I’ve made no secret in the past about my love of lesser known, or at least less respected, Marvel characters. A-listers like Spidey and Iron Man, Dr Doom and Magneto, they’re great and all, but something about there’s something magical about the lesser known, or lesser used, characters, that makes their appearances that much more engaging for me. Beta Ray Bill would be my dream hero in Marvel Crisis Protocol, and Stilt-Man would be my dream villain, but they’re not the only characters I love.
When Ronan the Accuser was ripped from the back rows and thrust into the foreground by the Guardians of the Galaxy movie, I was suitably chuffed. He’s featured in some fantastic storylines over the years, been exiled from the Kree Empire and later returned to rule it. He was even wed to Crystal of the Inhumans in an arranged marriage to bind the Kree and the Inhumans in an arc that showed that Ronan was so much more than just the Kree Empire’s eqiuvalent of a starfaring Judge Dredd (yes, Virginia, the comics Ronan wasn’t a genocidal religious extremist, that’s just the movie version).
Drax has wafted on and off my radar over the decades, but after years of his being a borderline mindless wad of muscle in a purple cape, Drax was reinvented during – you guessed it, my favourite cosmic storyline – Annihilation. Drax was changed from being an imbecile with almost Hulk-level strength who could fly and had energy blasts, to a much smaller (though still ripped as) brawler with restored intellect, a brutal level cunning, and a penchant for knife-fighting. For all intents and purposed it seemed like he’d been redesigned as Vin Diesel, much as the Ultimates series redesigned Nick Fury as Samuel L Jackson, long before the movies brought that vision to reality. That Vin Diesel secured a role in the Guardians of the Galaxy movies as someone *other than* Drax always struck me as funny. It’s also worth noting that per Drax’s original backstory he was a genetically modified, “created” being, designed with the sole purpose of killing Thanos.