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Obscure Marvel Characters We Want To See In Phase 4

One of the most amazing things about the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the studio's ability to turn obscure comics characters into household names. Who would have thought that Rocket, Groot, and Drax the Destroyer would be so popular? Even second-string villains like Batroc the Leaper get their moment in the sun. And who can forget Howard the Duck's cameo in Guardians Of The Galaxy? At this point, Marvel could put Woodgod, Captain Ultra, and the Walrus into a film and make it work. 

The MCU's upcoming Phase 4 films, however, represent their riskiest set of movies yet. There's no Avengers film to act as a tentpole. There are no Captain America or Iron Man sequels in the offing. Quite frankly, the entire casts of Eternals and Shang-Chi count as obscure characters. These are some deep dives into Bronze Age Marvel, and it's anyone's guess how it'll go.

At the same time, there will be sequels for the highly successful Black Panther and Captain Marvel films, as well as a fourth Thor film. Moreover, Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness hints at the Doc exploring a number of different dimensions, giving him a chance to meet some interesting people while keeping audiences anchored to a familiar character. Who else might become a household name? These are the lesser-known Marvel characters we're dying to see in Phase 4.

Beta Ray Bill

From the far reaches of the Burning Galaxy comes the protector of the Korbinites: Beta Ray Bill! Working against Surtur and the demons who destroy his home galaxy, Beta Ray Bill is turned into a powerful cyborg in order to lead the surviving members of his race to a new planet. Aboard his sentient ship, the Skuttlebutt, he is constantly pursued by demons.

When he reaches Earth, he mistakes Thor for a demon and they fight. To Thor's shock, Bill is able to pick up his hammer and use it. He is worthy! When Bill-as-Thor gets recalled to Asgard by Odin, the All-Father is puzzled by what has transpired. It's eventually decided to give Bill his own hammer, Stormbreaker. This happens to be the new hammer that Thor helps to forge in Avengers: Infinity War.

Bill proves to be a steadfast ally of Thor and even has a brief romance with Lady Sif. Given that Thor leaves Earth at the end of Avengers: Endgame with the Guardians Of The Galaxy, it would be fascinating to see him run into Bill somewhere in space. Moreover, Surtur was last seen wreaking havoc in Asgard — what if he tries to invade our universe? This would be a perfect opportunity to do a variation on this storyline. Given Bill's closeness with Sif, this would also be the time to reintroduce her in the MCU.


Clea is the daughter of Umar the Unspeakable and niece of the dread Dormammu. In the comics, she betrays her relatives by helping Doctor Strange defeat their evil plans to conquer our dimension. Clea eventually leaves her home and becomes Doc's magical disciple and lover. Given that Dr. Christine Palmer was an uninspiring choice for a love interest in the first film, Clea could be a perfect addition to the cast. 

There are all sorts of ways Marvel could play this. Given the fact that the Time Stone no longer exists in this reality, what is keeping Strange's time-loop spell in place on Dormammu? Can he invade again? Did Umar try to take over the Dark Dimension while Dormammu was caught in the loop? There are many unanswered questions. In addition, what happened in the reality where the Sorcerer Supreme was absent for five years?  

The story of Umar and Clea could easily be told using a different reality, as Clea helps Doc out of a jam and then becomes his partner. There's good potential for comedy here as well. When Clea comes to stay on Earth, she'll be a fish out of water. How will she react to living in New York and dealing with human technology?


Quasar is essentially Marvel's Green Lantern: He possesses cosmic-powered jewels that can create solid-light constructs. In terms of personality, the gentle Wendell Vaughn is the antithesis of swaggering, arrogant superheroes like Iron Man or Doctor Strange. He thinks before acting and generally prefers not to fight if he can avoid it. That's the reason he is chosen as Protector of the Universe by the cosmic being known as Eon — he has unlimited power, but he's unlikely to abuse it.

Having him meet Carol Danvers in Captain Marvel 2 would be fascinating. They could team up against one of the many weird foes he fought, like the kinetic-energy-absorbing Maelstrom, or Unbeing, a cosmic beast of primordial power. Quasar is also a dimension hopper and part of a long line of protectors. As a straight-and-narrow counterpoint to Carol's loose-cannon attitude, Quasar could be a buddy, a frenemy, or even a potential love interest.

Alternatively, they could use Wendell's successor, Phylla-Vell, the daughter of Mar-Vell. That would be a nice touch — Carol working with her mentor's daughter opens up all sorts of dramatic possibilities. The upbeat Phylla could be a good counterpoint to the stoic Carol, either as a friend or, like Vaughn, a potential love interest. 


The Reverend Doctor Michael Ibn al-Hajj Achebe is described by his creator, Christopher Priest, as "the Joker to the Black Panther's Batman." While the Panther is calm, collected and compassionate, Achebe is an unpredictable, twisted, lunatic genius interested only in power. He's only too happy to kill thousands of innocents if it helps him get his way.

He also talks non-stop and constantly insults Black Panther to his face — he often refers to the superpowered King as "ukatana," Swahili for "kitten." He literally sold his soul to the devil (or at least Mephisto) in order to gain power, and he's obsessed with unseating T'Challa from his throne. Things get even weirder in later appearances, when he begins to wear a small puppet named Daki on his arm, dressed exactly like he is. Achebe is loony enough to throw anyone off their game, but sane enough to cause devastation.

The situation in Wakanda is one of the biggest mysteries in Marvel's Phase 4. After T'Challa and Shuri both disappeared, who assumed power? Ramonda? M'Baku? What challenges does Wakanda face after the Snap, given the fact that they had just opened themselves up to the world when T'Challa disappeared? Achebe gets himself into Wakanda in the comics by exploiting conflict — the sort that might well have arisen after the Snap. An unstable Wakanda in the films would be a perfect way to introduce him to the MCU. 


In the Black Panther comics, Malice is a disgraced former Dora Milaje named Nakia Shauku. Of course, in the film, Nakia is an upright woman and T'Challa's love interest. It would be easy to simply make Malice a different member of the Dora Milaje, however — and it would be worthwhile, because Malice is a doozy of a character.

Malice grows up infatuated with T'Challa, dreaming that she will one day be his queen. Okoye constantly reminds her of her duty as a soldier, but Malice ignores her. When Mephisto puts T'Challa in an illusion, he kisses Malice, and her fantasies grow out of control, no matter how profusely he apologizes once he is in his right mind. T'Challa, as she sees it, is now hers and she sets out to kill his girlfriend, Monica Lynne. Later, Killmonger helps Malice by giving her the deadly Jufeiro herb. This poison makes her irresistible to men, and she sets out to kill every woman in T'Challa's life. 

A completely irrational foe is the perfect sort of foil to the collected and considerate Black Panther. This is especially true for an enemy who wants him all to herself. 

The Micronauts

The Micronauts are based on a popular line of toys from the 1970s. They include Commander Arcturus Rann, AKA Space Glider, friendly robots Biotron and Microtron, Princess Mari, AKA Marionette, insectoid warrior Bug, and deposed king of the planet Spartak, Acroyear. They dwell within the Microverse, which MCU fans know as the Quantum Realm.

Their story begins when Rann returns to Homeworld, a microscopic planet, after being in suspended animation for a millennium. He arrives just in time to confront the sinister Baron Karza, who has seized power from the royal family. He flees with the others as Karza and his Dog Soldiers take over. What ensues is a saga of good versus evil, featuring magic, science, and the blurred line between the two.

There are deep ties between the Microverse and our Earth. Phase 4 movies involving Doctor Strange and/or Ant-Man could explore them to dazzlingly cool effect — in fact, that's already something that's been considered. An unused piece of Ant-Man & The Wasp concept art reveals a Microverse city designed for the film, which can be glimpsed briefly towards the movie's end.


Deep in the Everglades, there lives a creature who is the guardian of the Nexus Of All Realities. This is the Man-Thing, a muck-encrusted monster who was once a researcher named Ted Sallis. Working on regenerative and super-soldier formulas with his colleague Dr. Curt Connors (better known as Spider-Man's foe, The Lizard), Ted was betrayed by his wife and chased down by AIM agents in an effort to get the formula. When he crashes into the swamp, he's transformed by the formula and the magic of the swamp into the fearsome Man-Thing.

Man-Thing is an empath, but his brain is quite a bit foggier than it once was. When he feels the violent anger of others, he lashes out in an effort to make it stop. Given the fact that he generates a sulfuric acid, those he seeks to stop wind up massively hurt. This serves him well, as the guardian of the interdimensional doorway that lies in the swamp: When malicious entities attempt to cross over, he is able to dispatch them.  Over the years, he's defeated invasions by demons and unsavory developers alike.

Given that Doctor Strange is set to explore the "Multiverse of Madness," why not send him down to Florida to do so? He and Man-Thing seem like they'd have a lot to talk — or at least grunt — about.

Karkas And Ransak the Reject

Karkas and Ransak the Reject are sort of a package deal. Both are Deviants, the genetically unstable foes of the Eternals. Specifically, they are Mutates, Deviants whose mutations are so extreme that they are either killed or forced to engage in gladiatorial games. In Karkas' case, he's over eight feet tall, enormously strong, bright red, and has nasty claws. By Deviant standards, he's very ugly — but not as much as the dreaded Ransak the Reject.

After a lot of build-up regarding how horrifyingly ugly he is, the Reject turns out to be ... a Deviant who looks like a gorgeous human man. He and Karkas become fast friends in the gladiatorial pits, where Ransak becomes a fearsome killing machine. Karkas, on the other hand, is good at fighting but doesn't like it very much. In fact, he's a sensitive soul who loves philosophy and culture. When Thena the Eternal visits their world of Lemuria, Karkas begs her to take them with her to the Eternals' home in Olympia. She does, and both become valuable members of Olympia.

That's the sort of cinematic journey that could make an Eternals film truly special. Karkas and Ransak could be the bridge between the Eternal and Deviant worlds, in addition to having their own affecting storyline.

Midnight Sun

In the comics, M'Nai is Shang-Chi's adopted brother. He earns the nickname "Midnight Sun" because of his love of the darkness, evidenced by his all-black bodysuit. After Shang-Chi breaks away from Fu Manchu in the comics, Midnight Sun is sent to kill his brother and best friend, a choice that brings him great sorrow. When M'Nai dies in battle against Shang-Chi, the Kree save his life by putting his brain inside a new clone body. This gives him the ability to endure the vacuum of space, turn invisible, and propel himself. All of this is in addition, of course, to his tremendous martial arts skills, which he retains.

Midnight Sun would make an ideal assassin for the Mandarin in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. If Shang Chi's life represents a path denied to M'Nai, this could make their conflict more than just a standard hero-villain showdown. They're not just enemies, but brothers — and thus able to hurt each other far worse than your typical good guy/bad guy match-up. 

Radioactive Man

The Mandarin is reported to be the main villain in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. As powerful as those ten alien rings make him, he's always used lackeys to do his bidding. That includes Dr. Chen Lu, better known as the Radioactive Man.

Dr. Lu's exposure to radiation was intentional. Then in the employ of the Chinese government, he sought to make himself immune to nuclear attack — and ended up making himself into a nuclear weapon. Lu has worked with a wide variety of villains over the years, in his efforts to take down the Avengers, but he has a change of heart upon working with Crimson Dynamo and Titanium Man in Vietnam. There, as part of the Titanic Three, he seeks to protect the common man, a change of heart that endures for years.

It would be interesting to see him either working for the Mandarin in Shang-Chi or acting as a free agent. His powers are formidable, and his conscience is murky. Will he act as a loyal footsoldier? Can he be persuaded into heroism? How will Shang-Chi battle someone who can poison his opponents with a glance?  We'd love to find out.

The Starjammers

From out of the slave pits of the Shi'ar Empire come the swashbuckling Starjammers! There's the giant green amphibian powerhouse, Ch'od! There's the deadly marksman, Raza! There's the lightning-quick skunk-woman, Hepzibah! There's the hovering insectoid doctor Sikorsky! Finally, there's the human leader, Corsair! As you might have guessed, they're a bit of a motley crew.

Given that Captain Marvel is out patrolling space and Marvel is looking to bring the X-Men into the MCU fold at last, now would be a perfect time to introduce X-Men-adjacent characters. The Starjammers have long been a bright ray of sunshine in their frequently dour mutant dramas. Corsair, in fact, is Cyclops and Havok's dad, kidnapped years prior by the Shi'ar. The Starjammers are initially made up of those with whom he escapes the Shi'ar slave pits.

The Starjammers could be perfect allies for Carol Danvers, even if they annoy her a bit with their flamboyant ways. Their appearance could also herald the introduction of other alien races, like the aforementioned Shi'ar, but also the horrific Brood. They're versatile, thrilling, and have a killer name — perfect for the silver screen.

Captain Universe

It's "the hero who could be you!" Out of the Microverse and into our reality comes the Enigma Force, randomly merging with a random creature in times of need and turning them into Captain Universe! It bestows the Uni-Power upon its lucky (?) recipient, helps them solve the problem at hand, and then moves on. Their chosen partner also gets a snappy blue and white costume and access to Uni-Vision (unlike the TV network, this is a form of cosmic awareness) and control over matter and energy.

While its first manifestation on our Earth came when it possessed a friend of the Micronauts to help defeat the evil Baron Karza, the Uni-Power has subsequently appeared in our dimension many times. It's merged with otherwise anonymous people as well as Spider-Man, the Invisible Woman, and the Juggernaut, who used it to realign Earth's tectonic plates. It merged with the Silver Surfer to stop an energy-devouring monster.

There are all sorts of intriguing possibilities for Captain Universe in the MCU. It could possess Thor or someone he meets in his next film. It could appear as part of Doctor Strange's multiverse explorations, especially since the Microverse was renamed the Quantum Realm for the MCU. Captain Marvel could encounter it while patrolling space. It still works best when someone completely unexpected and anonymous gets the power, uses it, and then goes back to their life — a license for a deus ex machina for any storyteller.