Much has been written about the decline and end of Marvel Television’s slate of live-action Netflix series, whether they’re sad to see the likes of Daredevil or Jessica Jones depart or happy they won’t have to watch more Iron Fist. One area with less public information, though, is how the streaming gap left by the departure of those shows could possibly be filled. Now we know.
Marvel is launching what will essentially be a whole new animated universe on Hulu, via a slate of four different shows and a fifth, culminating special, in the vein of The Avengers/The Defenders. Each show will be executive produced by comics veteran Jeph Loeb, but have its own high-profile writer-producers. They include the following:
— Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K. will feature the company’s favorite floating, disembodied giant head supervillain, who has run afoul of most every Marvel hero at one point or another. Official synopsis: “Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K. centers around an egomaniacal supervillain with a really big head and a really little body, who struggles to maintain control of his evil organization and his demanding family.” It’s written by Jordan Blum and Patton Oswalt—why does it not surprise us that Patton Oswalt would love M.O.D.O.K.?
— Marvel’s Hit-Monkey is about a monkey who is also an assassin. No, really. Official synopsis: “Marvel’s Hit-Monkey tells the tale of a wronged Japanese snow monkey, mentored by the ghost of an American assassin, as he cuts a wide swath through the Tokyo underworld in this darkly cinematic and brutally funny revenge saga. Writers Josh Gordon and Will Speck will executive produce along with Jeph Loeb.” It all begs the question: How exactly does one “wrong” a monkey?
— Howard the Duck will likely be the highest profile of the series, given that the character is the most widely known of the group. Official synopsis: “Marvel’s Howard The Duck is trapped in a world he never made, but America’s favorite fighting fowl hopes to return home with the help of his unstoppable gal pal Beverly before the evil Dr. Bong can turn him the crispiest dish on the menu. Writers Kevin Smith and Dave Willis will also executive produce along with Jeph Loeb.” Once again, Kevin Smith seems like an obvious choice for Howard the Duck.
— Tigra & Dazzler is a girl-group, team-up series about two feminist superheroes in L.A. Official synopsis: “Marvel’s Tigra & Dazzler show is a story about two woke superheroes and best friends, Tigra and Dazzler, as they fight for recognition among powered people who make up the eight million stories in Los Angeles. Writers Erica Rivinoja and Chelsea Handler serve as executive producers along with Jeph Loeb.”
— And finally, the crossover event at the end of all these series will be known as The Offenders. Real clever, guys. Official synopsis: “Marvel’s The Offenders is a story in which nobody asked them to—and we’d be better off if they didn’t—but MODOK, Dazzler, Tigra, Hit Monkey and Howard the Duck are all forced to team up in order to save the world and certain parts of the Universe. Jeph Loeb will executive produce.” At least the description is aware of how forced this will no doubt be.
There’s no news on release dates of any kind just yet, but we’d be surprised to see any of these hit the streaming service before 2020. Still, it’s good to know that a lot of lower-profile Marvel characters have adaptations coming down the pipeline.