With the news arriving that some of Marvel Comics’ more out-there characters like M.O.D.O.K., Hit-Monkey, Tigra & Dazzler, and even Howard the Duck are getting their own adult-oriented animated series on Hulu, it’s made us wonder which other Marvel characters are just silly and irreverent enough to get similar treatment.
There are more than 6,000 characters in the Marvel library, and let’s just say they ain’t all on the level of Black Panther and Captain Marvel. Here are some of our favorite characters that should lend themselves well to the new “Offenders” Marvel Universe:
One of Marvel’s silliest concepts for a villain, Swarm was once a Nazi scientist who fled to South America, where he went into hiding and became a beekeeper. When he discovered a colony of mutated bees, they stung him to death, and his consciousness was then transferred into the very same swarm, hence his catchy new super-villain name. Swarm’s goal was for insects to rule the world, and he was actually once defeated by Spider-Man with pesticide. If Swarm doesn’t lend himself to a comedic take on one of these new Hulu shows, I don’t know who does.
Thought Swarm was silly? We got that beat. Say hello to Ruby Thursday, a villainess and adversary of the Defenders who has the body of a Victoria’s Secret model, but who also has a giant red globe for a head. The head stores an organic computer, and she can reshape it into any form she desires, and even make weapons out of it. She can even explode her own head to take out here enemies… after she downloads her persona into a back-up giant red ball, of course. The ’70s were a hell of a time, kids. I think we might need a GLOW-style Tigra & Dazzler vs. Ruby Thursday episode.
Wonder Man is not that silly, or that obscure, but there are elements of his character that would make him perfect for an irreverent, more adult take. The ion-powered Simon Williams is a Hollywood actor who tries to parlay his fame as an Avenger into an acting career, but is always juggling heroics with fame. Plus, in the comics, he’s intimately tied to the soap opera of the Vision and the Scarlet Witch, amounting in a sort of love triangle. (That ship may have sailed, but who knows who’ll be back after Endgame?)
There have been a lot of strange characters who joined the X-Men or their ancillary groups over the decades, but one of the just plain weirdest (and grossest) has to be Maggot. First appearing in 1997, Maggot was a South African mutant whose digestive system took the form of two slugs that could eat through practically any substance. When they were done eating, the slugs reentered Maggot’s body and passed nourishment into him, giving him super powers. He was a main X-Men member for a hot minute, until Marvel realized he was just way too gross.
People like to poke fun at DC for being the sillier comics company, with characters like Krypto the Super Dog and Ace the Bat Hound. But let’s not forget, Marvel has the likes of Spider-Ham and Throg the Thunder Frog. Although he was born a human named Simon Walterson, he was transformed into a frog named Puddlegup by a witch, and then granted Asgardian powers. He even has his own hammer, made out of a sliver of Thor’s hammer, called the mighty Frogjolnir. If Kevin Smith doesn’t use him on the Howard the Duck show, I’d be genuinely shocked.
There is no Marvel concept more appropriate for an adult-oriented animated take than the mutant team X-Statix. The like-named series by Peter Milligan and artist Mike Allred ran for several years, following a group of attention-hungry mutants whose adventures were all recorded for a hit reality show. That is, until all but one of them got killed on camera, and a whole new team had to be cast. This was a hilarious series and a biting commentary on our celebrity-obsessed culture that is even more relevant in the social media age than it was when it first came out in 2001. Plus, we’d love to see the mutant cameraman and floating green glob named Doop on our television screens each week.
Jack Kirby created a lot of giant monsters with silly names during his years at Marvel Comics, but one of the most out-there was Orggo. The enormous bug-eyed creature from the depths of space was a 30-foot-tall extraterrestrial “space god” with the powers to alter reality with his mind, teleport billions of miles across space, levitate a whole city into the sky, and animate inanimate objects to be his foot soldiers. Actually, on second thought, aside form his name and look, he’s maybe not so silly after all! Forget the Offenders—put Orrgo in the MCU!
Images: Marvel Comics / Marvel Television