Though many heroes fade from memory, their legacies live on, woven into the rich tapestry of Marvel lore. While the spotlight now shines on characters like Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor, the contributions of these forgotten champions should not be overlooked. Their stories reveal how Marvel built its universe over decades, brick by brick, panel by panel.
Perhaps one day, these heroes will emerge from the shadows and reclaim their rightful place among Earth’s mightiest defenders. Until then, true believers can revisit their adventures in the archives and experience the magic that once captivated readers across generations. Though times change, the call of justice remains constant, awaiting a new band of heroes to answer it.
In this article, we explored 15 of Marvel’s faded and forgotten heroes, delving into the comic world’s lost legends. While these champions may no longer boast the same recognition as Spider-Man or the Avengers, they once played instrumental roles in crafting Marvel’s sprawling mythology.
Table of Contents
Dormammu – The All-Powerful Hero
Dormammu is undoubtedly one of the most formidable beings in the cosmos. An embodiment of unadulterated cosmic energy, his power grows exponentially with the increased devotion of his cult members. Unleashed, Dormammu possesses the strength to challenge the likes of the indomitable Captain Marvel, the enchanting Scarlet Witch, the infamously powerful Thanos, time-traveling Kang, or even the Devourer of Worlds – Galactus. Doctor Strange, despite his tremendous magical skills, failed to obliterate or even critically wound this celestial entity. Rather, the Sorcerer Supreme could only subdue him through clever deception.
However, Dormammu is far from defeated. He remains alive, albeit incarcerated. His confinement has done little to diminish his influence over his followers, which he continues to exercise indirectly. The future may witness another formidable adversary attempting to liberate him. This could be a consequence of a binding pact with Dormammu or a deliberate attempt to plunge the universe into absolute mayhem. The narrative possibilities are endless.
It could be fascinating to intertwine Dormammu’s storyline with Wanda Maximoff’s or Agatha Harkness’s fate. Alternatively, the trickster god Loki might manipulate Dormammu for his own ends, employing his cunning to advance the objectives of the Timekeepers. Or could Loki once again take everyone by surprise? If so, using the formidable Dormammu could stir up cosmic chaos on an unprecedented scale.
Nate Grey – The X-Man
Nate Grey, the genetic offspring of Jean Grey and Scott Summers from an alternate universe, was brought up during the dire period of the Age of Apocalypse. He was thrust into a confrontation with Apocalypse following an accelerated aging process. Eventually, Nate found his way into the mainstream 616 universe and grappled with the complexities of his newfound existence.
Endowed with an impressive array of superhuman abilities, X-Man boasts the capacity to traverse the multiverse. This skill set makes him an invaluable companion for America Chavez. Even though the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) may need to rebrand his alias, this hero’s extraordinary powers could be pivotal during an incursion or the Secret Wars event.
Captain Britain – The Multiversal Guardian
Tasked with the monumental responsibility of safeguarding all things quintessentially British, Brian Braddock, known as Captain Britain, is a paragon of English valor. His superhuman abilities, granted by the mystical Amulet of Right, place him in the ranks of the world’s extraordinary heroes. Even though he might initially come off as a less significant version of Captain America, Braddock’s arrival brings with it the Captain Britain Corps – a multiversal cohort of heroes committed to preserving the integrity of the multiverse.
Should Captain Britain join the MCU, he would add tremendous value to the overarching multiverse narrative. The Captain Britain Corps could serve as a plausible replacement for the Time Variance Authority (TVA), offering a safe passage for the Avengers between universes. They could also protect the multiverse against potential incursions, adding an extra layer of defense against inter-dimensional threats.
Ayesha – The Golden Sovereign
Ayesha, the solitary known representative of the genetically engineered ‘golden’ Sovereign race, stands as a beacon of power and divinity. Ruling over a significant chunk of the cosmos, the Sovereign people see themselves as near-godlike beings. However, when confronted by the formidable Abilisk wreaking havoc on their home planet, they found themselves incapable of mounting a defense and thus sought the aid of the Guardians of the Galaxy. The aftermath of this interstellar alliance can be discovered by watching the sequel to the Guardians of the Galaxy.
With her commanding presence and abilities, Ayesha is an ideal candidate for an antagonist, not limited to just the Guardians series. As the High Priestess of the Sovereigns, she wields tremendous power and advanced technology capable of spawning not just one nemesis for Star-Lord and his crew, but potentially an entire army, ready to challenge even some of the Avengers.
With Marvel’s narrative landscape expanding into the extraterrestrial realms, we could potentially see Ayesha appearing in forthcoming projects, like a future Thor installment, The Marvels, Fantastic Four, the fifth and sixth installments of the Avengers, and series such as Loki and Secret Invasion.
Blink – The Multiverse Wayfarer
Blink, a multiverse voyager, was a significant figure in the Exiles, an often-overlooked team from Marvel’s ensemble that was tasked with managing timeline anomalies across the multiverse. Armed with the power of teleportation and boasting an amiable personality, Blink was the ideal candidate to lead this team of oddballs.
As a mutant, Blink’s introduction into the MCU could serve as a subtle precursor to the broader introduction of mutants. If she were to emerge from a universe where mutants are more prevalent, it could provide a gentle segue into a world where mutants become a common fixture. Her teleportation abilities could also provide a convenient means for the team to travel without the need for a helicarrier. Plus, her unique visual design would undoubtedly be a cinematic treat.
The Micronauts – A Nostalgic Marvel Chapter
The Micronauts share an interesting backstory similar to many other beloved Marvel titles from the early 1980s. Bill Mantlo, who also penned the ROM comic, stumbled upon the Micronauts toys produced by Mego, which were inspired by the Japanese toyline called Microman. Intrigued, he urged Marvel to acquire the licensing rights for a comic.
Though the toys faded into oblivion by the early ’80s, Marvel’s Micronauts comic continued to enjoy decent sales well into the mid-’80s. While other companies have since procured the license to produce their own Micronauts comics, this marked their final appearance in the Marvel Universe. Marvel even toyed with the idea of rebooting the comic in the mid-1990s, but the licensing rights fell through, leading to the idea being scrapped.
However, the Micronauts have still left an indelible mark on the Marvel Universe. The MCU’s Quantum Realm, an incredibly minuscule space connecting different universes, takes loose inspiration from the ‘Microverse,’ home to the comic version of the Micronauts. Even if the Micronauts may never directly feature in the MCU, their legacy continues to influence Marvel’s cinematic universe.
Man-Thing – The Enigmatic Entity
Man-Thing may come across as a creature straight out of a science fiction horror film, but underneath that terrifying exterior lies an extraordinarily potent entity. He doesn’t seek to interact with the world outside and has forfeited nearly all traces of his human intellect. Man-Thing possesses a unique ability to perceive human emotions and secretes an incredibly corrosive substance that can dissolve almost anything in its path. Fans of Thor: Ragnarok might recall a head statue bearing a remarkable resemblance to Man-Thing atop the Grandmaster’s tower.
It remains ambiguous whether the statue was indeed meant to represent Man-Thing or merely a look-alike, but it served as an intriguing Easter egg nonetheless. At this point, it’s unclear how or if Man-Thing would fit into the MCU. Furthermore, the lukewarm reception and poor ratings of the 2005 movie Man-Thing could potentially be a deterrent to his MCU inclusion.
Jessica Jones and the Defenders – An Uncertain Return
The situation surrounding the Defenders in the MCU is rather complicated. Daredevil has already made his triumphant return to the MCU in She-Hulk and Spiderman: No Way Home. His solo adventure, potentially a continuation, is slated to premiere soon. The subtitle, Born Again, may hint at a reboot-sequel hybrid, although it’s unlikely that the events from the Netflix production will play a significant role in the new series.
The upcoming MCU series Echo is also set to feature Daredevil in a supporting capacity. Rumor has it that Jessica Jones will be mentioned at the very least, leading fans to speculate whether she might make a cameo appearance. However, the future of Luke Cage and Iron Fist remains shrouded in uncertainty. It’s possible that the franchise owners are following viewer statistics, which show that these two characters weren’t as popular.
While this doesn’t necessarily rule out their potential guest appearances in future productions, it does cast doubt on their prospects for solo projects, as was the case with their Netflix shows. As for Jessica Jones, with a crowded release schedule, fitting her into the MCU could be challenging, especially within the next two years. But if she manages to shine alongside Daredevil in his show, her return to the MCU might be more than just wishful thinking!
Lady Death – The Enigmatic Entity
The presence of an entity like Death was only subtly alluded to in the final installment of Thor: Love and Thunder. So far in the MCU, she exists not as a physical character but rather as an embodiment of ideas and unimaginable power, occasionally assuming the form of an essence. It may sound complex and philosophical, but that’s how Marvel portrayed Lady Death, which starkly contrasts with her comic counterpart.
In the comics, Death sometimes materialized as an abstract entity but also took on the form of a goddess akin to the Asgardians, only exponentially more potent. She even attracted the romantic interest of Thanos and Deadpool, making for some fierce rivalry! During these times, it was Thanos who emerged as the world’s savior, reviving Lady Death and granting even the most notorious supervillains a chance at redemption.
Despite Death’s lack of a physical presence, her character was not devoid of personality. The MCU could potentially reinterpret her character, thereby allowing the universe’s destiny to hinge on her whims. And if someone were to curry her favor, perhaps they could bring back fallen heroes without the need to interact with other universes.
Red Sonja – The Sword-Wielding Heroine
Red Sonja, who should not be confused with Robert E. Howard’s character ‘Red Sonya,’ was brought to life in the pages of Marvel Comics’ Conan the Barbarian series. Interestingly, her character was only loosely based on Howard’s ‘Sonya.’ Despite this, Red Sonja’s popularity soared, eventually leading to her standalone series and her crossing into the mainstream Marvel comic Marvel Team-Up. This monthly series teamed Spider-Man with a different Marvel superhero each month. In issue #79, crafted by legendary X-Men writer and artist Chris Claremont and John Byrne, Spider-Man found himself embarking on an adventure with Red Sonja.
Even after Red Sonja’s solo comic series was discontinued, she remained a recurring character in Marvel comics throughout the 1990s. As time passed, the rights to Red Sonja were transferred to Dynamite Entertainment, who launched their independent Red Sonja series. The first Red Sonja movie was released in 1995, starring Brigitte Nielsen in the title role, and another film has been under development in recent years. It’s important to note that these films are not affiliated with Marvel. Therefore, it’s unlikely that she’ll feature in a Marvel Team-Up TV show, even though the possibility of a Team-Up Disney+ series without her wouldn’t be entirely surprising.
Eternals – The Mythological Pillars of MCU
The Eternals were initially designed to be the mythological bedrock of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). However, something seems to have gone awry with this project, as recent movies scarcely reference this otherwise impressive spectacle directed by Chloe Zhao. This omission may be attributed less to the film’s technical shortcomings and more to the challenge of incorporating such powerful god-like beings into an already complex universe.
The franchise might have benefited from introducing the Eternals more gradually, portraying them as superpowered beings who support the Avengers, but never stealing the limelight. Revealing their true identities and intricate relationships within the group after a few years could have piqued the viewers’ interest more effectively.
Nevertheless, the proverbial milk has been spilled and individual Eternals are now part of the MCU. Therefore, they could be progressively included in future films. It would be more feasible to have sporadic appearances rather than crowding all of them into a single production. This approach could provide viewers with a sense of continuity. Otherwise, the next phases of the MCU might seem disjointed, an outcome both fans and franchise owners would undoubtedly prefer to avoid.
The Fourth Musketeer – The Ghostly Patriot
As the dark clouds of Nazi Germany loomed over France, an age-old legend was resurrected – the fabled Fourth Musketeer. Rising from the annals of history, this ghostly figure was rekindled by an unwavering love and duty to his homeland. However, even with his immense courage and spirit, he understood that combating the forces of Hitler required more than ethereal determination. It necessitated tangible allies.
With hope in his heart, the Fourth Musketeer traversed vast oceans, heading to America. He believed that this powerful nation, with its thriving democracy and vast resources, might be the key to saving his beloved France. Yet, arriving in Washington DC, the heart of American power, he discovered that not all battles were fought against armies. He clashed with common bank robbers and even those who shared ideologies with the Nazis, each encounter a testament to his unwavering dedication.
But stories, even those as gripping as this, have a way of dissipating over time. And so, after a series of harrowing events, the Fourth Musketeer’s tale faded into obscurity. Still, whispers and debates continue to circle: could this phantom defender have been the legendary D’Artagnan, returning once more to champion the cause of justice and honor?
Jeff Dix – The Second World War Corporal
In the golden era of comic books, amidst the backdrop of World War II, emerged a new hero – Jeff Dix. First gracing the pages of U.S.A. Comics #4 in 1942, readers got a taste of his dedication as a Corporal in the United States Army. However, Jeff’s heroism wasn’t limited to the global battlefield. A trip back home unveiled a sinister plot led by his very own brother, entangled with a gang scheming against the USO. Through wit and valor, Jeff managed to derail their malicious plans, an act which saw him swiftly ascend the military ranks to become a Sergeant.
But the tale of Jeff Dix wasn’t one to be solely told on home soil. Alongside his comrade-in-arms, the curiously named Fish Face Friday, the duo’s adventures took them to the heart of the Pacific, battling the Japanese atop the treacherous decks of an aircraft carrier. Their valor echoed back home as they thwarted Nazi plots right on American soil. Yet, every hero, no matter how valiant, meets their match. For Jeff, this came in the ominous form of an adversary called the Voice of Doom.
While his exploits captured the imagination of many, like all captivating tales, Jeff Dix’s adventures had to come to a close. He took his final bow in the 1944 issue of Amazing Comics #1, leaving behind a legacy of bravery, loyalty, and undying patriotism.
Conan the Barbarian – The Pulp Fiction Hero’s Marvel Journey
In 1970, Marvel Comics introduced a comic book adaptation of Conan the Barbarian, a character based on Robert E. Howard’s pulp hero. This adaptation swiftly gained popularity, becoming one of Marvel’s most sought-after titles. The Conan series spawned multiple spinoffs and extended over 275 issues, marking it as one of the most enduring Marvel comics ever produced. Despite this, Marvel never actually owned Conan; they merely licensed the character from the company responsible for Howard’s creations.
The rights to the character went on a journey of their own, moving from Marvel to Dark Horse and subsequently to various other companies before finally returning to Marvel in 2018. Marvel seized this opportunity to reboot several of their previous Conan books and included him in the Avengers roster through the book ‘Savage Avengers.’ Despite these developments, the rights to Conan are once again on the move, this time towards Titan Books.
Consequently, despite Conan’s extensive history in the Marvel Universe and his interactions with popular characters like Wolverine and the Punisher, the likelihood of a Conan Marvel movie or TV show seems practically nonexistent — at least as long as the rights to this barbarian hero remain outside of Marvel’s domain.
Sentry – The Potentially Lethal Protector
Sentry is one of Earth’s most formidable heroes, wielding power beyond comprehension. His remarkable strength was displayed when he battled and defeated Hulk at his peak during World War Hulk, an incredible accomplishment considering Hulk’s near-invulnerability. In order to prevent a disastrous loss of control over his powers, Sentry had to be rendered unconscious.
However, his own mental health serves as his primary impediment. Displaying signs of agoraphobia, he harbors fear of unleashing his powers in densely populated areas, potentially making him one of the deadliest warriors either fighting for or against the world.
As of now, there’s been no mention of Sentry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and future plans regarding his character remain undisclosed. While other characters such as Adam Warlock have been teased, Sentry’s potential appearance in the MCU lineup seems increasingly unlikely, based on current indications.