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6 Marvel Characters Who Need Their Own TV-Show

With new Marvel shows on the rise, who else is deserving of their place on the little screen?

By Joachim HeijndermansPublished 7 years ago 7 min read
© Marvel Comics

Marvel's rise in the film and television scene has been staggering, with movie after movie and tv-show after tv-show hitting it big. It is noticeable how critically acclaimed their tv-exploits have been, with the Netflix shows “Daredevil”, “Jessica Jones” and “Luke Cage” being among the most watched series on the service. And they've shown no signs of stopping, with the upcoming “Iron Fist” and “Defenders” shows generating copious amounts of buzz, as well as the recent announcement of the “Cloak and Dagger” and “Runaways” shows having been greenlit.

Yet among the large library of Marvel's properties, there are still plenty of characters who might not exactly be film material, but definitely deserve their own TV-show at some point. And we've listed six of them below.

Nr. 6: The Angel

© Marvel Comics

No, not the member of the original X-men team. The Angel, one of the first Marvel characters ever. Debuting in “Marvel Comics #1”, the Angel was a detective/crime-fighter in the same vein of the Shadow and the early Batman appearances, with an exceptionally high mortality rate among the villains he fought and wearing a costume just for the sake of wearing one.

Brutal, yet devoid of any powers outside of his own strength, Thomas Halloway took the fight to criminals and eventually everyone's favorite target, the Nazi's, in the guise of the Angel. Over time, the Angel softened up and became more merciful, joining such teams as the All-Winners Squad and the Invaders, and being a general constant feature during the early days of Timely's (later Marvel) titles.

Nowadays, he's mostly faded into the background, relegated to cameo appearances in flashbacks to the Golden Age. But this lack of over-exposure in the media would allow the creators to play with the concept in any way they want, and allowing for a more darker approach to WW2 Superhero stories than that was allowed with “Captain America: The First Avenger” or “Agent Carter”.

As series like “Agent Carter” have shown, there can be cool stories to explore in the past of the MCU, so why couldn't there be room for another series that harkens back to the Golden Age of comics? In fact, why have only one? Why not two, with maybe another character like--

Nr. 5: Sun Girl

© Marvel Comics

With the great success of "Jessica Jones", Marvel has shown that it can do female-led series. And with the cancellation of “Agent Carter”, it is desperate need of another show with a kick-ass lady who isn't just another piece of “eye-candy”.

Mary Mitchell was a secretary who worked for the original Human Torch (the android, not the Fantastic Four member), who took the role as his sidekick after his previous helper Toro retired, and later went solo. Lacking any powers, Sun-Girl used her skills in martial arts and marksmanship to fight criminals head-on, which was notable for how she was one of the few female costumed heroes lacking any supernatural abilities, even teaming up with Captain America at one point.

Sun Girl did not last very long, nor did she have the same impact as later female super-heroes like She-Hulk, Captain Marvel and Spider-Woman would have. But like Peggy Carter, this lack of a larger backstory would allow Marvel to experiment more. Sun Girl could be the Jessica Jones of the Post-War Marvel Universe, meeting and fighting lesser know characters from their extensive library such as the Agents of Atlas, and basically be the answer to DC's “Legends of Tomorrow”.

Nr. 4: Moon Girl & Devil Dinosaur

© Marvel Comics

The newest character on this list, and yet at the same time related to a classic creation by Jack 'King' Kirby, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur are the perfect combination of old and new that can be presented as a mix between “Big Hero Six” and “Jurassic Park”.

Originally a series about a primitive ape-man Moon-Boy, who controlled the eponymous Devil Dinosaur with the use of the mythical Nightstone, Marvel relaunched the concept by placing the series in modern times, starring Lunella Lafayette, a young girl with genius-level intellect who connects with a time-displaced red tyrannosaurus after finding the Nightstone. While the child-and-their-x trope has been done many times, Marvel could gain a lot from being more adventurous with their properties by having two characters who neither wear costumes nor visually resemble any of their other previously adapted characters (one is a young African-American girl, the other is a red dinosaur).

With Marvel's venture into TV series without the MA stamp, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur is the perfect mix of a family friendly concept with the cool and wild ideas of the MCU, as well as drawing in viewers of all ages and genders.

Nr. 3: Shang-Chi

© Marvel Comics

At one point, there was debate on whether or not Iron Fist should be played by an actor of Asian descent. This didn't happen, of course, thus prolonging the issue of the dearth of Asian actors in lead roles. Why no-one ever turned around and optioned to do a “Shang-Chi: Master of Kung-Fu series”, is still a mystery to the ages.

A martial artist from China, Shang-Chi was trained as an assassin to serve his villainous father, only to defect and become an agent for British Intelligence. Throughout the years, he would team up with many famous characters and even become a member of the famous Heroes for Hire team and a little team called the Avengers

Created during the Kung-Fu boom of the 1970's by Steve Englehart and Jim Starlin. “Master of Kung-Fu” rode the wave created by the surge of Bruce Lee's popularity. But unlike the many copycat movies made during this era, this series mixed the cool and flashy style of “Enter the Dragon” with the nourish crime and spy elements of Sax Rohmer. In fact, in the original publication, Shang-Chi was the son of famed super-villain Fu Manchu (though Shang-Chi is thankfully much less of a yellow peril stereotype than his infamous father).

Shang-Chi would be great as a Netflix-style series, but would also allow for stories on a larger scale and with more diverse locales, as Shang-Chi's role from the comics as a secret agent (maybe an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D for synergy purposes) can have the lead travel the world in his search for justice and vengeance against his evil father (which, unless the messy copyright status of Fu Manchu is ever resolved, might need to changed to a different character).

Fans have been clamoring for diversity, so why not give it to them in both the actors and the types of stories to tell?

Nr. 2: Morbius the Living Vampire

© Marvel Comics

Morbius is a rare egg on this list, as in that he almost was a featured character in a previous Marvel movie franchise: "Blade".

Created by Roy Thomas and Gil Kane and appearing in “Spider-man”, Morbius was a character meant to circumvent the notoriously strict Comic's Code Authority and their rules on content, mostly in regards to their ban on the use of vampires, by opting to make him as close to a vampire as they could without actually making him one.

Michael Morbius was a scientist who suffered from a degenerative blood disease and (in the typical comic-book approach to any affliction), tried to cure himself through the use of electroshocks and the use of vampire bat DNA. As with most comic book experiments, it went wrong and left Morbius in a pseudo-vampiric state, leaving him with a thirst for blood and a slew of powers. Like Blade, Morbius constantly teeters between the lines of good and evil as his thirst for blood drives him to near-madness, leading him to turn his curse on those he deems evil, but also driving him to make rash and foolish decisions.

As mentioned earlier, Morbius has been optioned a number of times as a possible antagonist for Blade, being hinted at in a deleted scene from the first film and receiving a thinly-veiled stand-in for its sequel, meaning there is an interest among the executives to use him. Morbius would be an excellent way for Marvel to open the doors to their horror-themed properties, especially now that they have regained the rights to both Blade and Ghost Rider. And who doesn't love angsty vampires?

Nr. 1: Moon Knight

© Marvel Comics

Moon Knight is Marvel's answer to Batman. And he's not. Moon Knight is completely insane. Or he might not be. But is Moon Knight a bad-ass that could stand shoulder to shoulder with the other Marvel Netflix shows? Hell yes!

Created originally in 1975 by Doug Moench and Ron Perlin for “Werewolf by Night”, Moon Knight played with an original concept where the hero would have not one, not two, but three identities outside of his superhero persona (that four identities being juggled here, for those who are counting). After surviving (or did he?) an attempt at his life, mercenary Marc Spector was granted the title of avatar on Earth for the Egyptian God Khonshu, switching between the roles of midnight vigilante Moon Knight, millionaire Steven Grant, cab driver Jake Lockley and mercenary Marc Spector, which left a heavy toll on the hero's psyche and confused him on who he really was at the end of the day.

Though the character's usage has been sporadic over the years, in 2014 Marvel relaunched the series with writer Warren Ellis and artist Declan Shalvey. This new take rolled with Moon Knight's insanity in new and creative ways, as well as creating a new identity for the hero in Mr. Knight, a detective dressed in a white three-piece suit and a snarky attitude, whilst being haunted by visions of Khonshu that left him even further in the dark about his true identity.

Moon Knight seems almost tailor-made for the MCU. He's brutal, he's slick, and he's completely off his rocker. Where the other Marvel Netflix shows highlight the heavy toll that comes with a life of fighting crime, Moon Knight could embrace the madness that comes with costumed adventures, and really push Marvel outside of its comfort zone. It is the show Marvel should be making, and the show Marvel should have already made long ago.


About the Creator

Joachim Heijndermans

Joachim is a freelance artist and writer. He writes short stories and draws comics. Likes to travel, paint, collect rare toys, and read in his spare time. His fiction writing has been featured in magazines, websites, podcasts and television

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