The special is set to center around Jack Russell, played by Gael García Bernal, an actor Disney fans will recognize as the voice of Héctor in Pixar’s Coco. In the comics, Jack Russell is the protagonist of the 70s horror comic Werewolf By Night, which introduced Moon Knight in its 32nd issue. While no other characters have been confirmed to appear so far, there’s plenty of creepy and kooky Marvel characters who would be a perfect fit — if not for this year’s Halloween special, then for others like it in the years to come.
Created by writers Roy Thomas and Gerry Conway and artist Gray Morrow, the Man-Thing made his comic debut in the first issue of the anthology series Savage Tales. Man-Thing was once a scientist named Dr. Theodore “Ted” Sallis, inspired by the research of his friend Dr. Curt Connors (aka the Lizard of Spider-Man fame) to recreate the Super-Soldier Serum that created Captain America. Sallis pursued his research at a S.H.I.E.L.D. lab in the Florida Everglades, but the facility was attacked one day by agents of the villainous organization AIM, who wanted to steal Sallis’ serum for their own. Sallis crashed his car trying to escape and injected himself with his own serum to save his life. However, the serum ended up fusing Sallis to the swamp around him, transforming him into the plant monster known as Man-Thing.
Lacking Dr. Sallis’ human intelligence, the silent and bestial Man-Thing is more of an accidental hero than a traditional crime-fighter, stumbling into all manner of paranormal adventures in its travels. Eventually, Man-Thing becomes the guardian of the Nexus of All Realities, a naturally-occuring intersection in the multiverse located in the Everglades. Additionally, while Man-Thing may seem like a rip-off of DC’s Swamp-Thing, he actually predates Swamp-Thing by two months.
Switching gears to a character who’s more action than horror, Elsa Bloodstone is the Marvel Universe’s number-one monster hunter. First appearing in 2001’s Bloodstone #1 by writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning and artist Michael Lopez, Elsa Bloodstone is the daughter of the immortal monster slayer Ulysses Bloodstone, who trained her since childhood to follow in his footsteps. The fragment of her father’s Bloodgem embedded in her choker grants her superhuman strength and agility, and she’s also a master sharpshooter and martial artist. However, the biggest thing that makes Elsa Bloodstone a fan favorite is probably her dry, cynical sense of humor. Thanks to her lifelong combat experience, Elsa feels perfectly at ease making snarky remarks while gunning down zombies — yet another reason she’d be a perfect fit for the MCU.
Doctor Voodoo (originally Brother Voodoo, real name Jericho Drumm) debuted in 1973’s Strange Tales #169, by writer Len Wein and artist Gene Colan. One of the greatest sorcerers in the Marvel Universe, Doctor Voodoo has teamed up with the likes of Spider-Man, Daredevil, the Thing, and even Werewolf By Night — and for a time, he was a member of the Avengers as well. At one point, he even held the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme after Doctor Strange lost the title. In terms of Marvel’s supernatural heroes, Doctor Voodoo is a big name.
In fact, Jericho Drumm’s eventual appearance may have already been foreshadowed by the MCU. Jericho’s brother Daniel Drumm plays a minor unnamed role in Doctor Strange as one of the sorcerers of Kamar-Taj, who is seemingly killed by Mads Mikkelsen’s Kaecilius. While there’s no word of Doctor Voodoo showing up in Multiverse of Madness, a hypothetical MCU appearance could very well make reference to his brother’s fate.
It’s probably not surprising that the Marvel Universe has its own version of Dracula, but it may surprise you just how prominent he’s been in the comics. Dracula made his Marvel debut in the horror series The Tomb of Dracula, which ran from 1972 to 1979 for a total of 70 issues. The series saw Dracula face off with several vampire hunters — most prominently Blade, who made his first appearance in this series alongside his nemesis Deacon Frost. The series also featured multiple callbacks to the original Dracula novel by Bram Stoker, even featuring Quincy Harker and Rachel Van Helsing, two descendants of the book’s characters, in its cast of heroes.
The Tomb of Dracula proved to be so popular that it spawned its own anime movie adaptation in 1980, known as Dracula: Sovereign of the Damned. While Dracula is killed by Quincy Harker in the series’ final issue, he would inevitably return decades later, menacing the likes of Captain Britain, the X-Men, Deadpool, and the Avengers.
Ghost Rider is no stranger to live-action adaptations — the original Johnny Blaze incarnation of the character has been portrayed by Nicolas Cage in two feature films, while his successor Robbie Reyes was played by Gabriel Luna in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Even so, Ghost Rider continues to be one of Marvel’s most beloved horror-themed characters, and it’d be a shame to never see him in live-action again. A Halloween special might just be the perfect way to reintroduce the Spirit of Vengeance to MCU fans.