With Disney Plus expanding the Marvel Cinematic Universe to a point in which we are now getting regular holiday specials from 2022. With confirmation of James Gunn creating a ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special’, and reports of a Werewolf by-Night Halloween special coming out before then (despite no confirmation on Disney Plus Day). We’re going to evaluate which holiday specials Marvel Studios should make, not just expanding the different types of content but expand on the celebrate the cultures of our characters and celebrate the MCU’s own diverse fanbase.
1. Pym-Van Dyne Thanksgiving Holiday Special
For now, an MCU Fantastic Four Thanksgiving Special may be hard to visualise and a Maximoff one would be cool but hard to fit in due to the Wanda and Vision’s uncertain future in the MCU. Therefore, if we were to put a Thanksgiving Special into development right now, imagine three generations of shrinkers sat down at a table. Continuing the light-hearted nature of the Ant-Man franchise, the hilarious family dynamic between Scott, Hope, Hank, Janet and now Cassie would be a perfect fit for this type of content on Disney Plus.
2. Shang-Chi and Jimmy Woo’s Lunar New Year Special
Branded as the MCU’s newest Avenger, more missions from Shang-Chi are a no-brainer. An undercover-martial arts season special set in the annual Lantern Parade in Chinatown, San Francisco would be a perfect way to dig into the character’s spy roots from the comics. Having it set in Shang-Chi’s current home of San Francisco could also introduce him to another character who’s becoming somewhat an MCU icon, Jimmy Woo. Not only could we introduce the two to each other in a natural way due to Jimmy Woo’s San Francisco based CIA occupation, but also fittingly in a celebration of Chinese culture. Establish these two as a pair going forward, creating groundwork for an eventual Agents of Atlas project.
3. Erik Lensherr’s Hanukkah Holiday Special
As individual characters go, Magneto will be one of the standout acquisitions for Marvel Studios to build on since they retained the rights to the X-Men. Especially in X-Men: First Class, Magneto’s Jewish heritage has regularly played a part in the characters history through different mediums. However, it would add layers to the characters to see how Magneto embraces his religion as a celebration, rather than a motivation from a tragedy during the Holocaust. As one of the most complex characters in Marvel’s history, seeing Magneto celebrate Chanukah (perhaps with the Maximoff’s or Kitty Pryde and Iceman) would add even more layers to Erik that would even transcend Fox’s great interpretation of the character.
4. Ms. Marvel’s Ramadan Special
In the small amount of footage we have received Ms. Marvel series has shown us glimpses portraying how influential Kamala’s faith is to her character. Therefore, an expansion storyline focusing on this theme is another no-brainer. Experiencing Ramadan, a month of repentance and strict fasting, through the lens of someone who has responsibilities as a superhero, a teenager in New Jersey and as a Muslim from a Pakistani family is something hundreds of millions around the world can relate to. Whilst the weight of responsibility looms Kamala, exploring this period comes with both success and struggles, firing even more depth towards the character.
5. Daredevil Easter Special
Before even his likely debut next week in ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’, that is only one of four projects Matt Murdock is said to return in (a ‘She-Hulk’, ‘Echo’ and a ‘Daredevil’ revival). One of many things Netflix’s ‘Daredevil’ was highly praised for was it’s treatment of Matt’s Catholicism and the Christian elements of morality and judgement. It would be a missed opportunity if Marvel Studios put a stop to this as they take on the character in the future. Centralising the theme of Matt’s faith in a project would be a huge win, and I’m sure with Daredevil finally merged into a greater universe, fans will not be able to get enough of the man without fear.