Nate grew up reading comics and watching I Love Lucy with his family. So needless to say, WandaVision has been a revelation. His new seminal show got him thinking about what other Marvel series he’d most like to see on the big screen. With vintage 3AM at Comic-Con energy, Nate Lee shares his top four arcs for adaptation.

I was born into a family of I Love Lucy fans. Growing up, the “Vitameatavegamin” bit was hallowed comedic scripture, reverently passed down from parent to child before I had even seen an episode of the show. So when I first heard that Marvel’s WandaVision was going to be a Lucy-era sitcom inspired series, I marked my calendar so hard I nearly broke the phone screen.

Through three episodes, the show has not disappointed. As equal parts nostalgia-fest, genre experiment, ever-twisting mystery box thriller, and til-now-woefully-underutilized acting chops of Olsen & Bettany showcase, WandaVision has been an absolute joy of a watch. And among these many highlights, the show’s knowing nods to the brilliant Tom King & Gabriel H. Walta helmed, Eisner winning Vision series from 2015 have been a thrill for comic heads like myself.

In honor of the MCU’s so-far-so-good transition to the silver screen, it seemed like as good a time as any to put together a collection of classic and recent comic runs I’d love to see given a cinematic and/or streaming adaptation of their own (as well as some dream casting and directorial picks):

(But first, a few already-in-motion or wish-they’d-done-it-better honorable mentions to get out of the way.)

  • Matt Fraction & David Aja’s Hawkeye is an all-time series, brilliantly toeing the line between nods back to the canon and a completely revolutionary spin on the character (not to mention the elevation of Kate Bishop to truly elite Avenger status). The Renner/Steinfeld two-hander has limitless potential, and if it hadn’t already been announced this would be top of the list.

  • I don’t think I’ve been knocked on my ass as hard by a comic run since Jason Aaron’s Thor: God of Thunder/The Mighty Thor series, and couldn’t be more excited by what appears to be an impending adaptation of the run’s most celebrated highlights, “The God Butcher” and “The Goddess of Thunder.” The return of Natalie Portman and the Christian Bale casting are literal dreams come true.

  • I would give almost anything for another take of “The Demon Bear Saga,” a seminal New Mutants arc that loosely formed the foundation of the much-maligned New Mutants film from 2020. In the comics, “The Demon Bear Saga” is one of the most boundary-pushing, narratively and artistically revolutionary, jaw-droppingly insane stories, and will be well worth a more faithful adaptation whenever Marvel feels like they’ve washed their hands clean of the bad New Mutants blood.

Alright, time for the real deal (in no particular order). Semi-spoilers for lots of decade-plus-old comics abound. You’ve been warned!

Uncanny X-Force (2010-2012) /// W: Rick Rememder; A: Jerome Opeña

Thus far, the MCU has been willing to tiptoe into the darker corners of the Marvel multiverse, but as the cinematic universe continues to expand (literally and narratively), it’s going to become essential for them to reckon with some less-than-Disney themes. Rick Remender and Jerome Opeña’s Uncanny X-Force is a series that dives headfirst into the muck of moral ambiguity (swinging for the fences right out the gate with a Marvel-ized “would you kill baby Hitler?” mission) while retaining, if not elevating, the absolutely bat-shit weirdness that has always made X-Men one of the best titles in the Marvel arsenal. Featuring one of the most underrated X-rosters in the history of the canon (see below for the dream-team casting), Uncanny X-Force has true quadruple-threat potential as an action-packed, philosophically challenging, darkly comedic, and emotionally devastating series.

Dream Director: Bong Joon-ho

Casting Wishlist:

  • Psylocke: Sakura Ando (stop what you’re doing and watch Shoplifters now)

  • Fantomex: Robert Pattinson (see The King for evidence of his French accent chops, see This GQ Profile for evidence that he’s a total weirdo)

  • Wolverine: Joel Edgerton (if “Warrior” was any indication, the guy can take the requisite beating)

  • Archangel: Charlie Hunnam

  • Deadpool: Ryan Reynolds (obviously)

Daredevil [v2] #9-15 (1999) /// W: David Mack; A: Joe Quesada

Perhaps best known for the later and more highly regarded Brian Michael Bendis/Alex Maleev turn on the series, Daredevil volume 2  (part of the 90s Marvel Knights imprint) features a short, undersung, but remarkably impactful run from David Mack and Joe Quesada, which centers around the introduction of Maya Lopez, aka Echo, a deaf mimic who’s photographic reflexes allow her to copy any movements she sees (turns out, super handy trick for super-heroing). Across the storyline, Matt and Maya become romantically involved while their alter-egos (unknown at the outset to one another) battle numerous times, thanks to some puppeteering from everyone’s favorite Kingpin.

It’s a beautifully rendered story and the perfect foundation for a mini-series in the WandaVision mold. It also provides an opportunity to both center focus on one of the most engaging yet all-too-often overlooked characters in the modern Marvel universe, as well as a chance to return Charlie Cox’s truly phenomenal personification of Daredevil to the screen.

Dream Director: Deborah Chow

Casting Wishlist (Thankfully, casting’s been taken care of on this one. Building off the Netflix roster as well as the upcoming Hawkeye series, we’ve got):

  • Kingpin: Vincent D’Onofrio

  • Daredevil: Charlie Cox

  • Echo: Alaqua Cox (No relation, but extra shouts to Marvel for learning from their past history of erasure and correctly casting a deaf Native actress to play a character who’s intersectional deaf and Native identities are so central to her narrative.)

Fantastic Four #570-588, 600-611, FF #1-23 (1998) /// W: Jonathan Hickman; A: Dale Eaglesham, Neil Edwards, Nick Dragotta, & Steve Epting.

Fourth time’s a charm? At this point, the failure of FF-centric films feels like a near-inevitability (endless love to Brad Bird and The Incredibles for keeping hope alive), but since the First Family’s impending entrance into the MCU has already been confirmed, I would love to point our man K. Feiges and the Disney powers-that-be in the direction of Jonathan Hickman’s run for rejuvenatory inspiration. It’s a multiverse hopping saga that includes all the essentials of the title (the cosmic, existential quandaries, the grounded, family-centric drama) prismed through the truly once-in-a-generation storytelling mind of Hickman. The run reads like a magic trick, at moments so expansive and complex that it seems impossible to hold together, only to suddenly snap every disparate narrative thread together and punch you in the gut.

Dream Director: My heart says Brad Bird, my head says Christopher Nolan.

Casting Wishlist:

  • Sue Storm: Emily Blunt

  • Reed Richards: William Jackson Harper

  • Johnny Storm: Taron Egerton

  • Ben Grim: Jesse Plemons

  • Dr. Doom: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II

LifeDeath (A Love Story) aka Uncanny X-Men #186 (1984) /// W: Chris Claremont; A: Barry Windsor-Smith

If WandaVision is the Marvel take on I Love Lucy, “LifeDeath” could be MCU’s Marriage Story. A departure from this list’s other installments, “LifeDeath” is a single issue following the arc of Storm’s post-depowering romance with Forge. The two strike up at first an uneasy relationship, then bond over loss, grief, and alienation, only to have their newly-kindled relationship disrupted due to the reveal of Forge’s role in Storm’s power loss.

The brilliant rendering by artist Barry Windsor-Smith has an inherently cinematic quality to it, even within the story’s confined setting, with panels ready-made for a direct on-screen adaptation. And while it’s a much quieter story than any MCU fare we’ve seen thus far, the beating heart of Marvel has always been the characters, and a pivot towards even more character-focused storytelling seems like one of the best steps in ensuring the creative-longevity of the franchise.

Dream Director: Michaela Coel

Casting Wishlist:

  • Storm: Michaela Coel (double duty!)

  • Forge: Martin Sensmeier