The Marvel Supernatural Cinematic Universe
Marvel’s Dr. Strange movie could open the floodgates for Marvel’s other supernatural characters, possibly even leading to the launching of even more team movies like the Midnight Sons or the Legion of Monsters. With Dr. Strange set to blow the doors of Marvel’s magic universe wide open, we could find ourselves with Marvel utilizing some of their regained characters for the first time.
Marvel have hinted that Dr. Strange would open the door for magic to become a part of their cinematic universe. Could GOTG be testing the waters for a new slate of team movies that would explore the supernatural side of Marvel in the same way GOTG explores the cosmic side?
Both Blade and Ghost Rider are back in the care of Marvel Studios
now and both have had successful (Blade more than Ghost Rider) theatrical runs, but should Marvel reboot the characters or stick with the already established back story created by the previous movies? Marvel could easily do the same thing they did with the Incredible Hulk movie and keep the elements they liked and ditch those they didn’t. In fact, that may very well be to their benefit. There’s no doubt that they would recast the parts of Blade and Johnny Blaze but it would be smart to keep the Blade movies more or less in continuity. This would give Marvel further supernatural background that they wouldn’t have to explain with Dr. Strange or in the new Blade movie. They could just jump right in.
Despite the mess that Blade 3 was, it DID introduce some interesting concepts, such as the Nightstalkers, who play a prominent role in Blade’s comic book adventures. . In the comics, Hannibal King was also bitten by Deacon Frost, giving Blade and Hannibal a common enemy. The part of Hannibal King was played by Ryan Reynolds in Blade 3, but it would make more sense to use a new actor to play the part. The part of Abigail Whistler (who was made up for the movie) would likely be one of those elements that were dropped since the chances are that, because she was created for a movie owned by New Line, Marvel likely doesn’t actually own the rights to that particular character. Of course, in the comics, Blade and Hannibal King are joined by Frank Drake, a human descendant of Dracula. Together, the three formed the Nightstalkers, a team that mostly hunted vampires but also confronted other supernatural threats such those created by the Darkhold, an ancient tome that contained vast power.
The Darkhold even got its own series in the 90’s Midnight Sons line, Darkhold: Pages From the Book of Sin. In this series, a character from Dr. Strange’s comics, Victoria Montessi, forms a team of occult researchers dedicated to stopping the corrupting influence of the Darkhold. Calling her team the Darkhold Redeemers, Victoria eventually finds out that she is the child of Marvel’s elder god Chthon and is somehow impregnated with Chthon himself so that he can have physical form. The birth is stopped by Dr. Strange and Victoria is taken away by one of Chthon’s rebellious servants.
Ghost Rider straddled the line between the heroic and supernatural realms of the Marvel Universe and appeared in many issues of both the above comics as well as Dr. Strange and his own title. During the time of the Midnight sons, both Johnny Blaze and Dan Ketch appeared, though Blaze was mostly free of the Ghost Rider curse. He has since regained the curse of the Ghost Rider and is the current incarnation. Marvel could easily integrate what happened in the Sony Ghost Rider films into their own take, giving Ghost Rider a much-expanded mythology from what he got at Sony.
Ghost Rider, in turn, was a member of the Legion of Monsters, a team of supernatural creatures that consisted of Morbius the Living Vampire, Ghost Rider, Man-Thing, Werewolf by Night, the Living Mummy, Manphibian and Satana. Morbius is still with Sony, presumably, under the Spider-Man agreement but with the wealth of other characters available, that shouldn’t be a problem if Marvel wanted to pursue a Legion of Monsters movie.
This could even go further as Dr. Strange is one of the founding members of the Defenders. However, two of the other founding members also have their rights tied up: Silver Surfer with Fox in the Fantastic Four license and Namor with Universal. In Part Two of this look into the potential supernatural cinematic marvel universe, I’ll take a look at how the Defenders could be reinterpreted in The MCU to be a team that doesn’t need those two characters to work.
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