TOP 5 MARVEL CHARACTERS FOR NETFLIX
The Fantastic Four
A long shot I know. A few things need to happen before this one can become a reality. Fox needs to give the rights back to Marvel and Marvel has to give it to Netflix rather than trying to fit it into the MCU. I think going the Netflix route with episodic story telling may be of benefit to Marvels first family. Also I think it would be of benefit to go for maybe eight to ten episodes. That can be said for all the entries on the list. I feel both Luke Cage and Iron Fist ran out of steam. Okay you are going to need a big budget for the Sci-fi element and the presence of a CGI character every week. Having X amount of episodes will allow the audience to see the family bonds between the four leads grow. Thats what the Fantastic Four is all about really. Thats where the movies have failed. It has to be a family soap opera as well as a sci-fi spectacle. All of the Netflix series so far have had an element of flashback. For FF it should focus on the college days of Reed Richards and Victor Doom. And with time travel being an element of the FF season two could be flash forwards. Adventures of Franklin and Valeria anyone? Again where the movies went wrong was by trying to change the tone to match up to successful movies at the time. Mainly X-Men and The Avengers. So rather than try and match up with the existing shows don’t go for grim and gritty. Have the colour pallet be bright, have humour between Ben and Johnny. Have it fairly light hearted, whilst at the same time have the sci-fi elements be OTT akin the Jack Kirby. The FF have some very colourful villains before you get to the big two. Use them! I’m not 100% sure which villains come with FF as a franchise lets say Mole Man, Annihilus, Kang, Super Skrull and the Frightful Four just for starters. Keep Doom for season two. Have all these other villains first in done in one high concept science episodes. Then everything the team learns about the universes known and unknown slowly builds to the coming of Galactus in the third season. This could be done along the lines of Warren Ellis’ Ultimate Galactus trilogy. Which featured Misty Knight so more synergy there. I have kept the jewel in the crown till last. All of the Netflix shows so far have had strong supporting characters that could and maybe should spin off on their own. Fantastic Four is no different. I give you The Silver Surfer. (Drops mic, exits stage right).
It seems Marvel Studios and Sony have a positive working arrangement. What with the announcement of a Venom movie, so why not keep up the good work by diving deep into Spider-Mans extensive back catalogue of supporting characters? To tie it into existing material the mercenary for hire Silver Sablinova could have past ties to Frank Castle or S.H.I.E.L.D. Think about it with ex S.H.I.E.L.D ties they could tell stories that they can’t on network TV. Likewise an ex military background gives links to Castle but also Frank Simpson who is more than likely soon to be Nuke. Its all connected. Having a Silver Sable series would allow Marvel and Netflix to move out of New York as she operates out of the fictional country of Symkaria. That would work with my previous entry as Symkaria is the neighbouring country to Latveria. But if Marvel never get the FF rights back it could easily be near by Sokovia. More synergy is offered in the form of Heroes for Hire who Silver Sable has worked for. I really think it would be smart if Marvel and Netflix done a season of Heroes for Hire instead of giving some characters multiple seasons. There are enough established and supporting characters to rotate in and out as the story seems fit. They can go a variety of ways with the tone of Silver Sable. They could make her like a female Jason Bourne and that would allow them to test (like it needs it) the potential for Black Widow going solo. Or give it a more caper/heist vibe like the Oceans movies. There are plenty of characters in the Spider-man catalogue that inhabit a mercenary world to cherry pick from. The Chameleon would be ideal. As he is a well known character and is related to Kraven the Hunter. Who needs to be in a Spidey flick soon. Solo would be another potential one to use. He is currently undergoing a resurgence in Mercs for Money. The mercenary Paladin would be a good choice. A character who first appeared in Daredevil comics has a cult following and is the character who walks the line between black and white. In the comics Silver Sable led a mercenary team called The Wild Pack. For Netflix show they could be an element used in flashbacks. Perhaps the team died on a mission and the series is her path to redemption. Or the story could follow her forming the team ready for the second season.
Time for the controversial choice on the list! The hero everybody loves to hate or hates to love. The Golden Avenger, Marvels Superman some say. I’ve always found the concept of The Sentry an interesting one. I don’t know if a combination of mediocre writing and the Superman comparisons made people dislike him so much. Where better for a character to earn their redemption than on Netflix? The Sentry is Robert Reynolds a man the world has forgotten. A man who possesses the power of a million exploding suns. His arch nemesis is The Void. Stop if none of this sounds like it wouldn’t be entertaining TV. To top it all The Sentry and The Void are opposing sides of Reynolds personality. I see The Sentry being like the indie superhero movie of Netflix. It would predominantly be a small cast. Reynolds, his wife and his dog. This could be fleshed out by giving him a day job and friendly neighbours. The focus should never be away from the crux of the story being a character piece. Defining what makes a hero and what makes a villain. The twist in this case being they are the same person. Another aspect from The Sentry comics is that he is meant to of existed before the Fantastic Four. This could be explored in flashback. Now the FF don’t exist in the MCU. The first hero for this continuity is Captain America, then a big gap till Iron Man. The flashbacks could perhaps be a period piece with Reynolds operating as a full fledged hero in the 60s/70s.
I originally had this placed lower on the list. But the more I delved into its full potential the higher I had to place it. Plus a bit of good old fashioned patriotism played a part. Initially it could start out as an international Avengers. Perhaps a initiative brought in after the events of Infinity War. You would have Captain Britain leading a team consisting of Union Jack, Meggan and Peter Wisdom. MI13 would be like a British branch of S.H.I.E.L.D. The first season then would follow the basic superhero team concepts with hints of a bigger plot to come in the future. Being on Netflix would allow more adult driven stories compared to the network friendly Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I don’t know which characters Marvel have the rights to as Captain Britain and Meggan spent time in X titles in the comic Excalibur. Villains to use in the first season range from Slaymaster and The Crazy Gang. The bigger picture I mentioned earlier would be Captain Britain discovering he is part of much more and as well as protecting Earth he must fight for Otherworld. Otherworld is an alternate dimension within the Marvel Universe. So again a big budget would be required. Also an magical element would be introduced via the magician Merlin and his daughter Roma. Once all the pieces have been set up enter Mad Jim Jaspers. He twists reality for his own evil gains. The whole second season would be set in ‘Jaspers Warp’. I hate when a TV show teases an alternate reality and we only spend time there for 1-2 episodes max. Why not have the whole season set in the reality? The season would culminate in the heroes saving the day and then go into a third season. If you haven’t read Alan Moore’s run on Captain America the highlight of that run is set in ‘Jaspers Warp’. It involves high concepts of alternate realities and galactic trials. It begins with Captain Britain not knowing who he is. All they need to do is adapt that for the second season. The show would be a rich blend of superheroes, magic and sci-fi, how can it fail?
Seems one of the most logical choices to make the leap from comics to Netflix. That being said he does struggle to hold down a regular ongoing title. If they are going to do Moon Knight please please do the costume. The full costume! So what if it is all white make it happen! For those who know Moon Knight know he uses a few different aliases, which has led to split personality disorder. The trick to making the show successful will be to not make this element convoluted. His alter ego Marc Spector has served as a soldier so there is a way to tie him into The Punisher. Another if his aliases is Steven Grant who is a billionaire. So maybe he could mix in the same circles as Danny Rand and Jeri Hogarth. Lastly there is Jake Lockley a NYC taxi driver. This could be a good way to bring him in to the Netflix universe. Just have him inserted into one of the existing shows as a cabbie who helps one of the heroes out. The root of Moon Knights powers come from ancient Egypt. This would give the show a cool vibe. I always enjoy seeing ancient worlds crossing into modern eras. Especially in a city as colourful as New York, it makes everything grander some how and also raises the stakes. Working in the shows favour is the fact a Doctor Strange movie has already been made. The show could use all the lesser villains that probably wouldn’t make the grade as a movie villain. But being episodic gives more time for them to be fleshed out. Start safe with Moon Knights most recognisable rogue Raoul Bushman. Perhaps sprinkled with appearances from the likes of Killer Shrike, Bora and Silver Dagger. Finally in a nice reverse on comics history Perhaps Werewolf by Night could make his Netflix debut in Moon Knight. (Moon Knight first appeared in Werewolf by Night #32).
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Ian currently runs the THEBLOGOFCOMICSHOTTOPICS blog. Check him out on Twitter @IanWells87.
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