There’s no doubt that in the past decade-plus movies based on science fiction, fantasy, and comic book properties have become the heart of the blockbuster movie season because the scope of their possibilities came within reach of special effects technology. This has lead to a certain respect given, not only to the material in movies, but also in the merchandising—and by extension the approach to related properties. What has resulted from this is a slew of cartoon series that have been absolutely phenomenal—though many are unfortunately short lived.
Shows like Young Justice, Teen Titans, Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, Spectacular Spider-Man, Wolverine and the X-Men, Batman The Brave and The Bold, and the rebooted Thundercats have seen life spans that really never allowed these shows to meet their maximum potential but nonetheless hit the nail right on the head in breathing new life in animation that are absolutely amazing. Likewise the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon on Nickleodeon and Cartoon Network’s only recently cancelled Star Wars Clone Wars have managed to build entirely new stories that are fun, enjoyable, and kid friendly adventures that have proven successful in selling kid and mark merchandise. What follows is a list—excluding the properties above that definitely should have extended and prolonged life—of properties that could really use the animation treatment, and could prove fun for fans and children of all ages.
Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth
Kamandi is set in a dystopian post-apocalyptic future where genetically altered beast men rule the Earth, and the last human boy Kamandi fights for his life with a band of jungle chimera under the backdrop of a half-sunken Statue of Liberty and an overgrown jungle Manhattan. Can you imagine the line of toys? I can, and I want to buy them for my kids. Roll out!
Dial H For Hero
To be fair, this concept kind of has been a successful franchise for many years now. The Ben 10 series all tap into this concept of the one guy who can assume multiple powers, personas, or forms in order to become the best hero for the moment using a magical belt buckle known as the “H Dial”, which looks like a rotary telephone dial. In Ben 10 the same concept is applied to an alien wrist watch and the titular Ben Tennison can assume the form of any 10 alien species (likewise his archenemy Evan 11). Since the concept is proven successful (for many years now), there is no reason not to use it to revive this series in an animated format.
Heroes for Hire
The idea of Luke Cage, Power Man and Iron Fist making themselves a for-hire supero squad is something that is very private detective gone spandex. For years, this duo was a rough and tumble comedy pairing for Marvel that became very endearing and has allowed Luke Cage and Iron Fist both to make serious headway into A-list of the Mightiest Heroes on Earth (A for…Avengers..you know what I’m saying??). Creating a cast of characters that could include Misty Knight along with frequent cameos from characters like Daredevil, Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, and Moon Knight (among others) this cartoon could act as a touchstone for the Marvel Universe at large—more so than an Avengers cartoon in a lot of ways. Between the action and comedy, I foresee kids wearing wide open colors are shouting “Sweet Christmas!” if this property was ever translated into cartoon form.
Robots made of various metals with souls (or responsometers) and whacky personalities. Developed by Dr. Will Magnus they could often face a variety of threats set forward by staple villain Dr. T.O. Morrow. The merchandising could allow for a Transformers/Power Rangers type of building up into their combined form of Alloy when you have the figures of Tin, Lead, Mercury, Gold, Platinum, Iron, and Copper respectively. I’m tellin’ you. It’ll be a good one.
Sure, you could call the Avengers…or you could call the Defenders. The cool thing about the concept of the Defenders is that you could really pull from the entirety of the Marvel Universe per story, much the way DC’s Justice League Unlimited did. The Defenders are a team of Marvel Super Heroes (usually containing Dr. Strange) to face mystical and cosmic scaled threats. We could get a glimpse at the power of the Silver Surfer, The Incredible Hulk, Hercules, anybody really. Get it going.
Agents of Atlas
The cool thing about the Agents of Atlas is that nobody really knows who they are. They are clandestine in the way that the X-Men were supposed to be in the 80s after Inferno when everyone thought they were dead. They operate behind the scenes and fight against ancient systemic evils and have a team that includes a living robot, an Atlantean bombshell, an immortal seeming Asian FBI agent, and there are dragons. DRAGONS. Also, there’s a Chinese villain who’s name is Master Plan. He’s the Master named Plan. COME ON. This is screaming to be a cartoon show. Make it happen.
The Green Lantern Corps
I know they just cancelled a Green Lantern cartoon series but this one I envision is more about the different Green Lanterns across the sectors throughout the galaxy. Drawing from different characters across the Corps history and the galaxy. Of course, this would work best as part of a larger “DC Universe” show like a showcase of different characters and teams…
Many characters like the Flash and the Metal Men could be utilized in a show like this. Many of DC’s Modern lynchpins like the Flash and Green Lantern had their start in the variety title Showcase in the 50s. The cartoon series could be just that, every week or two we’d get a new character in a short arc. Perhaps a series of 2-parters where the audience gets familiar with a character would be a way to go. More popular characters could be spun off into their own series. This one might do well aimed at a prime time slot like Justice League was…but hey. People love expanded universes, right?
There are many under utilized properties in the Big Two of comics and beyond. This is just a short list of shows I’d like to see. What shows from any company (or even beyond comics) would you like to see made (and made well)?
Written by: Brandon Melendez