With his own continuation of Alan Moore’s classic graphic novel Watchmen on HBO, Damon Lindelof proved that adapting comics in TV shows has potential for some very thought-provoking storytelling. Noticing that Marvel seems to be going in the same direction with its line of upcoming Disney+ series, the writer sounds like he may be interested in putting his own touch on the MCU.
From his work on Lost, The Leftovers, and the recent thriller The Hunt, it is clear that Damon Lindelof is someone who likes to push limits. There is plenty of opportunity in the Marvel comic universe to adapt into something that will leave audiences moved, thrilled, and shocked.
So, if his participation in the MCU’s television division is on the horizon, what comic should we expect to see Damon Lindelof bring his signature, unique spin to. I have six recommendations.
It seems that Marvel is following a trend in which villains are all the rage by giving their most beloved villain, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), his own upcoming solo TV show on Disney+, but you know what is cooler than a show about one villain? A whole team of villains, such as the Dark Avengers whom, in the comics, are recruited by Norman Osborne (also known as Spider-Man villain Green Goblin) to take on the identities of famous heroes (including Bullseye becoming Hawkeye, Venom becoming Spidey, and Osborne combining Captain America with Iron Man to create the alter ego Iron Patriot) following the events of the Skrulls’ “Secret Invasion.”
Now, since none of the aforementioned bad guys have been introduced to the MCU yet and the Skrulls have been reimagined as allies (supposedly), Damon Lindelof’s version would have to take a few liberties to fit in with the franchise’s canon, but with many of the Avengers either retired, deceased, or simply unavailable following the events of Endgame, it might be an interesting idea to see these baddies giving the public false hope for their return, leading to some fascinating consequences, as well as an opportunity to introduce new villains into the mix.
The horror-centric adaptation of Swamp Thing became one of the most acclaimed live action DC shows in recent memory by fans and critics alike, yet still suffered a premature cancellation after just one season. If anyone can prove to DC Universe what a great opportunity they could have had with allowing the series to continue, it is Damon Lindelof by turning Man-Thing, Marvel’s own former scientist turned half-man, half-plant hero, into a show of its own. Lindelof is a writer who specializes in character-driven content, especially characters affected by tragedy, and Man-Thing, a creature tortured by his own loss of humanity, is going to need that special touch.
Speaking of characters tortured by the loss of their own humanity, I would say that Johnny Blaze relatively fits that bill. The story of a motorcycle racer bound to a vengeful entity as part of a deal with Mephisto to spare his dying father, turning him into the skeletal, incendiary, chopper-driving Ghost Rider sounds like some really dark, existential drama, despite none of the character’s screen adaptations (including two films with Nicolas Cage) really nailing that theme. Damon Lindelof could make this hero’s burden a huge focal point of the series that, if not focusing on Blaze this time, could also resurrect the scrapped Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spin-off intended to focus on a new Rider named Robbie Reyes, a fan-favorite played by Gabriel Luna.
Marvel’s cosmic properties have proven successful on the big screen and could probably thrive just as well on the small screen, but since the Guardians of the Galaxy are too hot for that world at the moment, maybe we should take advantage of that idea as a means to introduce another hero of interstellar origin, such as Richard Rider. Yet another one of Marvel’s more tragic figures, Rider became the lone surviving member of the Nova Corps and, after absorbing his fallen brethren’s abilities, adopted their collective title to become Nova, a one-man army against intergalactic evil.
While James Gunn has hinted at using Nova in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, this story has Damon Lindelof’s name written all over it and, not to mention, I would love to see a new take on the cosmic side of the MCU as envisioned by the guy who wrote Star Trek Into Darkness.
You may recall a scene at the beginning of Spider-Man: Homecoming in which Adrian Toomes’ (Michael Keaton) crew was taken off duty to clean up wreckage from the Avengers’ fight with the Chitauri in 2012 by a woman (Tyne Daly) who works for Tony Stark. That woman was Anne Marie Hoag, the founder of Damage Control, which is a construction company specializing in post-superhero/villain battle repairs. A series following this crew would not only be a cool opportunity to revive yet another Marvel series cancelled before its premiere, to pay off that brief Spider-Man cameo, and, most importantly, serve a way for Damon Lindelof to tell a grounded and unique MCU-canon story focusing on how ordinary, working-class people live among extraordinary, super-powered gods.
It is rumored that What If…?, the upcoming Disney+ anthology series inspired by the comic of the same name that will reimagine key storylines from the MCU, could give us the first screen adaptation of Robert Kirkman’s Marvel Zombies storyline, in which a plague turns our heroes into undead flesheaters. If that is true, I don’t know about you, but I do not want to see that multi-issue, alternate universe tale crammed into one animated half-hour episode. A story that dark, clever, and iconic deserves the live action miniseries treatment and, being the screenwriter behind Paramount’s 2013 World War Z film and the creator of HBO’s Watchmen series, Damon Lindelof knows a thing or two about apocalyptic horror and bleak takes on graphic literature, so combining is, naturally, the next step.
What do you think? Does Damon Lindelof have what it takes to give these Marvel favorites the proper small screen treatment or should they remain left alone, especially by him? Whatever your take is, let us know in the comments and be sure to check back for updates on the Watchmen creator’s next projects and the MCU’s small-screen endeavors here on CinemaBlend.
Jason has been writing since he was able to pick up a washable marker, with which he wrote his debut illustrated children's story, later transitioning to a short-lived comic book series and (very) amateur filmmaking before finally settling on pursuing a career in writing about movies in lieu of making them. Look for his name in just about any article related to Batman.
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