Between the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and Marvel Comics’ 80+ year back catalogue, Disney isn’t short on material for their shows and we have plenty of opinions on Marvel characters who deserve their own show.
And, as illustrated by a couple of recent “guest” appearances, they’re more than willing to mine the Marvel Television Universe, though don’t count on seeing a new series of Daredevil just yet. You can check out our guide to all the Marvel TV shows ranked, worst to best, but with a host of new shows on the way, including Moon Knight and She-Hulk, Marvel fans could soon be spoilt for choice.
But it’s not just Marvel’s top to middle tier characters who deserve their own show. Some of the most interesting Marvel characters are C listers, the ones that, more often than not, end up relegated to special guest status. And, while you can reasonably assume that Hawkeye’s series isn’t going to end with his head divorced from his shoulders, survival becomes a little less certain when you’re not an Avenger.
So, with that in mind, here are five Marvel characters who deserve their own show, perhaps more so than some of the big names.
Oh, and before we get started, if you want to see even more great Marvel content, we’ve got you covered on Space.com. Our guide to the Marvel movies in order will help guide you through the gargantuan MCU, while our guide to the best Marvel movies will help you find the very best that Marvel has to offer.
1. Monica Rambeau (Wandavision)
Monica Rambeau’s comic book version is a seasoned superhero, having taken on the mantle of Photon, Spectrum, Pulsar, and, at one point, Captain Marvel. But her live-action incarnation, last seen accidentally acquiring superpowers in Wandavision, is relatively new to the game.
Whatever superhero name she adopts when she makes an appearance in the upcoming The Marvels TV show, her journey from S.W.O.R.D. agent to superhuman is worthy of a Disney Plus series. Aside from having to live up to her mother’s legacy (she founded S.W.O.R.D.), she’d have to come to terms with her new abilities. On top of that, Wandavision’s S.W.O.R.D. didn’t shy away from dissecting and mind-wiping their prize subject, so she shouldn’t count on them playing fair when they’ve got a real live superhuman on their books.
2. Squirrel Girl (The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl)
Doreen Green aka Squirrel Girl is best known for defeating both Doctor Doom and Thanos with her squirrel-based powers and her faithful team of tree-dwelling rodents. Yes, this absolutely happened and it would have made the whole Avengers: Infinity War/Endgame saga a lot shorter if someone had given her a call. Disney owe Squirrel Girl her own series just for overlooking her (she was going to appear in the New Warriors series but sadly it wasn’t picked up).
But while a Squirrel Girl series would, undoubtedly, be a little tongue in cheek, writer Ryan North and artist Erica Henderson proved she could be more than just a gag character. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, which ran for 58 issues, put the Marvel universe under the microscope, offering redemption to supervillains who, for the most part, served as punching bags for the big-leaguers. The MCU is similarly in need of examination and a Squirrel Girl series could deliver just that.
3. Machine Man (Nextwave)
Aaron Stack, aka Machine Man is the sarcastic, self-absorbed robot the MCU needs. Strangely enough, he began life in the Marvel adaptation of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and, crops up every now and then over the next 25 years or so. He was your typical, albeit artificial, superhero.
2006’s Nextwave, written by Warren Ellis and penned by Stuart Immonen, changed all that. This gloriously over-the-top series (questionable as its canon status is) ditched Machine Man’s reverence for humanity, turning him into a microbrew-loving, sweary badass who was done trying to garner approval from “the fleshy ones.”
It’s this version of Machine Man, which carried over to the “main” Marvel universe, that deserves to be brought to life. This is partly because he’s the perfect antidote to the heroic, level-headed Vision (without going full Ultron). But also, as the MCU continues to expand, someone’s going to need to stand up for all the Life Model Decoys, robots, and A.I.s. Sure, J.A.R.V.I.S. may have got his own body, but what happened to F.R.I.D.A.Y. when her services were no longer required?
4. Elsa Bloodstone (Nextwave)
Elsa Bloodstone has been compared to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but Sarah Michelle Gellar couldn’t handle half of this ridiculously British monster hunter’s menagerie. There have been rumblings that she’s going to put in an appearance in the MCU and we’d happily watch her dispatch slimy thing after slimy thing.
But, there are two things in particular that make Elsa Bloodstone worthy of a complete series. Firstly, “monster” is a very subjective word in both the Marvel Comic Universe and Marvel Cinematic Universe. She’d have her work cut out for her having to distinguish between the creatures who merely looked different and those who genuinely had it in for humanity.
Secondly, as the daughter of the all-but-immortal Ulysses Bloodstone, she’s acquired a terrifying amount of mental baggage. If Nextwave and Marvel Zombies: Battleworld are taken as canon, Ulysses Bloodstone was nearly as monstrous as those he hunted.
He robbed his daughter of a normal life, subjecting her to a horrifying, traumatizing training regime all in the name of ensuring she was worthy of the Bloodstone name. Abuse doesn’t begin to cover it. And, in turn, it raises the question, whose life is she really living? Hers, or his?
5. The Grandmaster (Thor: Ragnarok)
We’re never going to say no to more Jeff Goldblum, but his turn as Thor: Ragnarok’s the Grandmaster gave the whole movie a huge lift. The Team Daryl short, which is sadly absent from Disney Plus, proves there’s plenty of mileage in a character who just can’t come to terms with the fact that he’s not in charge.
And, while Team Daryl is non-canon, it’s the perfect template for a Grandmaster series. Such a series would, naturally, be played for laughs, as the Grandmaster, still not grasping why people don’t hang on his every word, attempts to acquire any degree of power.
We’d pay good money to see him fail miserably but fabulously, devising “schemes” that any rational person would dismiss but which, to him, make perfect sense. Why wouldn’t people vote for him on his “Grandmaster is great” platform?