We live in a remix, crossover, shared and expanded universe-obsessed time for pop culture.  Tom Cruise isn’t just starring in ‘The Mummy’, he’s breaking ground on The Dark Universe; ‘Wonder Woman’ isn’t just a hit, it’s a bellwether for the DCEU; ‘Iron Fist’ being awful may threaten Marvel/Netflix viability.  I like that the money people are being forced to think long-term and we’re seeing greater verisimilitude in adaptations (including Milana as Squirrel Girl) making for two big pluses and leading to today’s franchise-driven query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) would enjoy seeing more of the cowboys-and-rocket-ships world of ‘Serenity’, with or without Mal and his crew, asking: What fictional setting and/or characters most deserve a sprawling shared or expanded universe?


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. Since the game line has been put on indefinite hiatus, I’d like to see the Mass Effect universe get some expanded multimedia treatment.

  2. I’d kill for a team-up of the classic pulp heroes, a Marvel-style, slow build-up, shared universe story, with The Shadow, The Green Hornet, Doc Savage, Tarzan, The Spider, Mandrake the Magician, The Phantom, The Avenger, and more. Maybe later films could even work in the sci-fi heroes like John Carter and Flash Gordon. Of course, those characters are owned by so many different countries that this would never happen, and if it did, we’d likely end up with the likes of the latest miserable attempts at bringing back the pulp characters, like Seth Rogen’s execrable Green Hornet movie. Of course, this is why I created my own sandbox to play in:

      • I did. I was incredibly excited. I had been dying for a book like that, and I bought every issue. Unfortunately, it was pretty tremendously disappointing. The STORY of the book was pretty decent, but looked terrible. The art went from amazing with Ross to absolutely awful with the main artist. What’s worse, I felt cheated, like I had been hit with a bait and switch, having bought the book partially because of Ross’s work.

        It’s not just that it is ugly, which it really, really was, but the main problem was that the artwork doesn’t do its job. Comic art is about story telling, and this artist, Dennis Calero, is really quite bad at that. He spends half his time focused on faces and close-ups in the middle of fight scenes, and when he does attempt to show action, it’s practically unintelligible, like the modern ‘knees and elbows’ school of film-making.

        The plot is really cool, and I love the adaptation of the source. The dialog is weak, though. It’s functional, but not terribly impressive. The characters feel pretty underdeveloped, which is understandable with this many heroes, but still, the Roberson’s passed up opportunities to flesh out the cast by giving them very generic dialog. The villain was left pretty much completely un-developed. The plot just sort of ended, and what should have been the best book I read that year ended, not with a bang, but with a whimper.

  3. Trollhunters. I loved the first season and I love the characters, but they have barely scratched the surface of the potential for stories from that world. Maybe there are other hidden troll villages where humans and trolls work together. And even though there is only one Trollhunter, the fact that Toby and Claire got magical equipment seems to imply there could be others out there with something. Maybe some delusional nerd got his hands on a Troll artifact and is attempting to be a superhero, or some young woman has a troll artifact and thinks she’s a witch, or maybe there is a troll and human friendship where the duo try to have some grand fantasy heroic adventure with hilarious, potentially epic failure results.

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