While 2019’s “Avengers: Endgame” has come and gone, Disney’s Marvel is showing no signs of slowing down. The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has been busy at work, churning out a slew of new releases on the way. Unfortunately, the first entry into its new Phase 4, “Black Widow”, is once again being further delayed. This means, fans will have to wait just a little longer to see what new heroes will grace the big screen.
This new age is boasting a fresh cast of diverse heroes no one could have seen coming. The age of the Avengers has passed, it’s time for a new age of heroes to rise.
Whether they’re heroes who have long been teased within the MCU or have yet to make their debut, we’ve got you covered. We’re counting down our most anticipated heroes who will appear in future MCU properties.
1. Jane Foster’s Thor
Yes, you read it right. Thor’s ex-girlfriend, played by Natalie Portman, will be taking up his mantle. Just to clarify, Thor in Marvel comics isn’t so much a name as it is a title. The Thor we all know and love, played by Chris Hemsworth, is known as Odinson in the comics. During the comic book event “Original Sin”, Odinson becomes unworthy of the mantle of Thor and Mjolnir selects Jane Foster to be his replacement. During her tenure as the God (or Goddess) of Thunder, she battled the forces of evil and cancer as well.
After the events of “Thor: The Dark World”, we don’t get much information about Foster. A part of us is hoping that we’ll see some version of the character from Jason Aaron’s “Mighty Thor” series. In lieu of the brash child learning to be a king, Foster was depicted as a sickly mortal showing what true godhood and heroism looks like. Now, that would be a fresh, captivating take on Thor.
2. Adam Warlock
The next hero on our list is one we frankly expected to have seen earlier. We were so sure that he’d at least show up in some way in “Avengers: Infinity War” if not “Endgame”. The character is supposedly being saved for “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3”. In any case, we can’t wait to see the intergalactic superhuman wizard, Adam Warlock appear in the MCU. In one of Marvel’s most popular comic event “Infinity Gauntlet”, Warlock played a crucial role in stopping the Mad Titan. At some point, the cosmic being even wielded the Gauntlet itself.
Warlock was first teased in a post-credits scene at the end of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2”. The High Priestess of the Sovereign race, Ayesha discusses the creation of an artificially evolved superhuman being created in her golden pod. She names the creature “Adam”.
Much like his MCU counterpart, his comic book origin has him being a genetically altered godlike being. He was also a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy in the comics. Looks like Thor isn’t the only one joining the team.
3. Shang Chi
As it turns out, the Mandarin isn’t a myth after all. Apparently, he’s the very real terrorist leader of the Ten Rings organisation. He’s also rumoured to be an immortal who possesses magical powers. That’s about all we learn about the REAL Mandarin from Marvel’s “All Hail the King” short film, found on the digital download release of “Thor: The Dark World”. With Iron Man out of the picture, a new champion must rise to meet the Mandarin’s machinations. That noble warrior just so happens to be Shang Chi, who will be facing off against the Mandarin in 2021’s “Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings“.
We know that the titular Shang Chi will be played by Simu Liu, an Asian-Canadian actor and stuntman. Truth be told, Shang Chi doesn’t have a ton of powers. Sure he has displayed a few feats of superhuman strength in the comic but really his true power is his martial arts skills. We’re curious to see if Marvel will lean into his more practical and human side. Or if they’ll have a more mystical approach to the character.
Vampires of the night beware! The bane of your existence is about to enter the MCU. It’s the half-vampire, half-human hunter Eric Brooks, aka Blade. Those who grew up around the early 2000s may have remembered the Wesley Snipes’ incarnation of the character. A badass, antihero draped in a black trench-coat, wiping out the undead with steel and fury. So to see Disney’s Marvel announcing that they’d be bringing this old relic back out into the sun was a real blast from the past.
Disney is currently working on a “Blade” solo film. Not much is known about the film’s casting beyond the lead actor who will be playing Blade, Mahershala Ali. He’s best known for his role as the villainous Cottonmouth in the first season of Netflix’s “Luke Cage” series. Seeing that the show was cancelled in 2018, Ali is freed up to once again enter in the MCU with a new name. The release date in which we’ll see Blade slash his way onto the silver screen is yet to be confirmed.
5. The Eternals
Move over Avengers, it’s time for the Eternals to enter the scene. The Eternals are a race of superhumans who have tasked themselves with defending humanity. Their ancestors were once early humans until a group of god-like beings called the Celestials began tampering with their DNA. The Eternals are essentially mankind at its most evolved state. Some of them have powers such as flight, energy manipulation, super-strength and enhanced durability. Quick fun-fact, in the comics, the reason why folks like the Hulk and Captain America get superpowers instead of getting…you know, cancer is because of the Celestials. They gave humanity the ability to gain superpowers.
The cast of Marvel’s “Eternals” is shaping up to be a star-studded one. Some of the film’s biggest names include “Game of Thrones” actor Richard Madden, comedian Kumail Nanjiani and “Atlanta” actor Brian Tyree Henry. Then, of course, there’s the incomparable Angelina Jolie. The film was initially slated to be released in February 2021 but with the current COVID-19 situation, it’s probably going to be delayed.
The Hulk has a high-flying lawyer cousin. Who knew! When lawyer Jennifer Walters is shot, only a risky blood transfusion from relative Bruce Banner can save her. It works and the Green Giant doesn’t just give Walters a second chance at life. She now has a fraction of the Hulk’s amazing powers. She is the She-Hulk. What makes the character of She-Hulk so interesting is that in spite of her newfound strength, she still chooses to keep her day job. Furthermore, she has a much better time controlling her rage compared to her hotheaded cousin.
Recently, we’ve gotten news with regards to who will be playing Jennifer Walters in Disney’s upcoming new series “She-Hulk’ and we couldn’t be happier. The heroin will be played by none other than “Orphan Black” actress, Tatiana Maslany. A perfect fit for the silver-tongued, Hulked-out lawyer who fights injustice using her wits instead of her fists. We’re sincerely hoping that we see at least one scene of her yelling “She-Hulk object!”, now that would make our day.
7. Daimon Helstrom
For the most part, the more mystical and supernatural aspects of the MCU have been represented through the eyes of Thor and Doctor Strange. Ghost Rider does make an appearance or two in “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” but it just isn’t enough to scratch our itch for some hellish magical action. That’s where Disney’s new series through Hulu, “Helstrom” comes in. A web series that follows the adventures of Daimon Helstrom, the son of a powerful demon, and his sister Ana. Together, both of them walk the Earth, punishing the very worst of humanity.
In Marvel comics, Daimon has always been depicted as a conflicted hero. Someone who struggles to do what is right, in spite of his demonic heritage. We look forward to seeing how this tension is explored in “Helstrom” and what spooky surprises the show has in store for us. So far, the series seems to be a fantasy detective thriller along the lines of CW’s “Supernatural”. It looks like it’ll be a hell of a good time!
8. The Living Tribunal
The final hero on our list isn’t so much a super-powered do-gooder as he is the literal embodiment of balance in the Marvel multiverse. A being so powerful that he makes Thanos and his Infinity Gauntlet look cute. A guardian who only ever intervenes when a cosmic threat is deemed too great for the heroes of a native universe. For those not exactly in the comic book know, we’re talking about the Living Tribunal.
The character was first referenced in a scene in 2016’s “Doctor Strange”. During a training scene with Mordo, the sorcerer reveals to Stephen Strange a powerful magical relic. A weapon called the Staff of the Living Tribunal. So based on the reference alone, we now know that the character does exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Perhaps we could see this multiversal guardian appear in “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness“. It would make sense seeing that he was introduced in the first film.