Marvel Comics fans have plenty of options when it comes to enjoying the adventures of their favorite superheroes. In addition to Marvel’s massive comic book output, fans can enjoy the incredibly popular films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The MCU also has small screen components in Marvel Cinematic Universe and “Agent Carter,” with two more Netflix original series — “Daredevil” and “A.K.A. Jessica Jones” — on the way later this year. Additionally, there’s also the rapidly expanding animated universe currently airing on the Disney XD network.
Since their launch in 2012, Marvel’s animated offerings have grown to include “Ultimate Spider-Man,” “Avengers Assemble” and “Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.” That trio will soon become a quartet when the Guardians of the Galaxy park their spaceship in the animated Marvel U. Now that Marvel and Disney have announced the entire voice cast for their upcoming “Guardians of the Galaxy” animated series, we can help but wonder what other Marvel properties would make for amazing cartoons.
Obviously all the heroes currently pegged as future feature film leads should be under consideration for an animated series. That makes the mystical Doctor Strange, who has previously popped up on “Hulk” and “Spider-Man,” a perfect pick for weekly animated adventures. Unlike the rest of Marvel’s upcoming solo leads, the world Strange inhabits is highly conducive to animation. This guy travels to other dimensions and planes of existence on a regular basis and goes up against bad guys that defy explanation. The animators behind Marvel’s shows also love visual gags, and a sorcerer that lives in a creepy manor in Greenwich Village would give them a lot to work with.
Captain America already has a regular spot in “Avengers Assemble,” but the character’s two feature films have proven that he’s incredibly capable of taking the lead. Cap’s an icon and kinda deserves his own animated series; after all, he hasn’t had one since the old days of the ’60s “Marvel Super Heroes” anthology series! Steve Rogers also deserves a solo series because of the rich supporting cast available to round out the show. Black Widow, Falcon, Nick Fury, Maria Hill, Sharon Carter, Winter Soldier, the Howling Commandos — the guy has a lot of friends that deserve more exposure. Plus a Captain America cartoon could ping back and forth between World War II and the modern day Marvel Animated U, thus making it unlike its peers.
It’s time for the non-comic reading world to meet Kamala Khan, and animation might just be the best way to make that happen. The new Ms. Marvel series has everything that has made “Ultimate Spider-Man” work; it has a unique setting, plenty of teenage hijinks, a solid supporting cast and an immensely relatable lead that’s quick with banter and internal monologues. Since her debut last year, Ms. Marvel has quickly become to today’s young readers what Spider-Man was in the ’60s; she’s a character that represents today’s youth with unapologetic positivity. This series wouldn’t be complete without having Captain Marvel flying through every now and then, too, in order to inspire young Kamala. Toss in some regular crime-fighting tips from Spider-Woman and you’ve got yourself a show.
Like Doctor Strange, the Inhumans are about to get major exposure on screens both big and small. They’re getting their own feature film in 2019 and “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” has just introduced the race of super humans into their mythos. Despite all the impending exposure, there’s still a need for them in animation. Something’s gotta prep audiences for Black Bolt and pals before 2019 — studios love pre-awareness — and “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s” budget is going to keep mainstay Inhumans like Medusa and Lockjaw off the air. An Inhumans cartoon could shine a spotlight on Medusa, Lockjaw, Black Bolt, Gorgon and the rest of the gang while keeping all of their magnificent Jack Kirby quirkiness intact. And since Kamala Khan’s a newly awakened Inhuman, there’s room to introduce — and regularly feature — the character if she doesn’t get her own series.
Fans love the Marvel Universe so much because it’s a place where anything can happen, including delightfully mismatched superheroes going on adventures together. This connectivity is what makes the Marvel Cinematic Universe special and it’s become such an essential part of Marvel that it’s now a catchphrase (#ItsAllConnected). The animated shows share a lot of characters, but how awesome would it be if they created a show specifically for that? Iron Fist and She-Hulk, Blade and Rocket Raccoon, Loki and Doctor Doom — the possibilities are pretty endless. Plus, this could be a way for the animated series to sneak in some of the Fox characters that they own the animation rights to without giving them regular starring roles. Wolverine, Thing, Deadpool, Galactus and Sabretooth have all popped up in the other series, so maybe this is a way to give fans more done-in-one adventures with characters like Human Torch, Storm, Kitty Pryde, Silver Surfer — seriously, the list can keep on going.
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