When Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. launched in 2013, the hope was that the series would be a rich new vein of storytelling for the MCU. However, that never really came to fruition as it became clear that a network broadcast schedule couldn’t coincide with the production schedule of the movies, and that Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige didn’t have much interest in making connections to properties he didn’t oversee (Jeph Loeb functions as the head of Marvel Television). Instead, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and other Marvel series became self-contained curiosities, able to occasionally reference what was happening in the movies, but unable to determine the outcome or rely on their storytelling. That’s going to change when the Disney+ series come along over the next couple of years, but that doesn’t mean we’ve seen the last of these non-MCU superheroes.
Deadline reports that ABC is working with Disney to bring a female-led superhero series to the network as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. wraps up its seventh and final season. Per Deadline, “The hope is seemingly to ensure that there is at least one Marvel property is on air on the broadcast network at any given time. However, it’s not clear whether the adaptation is being lined up for the broadcaster’s traditional development season or will be developed off-cycle.”
This project is separate from the series written by Allan Heinberg (Wonder Woman), an hourlong drama about female characters with superpowers. This would be a different female-led show, and Marvel, with its deep bench of characters, certainly has female superheroes to spare at this point that may not be a good fit for the MCU, but would work well on a network series.
The question becomes if anyone really wants that series when Marvel is putting serious energy into shows like Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, WandaVision, What If…?, and Hawkeye. It’s clear there is some kind of audience for non-MCU series with the success of Runaways and Cloak and Dagger, and seven seasons of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is nothing to scoff at. But Marvel is now going to be competing with itself in a sense, and I’m curious to see if the audience is there for a new Marvel superhero show that isn’t part of the MCU.