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Top 10 Marvel Characters That Are Impossible to Adapt

VO: Adrian Sousa WRITTEN BY: Michael Wynands
Unique? Totally. Headed to a theater near you? Don’t count on it. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Marvel Characters That Are Nearly Impossible to Adapt. For this list, we’ll be looking at characters from Marvel comics that would be very very difficult to adapt to the big screen for a variety of reasons. Please note, we’re specifically talking about live-action adaptations.
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Unique? Totally. Headed to a theater near you? Don’t count on it. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Marvel Characters That Are Nearly Impossible to Adapt.

For this list, we’ll be looking at characters from Marvel comics that would be very very difficult to adapt to the big screen for a variety of reasons. Please note, we’re specifically talking about live-action adaptations.

#10: Death


It’s safe to say that Thanos and the “Infinity War” film were both very well received by comic book fans and general cinemagoers alike. If there was one gripe that some comic book enthusiasts voiced, however, it was the absence of Death. Character deaths? There were plenty of those, but we’re talking about the embodiment of Death, who in the comics Thanos is in love with. In the comic book continuity, his quest is not about universe-wide overpopulation but rather about impressing Death. The thing is... Death has been around since the early 70s, and so comic book readers have grown accustomed to her presence. In the MCU, she would have felt random, if not downright silly.

#9: Jack O'Lantern


Filmmakers have had enough trouble making the Green Goblin look good on the big screen; there’s little to no chance that they could ever get this character right. Jack O’Lantern is a mantle that has been taken up by various individuals over the years, but he’s most closely associated with a copycat of Hobgoblin, Jason Macendale - who is already derivative of the aforementioned Green Goblin. Sure, you could forget about the villainous character ties, but even in isolation, Jack O’Lantern is a tough live action sell. Just look at how difficult it’s been to make Ghost Rider’s flaming head look good onscreen. Now swap out the skull for a Pumpkin. That mask doesn’t work, even without the flames. Okay, maybe especially without them.

#8: Starfox


Did you know that Thanos has a brother? It’s true! They look nothing alike though. Eros has a human appearance; no purple skin, no weird chin. Regardless, doesn’t that sound like a great curveball addition to the fourth Avengers film. Here’s the problem though. While the heroic Eros, aka Starfox, shares many of the same powers as the Mad Titan (making him an equally formidable ally against his brother), he’s got an extra ability that is far less PG. Specifically, he can stimulate your… pleasure center. That’s right, while Thanos is trying to commit genocide, Eros gets busy making people overwhelmingly aroused.

#7: Slapstick


This New Warrior is a testament to the freedom of the comic book medium. Steven Harmon was once just a human clown, but after passing through a portal, his body was turned into electroplasm. Often appearing alongside hyper-realistic, grounded human characters, Slapstick is a living cartoon with all manner of cartoonish abilities. Now… we love “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” as much as the next person, but it’s hard to imagine Marvel ever signing off on bringing Slapstick’s unique aesthetic and larger than life antics into the real world. We know… they’ve already got a talking raccoon and an adorable tree-person, but Slapstick remains a step too far.

#6: The Living Eraser


Full disclosure, if they decide to really embrace the character’s wackier side in future Deadpool films, we’d actually love to see all of Marvel’s worst-named villains make an appearance, the Living Eraser included. The way we imagine it, Deadpool would basically grill the Living Eraser about the nature of his abilities. Here’s the kicker. The Living Eraser doesn’t erase ANYTHING. He just grabs people and brings them back to his dimension in a manner that makes it look like they’re being erased from our world. He’s just a teleporting interdimensional kidnapper! Honestly, though, the discrepancy between name and abilities would simply take way too much explanation. Sorry Living Eraser, you’re out of the movie.

#5: M.O.D.O.K.


Sadly, this villain is unlikely to ever grace the big screen despite heroic nemesis, Captain America, being central to the MCU. Like Death, however, he’s a holdover from a simpler, wackier time in comics when readers had a higher tolerance for far-flung concepts or silly characters. M.O.D.O.K, short for “Mental/Mobile/Mechanized Organism Designed Only for Killing” debuted in 1967, and so modern fans have had plenty of time to adjust to this giant floating head with arms and legs and learn to accept his eccentricities. As the one-time leader of AIM, his eventual inclusion in the MCU would be a foregone conclusion if his design weren’t so outlandish.

#4: Great Lake Avengers


With movies like “Shazam” and Todd Phillips’ Joker film, DC and WB have made clear their intention to make films that vary widely in terms of tone. Over at Marvel Studios, however, the formula tends to be more streamlined - it’s a necessity of building a shared universe. As such, it’s hard to imagine cult favorite hero team the Great lake Avengers ever finding their place in the MCU unless Disney decides to drastically shake things up with more contained narratives and fringe adventures. GLA is an inherently silly, lighthearted property populated by the likes of Squirrel Girl and Doorman. We’d love to see RDJ’s Tony Stark hitting them with a cease and desist letter, but it seems unlikely.

#3: The Orb


TREMBLE BEFORE… the Orb? While the first villain to go under this moniker was a stunt driver with an eye-shaped motorcycle helmet, his predecessor literally has an eyeball for a head. We know what you’re thinking, surely there’s a great origin story behind this horrible mutation? But nope… he was just born that way. Now… if Marvel wanted to expand its horizons into more niche, genre stories, the Orb could totally work as a terrifying horror movie monster, but in a more conventional superhero flick, he’s just too silly to fit into any of the existing universes, including Disney, Sony or Fox. Don’t even get us started on his villainous gang, the Orblings.

#2: Pet Avengers


Think the Great Lake Avengers are hard to imagine working on the big screen? Imagine being charged with the near insurmountable task of trying to make the Pet Avengers into a good movie. The Pet Avengers is a group made up of various Marvel universe animals like Lockjaw, frog Thor (also known as “Throg”), and Speedball’s cat Niels, among others. “Babe” and “Homeward Bound” are basically the only good live action talking animal movies that immediately come to mind. Add superpowers to the mix and you can pretty much guarantee that any pet Avengers film will fall into the territory of eye-rollingly cheesy and bad.

#1: Mojo


Apart from being really weird, Mojo is also really hard to look at: a disgusting yellow blob from a race that is literally spineless. His body is fused with advanced technology that enables him to move and makes him even more terrible to behold. So yeah… he’s a nightmare to bring to life convincingly, even with CGI. But then there’s his backstory, which involves a dimension addicted to violent reality tv. He’s just such a quintessentially over-the-top ‘80s comic book creation that he’s impossible to fit into the landscape of contemporary superhero movies.
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