Ready for Prime Time1 of 12
With the fall TV schedule shaping up and more comic book shows than ever (and even more scheduled to debut on streaming services), it's safe to say the age of the superhero on the small screen is in full effect.
And with DC Comics making plans for numerous shows featuring its characters on its upcoming DC Universe streaming service, we started thinking about Marvel characters right for a similar treatment on TV - on any channel.
A previous version of this list limited our selections to being part of Marvel's Netflix universe, but given the uncertain nature of Marvel and Netflix's future partnership with Disney working on their own proprietary streaming service, and with Marvel shows debuting on Hulu and Freeform, it makes sense to consider that future Marvel TV shows could come from a variety of networks or services.
Deathlok2 of 12
With Deathlok's introduction on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., he’s already got a presence on TV - but what we'd like to see is a slightly different series starring the cyborg super-soldier - one set in the near future.
It would be easy enough to use a different one of the many versions of Deathlok that have existed in comics. In fact, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. stayed away from any of Deathlok's classic alter egos - maybe leaving the door open for one of them to appear in a spin-off show.
And if the show aired outside of network TV, it could also go darker than would be possible on ABC - something that might play right into Deathlok’s dark sci-fi tone.
Ghost Rider3 of 12
Like Deathlok, Robbie Reyes made his TV debut on ABC's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but even at the time he was a fixture on the show there was talk of a spin-off.
Of course, Robbie was eventually written off the show due in part to the expense of his CGI flaming skull. But in a solo series - maybe one on a cable network or streaming service - a few minutes of transformation an episode might not be as big a hindrance.
There's also the potential for seeing a totally different Ghost Rider spin-off in a different direction entirely - after all, the mantle of the Spirit of Vengeance has always passed from person to person throughout Marvel continuity.
Maybe an American Horror Style anthology show with a different Ghost Rider each season could be the ticket to reinventing the concept as a multimedia fixture.
Squirrel Girl4 of 12
Squirrel Girl was the central character of Marvel's still-unaired New Warriors TV pilot, which was scheduled to premiere on Freeform, but the network handed the show off to Marvel rather than putting it to air.
With that being the case, maybe it's time to cut to the chase and just give Squirrel Girl her own series - they've even already got perfect casting in Milana Vayntrub as Doreen Green.
Think about it - a college set superhero sitcom starring Marvel's most unlikely, most unbeatable leading lady makes perfect sense. Why fight the tide?
She-Hulk5 of 12
She-Hulk has had a few shots at TV stardom, though they've fallen through each time. She-Hulk was once planned to appear in the final Bill Bixby Incredible Hulk TV movie, but that never came to fruition.
She was also set to receive her own TV series in the early '90's, but like the earlier appearance, that too fell through. A live-action She-Hulk film was also planned, with actress Bridgette Nielsen attached, but it died when no funding could be found.
She-Hulk is ripe for television, with her background as a lawyer providing grist for an episodic adventure – and possibly tying into Daredevil and Jessica Jones given big NYC law firms have played roles in both series (if they stick around long enough to expand this far).
The biggest obstacle would likely be the budget needed to avoid a Lou Ferrigno body paint situation (see our Ghost Rider entry, for example). But with just the right balance, a serialized She-Hulk superhero/courtroom show could be, let's just say it, incredible.
Shang-Chi6 of 12
Shang-Chi might seem like an odd choice given the Iron Fist series on Netflix, but with some minor tweaks and twists, this character who spawned from a licensed Marvel book could work in the the TV corner of the MCU. After all, there's room for more than one armored superhero in the MCU - why not more than one martial artist?
And Marvel's been high on Shang-Chi for some time.
Back in the early 2000s, Marvel hired The Mummy's Stephen Norrington to direct a Shang-Chi film, with Ang Lee and Stan Lee as producers and DreamWorks subsidizing the movie. The talk subsided however once Marvel's MCU blossomed and began looking to do its own movies fully in-house.
So could Wushu fit in the MCU? Maybe even spinning out of the aforementioned Iron Fist as Punisher did from Daredevil?
Wonder Man7 of 12
Wonder Man is one of the last of the classic Avengers who has yet to appear on film or TV – even though he had a cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 courtesy of fan favorite actor Nathan Fillion - sort of. Fillion’s likeness appeared as Simon Williams on a series of movie posters seen in a deleted scene from the film.
But that got us thinking – why not get a little bit meta? Wouldn’t a Fillion-led TV show about Simon Williams reinventing himself as Wonder Man be killer? Fillion is no stranger to TV, so the stars on this one don't seem too far off from potentially aligning.
Moon Knight8 of 12
Moon Knight could be an ideal character for reinvention on television. He even had a series announced around 2005 with writer John Cooksey attached before that project fell through.
Moon Knight has had many different iterations through the years, and while Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey seemingly boiled them all down to a core identity, there's still plenty of room for a television show to to take what was started in the last several volumes of his comic book series and continue it in TV.
Moon Knight’s ability to straddle street-level grit with far-flung mysticism would be right in line with the tone of some of Marvel's other current TV series - and there are no shortage of creators willing to work on the character, including director James Gunn and former Daredevil showrunner Drew Goddard. Sounds like a perfect behind-the-scenes team...
Agent 139 of 12
Sharon Carter is already a factor in the MCU, playing a role in Captain America: Civil War than even her brief appearance in The Winter Soldier. And her aunt Peggy already had a TV show as Agent Carter.
We know, we know - a lot of folks still want Agent Carter back, and to that we say, us too. But maybe a case could be made for a cross-generational mystery starring both women.
Of course, there's the little matter of what Sharon's fate may be following Avengers: Infinity War, but for the sake of argument we're gonna presume this is on the table.
Blade10 of 12
Blade is the only character on this list to have anchored his own live-action TV show before. But in a world where diversity is becoming an increasing factor - and providing dividends to publishers and networks - it would make some sense to see a character with Blade's profile given a rebooted television show.
Blade could easily occupy his own supernatural corner of the MCU while still being able to crossover to the larger universe. His darker nature and violent streak are a natural fit for a streaming series – a platform that could likely accommodate the things people love about Blade better than his former series.
Fantastic Four11 of 12
With 20th Century Fox's possession of the film rights to the Fantastic Four soon to be a thing of the past one way (Disney) or another (Comcast), Marvel Studios has undoubtedly been considering the best way to bring the FF back to live action given the opportunity.
While a film is almost certainly in the works, we'd like to humbly submit the potential for the Fantastic Four as a prestige sci-fi/superhero series. Meaning, this ain't the kind of thing that would work on an ABC network budget,
But with the right veneer, a longform Fantastic Four show about the dynamic of a superheroic family exploring the most mysterious parts of science could be exactly the ticket to avoiding the pitfalls of the two previous film iterations without compromising the tone of the comic book.
Think about it - we're talking Lost In Space meets Fringe on a Game of Thrones budget. Now that sounds Fantastic.
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