"The Defenders: The Animated Series"
Marvel's most famous band of misfits this side of the X-Men is the unusual "non-team" made up of Doctor Strange, Namor the Sub-Mariner, the Silver Surfer, and founding Avenger the Incredible Hulk. The team has gone through many a lineup change during their 70's to mid-80's heyday, and many an attempt has been made to give them a new audience. The newest relaunch came out, believe it or not, last year, spinning out of the events of the much-maligned Marvel event "Fear Itself", under the creative team of writer Matt Fraction (whom I've met) and husband-and-wife artist duo Terry and Rachel Dodson (both of whom I have met, nice people, really). One of my favorite up-and-coming artists, Jamie McKelvie, took over art duties on issue 9. This new roster's mission: protect us from the impossible.
A fancast based on the current incarnation of Marvel's signature "non-team".
The team roster consisted of founding members Doctor Strange, Namor, and the Silver Surfer, along with newcomers Iron Fist and Red She-Hulk, who banded together at the insistence of the Hulk in order to stop the entity that possessed him during "Fear Itself"--Nul, Breaker of Worlds. While doing so, they discover the existence of powerful objects known as Concordance Engines, which have the ability to greatly affect reality around them. Little do they know that these engines are part of a conspiracy dating back to the earliest "mystery men" in the history of the Marvel Universe, one of whom happens to be John Aman, the Prince of Orphans...
This modern take on the Defenders is, and now was, pretty much the only modern Big Two comic I followed (aside from "DC Universe Legacies") from start to finish, and I'm a bit disappointed that this series is ending at issue #12. I liked the lineup, and the story, so much so that I thought it would make a pretty decent animated series, especially when you have so many obscure bits of the Marvel U to cover. So with that, here's how the series would look:
-It would air on G4 and SyFy (*shudders* I feel so dirty typing that, I preferred SciFi Channel).
-Produced by Film Roman (they did great with Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes").
-Art and animation style mimicking McKelvie's (his art I like because it looks so animated--it's like a less softer version of the art on "Archer").
-Voice direction by Jamie Simone.
-Plot re-written so that "Fear Itself" is not part of the show's (or universe's) continuity--Nul is instead a psychic entity, much in the vein of X-Men's Shadow King, who at one time possessed the Hulk and has now gained physical form.
And now, my voice cast for this series, with which we'll start off with the main team:
James Horan reprising the voice of Doctor Strange/Dr. Stephen Strange
Horan voiced the good doctor in the 2006 video game "Marvel: Ultimate Alliance", and I thought he had a great voice for him, much better than say, John Vernon's portrayal in the 90's Spider-Man cartoon or Maurice LaMarche's in the 90's Incredible Hulk.
Callum Blue as the voice of Namor the Sub-Mariner/Namor McKenzie
When I picture Callum voicing someone like Namor, I think "good version of Zod". I think he could absolutely nail the arrogant sea king.
Brent Spiner as the voice of Silver Surfer/Norrin Rad
Like many of you, I thought Spiner wasn't a great Joker, but did a pretty good Purple Man. I think he'd be a great Silver Surfer, vocally. Just picture Data with a tinge of humanity and floating surfboard.
Paget Brewster as the voice of Red She-Hulk/Betty Ross
The longest I've heard Brewster's voiceover work was my constant viewing of Godzilla: The Series (based on the much-maligned American version of the Big G), where she voiced Audrey Timmonds. I think she's got a great voice for this kind of gig, and when I was reading She-Rulk's lines in the comic, her voice came to mind. (Also, for some reason, under McKelvie's pencils, she looks a bit like Brewster, I think.)
Scott Porter as the voice of Iron Fist/Daniel Rand
This was inspired by the recent story where Porter stated in an interview he was interested in playing either Nova or Iron Fist, and he's proven his voiceover chops with the X-Men Anime (where he voiced Cyclops).
Janet Montgomery as the voice of Black Cat/Felicia Hardy
She played a thief and a con-artist on the second season of Human Target, so who better for her to play than the MU's answer to Catwoman (right down to the black catsuit? Though they do differ more than just the furry highlights...)
Bruce McGill as the voice of Nick Fury
I thought of using McGill while inspired by three of his roles: the general possessed by Eclipso that he voiced on "Justice League", his role as Van Damme's boss in "Timecop" (1994), and his current role on "Covert Affairs". I think he'd be a decent voice of the MU's premier superspy.
This Nick Fury is from one of the alternate universes the team lands in after a Concordance engine is struck during a fight between the Defenders and John Aman. It's a world that's something straight out of the old Jim Steranko-era "Nick Fury: Agent of SHIELD" stories. (She-Rulk even says "The sixties were so weird.") He joins the team after using the engine to try and get back to their main universe--but not before Fury shoots a revived Adolf Hitler, right in front of Baron Strucker's eyes (they revived the stinker in a similar way to "Frankenstein").
Scott Bakula as the voice of Ant-Man/Scott Lang
After getting so much praise for my casting Bakula as Animal Man, I thought I'd see if lightning struck twice with another character I thought he'd be good for, the second Ant-Man.
The team meets and recruits this version of Scott from an alternate future where the world is being ravaged by a "Death Celestial", one of the Mad Celestials. He's shrunken down to avoid detection by the entity, who can sense even the most minute thought and eradicate it (in a similar manner to DC's Anti-Monitor).
James Sie as the voice of Wong
Sie has lent his voice to many a comic book-based production. I do believe the most recent were Wolverine and the X-Men (as Logan's sensei and the Yakuza head) and Batman: The Brave and the Bold (as the Ryan Choi version of the Atom).
Aisha Tyler as the voice of Misty Knight
Misty appeared in one issue of the comic, so I tried to find someone who could portray the bionic detective we all know and love with grace and strength--which led me to the lady behind Lana Kane on "Archer".
Tom Kane as the voice of Prester John
This version of Prester John, who's gone a bit mad from guarding a Concordance engine for so long and wields the Evil Eye, seeks to use it (via Nul, Breaker of Worlds breaching it) to power a ship that will take him to another universe, one where he can start humanity anew and free from the corruption of our universe. He employs a variety of the High Evolutionary's New Men as his soldiers.
Kane has lent his voice to a lot of Marvel cartoons, playing Professor Thornton of Weapon X, SHIELD agent Jasper Sitwell, and one of the Avengers' greatest villains, Ultron. I thought he'd be a natural with this character.
Lance Henriksen as the voice of John Aman, the Prince of Orphans
Aman seeks to prevent the Defenders from finding the remaining Concordance Engines, at any cost and no matter who gets in his way. It is revealed in the 6th issue that he was part of an early team of "mystery men" adventurers who first learned of the Concordance engines' existence, and since then vowed to keep it a secret.
I picked Henriksen when I was inspired by a character he voiced on Transformers: Animated, the mercenary transformer Lockdown. I thought he had a great voice, one befitting a jaded martial arts master like this guy.
-Fred Tatasciore as the Hulk
-Keone Young as Fat Cobra of the Immortal Weapons
-Virginia Madsen as Martha (a former love of Doctor Strange's who is brought from a dimension where she didn't die of breast cancer) and Fen (Namor's mother, who is revealed to have been part of a similar group to Aman's, headed by Captain Nemo)
-Patrick Seitz as the voice of Count Tagar, Prester John's right-hand man
-Danielle Judovits as Molly, a college student seeking advising from Doctor Strange on certain styles of occult architecture.
-Jame C. Mathis III reprising the Black Panther/T'Challa
-Danielle Nicolet as Black Panther/Shuri
And that is a wrap! One more thing about this fancast--
For taking the time to view this, ladies and gentlemen, may I present IRON BUTTERFLY:
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