The Cosmic side of the Marvel universe was brought to our attention when the Chitauri, under the control of Loki and on leave from Thanos, battled the Avengers in the Battle of New York. While, for the most part, people are familiar with Earth-based heroes, the Cosmic has been a part of Marvel since its inception and will be explored, in full for the first time, in next year's Guardians of the Galaxy.
Marvel, the House of Ideas, has an absolutely full stable of fascinating Cosmic characters and galactic stories and for nearly 50 years. Many of Marvel's great Cosmic characters have roots in the earliest Marvel comics from the 1960s. Many of these characters have been involved in several classic stories and have better connections than Kevin Bacon to the expansive cast of Guardians of the Galaxy.
I'm NOT saying we get ourselves a movie wherein we see all these characters together, but that these 4 Cosmic characters, and many others, are currently absent from the MCU and deserve their close-up!
I'll start with whom I am most certain will join the MCU and that is with Nova. The inclusion of the Nova Corps in Guardians of the Galaxy, along with Marvel's INTENSE push to get Nova into mainstream consciousness through Ultimate Spider-Man and a new, Marvel Now series, is a clear indicator that they are pondering putting The Human Rocket on screen at some point.
Just which of the human Novas from the comics will be added to the MCU is a bit of a conundrum, however. The majority of comic book fans older than 12 would likely be in favor of Richard Rider, the original human Nova and hero of the legendary Cosmic arc, Annihilation. However, recent efforts to reintroduce Nova have centered on a new, younger Nova, Sam Alexander. Rider's origin story may tie nicely into the events of Guardians of the Galaxy; Alexander is the current face of Nova. Toss up, here, but Nova will most likely be in the MCU sooner than later.
Of all of Marvel's Cosmic characters possibly one of the most well known is Mar-vell, the Kree Captain known to most as Captain Marvel after humans misheard his Kree name. Mar-vell was one of the white-skinned Kree and was a pawn in a plan by the Supreme Intelligence, the ruler of the Kree, to destroy Earth. Through a confusing series of events Mar-vell became linked to Avengers buddy-boy Rick Jones. Though stuck in the Negative Zone, Mar-vell could switch places with Jones for short periods of time by having Jones clank his pair of Nega-Bands, shiny bracelets that make the user capable of flight among other tricks.
Eventually Mar-vell broke free of his dependency on changing places with Jones and aided the heroes of Earth and the galaxy in many adventures including helping defeat Thanos during one of his many attempts to conquer the universe. Mar-vell has had two deaths and one ressurection and most recently played a large role in the Avengers vs. X-Men saga. Mar-vell also has a meaningful link to one of Marvel's most famous and powerful female heroes, Carol Danvers, former Ms. Marvel and current Captain Marvel.
Carol Danvers is by far one of Marvel's most recognizable female heroes and easily their most powerful. Carol was kidnapped by Kree Yon-Rogg in an effort to lure Mar-vell into battle. As the two fought, Carol was caught up in a Kree reality-altering machine called a Psyche-Magnitron, changing her DNA, making her essentially half-Kree and imbuing her with incredible power. Calling herself Ms. Marvel, after her friend Mar-vell, Carol was a member of many super teams, including the Avengers, and also played a key role in several galactic showdowns. Recently, after the death of Mar-vell at the hands of the Phoenix, Carol took the title Captain Marvel in honor of her long-time friend and the catalyst behind her immense powers.
Carol is a key character because she is link between the Avengers and the Cosmic, however, she may not be on-screen anytime soon, as Joss Whedon mentioned in an SDCC interview, as her overwhelming powers may make her a little too hard to add to the roster. So despite Whedon's intention to add more females to the MCU, sadly the current Captain Marvel may not be one of them.
Easily the most complex and flat-out strangest of the Cosmic characters missing from the MCU is Adam Warlock. Adam Warlock was created by a group of whacked out scientists called the Enclave and represented their vision of the perfect human. Due to his enhanced and manipulated genetic structure, Warlock has any number of superhuman powers, including the ability to teleport and manipulate the cosmic energy around him to a number of ends.
Warlock's stories span back to the late 1960s and he has interacted with numerous members of the Marvel universe. It is, however, his connection to two current
pieces of the MCU that make him intriguing: the Guardians of the Galaxy and Thanos, the Mad Titan. Warlock has been a frequent ally of the Guardians and is as much a part of Thanos's story as any other single character through his connection to the Soul Gem, one of the Infinity Gems that Thanos so covets. I was initially surprised not see Adam Warlock among the characters in Guardians of the Galaxy, though I can certainly see where he can fit in down the road in the MCU.
The Cosmic side of the MCU is just being opened up to us and will certainly be explored further and more deeply in the next few years. It is a part of the Marvel universe full of rich and diverse characters, including the four I mentioned above, and is worth a read if you find yourself curious.
Next up, Part 3 in MIA. Get ready for some street-level justice because I'm going after some Marvel Knights and Heroes for Hire!!