Another short one. Next week there will either be a handful of shorter ones or a single longer one. I may only have a couple left for this project, but I will occasionally update with something similar.
I find that the research on these needs to be more extensive than I initially considered them to be, hence the shorter posts with one potential show. Thanks for hanging in there!
The comics: After the Civil War storyline, the American Marvel superheroes found themselves residing in a nation that required all superhuman beings be registered with the government. Tony Stark, as part of his registration plan, introduced the ’50-State Initiative’ which detailed how each American state would have a team of superheroes on hand, in case of emergencies, as well as facilities to train new, young heroes who should happen to appear.
This training facility was called Camp Hammond and was the setting for Avengers: The Initiative.
And the comic book series was excellent!
Introducing new characters as well as including in heroes that had been around for a while but hadn’t ever been in the limelight, the Initiative focused on both the training of the new heroes, and the machinations of manipulative and devious representatives of the United States government. It stood as a cautionary tale in the best way and left my favorite hanging thread of all time (which has never been addressed).
The series: Like the comics did with the Civil War event, The Initiative television series spins directly out of the events of Captain America: Civil War. As part of the U.N. Accords, training facilities are set up and operated by SHIELD-trained personnel, enabling the show to spin directly off of Agents of SHIELD, as well. Adhering to the legal requirements laid out by the Accords is complex, with personnel and oversight all struggling to fulfill personal agendas; some of which do not have the greater good in mind.
A series like this serves to bring the various components of the Marvel Cinematic Universe together in interesting ways. Characters in from every corner of the films are brought in to help the students of the Initiative learn to function within the changing world. Leslie Bibb, returns as Christine Everhart, having accepted a position as head of public relations. Leonard Samson is reintroduced (having been recast from Ty Burell) as the camp psychologist and psychotherapist. Darcy Lewis, as portrayed by Kat Dennings, returns as a scientific advisor. Heading up this cast is Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill, whose role as Director of the Initiative is critical to the future of the world (if she’s hard to get, then let’s just bring in an actor to play Clay Quartermain, or something).
Rounding out the cast are the re-occurring villains. We see the return of Georges St-Pierre as Batroc, the French martial artist responsible for the events which kicked off Winter Soldier. Stephanie Szostak reprises her role of Ellen Brandt, the Extremis-empowered agent we all thought died in Iron Man 3, as a super-powered mercenary working for the highest bidder. Finally, Sam Rockwell provides the primary menace as a newly-released Justin Hammer, whose main focus is on destroying everything Tony Stark has built, which now includes the Avengers, the Initiative, and, in many ways, even S.H.I.E.L.D.
The focus of the series will be on the young students, at least one of which is familiar as Ty Simpkins will be reprising his role as Harley Keener, the young genius inventor from Iron Man 3. Alongside Harley, Amadeus Cho, American Chavez, Violet Lightner, Elijah Bradley, Micheal van Patrick, Jeanne Foucault, Melati Kusuma, Brandon Sharpe, Craig Hollis, Jennifer Takeda, Ken Mack, and the young boy known only as the In-Betweener. Each student has their own stories, their own contributions, and their own secrets.
Why they would watch: This is the chance to show the Marvel Universe from the perspective of those who are destined to become part of the greater whole, but aren’t there yet. How many shows have focused on high school students? Now, imagine that those students have superhuman abilities. This is The Initiative.
The potential for adding in characters from the films, Netflix series, other broadcast shows, and introduce new characters from the comics to the MCU is the key advantage of this program. With a nearly unlimited potential, The Initiative could be the show that finally shows home audiences what the MCU can be to television viewers.
Check out the rest of ’em!
Marvel Concepts that Could be Turned into Amazing Ensemble Shows, Part 1 (Man-Thing, Weirdworld, and Legion of Monsters)
Marvel Concepts that Could be Turned into Amazing Ensemble Shows, Part 3 (Excelsior Models/Models, Inc.)
Marvel Concepts that Could be Turned into Amazing Ensemble Shows, Part 5 (Wrecking Crew, Howard the Duck, Moon Knight)