When it was first announced that Marvel Television would be dabbling in comedy, word was that this new venture would begin with a sitcom based on Damage Control, the organization that deals with the unique fallout from super-powered conflicts. If the name rings a bell, you may have seen a certain web-slinger cross paths with them recently in ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’. However, the House of Ideas revealed that another team would be making it to television before former ‘Daily Show’ and ‘Colbert Report’ executive producer Ben Karlin’s long-gestating project.
Earlier this year, Freeform revealed that in addition to the superhero drama ‘Cloak and Dagger’ they would be developing ‘New Warriors’, a half-hour comedy from showrunner Kevin Biegel of ‘Scrubs’ and ‘Cougar Town’ about six young people with powers and abilities on the opposite end of the spectrum of The Avengers that want to make a difference in the world… Even if the world isn’t ready. Initial rumors stated that the show would star the adorable and badass fan-favorite Squirrel Girl (and her loyal sidekick, Tippy Toe), but later True Believers learned that she would be joined by Mister Immortal, Night Thrasher, Speedball, Microbe, and Debrii. Now, it appears that the network has finally cast the team that is described by Freeform Senior VP of Casting and Talent Elizabeth Boykewich in the press release for the new show as distinct, entertaining, relatable, and “fiercely average”. So without further ado, let’s meet the heroes of Marvel’s first foray into scripted comedy.
After many big names like ‘Stranger Things’ standout Shannon Purser and Academy Award winner Anna Kendrick, ‘This Is Us’ star and AT&T spokesperson Milana Vayntrub landed the role of Doreen Green AKA Squirrel Girl. Doreen is a totally empowered fangirl who has the incredible powers of a squirrel. Her greatest quality is her optimism and her best friend is a pet squirrel, Tippy Toe.
Familiar to fans of Freeform, ‘Baby Daddy’ star Derek Theler will play Craig Hollis AKA Mister Immortal. Craig can’t die… or so he says. Although Craig’s superpower seems amazing, he hasn’t made use of it at all — he figures if he has all the time in the world to learn how to do anything heroic, what’s the rush?
Jeremy Tardy from Netflix’s acclaimed satire ‘Dear White People’ scored the part of Dwayne Taylor AKA Night Thrasher. Brilliant and noble and maybe a bit full of himself, Dwayne is a shameless self-promoter and entrepreneur who also deeply believes in justice.
Another member of the Disney TV family joins the cast as ‘Austin & Ally’ star Calum Worthy will bring Robbie Baldwin AKA Speedball to life. Robbie is an impulsive people-pleaser with a misplaced sense of confidence who throws kinetic balls of energy that are completely out of control.
After a long stint on network television with the popular (yet recently cancelled) CBS sitcom ‘2 Broke Girls’, Matthew Moy is making the jump to cable to play Zack Smith AKA Microbe. Zack is a shy hypochondriac whose ability is that he can talk to germs that tell him where you’ve been, what you ate and who you hung out with. It’s impossible to keep secrets around him.
Finally, up and coming actress Kate Comer of ‘The Whitest Kids U’ Know’, ‘The Office’, and ‘The Comeback’ will play Deborah Fields AKA Debrii. Deborah is proud, funny and quick witted. Confidently out as a lesbian, Deborah is a low-level telekinetic, very low like she can move a paper cup.
Upon seeing this cast list, my first reaction is happiness for Vayntrub. She’s a very talented actress and she’s very funny. Although she may not have been anyone’s obvious pick to play Squirrel Girl since Kendrick, Purser, and ‘Arrested Development’ star Mae Whitman were some of the fan-casting going around. But as we’ve seen frequently in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, fans usually end up being pleasantly surprised by the stars that inhabit this franchise, even if it’s someone that they didn’t even think of initially.
Secondly, it’s a little weird seeing these heroes aged up since we’re used to seeing them in the pages of Marvel Comics at a much younger age. But considering that the former ABC Family usually targets teens and early twenty-somethings, it’s not surprising that this change has been made. With the premise laid out by Biegel and company, there’s no reason that ‘New Warriors’ shouldn’t find as much success as Marvel’s other shows despite this being the first comedy of the bunch. At the very least, let’s hope that it does better than ‘Powerless’.
What do you think about the cast of ‘New Warriors’? Are you surprised by any of the choices made? How do you think they’ll fare in Marvel Television’s first attempt at the half-hour comedy? Share your thoughts and theories in the comments.