When Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premiered on ABC back in 2013, many fans weren’t exactly sure what to expect. After all, this was Marvel’s first foray into television, and all of the characters with the exception of Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) were created for the series. Most hoped to see the Avengers appear on the series, especially given that the show would serve as a spin-off from 2012’s The Avengers, but it’d been stated time-and-time again that the show wasn’t going to be about superpowered beings. Of course, that hadn’t stopped fans from hoping – and growing frustrated when their desires weren’t met.
While there were splashes of powers throughout the first season, we didn’t get our first real hero until S.H.I.E.L.D.’s second season when Skye (Chloe Bennet) transformed into the comic book character Daisy Johnson, a.k.a Quake. That was when the series underwent a massive transformation, no longer serving as the bridge for the films, but rather leading the films, as they introduced Inhumans into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But that wasn’t the only thing the second season of S.H.I.E.L.D. brought fans – season two also introduced the fan-favorite character Bobbi Morse (Adrianne Palicki), a.k.a Mockingbird.
As has been the case with most comic book characters introduced on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Bobbi’s story was altered a bit to fit the television series, bringing in Nick Blood to play Lance Hunter, her ex-husband. Fans of the comics had hoped to see some sort of interaction between Bobbi & Clint (Jeremy Renner‘s Hawkeye), who she was married to in the comics, especially since Palicki has confirmed in the past that it’s possible for her character to crossover to the films. But that hasn’t been the case as of yet. Even with the slight change, Bobbi & Hunter quickly became standout characters during the second season – and Bobbi in particular – leading many to ask if the possibility of a Mockingbird spin-off was possible, myself included. Which is why when it was originally announced earlier this year that ABC was developing a Mockingbird spin-off for Palicki and Blood, fans were excited at the idea – until they realized that meant S.H.I.E.L.D. would be losing two fan-favorite team-members. Since then, things have changed a bit regarding the Mockingbird spin-off. It was put on hold for a short amount of time, before being given a pilot order and a new title, Marvel’s Most Wanted, over the summer.
Of course, a pilot order doesn’t guarantee that Marvel’s Most Wanted will go to series, but I’m hopeful that it will. While I understand those that fear the show wouldn’t be able to differentiate itself from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., I can’t help but to feel that Palicki is deserving of her own series. She is easily one of the strongest players on S.H.I.E.L.D., but her character hasn’t been given as much attention as possible given the ever growing list of series regulars the show has to work in week after week. And as much as I adore the current cast, it’s time to switch things up on S.H.I.E.L.D.; we already have Daisy forming the Secret Warriors this season and it’s hard not to think they will be the focus when the show goes into its fourth season next year. So why not allow a character like Bobbi to branch off?
We’ve previously discussed the possibility of a series like Marvel’s Most Wanted allowing for a link to a possible Thunderbolts series, which was rumored earlier this year, something that although possible, is highly unlikely to happen with the show being on ABC as opposed to Netflix. (Note: Both the ABC shows and the Netflix shows are produced by ABC Studios, however Jeph Loeb has gone on record to indicate crossovers between the two distributors are unlikely at this time.) And as good of an idea as that is, I can’t help but to think, should Marvel’s Most Wanted manage to go to series, it could serve as ABC’s Jessica Jones. Now, before you think I’ve lost my marbles – which is very well possible – hear me out. Of course, there’s no way in hell a show on prime time will ever be able to go as dark as Marvel has with their shows on Netflix, so the Mockingbird led Marvel’s Most Wanted wouldn’t even compare on that end, where it could compare, however, is in the ability to showcase a strong, complex female character. (Also of note: Back when Jessica Jones was originally in development for ABC, Marvel was originally developing a Mockingbird series for ABC Family that would feature a college aged Bobbi Morse.)
Although Bobbi was only introduced on S.H.I.E.L.D. during season two, she is easily one of the most developed characters on the show, and the same can be said for her ex-husband, Hunter. Her screen-time has been minimal compared to the rest of the core cast, and yet, we’ve managed to get a good sense of who is both inside of S.H.I.E.L.D. and out. So, what does Jessica Jones have to do with any of this? As we’ve already seen, thanks to both the trailers and the reviews that have already begun to make their way out, not having to worry about telling an origin story allowed for Jessica Jones showrunner Melissa Rosenberg and her writers to easily dive into Jessica’s story as a private investigator as opposed to having to spend time setting up her story from the beginning. For those unaware, Jones was a former superhero that gave up that life after an encounter with Killgave, a.k.a The Purple Man, led to her losing her sense of self as she fell under his grasp, before breaking free months later. She now acts as a private investigator, trying to make a living and survive as she endures post traumatic stress disorder from her time with Killgrave. To say Jessica is a complex character would be putting it lightly. And yet, as I recently argued, she’s exactly the kind of character the MCU needs right now. And so is Bobbi.
As fantastic as the women of S.H.I.E.L.D. are, because of the massive cast, it’s hard to really allow their characters to grow. In fact, it wasn’t until the recent bottle episode of S.H.I.E.L.D. titled “4,722 Hours”, that we really got to see another side to Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge). And with Daisy seemingly only having one member so far for her Secret Warriors team, it’s hard to ignore the fact that the cast will only continue to swell. So, why not take out two cast members and allow them to turn their focus towards something else?
Not to mention that using an Avenger like Mockingbird as a secondary character on S.H.I.E.L.D. has always seemed like a somewhat strange decision. Especially given that they’d brought in an actress like Palicki for the role, someone that was more than capable of leading her own property – whether it be on television or the big screen. Most Wanted could be the perfect tool to further develop Mockingbird, allowing her to act as a sort of connective tissue. Let’s look to Jessica Jones again. Not only is it an introduction of a new female superhero to the MCU, but it’s also a show that manages to serve as a connective tissue to the Netflix shows. Sure, all four of the Netflix shows connect to one another, but Jessica Jones is a bit different because it’s going to be where we’re first introduced to Luke Cage before he headlines his own series the following year. (Of course, this is due to their relationship from the comics, but still.) And with the inclusion of Rosario Dawson‘s Claire Temple from Daredevil, as well as Jeri Hogwarth (Carrie-Anne Moss), a gender-swapped Iron Fist character, Jessica Jones is subtly tying them all together while still focusing on telling Jessica’s story. With Most Wanted spinning off of S.H.I.E.L.D., why not use it as a thread to the rest of the shows being developed at ABC – Damage Control and the mysterious John Ridley project (which may or may not be kaput)? As well as the shows already on the network – Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter?
The main thing to consider with Marvel’s Most Wanted too is that this will be a show run by an entirely new team. While Maurissa Tancharoen & Jed Whedon remain focused on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., producer Paul Zbyszewski will be overseeing Most Wanted, meaning that the show will be kicking off with a blank slate of sorts. It’ll be able to set its own tone and pace, while still managing to allow for crossovers from time to time on its predecessor. Kind of like Daredevil and Jessica Jones, as well as Arrow and The Flash. As it stands, we don’t really have too much information regarding Most Wanted, other than the fact that it’ll follow Bobbi & Hunter outside of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., so it’s hard to grasp just what the show will be about. But it’s safe to assume Morse will have to establish a new team of some sort. Why not introduce a version of the Great Lakes Avengers into the MCU through Marvel’s Most Wanted? (Again, this is merely a suggestion!)
It’ll be a bit before we hear a decision regarding Marvel’s Most Wanted‘s fate, as we’re not even sure if the pilot has shot yet, but for right now? It’s hard not to get excited at what the show could be should it move forward at ABC.
Sure, for some it may be hard to get excited about a spin-off from S.H.I.E.L.D., especially as it’ll mean the loss of two series regulars. And I get that…to an extent. But instead of thinking of Most Wanted as an unnecessary spin-off of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., try to think of it as something full of possibilities for the Marvel Cinematic Universe going forward, because as it stands? There’s plenty of potential for Most Wanted to be ABC’s prime time Jessica Jones – a show that went through just a many obstacles as the Mockingbird led Most Wanted, yet still managed to deliver a product that has excited both fans and critics alike.