Marvel is quite honestly killing it when it comes to producing top notch television shows as part of their Marvel Cinematic Universe. We've already seen the back story building efforts of [Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.](tag:722469), we've witnessed the history of Marvel's Universe through Agent Carter, we've also watch the creation of a blind vigilante in Daredevil as well as the tenacity of a super powered private investigator in Jessica Jones. If you haven't checked it out already, here's the trailer:
Add into the mix what we already know is planned - Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Defenders and Damage Control - and it's fairly obvious to see that Marvel has no reason to stop expanding into the television realm with more characters and more intertwining stories. For the most part Marvel has gone with a fairly eclectic group of characters to develop, so truly Marvel could announce a new episodic series for nearly any character of their choosing, which is what makes it so exciting.
In general though there are some characters that probably aren't going to bring the fans swarming to their TVs or mobile devices - Manikin, Mr. Immortal, Asbestos Man or The Phone Ranger to name a few unlikely candidates. Yet, Marvel has an incredible collection of characters that could easily hold their own on television, here are 10 that should be the first to get their own shows. (Now granted some of these may or may not have 'rights' issues, but in general these characters would make for an incredible television show.)
The Punisher is a no-brainer, especially with his highly anticipated appearance in Daredevil’s second season. The Punisher had a run as a major film and although the movies were enjoyable (albeit only slightly as time wore on) his story is honestly best told through an episodic series. Similarly to Daredevil, The Punisher’s story is deep which requires more time to build than a movie can offer to truly expand on The Punisher’s nuances and idiosyncrasies.
Frank Castle is more than just a vigilante who shoots drug dealers. There are countless stories that could offer a solid series for audiences. We could see his background from the Vietnam War and how it comes into play after he loses his family and chooses to take on the persona of The Punisher and bring vengeance to any and all criminals that he comes into contact with.
Gwen Stacey rather than Peter Parker became endowed with the powers of a spider after being bitten by a radioactive spider on this alternate earth. Gwen took on the mantle of Spider-Woman and became devoted to exploiting and maintaining her newfound notoriety rather than using her powers for those in need. Her perception changed when her father said that he believed Spider-Woman could easily help a lot of people. Although her fame had its price, her friend Peter Parker, who was obsessed with becoming like Spider-Woman, began experimenting on himself and he became The Lizard only to be killed in a battle with Gwen. This experience only solidified Gwen's desire to be a true hero.
Gwen’s story would a unique twist on the Spider-Man mythology and it would be an easy sell to audiences everywhere who loves Gwen Stacy in the most recent Spider-Man films. Bringing her to television would be a great way to introduce more female lead characters as well.
X-23 may not be the most well-known character, but that doesn’t stop her from being a bad-ass character who should join the Marvel Cinematic Universe with her own show. X-23 is basically a clone of Wolverine after a group attempted to recreate the original Weapon-X program. X-23 was the fruition of that project, and she was trained in captivity to be a living weapon. X-23 spent her days as a hired weapon for the highest bidder.
Showing her story and her various missions while working for the Facility would be a great television show. It would bring with it quite a few great possibilities to hopefully someday expand the X-Men narrative to television as well.
Nova is one of those characters that has a long history within Marvel, and has been the name given to many characters, Richard Rider being one of the more well known incarnations of Nova. Yet I like the story of Sam Alexander a little more. Sam’s father Jesse was once a member of the Supernovas, a black ops group that existed within the Nova Corps itself. Sam was trained by Rocket Raccoon and Gamora, which would allow for some interesting Guardians of the Galaxy connections as well as introduce a young hero with powers unlike anything we’ve seen on television yet.
Nova would be a great stepping stone to introduce 2 things: 1 – a collection of young heroes that are easy to identify with the new generation of Marvel fans, and 2 – the New Warriors.
The New Warriors are a group of young heroes formed by Dwayne Taylor (Night Thrasher) after his parents are murdered. The New Warriors were originally comprised of Night Thrasher, Nova, Marvel Boy/Justice, Firestar, Namorita and Speedball. These teenage heroes banded together to fight crime in their own unique way. There are a great deal of stories that could be told from the various character’s perspectives.
The New Warriors could easily start simply as a story about Taylor as he begins his pursuit of forming the team. Seeking out the heroes that he had been watching over the years, helping them discover their own potential and eventually become vigilante heroes.
White Tiger has been several characters in the history of Marvel, and I think there are a few that would have decent potential in terms of having a show built around them – but the best chance I think would be to showcase: Ava Ayala. Ava is the sister of the original White Tiger, and it would be fairly convincing to see Ava’s story of having to watch her brother die after being framed for a crime he didn’t commit. Eventually with the help of our favorite blind lawyer, Ava would learn to harness the powers of the White Tiger.
Her show would be a sort-of coming-of-age story as well, while she seeks to bring honor to her brother’s legacy and prove that he was innocent all along. Bringing her story to the MCU would be a good way to introduce the Avengers Academy and allow for some potential crossovers with other characters.
The Avengers Academy was founded after Norman Osborne was discovered to have been recruiting young people with super powers in order to build his own team of heroes that were under his control. He pushed and tortured them to develop their immense powers. Only after Osborne was removed from his place of power, The Avengers went through his files and discovered incredibly dangerous and powerful individuals who weren’t the most psychologically sound, so they decided to form an Academy where these youngsters could be trained to harness their powers and become new heroes.
The Academy could be a unique way to introduce several new characters to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as it has over time trained the likes of X-23, White Tiger, Reptil, Power Man and even She-Hulk. The Academy could be used as a conduit to expand the MCU to a new generation of viewers and comic-readers alike.
No not Jeremy Renner’s character from the Avengers, I’m talking about Kate Bishop. Her story is unique in the sense that she has no actual ‘super powers’ as most other Marvel Characters have. She took on training in combat and self-defense after she was assaulted while on her way to her sister’s wedding. Quickly Kate became proficient in martial arts, swordplay and archery. Through a chance meeting with the Ant-Man’s daughter Cassie Lang, the two track-down the Young Avengers and Kate dons the gear of Mockingbird, Black Widow and Hawkeye before being accepted as a full member of the team.
Kate’s story would transition well to television as it’s a story of her choice to follow a heroic path regardless of whether she has actual super powers. She made the decision and was able to inspire her friends within the Young Avengers to remain true to the cause.
Dr. Michael Morbius is one of my favorite characters in Marvel, and could easily be turned into an episodic series for MCU. Morbius was a brilliant Greek biochemist who even earned a Nobel Prize. Yet, he suffered from a debilitating blood disease and through his research developed an experimental treatment involving electro therapy and vampire bats. Through his experimentation he underwent a transformation of sorts and became a pseudo-vampire who requires blood in order to survive.
Morbius would be an interesting character to bring into the Marvel Cinematic Universe for the sheer fact that he is a villain, and he would be the first main character who is also evil. A show revolving around Morbius could focus on the human/vampire battle within his own mind as he fights with his urges, but is an inadvertent anti-hero as he chooses to feed on the criminal element and kill them rather than innocents. It would give it a sort-of Dexter feel in that way.
Cloak & Dagger
A few years ago, Cloak and Dagger was in talks of becoming a mainstream television series for ABC, but development stalled out. Yet, this team could easily become the next television show with Marvel’s direction. Cloak (Tyrone Johnson) and Dagger (Tandy Bowen) are two teens who meet after running away from home and stumble into their own unique powers after having a synthetic mutagen called D-Lite tested on them. The pair discovered their abilities and dubbed themselves Cloak and Dagger.
A show revolving around these two would be great, and would be fairly captivating as the two characters start off as merciless vigilantes but eventually learn to walk a more merciful path although they struggle with it at times.
All-in-all, there are a ton of characters that Marvel could use if they choose to expand their television and Netflix universe, but what do you think?