Hulu and Marvel TV strike a deal for multiple animated series, including Howard the Duck, M.O.D.O.K., Hit-Monkey, Tigra & Dazzler and a crossover special titled The Offenders. Back in 2013, Marvel TV struck a deal with Netflix for a mini-universe of live-action superhero TV shows that would exist as part of the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, with Daredevil, Luke Cage and Iron Fist cancelled - and the team-up series The Defenders not continuing anytime soon - it looks like Marvel and Netflix's partnership is winding down.
Further, Disney+ is planning live-action MCU shows from Marvel Studios, including a Loki TV show, one based on Scarlet Witch and Vision and another series following Winter Soldier and Falcon. Now, Marvel TV is branching out into the realm of animated series as part of a new deal with Netflix's streaming competitor, Hulu.
As reported by Marvel, Disney and Marvel TV have struck a deal for four animated TV shows at Hulu, which will culminate in a crossover special (much like the original Netflix deal). The series include Marvel's Howard the Duck, Marvel's M.O.D.O.K., Marvel's Hit-Monkey and Marvel's Tigra & Dazzler Show, with the crossover being called The Offenders. The Offenders doesn't yet have a writer, but it will unite Howard the Duck, MODOK, Hit-Monkey, Tigra and Dazzler in a story where they must save the universe.
Kevin Smith and David Willis are set to write Howard the Duck, which will follow the titular character's journey home to Earth with his "unstoppable gal pal" Beverly as he avoids the villainous Dr. Bong. Patton Oswalt and Jordan Blum is set to write M.O.D.O.K., following the egomaniacal supervillain as he "struggles to maintain control of his evil organization and his demanding family." Meanwhile, Hit-Monkey comes from Josh Gordon and Will Speck and tells the "revenge tale of a wronged Japanese snow monkey" who's mentored by the ghost of an American assassin. Chelsea Handler and Erica Rivinoja will work on Tigra & Dazzler, about "two woke superheroes and best friends" who live in Los Angeles and must fight to receive recognition among the superpowered population.
The basic structure of Marvel TV's new deal with Hulu will no doubt draw comparisons to their original agreement with Netflix. After all, it includes superhero characters debuting in four respective TV shows before uniting in a crossover special. However, while The Defenders universe was live-action and technically set in the MCU, Hulu's shows will be animated and it's unclear whether they'll tie into the larger movie universe. Howard the Duck appeared in James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy, though he hasn't been seen since. The character's show could conceivably pick up from that starting point, but it may be easier for this particular Marvel TV universe to be removed from the MCU - despite Marvel TV head Jeph Loeb's penchant for saying "It's all connected."
Whatever the case, fans of these Marvel Comics characters are no doubt excited to see what Hulu and Marvel have in store. But with no release dates announced and the shows in the early stages of development, there's still plenty to be revealed about Howard the Duck, M.O.D.O.K., Hit-Monkey, Tigra & Dazzler and The Offenders.