Sunday, October 11, 2015

Marvel TV: A Rundown

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Considering the sheer volume of Marvel TV series coming at us in the next year or more, I think it would be a good idea to review all the upcoming Marvel series and what we know about them.  For the purpose of this article I will avoid a lot of baseless speculation, and when I speculate I will be sure it is noted as such.

Warning:  We really don’t know that much about roughly half these series, so there’s not a lot to talk about for some of them.

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Marvel ABC

            Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

I shouldn’t need to say too much about this one.  Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Tuesday evenings at 9:00 ET.  It is in its third season and is focusing on both the Inhumans and the Secret Warriors.  It’s a virtual certainty that at least one of these plots will factor into Captain America: Civil War.

            Agent Carter

Agent Carter will air at the same time as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. during the AoS midseason break (January-February).  The second season will be 10 episodes.  This time around, Peggy and company will be going to Los Angeles, where Peggy will have to deal with Whitney Frost, a.k.a. Madame Masque, in addition to Dottie Underwood (the proto-Black Widow).

            Marvel’s Most Wanted

First announced back in March or April, Marvel’s Most Wanted is the planned spinoff to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  The series is being developed by Jeffrey Bell and Paul Zbyszewski and will star Nick Blood’s Lance Hunter and Adrianne Palicki’s Bobbi Morse (a.k.a. Mockingbird).  However, as of now we do not know much more about this series.  Here is an article I wrote a while back with some ideas for themes it could explore.  That being said, the title itself could be an indication of the direction, as “Marvel’s Most Wanted” was the title given to one of the first Thunderbolts comic book series.

Marvel has not given any indication of when the series will air, but at this point I doubt it could be before next summer (perhaps taking the same time slot as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter).  More likely, I think, is for it to air during the 2016-2017 TV season.

            Damage Control

Just announced a little over a week ago, Damage Control is a half-hour comedy series about the Marvel Comics company of the same name.  We don’t know anything about the series now beyond the fact that a pilot is being written by Ben Karlin.  If you want some of my ideas on what it might be about, here is an article I wrote last week about the Damage Control announcement.

            Untitled John Ridley Series

We don’t know anything about this series except that John Ridley is developing it and that last he said all the ideas suggested by major sources have been wrong.  Here and here are a couple articles where I gave some ideas of what it might be.

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Marvel Netflix


Daredevil focuses on Matt Murdock, a.k.a. Daredevil, a blind vigilante whose other senses are enhanced.  The first season introduced the character and his main villain, Wilson Fisk, and is currently available on Netflix.  Season 2 will introduce Frank Castle, a.k.a. the Punisher and Elektra Natchios, two of Daredevil’s oldest antagonists.  The second season is currently in production, though without an announced release date.  Based on the schedule followed by Daredevil season 1 and Jessica Jones season 1, however, I think the series will be ready for release by March 2016 or so.

            Jessica Jones

Jessica Jones is a former superheroine whose career came to a screeching halt after a traumatic experience.  In the series she is a private investigator who works on superhuman cases.  We know that Kilgrave, a.k.a. the Purple Man, will be the main antagonist for the season, but there are also several other villains and heroes in the series (Nuke and Hellcat, respectively).  In addition, Luke Cage will make his debut in season 1, as well as Jeryn Hogarth, an Iron Fist and Heroes for Hire supporting character.

Season 1 will be available on Netflix starting on November 20.

            Luke Cage

Luke Cage is an ex-convict who participated in a super soldier experiment that gave him super-strength and unbreakable skin.  In this series he will be dealing with both the former friend who set him up and had him sent to prison as well as the drug dealer whose drugs he was framed for stealing.

This series is currently in production, and based on the schedule Marvel has followed so far, Luke Cage season 1 could be ready for release by summer 2016.

            Iron Fist

Iron Fist is a mystically-based hero whose powers come from meditation and harnessing his chi energy.  However, the character has yet to be cast and a showrunner has not been announced.  In fact, the rumor over the summer was that Marvel did not know how to fit Iron Fist into the gritty realism of the other Netflix shows.  Hopefully we will learn more about this series soon.  If they announce an actor and showrunner before the end of the year, it is entirely possible that Iron Fist could be released sometime during the winter of 2016-2017.

            The Defenders

The four heroes mentioned above (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist) will team up to face a major threat in Hell’s Kitchen.  Though Marvel hasn’t said anything yet, I wouldn’t be surprised if a couple of the other heroes we meet in the above 4 series also join the Defenders (Punisher and Hellcat, specifically).

As of now we do not know anything more about this series, though it is likely to arrive some time in 2017.

            Rumored Netflix Phase 2

At this point we don’t know anything for certain about Marvel Netflix Phase 2.  However, there was a rumor a few weeks back of the possible characters and villains.

Side Note:  Comic Book TV Fatigue

While thinking about this article, I had a thought:  Are we approaching a critical mass for comic book-based TV shows, where there will be too many shows and people will get tired of them?  looking at the list of TV series based on a comic book that are coming out in the near future, it definitely seems likely:
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe (ABC)
    • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
    • Agent Carter
    • Marvel’s Most Wanted*
    • Damage Control*
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe (Netflix)
    • Jessica Jones
    • Daredevil
    • Luke Cage
  • DC TV Universe
    • Arrow
    • The Flash
    • Legends of Tomorrow
    • Vixen (animated)
    • Supergirl (not confirmed to be part of the DCTVU)
  • Other
    • The Walking Dead
    • Fear the Walking Dead
    • Gotham
    • iZombie
    • Preacher
    • Lucifer
That’s 18 right there, and I’m almost certain that I’m forgetting something.  Is that too many?  Quite possibly.

However, if you break it down by universe between the MCU and DCTVU series, it suddenly becomes more manageable if you are a fan of one or the other.  Marvel only has 1 series running at a time right now, with a maximum of 3 running concurrently next year if Marvel’s Most Wanted and Damage Control air as full seasons alongside Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.—and like I said above, Marvel may choose to air Marvel’s Most Wanted over the summer in the same slot taken by Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter.  I’m not considering the Netflix shows in this because of the different format which makes them take up far less time and easier to fit into a schedule.

Looking at the DCTVU, you can say the same thing:  DC has 3 series running concurrently (Arrow, The Flash, and Vixen), with a fourth set to air during the midseason break, and a fifth which may or may not be part of it.  That really isn’t a major time commitment, as many people choose to watch 3 or 4 TV shows on a weekly basis.

Now, at some point there may just be too many TV series based on comic books airing, at which point only the best ones will survive.  But I don’t think we’re there yet, at least not if we only follow one universe or the other.


I hope that this quick rundown helps; there is a lot of Marvel TV coming our way over the next few years.  There are a lot of unknowns still, but there is also quite a bit that we do know.  As of now, the most important dates on the Marvel TV front are the following:

October 13- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 3 continues
November 20- Jessica Jones season 1 is released
January 2016- Agent Carter airs during the midseason break of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Which of these series are you most excited to see?  Do you think there is too much Marvel TV on the way?  Let me know in the comments!

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