Over the past few years, Marvel hasn’t just seen massive returns at the box office; they’re also dominating the small screen, with network shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Netflix Defenders universe. But they can’t all be zingers. Here are five Marvel pilots that didn’t quite get off the ground.
X-Men: Pryde of the X-Men (1989)
Way back before that amazing X-Men animated series of the ’90s (the theme song of which is now DEFINITELY stuck in your head), we got this well-meaning pilot. Pryde of the X-Men was based on Kitty Pryde, obvs, but also featured narration from Stan Lee and, GASP, an Australian Wolverine (proof that Hugh Jackman was clearly meant to be Wolverine even in the ’80s).
Speaking of ‘toons, WOOF, get a load of Solarman. A kind of cool meta story of a hero that dreams of working for Marvel Comics was about the ONLY thing that was cool in this incarnation. The animation was dated as hell even by 1991 standards, looking like one of those old Ninja Turtles VHS tapes re-recorded about 13 times over.
Power Pack (1991)
The ‘90s is the gift that just keeps on giving. The concept of the Power Pack, a group of four superpowered pre-teen siblings, isn’t in itself unforgivable, but when a pilot was created in the early ’90s, the results were not so hot. Where the comics tackled edgy issues as if it were a pulpy Degrassi, the show had more cheese than a wheelbarrow full of jalapeno poppers. And probably caused just as much heartburn.
Generation X (1996)
It’s fitting that this thing was called Generation X because boy, oh boy, there’s not much more ‘90s than this Alex Mack-watching, fueled-by-Jolt-Cola-ass pilot-turned-TV-movie. It’s fun enough (despite the, uh, problematic casting of a white actress as Jubilee), but man, I feel like I came out the other side talking like Pauly Shore and telling people not to have a cow, man.
Marvel’s Most Wanted (2016)
Finally, something new! Poor Adrianne Palicki is going to end up HATING comics. She was involved in 2006’s Aquaman pilot, 2011’s doomed Wonder Woman pilot, and, along with co-star Nick Blood, was written off of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in order to accommodate this pilot that wasn’t even picked up. I don’t wanna speculate or anything, I’m just saying, this would make a pretty good supervillain origin story, wouldn’t it? An actress with an unreasonable vendetta against comic book adaptations? Okay, maybe that’s just me.
That X-Men theme song is still stuck in your head, isn’t it? Let me know on Twitter!
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