While Marvel and DC are gearing up to once again dominate the big screens, streaming has had its fair share of superhero content. Amazon Prime Video has taken over the mainstream with their smash hit series, The Boys and Invincible. Disney Plus is leveraging its Marvel brand to release new takes on superheroes with shapes like Loki and Moon Knight. Netflix was in the running, with its superhero series Jupiter’s Legacy, which it ended up canceling after the first season.
Now that Umbrella Academy is getting to air its final season, Netflix might find itself losing out in the superhero department. However, other comic book properties that belong to other companies and smaller indie ventures could give something like Invincible a run for its money. From German supersoldiers in the Second World War to a twisted take on The Incredibles, the opportunity is ripe for Netflix to pick up any one of these ten properties to capitalize on the popularity that has been ushered in by Invinicible and The Boys.
10. Mega Woman
With Disney Plus unveiling Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Netflix could do with its own Greek mythology-urban fantasy property. A promising hit from Godhood comics, Mega Woman follows Keisha Carter, a high school basketball player, who discovers that she is the last living relative of Zeus, the King of the Greek Pantheon and the God of Thunder. Netflix could easily use this property to plug the hole left by a show like Black Lightning, There is a lot of expect from the franchise, and Netflix could keep an eye on this to be hot property.
Who doesn’t love Captain America: The little guy from Brooklyn who got juiced up to fight the good fight in the Second World War. Now imagine if there was an entire army of him. Now imagine they are fighting for the other side. That’s where you get the plot for Über. Penned by Kieron Gillen, this ultra-brutal story has all that makes The Boys R-rated and more. How do the allies win here? What challenges do the heroes face, unique to the sensibilities of the powers that be in 1940? All that and more are explored in this wonderfully graphic and beautifully drawn superhero period graphic novel. If Netflix is looking for something to rival The Boys in terms of gore, guts, and story, there could not be a better property to adapt than this.
8. The Antagonists
The Antagonists is a great take on superheroes and superhero families. Reminiscent of The Incredibles, the comic distinguishes itself from its Pixar counterpart by altering one key detail: It is not a family of superheroes, but one of supervillains. Having taken over the United States of America in their prime, supervillains Ultima and Destructus have gone into hiding, settled down, and are raising a family. How does this family deal with the constant barrage of government agents who come to bring them to justice? While a television series for the show is already in development, according to Deadline, it wouldn’t be the first time Netflix would swoop up a property to adapt it from another production house.
7. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
As properties such as The Chronicles of Narnia and Percy Jackson and the Olympians get a second life as streaming properties, Netflix could set itself apart in the superhero genre by…not adapting superheroes at all? The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is a brilliant series penned by Allan Moore which was originally published with Wildstorm but has since moved to being published by Top Shelf Productions. The comic adapts a lot of public domain literary characters and gives them a superhero-colored coat of paint (especially with Dr. Jelkyll and Mr. Hyde) while keeping them period-accurate. While not strictly a superhero story, the narrative does very blatantly copy superhero tropes and executes them well. Netflix might be able to do this entire story justice, righting the wrongs of the 2003 film.
With Umbrella Academy and Stranger Things all set for their respective final seasons, and Gen V making the rounds as the new popular entry into the Boys Universe, Netflix could invest in this dark take on the X-Men, revolving around a group of superpowered children with strong psychic abilities. Valiant Comics has been churning out some brilliant titles, many of which could be ripe for Netflix to pick up and adapt for themselves. Currently, Paramount Pictures is trying to get a film off the ground, adapting the story However, nothing concrete has been decided on yet. Perhaps Netflix could swoop in and build the franchise if nothing else materializes shortly?
5. X-O Manowar
Valiant Comics is a brand that has been around for a while. It is about time that its flagship character gets a hot property, be it animated or live-action. One part Iron Man, one part Thor, and one Part Green Lantern, X-O Manowar tells the story of Aaric of Dacia, who finds himself in possession of an alien armor called X-O Manowar. Except, when the character returns to earth after his abduction, the world has changed, due to time dilation, causing Aaric to deal not only with his new powers but a world 400 hundred years ahead of his time. Given that Blue Beetle is itching to make a splash on streaming, perhaps this could be Netflix’s answer. Currently, a film is in development, with John Cena having teased his involvement in the story under the newly formed Variant Entertainment back in April 2020. No new updates have been received on the project.
4. Incident Report
Landing somewhere near My Hero Academia on a scale from Sky High to The Boys, Incident Report talks about involving superheroes beyond law enforcement. As a global committee sits to regulate superhero behaviors, law enforcement, education, and social service see a huge influx of superpowered individuals, making an interesting cocktail that Netflix can adapt for its answer to The Boys. Not being nearly as graphic, a PG-13 adaptation of the show, perhaps in animated form, could be a brilliant addition to superhero canon in general, while also allowing Netflix to steer away from any gratuitous violence it wants to keep off its platform.
3. Radiant Black
The Power Rangers are an immense superhero property that unfortunately gets neglected when people think about superheroes. While there are plenty of reimaginings of the Justice League and the Avengers, Netflix could distinguish itself by giving this Power Rangers-inspired story a shot. Hailed as the best superhero universe since Invincible by some critics, an animated offering following the adventures of Radiant Black might be the push that gets the streaming giant back into the superhero game.
2. Black Hammer
When Umbrella Academy is done and dusted, this property could change the game for Netflix. With a time that leans more towards horror, the plot essentially boils down to an example story. With clear shades from Mike Mignola’s Hellboy, the series follows a group of heroes stuck in a city, unable to get out. With plot points and ideas ripped straight out of the Twilight Zone, the macabre story could not only soothe the Umbrella Academy itch but also get Netflix on the big boys’ table for superhero properties. All it will take is a clear execution and some care for the source material.
When the world’s greatest superhero becomes its greatest supervillain, Netflix buys the property to develop it into an IP. With the streaming giant already developing the IP for itself, the comic is yet another look at what would happen if Superman decided to let loose and give in to his dark side. Apart from the obvious stakes and action in the story, the narrative also has a big mystery angle the behavior change displayed by the Plutonian (the titular irredeemable superhero), which has a whole lot of potential for Netflix to develop into a groundbreaking superhero IP.