We’ve been warned that we’re reaching Peak TV: the time when it becomes impossible to keep up with all the shows we want to watch–or even all the good shows we want to watch. Lord knows there’s a delicious glut of comics-inspired TV with plenty more on the way; we’ve discussed it at some length on the podcast and here on the blog.
We’ve seen characters we love come to life–hello, John Constantine–as well as characters we could do without (sorry, Amanda Waller, check back with us when you get a second dimension). But there are thousands more waiting in the wings, hoping for some bright young writer (and grizzled old casting director) to help them make the jump from page to screen. Here’s our shortlist for showrunners:
1. Ms. Marvel: Kamala Khan is one of our all-time faves, though her book has only been around for a year and a half. She’s smart, she’s conflicted, she’s excited about her newfound powers, and she sidesteps stereotypes of Muslims, women, and teenagers. As an Inhuman, she’d be a great match for Agents of SHIELD, though showing her powers might blow through their special effects budget unless they cut to animation whenever she’s onscreen.
Show: Agents of SHIELD
Actor: Sarayu Blue, though she’s already been on Agents of SHIELD, so maybe…Archie Panjabi?
2. Squirrel Girl: She effortlessly defeats the biggest of the big bads; even Galactus finds another planet to eat after meeting her. Despite this, her down-to-earth charm and easy-on-the-budget powers make her a great guest-spot match for any show that needs a lighthearted change of pace. Unfortunately, Marvel has gone all-in on Serious Drama, though SG was nanny for Luke Cage and Jessica Jones’ kid, so we’ll just slot her in there and hope for the best.
Show: Jessica Jones and Luke Cage
Actor: Shailene Woodley
3-4. Dream and Death: Sure, they’re faintly ridiculous, grubby, deus-ex-machina characters who are relevant only in our 90s-addled minds, but come on! How awesome would it be for the Endless to start showing up in our favorite shows? They would have been perfect for one-shots or recurring roles on Constantine, but it’s now dead beyond hope, so we’ll have to make do. Gotham’s too gritty, The Flash is too flashy, and Legends of Tomorrow is probably too sci-fi-oriented, so it’s up to Arrow to make this happen.
Actors: Adrien Brody and Emma Stone
5. Midnighter: Warren Ellis’ take on the Batman archetype added superhuman fighting instincts and a license to kill to the dark vigilante myth, and Midnighter is one of the fiercest gay superheroes we’ve ever seen. He’d be interesting on Gotham if he powered down a little, if only to give Baby Bruce something to think about. But he’d be perfect as an adversary on The Flash–his overclocked tactical mind could challenge Barry like nobody else, and his status as permanent antihero would be a nice splash of darkness in Central City.
Show: The Flash
Actor: Taye Diggs
6. The Question: Yes, he started as a ridiculous mouthpiece for ridiculous political ideas, but the dude had style. Wearing a featureless mask was perfectly creepy, and his Justice League Unlimited incarnation is the perfect launch point for live action. He’s an ecumenical conspiracy theorist who’s always right (at least when the plot needs him to be), and that makes him a perfect quirky quest-giver for a show like Supergirl–or we hope so, as all we’ve seen is the trailer. Bonus points: There will be nerds who accuse the show of ripping off Watchmen‘s Rorschach.
Actor: Kevin Corrigan
7. Sub-Mariner: Ah, Prince Namor. Marvel’s go-to asshole always tells the truth the heroes don’t want to hear while sounding like the rich villain in a summer camp movie. He’s got a longer history than most, so he could plausibly pop up in our favorite post-war comics adaptation, Agent Carter. No doubt he’d simultaneously recognize Peggy’s ultra-competence while still giving the SSR boys a master class in casual sexism. He’s just weird enough to fit into Carter’s world without delivering an “everything you know is wrong” vibe.
Show: Agent Carter
Actor: Harry Shum, Jr.
Once we take over Hollywood, we’ll make sure these folks get the love they deserve. Which characters do you want to see on screen? And hey, since there’s not a chance that every one of these casting choices is okay with you, let us know who should really play them in the comments.