In the wake of the steadily-more-successful Marvel Cinematic Universe, the franchise has expanded into live-action TV shows, with Daredevil, Agent Carter and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D being released onto the small screen. However, Daredevil has been received far better than the other two, which have received lukewarm receptions at best.
Depending on the success of Daredevil in the long run, Marvel can definitely afford to expand a few more of its heroes (and villains) into their own live-action series. Here’s a few of the ones we think should grace the small screen in the next few years:
When you think of classic Spider-Man villains, a vampire with a hairstyle that leaves something to be desired isn’t one of the ones that springs to mind, but Morbius, The Living Vampire has since earned a rightful place in Marvel Comics lore, becoming a regular guest character on the animated Spider-Man series of the 1990s.
Slowly making the transition from villain to anti-hero, Morbius is a character who deserves a lot more recognition that others have received in his stead. Accidentally transforming himself into a pseudo-vampire during an experiment to cure himself of a fatal blood disease, bio-chemist Michael Morbius gained all of the strengths and weaknesses of true vampires.
We’re yet to see the supernatural side of Marvel Comics continuity make a cinematic appearance at all, but with Dr. Strange looming on the horizon, it won’t be long before we do, and Morbius would be the perfect character to kick things off with.
Cloak & Dagger
At first mention, Cloak & Dagger sound like Marvel’s writers just picked a phrase at random in a desperate attempt to devise some new characters, and that’s kind of true. However, it worked and the unusual pair have become fan favourites over the years, steadily growing their own fanbase through their appearances in the pages of other heroes.
Cloak & Dagger originally started out as a young pair of runaways who were kidnapped used as test subjects for an experimental drug that gave the pair their own respective and unique powers. Cloak gained the ability to transport himself and others through a dimension of darkness, but this came with a price – he suffers from a terrible hunger that can only be appeased by consuming the light of others. Dagger, meanwhile, developed the ability to create bolts of light that would drain the life force out of a person.
The dynamic between these two would be the main reason why a Netflix show based on them would work so well – they completely depend on each other, as without Dagger’s light source, Cloak would lose control and feed off (and kill) every villain the pair faced – not to mention their ongoing battle against drug dealers would fit nicely into Marvel’s street-wise focus for their shows.
After a few lacklustre cinematic adaptations, seeing Frank Castle’s hard-hitting, heavily armed vigilante mowing down criminals on the small screen would be an absolute treat. And there’s good news on this front – Marvel finally have the rights back to everyone’s favourite mass-murderer (what, you don’t have a favourite mass-murdered?).
Netflix could be the perfect place to let the Punisher loose on some unsuspecting criminals, with all the violence and bad-assery that makes the character so loveable, and seeing his ongoing war on the criminal underworld on the small screen would be a genuine pleasure for most comic-book fans, whether they enjoy the Punisher’s assault on crime or not.
Daredevil showrunner Steven S. DeKnight has also backed up the idea of a Punisher TV series, stating that it could work well if it’s done right:
“Nothing would delight me more than to see the Punisher get his own show and maybe we could convince Marvel to go Hard-R rating. If any character deserves an R rating, it’s the Punisher.”
Who knows what the creative minds behind Ghost Rider were smoking when they first created the supernatural antihero back in 1972. The idea of a flaming skeleton biker who rides around dealing out vengeance doesn’t exactly scream popular, yet somehow, the character has not only endured, but actually thrived, spawning a number of exciting storylines and two horrendously awful movies that actually made me want to drink bleach and set my own head on fire while I was watching them.
The issue with a character like Ghost Rider is that he’s not an easy sell, so it’s difficult to bring everything that makes him tick – demonic possession, trips to Hell and back and frequent deals with other hellish characters. Now that the rights have reverted back from Columbia Pictures to Marvel, a Netflix show would be the perfect way to revitalize interest in Ghost Rider and rescue his reputation from the pits of Hell that was his birthplace (and not just because Nicolas Cage sent him there).
TV budgets are substantially higher than they used to be, so the special effects that a show like this would demand are easily doable. The real issue here is casting and writing, but if done right, Ghost Rider could thrive on the Netflix format, enabling Marvel to explore the darker aspects of the character that were negated in a bid for Hollywood success.
Have I left anyone out? If you think there’s a character that should get a TV series of their own, leave us a comment and don’t forget to like and share!