These days Marvel has so many movies and shows that it's hard to keep track of them all. Just this week, it was revealed that Marvel Studios currently has thirty projects in production; still, the Marvel Cinematic Universe outings like Spider-Man: No Way Home, Eternals, Hawkeye, What If…?, and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness don't encompass everything under the massive brand.
When people think of non-MCU canon Marvel projects, the Sony Universe usually comes to mind, and for a good reason. While Venom: Let There Be Carnage, Morbius, Into The Spider-Verse 2, Kraven the Hunter, Silk, Spider-Woman, and other titles in the newly dubbed “Spider-Man Cinematic Universe” are not included in the three dozen Marvel Studios active projects, there are even more still that exist outside of that purview.
When Marvel Studios expanded to include the small screen in their line-up, it affected many things in production on the television side of Marvel, such as the ambitious animated crossover, The Offenders. The adult animated comedy was meant to see a team-up that connected four new shows – M.O.D.O.K., Hit-Monkey, Tigra and Dazzler, and Howard the Duck, but the plug was quickly pulled.
There are apparently plans for the waterfowl in What If…? and beyond, and that would explain why Kevin Smith's Howard the Duck was canned, while the presence of mutants in Tigra and Dazzler was more likely than not a factor in its own cancellation. Still, two series managed to scrape through, with Marvel's M.O.D.O.K. starring the inimitable Patton Oswalt in a Robot Chicken-inspired stop-motion animation having premiered earlier this year and Marvel's Hit-Monkey hitting Hulu next month.
It was implied that Deadpool was going to bring the “heroes” together for The Offenders, but with half the projects being canceled, there is little to no connective tissue between the remaining two shows – or so it seems. Just a few months ago, Jordan Blum, the writer behind Marvel's M.O.D.O.K., revealed that the writer's room for Hit-Monkey was right down the hall and that he not only previewed the series ahead of time but was well aware of the characters that would be involved.
Now years ago, our M.O.D.O.K. room was down the hall from the Hit Monkey. When Josh and Will told me they were using Fat Cobra I lost my shit and am now finally just recovering. So excited to finally get to watch him action! https://t.co/Lf6Ucg5Tua
Now, The Offenders is a blatant and hilarious homage to The Defenders, the Netflix series which tied together multiple Marvel shows outside of the MCU, including Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and Punisher. If we're looking to those projects as a blueprint for the original Offenders plan, it is important to note that Punisher and Luke Cage had major roles in Daredevil and Jessica Jones before leading their own shows.
With that in mind, it's more than likely that a similar approach was originally planned for these animated outings. With the incredibly positive reception of Marvel's M.O.D.O.K. and the obscure title character and unknown nature of Marvel's Hit-Monkey, what better way to get viewers to tune in than an appearance by M.O.D.O.K. himself?
We would be remiss not to note that this could have been in the plans initially and was ultimately changed, but at this point, little to nothing has been revealed regarding a crossover. The first trailer for Hit-Monkey didn't reveal too much about the series as is, so it's possible that reception to the show is being gauged before promoting involvement by Patton Oswalt. Then again, there's always the chance that it won't happen, and the chance of a team-up will forever exist in a What If…? universe The Watcher will never turn to.
What do you guys think? Would you like to see M.O.D.O.K. and Hit-Monkey establish a connection and potentially explore a team-up for a future season, or are you ready to leave anything outside of the MCU in your rearview mirror? Regardless, be sure to share your thoughts in the usual spot!
A world-weary Assassin who's made some unbelievably poor life choices. He drowns his sorrows in work, travel, and gambling but when it comes to doing hits, there's no one better. After he's killed in the Japanese Alps, the ghost of Bryce and Monkey are tied together on a revenge quest.
Marvel's Hit-Monkey premieres on November 17th, only on Hulu.