Disney Plus launches in November, and while we won’t see any of the new Marvel television shows for a good year, their eventual release is going to be a big draw.
The recent D23 Expo revealed a lot of new information about what was coming, and when.
Falcon and the Winter Soldier
A six-episode run that’s been described as a buddy comedy, this Disney Plus Marvel show is also going to bring back Steve’s brief love interest Sharon Carter. Helmut Zemo will be a returning villain – I had completely forgotten that Black Panther had prevented him from shooting himself at the end of Captain America: Civil War. As this will be the MCU’s television debut late in 2020, the show-writing had better be top-notch.
From the time it was first announced as a Marvel Disney Plus show, the consensus has been that WandaVision is seriously weird. Paul Bettany called it “Avant-Garde, weird, and messed up.” It’s Wanda Maximoff and The Vision – who by the way is canonically dead at the moment – living in the 1950s.
There are quite a few unanswered questions here about how this can possibly happen, but the most likely explanation is that The Scarlet Witch’s reality-altering powers, which have yet to see much play in the MCU films, will manifest. This could also explain how an adult version of Monica Rambeau, who has learned to glow like her auntie Carol, appears as the next Captain Marvel. It’s basically a six-hour movie.
Two more characters making a comeback in WandaVision will be fan-favorite Kat Dennings reprising her role as Darcy Lewis, and Randall Park coming back as FBI agent Jimmy Woo, who was one of my favorite parts of Ant-Man and The Wasp.
It’s sounding to me that WandaVision will also lead directly into Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness. My guess is that it opens with Wanda, who’s sick with grief after losing first her brother and second her significant other, uses her powers to create a reality in which she and Vision can be happy, and that ends up being the idealized 1950s world, which Elizabeth Olsen has also termed a bit of a sit-com mash-up. At some point, Doctor Strange has to come in and help, which leads into his second movie, at which point I’m guessing Mordo’s extremist anti-sorcerer ways come into play.
A final interesting speculation. This seems to be based, at least in part, on the Marvel comic House of M. If that’s the case, it’s worth noting that at its conclusion, The Scarlet Witch used her powers to strip most of the mutants in the world of their powers. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it could be that she instead creates mutants.
Expect WandaVision in early 2021.
Another six-hour movie, Loki will see the continuing adventures of Thor’s adoptive brother. This Disney Plus Marvel show is tough, and we have fewer details on it than we do on most of the other MCU television. But it clearly stems from the scene in Avengers: Endgame in which Loki picks up the fumbled Tesseract, containing the Space Stone, and vanishes to pursue his own adventures.
One notion I’ve heard bandied about is that this is not the post Thor: The Dark World reformed Loki. This is a Loki who has just been foiled after failing to conquer the Earth. This is Loki at his most villainous. I’m not sure where they’ll go with the character in this series, and whether they’ll ignore or recreate his bypassed redemption. But Tom Hiddleston can almost carry the series himself. If they get good writing, it will be worth watching come early 2021.
I was casually interested in What If? until I heard that it was going to be animated. Suddenly, images of The Animatrix, Love Death and Robots, and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse played through my mind, and I was hooked on the notion. This series will explore how the MCU would change if events had happened differently.
What if Peter Parker’s uncle Ben had lived? What if Peggy Carter had become Captain America? What if that rat hadn’t run across the van’s control panel and brought Scott Lang back from the quantum realm?
Unlike the other mini-series, this one will have more than six episodes. We’re scheduled to get twenty-three separate animated episodes of What If?, and I’m ecstatic. The series will be narrated by The Watcher, who will be voiced by Jeffrey Wright, who you may know from his roles in Westworld and The Hunger Games movies. There are already leaked photos of the show’s animation. Color me excited for the show when it comes out in mid-2021.
Hawkeye himself isn’t the most interesting character in the MCU. That’s likely why they decided to make him the mentor in the upcoming miniseries. Clint Barton will be training Kate Bishop to be the new Hawkeye, and I’m willing to bet she makes a later appearance on-screen alongside heroes like Cassie Lang, Morgan Stark, and Kamala Khan.
There’s been some speculation that this TV series may draw elements from the Matt Fraction/David Aja famed Hawkguy comic run. Given the hype I’ve heard about it from comic-reading friends, that would be nothing but a good thing. Expect the Hawkeye show in late 2021.
For those of you not in the know, this isn’t Captain Marvel. Yeah – I know, it’s confusing and there is indeed a bit of a confusing history here, but suffice it to say that Miss Marvel is a separate character, Kamala Khan. She’s a 16-year-old Muslim Pakistani-American from Jersey City, and she’s a polymorph. She can lengthen her arms and legs, and change her shape. In practice, this generally amounts to her punching bad guys with a 2-foot-wide fist.
I can see the effects potentially looking goofy if not done well, but if they can do Ant-Man well, I’ve got faith that Miss Marvel can work too.
I know next to nothing about Moon Knight. He looks to be a bit of a Batman type, although he has a cab driver persona in addition to his millionaire persona. I’ll watch the show, and trust in Marvel to do their thing.
[Editor’s Note: For more information about Moon Knight’s many, many incarnations, see this excellent article.]
I know no more about She Hulk than about Moon Knight. The She Hulk miniseries will revolve around Bruce Banner’s cousin who gains superpowers after receiving a blood transfusion from him. This raises a number of questions, the first of which is why Bruce would ever agree to the transfusion, especially after Ed Norton’s Bruce Banner was so careful about a drop of his blood getting into that bottle of South American soda. A single drop in there just about killed Stan Lee in one of his cameos. Second, does She Hulk have control over her transformations, or is she like original recipe Bruce, just hulking out when she gets angry?
[Editor’s Note: She-Hulk was created way back when the blood transfusion thing worked fine in comics, plus Jen was dying. Mostly, She-Hulk/Jennifer Walters is best-known in Marvel Comics as an attorney. Sometimes she’s Jen, sometimes she’s She-Hulk in court. Sometimes in life. She traditionally hasn’t lost her intelligence when transformed. I’m personally hoping for a Superhero: Attorney at Law show. –Corrina]
Rise of Spider-Man
This show is the big mystery. I only stumbled across it when searching for entries in IMDB. Much is only available to users who have IMDB pro, but I was able to identify the cast members: Borgan Ball as Peter Parker, Noel Cecil as Wilson Fisk, Katalay Izeidi as Miles Morales, Nisaro Karim as Kraven, and Ted Claxton as Matt Murdock.
With the Disney/Sony feud over Spider-Man rights, this show isn’t likely to be on Disney Plus, which makes it extra odd that this was grouped with the others on IMDB. It’s possible that this is a recently-scrapped project, or it’s possible that it will be picked up by a third-party streaming service. Time will tell, but it would be great to see two Spider-Men team up with Daredevil to take on Kingpin and Kraven the Hunter.