Of all the brands Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) owns, none has proved so successful as Marvel Entertainment's various superheroes. So why does it seem that few believe next summer's Guardians of the Galaxy can be the next great Marvel movie?

"Days of Future Past should pan out since it's a storyline from the '80s, but Guardians were never a hallmark franchise in the comics, so how can they logically expect a return for something that was never that popular to begin with?" wrote Foolish commenter misterfrost recently, referring to 21st Century Fox's (NASDAQ:FOX) forthcoming sequel to X-Men: First Class.

Guardians may not be an A-list franchise or even a C-list franchise, but it is an interesting mix of characters that under the guidance of director James Gunn could result in a potent Marvel movie. The following slideshow has more on how Guardians will expand Marvel's mighty cinematic universe.

Meanwhile, Disney's Marvel movie franchise isn't the only way to cash in on rising interest in comic book films. Fox, with Days of Future Past and other planned films starring the X-Men, is another. Want even more ideas? Our analysts lay out the risks and opportunities in a new special report titled "Your Ticket to Cash In on the Superhero Battle of the Century." The research is free -- just click here to get your copy now.