Power Man and Iron Fist
The Pitch: "Shanghai Noon meets 48 Hours. Meets I'm Gonna Git You Sucka."
The Explanation: Yes, yes, I know that Luke Cage has a respectable career with the New Avengers these days, and Iron Fist has his own series back, but these two characters (Both born of Marvel's 1970s bandwagon-jumping attempts to lure kids to their books, with Power Man being the blaxpoitation lead and Iron Fist the kung-fu hero) always worked best as the comedic bromance they spent the 1980s as. Cast Tracy Morgan and Luke Wilson and you have... well, potential box-office gold, or the worst trainwreck ever made. Take a chance, Marvel!
Must-Read: Essential Power Man and Iron Fist volumes 1 and 2 really are essential.
The Pitch: "Buffy for the The Devil Wears Prada audience."
The Explanation: Patsy Walker had it all - Life as a teen superstar, the perfect boyfriend, and her future ahead of her - but somehow, she ended up as a superhero with unexplained magic powers, a former demon as an ex-husband and at least one post-death experience. If someone in Hollywood can't work out how to turn that into a series of allegories for the modern woman, they should just ask writer Kathryn Immonen, whose recent takes on the character's comic incarnation have been quirky, fun and the kind of thing we want to see more of.
Must-Read: The collection of Immonen's Patsy Walker: Hellcat stories comes out a week on Wednesday. You'll want to buy it.
The Pitch: "Big with superpowers."
The Explanation: 13 year old Kevin Green can turn into an adult superhero anytime he wants... except that he's still the same boy inside, and his adult body reacts to how he's feeling at the time. Which is great when he's feeling invincible and superhuman, but when he's feeling embarrassed or afraid...? Look out. This Captain Marvel (The one with "Shazam," this time) homage adds a layer of self-consciousness and comedy that's perfect for a family comedy... and one that's apparently been in the works for more than five years. So where is it?
Must-Read: All of Prime's appearances are out of print, but hunt the back issue bins for his early 1990s series.
The Pitch: "Tarzan meets The Incredibles."
The Explanation: There's little to recommend Marvel's shameless rip-off of Edgar Rice Burroughs' famous Tarzan, with the one exception of the little-remembered late 1990s series by Kingdom Come and Flash writer Mark Waid that brought the character and his family to New York to escape the dangers of his usual prehistoric jungle world, only for those dangers to follow him (and turn out to be something very out of his league). The mix of action, sitcom (especially Ka-Zar discovering his love of gadgets) and drama marks it out as something that could easily work for a mainstream audience, especially if some CGI dinosaurs made an appearance.
Must-Read: Again, nothing in print, but go looking for the 20 issue Ka-Zar series that launched in 1997.