Marvel Characters that should get a shot at Television

Marvel-logo With the recent news of Marvel Studios shopping around a 60 episode block to be shared between a reported 4 shows, the internet is abuzz with possiblities. Fans have been speculating what should be Marvel's next step, and many names are being thrown out there for consideration. Marvel's first television attempt, Agents of SHIELD, has enjoyed a level of success but fans seem to be craving more established heroes and villains on the small screen. Here are a few options that I thought could be cool to see on a weekly basis or on a video on demand service such as Netflix, which is rumored to be a consideration.

Daredevil

daredevil

We have talked about him many times as the most logical choice when it comes to bringing out some moderately big comic names to television. Matt Murdock is a blind lawyer by day, and an ass whooping blind vigilante by night. His show could be a cross between a crime procedural like Law and Order and Showtime's favorite murdering vigilante, Dexter. The similarities between Dexter and Daredevil are very clear. The main difference being that Daredevil is not out for murder, just justice. Due to his costume, special abilities, and distinct life outside of being a costume hero this show works perfectly as a serious adult oriented show that deals more with the criminal underbelly of the Marvel Universe. Also, it could pave the way for comedic cameos by She-Hulk who is also a lawyer.

Runaways

The Runaways

The Runaways were discussed as a Marvel film years ago, but once the Avengers initiative got going they got pushed to the side. Currently, Marvel has no teen or children heroes in their group. This is where you solve that problem. A group of teens who find out that their parents are actually super villains team up and discover they also have abilities. Teens versus parents, growing up issues, interconnected with their admiration for the other established universe heroes like The Avengers and you've got a fun series. The comedic elements of the comic series are well written and there is no reason for that not to continue on television. Something like Runaways hits the target demographic and allows for more Marvel universe insanity. For example, one girl in the group has a pet dinosaur, who becomes sort of like a mascot for the group. They ride around in the 'Leapfrog,' which is a frog like car/plane and fight smaller named villains. This is a perfect out of left field choice.

 Heroes for Hire

Heroes for Hire

Powerman and Iron Fist are two heroes who can really open up the Marvel universe. For their associations alone, they possess the unique ability to give the universe a little more color. Think of a Heroes for Hire show like a super power buddy cop show. They roll with a crew of hilarious badasses: Misty Knight, Shang-Chi, Moon Knight, Humbug, and many others. They probably have the most rotating roster of any superhero team next to The Avengers. I feel like the show could strike a perfect action/comedy balance like the Lethal Weapon movies did.

Haweye

Hawkeye

Let me just say this is NOT going to happen. However, it would great to see Matt Fraction's current run of Hawkeye on television. The character is explored when he isn't off fighting alien invasions, but rather just hanging in his neighborhood. From dealing with small scale thugs to people thinking his name is "Hawkguy" the potential series is there. Having the A-list hero running around on the rough streets as a regular guy would be absolutely hilarious. The way the comic is written even feels like serialized television featuring an Avenger on his weekends off.

The Punisher

The Punisher

Frank Castle is one of the easiest to understand yet the most frequently screwed up Marvel properties. He has no powers and he just uses guns. He is angry that his family was killed and now the criminal world must pay; simple enough. He is a brutal and violent sociopath who cares nothing for the rules of law. Where Daredevil cares to bring people to justice via the law, The Punisher wishes the same but through the barrel of a gun. This would be a show that was pushed to adult audiences only. If the last Punisher movie was any indication the violence will need to be extreme for fans to approve. This ain't your regular broadcast tv material. So Netflix or some video on demand service would be likely.

Big Hero 6

Big_Hero_6

This is going to be the least obvious one to most reading this. The odd ragtag team of Japanese heroes are in fact apart of the Marvel Universe. The story follows the smartest boy in Japan named Hiro and his teammates Go-Go Tamago, Wasabi No-Ginger, Honey Lemon, Baymax, and Fred as they fight the forces of villainy in Japan and abroad. Its a weird mesh of Japanese Anime and Marvel storytelling. The popular run in 2008 was even written by Chris Claremont. The adolescent humor coupled with the wackiness of anime makes for an interesting read. The show could expand the current fan base into anime nerds as well. Its a long shot, but you never know.

What are some other properties that you would like to see tried out on the small screen? Let us know in the comments.

Marvel Knights: What to do next with Ghost Rider

I wrote about the topic previously, but here it is flushed out in more detail here.

The intersection between the failure of Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance and Marvel’s upcoming summer blockbuster, The Avengers, is more obvious than you might think. Its no secret that The Avengers is pretty much a sure thing as far as money making is concerned. The reason why is much more interesting to talk about than how much it will make.

Since 2008’s Iron Man, fans have been given little crumbs to keep them interested in the meal, The Avengers. With every new character introduced we are treated to after credit scenes that make us want to know what will happen when a giant green monster and a god meet up. How will a genius playboy interact with a stanch patriot? The action that we expect will be met I am sure, but the story and more importantly the character interactions is what gets people to comeback for sequels. After The Avengers Marvel has stated that the cosmic universe will be explored, specifically, Guardians of the Galaxy. The interplanetary band of heroes will be counterparts to The Avengers but is a space opera setting. So the question is, can this be done a third time with more anti-hero characters?

With Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance performing so poorly in the box office one has to wonder how quickly Sony will want to give away their ownership of the character considering the studio’s ongoing financial problems. In the last few years Marvel has regained rights to The Punisher and Blade, from Lionsgate and New Line Cinema, respectively. None of the three properties have been amazing blockbusters on the level of a Thor, Iron Man, or Captain America. What they have done is get core fans to come out to see mediocre action films with anti-hero leads.

My proposal is instead of creating yet another slew of mediocre dark action flicks do one big one, but with a tamed budget. Instead of shelling out 57 million for a poor Nicolas Cage Ghost Rider movie or 60 million for terrible Punisher flick do one better. Spend 100 million and put Blade, Punisher, and Ghost Rider together.

Will this work when the other solo movies have failed, except Blade? I think the answer is yes. The reason why is because the problems with those previous movies is directing. The Punisher and Ghost Rider have had directors who either didn’t know the character universes or tried to create their own world and put the Marvel characters within them, poorly. Given the possibility that three characters could be owned by Marvel you could use the immense list of good writers at Disney/Marvel’s exposure to craft an actual story.

So what about details linking previous movies and the like? Well all three characters have been in multiple movies so back story is not heavily needed. You can take time to bring all 3 into the same universe and then get right to the action. So do you use the same actors or recast everyone?

Blade will need to be recast obviously, as Wesley Snipes is too old now. The Punisher can continue to be played by Ray Stevenson. He is a Marvel guy now and is an in house favorite. Ghost Rider will take a little bit more finesse. My idea is getting rid of Johnny Blaze all together while still respecting the character. Marvel could move the Ghost Rider persona over to Danny Ketch. You could have Nicolas Cage pass the torch to Ketch in the first few minutes and then move on. No need for Cage to be the rider anymore and he gets a walk on. This could even be a handled through flashbacks in the beginning.

So there you go, all three anti-heroes in the same universe. Create them a villain to battle and have them tear it up. My suggestions are some sort of onslaught of vampires. You can surely imagine the Punisher and Blade pumping tons of bullets into the undead. Ghost Rider backing them up with some fiery chain work. This isn’t rocket science, just hardcore action with a brain. If you can make it as smart as the first Blade that would get you pretty far. The violence and grittiness needs to be the same level as well. You can clearly have personality conflicts between the characters, mostly Blade and the Punisher.

This is of course my wish, but most likely won't happen. Either way, its kind of cool to think about.

Also see our latest podcast episode where we review Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance here