Glass Case: Iron Man toys are feng shui this holiday

With the holiday season upon us, an Avengers TV spin-off in the works (S.H.I.E.L.D. from Joss Whedon) and Iron Man 3 just around the corner (in 2013), Iron Man toys are most definitely in style.

Typically, over-sized toys tend to be less favored than their 4-6″ scale counterparts. Typically, giant toys have less points of articulation and less detail than their smaller scale brethren. However, the 10″ Power Attack Iron Man figure from Hasbro is glass case worthy and has a few interactive features to boot.

With points of articulation on his legs, neck and shoulders, you can get away with a handful of heroic poses with this figure. This over-sized Avenger has two, push-button missile launchers attached to his back. Power Attack Iron Man also says different quotes from The Avengers movie when you tap the power-source button on his chest.

He’s currently on sale on Amazon.com for 16.97.
Avengers Power Attack Iron Man 10″ Figure

Frank Grillo to play Villainous Lead in ‘Captain America: Winter Soldier’

Disney is the place where announcements are being made this week. First they purchase Lucasfilm and now they’re making more announcements on Phase 2 of one of the upcoming Marvel films, Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Frank Grillo has been cast to play Crossbones, an assassin employed by the Red Skull, and the main villain in the Captain America sequel.

frank grillo winter soldierwinter soldier

Comics writer, Ed Brubaker used the mercenary Crossbones as a major piece to his Winter Soldier saga from which the movie is based on. For those unfamiliar with Crossbones, he is more of a hand-to-hand street fighting combatant than he is a super-powered being who is deadly with a wide range of weapons. In Brubaker’s landmark story, Crossbones carried out all of the Red Skull’s dirty work, including the assassination of Steve Rogers.

Longtime BuzzFocus readers will remember Grillo from his role as Nick Savrinn in Prison Break and recently he’s played big parts in some of our favorite films like The Grey and Warrior. He’ll also start in Kathryn Bigelow’s latest film, Zero Dark Thirty and Warner Bros.’ Gangster Squad. His casting is an excellent one in our opinion for Crossbones and the thought of Cap engaged in closer combat excites us too.

Grillo tweeted this late Tuesday night: “Much thanks and appreciation for the kind words. I’m over the moon about being Crossbones.”

Captain America: The Winter Soldier picks up from the end of The Avengers and will feature Chris Evans once again as the lead role of Steve Rogers/Captain America with Samuel Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, and Colbie Smulders reprising their roles as Nick Fury, Black Widow and SHIELD Agent Maria Hill. Sebastian Stan will return as Bucky Barnes who we last saw fall off a speeding train into the cliffs of European mountain range. He miraculously survived and eventually becomes The Winter Soldier, a tool of the KGB during the Cold War. Also schedule to be in the film is Anthony Mackie who plays Sam Wilson/The Falcon. Meanwhile the search continues for an actress to play Sharon Carter. Anthony and Joe Russo are directing. The Winter Soldier is set for an April 4, 2014 release date.

The Amazing Spider-Man: a spectacular and somewhat dizzying experience

The Amazing Spider-Man

The Amazing Spider-Man can be a spectacular and somewhat dizzying experience. Spidey has the ability to run up chairs, desks, walls and just about anything in the environment with the fluidity on an insect. When he swings through New York City, collecting a near infinite amount of comic books, it’s a web-slinging good time. However, bland environments, mediocre boss battles, redundant missions and an off-balanced camera will hamper the excitement of this otherwise fun wall-crawling adventure.

The game serves as an epilogue of sorts to The Amazing Spider-Man movie. The lizard is in jail (or rather a mental institution much like Batman’s Arkham Asylum) and Gwen is still working at Oscorp. On the surface, Oscorp appears to be newly reformed and working towards fixing its negative public image – left in the wake of Dr. Curtis Connors’ lizard experiments. Unfortunately, when Gwen sneaks Peter Parker into Oscorp things go horribly wrong. They discover more animal-human testing. Then, things go even more wrong when the hybrid animals go crazy when Spider-Man is near them.

The story starts off with a semi-intriguing plot of infected scientists and Spidey racing against the clock to save the city. He even recruits Dr. Connors to help him. The story isn’t filled with any unpredictable twists, but the voice acting (the talents are not the actors from the movie, but they do a superb job) and initial setup is enough to keep you playing.

The coolest thing about this game is Spider-Man’s smooth controls. Developer Beenox has nearly perfected Spidey’s flawlessly fluid movements. When he’s indoors, he can swing through just about anywhere with ease as long as he dodges pits of green ooze. There are also ample ventilation shafts for Spidey to crawl through and get the drop on opponents.

If you’ve played Batman: Arkham City, you’ll find the combat and reversal system in The Amazing Spider-Man reasonably familiar. Typically, multiple opponents surround Spidey. While he racks up his combo meter punching one opponent, his Spidey sense will trigger, giving you a chance to jump out of the way and crush another attacker. If your Spidey sense flashes red, however, you’ll have to use your web escape to jump out harms way completely from an unblockable attack.

There’s also plenty of web shooter action to be found in this game. Players can slowdown giant fans (or turbines) in order to walk through large air vents. You can also shoot webbing at your opponent and nail them to the wall or ground.

The Amazing Spider-Man

Various upgrades are available as you gain experience points from clobbering opponents, collecting tech items and grabbing comic books from the Manhattan streets. Combat upgrades are introduced as you level up, while tech upgrades help you build up stronger mechanics for your web shooters.

Combat gets interesting once you’re able to perform stealth attacks from above. Players will have a fun time climbing on the ceiling, positioning Spidey directly over an enemy, covering that enemy in a web cocoon and then hauling your wrapped-up-bad guy up to the ceiling. As you level up, you’ll be able to grab multiple opponents at a time.

Unfortunately, there are times when crawling on a ceiling can be a grueling task. Often the camera gets a little wonky when Spidey transitions from the side of a wall to the ceiling. Your vision will often get blocked and you won’t know if you’re on the side of a wall or on the ceiling until an enemy spots you and starts shooting.

There are also exterior moments when Spidey just can’t seem to stop an action. If you run up the side of a building – just to get to the roof – Spidey will continue running until he jumps completely over the roof to the other side of the building. Players will be forced to slow down to a wall crawl before they reach the top. It’s somewhat of a nuisance, but doesn’t take away from the overall enjoyment of wall running and crawling.

Most of the interior locations are boring, bland environments with hardly any indistinguishable features. It makes navigating through missions a chore. Swinging through the city is a more enjoyable task. There are several side missions to finish. Spidey can save civilians from petty crimes, clear up police deadlocks, participate in high-speed car chases, perform extreme stunts, or help a reporter gather information on Oscorp. These side missions are brief pockets of entertainment that pop up on your map. You’ll want to finish every side quest because they give you an excuse to swing through Manhattan, gathering comic books. There are over 500. Phew.

Most of the side quests are redundant. Taking infected civilians to pop-up medical stations is the same as turning mental patients back over to the authorities. Car chases simply amount to covering up a car windshield with some web fluid, while dodging gunfire. It’s more or less a well-covered up cinematic action.

Boss battles have the same cookie cutter feel. Monstrous, robotic enemies don’t really drum up any of the excitement of the comic book. Typically, they involve dodging an attack, targeting a glowing hot point and then button mashing either your attack or web cartridge button to break off a piece of the robot.

Spidey has the ability to Web Rush through city streets and building interiors. By pressing the right bumper, time goes into pseudo-slow motion as Spidey determines where to jump to next. This is great for changing up directions mid-swing to grab a comic book. Sadly, it also helps you to cheat your way through boss battles.

The Amazing Spider-Man ranks up there as one of my favorite Spider-Man games of all time. However, in keeping with the movie time line, the game dropped the ball on intertwining other great Spidey comic book characters. Even if we couldn’t see more Spidey villains, it would have been cool to see a heroic cameo from – say – Daredevil. The player’s ability to control Spidey’s web slinging action is definitely at its best ever. Sadly, the weak environments lack the HD brilliance of a 2012 game.

The Amazing Spider-Man
The Amazing Spider-Man
Genre: Action
Platform: Xbox 360, also available on PS3
Developer: Beenox
Publisher: Activision
Release Date: June 26, 2012

Rating:

7 / 10

Who wants to see Joss Whedon direct X-Men: Days of Future Past?! – We do!

It’s official.

After directing the awe-inspiring X-Men reboot, X-Men: First Class, Director Matthew Vaughn has decided to walk from the sequel, X-Men: Days of Future Past. Although Vaughn co-wrote the script, he has opted out of returning to the franchise.

So who do you want to see directing the next X-Men movie?

How about Joss Whedon? Although the director’s plate is full with the Avengers TV spin-off, S.H.I.E.L.D., he’d be a great choice to helm an X-Men movie. After all, he was a writer on the Astonishing X-Men comic book. So who better than Whedon to take the mantle.

Christopher Nolan of course would also be an awesome choice, given his work on the Batman trilogy. But don’t expect Nolan to come running back to the directors seat on comic book adapted movies so quickly. The Batman trilogy took up 10 years of the directors career.

Who don’t we want? Zach Snyder. Although Snyder helmed the upcoming Man of Steel movie, his past films scream action overload, green screen and little character development. His ties to the new Superman movie has fans cautiously waiting on the fence for Superman’s return.

Bryan Singer is reportedly on the short list for directors. Singer spearheaded the X-Men film franchise in 2000. However, nothing has been confirmed by Singer’s representatives.

Directors aside, one thing is certain – Michael Fassbender returning to the role of Erik Lehnsherr, aka Magneto, will be awesome.

Source: Deadline

Witness the end of the heroic age in new Iron Man 3 Trailer

What makes a hero a hero? The Avengers, Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, survived Loki. Now Iron Man is back, alone and struggling with new demons.

Iron Man 3 hits theaters in 2013. While the second Iron Man movie debatably sucked, The Avengers washed away the bad sequel’s bad taste. The movie was a home run for Marvel Comics. Now everyone is wondering if Iron Man 3 repeat the success of the team-up movie.

Points against it… No Joss Whedon at the helm. Instead, Shane Black – whose last (and only) director spot to date was in 2005 with Kiss Kiss Bang Bang – takes over the reigns of the metal hero (as writer and director). Black was on the creative side of all of the Lethal Weapon movies so he’ll have no problem grasping Tony Stark’s (or rather Robert Downey Jr.’s ) whit.

The new trailer sets the mood for a darker Iron Man film. As far as hero movies go, it will be going up against Man of Steel, the new Superman movie from DC Comics.

Which movie are you looking forward to the most?

Captain America Steals Election from President Barack Obama & Mitt Romney

The 2012 presidential race is heating up between Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama.

However, a new candidate has risen up from the ranks – at least in Marvel Comics’ Ultimate Universe.

After saving the world, yet again, Steve Rogers (aka Captain America) will win the presidential election via write in vote this Fall – showing the world that the bipartisan system can be sidestepped if a superhero is the one to do it.

ultimate comics captain america

This week in Ultimate Comics Ultimates #15, from writer Sam Humphries and artist Billy Tan, Captain America will learn that he has won the special election for the Presidency. In Ultimate Comics Ultimates #16, from artist Luke Ross, Captain America will accept the position of President of the United States.

Captain America isn’t the first comic veteran to become President. Nearly a decade ago, DC Comics had Lex Luthor win the presidency. Needless to say, that didn’t please Superman.

Axel Alonso, Editor in Chief, Marvel Entertainment stated: “We’ve seen Captain America fight wars and battle super villains, but running a country is a whole new challenge—but don’t worry, this isn’t about political speeches and closed door meetings. This is exactly the kind of high-octane, super powered thrill ride you’d expect from a book called The Ultimates!”

What do you say to Captain America’s new-found role in comics?

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Check out these panels from the upcoming issues of Ultimate Comics Ultimates:

James Gunn is first approached to direct Marvel Studios’ challenging ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

The Marvel Studios’ Phase 2 films are filled with no-brainer sequels from Iron Man 3 to Thor 2: The Dark World. The one in particular that I am most excited to see reach the big screen is Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which should be largely based on the landmark Ed Brubaker story that ran in comics in the late 2000s, reintroducing Cap’s WWII sidekick, Bucky as an assassin working for the KGB. Then there’s Ant-Man, which I strangely have all the confidence in the world, given Edgar Wright’s involvement. But the big elephant in the room is the Guardians of the Galaxy– the pivotal film of Phase 2. Marvel is very clear in trying to reproduce the same big screen magic that The Avengers created but up in space–a great challenge no doubt. So why are they talking to James Gunn, Peyton Reed and the directing pair of Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden?

Guardians of the Galaxy

Gunn is their first choice according to THR because of his ability to combine genres seemlessly from comedy and horror to superero dramas. Some of that was developed in creating films for the low-budget schlock factory, Troma Entertainment, as well as directing two low-budget films, the slice-of-life drama about a crime-fighting vigilante, Super with Rainn Wilson and Ellen Page, and Slither, a horror comedy that starred Nathan Fillion and Elizabeth Banks.

That’s a pretty big car being gifted to a director/writer without some major box office success, but Marvel is willing to see how it can make these films and keep the costs down. Sometimes careers are made on calculated risks and there’s a lot to like about Super and I can see how comparisons with Gunn have been made to Avengers director, Joss Whedon. By banking on talent on the rise, Marvel is able to save some money and at the same time help vault the career of a director who has shown the potential to be a blockbuster filmmaker. It’s a smart way to do it, but there’s always the risk of being a flop. So far, Marvel has not swung and missed with its loyal fan base, unlike say Warner Bros. did with Green Lantern but Guardians of the Galaxy will require a similar leap of space faith.

The roster for Guardians of the Galaxy are Star-Lord (weapons combatant), Groot (an alien plant monster), Drax the Destroyer (a warrior with Hulk-like strength), Gamora (an cybernetically-enhanced assassin) and an anthropomorphic military tactician Rocket Raccoon.

Why try to introduce some massive space saga when everything besides Thor has taken place on Earth? For those who stayed through the Avengers‘ credits saw a teaser with Thanos as the big baddie Marvel is building towards in Phase 2. Thanos is one of the cosmic characters in the Marvel Universe and is potentially one of the, if not THE biggest, baddest villains every to be drawn on Marvel’s pages. Thanos has two ties to the Guardians of the Galaxy team.

One is Gamora, the last surviving member of her planet who was saved and then trained by Thanos as his best assassin. She would become his adopted daughter and he gifted her with enhanced speed, strength and agility from Thanos. Then there’s Drax who was once a human named Arthur Douglas. Douglas’ family was attacked by Thanos and his ship when visiting the Earth. His daughter survived, and was taken away and raised by Thanos’ father, Mentor. Fearing Thanos’ power, Mentor tethers Douglas’ spirit to a powerful warrior’s body with superhuman strength and energery blasts and becomes Drax who is repurposed to destroy Thanos. Drax can also sense Thanos’ location with the power of psychic detection.

In case you haven’t noticed, the original roots of the characters from the comics will be a challenge to adapt and establish these relationships to a wide audience. The Marvel film universe tends to build on itself, so let’s see what Thor 2, Iron Man 3 and Captain America 2 establish too that will help audiences embrace what Guardians plans to be.

Having two characters tied directly to Thanos puts a greater importance on Guardians of the Galaxy and it’s connection to Avengers 2. Rather than have Thanos come down and have some gripe with Earth, it sounds like they can lay the motive behind what Thanos has done to Gamora and Drax and have the Avengers be called upon to assist.

I think I’d still like to see some form of Nova or Captain Marvel be introduced as well. Nova has ties to Gamora, is a cosmic character of great legend in Marvel Universe, and is visually cool. Chris McCoy has been hired to rewrite the original script by Nicole Perlman and I don’t envy anyone trying to make sense of this in a screenplay. We’ll see Gunn takes the assignment. Marvel tends to have their priority set with casting and directing and then move down the line should Gunn pass. Boden and Fleck co-directed Half Nelson. Reed directed The Break-Up, Down with Love, and Bring It On. Any one of them would being their own set of question marks.

One thing is for sure, as it continues to develop, Guardians of the Galaxy will be Marvel Studios’ biggest challenge and the one that could make or break Phase 2.

Marvel Studios sets ‘Avengers’ sequel date – plans to smash box office records again in 3 Years

Should we just say it now? Summer box office records will likely be smashed again in 2015 when Marvel’s The Avengers assembles Earth’s Mightiest Heroes again for an untitled sequel.  Walt Disney announced the released date of May 1, 2015 today, in what was the expected target date after Marvel Studios released their film pipeline through 2014 at Comic-Con. As we told you last week, Joss Whedon is all locked up to direct and write. Here’s the revised lineup.

Iron Man 3 (5/3/13)
Thor 2: The Dark World (11/8/13)
Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier (4/4/14)
Guardians of the Galaxy (8/1/14)
Ant-Man (TBD)
Avengers Untitled Sequel (5/1/15) 

Um, yeah. Still no date on that Edgar Wright Ant-Man film. Wright directed some of our favorite films such as Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Spaced, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, oh and executive produced Attack the Block. What does he have in line before that size-changing Avenger movie? A film called The World’s End, which gets his trusty group together again (Simon Pegg and Nick Frost) about a group of friends who reunite 20 years after a failed pub crawl to try it again. Rosamund Pike has just been added to that cast too.

The Avengers 2

“When Hulk see puny Ant-Man?!”

Marvel Studios must be eyeing a release date of Ant-Man in winter of 2014-2015; it would be anti-climactic to come out after The Avengers 2, so it’s got to come out before, right? It’s been speculated that Marvel wants Guardians of the Galaxy to be the gateway film for The Avengers Sequel. It makes sense, unless Ant-Man is going to be a much bigger film than we expect, which it might. We’ll see.

Marvel Studios has to keep pumping out these films because Robert Downey Jr. isn’t getting any younger. He’ll be 50 when the Avengers sequel is released, and I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility to see him be a part of at least a few more Marvel films after that–unless he plans on being the next Harrison Ford who by the way is not letting age get in the way of making a fifth Indiana Jones. Samuel L. Jackson will be 67. Don’t worry, Chris Evans will be made to look like he’s still 30, no matter what.

Want an even crazier thought? Just think about the time it took Jon Favreau to make Iron Man to the release of The Avengers was six years, 2006-2012. Remember, when Favreau used Myspace to get input from Iron Man fans? Okay, maybe I just remember that, but Marvel’s phase 2 will be completed in less than half that time, with at least two television shows up and running in that time on ABC. Wow! This is pretty exciting stuff.

By the way, I’ll argue with those struggling with waiting three… long… years… to see Avengers 2. There are a thousands of comics and graphic novels you can read from now until then that give you the same, if not better experience. In case, you know you want to keep yourself busy.

POLL: Would ‘Daredevil’ work better as a Marvel Studios Phase 2 Film or as a TV Show?

The hot question going around this week in the superhero film talk is will Daredevil come back to Marvel Studios? That may happen very soon with time running out for Fox to put a new DD film into production. Word traveling around the campfire is that the movie rights to Daredevil will revert back to Marvel by the end of this week, which would make fanboys ecstatic to imagine him in the fold for the next batch of Marvel films.

Joe Carnahan director of The Grey and The A-Team was the latest to give it the old college try for Fox, going for a funky, gritty period piece set in the 70’s based on Frank Miller and David Mazzuchelli’s Born Again story. Now that’s not to say that Carnahan wouldn’t have an opportunity to make this film should the rights revert back to Marvel, but as we’ve seen with phase I of Marvel Studios films, there’s a certain tone and universe feel to Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor. It would be a mismatch for what Marvel has been building. As a reminder, here’s what Marvel has in store for phase II

Iron Man 3 (5/3/13)
Thor 2: The Dark World (11/8/13)
Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier (4/4/14)
Guardians of the Galaxy (8/1/14)
Ant-Man (TBD) 

See the trailer below to see what Carnahan had in mind.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_j5rb3R5iWs[/youtube]

All of this is presumably culminating to an Avengers 2 film that would be targeted for 2015. Now Daredevil was recently brought into the Avengers comics by writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist David Finch in 2007-2008, after The Avengers: Disassembled storyline, when Marvel began publishing two monthly Avengers titles, Avengers and New Avengers, eventually building towards the Civil War storyline. Wolverine and Spider-Man were also part of the Avengers.

So there is some ground work to build on should they want to establish Matt Murdock as part of the Avengers, but it would be difficult envisioning Daredevil being part of the crew that bridges that cosmic gap that will at some point takes on Thanos in Phase II, just as difficult as it would be to see Black Widow or Hawkeye in there too. I’d rather see Marvel Studios push hard or ensure that Fantastic Four, Galactus, and Silver Surfer return to the studio. To me, that’s the money franchise that opens up the universe to all of these cosmic realms. But Marvel still has to deal with Fox with that.

Daredevil in the truest sense, should be dark, gritty, dirty and violent as Carnahan’s video suggests but I don’t see Disney/Marvel Studios getting behind a take so drastically different in tone or scope than their other films. Miller and Mazzuchelli made that as low down and dirty as they could at that time. It would be a fantastic launching point for a film. Now they could have a stand-alone film series and keep it separate. Blade was also retained recently too and the vampire hunter was more likely to encounter Daredevil than the larger-than-life Avengers. We could talk now until December about how cool a Daredevil reboot, or re-imagining would be with the current creative team at Marvel Studios.

How I’d like to see it work is through, is as a television show that is able to stay within it’s own universe, based in the real world of New York, and Matt Murdock’s entire rogue gallery could be done in the practical world as opposed to say, Guillermo del Toro’s The Incredible Hulk TV Show, which sounds like a budget nightmare. Here’s a list of his biggest villains: the Owl, Mister Fear, Stilt-Man, Gladiator, the Jester, Man-Bull, Death-Stalker, Mr. Hyde and Cobra, The Purple Man, Bullseye, Typhoid Mary and of course, Kingpin. The Punisher could live in this world, so could The Night Nurse. Most if not all could work in a live-action world.

bullseyethe owl

You could play up an entire episode or arc in the law offices and feature Foggy Nelson or have some great dramatic moments between Murdock and his long list of women, and never have to feature Matt in costume as often. One season could be the entire Elektra Saga. That’s the great thing about Daredevil, is that there are so many elements to him where he doesn’t need the costume as much as other vigilantes like Spider-Man or Batman do. Daredevil in the comics always worked best when he was on his own, starring in his world alone. He’s essentially a blind Batman who’s more acrobatic and has a bigger devotion to his job as a lawyer in Hell’s Kitchen.

He’s a character that doesn’t require much suspension of disbelief outside of navigating around that costume, which is brilliant on a comic book page–it’s a different story as a real life costume, but honestly I never thought we’d be talking about a Walking Dead television show five years ago. “Make it work,” as Project Runway‘s Tim Gunn would say. The budget wouldn’t have to be such a barrier like other super-hero shows and a serial television show develops characters and relationships much better than a 100-minute film.

the night nurse daredevilSo what we want to ask is, could you envision Daredevil better in Marvel Studios’ Phase II Film or as a TV Show on ABC? Look, if they’re making a film on Ant-Man, you can bet that a Daredevil film will high on the priority list in some form. And let’s not forget that there’s that mysterious Joss Whedon show that will launch on ABC between now and Avengers 2. Share your thoughts below and vote to let us know what you’d like to see, true believers!

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Joss Whedon given the keys to ‘Avengers’ sequel and TV series on ABC

joss whedon companionIn the latest no-brainer moves at Disney and Marvel Studios, Joss Whedon returns to write and direct the sequel to the $1.46 billion-grossing The Avengers. Whedon’s trademark ability to direct an action film, infuse comedy and proper understanding of how the larger-than-life characters could co-exist in one film and managing the balance of screen time for the ensemble cast were noticeable qualities of Earth’s Mightiest film of 2012.

Disney CEO Robert Iger revealed on an earnings call Tuesday that the Avengers franchise would shoulder a great deal of weight for the company in the future, including a sequel. Securing Whedon for that sequel was a priority, so much so, that Iger announced that Whedon would also create a Marvel-based television show on ABC.

Fanboys and girls can begin wondering how this new deal will expand the Marvel Universe as one big canvas. Minor characters could be introduced on television and then be elevated to the big screen. Phase 2 of Marvel Films will include: Iron Man 3 (May 3, 2013), Thor: The Dark World (November 8, 2013), Captain America: The Winter Soldier (April 4, 2014), Guardians of the Galaxy (August 1, 2014) and Ant-Man (TBD). An Avengers 2 film would realistically be slotted in 2015.

Whatever type of television show that would launch on ABC would likely be based on Earth to keep costs down, but still have the flexibility to introduce on a reasonable level new and recurring larger-than-life characters in the universe. There have been plenty of comics that have taken a more street-level approach like Peter David’s recent run on X-Factor (which would be a challenge since most mutant properties are owned by Fox), Brian Michael Bendis’ Alias, as well as countless Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. projects.

There’s also Daredevil (currently at Fox), Punisher (which has a history of failed films) but then again, if ABC really wants a family genre drama that could expand the universe, then something as big as Fantastic Four should be looked at. There’s already been talks that Marvel is willing to extend its agreement with Fox to keep Daredevil there in exchange to get back the rights for the Fantastic Four, Galactus, and Silver Surfer.

Imagine Whedon writing lines for Ben Grimm AKA The Thing and Johnny Storm AKA The Human Torch? Of course I’m just dreaming here, but the Fantastic Four has science fiction, family drama, love and romance, philosophy, and the cosmic element which is needed to help expand out the Marvel Universe for non-comics readers so that Guardians of the Galaxy can be digested. Whedon’s record on television has been hit or miss. He launched Buffy the Vampire Slayer onto television and its spinoff Angel, but struggled with Firefly and Dollhouse.

With the success of The Avengers, one has to believe Whedon will be given every chance and resource to succeed, especially if he’s able to successfully open a bridge from television to films. Think of it, Whedon could do all of his character development in television, and then cherry pick his cast for the film and like The Avengers, he can get them right into moment of conflict without needing to lay down origin stories.

We also have to keep in mind that ABC is still developing a Hulk series with Guillermo del Toro involved and they are targeting that to progress and develop so that it’s ready for fall of 2013 or winter 2014. If that’s successful, and that’s a big if–even with del Toro involved–that would help lay out additional corners of the Marvel Universe. Before the summer, the thought of a Hulk series successfully launching on ABC seemed highly implausible, but if Disney is backing Whedon for a TV series too, it’s not hard to connect the dots.

The next few years should be very interesting for Marvel Comics fans. Hopefully they’ll find some ways to promote their comics in these ventures as well so that viewers of the films and TV shows understand that new stories of their favorite characters can be found weekly and monthly at digital and brick and mortar comic shops. The opportunities are there, that is, if they still care about making comics.

What TV series do you want to see Joss Whedon bring to ABC? What characters would you like to see in an Avengers sequel? Share your thoughts below!