By Daniel Schwartz
Contributing Guest Writer
(Victorville, CA)– When it was announced that ABC was creating a series about SHIELD that was connected to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), comic fans went wild. After Agents of SHIELD (AOS) debuted, some of the hype disappeared as the show’s loose connection to the movies focused on Coulson’s team and only mentioned The Avengers in passing.
Learning from their ratings dip midway through the first season, the series was saved by its heavy tie-in to Captain America: The Winter Soldier. With the introduction of the Inhumans in the second season (and a healthier helping of superpowers), AOS proved that Marvel can be a heavy hitter when it comes to prime time (versus the dominating force of the CW hero programs).
In order to expand their presence on network television (ABC), it would be a great idea for Marvel to utilize some of their characters who have not yet been shown in the movies. While the characters below are not on the A-list of the Marvel Universe, they have the potential to bring in a large audience and help ABC challenge The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, and Gotham.
Robert Reynolds is one of the most powerful heroes in the Marvel Universe. His powers were given to him by an attempt to recreate the super-soldier serum used on Steve Rogers (the mixture was 1,000 times more powerful than Steve’s). He is Marvel’s closest equivalent to Superman (he even has a large “S” on his outfit). With the power of a thousand exploding suns, The Sentry uses his abilities of flight, super-strength and invulnerability to fight crime and save the world from evil.
On the flip side, he has an inner battle raging with an extremely powerful and deadly entity known as The Void. The Void is the dark part of Robert’s subconscious (like a split personality) that occasionally comes to the surface and tries to kill everyone on the planet.
While his origin in the comics is a bit muddled (this can be played up in the narrative of the story), he could have a big beef with SHIELD for having created him (within the MCU) and given such great power to his dark side that could lead with some confrontations with Phil Coulson or Mockingbird on their shows.
A series about a mentally unstable superhero that is more powerful than anyone the MCU has encountered yet could be ratings gold. While simultaneously fighting the battle within and the villains without, Robert could give the MCU a great mix of superpowers and humanity.
With the movie rights to Spider-Man going back to Marvel (kind of), it will only be a matter of time before Miles Morales appears in the MCU.
Miles Morales is one of the current Spider-Men in the mainstream Marvel Comics universe. He began on the pages of Ultimate Spider-Man when he took over the mantle of the Spider from Peter Parker (who had been killed in that universe). He went on to become the most popular character in the Ultimate Universe before all of the books in the line were cancelled and remnants of his world were merged into the mainstream Marvel continuity. He now serves as Spider-Man in New York and has joined The Avengers in the comics.
Currently, Tom Holland is the MCU Spider-Man and will make his first appearance in Captain America: Civil War. While a second teenage Spider-Man may seem repetitive in the movies, a weekly series about this alternate and slightly younger Spider-Man could fill the long gap between movies and open the possibility that Miles could partner with Peter Parker or eventually join him in a Spider-verse storyline in an upcoming movie.
When Phase 3 of the MCU was announced, there was a noticeable absence of gamma-induced powers in the lineup. While The Hulk was the powerhouse superstar of the first Avengers movie, he has not been given his own solo film since the 2 disastrous movies that preceded Mark Ruffalo’s version of the Jade Giant.
Since Mark is currently busy with the Avengers movie franchise, ABC could create a new series based on Bruce Banner’s cousin Jennifer Walters. In the comics, Jennifer Walters becomes the She-Hulk when she gets a blood transfusion from Bruce. Just like her cousin, her transformations to green are triggered by anger (is she “always angry” too?).
In a weekly series, Jennifer could spend her days as a lawyer and her nights as a green skinned vigilante who is trying to fight crime while staying off of SHIELD and HYDRA’s collective radars. Crossing paths with the elusive Red She-Hulk (Betty can be re-cast for the series as Bruce was for the movies), Doc Samson and other potential friends and enemies, Jennifer would explore the nature of her powers all while trying to have a normal civilian life as well.
One of the coolest looking Marvel heroes that has never graced the big (or small) screen is Marc Spector, also known as Moon Knight.
Beaten and left to die, Marc is taken to the temple of an ancient Egyptian god known as Khonshu where the deity offers him life in exchange for being his vessel on Earth. Spector agrees and uses this new power to become the Moon Knight.
Using his fortune and a series of different aliases, Marc returns to the United States and begins fighting crime using the power of the Fist of Khonshu. In a limited series (like Agent Carter), Marc could be a superhero who is fighting crime and fighting for control of his body as Khonshu maneuvers to fully take him over. Can he win the battles for his city and his soul?
Introduced in Guardians of the Galaxy, the Nova Corps are the defenders of the Xandarian Empire. One of the most important members of the team (who was not mentioned in the movie) is the hero from Earth known simply as Nova.
In the comics, Richard Rider receives his costume and powers from a dying member of the Nova Corps (Sound familiar to any DC heroes that we know?). With the power of the Nova Force, he is able to fly, project energy and absorb energy (along with having super-human strength). He travels to Xandar, Earth, and everywhere in between fighting evil.
Split between 2 worlds and not feeling like he belongs on any of them, Richard’s personal struggles would add some human drama to the space-faring show. While a series set in space and featuring superpowers may be a bit pricey, it would be well worth it to see more of the intergalactic MCU on a weekly basis.
Fans had high hopes when it was announced that Eddie Brock/Venom would be one of the primary antagonists for Spider-Man 3. That anticipation was quickly crushed when the first live action portrayal of Venom turned out to be just one problem in a very terrible superhero movie.
Fast forward a few years and in the comics, Flash Thompson has lost both legs in the war on terror, and has been transferred to a new department. The military has captured the Venom symbiote and has decided to merge Flash with Venom in order to create a new black ops hero known as Agent Venom.
In a series, SHIELD could have captured the symbiote and assigned Flash to become their new weapon against HYDRA, the Inhumans, or another unnamed threat. Spending each week becoming more and more dependent on the suit (he is only allowed to be in the suit for short stretches of time so that it does not fully bond with him), Flash would feel conflicted as he gains legs each time he puts it on, but has to fight the darkness within to keep control. Add Carnage to the mix as his primary antagonist, and this series writes itself. If ABC does not pick this up, Netflix should.