I think we can all agree that while Marvel certainly have the upper hand when it comes to blockbuster comic book movies, DC are dominating the small screen with their outstanding lineup of original shows topping the ratings charts every week. While shows like The Flash and the upcoming Supergirl are taking a more colorful approach (although not so much during recent weeks), most of DCs current properties are much darker and grittier, with Arrow, Gotham and Constantine all showing the darker side of comic books. Even if their Cinematic Universe is only just making headway, you can be sure the DC TV Universe is going to be leading its field for the foreseeable future.
Marvel on the other hand haven't had the same immediate luck as DC. It's first MCU TV series, Agent's of SHIELD, failed to impress audiences to begin with and only started to pick up during the second season, and has kept the same upbeat formula throughout.
Although that's not to say Marvel's other shows have been as poorly received as the first season of Agents of SHIELD. Agent Carter was a genuine masterpiece with a second season already planned, and their most recent endeavor, Netflix's Daredevil, has received rave reviews for its brutal combat and gritty atmosphere, rivaling even the best DC has to offer.
Daredevil proved that Marvel has what it takes to make a great TV series. It also showed that they weren't afraid to take the dark path usually inhabited exclusively by DC material. With such a winning combination, it's a surprise Marvel hasn't commissioned even more shows for the coming years, feeling content with its upcoming titles, A.K.A Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist. While I have no problem with these choices at all, what with Jessica Jones being one of my favorite B-list heroes of all time, I also feel that there are several lesser-known Marvel characters that could definitely use a gritty TV introduction in the same vein as Gotham or Arrow to really get the ball rolling for Marvel.
And so, I have compiled a list of the five Marvel characters that really, really need a dark TV series.
Before I started reading Marvel, I had always considered She-Hulk to be nothing more than a cheap rip off of the regular Hulk.
How wrong I was.
Jennifer Walters A.K.A She-Hulk is one of the most prolific female superheroes in the Marvel Universe, promoting having a healthy body image and gender equality.
After receiving a slightly less extreme strain of Bruce Banner's mutation following a blood transfusion, She-Hulk developed similar powers to her male counterpart though retained her personality and intelligence whenever she transformed. She's been a member of The Avengers, The Fantastic Four, Heroes for Hire, The Defenders and SHIELD and is currently a leading member of the new all female A-Force comic series.
Also she's a criminal lawyer, which is pretty sweet.
While She-Hulk is sadly still to obscure for a casual moviegoer to recognise, a lower budget TV series could easily do her justice. With her transformation far less drastic than Hulk's and in some cases non-existent due to her decision to remain She-Hulk permanently, an effects budget wouldn't need to be high, and her career as a criminal lawyer could provide crossovers with Matt Murdock/Daredevil as well as Mark Ruffalo's Hulk.
My discovery of Spider-Woman played out in much the same way as it did with She-Hulk. Another classic superhero rip off? Please, not another.
Instead, I was treated to Spider-Woman, an entirely separate superhero in her own right. While she may share a similar name and similar powers to everyone's favorite neighborhood Spider-Man, Jessica Drew is far from a gender-swapped copy of Peter Parker.
After gaining her powers before birth, Spider-Woman began her comic book existence as an agent of HYDRA under the orders to assassinate Nick Fury. Fortunately, Fury managed to convince her to see the light and she switched sides, becoming a member of SHIELD and later on a New Avenger.
While she remains her own hero, she often fights alongside Spider-Man and has also been known to work with Ant-Man, Doctor Strange and Jessica Jones, all of which will be appearing in the MCU during the extent of Phase 3. Her many connections could easily connect the Netflix series and the upcoming Spider-Man movie and also expand the "Spider-Verse" for when Sony decide to get back to work on that SInister Six movie. Come on, guys, we know you're still there!
And who better to help expand the Spider-Verse than...
3. Spider-Man (No, not that one)
Miles Morales is by far the most well known Spider-Man besides Peter Parker, despite only being introduced in 2011. Appearing in the Ultimates Series following the death of Peter Parker, Miles Morales possesses near identical powers to his predecessor and sports a snazzy black suit to contrast against Parker's iconic red and blue.
Many fans, myself included, were hoping that the new Spider-Man movie within the MCU would take inspiration from the Ultimates Series much like they had in casting Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. Instead, Kevin Feige, Marvel's head honcho, confirmed that the star would be a brand new Peter Parker. While I was disappointed, it also opened up a lot of doors for our second Spidey.
The MCU is bursting with subtle Easter Eggs scattered across the movies, and what better way to please the fans than by featuring Morales briefly in the new Spider-Man? Not only would it please the fans, it would easily set up a spin-off series featuring Morales, who has, despite taking over after his death, had many interactions with Peter Parker in the past.
Not to mention with its vast array of iconic villains, a Spider-Man TV series would really do the character justice.
2. Moon Knight
Now, I'm going to be honest; I hadn't actually heard of Moon Knight until very recently. Now that I have though, Marc Spector A.K.A Moon Knight has managed to climb into my list of coolest superheroes of all time. Imagine a hero somehwere between Batman, Doctor Strange, Deadpool and a god. Introducing Moon Knight!
While pretty much all of my information on this guy comes from other fans complaining about how he's never been portrayed on screen, it's clear that this guy needs a TV show. While he may be awesome, he isn't quite at feature film level and the only way he could exist within the MCU is in TV show form. If Doctor Strange's supernatural take on the franchise is received well, then I see no reason as to why this cloaked badass can't also get some decent screen time.
Moon Knight also employs subtle horror aspects into his storylines, something that has been blatantly missing from the MCU since its inception. Many had hoped Ultron could have brought the necessary fear factor into the mix but sadly it was not to be. Additionally, Moon Knight has had several run ins with Spider-Man over the years (see where I'm going with this?) and was a key member of the Secret Avengers under Steve Rogers, which could allow him to be shoehorned in during the aftermath of Civil War. Who knows?
- The Punisher
- Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan)
- Ghost Rider
- Young Avengers
1. Black Widow
Okay, hear me out! I am well aware that Black Widow is a main player in the MCU already. I am well aware that she's meant to be a key character in Phase 3. I am also well aware that she's been due a movie since 2010! But just think about it for a second.
Would you rather have a two hour Black Widow movie with a subpar villain, or would you rather have an R-rated thirteen hour bloodbath TV series full to the brim with gunfights, bone-snapping kicks and just all round badassery?
The choice is yours...
So these were my thoughts on which Marvel properties should get a gritty TV series, but I'm sure you have your own favorite obscure hero that I've missed. Fill me in down in the comments and I may end up making a second list if you've got some really great ideas. I know you will. You guys are great!