Yesterday, entertainment industry trades reported that Marvel and ABC are developing a female-centric superhero show featuring lesser-known Marvel characters and written by Wonder Woman scribe Allan Heinberg.
The idea catches the zeitgeist of the moment, with Wonder Woman having blown away all box office expectations and Captain Marvel serving as the next installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It also makes sense to introduce a more inclusive slate of characters, including high-profile women and minorities, as the first wave of (mostly white, mostly male) Marvel heroes are nearing the end of their contracts and ready to ride off into the sunset.
Of course, here is the complication: many of the most popular female superheroes at Marvel are either already spoken for, or at least have something in one stage or another of development. So…Squirrel Girl being part of Kevin Biegel’s planned New Warriors series takes her off the table, as does the long-rumored Ms Marvel project do the same for her.
Don’t get us wrong: Marvel has a lot of great female characters, but they also have so much stuff going on right now that a relatively information-free report like last night’s is very difficult to suss out.
We’re going to throw out some candidates who would be good for TV, and in particular for an all-female project, though…
If we miss something obvious or forget your favorite character, feel free to comment below or hit us up on Twitter @ComicBook!
Superhero comics are full of a lot of white males at the top tier of “classic” characters, so one of the things you will find on this list is that there are a number of recent creations and legacy heroes.
For those not hip to the lingo, a “legacy hero” is pretty much what it sounds like: a hero who is attached, usually by way of their origin, to the legacy of an older, more established hero. Often, this takes the shape of characters who briefly replace their mentor or predecessor, only to eventually carve out an identity for themselves separate to the original hero when s/he comes back.
That is Kate all over. She came along when the Hawkeye identity wasn’t being used by Clint Barton (long story), and once he returned to it, she stuck around, evenutally becoming a big part of his life during the critically-acclaimed run on Hawkeye by Matt Fraction, David Aja, and company.
As the Marvel Universe on TV and film has expanded and the movies have found little to do with Clint, a lot of fans have wondered over the years how long it might be until we got some version of Kate.
One of a number of diverse, young characters who recently got their own series, America was a critical favorite and hailed from YA writer Gabby Rivera, giving bookstore audiences an “in” with the character even as the direct market never really cared for the series.
It was cancelled after just a year, but America herself did not originate there and did not end there, continuing to be a part of Marvel’s shared universe and waiting for a chance to shine somewhere else.
…And, hey! Gina Rodriguez, of Jane the Virgin, has expressed interest in playing the role. And Jane the Virgin is ending, so…!
So…what to do if you want to have the Thor franchise, which just had its most critically- and commercially-successful film to date hit theaters?
Why not Angela? In the comics, the character — originally created for Todd McFarlane’s Spawn and sold to Marvel in a way that would take way too long to explain — has been retroactively made into one of Odin’s children and has played key roles in Thor and Guardians of the Galaxy stories already.
Like so many other legacy heroes, she took on Tony Stark’s role for a while as he was out of action, then turned it back over to him when he returned but has remained active in the hero community.
If ABC and Disney wanted to have a Young Avengers-style series that could rival DC Universe’s Titans for brand recognition without necessarily horning in on the movies too much, one could see characters like Riri, Kate Bishop, and Viv being a big asset.
This feels like somebody who is built to be a team leader if there ever was one.
She also has a long history of mostly good solo comics to draw on, meaning that if the team should want for villains or big-picture plots, something can be drawn up and modified out of the blueprints of She-Hulk comics.
Lady Sif might seem like an odd choice to add to this list, but there’s a sense of logic to it: a popular character who has already made a few appearances on ABC’s own Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, the character is one of only a handful of named Asgardians we can safely assume to be alive at this point.
Given that she has plenty of other stuff going on with Blindspot, this one is a longshot, but if they could get Jaimie Alexander to stop by to make a cameo or two in order to sell ties to the Marvel movies and deal with whatever happens to Asgard post-Avengers 4, it would be nice to see her again.
Another returning player: Mockingbird almost had an Agent sof SHIELD spinoff along with Agent Lance Hunter, but she never fully realized the potential she had as a character on SHIELD before heading off to the spinoff that wasn’t.
Again, she likely wouldn’t be coming on as a full timer, but it could be intersting to see Bobbi Morse as this group’s SHIELD liaison.
While she has a pretty low profile among casual fans and it would be pretty difficult to get her look right onscreen (especially without feeling like you’re ripping off Cheetah, who is appearing in Wonder Woman 1984 soon), Tigra could be worth bringing in if only for her long history as an important member of various iterations of The Avengers.
Outside of The Wasp and Black Widow, few other female characters have been quite as big a presence in the history of the Avengers, and as the team enters its second decade in live-action, it would be really cool for longtime fans to see her come to life.
Everyone is just waiting to see how Tom King and Gabriel Hernandez Walta’s The Vision will find its way into mass media first, and one fun idea would be to include Vivas the “next generation” Vision who could join up with this motley crew of (probably mostly young) women of the Marvel Universe.
Viv could be a fun character to explore, and presumably could do similar ideas to what the movies have done with Vision, but in a slightly more low-stakes way so that every moment of character development is not overshadowed by impending doom.