Marvel and Netflix struck gold, or at least a chord, with Daredevil, a show that proved comic books could thrive on the small screen. What does that mean for the rest of the Marvel Universe, well, let’s put it this way: There’s never been a better time to get into showbiz. A.K.A. Jessica Jones, the Krysten Ritter-led series, is already filming and Iron Fist, the Luke Cage show, will hit after that.
But who comes after the big names? Who is going to make the jump from the archive to stardom? These are our nominees.
#1 Moon Knight
Like Daredevil, Moon Knight is a martial arts superhero who is super good at parkour, but his enemies pose a danger beyond New York’s midtown. A U.S. Marine and a mercenary, Marc Spector becomes Moon Knight after near-death in an Egyptian temple by an African mercenary. The Egyptian god of the moon, Khonshu, grants Spector a second chance at life and becomes Moon Knight, Khonshu’s avatar on Earth.
Hand-to-hand combat and villains reminiscent of James Bond, with a dash of fantasy and mysticism make Moon Knight a compelling, fun character for his own series.
#2 Ghost Rider
Ghost Rider returned to Marvel's control after mysteriously being possessed by Nicholas Cage. With no announced movie project in sight — and after the first two, perhaps that’s for the best — a Netflix series might do this demonic stuntman well.
Despite establishing a cosmic universe that exists alongside New York’s Hell’s Kitchen, they have yet to tackle proper supernatural horror. The upcoming Doctor Strange is primed to be the gateway to the supernatural side of the Marvel universe, but Ghost Rider could be the one to kick the door down.
Imagine Marvel taking full advantage of Ghost Rider’s premise and exploring darker material than not even Daredevil can go. If only!
#3 Agents of Atlas
Imagine Guardians of the Galaxy, but with a dash of All the President’s Men. That’s Agents of Atlas. An elite team of the FBI led by Agent Jimmy Woo, the Agents are a ragtag team of misfits that make the Guardians look like all-stars: Gorilla-Man, who is in fact a man turned into a gorilla; Marvel Boy, a kid from Jersey with Uranian power bracelets; M-11, a robot straight from War of the Worlds; Namora, a warrior from Atlantis; and the Venus.
Imagine all of them hanging out at FBI headquarters, standing around dealing with a broken coffee machine. How is this not a TV series yet?
#4 Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan)
Marvel made waves in the industry last year for creating Kamala Khan, one of the first, mainstream teenaged female Muslim superheroes. They were praised for diversifying comics, when in fact her story has been quintessential Marvel: real people becoming truly extraordinary, and dealing with the consequences that follow.
Mixing teen drama with superheroes is a tried and true concept, but Kamala’s compelling, very modern premise could be groundbreaking on a platform as big as Netflix. Not to mention, it would be an incredible tie-in with the upcoming Captain Marvel film that will feature Carol Danvers, Kamala’s hero. Why not have these two team up?
#5 The Punisher
Frank Castle is a vigilante. While most superhero movies and shows skirt the actual illegal practice, Punisher shoots down (pun kind of intended) all posturing and will straight-up kill a dude to accomplish justice.
One of Daredevil’s highest marks was its freedom to go gritty while restraining itself from excessive violence that would have undermined its examination of vigilantism, identity, and masculinity. This exact kind of care and awareness for Frank Castle, a serious psychopath with a twisted view on justice, could make for one of the best TV shows ever, bar none.
When even the producer of Daredevil said he hopes Marvel makes a hard-R Punisher series, it makes you wonder why this show isn't available right now.