8 kooky Marvel characters you will never see in a movie
Alas, these oddballs from the pages of 1970s comic books will likely never join the Avengers.
Marvel Studios has about a dozen movies scheduled from now until 2021, and there are sure to be more beyond. Lesser known characters like Dr. Strange, Captain Marvel and the Inhumans are slated to get their own blockbusters, and they will have to face off against a fresh batch of villains with a crew of sidekicks. In other words, Marvel is going to have to dig pretty deep into its roster to populate its cinematic universe.
That being said, there are some wonderfully weird heroes and villains on the bottom of the barrel that we can bet will never make it to the silver screen. Unless, perhaps, Marvel makes a slapstick comedy, which isn't out of the realm of possibility.
No era spawned goofier characters than the 1970s. It was a decades of fads, from the Pet Rock to all the trends Ponch chased on CHiPs. Likewise, fad-powered characters filled the panels of Marvel comic books. There was the disco guy, the skateboarding guy and, uh, the Big Wheel guy. Let's take a look at some not-quite-ready-for-Ultron fighters.
Disco was everywhere. Naturally, Spider-Man would eventually go up against the "Saturday Night Furor" of the Hypno-Hustler in Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man No. 24 (1978). The hypnotically powered Hustler, alias Antoine, had a band called the Mercy Killers in the discotheque Beyond Forever. His hot pink guitar matched his funky shades.
2. Rocket Racer
Poor Spidey seemed to get stuck with all the goofballs. In Amazing Spider-Man No. 172 (and issues 182–3), ol' Webhead faced the crimson and gold cruising of Rocket Racer. Brooklyn native Robert Farrell turns to crime with the help of a rocket-powered skateboard, but eventually he goes good.
3. Big Wheel
Every kid had a Big Wheel. The plastic tricycle company even made a Spider-Man edition of its "Hot Cycle," a ride which we all lusted after as children. In Amazing Spider-Man No. 183, Rocket Racer and Spidey meet Big Wheel, a guy in a big wheel. Jackson Weele is the man in the golden Ferris wheel of terror.
4. Dr. Bong
Howard the Duck was a blatant satire of the comics industry, and the book's characters were intentionally silly. Take Hellcow, for example. Dr. Bong surely earned chuckles amongst a certain set of readers. We'd bet he'd never see the big screen, but then again Howard the Duck himself has appeared in two Hollywood films.
First appearing in Defenders No. 51 (1977), Ringer was a man who, well, shot rings at people. He looked like an Irish Robocop with a hula hoop fixation. Firing circles at people has to be one of the least intimidating weapons in comics, though he was probably a hit at discos for providing earrings.
Image: Marvel / Wikipedia
6. Stunt Master
Evel Knievel was a real life superhero to '70s kids. The daredevil (not to be confused with Daredevil) had a toy doll, a movie and a television pilot. Ghost Rider, a stunt cyclist himself, was bound to come across a knockoff. Stunt Master first appeared in Daredevil No. 58 at the end of 1969, and went up against the flaming skull afterwards. He sort of comes off as a the evil twin of Jon Baker.
Image: Marvel / coverbrowser
7. The Orb
A man with a giant eyeball for a head. Powers: fly collars, good at riding motorcycles. Weaknesses: Dust, sunlight? The Orb first reared his eyeball in Marvel Team-Up No. 15 (1973) and has even turned up in more monstrous form in the modern era.
Image: Marvel / coverbrowser
Look out, Wolverine, here comes a gold-plated Pizza Rat! The Persian mythology–inspired baddie first appeared in Ghost Rider No. 27 (1977). Yeah, Ghost Rider was a pretty trippy comic book.
Image: Marvel / marvunapp