With The Infinity Saga ending with Avengers: Endgame, there is some speculation on what Marvel Studios should tackle in the future, either characters that deserve their own solo film or superhero team-ups. It sounds like we’ll have to wait for any X-Men or Fantastic Four plans to be put together as Marvel only got their mitts on the film rights last month, but they have plenty of their own characters to mine.
One project that screams cinematic adaptation is Agents of Atlas, which I assume would just end up being called Atlas, due to the possible confusion with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The team has a lineup of old school comic book characters, some that even predates the Marvel Comics name. The characters were once featured as the 1950s incarnation of The Avengers in a What If? comic book and could be an interesting future team to explore on the big screen.
The Atlas Foundation aka Atlas Empire started out as a secret group that was attempting world domination but have pivoted to using their influence for the greater good. Being another secret organization could be a good way to have not been on Nick Fury’s radar, not unlike HYDRA being embedded in S.H.I.E.L.D. or Wakanda.
They could certainly go with a comic book accurate lineup, Marvel could also go another route by helping elevate a couple of Phase 4 characters they are planning to introduce and some that might have trouble getting their own solo feature films due to red tape.
While I’d love to see Agent Jimmy Woo lead the team as he does in the comic books, he’s seemingly been relegated to comedic relief as seen in Ant-Man and The Wasp played by comedian Randall Park and doesn’t really come off as the team-leader type you’d expect. I still think they should include Jimmy Woo, but in a more liaison role not unlike Everett Ross.
An upcoming Phase 4 character that could easily take a spot on Altas would be Shang-Chi, established as working for British Intelligence aka MI6 and martial arts expert (also has the ability to multiply himself) he could make for interesting roster addition, given he has actual powers. He’ll already be getting his own solo movie and could slide into the leadership role instead of Jimmy Woo and certainly is going to be a character that should have a larger presence in the MCU in the future since he’ll be able to jump between different teams and films. Plus, there is a good reason to believe that Marvel will attempt to tie Shang-Chi to Atlas given the character’s lineage.
Genghis Khan aka Temujin has a direct connection to Altas as leaders are descendants of him and it’s interesting that the Ten Rings leader Raza had mentioned Genghis in the original Iron Man movie.
“The bow and arrow once was the pinnacle of weapons technology. It was used by Genghis Khan to forge an empire that stretched across Asia, from the wintry woods of Ukraine to the Eastern shores of Korea. Now, whoever holds the weapons manufactured by Stark Industries rules the world… and soon, it will be MY turn.”
Some Marvel characters said to be Khan relatives just happen to include both Jimmy Woo and Shang-Chi (also villains Yellow Claw and Fu Manchu), given their lineage to Khan means they could be related in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Another interesting connection is that Atlas Temple their headquarters is located beneath San Francisco, California and that just happens to be where FBI Agent Jimmy Woo is stationed during the events of Ant-Man and The Wasp.
It was established in the Marvel One-Shot All Hail The King that The Mandarin is a real villain in the MCU and that The Ten Rings are still around, perhaps, they are could be connected to Shang-Chi or the Atlas Foundation given that according to the Mandarin’s comic book origin he’s also a descendant of Genghis Khan. The Mandarin could certainly be a replacement for outdated/stereotypical villains like Fu Manchu or Yellow Claw.
I could also see them tackling villains like The Serpent Society or other obscure ones.
Aquaria Nautica Neptunia aka Namora, the cousin of Prince Namor of Atlantis aka The Sub-Mariner is a team member and could be an entry point for Namor to join the MCU (that’s if he’s not already gearing up for introduction elsewhere) and possibly even their ranks. A solo Namor movie is seemingly being held back because of the character’s entanglement with Universal Pictures, and allowing him to become a supporting lead in a team-up film might be a way for Marvel to avoid those hiccups as they have with Hulk.
Namor has played both WWII hero and a villain with murky motives, so having him involved with the Atlas Foundation would make sense given that Atlantis hasn’t been revealed and would likely be an Earthbound kingdom kept a secret.
Kenneth Hale aka Gorilla-Man, a gun-toting talking ape feels like a given since how they’ve been able to tackle Rocket Raccoon. He would certainly be a reason to have Andy Serkis return for a role after being Klaue was bumped-off in Black Panther. Benedict Cumberbatch played dual roles in Doctor Strange as he did the voice for Dormammu, so seeing Serkis play another Marvel character wouldn’t be out of range of possibilities.
Other interesting characters on the team include Robert Grayson aka The Uranian, M-11 aka Human Robot, Delroy Garrett aka 3-D Man, and Victoria Nutley Starr aka Venus (a goddess/siren).
The latter given her connections to the Olympians could see Venus potentially being an Eternal or having some familiarity with them. We could very well see some Eternals revealed as being Earthbound and a character like Venus would make a lot of sense to become an Eternal or being a reason for someone from The Eternals movie to join the team.
Of course, an Atlas movie has yet to be announced by Marvel Studios, but given they’ll have to seek new teams and characters it feels like a good bet it’ll eventually happen.