Marvel has gotten very good at taking advantage of their own success. Over the years, Marvel has made characters popular, sometimes as sidekicks and sometimes in team books, and pushed those characters to the moon. This will usually involve them getting a miniseries, and a character has truly made it when they finally get an ongoing. A solo ongoing is the ultimate test for a character. They’re the stars of the show, and they have to be able to keep everyone interested.
Only the most popular characters get their own ongoing series, but that doesn’t mean every popular Marvel character has gotten an ongoing series. There are a lot of very popular characters that have never had their own solo ongoing. They could easily handle one, but Marvel has never taken the chance with them.
The Inhumans’ failed push saw multiple books released. Most of them were team books, but some solo ongoings were released. None lasted very long, but that might also be because Marvel didn’t release any from well-known Inhumans. Medusa would have been a great choice in that regard, but for some reason, Medusa has never had an ongoing of her own. The closest she got was an Inhumanity one-shot.
Medusa is the third most popular Inhuman, behind Black Bolt and Ms. Marvel. She’s been queen of the Inhumans, and she has her own small but dedicated fan base. Marvel did start to push her as a bigger deal as the years went on, so it’s mystifying that Marvel has never actually given her a solo ongoing. Maybe at some point in the future, but for now, her lone one-shot will have to do.
Archangel started his heroic career as Angel, fighting alongside the original X-Men. Calling Angel popular would be a massive misnomer, and he’d get his biggest chance at popularity as Archangel. Archangel got pretty popular, playing into the edgy aesthetic of the late ’80s and early ’90s, but he never reached the heights of Wolverine, Gambit, or Cable. Looking at Archangel’s history, there’s a surprising dearth of solo titles, and that could explain why he isn’t as popular as he could be.
Archangel had a one-shot in the ’90s, but that was it. Archangel has a lot of baggage that rarely gets explored long-term because of his place in team books. However, Archangel would fit rather well into a solo ongoing, as the scars of his past never really seem to heal. There’s a chance that if Archangel had gotten an ongoing series at some point in the early ’90s, he’d be one of the X-Men’s bigger stars right now.
Sabretooth has always been a very popular villain, and Marvel knows that. Sabretooth has had five miniseries since 1993 but has never had his own solo ongoing series. This is honestly pretty weird, as Marvel went a few years there where they were giving everyone with claws and a healing factor an ongoing. Even Daken got his own book during the Dark Reign and Heroic Age. Yet, Sabretooth is still without an ongoing.
Marvel had a perfect chance post-AXIS, as Sabretooth’s moral inversion stayed after the story ended. This was right around the time Wolverine died, so Sabretooth could have easily gotten his own ongoing series at this point. However, Marvel never pulled the trigger on it. Instead, Sabretooth ended up joining the casts of several team books, which kind of feels like a waste.
RELATED: The 25 Strongest Marvel Characters
7 Red Hulk
Red Hulk took the Hulk by storm when he debuted. The mystery of who the Red Hulk could be was huge, as readers watched him run through the heroes of the Marvel Universe on his way to fighting the Hulk. The reveal that he was General Thunderbolt Ross was huge for readers, and eventually, Red Hulk even ended up joining the Avengers and the Thunderbolts. However, this would be the end of his push and since then, Red Hulk has been used sparingly.
Red Hulk was a massive character for a little while, and it seemed like Marvel decided they were going to try to milk him for all he was worth. Apparently, all he was worth was some lackluster runs with a few superteams. Red Hulk had — and still has — a lot of potential. Maybe if he makes an MCU appearance, he’ll finally get his own solo ongoing.
6 Moira MacTaggert
The many lives of Moira MacTaggert made her very important to the Krakoa Era of X-Men titles. It was teased that she was going to get her own book eventually; however, it wasn’t in the cards. Moira’s role on Krakoa changed when Marvel and Jonathan Hickman decided that he was leaving the X-Men books. Moira’s series was put on the back burner and then fell completely off the stove when Moira became a villainous cyborg and joined the Orchis Initiative.
There still could have been a Moira MacTaggert ongoing at this point — and it could have done a lot to flesh out Orchis ahead of Fall Of X. However, Marvel went in a completely different direction with both Orchis and Moira. There’s so much to explore with Moira’s previous lives and how she’s dealt with losing her powers that Marvel could easily give her an ongoing that fans would love sooner rather than later.
Ultron is a monstrous mechanical killing machine, desiring nothing more than to destroy all biological lifeforms on Earth. Ultron has joined the ranks of the Avengers’ greatest villains, has appeared in the MCU, and even headlined his own event book. Ultron is an A-list villain, up there with the likes of Doctor Doom, Magneto, Red Skull, and more. However, he’s never had his own book.
There was an Ultron one-shot that starred Victor LaMancha as Ultron, but the wacky android himself has never had his own solo ongoing. Marvel has been a lot better about giving A-list villains more solo opportunities, but Ultron hasn’t had any. There are several directions an Ultron solo ongoing could take, but Marvel has never actually tried to put one out.
4 Mister Sinister
Mister Sinister is a fan-favorite X-Men villain. Many villains in Mister Sinister’s position, with his name recognition, have had their own miniseries and ongoings, books that outlined their origins and who they are. Mister Sinister hasn’t really had any of that ever. Sinister has only ever appeared in ensembles, although recently, he’s had more stories that focused on him and his viewpoint in books like Immortal X-Men and the Sins Of Sinister book Immoral X-Men.
Sinister is a breakout star of the Krakoa Era, and he’s been a big deal in the X-Men mythos for a very long time. The fact that he’s never gotten any kind of solo books feels pretty surprising. There’s a good chance he will get one soon, thanks to the Krakoa Era, but until then, he’ll never be the star that he thinks he is.
3 Professor X
Professor X has been the linchpin of the X-Men books for decades now. Xavier isn’t the most popular member of the team, but it’s still weird that he’s basically never had a solo book at all. His best friend, Magneto, has had multiple miniseries and one ongoing, but Professor X has had none. Marvel used to be about giving every popular X-Man some kind of solo book, so it’s surprising that Xavier has never had one.
Professor X is something of a passive character, but that shouldn’t have stopped Marvel from giving him a series. Professor X is basically known to every fan of the Marvel Universe. The character has a rich history and a bunch of villains that could act as a rogues gallery. Professor X has everything a character would need for a solo ongoing, except the actual comic.
Thor’s mythos are a favorite of fans. The God of Thunder and his brother, Loki, are very popular, and both of them have had their share of solo book love. The Asgardian side of the Marvel Universe isn’t as popular as Thor and Loki are on their own, but it could deal with a lot more solo books. It’s definitely surprising that Marvel hasn’t dug deeper into Asgard; there are several characters who should have gotten a solo ongoing by now.
Odin is at the top of that list. The former King of Asgard has been traveling the Realms of Asgard for a while after leaving the throne and easily could have had a book chronicling his adventures. Odin could also have an ongoing series focused just on his years building Asgard and taming the Nine Realms. Odin is an important part of Marvel’s cosmology and should have had his own big book by now.
1 Reed Richards
The Fantastic Four has an illustrious history. There was a time when the Fantastic Four were the most popular Marvel characters of them all and Fantastic Four was long a bestselling comic. The team’s popularity definitely cooled off in the preceding years, but they’re still a big deal in the Marvel Universe. The Thing has gotten the most solo books, starring in miniseries and getting a spot as a “host” for Marvel Two-In-One back in the day, but any member of the team could easily helm their own book.
Reed Richards’s position as the FF’s leader had made him a very important superhero, but it’s never gotten him his own series. Reed Richards’s popularity goes through spurts, but there were definitely times when it seemed like Marvel could have pulled the trigger on a solo ongoing with him and they didn’t. That may change one day, but it doesn’t seem like it will any time soon.
Marvel heroes like Professor X and Red Hulk have yet to receive a solo ongoing comic book. Read More