The New Characters Of Marvel’s Phase Three: A Guide For Non-Nerds

Marvel rolled out what’s essentially their five-year plan, detailing all the movies coming from 2016 onwards that we didn’t already know about, or at least had only heard rumors about. So, who are these characters? And why are they important? Let’s take it by movie!

Black Panther

Black Panther, or T’Challa, is a long-time Avenger and the king of Wakanda, an extremely technologically advanced society in Africa that’s the sole source of vibranium. That’s the metal Cap’s shield is made out of, and highly sought after. Wakandans aren’t noted for being an outgoing people, so T’Challa visiting the outside world is a big deal. As for his powers and abilities, Black Panther is a ninja who can call in the single most technologically advanced military in the entire world if you tick him off.

He’ll first be turning up in Captain America: Civil War. Tony will apparently tick him off.

Oh, he also sometimes has super-smell powers, but those don’t come up in the comics that often, because that’s the worst superpower. Not even Daredevil uses his smell powers anymore.

Captain Marvel

Carol Danvers is a pilot in the Air Force and generally a take-no-crap kind of person, as most pilots tend to be. She becomes Captain Marvel (formerly Ms. Marvel) when she’s exposed to the technology of the Kree via explosion. Remember the blue guy who everybody was scared of, yet didn’t actually do anything scary, in Guardians of the Galaxy? He was a Kree. Yeah, they’re dicks.

Carol has the standard superhero powers: Flight, super-strength, hard to kill. She can also fire energy blasts and absorb energy. She’s most notable for the fact that she’s often in space as much as she is on Earth, so one suspects that during her movie, she’ll at the very least bump into a Guardian or two. She’s also a key Avenger, which isn’t a coincidence.

The Inhumans

Centuries ago, the Kree had an outpost in the solar system, and saw that primitive humans had “genetic potential.” Or maybe they were bored. Either way, since, again, the Kree are dicks, they started experimenting on said humans. Said humans became the Inhumans, forming their own separate society, and building a belief system around the Terrigen Mists, a magic gas that will either give you superpowers or turn you into a horrible monster.

The superpowers tend to have drawbacks. For example, Black Bolt, the leader of the Inhumans, can tear matter apart if he so much as whispers. Those powers also force him to wear a tuning fork on his forehead, essentially rendering him a more dangerous Forbush Man.

In the comics, that whole “horrible monster” thing meant the Inhumans spent thousands of years practicing eugenics, something we’re assuming Marvel’s going to change for the movie. Anyway, they tend to hang out in their capital, Attilan, and the royal family goes on wacky adventures in the Marvel Universe. Crystal, for example, has been on the Fantastic Four and was also an Avenger, and can control fire, water, earth, and air.

They’re a bit obscure, but Marvel is currently in the process of turning every character other movie studios might be able to claim under their rights deals into Inhumans, so that’s why they’re getting a movie. They also have a few issues with Thanos, especially recently, so that will probably come up.

Also, they have an adorable giant teleporting dog named Lockjaw. Expect Lockjaw plushies by the crate when this movie comes out.

The Serpent Society

Originally the subtitle of Captain America 3, which is now Captain America: Civil War, the Serpent Society is pretty much what it says in the title, a team of snake-themed villains. Considering Marvel’s tendency to turn down the cheese meter, one assumes that they’re going to be more allegorical snakes than literal. Also they’ll probably leave all the anti-union stuff out.

Of interest, most of the original Serpent Society had cybernetic limbs. Hmmmmm, maybe Bucky has found some new friends?

This is just what we know about, of course. All of these movies are at least two years away, and there’s that massive two-part blowout that will be the third Avengers movie. We’ll see more characters, and sooner rather than later. But even these are intriguing hints.