Werewolf By Night
The Contender: Son to a werewolf pack, Jack Russell is cursed with the burden of lycanthropy. For three nights every month he transforms into a wild, savage beast, stalking the night. Ashamed and terrified of what he could do while in his beast form, Jack spends his time looking for a cure.
Perfect for the short film treatment - concise, snappy, effective.
The Costume Reboot: Full-on Rick Baker-style prosthetic werewolf – none of this namby-pamby Twilight wolfhound puppy tosh.
Essential Scene: The sweeping opening delves into the history of the Elderspawn, the children of the Elder Gods who are all human-animal hybrids.
The Contender: Yes, yes, it’s already maybe-sort-of getting a movie (though it’s bloody slow moving ), but these chaps and chapettes would be perfect for the short movie treatment. We envision a sextet of shorts that would set up the movie, Animatrix style, introducing each of the characters so that the following feature can start without all that origins pre-amble.
The Costume Reboot: These guys don’t actually have costumes, though a Halloween scene in which the characters dress as other Marvel heroes should satisfy our costume cravings.
Essential Scene: Chase Stein discovers his father’s Fistigons, and finds out the hard way they're able to generate flames. He sets the house on fire, literally…
The Contender: Also known as Her or Paragon, Kismet was created by the Enclave in an attempt to birth a super-powered entity. Like all the best heroes, she starts out as a man, battles the Hulk, goes into a chrysalis state and emerges as the beautiful heroine we all know and love. Frankly, a feature movie of such blazing gorgeousness would be too much to handle.
The Costume Reboot: White gold cuffs and belt complement an updated super-suit that meshes bold colours with soft material – mirroring the duality of Kismet’s personality.
Essential Scene: Hulk cameo! Kismet battles Hulk himself as s/he attempts to raze the Enclave to the ground. She beats him.
The Contender: Bolt is born with more power than anybody has ever seen. So much so that his geneticist parents make him wear a power-suppressing suit, and lock him up until he is able to keep his abilities under wraps. Once released, however, he discovers that brother Maximus has been conspiring against him with alien Kree.
We'd love to see a feature, but a short would be a great warm up, and test the character's popularity.
The Costume Reboot: Elegant and simple homage to the original comics.
Essential Scene: Bolt is confronted by naughty bro Maximus, who wants to prove that Bolt is unable to control his powers. In return, Bolt lays a smackdown on Max to prove that he’s a snotty wimp.
The Contender: “The first distinct family group,” according to Marvel, formed by Ghost Rider when Lilith schemes to use her demon children to seize control of Earth. The Nightstalkers, Morbius the Living Vampire, Ghost Rider, Johnny Blaze, Vengeance, the Darkhold Redeemers and even Blade all unite against her, forming the Midnight Sons.
The Costume Reboot: Each have their own distinctive get-ups, though we’d like a little visual through-line that brings them together – perhaps a Hell’s Angels tattoo?
Essential Scene: The fighters take on Blackout, Ghost Rider’s old nemesis in an explosive graveyard smackdown.
The Contender: A modern-day male Medusa, Grey Gargoyle started life as Paul Pierre Duval. After an accident with chemicals (seriously, don’t play with this stuff, kids), his right hand develops the ability to turn anything into stone.
He’s a menace who gets bored easily, picking fights with other heroes for fun. Most annoyingly, he’s basically indestructible when he turns his own body into granite.
The Costume Reboot: Budget effort - crack out the grey paint! Cast somebody bulky enough (Channing Tatum?) and cover him in some granitey grey stuff. Job done.
Essential Scene: A House Of Wax nod, in which Gargoyle poses as an artist and holds an exhibit for his array of staggeringly life-like statues. It’s a roaring success.
The Contender: Created as part of an experiment to build the perfect human being, Warlock has limitless raw power at his disposal. He possesses the soul gem, which has the ability to capture living souls, and formed the Infinity Watch to protect the all-powerful Infinity Gems.
The Costume Reboot: Ethereal cape outfitted against a figure-hugging suit – we can’t imagine it looking any cooler than the above.
Essential Scene: Warlock battles Magus, his evil twin, in a clash that destroys the island he resides on.
Jack Of Hearts
The Contender: Alien-born halfling whose father created the awesomely powerful Zero Fluid, a renewable energy source that costs Heart’s father his life. When Heart falls into a vat of the stuff, half his body is burned black while he gains the power to fire ‘zero blasts’ from his fists. He trains with Iron Man and attempts to become a superhero.
The Costume Reboot: Old school blue lycra tights manned up with durable metallic body armour.
Essential Scene: Realising he is a threat to the existence of man, Jack Of Hearts makes the heartbreaking decision to banish himself into space. There, in an agonisingly silent final two minutes, we see him floating through the cosmos, alone forever…
Cloak And Dagger
The Contender: Tyrone Johnson and Tandy Bowen meet as street-pacing runaways: he a stutterer, she a rich girl sick of her supermodel mother. When they’re both kidnapped and experimented on, the duo have their latent mutant genes awakened and they embark on a war against drug dealers while also attempting to help other runaway kids.
The Costume Reboot: The kids fashion their costumes out of discarded rags they find on the street. It's superhero shabby chic.
Essential Scene: Escaping from the experimentation lab, the duo run straight into a gang of knife-flipping drug pushers, and come into their powers in the most spectacular way imaginable.
The Contender: Sixties-living Carol Danvers is a modern woman. She doesn’t plan on getting married, and becomes a CIA agent instead. But just as she tires of that life, her DNA is merged with that of Captain Marvel’s and she becomes superhero Ms. Marvel. Ideal for a short as it taps into en vogue Mad Men -style gender politics while giving it an injection of Marvel-ousness.
The Costume Reboot: An ode to the ‘60s era in which she first appeared, Ms. Marvel’s new period-infused costume flashes minimal flesh, and is all the sexier for it.
Essential Scene: Ms. Marvel re-educates an abusive husband with her fists... then takes a shower.
The Contender: Normal bloke Chris Powell’s physical form is dumped into another dimension while his consciousness is transferred into that of an android shell. Ditch the mysterious amulet element, and Darkhawk’s justice-seeking adventures would make for a tense, futuristic enactment of lawful vengeance.
The Costume Reboot: A Daft-Punk-meets-Transformers upgrade, polished to within an inch of its life.
Essential Scene: Darkhawk winds up in a club with Daft Punk, and confused hilarity ensues when we’re not sure who is who.
The Contender: More battles of the sexes, as powerless Jean dresses to impress in ‘30s gear while confronting the sexism of her time. Due a timely upgrade, with Jean facing sexist behaviour as a detective for the NYPD – have things really changed post-millennium? Or is still a man’s world?
The Costume Reboot: Suave and sultry without ever giving too much away, Jean embraces modern fashion but doesn’t let it rule her life.
Essential Scene: That controversial closing moment, where Jean is killed by Sin-Eater off-screen. Pure tragedy.
Daughters Of The Dragon
The Contender: Martial arts experts Colleen Wing and Misty Knight unite to kick butt and generally clean up the streets as private investigators dubbed Daughters Of The Dragon. We envision a moody noir thriller replete with saxophone score, smoky-voiced narration and blue blush lighting.
The Costume Reboot: Leather all the way. And fishnet stockings.
Essential Scene : Colleen and Misty bust into a warehouse where Chinese weapon traders have kidnapped a member of an opposing gang. Together, they take them all out... then hit the clubs.
Agents Of Atlas
The Contender: In the 1950s, FBI Agent Jimmy Woo recruits Venus, Marvel Boy, a robot known as M-11 (no, not the motorway) and Gorilla-Man to help him save President Eisenhower from Yellow Claw. Which is a brilliant premise for a short film – focussed, mission-oriented and with some vividly vibrant characters. Also, vintage period details should give it a little classy edge.
The Costume Reboot: Gorilla-Man gets a nice new military outfit. M-11 gets a retro-cool re-design that makes the new Day The Earth Stood Still ’s crummy Gort redesign a faded memory.
Essential Scene: That crunching moment when Gorilla-Man is hanging upside down outside the room Eisenhower is being held in. As a bit of his hair floats down, will the guards below notice?
The Contender: Danny Rand becomes Iron Fist when he obtains the ‘heart of the dragon’, which gives him the power to focus his chi and either become a healer or a destroyer. He’s also a dab hand at martial arts, having been trained by the legendary Lei Kung. It’s a tale of revenge, as Rand searches for his father’s killer. Think gritty, sinewy cop drama without the cops.
The Costume Reboot: An upgraded karate outfit with classy trimmings. Like a cool head scarf.
Essential Scene: In an energy-charged first scene, Rand takes on Shou-Lao the Undying and obtains that all-important dragon heart.
The Contender: More chemical experimentations gone awry, as young Brit girl Jessica Drew gets radiation poisoning and is injected with a spider blood serum that saves her life. When her parents disappear, the newly Spider-Womanised Jessica is recruited into HYDRA and trained by Taskmaster. Then, after a botched job that involves the death of a group of college students, she discovers HYDRA want to use her for ill deeds.
The Costume Reboot: A pared back update of the original gold and red costume – with web-wings that help Spider-Woman free-fall without injury.
Essential Scene: A surreal inside-her-mind moment in which Jessica has nightmares about spiders as the serum does its work. When she wakes up, she’s stuck to the ceiling…
The Contender: Not to be confused with his friend Captain America, Battlestar would be the perfect pre- Captain short for its cinematic release.
Ignoring the fact that Sebastian Stan is playing Bucky in the CA film (the character that becomes Battlestar), this would be an alternate CA reality, where Battlestar becomes his own hero – a black American fighting for the rights of the people. (Yes, Barack Obama should play him...)
The Costume Reboot: Patriotism to the max – a red, white and blue military outfit that shields Battlestar from all kinds of fiery assaults. He has to have a cool shield, an’ all.
Essential Scene: Flashback – Battlestar begins his days boxing in the ring. Footage of his memories merge with that of a current fight in a staggeringly emotional montage.
Howard The Duck
The Contender: He failed on the big screen in an odd and massively disturbing interpretation, let’s keep it short and sweet with a new version in bitesize mode. The ever irritable wee waddler finds himself faced with even more infuriating situations…
The Costume Reboot: Stick to the original – why fix what ain’t broke?
Essential Scene: In a surreal twist, Howard ends up in a real-world zoo, and acquires the unwanted attention of a particularly amorous female.
The Contender: Luke Cage, framed for a crime he was innocent of, is slammed into the jailhouse. There, more experimental tinkering goes awry and Luke’s transformed into Power Man – gifted with impenetrable, steely skin and super strength. Decent character for a short, wrapped up in anti-hero issues of guilt and responsibility that would make for a meaty little drama.
The Costume Reboot: A cool ‘70s gold shirt and black trousers – why deny the blaxploitation?
Essential Scene: Power Man plays to type with some jive slang before kicking a crim's behind.
The Contender: Perfect for attention deficit kiddies – and a more candy-cane young superheroes story than X-Men: First Class. The adults are out, but saving the world is still in, as the Power Pack deal with decidedly real world, grown up issues like pollution, sexual abuse and crack addiction. All in really cute outfits.
The Costume Reboot: To combat the twee-ness, upgrade the super-suits so they’re on a par with their X-Men counterparts – only far more colourful.
Essential Scene: Alex discovers that his classmate has died from a crack overdose.