Marvel TV characters can now be tied directly to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige is now in charge of all creative content as the Chief Content Creator at Marvel. Such a significant promotion gives Feige control over Marvel's TV shows and comic books. This could result in a dramatic shift for the MCU going forward.
This means that the relationship between Marvel's television and film properties will be strengthened considerably. Prior to this change, Marvel TV shows existed in the MCU, but for the most part felt isolated from the characters in the movies. TV shows set in the MCU have been around since 2013, but a Marvel TV character didn't appear on the big screen until Agent Carter's Edwin Jarvis (James D'Arcy) in a brief moment in Avengers: Endgame.
Marvel's Disney+ shows will have strong connections to the MCU, and some of their characters are expected to cross over into the movies. However, this could apply to more than just the new Disney+ characters. Though Marvel Television is ending, some of its heroes can still be represented in the MCU.
It's been rumored that Marvel Studios has their eye on Deathlok for a future project. In Marvel Comics, "Deathlok" is a name shared by multiple characters. In most versions of the story, Deathlok is created when a person is killed and brought back to life as super-powered cyborg with various high-tech weapons and gadgets. The first was Luther Manning, a soldier who wakes up as "Deathlok" in a post-apocalyptic future. Most of his adventures would involve Deathlok going up against corrupt organizations and military regimes while fighting to hold on to his humanity. While Deathlok existing in the future kept him from intersecting much with the Marvel Universe, time travel allowed for team-ups with heroes like Captain America and Spider-Man.
Agents of SHIELD introduced Mike Peterson (J. August Richards) as a modern-day Deathlok in season 1. After being transformed into a cyborg, Peterson became an unwilling asset of Hydra until he was saved from their control by SHIELD. He works with them for a time, but eventually decides to go his own way. Thanks to Agents of SHIELD, Mike Peterson's story has already been told, but that doesn't mean Deathlok is off-limits. The MCU can introduce a new version of the cyborg assassin, like Luther Manning.
Marvel's Inhumans TV series on ABC was an unmitigated disaster and the MCU's biggest failure. Black Bolt actor Anson Mount recently discussed rumors of Inhumans being rebooted on Disney+, which does seem like a real possibly. The Inhuman Royal Family makes up a small yet vital corner of the Marvel Universe, and due to their importance in the comics, they deserve representation in the MCU. Right now, their only presence in the MCU is limited to the short-lived ABC series. Considering how poorly they were received, it's unlikely that this version of the Inhumans will ever get acknowledged in the MCU. The only way for them to return is for Marvel to forget Inhumans ever happened, and reboot them with new actors and a new story.
Hope for another shot at a Ghost Rider movie died away when Gabriel Luna's Ghost Rider debuted in season 4 of Agents of SHIELD. The series introduced the Robbie Reyes incarnation of Ghost Rider. Unlike traditional Ghost Riders, Reyes' character drives a Dodge Charger, as opposed to a motorcycle. Reyes hasn't been seen since the season 4 finale, but a return to TV appeared imminent when it was announced that Marvel was developing Ghost Rider and Helstrom TV shows for Hulu. Later, it was confirmed that Ghost Rider was canceled, but Helstrom was still moving forward. The fact that Helstrom lives on but Ghost Rider has been dropped could indicate that Marvel has bigger plans for the Spirit of Vengeance than fans realized.
Agents of SHIELD season 4 may indeed be the last anyone will see of Gabriel Luna's Robbie Reyes, but this may not be the end for Ghost Rider. Ghost Rider has numerous hosts in Marvel Comics, so Marvel could easily revisit the concept without necessarily having to reboot anything. A Disney+ series could put the focus on another version of Ghost Rider, like Johnny Blaze or Danny Ketch. Ghost Rider could also factor into the film side of Marvel's plans, since Marvel is diving into the supernatural with Blade.
One of the most important heroes from Marvel Television is Chloe Bennet's Daisy Johnson aka Quake. Over the course of six seasons, Daisy has experienced a great deal of growth, which is more than what most Marvel heroes have been allowed on TV. At the beginning of the series, Daisy was called "Skye" since her true identity remained a mystery. Her connection to the comics was finally revealed in season 2 when she found out she was Mr. Hyde's daughter, Daisy. Fans watched as Bennet's character evolved from hacker, to SHIELD agent, to Inhuman, to superhero. Her story may come to an end when Agents of SHIELD wraps up its seventh and final season, but Marvel could have much more in store for Quake, one of Marvel TV's first superheroes. Quake's place in the MCU could extend beyond Agents of SHIELD. Once the series is over, Daisy can make guest appearances on Disney+ shows like She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel, and more.
Though not quite the failure that Inhumans was, The Defenders was a disappointment for Marvel and Netflix. The Defenders brought together all four of Marvel's Netflix shows (Daredevil, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, and Jessica Jones) for an eight-episode series. The lackluster crossover has been deemed responsible for the end of the Marvel-Netflix partnership.
The Defenders was loosely based on the comic book team of the same name. The show's take on the team consisted of street-level characters. Most of them were associated with the Defenders from the comics in one way or another, but none were major members. The lineup of the Defenders has been shaken up quite a few times since they were introduced in the 1970s, so a reboot of The Defenders would give Marvel plenty of choices when it comes to the team's roster. Reimagining characters like Iron Fist or Luke Cage is on the table, but that isn't their only option. Marvel can always start from scratch with a new set of heroes, allowing the Defenders name to live on - and hopefully be redeemed.
- Black Widow (2020) release date: May 01, 2020
- Eternals (2020) release date: Nov 06, 2020
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) release date: Feb 12, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2021) release date: May 07, 2021
- Spider-Man: Homecoming 3 (2021) release date: Jul 16, 2021
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2021) release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Black Panther 2 (2022) release date: May 06, 2022