Anybody who watched the first series of ‘Daredevil’, when it debuted back in April, couldn’t have failed to have been struck by the shift in tone that this new Netflix production format bought with it to the table. In comparison to Marvel’s previous cinematic and televisual output this was something refreshingly tense, adrenaline-fueled, making for exceptionally compelling viewing.
For one thing, the painstakingly choreographed fight scenes resulted in physical and mental damage to the characters that real-life human beings might actually be expected to sustain from what was taking place. Cuts bled. Bones crunched. People died. They stayed dead. Their deaths caused further damage to the loved ones they left behind. And the consequence of each action and event carried on into the following episodes. Very little was left to the imagination. And there was no magic alien artefact on hand to bring characters back to life again.
For another, this new series chose to draw from a loyal roster of unsung characters that have been used to sustain the Marvel Comic universe for decades. Whilst viewers had grown used to seeing the ‘villain of the week’ rock up for 40 minutes on Agents Of SHIELD, followed by a bit of subsequent trawling through Google and Wikipedia to find out their origin, Daredevil took a deeper approach. Leyland Owlsley. Ben Urich. Melvin Potter. These are properties that have cropped up time and again, being used to maintain various story-arcs in the comic book universe for the last half century.
The upcoming release of ‘Jessica Jones’ sees Netflix hitting the halfway step towards their planned ‘Defenders’ series. With the planned casting of Iron Fist yet to be announced, there are rumors that he may have been set to one side, and Jon Bernthal’s portrayal of The Punisher in series 2 of Daredevil is being scrutinized with a view to him replacing the absent Danny Rand.
Given Netflix’s obvious flexibility and reaction to the reviews of their Marvel project, who else from the Marvel Comics do you feel would be a good for for this new corner of the MCU? Here’s what we came up with:
9. G.W. Bridge
A former soldier and mercenary, who rose to the rank of Commander in SHIELD before converting to Islam and turning his back on the organization, Bridge remains the go-to guy that both his former employers and other agencies turn to when dirty secrets need fixing.
A capable and steady hand, who specializes in putting teams of operatives together to locate and neutralize perceived threats, this no-nonsense ex-SHIELD man would be a canny addition to try and counter the deteriorating situation in Hell’s Kitchen.
8. Mister Negative
As one nefarious Crime-Lord languishes in prison, planning his return to the status as Kingpin of New York, what criminal masterminds remain lurking in the pages of Marvel that might present a challenge to Daredevil et al?
Well, there’s no shortage. Silvermane, Hammerhead, The Hood. However, I would suggest Martin Li, AKA Mr Negative.
Hiding behind a carefully crafted exterior dedicated to helping the homeless and needy of New York, Lo is in fact slowly carving out a vast underworld empire, built on violence and witchcraft.
Given his paternal relationship with Spidey in the comics, it would be easy to introduce him to the Netflix universe as a perceived ally, dedicated to cleaning up the local districts, but secretly hiding a dark agenda.
7. Karla Sofen
More commonly known by her code name of Moonstone, Sofen is as manipulative as she is sexy. The top of her field in psychology, she has an ability to manipulate and torment others which are second to none.
Even if you choose to edit and remove the concept that the she murders the owner of a couple of Kree moonstones, or becomes a Dark Avenger, the reliance by Norman Osborn and others on her to incapacitate their opponents makes for a compelling story line.
She’s fully prepared to use her mind and body to get what she wants, when she wants it, and God help anyone who stands in her path.
6. Phineas Mason
The go-to guy when it comes to creating tech for the bad guys of the Marvel Universe, The Tinkerer crops up time and again, providing weapons and resources for the rogues gallery of evildoers that torment the people of New York.
Whilst Melvin Potter is currently supplying Matt Murdock with the equipment and resources that Daredevil needs to police Hell’s Kitchen, his enemies need to turn somewhere for their toys, which brings the Tinkerer into the frame.
Having a disowned son who works the other side of the field as a superspy for the good guys, and young grandchildren he is exceptionally defensive of, Mason has the potential for quite a conflicted and unstable element to drop into the series.
5. Shang Chi
With the magic-infused hands of Iron Fist struggling to make it off the drawing board, maybe this would be time for this Secret Avenger and traditional master of Wushu to instead step up to the plate.
The alleged son of cinematic bad guy Fu Manchu, this Chinese martial artist turned on his father when he learned Manchu’s true villainous nature, and went on to join up with Luke Cage in aiding his detective work.
Adding Shang Chi would certainly mean upping the ante for the fight scene co-ordinators attached to be project, and it’s possible he’s the safer bet that Netflix need to make the Heroes For Hire work out.
4. Rachel Cole-Alves
A former US Marine whose husband and family were slaughtered on their wedding day by an overspill of gang violence, Alves took to the streets to find out who was responsible, bringing her into direct conflict with Frank Castle. Their investigations bought them up against The Exchange, a corporate body of ex-spies and operatives trying to unionize the various crime elements found in New York.
That storyline at all would make for an entire Netflix series, but as an individual character, Alves has great depth. Still trying to hold on to what humanity she once had, Alves splits her time between helping and opposing The Punisher, always trying to act as an unwanted moral compass for the unstoppable vigilante.
3. The Wrecking Crew
Both of the Thor movies, and now Agents of SHIELD have established what we all already knew, that every time a wandering Asgardian comes to visit Earth, they inevitably leave something chaotic behind that alters the humans who come into contact with it.
Under those circumstances, the concept of a bunch of criminals being granted immense strength by an Asgardian artifact suddenly doesn’t seem that much of a hard sell.
The MCU is missing a good old traditional team of villains, and the Wrecking Crew have real potential. Writing a group of bad guys who have super strength, but also a basic awareness of how to take things apart could work really well, and provide some decent opposition to the Marvel Knights.
A firm fan-favorite, this former Green Beret and current bad-ass gangster is the underworld’s answer to the Punisher. He’s been stabbed, shot and blown up, and his sheer size and willpower just keep him coming back for more, brutally dispatching his opponents and demanding respect from those around him.
His lengthy backstory, which includes some shady dealing with a pre-SHIELD Nick Fury, could fill a series itself. If Hell’s Kitchen was a noisy place before, imagine how it’s going to sound with the addition of a .50 cal and a whole lotta’ claymores.
1. Moon Knight
If rumor is to be believed, Konshu’s Avatar is already in line for an appearance in the Netflix universe, and it’s about bloody time.
A character all too easily written off as a poor man’s Batman, he’s actually potential gold-dust for a scriptwriter. He runs around dressed all in white, throwing moon-shaped knives at the bad guys, has multiple personalities and believes he can see an Egyptian God.
So, he’s mad, right? Or is he?
It appears like we’re finally getting the Deadpool we deserve next year. Hopefully Marc Spector, or Jake Lockley, or whoever the hell he’s pretending to be this week will also be making an appearance. The MCU’s a quieter and sadder place without him….