Marvel Comics is loaded with many original characters created by people who effectively laid the foundation of a future billion-dollar franchise. But for all the original characters these comic book creators delivered, some were inspired by characters who had already existed. Hell, some characters in Marvel Comics are straight-up well-known characters recreated in their universe, like Dracula, for example.
I'm not judging. In fact, I love that the Marvel Universe has incarnations of popular characters from mythology and pop culture in its universe. The following are some of the more popular mythical characters that existed prior to Marvel Comics, and ones I may even want to see in the Marvel Cinematic Universe one day. Hopefully, I'm not alone on that.
Count Dracula is the most popular vampire in modern pop culture, with all due respect to Edward Cullen. He's also a relatively notable character in the Marvel Universe as a prominent leader of the vampires, as well as one of the most powerful among them. Obviously he'd be a great candidate to appear in the upcoming Blade movie, though there could be some legal issues over whether Marvel's Dracula is distinctly different enough that Marvel can use him without interfering with whatever Universal Pictures has planned for him under its Universal Monsters umbrella.
Santa Claus exists in the Marvel Universe, though there are different stories about the exact extent of his power. Cerebro once mentioned he was one of the most powerful mutants in existence, which would put him in Omega-class. Santa is immortal, capable of traveling at immense speeds and can lift over two tons. Granted, the latter two of those only seem to occur on Christmas Eve, so there definitely needs to be more investigation into the true extent of Santa's power. Either way, I'd love to see him in the MCU at some point just to see what he can do.
Thor (And Other Asgardians)
This one seems a bit obvious, but it would be negligent not to mention that Thor, Odin, Loki and other prominent Asgardians were part of Norse mythology long before they graced the pages of Marvel Comics. Of course, Marvel certainly took its fair share of liberties when it transformed these Norse gods into its universe, though things like Thor's hammer Mjolnir and his rivalry with Loki were both worked in. Neither are probably an adaptation someone well-versed in Norse mythology could get behind in terms of accuracy, but there's no denying they've both kept the names relevant in recent years.
Werewolf By Night
Those who've kept track of recent Marvel news undoubtedly learned that, yes, Marvel does have werewolf heroes. Disney+ is reportedly doing a Halloween special with Werewolf By Night, so we'll likely get to see either Jack Russell or Jake Gomez in the MCU very soon. In terms of powers, they're on par with the average werewolf story. So honestly, they're kind of meh in a world of superheroes, but cool all the same.
Father Time is one of those characters who's been around for ages (figuratively and literally), though his holiday status as a representative of New Year's Eve isn't quite as celebrated as some other holiday characters. Perhaps that's why he once fought Captain America in Marvel Comics and has attempted to mettle in other affairs as an Elder of the Universe. I won't sit here and act like Father Time is any more relevant in the comics than he is in real life, though ultimately the argument could be made he catches up to us all in the end.
We all know who King Arthur is, mainly because Hollywood absolutely refuses to let any tale of Arthurian legend fade into obscurity. Apparently Marvel Comics is part of the problem as well, as King Arthur has appeared in comics alongside Black Knight, as well as Captain Britain. I can't say I'm surprised about either of those collaborations as they're on brand, so I can at least credit the good king for staying in his lane.
Hercules (And Other Olympians)
Marvel didn't just stop with the Norse gods in their adaptation, as Hercules and other Olympians are also around in Marvel Comics. Hercules has frequently aided the Avengers, and Hippolyta has clashed with the X-Men and The Fantastic Four from time to time. Again, there are some liberties taken compared to the Greek gods and their stories, but it's not all that hard to paint the Olympians as ancient superheroes with immortality in the Marvel universe.
Perhaps one of the most underrated cryptids of North American folklore, the Wendigo is big, foul-smelling and absolutely not something you'd ever want to encounter out in the wild. In Marvel Comics, the Wendigo is a result of a curse, so different people have become one. This curse has actually occurred quite a bit in Marvel comics, with characters from The Hulk to Wolverine being forced to deal with them. It's never an easy task for any hero to take on, but not an impossible one to deal with.
This one is a bit tricky, because while Dr. Walter Langkowski transforms into the beastly hero named Sasquatch, it's pretty clear he's not the actual Sasquatch of legend. It seems far more probable that he was named after the popular cryptid, though wouldn't his appearance and name confirm the creature exists? For what its worth, this Alpha Flight member is able to go toe-to-toe with Hulk on a good day, so it would stand to reason he's actually much stronger than the mythical Sasquatch.
Without question one of the weirdest entries on this list. Frankenstein's Monster has had a few appearances throughout the history of Marvel Comics. He's been a Nazi villain and part of a bizarre superhero team-up with Nighthawk, She-Hulk, and Howard The Duck. Keep in mind, this guy is just a re-animated compilation of several corpses. Yet he has super strength and stamina? I honestly can't figure out how he'd be of any real use to any superhero team, but it works for some reason so I have to accept it all the same.
It would be cool to see any of these mythical creatures and heroes in the MCU, weird as they may be, but whether it actually happens is another story. We do know that an actual Dracula movie is on the way with a Marvel director, but unfortunately, this movie isn't headed to the MCU.
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Mick contains multitudes and balances his time reporting on big happenings in the world of Star Trek, the WWE, reality television, and other sci-fi shows.