Nearly everyone who has ever put on a costume in a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie will return in Avengers: Endgame. Yes, even the dead ones. Marvel Studios has assembled one huge roster of heroes.
But during the history of the comic book Avengers, even more great champions have joined the team’s ever swelling ranks. You have heroes She-Hulk, Hercules, Wonder Man, the obscure fan favorite Quasar, the Black Knight, and you even have some of Marvel’s mightiest mutants like the Beast, Wolverine, and Storm.
One thing is for certain, whatever happens in Avengers: Endgame, Marvel Studios will still have a ton of great characters to choose from if it desires to grow the legendary ranks of Marvel’s greatest team of champions.
There are a number of heroes who have been Avengers who, let’s just say, aren’t exactly the stuff legends are made of. Join us as we journey down some strange corners of the Marvel Universe and examine the heroes who will never be called to assemble on the big screen…
Joined the team in Avengers #151 (1976)
While Moondragon has been a member in good standing of both the Defenders and the modern day Guardians of the Galaxy (she was an actual dragon at the time…it was awesome), her time as an Avenger was less than stellar. First off, she ran around in a high collared cape, thigh high boots, and a Borat slingshot thong.
Secondly, after Moondragon joined the Avengers, she spent most of her time trying to seduce the male members of the team. She would actually use her considerable psychic powers to enrapture the male Avengers to her sexually. She did it to Thor and Swordsman and there was nary an avenging y-chromosome carrier that did not get sexually manipulated by her.
Things got so bad that in an issue of Marvel Two-in-One, The Thing took it upon himself to spank Moondragon on behalf of his Avengers pals setting gender equality in comics back to at least 1936. In fairness to the Moondragon character, some cool things were done with her after she departed the Avengers, but her time as one of Earth’s mightiest was an exercise in poor taste all around. She did rock in Star Trek: The Motion Picture though.
Joined the team in Avengers #278 (April 1987)
Dr, Druid is a poor man’s Doctor Strange and came to the Avengers aid during the classic Masters of Evil invading Avengers Mansion storyline of the ’80s. Druid was part of Marvel’s horror renaissance of the ’70s and an infrequent supporting character in such titles as Ghost Rider and The Defenders.
As a champion against dark magic, there was nothing intrinsically wrong with Dr. Druid…until the arrogant mage thought he had what it took to join the roster of the Avengers. All of a sudden, Druid, a paunchy, balding, middle aged goof, was side by side with Thor. Next to each other, the two looked like a before and after photo advertising a nutritional supplement.
As soon as he joined the Avengers, Druid became instantly mind controlled by Nebula (you know, bald, blue skinned Amy Pond from the Guardians of the Galaxy) and pretty much spent his days as an Avenger as a villainess’ meat puppet. Even before he fell under Nebula’s thrall, he made unwanted advances toward the Wasp and it was all kinds of like having your creepy high school shop teacher on the Avengers.
Dr. Druid did star in a very cool Warren Ellis penned mini-series in the ’90s but as an Avenger? Yeah, no.
Joined the team in Captain America #349
Demolition Man, or D-Man as he was called, never actually joined the team. He was killed right after Captain America got him voted in as a member. D-Man, real name Dennis Dunphy, was a wrestler who was granted enhanced strength and stamina after he was experimented upon by an unscrupulous promoter (a scandalous pro wrestling disgrace parallel to Daniel Bryan not headlining WrestleMania 31).
After retiring from the ring, Dunphy went on Colt Cabana’s podcast and crapped all over the WWE medical staff. Wait, wrong disgruntled former wrestler.
Actually, Dunphy adopted a costume that looked like if Wolverine threw up on Daredevil’s original yellow costume. Gaudily clad and eager, D-Man became Captain America’s partner. He was voted to join the ranks of the Avengers and was killed. Somehow, he was resurrected and became crazy, smelly, and homeless. Now, he was the Marvel Universe version of Lennie Small crossed with Pepe Le Pew before eventually becoming the new Scourge of the Underworld. Because comics!
His fashion sense alone disqualifies him from cinematic inclusion.
Joined the team in Avengers #319 (1990)
Any old-time fan of superhero teams know that having an underwater guy on the team is always problematic. Whether it was Aquaman in the Justice League, Aqualad in Teen Titans, or Sub-Mariner in the Invaders or the Defenders, writers would always have to come up with some reason, usually forced, to get the underwater crusaders into their elements.
Well, Stingray is a second-string water guy, a supporting character to Sub-Mariner, who wears a gaudy costume with an arrow on his face. Yeah, Stingray is brave and self sacrificing and blahblahblah, but he was a supporting cast member in a b-lister’s book and never really did anything other than swim around and do sciencey things underwater.
The Avengers must have known that this guy was kind of an arrow faced mort because they never gave him full membership. They just kind of left him to guard their sea base. Don’t expect Stingray to pop up in a film anytime soon. If Marvel can’t use Sub-Mariner cinematically, it isn’t going to use this dolphin loving dummy.
(Please don’t tell anyone that at one New York Comic Con, I went out of my way to purchase Stingray’s first appearance; it will ruin my veneer of ironic detachment)
Joined the team in Avengers #343 (1992)
For a time in the ’80s and ’90s, Eric Masterson, an average mortal Joe, gained the powers of the Mighty Thor. When the real Thor returned, Masterson was given a mystic mace and became the very ’90s hero known as Thunderstrike. I mean, the dude ran around with a fly away pony tail, a lightning bolt earring and fought ’90s loser villains with names like Blood Axe.
Masterson did have the distinction of joining the Avengers and adding some mullety goodness to the roster but don’t expect this Thor clone to appear on the big screen anytime ever. If this ’90s reject appears in a film before the awesome new female Thor or Beta Ray Bill, the very ground of Midgard will shake with injustice. Horse headed badasses swinging hammers trump pony tails every time.
By the way, Thunderstrike wore a leather vest with pouches because nothing says demigod like a leather vest.
Joined the team in Avengers West Coast #74 (1991)
The Living Lightning was not a bad superhero. He wasn’t cheesy or offensive or any of the things that forced other former Avengers onto this list. No, Living Lightning’s greatest sin was that he was so freakin’ dull.
Miguel Santos actually broke some new ground as he was the first Hispanic male to join the Avengers in his identity of Living Lightning, but even that accolade doesn’t stop this generic wonder from being one of the most profoundly boring heroes of all time. He turned his body into lightning, and he was alive. That’s it. He didn’t have any interesting flaws or character traits; he was just a dude with electric powers that fell into active Avengers membership.
At least he didn’t have a pouchy vest and a ponytail.
Joined the team in Avengers #363 (1993)
Hey, speaking of the ’90s, check out this EXTREME disaster. Big improbable hair? Check. A scowl etched upon her crudely rendered face? Check. Cleavage? Check. A bad attitude and a big, dopey weapon? Check. It’s Deathcry the Shi’ar bird assassin lady with a bad ‘tude and tight pants!
Deathcry is really interchangeable with other ’90s characters like Marrow and Feral, big haired, angry women that basically just stood around and posed while yelling…a lot. Maybe all this nonsense will become en vogue again in 2090 and then Deathcry will make her cinematic debut. Until then, she is just going to have to be a feather haired, embarrassing historical footnote.
Jack of Hearts
Joined the team in Avengers vol. 3 #38 (2001)
Jack of Hearts actually was once one of Marvel’s cooler esoteric ’70s characters who hung out on the fringes of the Marvel Universe in such books as Marvel Two-in-One and Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu. But as an Avenger? uh-uh.
This fashion disaster joined the team during Geoff Johns’ run on the book and was quickly killed off in Brian Michael Bendis’ Avengers Disassembled. Probably because Jack of Hearts’ costume clashed with the garb of every other Avenger ever. Seriously, look at this guy. He looks like a box of Crayolas puked all over him. If Marvel Studios put Jack of Hearts in a film, they would risk half their fan base dropping dead from a brain embolism if they had to look at that costume in IMAX 3D.
Jack of Hearts had some sort of nuclear power but he should have remained in Marvel’s black and white magazines because in color, that costume just hurts. I think Jack of Hearts was brought back to life in a random issue of Marvel Zombies which is all sorts of ironic when you stop and think about it.
Joined the team in A-Next #1 (1998)
Not a member of the actual Avengers, old Even Flow here was a member of A-Next, the Avengers of the MC2 Universe. I know, Marvel doesn’t have the rights to use any Juggernaut in its film universe, but that’s not the only reason this guy shouldn’t come anywhere near the big screen. We like our Juggernauts badass, and this dummy is anything but.
Yes, Zane Yama is the son of the original Juggernaut but that’s where the resemblance ends. J2 wears a dopey silver helm and when he manifests his powers, a flannel mystically appears around his waist. Seriously, this silver headed dingbat was created in ’98 and he was still rocking the flannel.
He was a founding member of the A-Next team, a crew that also consisted of such (ahem) legends as Freebooter and Argo the Almighty. Maybe they can form a Temple of the Dog cover band or something, but as film Avengers, I say thee nay!