Similar to how 2008's Iron Man turned that character from a second-tier hero to a multimedia sensation, Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy had comic fans obsessing over the classic oddball alien Howard the Duck. Rumors about follow-up projects went wide, but only now has an official announcement dropped: Hulu has announced it's ordered up animated series for Howard the Duck, along with comic projects such as M.O.D.O.K., Hit-Monkey, and Tigra & Dazzler. And they're already set for a Defenders-esque crossover series.
Get ready to hear about some all-stars behind these new animated series, too. Howard the Duck, for instance, is being written by Kevin Smith and Dave Willis. The former is, of course, the comic book-friendly filmmaker who has been more known for working on live-action DC projects as of late. Willis is the absurd comedy mind behind Adult Swim's Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Squidbillies, and Your Pretty Face Is Going to Hell.
This Howard the Duck project will find the titular fowl trapped on Earth and trying to return to his home planet. By his side is the unflappable Beverly, and standing in his way is the evil Dr. Borg. It's unclear if this version will be more visually similar to the Guardians version of Howard, or the comic book take on the character. (I suppose it could also be a direct take on the film's Howard, so maybe George Lucas will ring someone up.)
Marvel's M.O.D.O.K. will be written up by comedian and A.P. Bio star Patton Oswalt. This weird little series will focus on an ego-driven baddie who boasts a gigantic head atop a tiny body. The titular character will be balancing his life between leading a successful criminal organization and trying to control a challenging family at home. Fans can probably take comfort in knowing that Patton Oswalt will give this series just the unique and grounded point of view it needs, with Jordan Blum serving as executive producer.
Josh Gordon and Will Speck, the filmmaking duo behind the broad comedies Blazes of Glory and Office Christmas Party, will be the duo penning Marvel's Hit-Monkey. Unconnected to Hit-Girl of the Kick-Ass universe, this dark and comedic revenge tale centers on a Japanese snow monkey disrupting the Tokyo underworld as guided by an American assassin's ghost. A story we've all seen a thousand times before, right? Or not.
Somewhat surprisingly, stand-up comedian and former talk show host Chelsea Handler will be one-half of the creative team behind Marvel's Tigra and Dazzler Show, along with Girls Trip and Last Man on Earth writer Erika Rivinoja. Tigra and Dazzler are two socially woke best friends and L.A. natives who spend their days battling to be recognized among the city's powerful elite. Hander and Rivinoja will no doubt add some satirical bite to this animated series.
Finally, the fifth project that's part of this giant Marvel and Hulu deal will be Marvel's The Offenders, which is an obvious pun on Netflix's Marvel-based supergroup. This combo project will see the singled-off heroes from the various four shows coming together to try and save the world, and the universe, from certain destruction. No writing team has been announced for this one yet.
It was announced at the Television Critics Association winter press tour that Marvel TV boss Jeph Loeb will be an executive producer across all five of these projects. Loeb, who also has Marvel's Runaways at Hulu, is presumed to be making an exit from Netflix in the near future, assuming the streaming giant doesn't choose to renew The Punisher for Season 3 or Jessica Jones for Season 4. (The latter's third season has yet to air.)
While we know these projects are on the way, there's no telling how long it will take for any of them to debut on Hulu. Given the length of time it takes to bring animated projects to completion, we might not get to see Howard the Duck or the others until 2020 at the earliest, but we can hope for something sooner.
While waiting to hear about when this new take on Howard the Duck will find its way to Hulu and audiences, head to our midseason premiere schedule to find all the new and returning shows that are coming.