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Elsa Bloodstone, Man-Thing, and more Marvel horror characters perfect for the MCU

Man-Thing in the Werewolf By Night trailer
(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Werewolf By Night is officially joining the likes of Blade and Moon Knight in the MCU's burgeoning horror wing, with the release of the official trailer for the Werewolf By Night Halloween Special. But that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to classic Marvel Comics horror characters who could be ripe for adaptation into the MCU.

In fact, Werewolf By Night is just the tip of the iceberg himself in his own Disney Plus streaming special, with the newly released trailer confirming the appearance Man-Thing and heavily hinting at the MCU debut of Elsa Bloodstone.

With the spooky Halloween season looming, here are 10 Marvel Comics horror characters who could be perfect to join Werewolf by Night in the MCU.

Incidentally, both Elsa and Man-Thing are actually on this list, which was compiled before the Werewolf By Night trailer was released - so keep your eyes peeled for even more Marvel horror characters who could make the cut (or stab, or slash) for some scary MCU appearances

The Bloodstone Family

Elsa Bloodstone

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Ulysses Bloodstone, his daughter Elsa Bloodstone, and son Cullen Bloodstone are one of the greatest monster-hunting dynasties in Marvel Comics - something like the publisher's answer to Van Helsing and Buffy the Vampire Slayer all in one (although Ulysses Bloodstone actually predates Buffy by a few decades).

Ulysses Bloodstone is actually an early human, born millennia in the past and kept alive through the power of the so-called Bloodstone, a mysterious rock embedded in his chest that gives him the power to fight and defeat monsters of any shape and size.

His kids, Elsa and Cullen, are no slouches either. Elsa remains a cult-favorite Marvel hero thanks to her appearances in the comic Nextwave: Agents of HATE. Meanwhile, the slightly lesser known Cullen Bloodstone possesses (or is cursed with) the power to actually become a giant monster. Seems like the kind of bizarre family action the MCU loves, to us.

And in fact, it seems Elsa Bloodstone herself will appear in Werewolf By Night played by Laura Donnelly, along with her ancestral home Bloodstone Manor, the seeming setting of the special. 

Devil-Slayer

Devil-Slayer

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Devil-Slayer may not come to mind for most modern Marvel fans, but for those who grew up on the stories of the weird and wild '70s, he's a cult favorite. Formerly a marine known as Eric Payne, the Devil-Slayer was imbued with psychic powers by a cabal of demon worshippers known as the Cult of the Harvester of Eyes. Horror, indeed.

Payne later joined the Defenders, fighting alongside Gargoyle (another horror character on this list). Though his heyday faded with the '70s, Devil Slayer has remained a staple of Marvel Comics with recurring if somewhat sporadic appearances as a supporting character.

He even has a connection to Man-Thing (also on this list), through whose connection to the Nexus of All Realities Devil-Slayer experienced visions of a multitude of worlds - meaning he might be a perfect character to help bridge the gap between the MCU's Multiverse phase and its burgeoning horror wing.

Kid Kaiju

Kid Kaiju

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Giant monsters have been a part of pop culture horror stories since King Kong, Godzilla, and the Blob became hallmarks of the genre on film - and Marvel Comics is no different. In the late '50s, prior to the start of the Marvel Universe, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby made their name as the creators of lurid, exciting sci-fi horror stories featuring giant monsters such as Fin Fang Foom, Googam Son of Goom, and the Gorgilla. 

Over the decades, some of those monsters have been grandfathered into the Marvel Universe, and a few years ago Marvel celebrated the concept with the creation of Kid Kaiju, a young hero with the power to communicate with and command the Marvel Monsters.

So just to be clear, there's a kid in the Marvel Universe whose power is that he can command Kaiju. In the era of Pacific Rim and Jurassic World, that sounds like the makings of a blockbuster movie to us.

Dracula

Marvel's Dracula

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Yep. Dracula. The actual, literal Dracula (or at least the Marvel Comics version of the public domain character). 

In the '70s, when changes to the Comics Code Authority allowed more open depictions of horror concepts in comic books, Marvel relied heavily on Dracula as the anchor of their supernatural horror wing - even crossing him over with characters such as the X-Men, Moon Knight, and of course Blade the vampire hunter, who actually made his debut in the long-running title Tomb of Dracula.

Maybe it might seem a bit silly to bring the most famous vampire in literature into the MCU, but who better to be an adversary for someone like Blade, or perhaps a supernatural hero team up? Dracula is such a lynchpin of classic Marvel horror, there's something to the idea of Marvel's version of him coming to the screen.

Sleepwalker

Sleepwalker

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Sleepwalker was a hit character in the early '90s, but since then, he's become relatively obscure in the Marvel Universe. But for fans who remember him, his adventures had a major impact. Sleepwalker is just one of a whole group of alien-like beings who police the world of dreams, taking on nightmares and villains in the psychic realm.

Sleepwalker is a psychedelic high-concept horror fantasy in which the lines between the waking world and the dream world are blurred - something like Marvel's more superhero-focused version of the Sandman.

And as a bonus, the MCU may have already been laying the groundwork for Sleepwalker, with Loki mentioning a group like the TVA that polices dreams, and the concept of 'dreamwalking' coming into Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

Magik

Magik

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Magik of the X-Men did appear in the ill-fated and little-watched New Mutants film, but as with probably just about all of the Fox X-Men movie characters, we're expecting the MCU will give her a total makeover if they bring her back. And bring her back they should - with a focus on her comic book backstory and her burgeoning place as one of the most powerful mages in Marvel Comics.

Not only does Magik have the power to teleport through the harrowing dimension of Limbo (seen in the MCU already in the Loki streaming series), she's also such a powerful magic user that she's even been a candidate to take over for Doctor Strange as Sorcerer Supreme - a title she actually held in an alt-future.

Give us a downright scary Magik whose second nature as the demonic Darkchilde is on display, and you've got a totally unique mutant for the MCU, with possible connections to Doctor Strange himself.

The Gargoyle

The Gargoyle

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Maybe you haven't heard of Gargoyle, but in the '70s and '80s, he was one of Marvel's premiere horror characters as a member of the Defenders and the star of his own nightmare-fueled solo limited series. 

Gargoyle is actually an elderly man named Isaac Christian who made a deal with demons for power and prosperity - with his wish being granted in classic Monkey's Paw fashion when the demons turned his body into that of the monstrous Gargoyle. Though he started out as a villain fighting the Defenders, he quickly joined up with them, seeking a way to return to his human form.

Imagine something like David Cronenberg's The Fly, but with an old man turning into a demonic creature, longing for his humanity - that's the horror potential in the Gargoyle.

Nightmare

Nightmare

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Nightmare is 0-for-2 in terms of chances to make it into the MCU, with the villain long rumored for possible inclusion in both the first Doctor Strange movie and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. But Nightmare was passed over both times, leaving one of Strange's oldest and most powerful foes in the lurch

However, there's a lot more to Nightmare than just his rivalry with Doctor Strange, and he's had showdowns with plenty of Marvel heroes - including a notable story in which he matched wits with Kid Loki.

Nightmare is one of the Fear Lords in Marvel Comics, beings who embody the concept of terror itself. And with a name like Nightmare, you can imagine what aspect of fear comes under his purview - meaning that there are few other characters, hero or villain, who have as much direct connection to the theme of 'horror' in the Marvel Universe.

Man-Thing

Man-Thing

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Man-Thing got a very cheesy direct-to-video movie back in the early '00s, but the classic Marvel horror character wasn't particularly well-served in terms of an adaptation. 

The movie left out most of Man-Thing's comic book history as an agent of retribution against wrongdoers, and the guardian of the cosmic Nexus of All Realities that connects the many worlds of the Multiverse in Marvel Comics.

With the heavy reliance on the concept of the Multiverse in the current MCU, Man-Thing could be a perfect character to bring in - especially if Marvel Studios dials in on his actual comic book nature as a reluctant hero and a key figure in the cosmic order of the Marvel Universe along with his body-horror roots.

A truly horrific version of Man-Thing has a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo in the Werewolf By Night trailer - which you can see at the top.

Mephisto

Mephisto

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

If you're an MCU fan, you've undoubtedly heard of Mephisto by now, as the devilish manipulator is one of the most called-for and requested Marvel supervillains yet to be adapted into the MCU. 

There's not much to say about Mephisto that hasn't been said - but we'll reiterate that not only is Mephisto an important character in Marvel Comics lore as its closest analog to the Christian devil, he's also currently facing off with the Avengers in the lead up to the story that's being billed as the "biggest Avengers epic ever."

In other words, there are few Marvel horror characters as connected to the Marvel Universe as Mephisto - and the MCU horror wing just wouldn't be the same without him.

I've been Newsarama's resident Marvel Comics expert and general comic book historian since 2011. I've also been the on-site reporter at most major comic conventions such as Comic-Con International: San Diego, New York Comic Con, and C2E2. Outside of comic journalism, I am the artist of many weird pictures, and the guitarist of many heavy riffs. (They/Them)