Marvel's Top 10 British Superheroes
Updated: Oct 30, 2020
Bored from Isolation? well lets take a look at Marvel and their potential British Superheroes that we ought to love and remember. They did attempt to create a new British team called Union which had recieved very poor reception from readers. But here we want to talk about the ones they already created. To Clarify. We are only talking about the Marvel comics, we are not including British actors playing American Heroes like Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr Strange. We are also not including Superheroes portrayed with a British accent for no reason or had their nationalities changed example Professor X in the live action has been portrayed as an Upper Classed Englishman by Patrick Stewart, James McAvoy and Henry Lloyd despite being only American in the comics. No we are only talking about heroes who are confirmed to be British in their source material. and sorry Toad. As you are typically a villain you won't make the list even though Ray Park played you perfectly.
Starting us off is Brian Braddock. Born in Essex to an upper class family (of course he's a posh boy), Captain Britain graduated from the University of London with a Physics degree. Whilst wokring as a scientist at Darkmoor research facility. The mercenary Reaver and his men raided the lab and kidnapped the scientists. Brian escaped, wounded but hoping to find help. He was approached by Merlin with the choice of choosing the amulet of right or the sword of might. Being a scholar and not warrior, he chose the amulet and in turn he became Captain Britain. Essentially now an "interdimensional conduit", Brian now has a combo platter of paragon powers (meaning Super strength, speed, sense, agility... well super everything a human can do but better), also flight and forcefield porjection. He is best known for leading the British X-men group known as Excalibre which featured Nightcrawler, Colossus and Shadowcat for a period of time. What was his connection to X-men and the mutants?
Meet Betsy Braddock twin sister of Brian Braddock. Unlike her brother she does not gain powers through magic and interdimensional abilities. No rather she is mutant with psychic and telekinetic power. She typically uses her telekinesis to create energy constructed weapons like Swords, Patas, Katars, Katanas, Whips, Urumis and more. Many people tend to forget Psylocke's English heritage for several reasons. One of these is due to her infamous body swap with Japanese Kunoichi Kwannon. After Kwannon's death in Betsy's original body. Betsy was usually drawn as Japanese and described with having British Accent. Then came the film X-men Apocalypse where Pyslocke made her main Live Action debut (she did appear as a minor villain in X-men 3 portrayed by Mei Melancon but she was originally intended to play Kwannon). American Eurasian actress Olivia Munn portrays Psylocke as American rather than British, not surprising the Fox X-men films typically don't have the correct accents for most of their characters at least once every film (except for Nightcrawler is always German accented). In the recent comics, both Betsy and Kwannon have both been resurrected in their original bodies, but most illustrators forget and still draw both as Japanese. Hopefully the MCU will introduce the Braddocks siblings as British soon.
So Mahershala Ali who played the villain Cottonmouth in Luke Cage was killed off. However fans were not pleased at Mahershala's talent being wasted and dropped, so marvel has now recast Mahershala to play Blade. There is one major oversight though. Eric Brooks aka Blade is BRITISH. In the comics Eric Brooks is born in Soho, London to a Black mum named Tara Brooks and a Latverian dad named Lucas Cross. Making Blade a classic example of a mixed raced superhero. Whilst Mahershala is not British or mixed, many fans expect he will perform beyond expectations since he won an award for his acting in Moonlight. Blade co-creator Marv Wolfman tried to sue the original Blade films and disliked they Americanised the character (among other things) with Wesley Snipes version being from Detroit and not London. Though Wolfman being American had no clue as to how a British Black Londoner would speak and unaware of the MLE slang that developed from the UK ethnic minorities, Marv usually gave Blade stereotypical Black American slang phrases. With Mahershala casted many fans will probably feel disappointed we won't get a British Blade especially since Marvel has no problem using the UK to film several locations. Dr Strange, Spiderman: Far From Home and Thor the Dark World all had major scenes set in London. So it wouldn't be a problem for them to cast a British actor for Blade and set the film in London. Due to Wesley Snipes martial arts talent, some martial arts fans are worried that Ali is in his mid-late 40s (a decade older than Snipes when we started off as Blade), his lack of martial arts and action training and the fact Blade much like Ironfist doesn't typically wear a mask (making it difficult to use stunt doubles which hindered Season 1 Ironfist) would struggle with the physical demand of the roles. Also Blade much like Wovlerine has slowed ageing and a healing factor of sorts so a man in his mid-forties may not be able to sell the ageless athletic side after a few years. A fan favourite for Blade was British Ghanaian/English martial arts actor Joey Ansah, who is best known for playing Akuma in Street Fighter Assassin's Fist and Desh Bouksani in Bourne Ultimatum. Hopefully Mahershala's version of Blade can still hold up though.
Many of you may remember Dr Faiza Hussain from our previous blog on 10 Muslim characters the MCU can use? well if not Dr Faiza is a British Pakistani Muslim doctor/paramedic who was zapped by a machine whilst trying to save wounded people during the Skrulls secret invasion. The experience caused her to develop telekinesis over living animals. Effectively her powers allowed her to paralyse, dissect and rearrange a living animal the same way Magneto can do the same to Metal (or Wolverine's Skeleton, or Colossus metal skin or Archangels wings or well you get the point). Her powers are like the opposite to Hydra Agent Giyera from Agents of Sheild. She can't stop a robot or bionic arm but she can stop the organic part of a cyborg in theory. She would later end up weilding excalibre gain access to magic powers that also come with it. Personality wise she is essentially Kamala Khan before marvel create her. She was geeky loved superheroes, an all loving friendly woman and unlike Kamala more mature (as she is an adult) and loves Cricket like many British Asians. The potential of a British Asian superhero would be perfect especially since South Asians in the UK are the largest visible minority and yet are significantly unrepresented, another bonus is her Father Dr Yusuf Hussain actually become a member of M.I.6 to assist Blade in the fight against Dracula after being infect by the vampire virus so a good way to tie her in is through Blade (if they kept him British).
Did you know Jessica Drew aka the Spiderwoman was from the UK? we didn't until now. Yes we have a British Spiderwoman. Who knows maybe she could appear in the MCU soon or in Spiderverse. In the comics Jessica was born in England to Jonothan Drew and scientist who also was the colleague of Herbert Wyndham (High Evolutionary the same guy that experimented on Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch in the comics). Due to her father's study of a stockpile of Uranium, Jessica got sick from radiation poisoning and with the help of Wyndham, used a spider serum and a genetic accelerator to save her life. This left her in stasis in Transia for decades, whilst ageing extremely slowly. After she left and returned to the UK, she was trained and recruited into Hydra after accidenly killing her boyfriend with her bioelectricity. She would then abandon Hydra in favour of Sheild and become Spiderwoman fighting Hydra across the Europe and her home country in the UK. If she does exist in the MCU, transia maybe switch out for Sovokia but it is unclear where her power will originate. Much of her powers are very similar to Miles Morales, whilst her personality is an adult who never truly grew up due to being in Stasis. She could also have a very fish out of water expereince if she has been in stasis for decades.
Bring on our first Welsh super hero. Meet Megan Gwynn aka Pixie. Pixie was born in Abergylid, Wales and raised by her Grandparents. Her power manifested as she narrowly avoided being hit by a car and her butterfly wing sprouted allowing her to fly to safety. After that she joined the New Mutants where she befriend Wolfsbane. (more on her later). Pixie would prove to be one of the optimistic and most cheery members of the X-men usually having very little angst or brooding going on with her. Despite finding out her possible father is Jason Wyngarde aka Mastermind. She still is one of the happiest X-men characters, her powerset does not just include flight however, she can spray hallucinogenic dust and from training with Dr Strange, Scarlet Witch and Magik she can open portal, summon and banish demons, sedate people to sleep with an incantation and summon the Soul Dagger to fight up close and personal. She is one Mutant you don't wanna mess with. Also Dr Strange had considered the possibility of her become the next sorcerer supreme. Maybe in future she will be part of X-calibre or guard the London Sancoturm if the MCU rebuilds that and allow Pixie to acknowledge her Magical potential. She did appear in an episode of Wolverine and the X-Men but with an American accent instead of Welsh not sure why though.
So from one British mutant to another. From Wales we head to Scotland to meet Rahne Sinclaire aka Wolfsbane. We actually covered some information on her for our New Mutants blog. But if you have not read it. Simply Wolfsbane is a Scottish mutant with the ability to transform into a werewolf. She is raised to be a devout Presbyterian by the corrupt Reverend Craig Sinclaire (who is also her illegitimate father via a prostitute). Craig disowned his daughter when her powers manifested, believing her to be cursed with Lycanthropy forcing Rahne to flee. We will see more of Rahne Sinclaire in the film New Mutants where she will be portrayed by Maisie Williams. Her father will also appear in the film played by American actor Happy Anderson and her religious background maybe kept in.
Meet everyone's favourite Agents of Shield character Lancelot Amadeus Ravenclaw Hunter. OK maybe he was lying to the Russian about his full legal name. But that was kinda bants. Lance Hunter in the comics is a British director of S.T.R.I.K.E (Special Tactical Reserve for International Key Emergencies) essential Nick Fury but without the eye-patch but a monocle instead. The live action version introduced in Agents of Shield is portrayed by British actor Nick Blood as a younger man with influence from comics Hawkeye being a snarky cynic and the lover of Barbara "Bobbi" Mose aka Mockingbird. Since S.T.R.I.K.E in the MCU is just a strike team for Shield which is British American in the films, there is no mention of him being the director of any organisations. But we can all agree Lance was one of best Agents of Shield characters ever. Nick Blood's popularity of his version lead to the comics retconning Lance Hunter to look more like Nick Blood being younger and also in a relationship with Comics Mockingbird. Fingers crossed we will see him again soon.
Many of you may have seen Legion right? no? well its kinda mind tripping to watch but considering its main character it is not surprising. David Haller is the British Israeli son of Professor X and Gabrielle Haller. Whilst he lived in the UK mostly due to Gabrielle Haller being an ambassador there. David began to develop Dissociative Identity Disorder as well as his mutant powers. Much like his father he is terrific telepath, unlike his father he has a multitude of personalities, good, evil, crazy etc. Each personality also has access to a different power, in fact David may not have limit to what his powers maybe but its all dependent on his current personality. In the Legion TV series despite being portrayed by British actor Dan Stevens, he is americanised (seriously stop Americanising our Beloved British characters) but his "rational" personality uses Dan Steven's English accent (because of course us Brits are rational compared to the Yanks). The series also gives us some mind boggling trips for their episode but finally feature Harry Lloyd as a young Professor X (who is again British instead of American? huh?) and an amazing performance from Navid Negahban (Sultan from Aladdin) as the villain Amahl Farouk aka Shadowking. The only other version of David Haller is shown in X-Men evolution where aspect of David with Kevin MacTaggert and his mum Gabriella Haller is merged with Moira Mactaggert (both being Scottish instead of British Israelis). This version of David is powerless and fearful of his more dominant violent personality Lucas a Scottish Punk who lets say is at least not posh polite British stereotype but boy is Lucas very unlikable. Lucas defeats Jean Grey, Scott Summers and Professor X before abandoning his Mum. The storyline was never resolved as the series ended but was an interesting one off episode.
Sister of Brian Falsworth aka Union Jack and daughter of James Montgomery Falsworth (from Captain America: The First Avenger). Jaqueline's Father and Brother may look like pound store versions of Captain Britain merged with Captain America. But Jacqueline is something of her own. Being bitten by the vampire Blood Baron, she required a blood transfusion from the android called Human Torch (not Johnny Storm). How an android can give her a blood transfusion is beyond me but either way it saves her life and instead of turning her into a bloodthirsty monster. Jacqueline becomes the superheroine Spitfire. her main abilities include super speed (even by vampire standards), along with a slowed ageing, healing factor (like Blade) she can also sprout fangs when angry. She too can connect Blade to Union Jack and Captain Britain due to her storylines. In fact Blade tries to kill her when he discovered her vampiric abilities only to apologies and the two become a couple.