Having battled for dominance in everything from comic books to blockbusters to TV dramas, DC and Marvel are now going head-to-head in a fight over sitcoms about mundane office work. A little over a month after NBC ordered a mockumentary pilot called Powerless about regular insurance workers in the world of DC superheroes, ABC has ordered its own single-camera half-hour comedy pilot about superhero logistics. Titled Damage Control, the show will follow the “overworked, underpaid clean-up crew of the Marvel Universe.”
According to Variety, Ben Karlin is developing the series and will pen the pilot, which ABC is obligated to at least air as a special under its put pilot commitment. (Karlin has worked as a producer and writer on The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and Modern Family, so he has the bona fides for Marvel’s first attempt at an outright comedy.)
Although originally a construction company in the comics, on the show Damage Control will be a cleaning crew specializing in dealing with the aftermath of big superhero fights. So they do things like returning lost ray guns, finding new wedding venues after the first one is destroyed in battle, and tracking down beloved pets that may have been turned into stone (or goo). In other words, it’s a more comedic version of what Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. was before that show switched to focusing on Inhumans.
Damage Control is the fifth Marvel-themed property ABC is working on at the moment: Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. is currently airing its third season, while Agent Carter is filming its second. There’s also a S.H.I.E.L.D. non-spinoff spinoff called Marvel’s Most Wanted—which will star Adrianne Palicki’s Mockingbird and Nick Blood’s Lance Hunter—and American Crime’s John Ridley is still developing his top-secret Marvel project as well.
Of course, all of these shows take place in the linked Marvel Cinematic Universe that also includes all the studio’s films, plus the stuff it’s releasing on Netflix. All of which means that soon being a Marvel fan won’t be so much a hobby as a full-time job.