Say what you will about Marvel Television, also known as the depressed nerdy kid that Kevin ‘Ogre’ Feige shouts “NNNNNERD!” at any chance he can get: they are firing on all cylinders with no signs of slowing down. Agents of SHIELD has found its footing, Agent Carter has a strong (mostly Pajiban in nature) cult following, despite news about its lead picking up another show, and the Defenders are showing no signs of slowing down over at Netflix.
There’s so much to like on the Marvel small screen, so what if the movies completely ignore that they even exist? Screw ‘em, Jeph Loeb! You do your own thing, and keep building your corner of the universe.
Here are ten Marvel characters that could help take things up a notch or three.
Nico Minoru: Being a teenager sucks, but when you find out your parents are villainous wizards in a longer line of magic users? That downright eats a dick. Nico Minoru, a Japanese American teen, wielding a magic staff to make good on the bad stuff her parents have done, can bring the magic of Dr. Strange to the small screen: Think Marvel’s THE CRAFT. Now KEEP THINKING IT. You don’t even have to read the rest of this article. I’m not sure how to top that.
Union Jack: There have been a few Union Jacks with a lot of wonky history and shifting power sets. He’s sort of dumb and bland, but look at that costume. That is a cool, cool costume. He looks like British Snake Eyes. Marvel is great at taking the cool stuff about a character and distilling it for the screen, so let’s distill: awesome costume, British working class espionage agent. Kingsmen meets The Transporter in a rad costume? I’m in.
The Original Black Knight: The Black Knight is sort of a doopy C-level Avenger, so screw the modern one. The very first Black Knight was recruited by Merlin and worked for King Arthur. Did you know that you needed a sword and sorcery show with Xena level production value set in the Marvel Universe before you started reading this? You’re very welcome.
Silver Sable: Sable is a European mercenary lady who runs her own company AND leads a mercenary team called The Wild Pack. Her parents were Nazi Hunters, I think? I mostly remember her comic book appearances revolving around what hero she was maybe banging, and that’s a shame: Eastern European mercenary company fronting as a corporation led by La Femme Nikita is a really cool idea. The world is wide-open for a character like this, because who knows what villains Silver Sable had? Exactly.
Hawkeye (Kate Bishop): Why not stick it to CW’s Arrow with a vigilante archer series Marvel can call its own? Bored rich girl Kate Bishop digs the bow and arrow guy running with Steve Rogers and steals his name. Bonus points for having a cool Hawkeye on screen. Bonuser points if they steal Thea Queen and cast Willa Holland.
Echo: One of only a few deaf superheroes, Maya Lopez was raised by the Kingpin and learned to fight thanks to her photographic memory! She’s awesome! Being raised by Kingpin might not fit into the current Marvel Universe, but a girl who grows up being told Daredevil killed her parents could make for a fun journey.
Amadeus Cho: A sarcastic little Korean kid who’s Banner/Stark level smart? Give me this show immediately. Make it fun, make it silly, make it ridiculous. Everyone wants a piece of Cho, from the government to supervillains around the world, and he has to use his crazy intellect and inventions to stay ahead of the game? Give this show all of the repulsor ray-powered skateboards in the world and put it on the air now.
Kamala Khan: I’ll be the first to agree that the newly minted Ms Marvel belongs in the movies, but I will settle for bright and fun live action adventures aimed at younger viewers. Bonus fun idea: Have the writers of Avatar: The Last Airbender pen it.
Black Panther supporting cast: It looks like Black Panther is going to be too busy doing Avengers things to spend time being the king of his country, just like in the comics. Figures. Where’s your sense of responsibility, man?! Luckily, royalty usually has a group of people to handle the day to day for them, and Panther’s group is pretty rad. There’s N’Gassi, his trusted advisor who has a really sweet beard, a royal bodyguard named Okoye who’s only allowed to speak to the king, his bad-ass sister Shuri, and even a fun, grumpy, old war vet named Zuri!
Jimmy Woo: A rising star in the FBI during the Cold War, the adventures of Jimmy Woo would be Agent Carter meets Johnny Quest and it would be awesome. If Carter lasts another season, I’d accept him joining her show. Look. All I’m saying is that John Cho is around and he’d look cool in a black turtleneck and adventuring khakis.