It’s not exactly news that ABC, which is part of the same corporate family as Disney, wants to get in on the massive success of The Avengers (and give the franchise a cross-promotional boost in between major movie events) and develop a television series based in the Marvel universe but not overly dependent on the ongoing set of superheroes who are getting major motion pictures. But apparently discussions are heating up again. And given ABC’s brand is closely associated with serialized storytelling and female characters, this is a great opportunity to get a superheroine in the mix. ABC’s already tried and failed to develop an AKA Jessica Jones show, so assuming that character is out, and excluding characters whose rights are held outside of Marvel or who have already appeared in the movies, here are five Marvel women who might be perfect for television:
1. She-Hulk: I know. Broken record. But the story of Jennifer Walters, attorney and Avenger, is begging to be turned into a smart procedural. The show could have a case of the week—Jennifer sues J. Jonah Jameson for libel on behalf of Spider-Man and files wrongful death suits against a corporation whose carelessness creates new superheroes at the cost of human lives—as well as to longer, Damages-like investigations across the course of entire seasons. And while Hulk effects are expensive, the show could keep Jennifer in human mode most of the time to save money in a first season, and have her spend more time as She-Hulk if the series progresses and is successful.
2. Sif: The Marvel movies have Thor, a god with ties to Earth. So why not bring Sif, his fellow female brawler, who’s occasionally gotten herself stuck outside of Asgard, to the human realms and see what happens? It would be a fascinating thought experiment in what it would be like for ordinary people to deal with Strong Female Characters who step off the screen, expecting equality. As much as I’d love to see a Wonder Woman movie or show again, it seems we’re ages away from that. So why not experiment with another goddess? Jaimie Alexander didn’t have nearly enough to do in Thor, so Marvel should let her shine on the small screen, and out from the shadow of Thor’s hammer.
3. Ms. Marvel: Air Force pilot. C.I.A. operative. Feminist magazine editor. And now, in the comics, she’s taken on the mantel of Captain Marvel. A TV series would have an embarrassment of riches to choose from in picking a setting to tell a story about Carol Danvers. If Marvel is going to do a Secret Invasion storyline, which would feature the Skrulls who showed up in The Avengers shapeshifting and disguising themselves as humans, a TV series could also be a great way to introduce Ms. Marvel, who played a major role in beating back the Skrulls in that comics storyline, to the franchise.
4. Dazzler: Want to do something soapy and fun? Originally invented as a way to do cross promotions for Casablanca Records, Dazzler is a performer when she isn’t a reluctant superheroine, and she could be a way to tell a story about struggling to make it in the entertainment industry, even with a little something extra on offer. And a Dazzler show could also be a way to do an anti-hero story. All the super-powered people we’ve seen in the current era of movie superhero storytelling have taken up the call. Dazzler is more than unusually reluctant, and could be a way to explore what happens when significant power comes unmoored from a sense of responsibility.
5. Spitfire: If ABC wants to hop on the Downton Abbey bandwagon, the network could revisit Spitfire, a World War II-era British superheroine from a noble family. The story’s got vampires, Nazi sympathizers, the Blitz, and efforts to hunt down war criminals. Captain America could swing by in an occasional flashback. And ABC could co-market lipstick and forties styles.