This past weekend Marvel and Netflix brought the gritty street story of Daredevil back onto our screens to make us all forget about 2003’s… unpleasantness. While the streaming service rarely produces concrete numbers as far as viewership goes; the consensus among social media seems to be that the show was an unmitigated success. Not only was it a story true to its comic roots, but it also measured on another important level; the leverage to bring in new readership. Sunday night I found my shelf clear of Daredevil stories like Born Again, Guardian Devil, and Fall of The Kingpin because I’d loaned them all to friends who don’t read comics but wanted to try Daredevil after watching the first few episodes.

Matt Murdock’s story was tailor made for the emerging binge culture of Netflix. Yes, a network show would have toned down some of the more violent moments of the story. But there are other reasons for it fitting better on the streaming service, one is the treatment of the material itself. A network probably would have wanted a legal procedural series, or some other form of episodic, where as Netflix releasing 13 episodes at once allowed a serialized story that couldn’t be properly contained in a 120min film.

While we’re getting more Netflix/Marvel goodness in the form of Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and the Defenders; Marvel has an extensive library of characters that probably shouldn’t be brought to the big screen but would thrive in the Netflix format under the right guidance. Here’s five to consider.



New Warriors

The group of young heroes led by Night Thrasher would match perfectly into the “Let’s Play” digital media culture of geekery today. It doesn’t necessarily need to be serialized as Daredevil was, but the show could be catered to either an 18 episode network season or a 13 episode Netflix binge. If it’s on Netflix, Marvel could mold it into an edgier version of a 90’s teen drama. There’ve been New Warriors stories that have dealt with harsh subjects like bullying and drug use in the early 90’s, so it wouldn’t be anything new for these characters to go darker. Plus we’d get Darkhawk, Nova, Speedball, and Namorita. Had this been in consideration before, it could have even had that moment where our heads would figuratively explode leading into the Captain America: Civil War film. Yep, that Nitro moment.



Ghost Rider (Danny Ketch)

I’ll be honest, I didn’t wholeheartedly hate the Nic Cage Ghost Rider films. While they weren’t exactly what I’d hoped to see on the screen, they distracted me for 90min and I’m no worse for them. However, I’m willing to put Johnny Blaze away and do the spirit of vengeance with Danny Ketch. This is a Ghost Rider that would benefit from a long form story that explores the tragedy of his family, the relationship with his sister Barbara, the curse of Ghost Rider itself. The character comes with a stable of villains like Lilith, Blackout, and Deathwatch — just to name a few– that would make grand casting opportunities. In fact, David Lynch if you’re not going to be doing Twin Peaks take a stab at comics on TV with this character. A tale with so much gravity and lore would be incredible under the guidance of Lynch.



Red Hulk

Yup, that’s going to be a weird one. Let’s face it, we aren’t going to see another Hulk film in the near future. Mark Ruffalo is playing an “incredible” Hulk in the Avengers movies and Ed Norton had a decent outing in his solo flick. Why can’t there be more than one Hulk in the Marvel cinematic U? We’ve already got Thunderbolt Ross as part of the MCU. Giving him an eight episode stint on a Netflix series that would explore the estranged relationship between him and Betty, his bottomless anger towards Bruce Banner, and his quest to recreate the Hulk as a weapon could be the subtle drama before a storm of smash. In this version, maybe Thunderbolt doesn’t become the Red Hulk. That’s sort of the beauty of exploration in different media, he could recreate a new monster for the MCU that would join a different Avengers team.



Venom (Eddie Brock)

If we’re rewriting the mistakes of the past then let’s tackle one of the worst things to ever happen to a movie screen, Eric Foreman as Venom. While we wait for Marvel to reboot Spider-Man films yet again let’s say they bring Venom to the movies and do it right. There’s going to be a lot more of Eddie Brock to explore whether you go with the Ultimate version of the character or the 616 version. Taking him down the “Lethal Protector” road would open up more exploration opportunities that a Netflix show could do in short binge spurts. Not only would he be trying to be the anti-hero we want, but the character would have so much inner conflict fighting the influences of the suit itself. Indeed this would be another hurdle for the Sony/Marvel Spidey deal, but they’ve already pulled it off once.



The Punisher

I will freely admit to enjoying all the Punisher movies on some level (even the Dolph Lundgren one); that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for Marvel to come in and do something better with Frank Castle. The Punisher’s challenges are similar to Daredevil’s in that they’re both characters whose stories are much too layered for a single film to properly tell. A Punisher series on Netflix could finally show what fans of the comics know; there’s more to the character than just shooting drug dealers.  Stories like Born that glimpsed the audience into Castle’s days in Vietnam or Year One that showed the path of the man after his family was murdered all offer pieces to construct Frank Castle for a mainstream audience. Where most people in film or other media go wrong with the character is the belief that –insert criminal and shoot– are the only things you need for him, those are often the worst Punisher books. The depth begins when you put him on a collision with the injustices we all hate and wish we could do something about. Obviously, you can have bullets fly in a Punisher show but the aim has to come from more than just the sight on his barrel. The bonus is if you have all the street level characters on Netflix you could even build to crossover specials with stories like Dead Man’s Hand or Hearts of Darkness.


Those are just a few considerations for the future of Marvel on Netflix, post Defenders.

Obviously Marvel knows what it’s doing in the entertainment industry, but what characters do you want to see in film, network TV, or digital?


  1. Daredevil giving a nod to the property damage caused by superhero battles also made me think a Damage Control series could be workable if Marvel ever wanted to give a more light-hearted live-action project a shot.

    Also, if Marvel isn’t interested in doing Young Avengers because of the legacy aspect, why not Avengers Academy as super-powered teen high-school drama?

    And I know it’ll never happen due to rights issues, but I’d maim for an Alpha Flight series. Hudson’s immolation as the last shot of the first season would be so sweet.

  2. Ghost Rider could be very good on netflix could do tie ins with Dare Devil as Daredevil and Ghost Rider have battled before Punisher could also be brought in for a few episodes so many possibilities and so many new characters could be introduced.

  3. Given Wilson Fisk’s involvement with Damage Control, I may have to revise my prognostication…

    I think, that given the huge amount of property damage in Age of Ultron, that there will be a credit cookie referencing Damage Control. (I base this on the fact that the Howard the Duck omnibus sold out after GotG, and that there is a DC omnibus scheduled for this summer.)

    Flash Venom has better possibilities. Have John Jameson return from the Moon (after a brief credit cookie in Inhumans showing the shadowy symbiote in the Kree ruins). Showcase an episode of SHIELD where they have to subdue the creature. Then it’s weaponized via Flash Thompson, war hero.

  4. Damage Control is easy: steal the Six Feet Under model.
    Cold open: hero and villain cameo, causing destruction. (Fans are happy… “Did you see Stiltman?!”)
    Episode story is DC dealing with the repair.
    Season has a larger arc.
    Season finale ends with a lawsuit. As they enter the conference room, the final shot is of Jennifer Walters as She-Hulk. Internet explodes. Second season arc deals with the lawsuit ramifications.

    She-Hulk, Super Hero Law is then spun off as a separate series. Even more cameos.

  5. #4? Man-Thing/Exiles.
    Half of the series is strange stuff that happens in the Florida swamps (that is, “Marvel Horror”).
    Other half is the outcasts dealing with visitors from alternate realities, and visiting alternate realities themselves.
    Maybe you spin off the series with “Tales From the Marvel Universe”, where the popular alt-characters get their own episode. Like the “Plastic (Iron) Man” from Earth-314159? Okay, let’s give him his own episode!

  6. #5?
    Lessee… Defenders is “Naked City”.
    GotG is space opera.
    Ant-Man is a heist movie.
    Thor is epic fantasy.
    Captain America is war/thriller.
    Doctor Strange is mystical/horror.
    She-Hulk is Ally McBeal.
    Exiles is horror/weird science.

    Hmmm… is there a “meddling kids” trope in Marvel? Why not make that “New Warriors”? Or do we reserve that for Runaways?
    New Warriors should be Avengers Academy, post Civil War.
    (And I’m hoping that Disney Animation lays claim to all of the teen characters in the Marvel Universe! Power Pack, Ultra Girl, Runaways… but I digress…)

    So… TV genres… why not westerns? That segment of the Marvel timeline is a bit barren. (HA!) The cost is minimal, except for a bit of steampunkery. It’s “Wild Wild West” meets “SHIELD”. It’s the American Monomyth! Heck…Disney has their own ranch for filming! (Golden Oak Ranch)

  7. What I want to see is a series or movie dedicated to a within-Marvel crossover. This would allow for more character exploration through interaction. A good example would be Punisher/Daredevil. Each protagonist would be in conflict with their own desires, the bad guys, and the other protagonist.

  8. the reason why Daredevil works well on netflix is because it makes financial sense from a production POV. it takes little to no CGI effort, which costs a ton of money. Other than The Punisher, I don’t see the others carrying over to Netflix. Unless of course, they don’t focus too much on CGI powers but than it becomes a low tier comic adaptation.

  9. Shang-Chi master of Kung Fu!

    C’mon Marvel, you’re making tons of money, you have Disney money, pay the Sax Rohmer estate and let’s get this series going. It’s got:
    • lead hero is raised by thes most evil man in the word
    • hero turns on his father, classic father vs. son storyline.
    • REAL espionage and spy characters and stories (not like that crap on the SHIELD show)
    • an awesome lineup of villains and maniacal madmen
    • tragic love triangle.
    • an asian lead with an asian, british cast
    all of this may finally allow Marvel to reprint Essential or Omnibus collections of MOKF

  10. Yes, Master of Kung Fu (with or without Fu Manchu; don’t know if the Sax Rohmer estate would go for it).
    Werewolf by Night.
    Also: Marvel had a short-lived hero in its black & white horror magazines of the ’70s: Gabriel, Devil Hunter. The character would be perfect for TV.

  11. This list is flawed. Daredevil works specifically because hes street-level and not power-heavy (no flying, no crazy alien sentient suit etc.)

    The only item on your list that could work, and I would be shocked if it isn’t already in development is Punisher.

    The other items are just silly.

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