The Five Once-Obscure Superheroes that are Now Experiencing Fame

Story by Sarah Wright
Feature Photo via Pixabay
GIFs via

There are many superheroes, such as Superman, Batman and Spider Man, that are iconic to everyone, regardless if one read their original comics or not. These superheroes have become pop culture icons and have remained that way through various movie and TV adaptations and reboots over the decades since their creation.

However, in recent years, more obscure names have been featured in various TV series and blockbuster movies. These superheroes started popping out after the success of Robert Downey Jr.’s portrayal of Iron Man in the 2008 movie of the same name, which then led to Marvel’s “The Avengers”.

The cult comic phenomenon has now entered mainstream pop culture, which has generated more and more former “obscure” superheroes that some of Hollywood’s best have signed on for.

We’ve recapped some of the heroes gaining recognition and where you can find them.

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Jessica Jones
Portrayed by:
Krysten Ritter
Seen in: Jessica Jones, Netflix (2015-present)
Jessica Jones is essentially a superhero who retired after escaping a mind control villain named Kilgrave (David Tennant), who forced her into an abusive relationship. At the start of the Netflix series, Jones is a private investigator who must take down Kilgrave after he tries to insert himself back into her life and begins to threaten her family and friends in order to win Jones back.

While Jones’ alcoholic problems and more violent nature doesn’t make her an ideal superhero, she tries to do the right thing at the end of the day even when it ends in disaster. The show itself takes feminist advocacies such as ending sexual assault victim-blaming and works them into a superhero, larger-than-life plot in order to show women as equals in a world dominated by male superheroes.

Additionally, the show is part of a larger Marvel universe within other Marvel/Netflix shows such as “Daredevil”, “Luke Cage” and “Iron Fist”.

Black Panther
Portrayed by: Chadwick Boseman
Seen in: Captain America: Civil War (2016)
Black Panther, or T’Challa, is a king or chief from the fictional African country of Wakanda, who takes on the succession of Black Panther as symbol of protection for his people. In the comics, he later joins the Avengers.

However, in the “Captain America: Civil War” film, he fights for the accords, a legal document that limits the interference of superhero intervention during high profile attacks. He’s on Iron Man’s side to avenge his father King T’Chaka, who was murdered in a bombing during a UN meeting. He is considered to be the first black superhero in cinema while his fighting skills and technology appear to surpass that of Batman.

Green Arrow
Portrayed by: Stephen Amell
Seen in: Arrow, The CW (2012- Present)
In the 1970’s comics, Oliver Queen is a billionaire playboy who was stranded on an island for five years, forcing him to learn to survive with a makeshift bow and arrow until he is rescued.

He later becomes known as the vigilante Green Arrow in Star City and protects the city using various creative arrows to take down criminals. On TV, the story remains the same but takes on a darker tone while also occasionally crossing over with the humorous atmosphere of The CW’s other hit superhero show, The Flash.

This, much like Marvel’s Daredevil, is the beginning of creating a bigger TV universe for DC comics as a whole by introducing relatively unheard of characters like Black Canary, Atom, Mister Terrific and Vixen among other unexpected names.

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
The best way to describe this team and movie as a whole is Star Wars on LSD. The team, within the cinematic universe, consists of a thief from 1980s earth named Peter Quill or Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), a green alien mercenary named Gamora (Zoe Saldana), the alien warrior Drax the Destroyer (David Bautista), a tree-like humanoid named Groot (Vin Diesel) and a raccoon bounty hunter named Rocket (Bradley Cooper).

The five serve as former criminals turned heroes who protect space from differently weird alien villains. The comic books are essentially the same, except with considerably darker source material.

While the film release confused comics fans at first, it didn’t take long for them to enjoy the bizarre and comedic nature as the film grossed over $773.3 million worldwide. Now, fans are actively awaiting for “Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2”, which is set to release this May.

Portrayed by: Ray Fisher
Seen in: Justice League (2019)
Victor Stone is a teenage athlete and genius who, after an accident at S.T.A.R. Labs in which he was mutilated, was made into a cyborg by his father in order to save him. Stone later decided to use his technological state as a superhero for both the Teen Titans and the Justice League.

While Cyborg is generally well-known and beloved on the animated “Teen Titans” series, the upcoming “Justice League” movie is bringing this character into a live action light that allows those who don’t really know the character is to find out. Cyborg is the DC cinematic universe’s first black superhero and has created a hype amongst both comic book fans and fans of his animation appearances.

With all of these unexpected heroes to come to both the DC and Marvel cinematic universes, as well as the their respective televised universe, the question is, what comes next?