Marvel heroes who deserve a comeback

the punisher

Marvel has introduced countless characters since its humble origins with 2008’s Iron Man. Since then, the casting net has gotten weirder and wider, encapsulating everyone from astonishing actors to unknown characters. While some have had numerous opportunities to shine, others haven’t gotten the fair end of the stick and have faded into relative obscurity. This is, in part, thanks to complex TV deals and changing directions from the company itself.

With news breaking that Charlie Cox is returning to the role of Matt Murdock/Daredevil, here are 5 more Marvel characters who we believe deserve another shot.

Jessica Jones

Jessica Jones Season 2 Photos
Image via Netflix / Marvel

Last appearance: 2019

Jessica Jones is by far the darkest and grittiest of the MCU properties. It’s a story about PTSD, abusive relationships, and gaslighting between super-powered individuals, with Kristyn Ritter’s performance alongside David Tennant as antagonist Kilgrave making for compelling television and a much more grounded take on the hero-verse.

Realistically, if there were this many people with superpowers, they wouldn’t all be good people. Jessica Jones completely deserves another run in the mainstream, and hopefully she can take the spotlight in a future MCU series or movie. In the comics, she went to high school with Peter Parker and had a crush on him, but ever since Brian Michael Bendis’ seminal work on Alias in 2001, she’s been a private investigator and much less involved in Spider-Man’s mythos.

A return would be fantastic, and having more shows and movies centered on female characters is definitely something in the interest of Disney. Here’s hoping she returns. To close out this entry on a controversial note, season 1 of Jessica Jones is the best season of a Marvel TV show. Do not @ me.

The Punisher

The Punisher
Image via Netflix / Marvel

Last appearance:  2019

A fan-favorite character, The Punisher is too good to be left on the shelves for too long. Played emphatically by Jon Bernthal, this is easily the best live-action adaptation of the character so far. A brutal but principled killer who explores the dark underbelly of New York City may not be exactly the type of stuff Disney would be keen to make, but considering Deadpool 3 will be R-rated, it’s not a definite no. With how popular other antiheroes have been in pop culture, it would be a mistake to not bring back Bernthal.

The Punisher’s introduction in Daredevil’s second season was a major highlight, and the character works perfectly as a mirror to Murdock. As he tells Daredevil, you’re only one bad day away from becoming me. During the comic book series Civil War, Punisher is such a lunatic that villains sign up for the Superhero Registration Act because they want protection from him.

Mockingbird & Lance

Mockingbird from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Image via Marvel / ABC

Last appearance: 2016

The subject of an unsold pilot back in 2016, Mockingbird looked destined to be a strong part of the Marvel television branch after appearing on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but alas, nobody picked up the pilot. Played by Adrianne Palicki (star of multiple failed superhero pilots, including a role as Wonder Woman), Mockingbird was due to star in Marvel’s Most Wanted, a globetrotting adventure about two superheroes on the run while trying to uncover a conspiracy. Alongside her is her spouse Lance Hunter, played by Nick Blood. Adrianne Palicki is a great actress and Mockingbird is a really fun character in the comics. She’s more than worthy of a return in the Disney Plus age of Marvel television.

Red Hulk

Image via Marvel

Last (chronological) appearance: 2019

Not forgotten per se, but tossed more into subplots that haven’t really continued or developed much in 13 years, Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross is best known in the comics for becoming the Red Hulk and doing heaps of smash-ups against The Hulk. While the rights are very complicated to The Hulk, with Universal still owning distribution rights Hulk’s solo films, it’s more likely that Ross could show up in a Disney Plus series or an episode of What If…? Hulk’s arc feels as though it’s been completed, and Bruce Banner is set to return in She-Hulk as a mentor of sorts to the titular hero. Ross, however, has much potential. In the comics, Ross becomes the Red Hulk after making a deal with A.I.M. to better fight his rival.

The Inhumans

Image via Marvel / ABC

Last appearance: 2017 (and bad)

The Inhumans are the biggest black mark on the modern Marvel brand by some distance. Their show was very poor and reminded us that in the wrong hands, all the Marvel movies could have been similarly atrocious. The Inhumans, much like Tony Stark in Iron Man, deserve redemption. They can’t be forever cursed to be associated with a poorly-made TV show. Perhaps focusing on just three or four of them and actually making it feel like a modern-day superhero movie and not a late-’90s failed TV pilot might do the trick.

Vin Diesel remains interested in playing Black Bolt in the future, and with starpower like that, that’d be a positive omen for a better commercial reception to the Attilan royal family. There are some stellar characters that can still be picked up and shot back into stardom by Marvel, and here’s hoping they do.