Although it’s not a 100% exclusive fact, the majority of the most popular superheroes that have been depicted on film are either American, played by American actors or based in America – Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America, Ghost Rider, Hulk, Green Lantern and Ant-Man, for example.
Even characters who aren’t traditionally American have been presented as such – such as Blade, who was born in London in the comic books, but had no British connections in the movies – while the likes of Superman (a Kryptonian alien) is always brought up as an American and Thor (an Asgardian alien) tends to base himself in and, in a sense, “represent” America.
It would be cool to see some characters who are so strongly and unequivocally associated with their country of origin in the comics that they couldn’t possibly be adapted to big screen without being from and/or operating in said country.
With that in mind, here are five categorically non-American superheroes – superheroes that are strongly associated with their own country – that we’d love to see on film…
Sunspot is a Brazilian mutant in Marvel Comics and he is about as stereotypically Brazilian as it’s possible to be! Real name Roberto da Costa, his powers manifested when he was playing in a youth soccer match. His team (the Thunderbolts) were playing against their arch-rivals (the Dynamos) when a fight broke out. Roberto was attacked and, during a vicious beating, he transformed into a being of solid black solar energy.
Via solar absorption, Roberto can now rechannel that energy into possessing superhuman strength, flying, heat and light projection and powerful concussive energy blasts.
He called himself Sunspot and went on to join the likes of the New Mutants and X-Force, with whom he travelled the world and indeed the universe.
A version of the character did actually appear in X-Men: Days of Future Past, but was barely referenced, died immediately and nothing was said about his origins or nationality. A proper movie depiction wouldn’t see his strong Brazilian roots ignored and that would make a very interesting change. There’s also every chance he could appear in the X-Men franchise in the future.
Marvel’s Sunfire is Japan’s premier superhero. He is essentially to Japan what Superman and Captain America are to America – and he’s a really interesting character to boot.
His real name is Shiro Yoshida and he was born to a mother who suffered radiation poisoning after the Hiroshima bombing. As a result, he developed radiation-based powers – solar radiation to be specific.
His powers include flight, the ability to fire plasma blasts, the ability to view infrared radiation and immunity to most types of radiation.
He is an arrogant, stubborn and temperamental character who works best on his own, but he has been a part of the likes of the X-Men and the Avengers Unity Squad for brief periods and it would be interesting to see how his personality affected a movie version of a superhero team (he’s also been one of Apocalypse’s Horsemen).
Etrigan himself is actually a DC Comics demon from Hell and therefore doesn’t really have a nationality, but he is classically bound mystically to Jason Blood – a British knight in King Arthur’s Camelot who becomes immortal as a result of said bond.
In spite of his hellish roots, Etrigan is generally aligned with the forces of good. He’s an asset to them as well, as he possesses powers like superhuman strength and durability, extrasensory perception, a regenerative healing factor, telepathy, the ability to fire hellfire blasts and is an expert in magic.
He has found himself fighting alongside the likes of the Demon Knights and the Justice League – the latter whom obviously give him strong ties to America.
In spite of that, his British roots are an essential part of his character and if he appears in a movie – which would be awesome and could potentially happen if the DC Cinematic Universe goes supernatural on us – his origins would have to be explored.
In 2013, Kamala Khan became the first Muslim character to headline her own comic in the Marvel universe. Although she is indeed from New Jersey, she has Pakistani roots (and is, as such, described as being Pakistani-American rather than just American), was brought up in a traditional Pakistani family and it would truly make a refreshing change to see a character of her ethnicity starring in a comic book movie.
Having been hit by the Terrigen Mists when she was a teenager, Khan’s Inhuman powers manifested in the form of shapeshifting, elasticity, super-strength, healing and size manipulation.
A huge fan of superheroes herself, Khan took on the name Ms. Marvel – a name formerly used by Carol Danvers (now known as Captain Marvel) – and became a superhero in her own right.
With more movies coming to Marvel Cinematic Universe in the near future, there’s every chance Kamala Khan could too – and that would be really cool.
Captain Britain – who, believe it or not, is British – is a Marvel hero and the alter-ego of Brian Braddock. Given his name alone, there is absolutely no way that his origins could possibly be ignored if he was adapted into a movie, but he is also unequivocally British in many other ways.
He was granted his powers by the famous wizard Merlin of British legend and was assigned to enforce and uphold the laws of Great Britain itself.
He possesses super-strength, speed and durability, as well as flight, the ability to fire energy blasts and the ability to erect force fields. He has been a member of the Secret Avengers and often works with the British intelligence agency MI-13. He is currently a member of the Illuminati in the comic books.
If the British Prime Minister becomes a character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (rumours suggest Martin Freeman could be playing him), some British heroes may well be introduced – and if one of them is Captain Britain, that would be awesome.
What do you think? Would you like to see these characters in a movie? Which other non-American heroes would you like to see? Have your say below.