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October 13, 2015

Five Marvel Comics That'd Make Good TV Shows

by Chris Harnick, posted Jul 1st 2010 7:30PM
Pretty soon, you might not have to go to the movie theater to see your favorite Marvel Comics superhero in action. Jeph Loeb, a comic book scribe who has written for both DC and Marvel has been named executive vice president and head of television for Marvel Entertainment.

Loeb (right) previously served as a writer and co-executive producer on NBC's 'Heroes.' More on the announcement can be found here at ComicsAlliance.

After conquering movies with hits such as 'Iron Man,' 'Spider-Man' and 'X-Men,' it's about time Marvel got into TV.

My love of the X-Men franchise runs deep, but there are countless other Marvel properties that deserve the TV treatment. I'm not talking about cartoons exclusively, it's time Marvel launched a proper live-action adaptation of some of its comic properties. Here are five franchises begging to be consumed by a mainstream audience.

Blake Lively'Runaways'

The comic book by Brian K. Vaughan ('Lost') and Adrian Alphona about a group of young kids who flee their homes after learning their parents are super villains has been a fan favorite for years. Although 'Runaways' has a film in the works, a weekly TV series would work better. The character development and all the melodrama of being a teen with super powers on the run from evil parents is better suited for an extended story, not 90 minutes.

The original cast of characters -- Nico, Get, Karolina, Molly, Chase and Alex -- offer enough variety to establish a wide fan base and Vaughan produced enough story content to adapt from for at least two seasons (more if the showrunners add original adventures). Plus, after Vaughan's run, 'Buffy' creator Joss Whedon scripted the book for a handful of issues. Imagine if both of them helped shape the TV series? We all thought our parents were evil at some point in our lives, what if they really were?

Blake Lively looks spot on to play rainbow-colored alien Karolina, while Chloe Mortez of 'Kick-Ass' would fill Molly's funny hats well.

David Annable'Madrox'
Speaking of cult creators, Peter David ('Space Cases,' remember that show!?) has a legion of followers, lately for his work on the neo-noir comic book 'X-Factor.' The series follows Jamie Madrox, known to many as Multiple Man, and his team of mutants at a private investigation agency.

The show would be titled 'Madrox' since there's already a show with the title 'X-Factor,' and it would be as dark and gritty, yet with the same amount of wit and comedy as the comic series. Throw in supporting players such as Wolfsbane and Rictor, make sure David is involved with behind the scenes operations and this show would be a hoot to see on cable, particularly a network like FX.

David Annable of 'Brothers & Sisters' has the smirk that could carry him to new heights as Jamie Madrox, while Karen Gillan of 'Doctor Who' would be a great Wolfsbane.

Melinda Clarke'The Inhumans'
The Inhumans are a race of super humans created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. They live in secrecy in the city of Attilan, often relocating to under the sea and even on the moon. The comic books have typically followed the Inhuman royal family, King Black Bolt and his queen, Medusa.

Black Bolt is primarily mute, a word uttered by him could level a city and Medusa has the ability to control her extremely long hair that also has a degree of super strength. All of the Inhumans get their powers when they are exposed to the Terrigan Mists at a certain age. A show that can both be a coming of age story and about royalty? Sounds like a cable series perfect for Starz.

Melinda Clarke ('The O.C.') is the perfect Medusa, since she has portrayed similar roles.

Scarlett Johansson'Black Widow'
The one fight scene the character had in 'Iron Man 2' was not enough, audiences deserve more! Shows about kick-butt women are hard to sell, sometimes they work ('Alias') and other times they're major flops (NBC's 'Bionic Woman' reboot).

A prequel miniseries or made for TV movie would work best since mainstream audiences are already familiar with the character, yet they don't know all that much about her.

Scarlett Johansson is young enough to do a prequel, especially if the commitment isn't for a long period of time.

The comic books followed a team of characters displaced from various times and worlds who have to correct different time streams. The team travels around to different worlds and meets different versions of their friends and themselves. A cartoon would allow for Marvel to get their various franchises screen time, especially with a team made up of characters from various super teams like the Fantastic Four, Avengers and X-Men.

What other Marvel comics would make great TV shows?

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The 2 enemies of any weekly TV show are:(1.)budget,& (2.)time.How many instances have there been when we've read that a sf/fantasy series was canceled due to it being too expensive? Too often unfortunately.If a network is going to attempt doing a live action weekly show based upon a comic book,make sure they can properly manage it within a TV budget & demanding shooting schedule. Otherwise it is doomed to fail.

July 02 2010 at 4:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yeah!! Runaways. That's my vote.

July 02 2010 at 3:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jason Usborne

Daredevil would be my first pick for a TV series. I also believe that there is wide variety of story-telling in Adam Warlock.

July 02 2010 at 1:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How are The Runaways not on the CW already. A group of culturally diverse superheroes with villains as parents. Hard core issues afflicting them left and right. Along with a Raptor. This is probably the best candidate and on the fore front of options by Marvel right now. The Heroes for Hire comic also seems right up there.

July 01 2010 at 9:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I would love to see a Heroes for Hire series starring Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, Misty Knight, and Colleen Wing. Street level Marvel superheroes who can step it up to bigger threats if necessary with guest stars from all the various H4H incarnations.

July 01 2010 at 9:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Jon's comment

The fact that you could link in Alias (the Marvel one) and The Pulse would help it out all the more.

I was actually thinking The Pulse would be perfect, actually reminds me a bit of the movie The Specials where you wouldn't actually need super-heroing on screen per se, you could get away with everything being off screen, basically a normal show set in a fantastic universe. (GCPD would similarly be awesome in that vein).

July 02 2010 at 2:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I've been saying it for years, and I'll say it again here:

She-Hulk would CLEAN UP as a TV series.

Hot giant green superhero chick who's also a lawyer with a history of bad boyfriend choices and a smart mouth? I'm amazed no one's done it yet.

July 01 2010 at 8:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I remember the horrible Spiderman series in the late 70's. Granted, technology was the limiting factor (Spidey's webs were white ropes that wrapped around things) and the casting of a young vivaceous Aunt May and Darrin's boss from Bewitched were travesty. Oh, and the Spidermobile?

July 01 2010 at 8:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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