Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Marvel Superteams Who Could Be The Next Guardians Of The Galaxy-Like Sleeper Hit

Before the debut of the "Guardians of the Galaxy" in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, nobody could have seen the mega-hit the irreverent group of heroes would quickly become. Thanks to James Gunn's direction, a stellar cast including Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, and Dave Bautista, and characters who were easy to root for despite being rough around the edges, the Guardians saga has become one of Marvel's most acclaimed and adored franchises.

To be clear, the original "Guardians of the Galaxy" that debuted in 1969 from Arnold Drake and Roy Thomas looks nothing like the version fans fell in love with in the MCU (although the original team members cameoed at the end of "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2"). That said, the film actually took inspiration from Andy Lanning and Dan Abnett's 2008 series, which first brought together all those lovable misfits like Rocket and Drax, whom have now — because of the movie — become household names. And if there's one lesson we can learn from the success of the film, it's that no Marvel team, no matter how obscure, is too weird to become a massive pop culture phenomenon. 

That means that when we look at the array of quirky Marvel Comics super-teams from the pages, it's interesting to speculate which ones could be adapted into MCU sleeper hits. Here are a selection of beloved, strange, and underappreciated teams from the comics that could someday make the jump to superstardom in live-action.

Peter David's X-Factor could take the MCU's mutants in a very different direction from the Fox franchise

While there have been several iterations of the "X-Factor" team in the pages of Marvel Comics, with the original squad debuting in 1986, it's the Peter David and Pablo Raimondi's-created run that is begging for a live-action adaptation.

The 2005 series directly followed the events of "House of M," as only a few hundred mutants are left with powers following the actions of the Scarlet Witch. In the aftermath, Jamie Madrox aka Multiple Man, a hero with the power to create duplicates of himself, starts X-Factor investigations, and he recruits a crew of oddball mutants, including Strong Guy, Wolfsbane, Siryn, Monet St. Croix, Rictor, and the mysterious Layla Miller.

The fun, here, is that Madrox's organization isn't ... well, organized. The team members don't exactly respect the funny and unpredictable Madrox as a leader, making Multiple Man's attempts to run the investigations a considerable challenge. And this "X-Factor" team has all the right ingredients to be the Marvel Cinematic Universe's next surprise hit. X-Factor Investigations could tackle some of the stranger sides of the Marvel Universe, even outside of mutants, as their investigations in the comics involve unexpected characters like Werewolf by Night, Pip the Troll, and Doctor Doom.

Of course, X-Factor will have to wait until mutants become a bigger presence in the MCU, but that's on the horizon anyway. Either way, the team's investigations would help expand the universe while spotlighting some of the yet-to-be-seen characters and locations viewers haven't seen yet. Plus, with the drama, conflicting personalities, and romantic history between the X-Factor team, it would make for a hilarious project that could be serious when needed to be.

X-Statix is even weirder than X-Factor

Peter Milligan and Mike Allred's mutant superteam is one of the oddest collections of heroes Marvel Comics has ever published, as the X-Statix roster is one of the most constantly changing groups of characters ever assembled. Really, though, the lack of longevity in its members makes "X-Statix" a fun team to bring to the MCU.

Originally introduced as a new iteration of the X-Force team that were government-funded, fame-hungry TV stars, the team's debut ends in a bloodbath, with several main characters getting murdered before the first issue's end. However, surviving heroes include U-Go-Girl, who can teleport great distances (but each time she does so, she becomes more tired) and Anarchist, who creates acid-like sweat from his body and uses them as projectiles. The team is soon joined by Doop, a bizarre green, floating alien-like creature serving as their cameraman — but it's important to not judge Doop by his appearance, as he's gone toe-to-toe with Thor, and has shared adventures with Wolverine. Trust us when we say that Doop could be the next Groot or Rocket. 

In the comics, "X-Statix" readers could never get too attached to the characters who appeared in the zany, violent adventures of the team, as Milligan and Allred had no problem killing them off. One of these characters has already appeared on film, and suffered that very fate — Bill Skarsgard played Zeitgeist in "Deadpool 2," a hero who could produce vomit acid, and he lands in a woodchipper after the team's epic failure to land after jumping out of a plane. 

Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. is wonderfully strange

"Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E." is one of Marvel's most beloved miniseries, and for a good reason. The entire comic exists as a parody of the superhero genre. Ultimately, Warren Ellis and Stuart Immonent brought together some C-list heroes to form an unlikely team in a takedown of the superhero genre through excessive violence, comedy, and action.

Nextwave is led by Monica Rambeau's Photon, who works under H.A.T.E. (Highest Anti-Terrorism Effort), a direct parody of the classic Marvel organization, S.H.I.E.L.D. She is joined by the monster hunter Elsa Bloodstone, Machine Man, the explosive mutant Boom Boom, and The Captain, a new character who satirized heroes who took up the "Captain" moniker, such as Captain Marvel. Together, Nextwave fights U.W.M.D.s (Unusual Weapons of Mass Destruction), including taking on Fin Fang Foom, the Mindless Ones, and new villains such as Broccoli Men. As far as the MCU goes, with Monica Rambeau being introduced in "WandaVision" and starring in the upcoming "The Marvels," as well as Elsa Bloodstone making her debut in the "Werewolf by Night" Halloween special, it won't take much to fill out the rest of the team.

Exiles would be perfect for the Marvel Cinematic Multiverse

With the Marvel Multiverse playing a crucial part in the current storytelling initiative in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it would make a lot of sense to see one of the most important time-traveling teams, the "Exiles," get their own film — specifically, Saladin Ahmed and Javier Rodriguez's most recent run.

The 2018 "Exiles" run features Nick Fury assembling a new team of heroes from across the Multiverse to take on a villain eating timelines whole. Led by the mutant teleporter Blink, the Exiles starred an older version of Kamala Khan from a dystopian Marvel future, a version of Nathaniel Richards (Iron Lad) plucked from the timestream before he turned into Kang the Conqueror, Valkryie from Earth-22681, and Wolvie II, a baby version of Wolverine from the Mojoverse who is powered by friendship. 

Each issue saw the Exiles travel to different universes and being threatened by the Time Eater. The team would visit bizarre worlds, including a pirate-filled universe where Ben Grimm became Blackbeard and even a reality featuring Aladdin and magic carpet rides. The series has immediate connections to the MCU, as Captain Carter made her Marvel Comics debut in "Exiles," while the Valkyrie on the team is modeled after Tessa Thompson's version from "Thor: Ragnarok." Adding to the potential MCU connections is the fact the main villain is a variant of Kang the Conqueror, who is powering himself as a super-Galactus by eating different realities, causing timelines to disappear. So, if Marvel wanted to adapt the storyline, the foundation is already there for several team members and adventures. "Exiles" would be Marvel embracing the cosmic weirdness of the Multiverse like never before.

Is it time for the MCU's West Coast Avengers?

The "West Coast Avengers" has traditionally brought together an assortment of different heroes for many takes on the Marvel Comics team over the years — initially beginning as a secondary Avengers team starring Vision, Hawkeye, Mockingbird, Wonder Man, and Iron Man. But the best version for the MCU would be Kelly Thompson and Stefano Caselli's 2018 run.

Featuring both Kate Bishop and Clint Barton's Hawkeyes, "West Coast Avengers" essentially made a team with characters who deserved the spotlight but might not have had enough sustained success to justify their own ongoing title at the time. Its eccentric cast of characters includes the fourth-wall-breaking Gwenpool, the interdimensional portal-hopping America Chavez, the mutant telepath (and former Phoenix host) Quentin Quire, and Fuse, a mutant who can transform the makeup of his body with anything he touches. Together, the group creates a reality show to get funding for the team, leading to a uniquely-framed comic with some unforgettable confessional moments.

Between battling one of the strangest versions of MODOK, the introduction of the fan-favorite Jeff the Land Shark, and several messy romances between team members, West Coast Avengers is a joy of a series, from start to finish. Considering America Chavez, Clint Barton, and Kate Bishop have already been introduced in the MCU, Marvel could bring them all together for a comedy series that could end up being the perfect marriage of street-level, mutant, and uber-powerful characters.