Since the dawn of television, network executives have been in desperate need of new content to fill their broadcast schedules. Comic books have certainly helped in this regard, providing inspiration for several popular TV shows over the past 60 years.
From the classic Adventures of Superman series in the 1950s, through to Marvel Studios’ recent Netflix output, numerous superhero properties have been translated to the small screen. Even comics not centered around costumed adventurers have served as the basis for TV shows, including horror phenomenon The Walking Dead.
That’s just the live-action side of things – when animated outings are taken into account, the number of comic book-based TV programmes skyrockets. Not only have these shows proven a hit with audiences over the years, but many are also held in high regard by critics, with shows like Batman: The Animated Series considered a high watermark for the medium.
Not every comic book TV show gets the green-light from networks. Indeed, a surprising number of comics-inspired series were abandoned very late in the day – often after substantial pre-production work had been undertaken or a full-blown pilot produced!
With this in mind, here are 20 Comic Book TV Shows That Almost Happened.
Trying to make sense of the licensing and distribution rights surrounding Marvel Comics’ stable of characters can quickly become confusing. This is because – prior to the establishment of Marvel Studios – the publisher sold off the film rights to its most popular characters.
Once Marvel was in a position to produce and release movies on its own, reacquiring these rights became a problem – with rights-holders unwilling to relinquish what were now highly lucrative properties.
Fortunately for Marvel Cinematic Universe fans, many of these character rights have since reverted to the studio, allowing for additional heroes and villains to be integrated into its ever-expanding franchise.
Even icons like Spider-Man and the X-Men are now back in the fold, thanks to a licensing deal between Marvel and Sony, and Disney’s upcoming acquisition of Fox, respectively.
Nevertheless, Marvel stilldoesn’t have exclusive rights to feature all the characters it publishes in the MCU. Looking wider afield, there are also other comic book properties it does or did publish that it doesn’t have permission to adapt for the big screen – foregoing millions at the box office as a result!
For clarity’s sake, here are 15 Superheroes And Villains Marvel Still Can’t Use In The MCU.
Over the course of nine years, 22 films (including shorts) and 10 TV shows, Marvel Studios has wowed fans by creating a shared cinematic universe to rival its comics counterpart. The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is – much like its source material – built around telling interconnected, ongoing stories that branch across several franchise installments. Sure, some MCU entries fit into this bigger picture better than others, but broadly speaking, all of Marvel’s properties are tied together, and regularly introduce (or further develop) narrative threads designed to pay-off further down the line.
To its credit, Marvel has done a pretty good job of making everything fit together, considering how many different sub-franchises are in production at any given moment. Even so, cracks in this supposedly unified front have started to show as the MCU has expanded – heck, not even the in-universe timeline makes sense anymore!
That’s not the only thing that’s gone awry, either. While Marvel has done a great job of keeping its major, predominantly Avengers–related narrative elements bubbling along nicely, the studio has also ditched several others along the way. The reasons for this vary – maybe the filmmakers involved convinced the studio to go in a different direction, or perhaps the actors required were no longer available.
Regardless, here are 15 MCU Plotlines That Were Completely Abandoned.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is known for its rabid fanbase, and part of what keeps these hardcore devotees onside is just how well Marvel Studios manages to work fan service moments into its films.
Traditionally, the term “fan service” – which refers to creators including moments designed specifically to please fans – is often used in a derogatory sense by pop culture aficionados, and not without cause.
When done poorly, these attempts to give fans exactly what they want can come across as forced and actually harm the narrative flow of a story. However, when done right, instances of fan service can actually enhance proceedings, creating memorable scenes that work in service to the wider plot and appeal to veteran fans and newbies alike.
Granted, the MCU hasn’t always gotten it right when it comes to fan service (for instance, the inclusion of Captain America’s shield in Iron Man 2 is glaring example of the studio trying too hard). But generally speaking, the films have a strong track record of working in shout-outs to the source material that add to (rather than detract from) the audience’s viewing pleasure.
With this in mind, we’ve assembled this rundown of the 15 Best Moments Of Fan Service In The MCU.