TOP 5 MARVEL D LISTERS READY FOR A COMEBACK
First some caveats. I went with the term D lister just to cover myself. Some of my choices may well be considered a higher rank and I’m more than sure some will be considered lower.
When I say comeback I don’t mean each character I list should be given a brand spanking new ongoing series with sprawling multiple plot threads. I’m merely suggesting a modern freshening up. Perhaps in an expanded story arc in a title where they first appeared. Then maybe a mini series to test the water. After all comic sales are driven by mega characters like Spider-Man and The Avengers. But it is the D listers who make the comic world go by. They are more fondly remembered and forever have a place in our hearts. We dream of the day they might one day break through to mega stardom whilst wishing it never happens so they remain our little secret pleasure. It also got me thinking would Marvel benefit from doing original graphic novels for these types of characters? Rather than drawing out a mini or maxi series few people might pick up how about just a done in one OGN?
It may seem a little strange perhaps to have the most recognisable character on the list in last place. That’s exactly why. I love Maverick and would never consider him a D list character. In my opinion he is very underrated and therefore greatly underused. I’ve always felt he should have been a bigger supporting character in Wolverine’s world since making his debut in X-Men #5 (1992). for those of you who are unaware of Maverick here are the basics. He is a former member of Team X and then later another subject of the Weapon X program. He has the ability of kinetic absorption, which he can turn into kinetic blasts. A healing factor to boot as well as natural skills in marksmen ship and hand to hand combat. When I say he had a twelve issue series in the 90’s you might think “Well who didn’t.” But give it a read it is pretty decent. A blend of superhero comics and Cold War thriller. Frank Tieri also done good work with him and the character Chris Bradley in 2002’s Weapon X. Maverick aka Chris Nord aka David North was de powered after House of M, but I still he can play a role in current books and provide good stories. There is after all a newly launched Weapon X series which is perfect timing. In fact I went on Twitter to ask writer Greg Pak if he has plans to use him and… He didn’t reply. With his skill set and history with groups like Cell Six and Team X he doesn’t need his powers. Think of it this way. The original Nick Fury is currently off the board. Current Nick Fury is nothing like his predecessor so Maverick could become Marvels premier spy. A modern version of Jim Steranko’s work on Nick Fury Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. A lot of the argument for these characters making this list is how they would compete with the Distinguished Competition. The recent Grayson was a sales success. It was the story of Dick Grayson who used to be one character now operating as a spy. An intricate spy thriller can always sell as well as balls to the wall action. Couldn’t Maverick be some sort of mutant liaison for S.H.I.E.L.D? This would further bridge the gap between MCU based characters and Fox related X-Men characters.
Remember how we all felt sad for Adam Beach as Slipknot in Suicide Squad when he died after what five minutes? Come on he was in all the promotion material poor guy! That being said his comic counterpart hasn’t been around since 2004. Well Marvel can right DC’s wrongs by cornering the mark on climbing based villains by bringing back Montenegro. Thats right a villain who made only three appearances. Created in 1981 by Jo Duffy and Kerry Gammill for Power Man and Iron Fist there is something unnerving about a villain whos main attribute is natural world based thriving in the concrete jungle of NYC. Upon my research I found out Montenegro was supposedly killed in a recent issue of Power Man and Iron Fist. Now I’m never one to be put off by a challenge. Even the challenge of death! Villains in Marvel history always have next of kin ready to take their revenge. When Mark Waid done his recent Daredevil run he would often give old time villains a fresh modern twist. The writers of Power Man and Iron Fist could take the same approach with Montenegro or a relation. Give him a modern twist by combining the climbing with Parkour. Have him or her dwell on the rooftops of NYC, there are plenty of skyscrapers they could hide at undetected for days at a great height. With the coming of Marvel Legacy it should be a time to not only bring back familiar faces but also to embrace the colourful villains from the Silver Age. This applies to every villain on this list. Marvel Legacy will only be doing half a job if it doesn’t pay respect to the villains and supporting characters of the older generation. Power Man and Iron Fist haven’t been holding a regular title for a few years now so the fact they are back and popular due to Netflix means there is an opening to bring Montenegro back. His cliché could be to become Marvels king of elevated related kidnappings. Cheesy but Marvel Legacy is about embrace the past right?
Isn’t El Aguila the perfect villain for the Trump era? A Spanish immigrant living in NYC, wanted by the police, but seen as a champion for the poor. Perfect right? Again created by Jo Duffy, this time with Trevor Von Eedon and Dave Cockrum. Again for Power Man and Iron Fist #58 (1979). Apart from Maverick and Paladin, El Aguila made the most amount of appearances on this list. After Power Man and Iron Fist #58 he appeared in the title a further four times. Whilst also being in Contest of Champions (1982) and popping up in New Avengers #18 (2006). I admit if he returned now I think the flamboyant costume would have to be toned down. Then again if done right the costume could suit the tone. When created he was intended to be fun and swashbuckling. If he returned it would be easy to do a complete switch on that and make him more realistic and relateable. A spot on the roster of Occupy Avengers could be on the cards depending on the future of that series. Other wise keep the tone as originally intended and have him appear once again in Power Man and Iron Fist. I didn’t know when I read his issues that he was mutant. He could emit an electric charge which he would often channel through his trusty double edged sword. Sadly he was de powered after M-Day. But he can still wield the sword like a bad ass. In his original appearances El Aguila, Power Man and Iron Fist would often be fighting the same battles be misunderstand one anothers intentions. The did eventually team up and see eye to eye. He even turned up in the big two part finale to help the heroes. When you read these early issues he kind of subtly takes over the title and you are soon routing for him and forgetting about the title characters. Even on the cover to #65 it proclaims “Because it had to happened… El Aguila is back!” It is the cool cult hero status that makes him a perfect fit for the Marvel Legacy era. I can’t think of too many modern creations who take the limelight in a good way and have fans wanting more. Anyone remember Alpha from Amazing Spider-Man? Course not. Everyone who read Power Man and Iron Fist in the 80’s remembers El Aguila and deep down they have been wishing for his returb.
Paul Denning seems to have been around forever but its like no one has really done anything decent with him. At times it feels like he is being used to make up numbers on rosters. When in reality he could be a bigger character in his own right. He is the second oldest character on this list. Making his debut in Daredevil #150 in 1978. Created by Jim Shooter and Carmine Infantino. Perhaps it is the baggage of being a Jim Shooter creation that is holding him back. Its surprising really being a Shooter creation hasn’t seen him killed off. So obviously people see the merit in him. Where would be the best place to bring him back? Personally I don’t see him fitting into Daredevils current flow of stories. This is why a mini or a OGN would be perfect for Paladin. Paul Denning has previously been an actor. Why not set him up as a bodyguard in Hollywood? Then of course his past live can catch up with him with mayhem ensuing. Just as easily he could fit into the new Defenders series or go darker and introduce him to The Punisher’s world. You never know in a few years we could have Paladin on Netflix. With Marvel Legacy coming if Paladin was to make a comeback in anyway the costume has to stay as it is. There is something about the purple. The amount of creativity that has gone into his suit over the years makes for a really interesting aspect to his character. The black body is synthetic stretch fabric. Whilst the purple padded areas on the gloves, knees, torso, head, elbows and boots are bulletproof. The helmet can create a seal over his face with an air supply of up to one hour! So with Paladin we have the hired gun aspect in line with Deadpool with the added tech levels of a James Bond. Ed Brisson who is currently writing Bullseye and Iron Fist would be a good fit. Paladin really needs to make a strong comeback out on his own not on a team.
Many comic fans will cite Doctor Strange as having the most original origin story in Marvel, maybe even comics history. I’m here to drop a bombshell and say that that accolade should belong to Lawrence Chesney aka Copperhead. Created by Len Wein, Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan for Daredevil #124-125 (1975) his origin is a thing of beauty. When Chesney was a boy his Father was a model for a popular pulp hero called Copperhead. His father then went mad believing he was actually the fictional hero. The madness past down to young Lawrence and when the pulps were reprinted later in his life he took up the Copperhead persona to avenge his father. Who he believed was done out of all the money he should of got for ‘being’ Copperhead. How did he get the name Copperhead? By leaving copper pennies on the eyes of his victims of course. Copperhead bares more than a slight resemblance to the Steve Ditko creation Mr. A. Mr. A was the inspiration for The Question and later Rorschach. Again Marvel could and should act fast. I read the other day there might be plans to bring back The Question, whilst there is the Watchmen connection in the DC books right now. Isn’t the whole point in producing Marvel Comics to beat DC to the punch at every turn? I’m trying to think of a writer who does good noir/pulp infused work. I can’t think of one… Oh wait Ed Brubaker would write an awesome Copperhead miniseries or one shot. Even though he died after only two appearances why can’t he come back? The story could be a larger telling of his origin. His alter ego Chesney works in a museum so there is room to flesh the story out. Later the Copperhead persona was taken up by one of his museum co-workers. There is plenty in the throw away character to produce an entertaining story. In fact I am going to start harassing editors, writers and artists on Twitter with the goal of resurrecting Copperhead.
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