Mild Spoilers For Marvel Movies, TV and Comics ahead (covering all the bases!)
There’s no shortage of drool-worthy men in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Super soldiers, kings, literal gods and actual Paul Rudds — all of them represent near-perfect specimens of hotness. But ever since I finally made it to the theater to see Ant-Man and the Wasp, there’s been one character who has taken over the top spot on my personal Marvel Man-Crush list:
Jimmy. Fucking. Woo.
To be fair, I don’t suppose my excitement should come as a surprise. I’ve been looking forward to seeing Randall Park play the classic Marvel agent since his casting was announced last summer, and the final product did not disappoint. Woo may have been a glorified thorn in Scott Lang’s side — a by-the-books FBI agent tasked with monitoring Scott while he’s under house arrest, who wants to befriend Scott as much as he wants to catch him sneaking out — but he ended up being a heartwarming slice of comic relief in a movie that was almost entirely heartwarming comedy already. It wasn’t quite the Jimmy Woo comics fans would recognize, but that doesn’t mean I can’t see him getting involved in some of those same kinds of adventures. So now that I’ve seen Jimmy Woo in action, I took the liberty of brainstorming a few easy scenarios for Marvel to give me what I want: more Jimmy Woo.
I know, I know — fans telling movie studios what to do with their own goddamn intellectual properties is the fucking WORST. And I’m not here to do that! I’m just here to register my genuine enthusiasm for what they’ve done with one of the earliest Asian-American comic book heroes, one that predates Marvel as an imprint, as well as my hope that he doesn’t end up being a one-and-done appearance in the MCU. Because seriously — he fits in SO WELL.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D
So despite the apparent deaths of a couple of core cast members, and the off-screen threat of Thanos (Thanus), ABC’s primetime Marvel offering WILL be returning for a sixth season! Sure, OK, so we didn’t actually SEE Agent Coulson die on screen (and even when we DID see him die onscreen in the first Avengers movie, Marvel still managed to give him a spinoff TV series), and they’ve already established some timeline fuckery that could be used to pluck Fitz from outer space even though we did see his future/present self die, and… you know what? It was a weird season. Point is, there may or may not be a few openings on the team — openings that a certain capable agent could easily fill. Randall Park already stars on another ABC show (Fresh off the Boat), so they can surely line up the scheduling. Especially considering Agents won’t be returning until next summer, likely after the next Avengers film has been released, opening up all kinds of story possibilities! And in the comics, Jimmy Woo was drafted into S.H.I.E.L.D. after a stint in the FBI, so really it all makes perfect sense. What I’m saying is: I wanna see Melinda May and Jimmy Woo try to out-deadpan each other.
Bring Back The Marvel One-Shots, And Give Them To Jimmy
We’re 10 years and almost 20 movies into this great experiment we call the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it’s easy to lose sight of all the things that have changed. Once upon a time, Spider-Man would never have shared the screen with Iron Man! Peggy Carter was just a (spectacularly capable) love interest! And sometimes Marvel would produce short movies to add to their DVD/Blu-ray releases, called One-Shots. These often focused on a secondary character, or introduced entirely new characters, while expanding the MCU in directions the main films didn’t have time to cover. The first two shorts featured the adventures of Phil Coulson. Another laid the groundwork for what would become the TV series Agent Carter. And the last one revealed that, despite Iron Man 3 introducing the Mandarin as an actor pretending to be a terrorist, there really IS a terrorist called the Mandarin out there somewhere. Supposedly these shorts became too costly to continue producing, but what if they could be revived in some capacity… and then focused entirely on Jimmy Woo, because DUH?
Hell, they could just be internet shorts of Woo working in an office for all I care. The character is endlessly charming, and I’d be willing to watch him read the telephone book. Though I think maybe seeing him finally get dinner with Scott would be a better plot to start with!
Agents of Atlas
If Marvel chose to plunder their comics archives for Woo material, they find plenty of… uh, interesting options to choose from. Sure, they probably won’t get the rights to adapt his Godzilla-fighting adventures, but they could let him lead his own team: the Agents of Atlas. The comic itself was a massive retcon of Jimmy Woo’s history, but that shouldn’t be a problem for the MCU since the character has almost no history to speak of on screen. Instead, the Agents of Atlas chapter of Woo’s career had a lot of elements that could inspire a great show: a secret society, an unwanted legacy, and an eclectic super team including a robot, an alien, a siren, an Atlantean, and a Gorilla Man. Sure, maybe some parts of the plot might be a little extreme (like how Woo is actually a descendent of Genghis Khan, or was reverted to a younger age), but the thing about how the Atlas Foundation has a literal goddamn dragon as an advisor could work! After all, Netflix’s Iron Fist didn’t eliminate the dragon Shou-Lao as the source of Danny’s fist-glow. So maybe a Woo-centric super team series could be a fun addition to the Netflix/Marvel line-up — provided they take advantage of the opportunity to let things be a little less serious.
The fact is that the MCU will be rounding the bend with the Thanos story next year, and the possibilities for where they go story-wise from there are endless. When the (literal) dust settles, there will be plenty of characters who deserve their own spotlight — but in my heart of hearts I’m hoping Jimmy Woo gets a chance to shine.
Image sources (in order of posting): Marvel, Marvel