Marvel Television and Hulu are working together on a range of new animated TV shows, building up to an event series called The Offenders. The unexpected announcement of four new Marvel shows on Hulu was made at the TCA Winter Press Tour, and reflects the fact that Marvel Television is moving on from their partnership with Netflix.
But this idea does seem to be following a very familiar, tried-and-tested approach. Marvel aims to release four animated series, each featuring different superhero stars, and build up to a major team-up event. They've chosen a very different range of characters, though, mostly ones who are unlikely to make their way to the live-action MCU anytime soon. Interestingly enough, one of the characters is actually traditionally associated with the X-Men.
Even the team-name - The Offenders - is a remarkably deep cut into Marvel Comics lore, and few fans will have heard of them. So let's take a look at who the original Offenders were in the comics, and just how Marvel has reimagined them.
- This Page: The Offenders Explained & What We Know About Their Shows
- Page 2: All Four New Marvel Hulu Shows Explained
The Offenders Explained
In the comics, the Offenders were a band of unwilling champions brought together by the Collector, one of the Elders of the Universe, in order to participate in a cosmic brawl with the original Defenders. The Grandmaster had selected the Defenders as his champions, and it fell to the Collector to counter them. He chose the Red Hulk to battle the Hulk, Baron Mordo to duel Doctor Strange, Terrax to take on the Silver Surfer, and Tiger Shark to confront Namor the Sub-Mariner. Each Defender and Offender engaged in a battle to the death, with the life of a loved one on the line.
Ironically, it was the strongest of the Defenders who fell the first; the Red Hulk successfully killed the Hulk. Given the opportunity to intervene in the other battles, the Red Hulk proceeded to slaughter every one of the Defenders and the Offenders, absorbing the Silver Surfer's Power Cosmic to enhance his own power. Doing so earned the ire of Galactus, however, and the Grandmaster and the Collector realized their game had gone out of control. They rewrote history itself, erasing their latest match so it had never happened.
What We Know About Marvel/Hulu's Offenders
Marvel Television's version of the Offenders is completely different to the comic book version. The members will be introduced in their own TV shows, ahead of a team-up event series. Here's how are things are expected to play out:
- Marvel's M.O.D.O.K.
- Marvel's Hit-Monkey
- Marvel's Tigra & Dazzler Show
- Marvel's Howard the Duck
- Marvel's The Offenders
It's an interesting line-up, bringing together some of Marvel's craziest heroes and at least one villain, M.O.D.O.K. At this stage, it's unclear how each individual series is going to play out, let alone why this diverse group will gather together. That said, notice that the team includes two anthropomorphic characters and another two heroes who have previously been involved in interdimensional adventures; this surely isn't a coincidence. Jeph Loeb hinted that there may be a fifth member who acts as team leader, but he wouldn't say any more at this stage. Given this Offenders roster, it's clear there's no connection at all between the Offenders in the comics and the TV version; the name was presumably chosen simply as a pun on The Defenders.
This is actually exactly the same approach Marvel followed with The Defenders. The comic book version of that super-team is traditionally a cosmic group who have enough power to match even the strongest band of Avengers, led by Doctor Strange himself. Marvel Television took the name, and recreated the Defenders as a street-level group that had nothing to do with the comics. Plus, Marvel originally started with four Defenders shows on Netflix before bringing them all together for a team-up even.