The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a literally colourful place. Virtually every colour has been used in their character codenames, which is no mean feat when you think about it.

Unlike the DC Universe, which has the Green Lanterns (and Lanterns for every colour of the rainbow, we’re not kidding you here), the Marvel Universe doesn’t actually have a reason to have a superhero or supervillain for each colour that exists. However, its decades-long history and amazingly creative talents have generated so many characters that you can find a character for almost any colour that exists.

Don’t believe me? Here’s a list of colourful characters that have appeared on screen alone. If we counted obscure characters from the comics, it’d be a much longer list (and far more exhaustive). But we’ll just give you seven to chew on.


1. White Queen

The White Queen appeared in X-Men: First Class as part of the villainous Hellfire Club, a group of elitist mutants who wanted to orchestrate a nuclear disaster as part of their evil plans. The scantily clad psychic also possessed the power to turn into unbreakable diamond, and was portrayed by January Jones.

Why is she called the White Queen? Well, the various members of the Hellfire Club were all named after chess pieces – so we guess she picked the most appropriate colour (white) and gender (queen) to match her costume.

But in the comics, she’s had an on-again, off-again relationship with Cyclops, making her a romantic rival for Jean Grey at times. In fact, the two even had a psychic tiff (which the White Queen lost) when the White Queen had a psychic affair with Cyclops. It’s a grey area (haha) as to whether or not Cyclops technically cheated on Jean Grey though.

Complicated? Yes – but wait until Cable (who’s appearing in Deadpool 2) appears. He’s the adult son of Cyclops and a clone of Jean Grey from the future. Given that Cyclops and Jean Grey haven’t exactly shown up in Deadpool 2 (and they are pretty young in the rebooted X-Men series), we’re wondering how they’re going to explain where Cable came from.

2. Black Widow

Also known as Natasha Romanoff, Black Widow has been insanely popular since her first appearance in Iron Man 2. She doesn’t actually have any superpowers other than the fact that she can do martial arts in a skintight leather outfit, but she’s a trained spy and one of the deadliest regular humans on the planet, which is why she can fight alongside the other super-powered heroes in Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron.

In the comics, she does have super powers – her physical attributes (don’t think dirty now) have been enhanced beyond that of a normal human. She also wears a set of wrist mounted stingers that deliver her signature “widow’s bite”, which is basically a high-powered electric shock.

From the Avengers: Infinity War trailer, it appears that Black Widow may now be Blonde Widow… but hey, we’re not complaining! She’s played by Scarlett Johansson, who’s really a perfect fit for the character.


3. Red Skull

Red Skull was the villain in Captain America: The First Avenger, with Hugo Weaving in the role. He’s sort of an evil Nazi version of Captain America, but with a red skull for a face because he took an imperfect version of Captain America’s super soldiers serum. His real name is Johann Schmidt, but few people remember his real name because calling him Red Skull is much more to the point.

Hugo Weaving very famously stated that superhero movies weren’t “the sort of film [he] seeks out” when Captain America: The First Avenger came out… but changed his tune when the MCU started to become popular and claimed that the role was “was fun to play” in a more recent interview.

Although he’s a bit boring in the movies, more interesting things happen to Red Skull in the comics and the Avengers Assemble cartoon.

In the comics, Red Skull gains the powers of Professor X and Magneto and becomes Red Onslaught (this is a very simplified retelling, as there are clones involved), menacing all the X-Men and Avengers.

In the ongoing Avengers Assemble cartoon, Red Skill steals one of Iron Man’s armours and becomes the Iron Skull. Okay, not a very creative name, but it’s a fairly novel concept (and it makes Red Skull more of a physical threat).


4. Green Goblin

Frequently painted as Spider-Man’s arch-nemesis, the Green Goblin is an identity that Norman Osborn (and later, his son, Harry Osborn) takes on in secret. Who’s Harry Osborn? The best friend of Peter Parker. So yes, the Green Goblin is Spider-Man’s best friend’s father… and his best friend.

He’s popular enough to have appeared in the first two Spider-Man cinematic franchises – portrayed by Willem Dafoe (what a surname!) in the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man movies (where he was Norman Osborn), then by Dane Dehaan in the Andrew Garfield Spider-Man films (where he was Harry Osborn). We’re betting that he’ll also make an appearance in the Tom Holland Spider-Man movies in the future, especially since Marvel seems to be hinting at big, broad, sweeping changes in their cinematic universe after Avengers: Infinity War.

In the comics, Green Goblin dons a suit of Iron Man armour with an American flag colour scheme to it, making him look like an amalgamation of Captain America and Iron Man. In this incarnation, he calls himself Iron Patriot – and leads a version of the Avengers made up of criminals (like the Suicide Squad), since the original Avengers are missing. To the American public, Iron Patriot’s Dark Avengers are heroes – but they’re just masquerading as heroes to fulfill his nefarious purpose.

Bet you didn’t realise there was more to Green Goblin than just, well, a goblin that’s green!


5. Purple Man

If you’re a fan of Marvel shows on Netflix, you’ll have caught Jessica Jones – an excellent series about a semi-retired superheroine. Her nemesis was Zebediah Killgrave, a mind controller who goes by the name of Purple Man in the comics.

Before you ask – no, he’s not psychic. However, he can secrete pheromones that allow him to control others, which makes him slightly different from the 101 psychics who already exist in the Marvel Universe. In the television series, he’s portrayed by David Tennant, and it’s implied that he tormented Jessica Jones for an extended period of time when he mind controlled her.

He’s not purple in the television show, but he’s very purple in the comics. We’re not too sure why he doesn’t mind control a surgeon to help him do some skin grafting operations (being purple makes him stand out a little too much, especially since his powers rely more on manipulation than outright physical strength), but all villains have their scruples, we suppose.


6. Yellowjacket

Yellowjacket was the villain of 2015’s Ant-Man. In the film, he’s Darren Cross, who basically gets hold of Ant-Man’s technology and becomes an evil version of Ant-Man. He’s played by Corey Stoll, but since half of you probably don’t recognise his name, it illustrates his importance as a villain in the film.

However, he’s got a much more complicated history in the comics. Yellowjacket is actually one of the codenames that Ant-Man took on, because of some personality issues he had (Ant-Man took on many other codenames as well). Later on, a villain (Darren Cross) also took on the identity of Yellowjacket.

Confused? Don’t be – Yellowjacket isn’t that important in the grand scheme of things in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Or at least, not yet.


7. Silver Surfer

The Silver Surfer appears in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, a powerful cosmic being that looks like he’s entirely made of silver. He travels around on a surfboard (hence his name), and serves as the herald of a cosmic force that devours worlds, known as Galactus. He’s probably one of the most powerful characters in the Marvel Universe, because he wields a force known as the Power Cosmic. This means he’s got any super power he wants.

In the comics, he’s addressed by his real name, Norrin Radd, more often – though Galactus is no longer his boss (at the moment). He hasn’t been prominent in comic storylines lately, most likely due to the fact he’s mostly considered one of the supporting cast of the Fantastic Four (which is owned by Twentieth Century Fox). But now that Fox and Disney are one, we may very well see some silver streaks in the Marvel Cinematic Universe!


Black Panther. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Black Panther. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Are you ready for the next Marvel superhero with a colour in his codename? Black Panther, the king of an African nation that’s secretly a technological utopia, appears in his first solo movie this year! If you remember, the black cat-themed superhero first appeared in Captain America: Civil War, where he fought alongside Iron Man. This time round, he’s got a lot more problems on his plate.

Does any other Marvel superhero make any appearance? (Yes.) Is there more than one post-credits sequence? (Yes.) Do we get to see a token white guy? (Yes.)

Although we’ve answered all your burning questions, you’ve got to catch the film itself to know who appears and what happens. It’s the perfect V-Day/Chinese New Year movie to catch!


Credits: Golden Village Cinemas

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