How Marvel TV Shows Will Surprise Everyone This Year

Whether on the big screen or in your living room, Marvel seems like it can do no wrong. The comics company formally announced a whole lot of upcoming television projects during this year's San Diego Comic Con. So what exactly do we have to look forward to during the upcoming 2016-2017 couch potato season?

The return of Daisy

The cliffhanger for ABC's Agents of SHIELD involved Agent Daisy Johnson (Chloe Bennet) going off of SHIELD's grid and doing her own rogue hero work as SHIELD attempted to bring her back into the fold. Since Daisy is the heart and soul of the show, there's no doubt she will be an official agent again. It also seems likely that SHIELD will bring back Lance Hunter (Nick Blood) and Bobbi Morse (Adrianne Palicki) since their spinoff series, Marvel's Most Wanted, died before the pilot even aired. Even though they were written out of Agents of SHIELD pretty permanently, not even death is forever in comics, and Marvel quietly slipped them into next season's synopsis. Season four will also have a significant shakeup, as an unknown figure from 1940s Marvel Comics will act as the face of SHIELD. As long as it isn't Flexo the Rubber Man, we're cool.

Spirit of vengeance

Early teaser posters for the fourth season of Agents of SHIELD incorporate a flaming chain, which confirmed the appearance of Ghost Rider in upcoming episodes. We can finally wash the taste of Nicolas Cage out of our mouths, but this new version probably won't be what old-school Marvel fans would expect. The new Ghost Rider will be based on Robbie Reyes, a teenager who rides around in a muscle car possessed by his uncle and commits Dexter-like murders of bad guys to satiate the evil spirit. Showrunners told Entertainment Weekly they'll be staying relatively true to the Reyes version of the character (but with tweaks) which doesn't totally rule out the appearance of Johnny Blaze.

Marvel Knights

Die-hard fans know Marvel's planned Defenders show doesn't really stick to canon, since the four proposed team members were never on a coherent team together in the comics. Rather, the team bears more similarity to Daredevil's Marvel Knights, which also included Luke Cage, Black Widow and Dagger. Although we haven't heard about Freeform's Cloak & Dagger series since April, Marvel's TV universe seems to be coalescing around the Knights. All we need is Shang-Chi (which Marvel has reportedly been looking to cast) and Moon Knight. There's no way the magical detective hero can be too far away.

Heart of Shou-Lao

Marvel knows better than to give us another rich guy hero who happens to fight crime on the side after some mystical ninja training. We already have Batman and that's pretty much the exact plot of the upcoming Doctor Strange. While early reports of the Iron Fist storyline don't diverge much from the trope, Marvel needs a unique twist on Danny Rand so that it's not just more of the same. Since the MCU will finally incorporate magic into their story, it's possible that Iron Fist's comic origins will be treated accurately, complete with a fight against a heartless dragon. (Literally, a dragon.) We already have enough Netflix heroes whose main power is punching things really hard, and Marvel has to know this. Bring on the reptiles.

Better villains

One thing curiously absent from Daredevil is his secondary arch-nemesis, Bullseye. While Colin Farrell played the antagonist in 2003's Daredevil, the villain has yet to appear in the modern MCU and his absence is conspicuous. Eagle-eyed viewers of the Daredevil series have also noted the appearance of Stilt-Man's extending legs in the background of Melvin Potter's workshop, and though the long-legged villain is fairly useless, his appearance in the MCU would probably bring a fair amount of levity to the Netflix series. Finally, even though Leland Owlsley (played by Bob Gunton), seemed to be a fairly normal guy on the series, his comic counterpart, the Owl, is a super-villain and could be the perfect persona for his vengeful son, Lee Owsley. Expect at least one especially crazy villain this year.


While the rights to Marvel's mutants now belong exclusively to 20th Century Fox, Marvel somehow managed to incorporate the mutant concept into FX's Legion, which features a character who (in the comics) is Professor Xavier's whacked-out son. And while it is a Marvel production, it also exists outside of any other established universe, according to SlashFilm. At this point, Marvel isn't one to segment their characters into separate universes, so there's little doubt Legion will finally absorb mutants into the the MCU. At the very least, nothing in Legion will intentionally divide it from the MCU. It may not be obvious, but this is probably just the first step of finally unifying all of Marvel's characters under one roof.

Family ties

Although the Marvel movie and TV worlds exist in tandem, Marvel doesn't seem to make much effort to tie them together. It's rare to find a direct reference between the two and crossovers are few except for Agents of SHIELD, which included Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg), Agent Carter (Hayley Atwell) and Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander). Beyond that, it's mostly just a scattered field of Easter eggs and mentions. But as Marvel amps up its TV universe with an intertwined network of shows, the characters will likely become a more legit part of Marvel's movie franchise. And it could go both ways: We could start to see more familiar faces from the films make their way to TV. After all, that Cumberbatch guy is no stranger to television.

War Zone

We can't forget about the Punisher, a guest anti-hero so charismatic on Daredevil that he's getting his own show on Netflix. While Jon Bernthal's turn in the role of Frank Castle has been well-received, it's never been easy to make a truly interesting onscreen adaptation about the vigilante. The Punisher can be complex, but generally, he's all guns and blood. Although Netflix has yet to announce a premiere date for The Punisher, we'll likely see a more evolved version of the character. Early rumors even had the Punisher replacing Iron Fist in The Defenders, so he'll likely show up again before his own series premieres, guns blazing.

Damage Control

In the middle of the unending, always-dark punch-fest that is Marvel's TV programming, we'll also have ABC's Damage Control, a comedy based on the Marvel comic of the same name. Easter eggs mentioning the repair crew have been planted as far back as 2008's Iron Man, and the team was mentioned again in Agents of SHIELD. ABC promised the show will premiere during the 2016-2017 TV season and details have been few. But if there's no MODOK, we'll riot.