I’m currently about halfway through Marvel’s Jessica Jones. It’s quite good. Daredevil was also quite good.
I may be playing down my altogether unprofessional squealing devotion; they’re both fantastic and have received outstanding critical acclaim. This, in addition to the upcoming Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Defenders and recently announced Punisher Netflix series’, Marvel’s shared Cinematic Universe is about to get a little more cowded.
But now we’ve seen two of the type of characters they’re putting out there, I thought it was time to weigh in on which characters from the vast, vast (and then some more vast) ocean of Marvel’s 70+ year old comic universe could be used for future forays into the Netflix format. Here are my picks.

1. Ghost Rider
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Who are they?
Now I’m something of a Ghost Rider fan, I was always interested in the character so I took a chance and ordered some volumes of the Marvel’s excellent Essential graphic novel line (I’ll expect my cheque in the mail, True Believers) which dedicates itself to reprinting- in black and white –the original stories from way back when characters were conceived. Marvel recently received the film (and we can assume television) rights back to this character and now seems the prime time to utilise them. We will not mention any previous iterations of the character on screen. The Ghost Rider (or the original one, who we’ll use for the purposes of this article) is a ‘Spirit of Vengeance’, a very powerful entity/demon/spirit borne out of hell with only the purpose of reaping retribution on those whom have wronged their fellow man (or woman, mutant or anthropomorphic duck, as it may be around Marvel’s neck of the woods).
Johnny Blaze is the host of this malevolent creature, in the original story making a satanic pact with the Devil himself to save his adoptive father’s life by selling his soul in return for servitude to Satan when his old man croaks. Lo and behold, the Devil tricks Johnny (you know, because he’s the fucking Devil) and attempts to overtake his body, heart and soul with the power of the Ghost Rider. Through several stories, Johnny escapes Lucifer’s control and ends up roaming the US, righting wrongs and scaring the hell out of moustachioed 70’s biker gangs.

What can they do?
The Ghost Rider, using Johnny Blaze as a medium, can do a variety of hellish things; for one, it can throw forth streams of ice cold soul-searing hellfire (or ‘soulfire’ as its amusingly changed to sometime in the first few years; the series made several changes to distance itself from devil-worship) from its mouth or hands. Johnny is a former stunt man and a petrolhead who goes bonanza for motorcycles- as such, he’s able to pull off some pretty sharp manoeuvres, further enhanced by his alter ego’s supernatural powers. The Spirit of Vengeance is extraordinarily resilient to knives and gunfire, making it a flaming calcium-based tank in a leather jacket.
Most importantly of all and one of his coolest powers, the Ghost Rider can make eye contact (without eyes, don’t ask me) with any villainous ne’er-do-well or being to perform the Penance Stare, forcing them to feel all the pain, suffering and sin they’ve done upon others in their pitiful time. Results vary from leaving the victim as a blubbering, gibbering mess to instant cardiac arrest and shock.
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How would it look and why does it need the Netflix treatment?
As Marvel has shown from Jessica Jones and Daredevil, a character driven drama with superheroes can really work, especially in the Netflix format— Ghost Rider, being a solitary character, would be a chance for Marvel to really open the throttle on intense focus with a single character’s struggle and also leave tonnes of room for new locations, plots and situations given the character’s tendency to wander; JJ and DD are pretty heavily New York based, which is intentional but given a hypothetical “Phase 2” for Netflix it would be nice to see them open up their horizons a bit; dust bowls of the Mojave, the mesas of Arizona and pictures of dry, backwater small town America.
The only issue here is the budget—the wandering can be a push if they were to shoot on location and the character in itself would require no doubt a significant special effects quota put aside just for animating a flaming skull for two or three scenes an episode; but there are ways around all these and to see Marvel’s Satanic Avenger tearing up asphalt on the small screen would be a true delight.

2. Moon Knight
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Who are they?
The Moon Knight is another character with their first footsteps in the 70’s (it was a good time for weird, tortured characters with religious/mythological trappings) – he’s a vigilante who, for the most part, operates out of New York (links here with Marvel’s other Netflix outings) and primarily is known for being totally off his bloody rocker. ‘Marc Spector’ is the gentleman’s real name– or Jake Lockley– or Steven Grant, depending on whom you ask. Yes, you see, Moon Knight has split personality disorder. Or created cover identities which he then accidentally assimilated into his psyche? I’m not entirely sure, he’s weird; let’s leave it at that.
Aside from constantly playing psychological Twister, Spector/Lockley/Grant believes himself to be an avatar of the Egyptian god Khonshu, a god of Vengeance. This brings a supernatural element to the character, meaning Moon Knight can deal with the likes of Werewolves, bugmen and cults while simultaneously bashing in the heads of alley-grade thugs. It’s a nice mix.

What can they do?
Marc Spector was a US Marine and a heavy weight boxer as well as a martial artist; this may need toning down for the small screen but in the source material, Spector is a power house even before he’s bestowed the supernatural powers of Khonshu. Kind of cheesy and not necessarily an element to use, Moon Knight receives different degrees of superhuman strength, reflexes and agility depending on the phase of the lunar cycle, though some writers suggest this is purely due to Spector’s own mad self-hypnosis caused by his fractured mind, making him believe he is stronger, faster, more agile than he actually is and to a degree creating an induced placebo effect.
Over the years, Moon Knight has adopted semi-Batman levels of modus operandi; he uses several gadgets in combination with his ‘supernatural’ abilities as well as weaponry. The primary differences are in their characters and in Moon Knight’s willingness to take lives.
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How would it look and why does it need the Netflix treatment?
Moon Knight’s danger is in coming close to Daredevil in terms of set- Spector is a street-level hero who takes on criminals on their own level. Again, this kind of level of action is present in Jessica Jones, though less heavily. Where Moon Knight would really shine would be in its exploration of Marc Spector’s fractured psyche; we saw some fantastic (And at times altogether too realistic) explorations of PTSD in JJ but to explore split personality disorder, schizophrenia and moral culpability in relation to those two conditions would be a great well to draw from- netflix as a platform allows us to explore this idea in a slow, spreading manner over 13 episodes, giving the subject matter the time and attention it deserves.

3. Ms Marvel (Kamala Khan)
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Who are they?
Kamala Khan is a recent addition to the Marvel Universe- it will be her 2 year anniversary with us this month –and has quickly become a fan favourite. Kamala is the latest iteration of the ‘Ms. Marvel’ character after Carol Danvers; Kamala is a big fan of the original Ms. Marvel and takes the mantle up in honour. Kamala is a 16-year old girl from Jersey City, meaning any adaptations could push the boat out a little in getting away from Hell’s Kitchen (seriously, the area is like what, 20 blocks big and none of these people have run into eachother yet?). Kamala is an Inhuman, which if you’ve been watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D is a pretty big deal. She’s a teenager in high school struggling with grades, boys, her pushy parents, her feelings about her religion and oh—the fact she’s a freaking superhero. Move over, Peter Parker.
Kamala is a bright, thoughtful young woman and has been lauded the internet over (and in several meatspace establishments also) for being a well-fleshed out, non-sexualised female character. Not only this, she and her creators have been praised for her presentation as a Pakistani American and as a Muslim as well. Arbitrary ‘PC’ elements added to a character or production can often be tacky and jarring, but (From what I have seen and read) it feels like a welcome, important part of this young Ms. Marvel’s character yet without dominating it for the sake of inclusion. She’s a geek, she’s awkward, she’s popular with fans– she’s all the above and more and she’s ripe for casting on the screen.

What can they do?
Kamala is an Inhuman which- for those of you in the audience without ironic T-shirts and less than 20/20 vision –means she was a normal every day human with latent genes which when activated by special mists, cause miraculous abilities to manifest. Kamala’s manifested in the form of shapeshifting abilities- she is able to change her appearance, elongate her limbs to comic (ha!) proportions or shrink or increase her physical size.
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How would it look and why does it need the Netflix treatment?
Compared to the others, Ms. Marvel would be a very different kind of animal to the others I have suggested here. Somewhat lighter, this could be treated as a high school drama, focusing on Kamala’s issues in average teenage life; which is not to say we lose any depth here, we’ve been shown time and time again that these stories can be some of the most moving and best mediums to touch on very relevant narratives. Kamala is a triptych of the coming-of-age character; she’s a young sixteen year old at high school who doesn’t fit in; she’s also a burgeoning superhero, her powers something she is very new to; she’s a raised Muslim who is coming to the age where she’s beginning to question her faith. With those three points, we have the basis of several hours’ worth of engaging, heartfelt television. And through Marvel and Netflix, we can be sure the series would receive the budget, the casting and the direction it would deserve to tell an excellent, honest, unabashed story.

So there are my thoughts- 3 characters who demand screen coverage, whether they’ve been rolled out before only to faceplant in metaphorical gravel (I’m looking at you, Nicholas Cage) or whether they’re new additions, this trio are ripe for a small screen appearance.

But don’t take my word for it, feel free to shout at me over the internet, throw things at me in the street, burn my house down; let me know which obscure 2-issue Mutant I missed out on who definitely needs their big break, or how the only thing it’s worth Marvel making is that epic foreign language piece focusing intensely on the childhood and formative years of Doctor Doom. Sound off with your thoughts below/above/generally at the PC.