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Marvel stories that should be told on Disney+

Now that it's the proud owner and operator of its very own and very successful streaming service, Disney+ is poised to make the Mouse House an even more dominant cultural superpower than it already was. And while properties like Star Wars and Pixar helped Disney+ seem appealing, most would agree that Marvel Studios played a gigantic role in breaking through the noise created by a slew of streaming services to help make Disney+ an overnight sensation.

After all, the world is wide open for the MCU. Thanks to the company's $71.3 billion purchase of Fox, characters like the X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Deadpool are all up for grabs once again. Add to that the fact that users are champing at the bit for previously-teased new shows, the wind is certainly at Marvel's back going into the new decade. Studio chief Kevin Feige has even opened the door for some flexible canon with the introduction of the animated What If...?, which will present alternate versions of past MCU events.

With limitless potential and the deepest pockets in show business working for it, one wonders when certain beloved — and in some cases, obscure and downright bonkers — Marvel comics storylines will work their way onto Disney+. To help get the ball rolling and give Feige, Mickey Mouse, and anyone else a jumping-off point, below are some of the best Marvel stories that could work on the streaming platform.

Iron Fist could fight in the tournament of the Heavenly Cities

It's no secret that Netflix's Iron Fist had its problems. It lacked the grit of Daredevil, the intrigue of Jessica Jones, or the charm of Luke Cage. However, those that stuck with the Danny Rand character to the end of the second and final season will know his storyline was poised to get into some pretty fun and super mystical territory.

As the character never failed to mention, he was the immortal Iron Fist, tasked with protecting the magical city of K'un-Lun. However, it was hinted that K'un-Lun wasn't the only magical city worth protecting. In the comics, Danny's status as the Iron Fist makes him the perfect champion to represent K'un-Lun in the Tournament of the Seven Capital Cities of Heaven. That's right. It turns out that Iron Fist's chosen home is just one of seven cities that converge every 88 years for a good, old-fashioned, Mortal Kombat-style fighting tournament.

Although Iron Fist may not have been the best show in the ill-fated Marvel/Netflix partnership, it was at its best when it was showing off cool fight scenes with even cooler characters. Adapting the Seven Capital Cities of Heaven storyline would basically offer the character we know a bevy of opportunities to fight high-concept martial arts masters with powers and gimmicks of their own. Now, there's a lot of stuff about portals, world domination, and the politics of heavenly cities to pad the plot out in the comic. However, if the studio can see fit to bring any of the Defenders back, this story might be the way to go.

Disney+ could get dark with Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe

Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe is pretty straightforward in that it's just what it sounds like. The talkative Wade Wilson that we all know and love becomes just a little more unhinged and makes it his mission to kill literally every superhero and supervillain in the galaxy. And honestly, we think that would make for a pretty awesome Disney+ show.

After all, part of what makes Ryan Reynolds' Deadpool movies so appealing is their irreverence in the face of a superhero genre that often takes itself too seriously. Now, thanks to the Disney/Fox deal, the actor has already said he's working on a third Deadpool project with the fellas over at the MCU. What better way to introduce the fourth wall-breaking character to his new superhero family than with a canon-defying romp wherein he becomes self-aware that he's in a comic book movie/show and decides to battle or kill every single one of them?

It may sound dark, but that darkness is what makes the comic storyline so fun. Deadpool uses Pym Particles to blow up most of the Avengers, the truth about his reality causes Professor X to go brain dead, and he even battles Wolverine while wearing Beast's hide. It's over-the-top, sure, but it's the perfect metaphor for Wade Wilson's self-aware antihero to enter the MCU and have a little meta fun in the process.

Obviously, the plan wouldn't be to leave Spider-Man with a bullet in his head like the comic does, but with the What If...? cartoon and the time travel element of Infinity War and Endgame on the table, anything could happen — as long as it's fun.

The siege of Asgard would feature incredible action scenes and a powerful message

Yes, Asgard was destroyed at the end of Thor: Ragnarok. So this would either take some creative plot magic, or the story could be set in the New Asgard location teased in Avengers: Endgame, okay?

Now that we're past all that, here's the story, based on 2010's Siege. When Norman Osborn (aka the Green Goblin, who's yet to be introduced in the MCU) convinces the president of the United States that Asgard and its people pose a threat to national security, he's given permission to lead a team of supervillains to lay siege to the city. However, it turns out the tragedy that convinced the president to agree to such a plan was orchestrated by Loki in yet another effort to seize his father's throne.

Obviously, Thor does his best to save his people, but he's overwhelmed. This prompts his heroic cohorts to take up arms and defend him and the other Asgardians. Although the heroes prevail in the end, some key players don't make it out alive, and Asgard and its people are significantly worse for the wear when it's all done. It even offers Loki a bit of redemption in the end. This story feels right for Disney+ as it not only sets the stage for some awesome supervillain vs. god team-up action, but its commentary on fear-mongering and rash judgments of vast groups of people are as relevant today as they were in 2010.

Secret Wars would be Marvel's version of a battle royale

If video games have taught us anything over the past decade, it's that battle royales are cool. And in 1984, the Marvel Universe staged its very own with the Secret Wars storyline. It saw a being known as the Beyonder gather a collection of Earth's greatest heroes and villains on a planet not-so-subtly named Battleworld. 

It was also one of the most popular comics at the time, as it marked one of the first major crossover events in Marvel history. While the Marvel Cinematic Universe is nothing if not a series of incredibly well-executed crossover events, Secret Wars has still got a lot that fans would love to see. In addition to featuring a slew of exciting new characters like She-Hulk and the Eternals, characters from the X-Men and Fantastic Four are back in play.

After its success in 1984, a sort-of reboot was done in 2015 that saw Marvel characters from different continuities crossover with one another. While the multiverse logistics would need some polishing, a cosmic-level event or a being like the Beyonder might provide a quick and easy way for mutants to suddenly be around or for Stark Tower to somehow become the Baxter Building without a lot of origin story mess.

Disney+ gives the MCU a rare opportunity to play with its own mythos without the ultra-high stakes of a major blockbuster release. The original Secret Wars caught flak for its somewhat simplistic writing, but it helped usher in the world of major comic crossover events that the MCU perfected.

Disney+ could start Civil War II

In many ways, the world of the MCU can be split into pre- and post-Civil War installments. It not only divided our heroes until Thanos launched his attack and became an unavoidable threat, but it forced all the Avengers to grapple with a serious moral question and to take sides accordingly. In 2016, the comics tried to recapture that magic by starting a similar conflict between Iron Man and Captain Marvel in Civil War II, and that story would make for a pretty interesting Disney+ feature. However, with Iron Man not in the best of health these days, the leader of the second faction could be anyone, and the point would remain the same.

In short, the plot focuses on one of the Inhumans gaining the power to have premonitions of the future. Captain Marvel sees this as the ticket to stopping horrible events before they happen. Tony Stark, meanwhile, doesn't believe in taking preemptive measures to bring about peace. That provides the moral line in the sand that characters have to take sides on. Like the Sokovia Accords, it provides every hero in the Marvel Universe with a reason to not only take sides but fight. While there aren't many Tony Stark-level replacements in the MCU that could take on Captain Marvel, there are several principled heroes like Spider-Man, Hawkeye, Bruce Banner, and Thor who could believably stand up for the rights of people to not be punished for something they didn't yet do. With so many new characters joining the fold, it's time to get to know them in a trial-by-fire setting once again.

Give Bruce Banner his due with World War Hulk

If Disney+ were to take a crack at World War Hulk, it would likely be forced to fall into the What If...? roster, given Marvel's reluctance to make the Hulk anything but a supporting character. However, it fits into the MCU perfectly. The story is sparked by Tony Stark, Reed Richards, Doctor Stange and others deciding that the only safe thing to do for humanity is to banish the Hulk from Earth. However, when someone Hulk cares about is killed in the process, he manages to return to the planet, vowing revenge on the heroes who sent him away and caused the whole mess.

The MCU has hinted several times in the past that the Hulk's power is limitless in the event Bruce Banner loses control and gets really angry. Giving the character a chance to finally take the lid off and go toe-to-toe with a hero who isn't Thor would satisfy a question Marvel fans have wondered for years: Could the Hulk be stopped by our heroes and villains if they needed to? Yes, Tony Stark technically beat the Hulk single-handedly thanks to his Hulkbuster armor in Avengers: Age of Ultron, but that was before Bruce Banner tinkered with his own biology and was sent to a planet to compete as a gladiator for years.

There is a small but vocal contingent of fans who believe the Hulk didn't get a fare shake in the movies. Adapting the World War Hulk storyline could satisfy that group in a big, violent hurry. Plus, what's better than a whole bunch of MCU Hulk fights? Nothing, that's what.

Disney+ should bring Nova to the small screen

After the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie dealt so heavily with the Nova Corps, many believed that the introduction of Richard Rider (aka Nova) wasn't far behind. And in Avengers: Infinity War, it's revealed that planet Xandar, which housed the Nova Corps, was destroyed by Thanos. A similar event happens in the comic books, setting the lone surviving member of the Nova Corps on a journey to introduce one of the most powerful cosmic superheroes.

So why should the Nova storyline be adapted for Disney+? Simply put, the Guardians of the Galaxy whet fans' appetite for more stories set in the cosmic reaches of the Marvel Universe. Some of the most important and strange comics take place in outer space, and since Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will bring Peter Quill's story to an end, we need someone else out there exploring the vast reaches of of the cosmos.

So perhaps it's time to open the space travel doors in a way that's both accessible to the audience and that expands the universe even more. This doesn't even run the risk of brushing up against the main storyline of the movies since it's a lot easier to miss something going on in the far reaches of the galaxy than in the borough of Manhattan. Overall, the possibilities are endless.

Marvel heroes, meet the Masters of Evil

Frankly, with so many solo villains in the MCU being destroyed by the Avengers, it's a wonder that none of them have yet called a meeting to try and team up. In the comics, however, there are multiple versions of this story, with Baron Helmut Zemo grouping all the villains together to form the Masters of Evil. Fans may remember Zemo as the villain from Civil War and the man poised to terrorize Falcon and the Winter Soldier in their upcoming standalone series. And while Zemo seems basically worthless in a fistfight with any of our heroes, people forget that his mind allowed him to fracture the Avengers so thoroughly that they were unprepared to fight together against Thanos' big snap. He poses a big threat that's yet to be dealt with.

And between its various film and TV projects, Marvel has introduced a slew of popular villains over the years that could easily form the Masters of Evil from the comic books and overwhelm our heroes in a way that's never been seen before. This may be a stretch, but imagine a plan conceived and executed by Ultron and Kingpin. What would it look like to see Spider-Man go up against Kaecilius? Would Loki and Red Skull get along? Marvel stories are at their best when different high-level personalities and various genres of characters seamlessly intermix. Introducing the Masters of Evil to the universe opens up a bevy of crossover options that could be properly mined for years to come.

Cyclops in space

If we're being honest, no character fared worse in the transition from the pages of Marvel comic books to the big screen than Scott Summers. When he wasn't playing second fiddle to Wolverine and Jean Grey, he was dying. Meanwhile, his comic counterpart is not only a capable and principled leader, but he often operates as the voice representing the mutant community in conversations with fellow team leaders like Iron Man, Mr. Fantastic, Black Panther, and more. So, since the X-Men movies failed Summers in every way possible, maybe it's time to seize the opportunity provided by Disney+ to remove him from the X-Men and just do some cool stuff with a guy that can shoot a laser out of his eyes!

For example, Disney+ could take the story from 2014 where a time-displaced Cyclops finds his way to space and goes on adventures with his father, who he thought to be deceased. Better still, he finds out that his dad is freakin' space pirate. Putting Cyclops in the cosmos would not only help remove him from the X-Men, but it would put him where he belongs, on the playing field with other major, recognizable characters. Marvel can take all the time it needs to figure out how to bring X-Men and mutants into the MCU. While that happens, maybe it's a good look for the new owners to rectify the mistakes made to one of its most beloved characters by the past movies and give Cyclops his own story.

Disney+ could establish the X-Men with X-Tinction Agenda

In the 1990 crossover event X-Tinction Agenda, various mutants from different teams are forced to come together when they face an extinction-level event. When the island of Genosha ramps up its effectiveness as a mutant enslavement empire, even enemies of the X-Men are forced to worry about its power growing. The story sees estranged heroes reunite for the first time in years to form a new team and combat the growing threat. Although the comic book story gets really into the weeds with pre-existing X-Men lore, when it comes to reintroducing the heroes for Disney, the war with Genosha provides a great jumping-off point.

The war itself is steeped in one of the series best metaphors — people who are considered different fighting for their right to be themselves in the world. As a result, it would help introduce the mutants and their reason for living the way they do to a brand new, Disney-based audience. In addition, the subsequent victory over the Genoshans allows the heroes, in many ways, to conquer their own adversity and become ready to face the world as it is, with their powers both defined and intact. In short, adapting the storyline could give audiences a crash course in the X-Men, how the world views them, and what they can offer to change it, all together in one tight storyline.

From there, the mutants could seemingly go anywhere, provided Disney+ continues to house them.