Continuing on from last week’s Part 1, here are four more Marvel properties I think could be successfully adapted into live-action TV series (by which I mean to include cable and Netflix). I have a pretty good range of types of heroes, settings, and time periods, too. As always, I hope you like ’em…
Nova: I am fond of teenage superhero stories, so I was trying to come up with such a character for this list. While I considered the new “Ms. Marvel”, I opted for Richard Rider from the original “Nova” comic series. (Note: I am unfamiliar with the Sam Alexander version.) Some details would have to change to comport with the MCU, of course — e.g., the reason that a Nova-Prime would recruit a random human, since Xandar and the Nova Corps are very much alive and well in the MCU, unlike in the comics. I would not have him joining the New Warriors (or Avengers or Defenders) anytime soon, though. I think this series should focus on the “cocky and humorous” young hero getting accustomed to his new, alien powers, while trying to live up to his potential and the expectations of others. Most of the action would involve regular criminals, as well as supervillains like Diamondhead, Powerhouse, Sphinx, and maybe a Kree or two. Of course, the show would also include teen angst and family drama and feature Rider’s brother & buddies from the comics. Eventually, he would be introduced to the larger, interstellar community, perhaps even spending some time training with & fighting alongside the Nova Corps on Xandar. All in all, this could definitely work as a fun action series with connections to the already-established “cosmic” elements of the MCU.
Warriors Three: Besides the aliens seen in Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers films, another aspect of “cosmic” Marvel is Asgard and the rest of the Worlds of Asgardian cosmology. We have seen a bit of this in the Thor movies, but there is so much more to explore, and I think a series starring the Warriors Three (and friends) is just the vehicle to do it. There are any number of reasons to send these guys off to the Nine(?) Realms — e.g., rescue missions, military battle, espionage, diplomacy, or boredom leading to regular ol’ adventuring. We’ve got exotic locales and their equally-exotic inhabitants — from the Frost Giants of Jotunheim to the Fire Demons of Muspelheim; from the honored dead of Valhalla to the dishonored dead of Niffleheim; lands of Dwarves, Elves (Light & Dark), and the humans of Midgard (aka Earth). Our three main heroes — Fandral the Dashing, Hogun the Grim, and Volstagg the Voluminous — would sometimes be accompanied by Balder the Brave and/or the Lady Sif. The general mood and setting would have a medieval look & feel to it, obviously, but with the distinctive aspects of the Marvel versions of these beings & worlds. And, of course, there would be the connection to the larger MCU. How canst thou refuse?!
Howling Commandos: Whereas the “Warriors Three” would have the look of a period piece (from a Midgardian perspective), this one truly would be. This series would, of course, feature “Dum Dum” Dugan, Gabriel Jones, “Izzy” Cohen, “Pinky” Pinkerton, “Rebel” Ralston, Jim Morita, and maybe a few others. (Unfortunately, no room for Sgt. Nick Fury, since he wasn’t there in the MCU version. Might get a cameo from Cap or Peggy Carter, though.) I see two ways to go with this one. First, it could take place during WWII, showing the boys on both covert and overt missions for the Allied Forces. Or, the series could be a companion piece to “Agent Carter”, following the Howlers on various, specialized post-war missions all over the world. (Could even jump ahead a few years to the Korean War.) Either way, there is plenty of fodder for a war-based drama, especially with an elite, yet unorthodox, squadron like the Howling Commandos. In addition to your average Nazis, there are big-baddies like Baron Zemo, Baron Strucker, the Red Skull (or, at least, his underlings), and there is plenty of room for new villains, along with the typical frustration of dealing with military and governmental bureaucracy. There are also rivalries to be explored with other elite squads (e.g., Sgt. “Bull” McGiveney’s Maulers). Needless to say, I think such a series could be a lot of fun.
Rawhide Kid: My final suggestion is for another historical drama, this one of a Wild West flavor. I seriously considered Two-Gun Kid (aka ex-lawyer Matthew Hawk), but Rawhide Kid (aka Johnny Clay, aka Johnny Bart) has an added twist in that he is an outlaw, despite fighting crime. (And, no, I am not advocating the effeminate gay version from the “Slap Leather” mini-series (2003).) I think the pilot could establish his “origins”, including being orphaned in a Cheyenne raid, adopted by a Texas Ranger who taught him how to shoot, and the events in Rawhide, TX, that kicked off his gun-fighting career. Subsequent episodes would see him earning a reputation for taking down nasty criminals of all sorts, then his encounter with a corrupt sheriff who tried to arrest him under false pretenses, and the escape that branded him a “wanted man”. From then on, the show would be part-“Rawhide” (i.e., the old Clint Eastwood series), part-“The Fugitive”. I think there could be a lot of fun stories — a mix of action, drama, with doses of humor — as we watch our young hero develop personally and professionally, continuing to fight real bad hombres (e.g., murderers, cattle rustlers, bank robbers), while staying a step or two ahead of the authorities. Adding in characters like Reno Jones, Wolf Waco and his gang, US Marshall Ben Carson, the Cougar, Masked Maverick, and Marko the Manhunter might be fun. But, it could get really interesting to have the Kid interact with other Marvel heroes and villains like Two-Gun Kid, Ringo Kid, Night/Phantom Rider, Kid Colt, Pinkerton agent Caleb Hammer, and various time-travelers, as in the comics.
* All ideas copyright Christopher Harris, 2013-2015.