The age of the Defenders is passing away; let the age of the Offenders begin!
Following the recent cancellations of Iron Fist, Luke Cage, and Daredevil, it seems like the storied Netflix/Marvel partnership is fading out. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t going to be new Marvel TV adaptations to look forward to on streaming services. On Monday, Hulu announced a new partnership with Marvel Television that would produce four new animated shows based on obscure-but-beloved comic characters: M.O.D.O.K., Hit-Monkey, Tigra & Dazzler, and Howard the Duck. These four original shows will then culminate in the team-up special Marvel’s The Offenders.
Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K. centers around the funniest-looking villain in the entire superhero canon. Though his name stands for Mechanized Organism Designed Only for Killing, the primary fact about M.O.D.O.K is that he has a really big head and a really small body. This new show will focus on M.O.D.O.K.’s struggle to maintain control of his evil organization and his demanding family. Marvel’s Hit-Monkey explores the story of a wronged Japanese snow monkey who is mentored by the ghost of an American assassin and uses his skills to cut a wide swath of revenge through the Tokyo underworld. Think of it like John Wick but as a monkey, and also there’s a ghost. Marvel’s Tigra & Dazzler Show focuses on the two title characters, who are “woke superheroes” (one of whom is a cat person, while the other is a light-powered pop singer) as they try to break big in Los Angeles.
Finally, Marvel’s Howard The Duck focuses on the travails of the talking duck character first created by Steve Gerber as a play on a classic “funny animal” character trapped in a world he never made. The character became such a counter-cultural icon in the ’70s that he received write-in votes for President in the 1976 campaign. His appearance in the end-credits scene of Guardians of the Galaxy teased a future in the MCU, but for now Howard will star in this animated show. With the hope of his “Gal pal” Beverly, Howard hopes to return home before he can be cooked by the evil Dr. Bong. Later, Howard will team up with MODOK, Dazzler, Tigra, and Hit-Monkey to “save the world and certain parts of the universe.”
Expect these shows to have a lot of humor, because some big comedy names are attached. Patton Oswalt is writing and producing M.O.D.O.K. alongside Jordan Blum and Marvel Television chief Jeph Loeb, while Chelsea Handler is an executive producer and writer on Tigra & Dazzler alongside Loeb and Erica Rivinoja. Kevin Smith and Dave Willis are writer and producers on Howard the Duck, with Loeb. Marvel pioneered the concept of the inter-connected fictional universe that has come to dominate pop culture in recent years, but these line-ups suggest they’re amenable to parodying the ideas involved.
Hulu did not announce a release window for these shows.