Full disclosure. We LOVE the Marvel cinematic universe. Over the course of a decade, almost pretty much every movie has been a critical and box office hit… it almost seems they can do no wrong. We are even pleased with the Agents of SHIELD spin-off which promised to operate on the outskirts of the MCU with big tie-ins to the film universe and has actually delivered on that.
Then came the Netflix shows. As a universe-within-a-universe, these street-level heroes came in to their own with a gritty, noir feel focusing on the human elements of their characters (and to some degree villains) and with roughly 13 hours per season, they had enough time to actually pull it off. And after 5 seasons of individual story lines, we were rewarded with Defenders, an everyman’s Avengers so to speak.
As the days went on however, more networks and outlets began to hunger for a piece of the super hero pie. Other networks and streaming services saw huge potential in having a hero of their own. This is on top of an already overloaded Comic Book inspired TV line-up, including several based in the X-Men universe and the hugely popular DC Comics roster such as Arrow, Flash, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow, as well as Constantine, Gotham and the upcoming Black Lightning and Teen Titans. Oh, and The Tick.
The first question is this: What other Marvel properties have a shadow of name recognition that could be exploited? It had to be someone that the movie makers weren’t going to get around to making. The answer, thus far, has been Inhumans. Aired with no small amout of fanfare and ambition, the story of the super powered royal family of Attilan promised to be the MCU’s answer to Game of Thrones and ended up more like a fan-film on Youtube (and not even one of the better ones.) With Hulu’s upcoming Runaways, Cloak and Dagger on Freeform, and more rumors of other 3rd tier heroes on the way (speculation- Moon Knight? Sleepwalker? Hercules?)
My second question is how long until the world shrugs its collective shoulders and greets these new series with a resounding ‘meh.”? Can the TV/Streaming market absorb much more superhero saturation. Or worse will the studios who pay for all these shows stop seeing comic book inspired stories as worthy of top talent in writing, directing and acting and move on to the next genre?
My third question is to you- Do you think they are spreading the medium too far with every new small screen superhero? Is it hard for you to get caught up on one before, like the villainous hydra, two more pop up in its place? Of do you thing there is a super hero that probably won’t get his or her own movie that you think should get a TV series? Let us know in the comments below!
BTW… I’m going to admit. I don’t really know what Freeform is.