As Marvel’s original Netflix series begin to fade away, a new deal with Hulu brings back small-screen hope for the comic book giant’s wealth of exciting, vital characters — and, also, Howard the Duck.
Monday, during its presentation at the Television Critics Association press tour, Hulu announced an expanded partnership with Marvel Television for four new animated series based on established oddball characters from the comics: M.O.D.O.K, Hit-Monkey, Tigra, Dazzler, and, yep, Howard The Duck. In addition, these series will be accompanied by a special that would unite all five for an adventure in which, per the release, they’ll be “forced to team up in order to save the world and certain parts of the universe.”
Marvel’s Jeph Loeb will executive produce each series, but a diverse collection of creators will be working behind the scenes to bring each character to life. Here are the known details on each show, per the official release:
- “Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K.” centers around an egomaniacal supervillain with a really big head and a really little body, who struggles to maintain control of his evil organization and his demanding family. Writers Jordan Blum and Patton Oswalt will executive produce with Jeph Loeb.
- “Marvel’s Hit-Monkey” tells the tale of a wronged Japanese snow monkey, mentored by the ghost of an American assassin, as he cuts a wide swath through the Tokyo underworld in this darkly cinematic and brutally funny revenge saga. Writers Josh Gordon and Will Speck will executive produce with Jeph Loeb.
- “Marvel’s Tigra & Dazzler Show” is a story about two woke superheroes and best friends, Tigra and Dazzler, as they fight for recognition among powered people who make up the 8 million stories in Los Angeles. Writers Erica Rivinoja and Chelsea Handler serve as executive producers with Jeph Loeb.
- “Marvel’s Howard The Duck” is trapped in a world he never made, but America’s favorite fighting fowl hopes to return home with the help of his unstoppable gal pal Beverly before the evil Dr. Bong can turn him into the crispiest dish on the menu. Writers Kevin Smith and Dave Willis will also executive produce along with Jeph Loeb.
- “Marvel’s The Offenders” is a story in which nobody asked them to — and we’d be better off if they didn’t — but MODOK, Dazzler, Tigra, Hit Monkey, and Howard the Duck are all forced to team up in order to save the world and certain parts of the Universe. Jeph Loeb will executive produce.
Many of these characters may not be familiar to casual fans, but bringing in an eclectic collection of creators like Patton Oswalt, Chelsea Handler, and Kevin Smith speaks to interest in a fresh take on this pre-established I.P. But also, in structure, this plan mirrors the Netflix/Marvel series launched in 2015, which eventually were brought together for the crossover event “The Defenders.”
Hulu is also the home of “Marvel’s Runaways,” which debuted its second season on the streaming service in December 2018. Release dates for these new animated series have yet to be announced.