The Marvel Cinematic Universe has established itself as a staple of movie-going culture again and again. A decade ago, Marvel’s success would have been unimaginable. However, AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR marked a definitive shift into the next phase of superhero movies. Characters like Spider-Man and Black Panther are poised to shoulder the weight of a multi-billion dollar franchise. As classic characters like Iron Man and Captain America may or may not retire from the big screen, which Marvel Legacy heroes are equipped to take their places? Without further ado, here are a few options:

1. Kamala Khan – Ms. Marvel

Kamala Khan first debuted in CAPTAIN MARVEL #14 in August 2013, a civilian witnessing Carol Danvers as Captain Marvel saving innocents from a villain. Kamala develops a deep admiration for Captain Marvel after this, effectively setting her on the path to becoming Ms. Marvel.

When the Terrigen mist triggers Kamala’s shapeshifting and healing powers, she briefly transforms into Carol Danvers to fight crime during the panic. After Kamala returns to her normal self, she embraces the Ms. Marvel mantle. She received her own title, MS. MARVEL, in 2014.

Kamala Khan gained immediate attention upon her debut for being a Pakistani-American superhero living in Jersey City. She is also Muslim, making her the first Muslim hero to headline a Marvel comic book. While keeping her faith a focus of Kamala’s journey and identity as a Marvel legacy hero, the series never turns preachy or into a poor caricature of Islam.

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Ms. Marvel’s image was used to cover up hateful signs. Image courtesy of NBC.

Within a year of publication, Kamala Khan’s cultural impact was already evident. Her image could be found used in protesting anti-Islam hate speech, as well as providing a positive role model for children everywhere. In the comics, Ms. Marvel has defeated numerous villains, saved the world, joined the Avengers, and even started her own superhero team called the Champions, of which she is the de-facto leader.

Luckily, Marvel is already on its way toward bringing Kamala to the big screen. Kevin Feige stated that Kamala’s appearance is in the works following the 2019 release of CAPTAIN MARVEL.

2. Amadeus Cho – The Totally Awesome Hulk

If Marvel ever needed a way to phase out Mark Ruffalo as the Incredible Hulk, Amadeus Cho would be the perfect replacement. Even before the whole Marvel legacy Hulk thing, Amadeus Cho is an interesting character in his own right. A super genius considered to be the eighth smartest person in the world, Amadeus debuted in AMAZING FANTASY #15 in 2005. Moreover, on his own, he possesses a mind of a supercomputer.

Marvel Legacy
Amadeus Cho totally has a better handle on the Hulk… or does he? Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

After villain Pythagoras Dupree discovers Amadeus’ skills in a contest, he blows up Amadeus’ house and kills his parents. Amadeus spends a decent amount of time on the run with the help of his Vespa, Kirby. He meets the Hulk for the first time while on the run, who rescues him from pursuers.

After that moment, Amadeus always considers the Hulk to be a friend and solely a hero. Amadeus participates in the WORLD WAR HULK storyline, as well as playing a major role in THE INCREDIBLE HERCULES, briefly becoming the Prince of Power.

Amadeus doesn’t become the Hulk until 2015, debuting in his own solo series titled TOTALLY AWESOME HULK. After a radiation incident goes horribly wrong, Amadeus uses nanites to absorb the Hulk from Bruce Banner’s body. As a result, Bruce Banner is cured and Amadeus is the new Totally Awesome Hulk.

There is not a single aspect of Amadeus Cho’s story that wouldn’t be cool to see on the big screen. As the Hulk, Amadeus presents a different struggle than Bruce Banner — primarily that Amadeus is much more accepting of his Hulk aspect than Bruce ever was. Plus, he’s a member of the Champions, the team spearheaded by Ms. Marvel.

3. Miles Morales – Spider-Man

Miles Morales’ existence was already hinted at in SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING — Donald Glover plays Aaron Davis, who tells the teen Peter Parker that he has a nephew in the neighborhood as a reason for keeping the high-tech weaponry off the streets. He was first introduced in ULTIMATE FALLOUT #4, a kid in a store-bought Spider-Man costume trying to make sense of his newfound powers.

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Imagine this in live-action! Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

Though Miles was initially living in the ULTIMATE universe, he and Earth-616 Peter Parker have been hanging out in the mainstream continuity since SECRET WARS. Tom Holland’s Peter Parker could act as a mentor figure to Miles, similar to the on-screen relationship Peter currently has with Tony Stark.

It also provides a great opportunity to adapt the SPIDER-MEN storylines. Miles struggles primarily with his own sense of identity in the face of being Spider-Man, and the difficulty of having two of the most important men in his life be former or still active criminals.

As an Afro-Latino Marvel legacy hero, Miles Morales provides a refreshing take on a classic character. Plus, we already know many of the aspects of Miles’ story work in a movie. Especially considering how much SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING borrows from him.

4. Kate Bishop – Hawkeye

Kate Bishop, the newer (and better!) Hawkeye. Kate first appeared in YOUNG AVENGERS #1 in 2005, a civilian caught in the crossfire of a botched rescue attempt. Despite the fact that her father is a rich crime boss, Kate idolized Hawkeye ever since he saved her from some criminals when she was young.

This desire to be a hero motivates Kate as she forces her way onto the Young Avengers, demonstrating her abilities as an extremely capable archer and proficient in pretty much every other form of combat. After helping the fledgling Young Avengers defeat Kang the Conqueror, Kate becomes a permanent member of the team.

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Don’t mess with Kate Bishop. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

When the Young Avengers aren’t working together in their own title, Kate fights crime with her mentor Clint Barton. Their partnership is equal parts fun and a little heartbreaking and would be the perfect new element to introduce to the MCU Clint Barton. After the catastrophic effects of the INFINITY WAR ending, it makes complete sense for Clint to take on an apprentice.

Later, Kate Bishop also took over the solo HAWKEYE title. An LA transplant after the events of CIVIL WAR II, she strikes out on her own as a private eye. The singular focus only emphasized what everyone already knew and loved about Marvel legacy Kate Bishop — her dedication, spunk, and self-sacrificing nature that gets her into trouble more often than not. After all, keeping up with superpowered villains, especially when you don’t have powers of your own, is a little insane.

Also, the entire Young Avengers team should come to the big screen. Just saying.

5. Lastly, Marvel Legacy’s Riri Williams – Ironheart

Riri Williams, already a certified genius at fifteen, debuted in INVINCIBLE IRON MAN (Vol.2 #9) in 2016. While attending MIT on scholarship, Riri creates her own version of the Iron Man suits using material stolen from campus. However, just before she gets caught, Riri dons the suit and flies away.

Marvel Legacy
You can’t tell me this isn’t a big two. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment.

After her suit is damaged preventing two criminals from escaping prison, Riri returns home. Much to the dismay of her family, she continues working on improving the suits. 

Riri’s capability attracts the attention of Tony Stark, who supports her decision to become a hero. During CIVIL WAR II, Riri helps Tony Stark during the fight against Captain Marvel. When Tony falls into a coma, Riri definitively takes his place as Ironheart, working with an A.I. version of Stark.

Introducing Riri into the MCU would be a great way to establish a new, younger generation of Marvel legacy heroes without getting rid of the old ones. In addition to this, Riri and other Marvel legacy heroes are much more reflective of the current world. It only makes sense to include them.

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