Published on August 19th, 2013 | by gareth0
Marvel Comics of the 70s and 80s That Would Make Great Movie Franchises
Growing up in the late 1970’s I have very fond memories of Marvel Comics. I had subscriptions to many of my favorites and I can remember how much fun it was to come home from school and find the latest issues waiting for me. I eagerly would open the mailbox each day hoping to see the familiar brown mailing sleeve before I rushed to my room to read the new arrivals.
While time and life has moved me away from reading comics like I used to, I still keep myself immersed in the universe thanks to the abundance of games and movies based on the popular and enduring characters.
With Marvel now being owned by Disney fans have been able to benefit by seeing more and more of their characters come to the screen in big budget features. Gone are the days of the cheesy television movies and low budget movies that despite their best efforts, failed to capture the possibilities of characters such as Captain America and Spider-man.
Disney finds themselves in a unique situation as although they own the company, many of their A level characters are under the control of other studios. FOX has X-Men and The Fantastic Four, Sony has Spider-Man, and Universal has The Hulk to cite a few examples.
The simplified explanation is that as long as a studio produces a new film every so many years they maintain the rights unless they have a pre-determined expiration date. Since Marvel films have done so well at the box office for the most part, license holders are not eager to see a potential cash cow return to Disney and eagerly look to explore their options for the future.
As a result, Disney has had to mine lesser known characters and titles in an effort to find their next franchises. “Guardians of the Galaxy” is currently in production and titles such as “Ant Man”, “Dr. Strange”, and even “Howard the Duck”, are being considered.
With this in mind, I want to suggest a few titles that I think would be ideal for consideration as with proper care could result in lucrative franchises for Marvel/Disney.
She Hulk: Jennifer Walters is forced to receive an emergency transfusion from her cousin Bruce Banner. As a result she transforms into a female version of the Hulk which maintains her personality but gives her amazing strength and abilities. As a twist, Jennifer is also an attorney ala Daredevil and has advised various costume heroes over the years in legal matters.
This franchise would make for an interesting mix as you could see a strong female character that would appeal to fans of the Hulk and would allow for numerous crossover options.
Spider-Woman: A female Spider-Man with her own unique powers such as a venom blast would be an interesting new wrinkle to explore on the big screen. The potential to mix action, romance, and humor could be a winning formula and would also allow some great crossovers as well especially with Peter Parker himself.
Pre “Star Wars” it was rumored that JJ Abrams was looking to obtain the rights to the series. Starting as a line of interchangeable toys in the 1970s the franchise was adapted as a series by Marvel Comics in 1979 and had a solid run through 1984 until it faded but saw various revivals over the years from other publishers.
A vast universe of robotics, mutants, good vs. evil, aliens, cyborgs, and more the potential for this series is endless. While villain Barron Karza was seen by many as a Darth Vader clone he was a character that would bring chills if properly adapted. Who knows, now that Abrams is in tight with Disney he has the perfect chance to make this happen should he be so inclined.
Rom the Space Knight:
A peaceful race of technologically advanced people is threatened by the evil shape-shifting Dire Wraiths. Volunteering to give up his humanity, Rom volunteers to become a cyborg to save his people. His example causes others to follow and although he and his fellow knights save their people the remaining Knights travel into the universe to remove the Wraith threat.
This brings Rom to Earth where he finds that the Wraiths have infested all aspects of the planet and our government. With plenty of action, mystery, and romance, the series could be a great new franchise for the company.
There are others such as Sub-Mariner, Luke Cage and Alpha Flight which could and should be considered as well but as we were told at the 2013 D23 Expo, There are over 7000 characters in the Marvel universe so there are plenty of options left to consider.