him.

    4. Eric O’Grady – He needs to be alive again and go back to his own series. He’ll be a regular everyday asshole trying hard to be a hero. But he’s a terrible team player, so let’s keep him off teams. And also, let’s not make him Ant-Man anymore. We have tons of Ant-Mans. Maybe he can be the new Goliath. I don’t think we’ve had a new one since whatshisface died in Civil War. Or let’s leave the Pym legacy behind. Give him someone else’s powers. What are Quasar’s Nega Bands doing right now? Is Quasar still that chick?

    3. Layla Miller – Like I said that one time, she could easily carry her own series where she keeps fighting for the future. Also she had a whole Dr. Doom’s apprentice thing that needs to be explored more. Madrox can tag along…I guess. But the book would definitely be about Layla.

    2. I’m just gonna say Scarlet Spider – He really should have his own series. He was so good. It was everything I could want from a solo series about anybody.

    1. Doctor Octopus – When this Superior Spider-Man thing is all over, the only satisfying outcome is that Doc Ock continues to headline his own solo series….but as himself…somehow. He has proven himself to be an amazingly compelling protagonist. I think everyone everywhere can agree that the Superior Spider-Man experiment was a huge success. Dan Slott wins. And I called it. So nothing would make me sadder than for Pete to come back and Otto simply dies. Or he gets his comeuppance then goes away for a while. He’s earned his spotlight. So if we have to put his soul in a robot body….fine….at least an LMD. But his story must be told forever.

    • A Doc Ock series post-Superior would be very awesome! I wish I’d thought of it! Maybe Doc Ock gets a newer, younger body, and he gets his arms back, and he continues trying to be the most successful and awesome superhero ever.

  6. There’s a theory on Bleeding Cool that the blacked out character on the point one for the All New Marvel Now is Angela. So she has a pretty good chance I think.

    Ice Man sounds like Hawkeye to me, just with a mutant spin and focus. Which would be great.

    Squirrel Girl is too powerful to have her own series. She would defeat anyone and everything.

    We’ll probably get an Ant-Man series after Ant-Man is released.

    • When I was writing this list and coming up with the ideas, I feared that every single one of them would be similar to Hawkeye. It’s just such a good book and a great way to write about a superhero.

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