Before You Celebrate A Female Led Marvel Series On ABC, Remember…? (OPINION)

You might see that headline and think that this is going to be one kind of article. So let me clarify it right from the start. ABC has made some interesting choices over the years when it comes to female led superhero series. So when Deadline broke the news today that ABC was “in talks” with Marvel about a “mostly new” female led series to replace Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., I was not as excited as most. That doesn’t mean Marvel doesn’t have a lot of amazing heroes that deserve their own series. It means I’ve heard this before from ABC.

This is far from the first time we have heard a story like this. Starting with Marvel, remember not too long ago there was a Marvel female superhero team series that was supposed to land at ABC, and they passed. Years ago, ABC was supposed to be the network that would air a Jessica Jones series, which they also passed on. This isn’t exclusive to Marvel heroes either. Remember the ‘Greatest American Hero’ reboot starring Hannah Simone? Not picked up by ABC.

I think that’s plenty of examples in the genre to see a bit of a pattern emerging. Now I’m not saying all of these shows would have been successful. I’m also not saying the whole Jessica Jones thing didn’t work out for the best. What I am saying here is, this is either a pattern or a huge coincidence. Yes, ABC did have Agent Carter, but the series barely made it to a second season before being axed. The big questions are, has ABC also noticed this problem and are they taking steps to correct it?

There are two female led dramas within the genre premiering on ABC in September. One is ‘Stumptown’, starring Cobie Smulders, based on the Oni Press comic book series. The other is ‘Emergence’, which ABC actually rescued after NBC passed. So it’s possible that ABC has learned from these past choices, and are looking to change that. Right now it is too soon to tell if that will be the case or not, but it seems like a good start. There is one more thing to consider.

Marvel now has two other platforms, without the restrictions of network TV, to house their brand new series. Disney+ and Hulu both have new Marvel shows coming, and some big names as that. So where does ABC fit into this mix? Ms. Marvel seems destined for the MCU at some point. The big screen seems like the more likely destination of Ghost Spider, as well. Is this a chance to possibly give Lady Sif her own series? With Jane Foster becoming the new Thor, and Valkyrie becoming King, where does that leave Sif? Rumors are that she could rule alongside Valkyrie, but Lady Sif hasn’t exactly had a lot of luck in the MCU with relationships. Jaime Alexander’s series ‘Blindspot’ is heading into it’s final season, so I certainly wouldn’t rule this out. There have also been She-Hulk rumors in the past, even a Fearless Defenders, so there are plenty of options. I do think it’s safe to assume that any Marvel/Netflix characters are out due to rights restrictions (sorry Misty Knight and Colleen Wing fans!)

So while I too am hopeful that a female led series will be headed to ABC, and that the talks materialize into something amazing, I personally have to remain cautious. Either way, there is a lot of great Marvel TV to be excited about in the next few years.