Update: After I wrote this article, some news on the rumor mill reported that Netflix is considering developing a Thunderbolts series (click here). Which is sort of connected to the Norman Osborn recommendation I have down below. True or not, I see people are excited about potentially more Marvel/Netflix series.
Marvel’s Daredevil is probably one of the best comic book-inspired TV series I’ve ever seen on the small screen. While we’ve had years of great animated series and some absolutely awesome TV series, I can safely and arguably say that Daredevil is by far one of the best. We know that Netflix’s partnership with Marvel is just beginning as Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist are coming up, with hopefully an eventual Defenders series following suit. However, let’s not stop there! There are numerous characters whose story would be served well in this format, thus I’m going to list a few I’m craving to see get the Netflix treatment.
Yeah, yeah, I know he already had a series on SPIKE TV back in 2006, and some argue the failure of that show to get a second season lay at the feet of Sticky Fingaz (Kirk Jones). However, anyone familiar with the situation at that time knows that the show was doing well, but it was too expensive for such a new and small channel at the time. It was truly a case where they bit off more than they could chew. This shouldn’t end Blade’s run though. In fact, this series begs for his story to continue and delve deeper into Mr. Eric Brook’s past and future. This series is PRIMED to literally begin where the old series left off or begin anew.
In 2003, Marvel Comics introduced us to a group of teens and pre-teens with fantastic powers that one day found out their parents were actually a group of super villains running the criminal underworld. Realizing that their villainy was something they wanted to pass down to their progeny, they (like any sensible kid) – ran away. This series could tell the exploits of this group of teens trying to stave off and erase their legacy, meeting up with other heroes (in sometimes hilarious run-ins) and evade their parents who are hell bent in getting them back and putting them on their pre-chosen path. Also, there’s a pet, telepathic Velociraptor involved, and who doesn’t like telepathic Velociraptors?
3. Norman Osborn
Probably one of the most inscrutable and brutal villains Spider-Man has ever faced, Norman Osborn, also known as The Green Goblin, is crazy, narcissistic and brutal, but a genius, calculating and formidable. Sound like anyone we already know on Netflix? He could be the Frank Underwood (House of Cards) of the Marvel/Netflix universe. We could get flashbacks of his upbringing, but watch him in present day put together a plan to take over the city in small, but significant ways. However, part of his plan demands that he also don his Green Goblin persona and take certain actions that ultimately bring him into conflict with a certain wall crawler. What we may begin to realize is that this is part of the plan. His defeats at the hands of Spider-Man aren’t really defeats at all, but well-choreographed events that propel his master plan. Let’s take a different approach and see what it feels like to be on the dark side of the Marvel Universe.
I know there are rights issues, but from what I gather that extends only to the cinematic universe, not the television and comics. Thus, Marvel Entertainment can make as many X-Men, Wolverine or mutant animated (and live action) series as they wanted, but not on the big screen. So, take some of the thunder away from FOX Studios and Bryan Singer’s XINO “X-Men in name only” franchise and make the quintessential Logan/James Howlett/Wolverine series. With a character like Logan, you HAVE to tell his back story as he’s already well over 130 years old. You can do flashbacks to WWI, WWII, The Bay of Pigs, The Korean War, Vietnam or other significant events that are relevant to the current storyline. You can even delve into his mental programming at the hands of the Weapon X Program and how that haunts him to this day. A smart move would be to go back and do a 2 or 3-part story that takes place in WWII and bring in Captain America (Chris Evans) or Peggy Carter and have that adventure lead to a current story in a future episode. There’s no limit to what a proper Wolverine and a proper Wolverine story could do.
While a new character in the Marvel Universe per the Spider-Verse story line, she’s already become a fan favorite like Miles Morales (Ultimate Spider-Man) among comic aficionados. In a universe where Peter Parker died and Gwen inherited the powers of the irradiated spider, this would be a great “What if…?” series that could tell her exploits and the rift between her and her father, Captain Stacey. This would be a neat story because you can literally go anywhere with this character as she doesn’t have much history for people to get bogged down in. In fact, because she has no real significant history, this is one specific case where the series really could direct the comic book that debuted February and will be on-going in October.
In the words of Shia LeBeouf, “DO IT!” We all know that Punisher is going to play a major role in season two of the Daredevil series along with Electra, but Frank Castle is no stranger to audiences. The Punisher has had three movies (1989, 2004 and 2008), but none have really captured the audience’s attention. While I’m personally more of a fan of the Ray Stevenson, Punisher War Zone (2008) movie than the Thomas Jane, The Punisher (2004) movie, I hope they take the Ray Stevenson approach to the characterization and bring us the mean and lean Punisher I know and love. I guess cinematically bringing this “kill’em for their crimes” assassin’s story is more difficult than even bringing The Hulk’s story to the masses, but Netflix is primed to be the vehicle by which you can tell a great series of Punisher stories and how his methods capture other less lethal heroes attention and how he’s always on the run (and hunt) from mobsters, villains and heroes alike. Punisher on Netflix could really, really work.
7. Moon Knight
Marc Spector is basically Marvel’s answer to Batman in many ways. He’s also essentially bat guano crazy as he has three alter-egos that compete for dominance. So, Moon Knight was affectionately described by Spider-Man with the saying, “Moony, rhymes with looney.” Marc was visited by the Egyptian moon god, Knoshu and given spectacular powers that increase and decrease based upon the lunar cycle. So, the closer we get to a full moon, the more powerful and superhuman he becomes. With his military background, Marc is also extreme adept in hand to hand combat. With his host of gadgets, weapons and accessories, he also able to take on a wide variety of situations much like The Dark Knight. With his particular rogues gallery, this could a quite the psychological and otherworldly series.
Jennifer Walters is a very skilled lawyer who was shot by a group of mobsters that were in conflict with her father, a Sheriff in Los Angeles. This so happened to happen on a day when her cousin, Bruce Banner was in town. Since no other donors were available, Bruce begrudgingly agreed to the blood transfusion to save her life. Unfortunately, as you can guess, that gift came with side-effects. When the group of mobsters came to finish her off, she transformed into She-Hulk for the first time. Being able to keep her mental stability, she is almost as formidable as The Hulk – but no one’s stronger than The Hulk. Through series of events, she also retains the ability to switch between her normal and She-Hulk form at will. This series could be one-part Law, and the other part, Order. Much like Daredevil, she fights on both sides of enforcement and that could always make for some interesting story lines. Also, since both of her personalities are known to the public, there are many times when Jennifer actually goes into the court as She-Hulk to defend her clients, making for some hilarious moments. Taking a more comedic route, this series could be the companion piece to Daredevil.
9. Heroes For Hire, Inc.
There have been many incarnations of this group over the years. Luke Cage in the comics decided to put a “hero for hire” aspect to his hero work alongside his usual pro bono super hero work. Over time, this solo man operation became a team of heroes, mercenaries or “other” to deal with issues, mysteries, or investigations that required a little more than the regular human muscle. In the last few incarnations of the group Misty Knight has lead the group on many capers. Misty was an NYPD police officer who lost her arm in a bombing, but her arm was replaced with a cybernetic one by Tony Stark that also gave her super strength. Usually, her number two is Colleen Wing, a detective with no super powers, but is very skilled at hand-to-hand and adept in the ways of deduction. Along with other members, they form the pay-for-play team called Heroes For Hire, Inc. This would be a cool group to explore as Misty (at least recently) is sort of playing more than one side of the field and duality of her methods could a cool backdrop to her teams usual adventures of solving unconventional mysteries. Also, considering that Moon Knight, Electra (Daredevil), Luke Cage, Iron Fist, She-Hulk and others even in the cinematic universe like Ant-Man and Black Panther have been in the group, this is yet another great series that could (and should) have a revolving cast of notable characters from the Marvel Universe.
This could be one of the most ambitious and unlikely series of them all. The Sentry is not about a superhero with the power of a million raging suns flowing through him. This is a series about a man who is not only one of the Marvel Universe’s strongest characters, probably the single most powerful telepath on Earth and his own worst enemy – all in one. Robert Reynolds was the result of a failed experiment to recreate the super soldier serum that created Captain America. Robert is a troubled man with a past that sort of makes you really question if he shouldn’t be put in jail rather than be allowed to walk free. His greatest enemy is a being called, The Void. The Void is almost as powerful and deadly as the Sentry, and his powers grow as Sentry’s power continues to. While never being able to destroy The Void, he always defeats him, knowing that his re-emergence is right around the corner. What we all began to realize is that there is a deep-seeded connection between Robert and his greatest foe; a connection that not only should put you in awe, but also fear. Robert is probably one of the most enigmatic, powerful and psychology unstable characters the Marvel Universe has ever created. It’s like asking, “What if Superman were a little nuts?” It would be fun to see how they could put a strong special effects budget and a strong writing team together to bring The Sentry to the small screen. I would eat that up.
I’m sure you all have a list as varied as mine and would love to hear about who you’d like to receive the Netflix treatment. Until next time!!