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The MCU's Expansion Into Horror Won't Have Teeth Until They Introduce Marvel's Scariest Super-Team

Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been a doozy, with the fandom very much divided over the projects that are good, and those that are not (to put it lightly). Critical reception to Phase 4 has also varied greatly, with its films serving as some of the worst-rated in the franchise.

However, one thing we can all get behind is the genius that is "Werewolf by Night." The special presentation is one of the highest-rated projects ever in the MCU, with an impressive 92% critic score and 93% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. The self-contained special is very much its own thing and doesn't directly connect to any MCU properties at this time. Yes, there was a brief Avengers nod at the beginning of the special, but the story's content is it's own.

"Werewolf by Night" is how you do something different and how you do it right. Viewers loved the horror elements and throwback campiness of the 30s and 40s films of the genre. It also introduced Man-Thing, who stole the show and viewers' hearts in no time. Now that Marvel Studios has this success under its belt, it's time for them to really dig into horror filmmaking. They have the perfect opportunity with one of the most original team-ups from the comics, and there's no better moment for hat man Kevin Feige and the powers-that-be to introduce the Midnight Sons.

We're halfway there with the Midnight Sons anyway

If you're an avid reader of Marvel Comics, you know all about the Midnight Sons. If your comic book knowledge only comes from the MCU, you might have never heard of the team... but you incidentally know some of its members. Almost 30 Marvel characters have been a part of the team over the years, and the MCU has already introduced a handful of them —Doctor Strange, Wong, and Moon Knight (as Mr. Knight). Outside the MCU, we've also seen several Midnight Sons members in other projects. Iron Fist, Morbius, Ghost Rider, and Blade have all been a part of the team, as have "Werewolf by Night" newcomers Elsa Bloodstone and, well, Werewolf by Night.

Comic book movie fans are well-versed in these characters by now, and bringing them together for one horror-themed project could see massive success. If the MCU has taught us anything, it's that its audience loves a good team. The Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, the Revengers, the Asgardians of the Galaxy, the Warriors Three — what's there not to like? Why not give the fans the dark side of this trend? Darker-themed superhero comic book films always seem to perform well; look at "Deadpool," "Logan," and Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight" trilogy. Midnight Sons has everything it takes to be a success in the MCU, which has put far too much comic relief in its recent releases. There's no better group than to tone it down — all the way down.

Okay, so who the heck are the Midnight Sons?

We're glad you asked. Debuting in 1999's "Ghost Rider Vol. 3" #28, the Midnight Sons were corralled by Doctor Strange to fight Lilith (the Mother of Demons), who serves as one of the group's most prominent adversaries. In addition to the aforementioned characters, the team has also included Doctor Voodoo, Baron Skullfire, Bats, Frank Drake, Hannibal King, Hellstrom, Jennifer Kale, Louise Hastings, Molek, Samson Buchanan, Scarlet Spider, Strange, Vengeance, and Victoria Montes, all known for fighting the supernatural. You can think of them as the Winchesters of Marvel Comics. Their powers are also supernatural in nature, and when you're dealing with demons and the Ravager of Souls (Zarathos), there's no better genre to attack it all with than horror.

Midnight Sons is the perfect avenue for Marvel Studios to really sink their teeth into the horror genre and cement themselves as one of the best in the field today. We're not looking for a jumpscare flick but true horror that pulls in elements from the thriller, terror, and psychological sub-genres. While "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" did its best to achieve this, it fell flat on its face, and Midnight Sons can be the one that scrapes it off the pavement. 

The talent to pull it off is out there

Composer Michael Giacchino did a phenomenal job helming "Werewolf by Night," and his drive is why we're having this conversation in the first place. Introducing the Midnight Sons to the MCU could also very well be the first time the horror legend himself, Guillermo del Toro, steps into the franchise. In a decade-old interview with Collider, del Toro mentioned he wasn't a traditional superhero guy but instead, gravitates toward monsters. "I loved when the superhero genre crosses with horror," he told the outlet in addition to naming some of his favorites like Blade, Dr. Strange, Man-Thing, etc.

It's just a match made in heaven at this point, folks. We've got enough existing MCU characters to throw it together, and also over a dozen who could also be introduced in a Midnight Sons movie. Del Toro mentioned that if he did take a step into the superhero film world, it would have to be dark. Midnight Sons stories from the comics are about as dark as it gets from Marvel, and putting them in the hands of the master guarantees a top-notch flick. If Marvel Studios really wants to show they can nail the horror genre to continue to move along with it, del Toro and the Midnight sons are ingredients they need to get there.