Marvel TV Takes A Big Leap Forward in 2017-18

I miss Agent Carter.

It seemed for a while that Marvel might disappear from the television landscape.  Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. seemed to be struggling and Agent Carter got canceled.  The network decided against launching a new show called Marvel’s Most Wanted.  And ratings for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D were in decline.  Things looked bleak for a while.  But suddenly Marvel is exploding on the small screen.

It helped that the Netflix series seem to be a bonanza for the company.  It’s hard to tell as Netflix doesn’t release viewership numbers, but the buzz around Daredevil itself seemed to solidify a new niche for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).  Followed up by a strong and different tone in Jessica Jones, a more standard and enjoyable superhero plot in Luke Cage, and a more martial arts / ninja angle in Iron Fist, there is a lot of hype about the upcoming The Defenders series arriving later this year (August 18, 2017).

MARVEL’S INHUMANS – “Marvel’s Inhumans” will premiere a version of the first two episodes in IMAX theatres for a two-week period beginning September 1, 2017. ABC will then air the entirety of the series on the network, with additional exclusive content that can only been seen on ABC. (ABC/Marvel)

But now there are even more Marvel series being launched on television!  The Inhumans looks to make its debut in IMAX theaters on September 1st before residing on the small screen for the rest of its eight episode run. Telling the story of the Inhuman royal family, the press release is vague as to details like the time frame of the show, whether it takes place now or in the past.  All we know is there’s been a coup and Black Bolt the head of the royal family and once the leader of the Inhumans finds himself and his companions in Hawaii.  It will be especially interesting to find out more about how the Inhumans we’ve already encountered in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. match up with the Inhumans from the show.

Beyond that, two new shows are set to debut on ABC’s cable sister channel, Freeform.  Both set to debut in 2018 (exact dates pending).  Cloak and Dagger which seems to be a good fit for the self-described millennial focused network.  Telling the story of Tyrone Johnson (Cloak) and Tandy Bowen (Dagger), these two star-crossed teens develop powers that make them dependent on one another and yet their budding relationship provides unexpected complications (well, maybe expected).  Always a fan favorite, this surprising Marvel offering should generate interest in a network already airing shows like Shadowhunters and Beyond.  Freeform is also introducing a Marvel COMEDY in the series The New Warriors.  I love how the release describes these wannabe heroes – “not quite super, not yet heroes.”  If there was a B-list of superheroes, these guys would be letter “Q.”  But their heart is in the right place.  Although the release features an illustration of the characters, the show is actually live action.  And hopefully funny.  There’s a lot of potential in the show.

To add to the ever-growing roster of superheroes on television, surprisingly Marvel Studios is working with Fox to produce a new interesting mutant-related show in The Gifted.  Billed as a “family adventure series” on their website, the show tells the story of a family on the run when they discover that their two teenagers have developed mutant powers.  Reminds me of that 1988 film Running on Empty except in this case it’s the kids and not the parents who are running from the government.  Already, Marvel and Fox have worked together successfully in the 2016 debut of Legion so it will be interesting to see where this new venture will take them.  Could we be seeing mutants in the MCU soon?

And finally, Marvel has made a deal with subscriber giant Hulu who will feature a 10 episode run of Marvel’s Runaways.  The story was a surprise hit for Marvel in the comic book realm as its interesting premise appealed to fans looking for something different.  The story revolves around a group of disparate teens who unite to battle their parents who they discover are secretly evil and known as “The Pride.”  How much the series will deviate or stick to its comic origin is always up in the air, but considering the innovative way this book changed the traditional superhero comic it might do the same for superhero television.

Which new series are you most looking forward to in 2017-2018?

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