The Marvel Cinematic Universe is constantly expanding and evolving, to the point where it seems like every day we hear about a new project set to become part of it. Well, it's no different right now, with the word coming this week that Marvel and ABC Studios are developing a New Warriors comedy series, which will supposedly include everyone's favorite superheroine, Squirrel Girl.
This announcement comes a short time after another teen-superhero-centric TV series was confirmed to be on its way to the small screen: Cloak & Dagger. If the past eight years have been any indication, Marvel knows how to make a hit out of their most obscure properties and with these two TV series in the Marvel Cinematic Universe...
Can This Mean A Bigger Influx of Marvel Teen Superheroes On TV?
Marvel has continually set new standards and shown what can be done with comic book adaptations every year, but one area in which it's been lacking until very recently was the inclusion of teenaged characters and properties geared toward that demographic. We know that a Cloak & Dagger series is coming to Freeform (formerly ABC Family), and on the movie end of things, Spider-Man: Homecoming has a cast half of which can't even legally buy alcohol yet. So does the addition of a New Warriors TV show mean Marvel will continue to expand its young adult range and more and more of their teen superheroes will be showing up on TV?
It's a very likely scenario. DC has been dominating the TV market with shows like The Flash, Supergirl and Arrow and these are all about adults; granted, they're still figuring out who they are but they are adults, with apartments and jobs and all of the rest of it. Shows like New Warriors and Cloak & Dagger could do for superhero shows what sidekicks did for comic books in the '40s.
In an effort to bring in more children to read comics and give them someone they could more easily identify with, the trend of the kid sidekick started. Children were able to imagine themselves side-by-side with Superman or Batman as they went on their adventures and that gave comic books a considerable boost in popularity. Even with Stan Lee famously hating teen sidekicks, Captain America got his own in the form of Bucky Barnes.
It Opens The Door For A Brand-New Sort Of Superhero Show
So, considering that almost every superhero movie and TV show out there focuses on adults, a comedy series focused on a group of teenagers with powers, especially Squirrel Girl, who is a relatively unknown character among general audiences, could open the door for an increase in popularity of teen superheroes. This prospect is even more likely when taking into account Tom Holland's critical praise as a younger Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War.
Being a teenager is mostly identified as a time of confusion and angst in a person's life. Sometimes, the best thing to get you through these rough times is showing you a brighter side of your own struggles. And what better way to do that than with a series starring a group of teenagers with cool super powers, and especially one with a comedic bent?
Marvel has long incorporated comedic moments and quippy interactions into both its movies and its network TV shows. But so far (with the possible exception of Season 2 of Agent Carter), Marvel has yet to go all-in on that aspect of its brand. With it seeming like such a natural evolution, it's only fitting that Marvel's first official comedy series is the one that will showcase its first official teenaged team. And besides, just think of all the sweet dance moves they could add to Marvel's already legendary history:
How New Warriors Continues Marvel's Out-of-the-Box Approach To Superheroes
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has managed to thrive both financially and critically even after almost ten years of existence. That comes thanks to its willingness to explore different types of storytelling. If it weren't for that, we would still be thinking that properties like Guardians of the Galaxy or Ant-Man could never have worked as live action adaptations. So what are they doing to bring all of this success to their properties?
They're shaking things up. We have three movies for Captain America, Iron Man and Thor and these films came during a time where audiences and studios alike thought that only top-tier superheroes like Batman, Superman, Spider-Man, and the X-Men would make for successful movies. But once the first phase of MCU films arrived, they changed the landscape of comic book cinema.
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Since then, Marvel has constantly evolved both its tone and characters to keep its viewers engaged. This is the studio, after all, who put a sentient tree and a talking raccoon in a movie that became one of its biggest hits in the entire MCU. It lets them know that every time they go into a theater to watch, for example, Doctor Strange, the experience is going to be different from when they saw Captain America: Civil War. It's the same for Marvel Television. It's impossible to compare Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to Daredevil to Agent Carter. The New Warriors' comedic approach to teenage superheroes is simply a continuation of this constant reinvention.
So What Sets New Warriors Apart From Other Superhero Shows?
The special part about this project is that the show, if it followed closely to the comic books, could easily be a teen-angst-filled series; instead, Marvel is turning it into a comedy. Guardians of the Galaxy created the trend of advertising a movie with quirky characters in a fun way that seemed to break away from the usual superhero storyline to get people in the theater. Now, New Warriors is embracing the same fun attitude and creating a comedy around it, which is necessary when dealing with weirder characters like Squirrel Girl.
And while some comic book purists hate it when live action adaptations change even a thing about the source material, an adaptation is even more interesting when the people in charge make the decision to give it its own spin while staying true to the characters. After all, if superheroes weren't given reinventions, we would still have a murderous Batman driving a red Sedan or a Ghost Rider in white tights riding a horse.
New Warriors, if handled correctly, could be a big hit and one that could reinvent our idea of comic book TV series. Bring on the teenagers and bring on the comedy.
What comic book stories involving the New Warriors do you want to see adapted in the series? Let me know below!