5. Moon Knight
Moon Knight? But, Nick, I thought you said you wanted big franchises to rival Watchmen!
It’s no secret that Moon Knight (who?) isn’t the most popular character, but his stories are perfectly suited for TV. He’s a card-carrying Avenger who just happens to be schizophrenic. He and Batman are pretty similar but he doesn’t wear dark clothes to hide in the shadows. On an expedition in Egypt, Marc Spector is found by tribesmen and brought to an ancient temple. He strikes a deal with an ancient god that he will serve as the force’s avatar on Earth to defend the innocent. It’s a nice twist for a character who had spent most of his life working as a hit man only to find himself thrown into the world of spirits and heroics.
The best part is each season can follow a different creative take on the character. In the last few years Brian Michael Bendis, Warren Ellis and Jeff Lemire all integrated their unique vision into the character. He has gone from a TV producer trying to develop a story about his life, to someone envisioning Captain America, Wolverine and Spider-Man on the battlefield besides him. My favorite run featured him waking as a patient stuck in a mental ward convinced his whole past life was a lie. No matter how desperate his situation becomes, Marc Spector knows how to find (or stumble upon) a solution to get him back on the streets.