Wild Speculation: The Top 10 Characters J. August Richards Could be Portraying in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. if He’s Not Luke Cage (but We Really Hope He’s Luke Cage)
The news from here that Richards isn’t playing Luke Cage was a bit devastating to me, given that truly enjoy him as an actor and Cage has been a favorite of mine since he called himself “Power Man” and teamed up with a dude called “Iron Fist.”
However, Crave noted that Jeffery Bell has said that it isn’t Cage and that he almost said the name when he made an “M” sound. So, with this in mind and certain other cues, at hand, sit back and enjoy as I speculate, wildly.
#10 – Maxam. Back in the 90s, Marvel decided to expand their roster of ethnic characters by developing characters that no one cared about to add to teams that no one cared about. Maxam was one of these. He could grow and control his density and betrayed the team he was on before dying. Way to diversify, 90s Marvel.
#9 – Midnight Sun (M’Nai). Based on the lore of Shang-Chi and entering into the realm of the Silver Surfer, M’Nai, a.k.a. Midnight was a orphan boy who was trained in the martial arts specifically to kill Shang-Chi by Shang’s jerk of a father, Fu Manchu. During an encounter with the Master of Kung Fu, Midnight fell to his death. However, the alien Kree retrieved the body and transformed him, giving him cosmic-level strength and resilience and, for whatever reason, putting discs on his hands and feet. The Kree then sent Midnight Sun, as he was now called, against the Silver Surfer. Eventually, Midnight Sun freed himself from the control of the Kree and became a kind of good guy. This is a shot from left field, but I like the character and he should be used in the comics more often.
#8 – Deathlok (Michael Collins). Computer programmer, Collins, had his brain implanted into a cyborg from the future called “Deathlok.” He then fought the good fight in an attempt to be returned to his human body. Given that Richards is seen to have some weird tech on his arm, in the trailer, this could indicate that he is a type of cyborg which could mean he was Deathlok.
#7 – Rage (Elvin Haliday). Speaking of characters no one cared about… I’ve heard some speculation that Rage would be a very Whedonesque character and that may lead to this being Richards’ role. Elvin is a mutant who was transformed, at the age of 13, into an adult body with superhuman strength and durability. He was, overall, an interesting concept which became an uninteresting character because writers didn’t know how to use him. It should be noted that Rage was created by one of my favorite writers, Larry Hama, best known for writing every file card for every G.I. Joe figure in the 80s.
#6 – Nick Fury, Jr. (Marcus Johnson). Sam Jackson is old. Like, grandpa old. He doesn’t look all that old because he ages spectacularly well, but he is, in fact, old. It would make sense that replacing Nick Fury, in the Avengers films and pulling a similar trick to the one recently pulled in the comic would be the way to do it. This seems unlikely as it is clear that Whedon is not shy about replacing actors for characters with Bruce Banner (and now, possibly, Hawkeye).
#5 – Spider-Man (Miles Morales). It has been confirmed that Spider-Man would show up in “Agents” and the Marvel movie universe already owes a great deal to the Ultimate Marvel Universe, so it stands to reason that the possibility exists of drawing from that resource for even such an iconic hero. Before you see red, hear me out. Sony currently owns the rights to the Spider-Man film franchise, so it would be a bit of “screw you” to Sony if Marvel were to simply use one of the other characters to wear the mantle. That thing on Richards’ wrist could, in theory, be some kind of web shooter.
#4 – 3-D Man (Delroy Garrett). Originally called Triathlon, Delroy Garrett gained the ability to see through the disguises of the alien Skrulls from the original 3-D Man and took up the mantle. Garrett is one of those characters who was kind of dumb until someone had the bright idea of updating a long-forgotten hero and tying it into Marvel’s Secret Invasion. Triathlon was used over and over to try and build popularity for an ethnic character, but was really uninteresting until he became 3-D Man. If “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” has some alien sub-plot, 3-D Man would make sense.
#3 – Wonder Man (Simon Williams). Of course, moving from black Marvel characters to characters whose ethnicity is really unimportant, Wonder Man has been a staple of Avengers lore since the 60s. Superhumanly strong and invulnerable, Wonder Man would be a logical addition to the roster of characters in the Marvel Movie Universe. Wonder Man is a character that developed from a former dirty business man-come-invulnerable guy, to a film star, to a man who was resurrected and found he had lost everything. It would be intriguing to see which version of Simon Williams we would see Richards portray.
#2 – Moon Knight (Marc Spector). Wonder Man, however, does not have the “M” thing going for him. Personally, one of my favorite ideas is this one: Richards is Moon Knight, sort of a Marvel Batman. Moon Knight is a great character who has seen a massive resurgence in the last few years and he definitely has “M” all over his name. Also, he has been a member of the Avengers, in the past. Spector is also a great character, having dealt with dissociative identity disorder due to the very source of his powers. He could present a model of a hero dealing with mental illness that would be unique.
#1 – Quasar (Wendell Vaughn). This is my favorite and totally my idea. Quasar has powers similar to Green Lantern and is the “Protector of the Universe.” His power is derived from his Quantum Bands which he wears on his wrists and they allow him complete control over all forms of energy. He is a cosmic-level character and has dealt with Thanos more than once and, prior to gaining the Quantum Bands, he was an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Quasar had an amazingly good series written by the legendary writer, Mark Gruenwald, which I highly recommend. It would be awesome to see the Cosmic Avenger make an appearance in the Marvel Movie Universe and J. August Richards would be a fantastic actor to portray him.
So there’s my wacky list. I left off any villains because Richards is clearly shown saving someone. If you have any other ideas, sound off.
As long as you don’t say “Falcon.”