This article contains spoilers for Avengers: Endgame. We have a completely spoiler free review of the movie right here.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe hasn’t been shy about teasing characters from the comics that fans would love to see on the screen. Now that The Snap has been reversed and we know which characters have survived or come back, we can speculate on who we’ll see in future installments, and why their stories might be perfect for the expanding MCU.
Here are five characters we’d most like to see get narrative prioritiy in the post-Endgame MCU…
Monica Rambeau/Captain Marvel/Photon/Spectrum
We’ve already seen young Monica Rambeau in the MCU, as she’s an important figure in Captain Marvel, both inspiring and helping color coordinate Carol Danvers before Carol fully comes into her own power. But comics readers know Monica as the first woman who held the title Captain Marvel.
While Carol Danvers was Ms. Marvel for years, it was Monica, a New Orleans police lieutenant hit with extradimensional energy, who wore the Captain Marvel moniker after Mar-Vell. (Some of the reason for this was due to an ongoing feud among DC/Fawcett/Marvel that got complicated; Monica wore the title in order to help Marvel keep their copyright.)
Monica in the MCU has been given a different back story. We don’t know if she becomes a cop while Carol’s off in space. But, with her already in the picture and with her long comics history of super powers, it would be a shame not to use her more prominently in Captain Marvel 2, or in her own future film.
Assuming she was eleven in Captain Marvel in 1995, she’d be in her 30s in the current MCU timeline. Given that we don’t see her in Endgame, and there’s no mention of Carol having reconnected with the Rambeaus upon returning to Earth, it’s a pretty good guess that both Monica and Maria were taken by the Snap. Which means she’s only a little older than Carol Danvers appears to be in the current MCU timeline—which could make for another great buddy movie if Nick Fury isn’t available.
One of the most obvious references to a comics character yet to appear in the MCU is in Spider-Man: Homecoming, when character Aaron Davis says: “I don’t want those weapons in this neighborhood either. I got a nephew living out there.”
The character’s name might not ring a bell to anyone not familiar with the Ultimate Spider-Man comics. But those who were caught it right away: Aaron Davis goes on to become supervillain The Prowler. He’s also Miles Morales’s uncle. (Bonus: He’s played by Donald Glover, who fans had petitioned to play Miles Morales as a Spider-Man character in the MCU, rather than a new version of Peter Parker.)
Of course, the world just got a fantastic Miles Morales movie in Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse, in which the Prowler’s role is much more obvious—and traumatic for the animated Miles. But it’s no mistake that the MCU included this hint at a future Spider-Man.
Assuming that Miles is, say, ten at the time of Spider-Man: Homecoming (Davis doesn’t give an age, just the idea that his nephew is a kid), he’d only be eleven at the time of the Snap. But figure that he survived the Snap and lived those five years? He’s now sixteen, a high school student, and could even be on Peter Parker’s upcoming field trip in Spider-Man: Far from Home. Miles fans will definitely be watching for possible hints (or, better, a first appearance of the character) in that upcoming film.
Another, more subtle reference in Spider-Man: Homecoming is the character of Cindy, who actually appears on screen alongside Peter Parker. While at the time of that movie, it’s likely Cindy doesn’t have any superpowers (given that she almost fell down an elevator after the explosion of a Chitauri Energy Core), in the comics, Cindy was exposed to the same radioactive spider that bit Peter Parker.
It took Cindy a long time to learn how to control and harness her powers, and the help she got was of the supervillain variety, so her backstory is on the tragic side. Unlike Peter, Cindy does have organic webbing produced by her body. She also has the same kind of Spidey-sense as Peter, but possibly even stronger, as in the comics, she manages to evade an attack that Peter doesn’t. They’re also ridiculously attracted to each other.
Silk is actually set to get her own non-MCU spin off movie from Sony, but given that she’s already been cast in the MCU, we can reasonably expect to see her again. If she was Snapped, like Peter, she’ll probably be on the class trip in Spider-Man: Far from Home. If not, she’s now got five years on Peter—and if she was transformed by that same radioactive spider and just didn’t know how to use her abilities during the previous movie, that could mean she’s got five years of experience on the MCU’s Spider-Man.
Amadeus Cho/Kid-Hulk/Hair Gel Hulk/Brawn
One of the openings created by the introduction of Professor Hulk in Endgame is the potential for a different kind of buddy movie with one of Hulk’s frequent companions: Amadeus Cho.
Though Amadeus is never mentioned in the MCU, his mother, Dr. Helen Cho, is an important figure in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Not only does she fix up Hawkeye (even if his wife can tell the difference), it’s her facility that creates the body for Ultron, which ultimately, instead, becomes Vision. Dr. Cho’s fate looks uncertain—she looks pretty injured, in a facility where everyone else has been killed, when Captain America leaves her to chase down Ultron—but at the end of the film, we get a glimpse of her walking alongside Maria Hill in the New Avengers Facility.
In the comics, Helen Cho and her husband, Philip, move from South Korea to Arizona and have two children, Amadeus and Madame Curie (Maddy). Amadeus is a genius child and, as a teen, he enters a contest to establish his ranking as one of the smartest people in the world. Unfortunately, it’s run by a supervillain who subsequently kills Amadeus’s family (sorry, Dr. Cho) and puts Amadeus on the run, where he eventually hooks up with Hulk.
A series of adventures later, Hulk is exposed to radiation that would send him on a killing spree, so Amadeus absorbs some of Hulk’s powers. The resulting Totally Awesome Hulk doesn’t have the Banner/Hulk personality split issues, but he does have some problems keeping his rage in check.
While obviously the MCU version of Amadeus Cho would have a different backstory (one hopes we’re not going to revisit World War Hulk beyond the references to it in Thor: Ragnarok), pairing Professor Hulk with a super smart Korean-American kid who eventually absorbs gamma radiation for his own Hulk transformation would make a darn good movie.
It would get around the problems of rights regarding a solo Hulk movie (nope, it’s not just that Hulk movies are hard, it’s that Universal gets a cut of solo Hulk films). It might also help the MCU’s reputation when it comes to handling Asian characters, particularly after the controversy around casting in Doctor Strange and the bad reviews for Iron Fist. Although Shang Chi, the MCU’s first Asian-protagonist film, is set to start shooting as early as this year, it would only benefit the MCU to have another Asian American lead.
This is the biggest stretch for a reference straight from the MCU, but the potential is there. In the early scenes of Captain America: Civil War, Tony Stark gives a presentation at MIT, explaining to the current students that all their projects are funded, thanks to the September Foundation, managed by Pepper Potts. (The September Foundation also funds Peter Parker’s “internship,” giving him a cover for his Spider-Man activity.) While Tony doesn’t survive Endgame, there’s no reason to think that the September Foundation hasn’t thrived under Pepper’s management, even while the world was falling apart after the Snap.
In the Marvel comics, a 15-year-old MIT scholarship student reverse engineers Tony Stark’s Iron Man suit all on her own. That student, Riri Williams, takes over the Iron Man comic for about a year before launching her own solo title: Ironheart.
While initially, Riri didn’t receive much love from African American readers, it looks like that attitude is changing thanks to Eve L. Ewing’s really excellent run. Ewing’s Ironheart has Riri trying to navigate the upper echelons of academia, where she’s become a student they like to bring out and show off to donors and other elite, while also following the concerns of her old neighborhood in Chicago, where an old friend goes missing—but no one in a position of authority seems to care. Riri is working out what it means to be a hero, and what her role should be (while inventing seriously cool tech and kicking some supervillain ass).
Imagine if Riri was that 15-year-old scholarship student, in the audience during Tony’s speech in Captain America: Civil War. If she, too, got lost in the Snap, she’s back at college now at only age eighteen or nineteen, only a little older than Peter Parker. Or maybe she’s just now that 15-year-old kid entering MIT, where Tony Stark was an alumni, viewing the post-Endgame world without Iron Man in it.
In the new Spider-Man: Far from Home trailer, Peter says “the world needs the next Iron Man.” For my money, what the world really needs is Ironheart.
Alana Joli Abbott writes about books for Den of Geek. Read more of her work here.