Looking at the crop of TV shows involving superheroes, it’s hard to imagine being able to keep up with much more. But you know if you’re a fan, you’re going to try. The television climate has never been better for these kind of shows, although they do tend to lean toward second-tier characters, while leaving the marquee characters for Hollywood blockbusters.
I think that’s an oversight that needs correction.
Because that leaves some major characters off the shelf that would be much better portrayed on a television show. Sure, characters like Spider-man and Superman need the special effects to properly display their powers in all their glory, but there are certain characters that would require only minor special effects who would be fantastic in their own shows. With such rich histories, subplots, supporting casts and villains, there’s just no way some of these characters can be fully explored, no matter how many movies are made. Since Marvel and DC boast the most iconic characters, I’ll stick to them and take a look at just five.
Hard to believe there have been three mostly-failed attempts to introduce the Punisher as a viable movie franchise character. The thing is: he’s not. But he’s definitely worthy of a show (preferably on Netflix) that can explore subjects like PTSD, revenge, and obsession while introducing a few psychotic and memorable villains. Probably more than few, since their type don’t last long when Frank Castle has them in his sights. Of all on the list, The Punisher is the surest bet with plans probably being made after his character is introduced in Daredevil.
There have been rumors of a Nightwing movie for ages, but I think the story of the man that outgrew being Robin deserves a quality television treatment. Dick Grayson has a long, detailed history that deserves to be explored, from his tragic beginnings to his step away from the heavy shadows of his legendary mentor, Batman. Plus he has a set of villains and supporting cast all his own, which would be nice to dig into.
Will we ever see Jennifer Walters on the big screen? That remains to be seen, but what would be even better would be to see her on the small screen. Jennifer has super strength and invulnerability like her cousin Bruce, but other than that life is almost normal for a green-skinned Amazon of a lawyer. Having a regular show would open the dynamics of such a lifestyle, while having a bit more fun; something that would contrast quite well against the angst of other female heroes like Black Widow and Jessica Jones. Let’s get this project greenlit right away! (See what I did there?)
That’s right. Despite his omnipresence in the X-Men films, we still need more Wolverine. And while I’m not a fan of ultra-violence for that sake of, (like the abysmal Gotham) it’s apparent Logan needs an avenue to showcase the true characteristics of his conflicted nature in all of its raging glory, something we’ll never get to see in more family friendly films. Being near immortal, Logan has perhaps the deepest history of anyone in comics, which the films have barely scratched the surface. Not to mention his relationships with practically every character in the Marvel Universe, which would lead to some awesome cameos and guest appearances. Plus he’s a low-tech kind of guy, needing no costly special effects to relate his gritty tales. Tell me you wouldn’t want a weekly dose of berserker fury on your TV screen.
Can Batman coexist on the big and small screen? I believe he can and should. Sure, the recent films have been great, but there’s so much more stories to be told, and with films you get one shot a year if you’re lucky. If not, there can be years in between movies. Think of filling that space with smaller stories that explore the psyche of the protector of Gotham, along with dig deeper into the multi-layered crop of villains, sidekicks, and supporting cast. The show Gotham has royally screwed up in that regard, but establishing Bats with his own show would crush that unfortunate mishap. It could start right off in Year One style and grow from there into perhaps the most dynamic superhero show of all time. As one of the few iconic characters that could properly be produced on television, it’s practically a crime not to do it.
So, what do you think of the list? Any other major superhero characters that you think would work well on the small screen? Let me know in the comments!
When Bard Constantine isn’t consumed by pop culture, he writes gritty futures and far-flung fantasy. See more at bardwritesbooks.com