When Marvel sold the film rights to their most popular characters, they had to get creative when they decided to throw their hat into the genre film ring with the creation of Marvel Studios. Iron Man, which was such an unpopular book in the 90's it was nearly cancelled, ended up being the Marvel cinematic launchpad that earned nearly $600 million. After successful Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and Avengers films, it seemed the proverbial well had run dry when it was announced that Guardians Of The Galaxy would be a major motion picture.
Wha? Most people had never even heard of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Sure, they sold a few comics in their day, but they were no Avengers. With the big teams like X-Men and Fantastic Four belonging to other studios, putting $200 million into a Guardians film was a pricey gamble.
$774 million later, Marvel Studios was laughing all the way to the bank. Marvel has proven a formula for success, even with second-tier names such as Ant-Man.
Unbeknownst to many, the Marvel comics pool is still quite deep and there are a legion of interesting characters from which to draw. Here are ten of Marvel's "lesser knowns" that could be the next to line us up around the block.