This is part 2 of my piece on the forgotten characters of the MCU. You can read part 1 here!
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is full of fascinating characters so it’s no wonder some fall to the wayside and are forgotten about by both the creative forces and the audience. Should such characters make a triumphant return and where would they fit into the current MCU landscape? Let’s take a look…
Now when I say The Mandarin I’m not talking about Ben Kingsley’s Trevor Slattery who tricked the world into believing he was The Mandarin nor am I talking about Guy Peirce’s Aldrich Killian who revealed himself to kind of be The Mandarin, I’m talking about the real Mandarin. In the Marvel One Shot short movie Hail to the King – which is canon – we see Trevor Slattery get kidnapped by people who work for the real Mandarin who wants revenge on Trevor for portraying a negative version of him. Now this was no doubt created after all of the negativity that surrounded the Mandarin reveal in Iron Man 3 (which I actually really enjoyed) and since finding out that there is indeed a real version of the villain The Mandarin we haven’t seen or heard from him since. This could be all they ever have planned for the character, just a little nod/apology to fans, but I hope that one day we get to see The Mandarin properly. If we do it’ll probably be in a fourth Iron Man movie but who knows, maybe the Agents of Shield or The Defenders could face him.
Samuel Sterns (The Leader)
The Incredible Hulk was misstep of the early Marvel Cinematic Universe and has largely been ignored since which is a shame because it set up an interesting character. In case you have forgotten, Samuel Sterns is a scientist who helped Bruce Banner in attempting to make a cure for, well you know, turning into a big green angry monster. And this is the point where I begin to forget what happened but there is an altercation in Stern’s lab which ends with Sterns getting some of Banner’s blood in a wound in his forehead which then begins to mutate and grow and that’s the last we see of him. If you didn’t already know this is set up for Stern becoming the comic book villain The Leader. From what little research I’ve done The Leader seems like an interesting character with him being pretty much the antithesis of Hulk, incredibly intelligent but physically weak. Will we ever see The Leader in another Hulk movie? Probably not especially with the likelihood of another standalone Hulk film being fairly slim. Even so it’s cool for Marvel to have such a character in their back pocket, maybe an appearance in Agents of Shield would work.
Donnie Gill (Blizzard)
Donnie Gill appeared in one episode of both the first and second seasons of Agents of Shield and since the show became more serialised he was forgotten about. Well, I say forgotten about he could actually be dead. Gill is a cryokinetic (he has ice powers) and is Blizzard from the comics who was last seen running from/killing a ton of Hydra agents. Being a very dangerous third party who was pushed into a corner he made some dangerous choices and got a bullet in the back in response before falling into the sea never to be seen again. That includes his dead body and at the end of the episode Daisy makes a big point of the fact his body was never recovered implying that he is still alive and will show up once again. Now that AoS is full of superpowered people he would fit into the show with ease and having any type of unpredictable third party makes the usual good guys vs bad guys formula of AoS much more interesting. Or maybe he could show up in one of the Netflix shows, anything to make Iron Fist less dull; seriously, I only continued watching that show so I’m caught up for The Defenders in August.
It wasn’t until The Leftovers when I saw that Liv Tyler was actually a pretty good actress. Why do I mention this? Well, I guess I just wanted to talk about The Leftovers and how pissed I am that the third and final season has started in the US (5 episodes out of 8 have aired!) but here in the UK there isn’t even an announced start date. Now that’s out of the way: Betty Ross. The unmemorable love interest of Bruce Banner (the Ed Norton version) in The Incredible Hulk, Betty Ross hasn’t been seen or even mentioned since. Now I don’t particularly want her to appear in a future film but it feels like a betrayal of Banner’s character that she isn’t even mentioned. In The Avengers, or Avengers Assemble here in the UK, we get Thor asking about Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster and a reason is given why she isn’t in the movie and it enforces the vital interconnectedness of this film series. I believe Betty Ross deserves at least this same treatment but it seems Marvel Studio’s attempts to forget about pretty much everything that happened in The Incredible Hulk has taken precedence with that film falling into an almost B-level canon.
Which MCU character do you feel like has been forgotten? Let me know in the comments and geek out with me about all things Marvel and DC on Twitter @kylebrrtt.