Well folks, after more than ten years of time, effort, and investment, the final Avengers film has been released and now that mostly everyone has seen the film, it is pretty evident that a lot of the hype surrounding it has died down. Because there is no possible way that the MCU could bring us a villain who can top the amount of devastation and impact that Thanos brought to the world of the Avengers right?
Wrong! With Disney having aquired the rights to Marvel properties previously owned by FOX and having struck somewhat solid deals with both Universal and Sony Studios for the use of Spider-Man and the Hulk, the possibilites are now more limitless than ever before. With decades of rich lore and history to choose from, here are some of our picks as to what classic Marvel storylines we would like to see adapted to the big screen:
1. Age Of Apocalypse (X-Men)
This classic storyline from the 1990s deserves a more faithful adaptation than the one that FOX attempted a few years back with X-Men: Apocalypse. The Age Of Apocalypse tells the story of how Professor Xavier’s son, David Charles Haller (aka Legion) goes back in time and attempts to kill Magneto before he has the chance to become the villian that we know him to be and make his father’s vision of peaceful co-existence between humans and mutants come to life. However, he winds up accidentally killing his own father which alters the main Marvel timeline and results in an bleak, dystopian future in which Magneto founds the X-Men in memory of his closest friend, and leads them in a rebellion against Apocalypse who now rules over the earth with an iron fist committing acts of mass genocide across the globe against those whom he deems to be weak.
With both Infinity War and Endgame introducing us to the concept of time travel and the more cosmic realms of the Marvel universe, it seems only logical that this iconic X-Men tale gets adapted to the big screen as there are plenty of moments that show us a world where heroes like Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four, and The Avengers never came to be, an alternate version of Carol Danvers, the completely different paths those who survived the atrocities commited by Apocalypse and his Four Horsemen took, and which side the characters from the X-Men books wound up fighting on. The story also extends to the cosmic areas of Marvel’s universe which would serve as a great way for introducing the Shi’ar Empire in the MCU at last.
2. Enemy Of The State (Wolverine)
In this amazing storyline written by the one and only Mark Millar who gave us Old Man Logan of which the movie Logan was loosely based on, we see Wolverine being captured and brainwashed by both HYDRA and The Hand. He is then forced to battle and even kill those who he views as friends.
This story should be adapted as it not only has Wolverine battling against his fellow X-Men, but, members of the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, and even the more overlooked characters of the MCU like Elektra, Daredevil, and Iron Fist. This storyline would be ideal to adapt as it has a smaller and more focused scale than that of both Infinity War and Endgame, but, it will still manage to link the various corners of the Marvel universe together into one neat little package thus setting the stage for any bigger crossovers that the MCU has planned for it’s characters.
3. Onslaught (Avengers, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Inhumans)
The 1990s was a decade which spawned many amazing and iconic crossover events for Marvel and here we have what as ultimately one of the biggest ones of them all. This event revolved around all of Marvel’s heroes teaming up to defeat a being known as Onslaught. A psionic entity that became the physical manifestation of the darkest recesses of Professor X’s consciousness combined with Magneto’s anger, grief, fear, and lust for vengeance.
The danger that Onslaught posed to the heroes of the Marvel Universe was so great, that it took the combined might of the X-Men, the Avengers, The Fantastic Four, and many other of Marvel’s mightiest heroes to bring him down. It is only logical that the Onslaught storyline be adapted as the character is one of the few Marvel villains powerful enough to rival the devastation that Thanos brought to the MCU and his unique origins would make him a compelling and interesting enough character to have the audience be invested in come the next epic battle.
4. Planet Of The Symbiotes (Spider-Man)
The success of 2018’s Venom has proved that the character is still a strong household name within Marvel’s catalogue of villains. The Planet Of The Symbiotes storyline would be a great story arc to adapt because as opposed to having Marvel’s heroes constantly battle cosmic warlords or oversized, overpowered villains who can unleash devastating physical attacks, we could instead see a sort of surivival horror movie where Spider-Man and a small team of other heroes have to fight an invasion from a race of aliens that are impervious to most forms of physical attacks without any help from the rest of Marvel’s heroes.
The original story had Spider-Man team up with Venom and The Scarlet Spider, but, the story could be changed slightly to include The Human Torch from the Fantastic Four and Black Bolt from the Inhumans as well as they were also fortunate enough to survive being taken over by the symbiotes due to the nature of their powers. By adapting this story arc, Marvel could spice up their usual formula a little bit and have some of the less appreciated characters from the comic universe have a chance to shine in the spotlight.
5. House Of M (Avengers, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Inhumans)
It’s no secret among comic book readers that Scarlet Witch’s abilities and role within the MCU has been watered down quite a bit in comparison to her comic book counterpart. In the House Of M storyline, The Scarlet Witch suffers a total mental breakdown and, with her reality warping powers, poses a danger to the entire Marvel Universe. It takes the combined efforts of Professor X and Dr. Strange to try and subdue and repress both her powers and her mental state. However, they are unsuccessful and our heroes find themselves in a new reality where mutants are the new dominant species on the planet and Magneto is it’s ruler.
What makes this storyline perfect for an adaptation to the big screen is the fact that it not only highlights what the Scarlet Witch is truly capable of, but, it could be used as a thread to bring all corners of the Marvel Universe together to deal with an event that threatens all of reality as they know it. Also the fact that the threat posed comes from an ally would only make the drama and character relationship dynamics a lot more interesting. House Of M also showcases just how important of a role both the X-Men and Avengers play in the books considering the fact that Scarlet Witch has both been an enemy of the X-Men when she was with the Brotherhood Of Mutants and now an ally since joining the Avengers. Also, seeing our heroes try to fight reality itself would be another nice to change to the usual villain formula of the MCU.
6. Secret Wars (Avengers, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Inhumans)
What else is more exciting in comic books than heroes fighting villains? Heroes vs heroes and villains vs villains of course!
In this story, a cosmic being, simply known as The Beyonder, has been observing the heroes and villains of the main Marvel Universe (Earth 616), and summons them against their will to a place called Battleworld in a galaxy that he created just to have them duke it out in an all out battle royale.
While the premise is extremely simple (partly due to the fact that the story was made as a way to help the toy company, Matel, sell a toyline with the same title as the comic series), it would be an interesting tale to have made canon in the MCU. This is because the story could be used as a springboard to perhaps change the allegiances and affiliations between certain heroes and villains which could tie in to other story arcs and plots where the villains are the heroes or the heroes become the villains. Not only that, but, if executed right, it could be used as a story that takes an in depth look into the moral compass and values that each of the characters fight for and serve as the ultimate test for them not just physically, but, mentally and spiritually. If this story does make it to the big screen, whoever is in charge of the script and screenplay could defintely take notes from acclaimed battle royale stories like Fate/Zero to really flesh out Marvel’s characters and leave a lasting impact on the MCU’s legacy in pop culture.
7. The Galactus Trilogy (Fantastic Four)
It is no secret to both casual movie watchers and die hard comic book fans that the Fantastic Four haven’t exactly had good big screen adaptations. However, with the exception of their origin story giving the MCU an introduction to Dr. Doom, the Galactus Trilogy could definitely serve as a progenitor to not only bringing the Silver Surfer into the MCU at last, but, it would also get the ball rolling to introducing the planet devouring Galactus as the possible final boss villain for Marvel’s cinematic franchise.
The plot of the original comic book run revolves around the Fantastic Four discovering about Galactus through the arrival of the Silver Surfer who serves the planet devouring demi-god by searching the galaxy for planets with enough energy to feed and nourish his master. The story just so happens to take place after a story involving the Inhumans which means that if this story gets adapted into the MCU it would be able to finally link the Inhumans with the rest of the universe and because the story opens with the Skrulls trying to conceal their planet from the gaze of the Surfer, it could help serve as an epilogue to the Secret Invasion story arc which we will be discussing next.
The story might need to be changed slightly if Marvel want to have the story possibly be a two part finale event like Infinity War and Endgame were, otherwise, even if they decide to stick to the original story, it would still serve as a nice build up before the eventual conclusion of the MCU as a whole and it could definitely restore people’s faith in the Fantatic Four as one of Marvel’s household superhero teams.
8. Secret Invasion (Avengers, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Inhumans)
With the release of Captain Marvel, audiences were introduced to the shapeshifting alien race known as the Skrulls and while they did play somewhat of a significant role as villains within the movie, the more terrifying element of their shapeshifting abilities were downplayed and underutilized in many ways.
In this story arc, the earth has been secretly invaded by the Skrulls who have kidnapped and replaced many of the world’s prominent heroes and even villains. This of course creates a lot of tension which leads to allies and friends turning on one another because they can’t seem to trust anyone because they might not be the real one.
Like with the Planet Of The Symbiotes storyline, this tale of an alien invasion would definitely bring a more survival horror element to Marvel’s usual formula. However, unlike the symbiotes who are easy to identify as enemies and are impervious to most forms of physical attacks, with the Skrulls, the stakes are a lot higher as they are able to deceive even the most skilled of heroes by mimicing their powers, abilities, and even personalities. Also, by adapting this story arc, Marvel can finally usher Galactus into their cinematic universe by linking it to the previously mentioned Galactus Trilogy and our other pick for this list, the Inhumans.
9. Spider-Geddon (Spider-Man)
With the success of Sony’s Into The Spider-Verse and with Spider-Man: Far From Home hinting at the possibility of alternate realities, it would only be natural for Marvel Studios to adapt what is one of the most iconic Spider-Man stories in modern comic history to the big screen.
A story that culminates in all iterations of the Marvel Universe’s favourite web slinger and his allies teaming together to stop a threat like they have never faced before. This story would definitely highlight Spider-Man’s overall importance and impact on the greater Marvel Universe instead of relegating him to being just a supporting role in the Avengers or a regular crime fighter on the streets of New York.
It could also potentially serve as a way to bring all the previous Spider-Man actors from Tobey Maguire to Andrew Garfield into the story to pay homage to what paved the way for the MCU films to be made possible.
10. Marvel Knights Inhumans (Inhumans)
While the Inhumans tv series wasn’t much of a hit with Marvel fans, Marvel Studios could potentially revive interest in this team of heroes by doing a soft reboot based on the 1999 Eisner Award winner for best new series, Marvel Knights: Inhumans by Paul Jenkins and Jae Lee.
The Inhumans have always played a critical role in many major Marvel storylines and in adapting this story arc, which took the characters back to their Kree roots, we could find ourselves with not only a new team of heroes, but, a way for Marvel Studios to finally adapt the stories that will finally culminate in joining all corners of their universe together into one neat and epic package. Also, with the X-Men and Fantastic Four set to make an appearance at any point now in the post-Endgame MCU, it would only be natural to include these often overlooked heroes of the Marvel Universe.