When it was first announced that Netflix and Marvel were coming together to make a lineup of shows set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, fans were certainly excited. From Daredevil to The Punisher, some of Marvel’s most popular characters were brought into this sprawling universe, and with streaming, it was possible for a more mature take on these characters and their stories.
Recently, all the Marvel shows that originated on Netflix made the jump to Disney+, and since I had largely stopped watching them after The Defenders failed to impress me, I decided to finish up the run by watching all the final seasons of the five different characters: Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and The Punisher. Having now done that, I’m left with the very strong feeling that Marvel is missing the boat by not taking the opportunity it now has to continue these shows.
Many Of The Marvel Netflix Shows' Castings Were Perfect
With the recent appearance of Charlie Cox’s Matt Murdock in Spider-Man: No Way Home, as well as Vincent D’Onofrio showing up in the Hawkeye series, Marvel is essentially admitting something that most fans already knew: when it came to most of the casting for these shows, the studio simply can’t do better than they already did.
Cox and D’Onofrio are perhaps the best examples, but the truth is it would be just as hard to top the casting of pitch-perfect Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones, Mike Colter as Luke Cage and Jon Bernthal as The Punisher. It’s going to be nearly impossible to find people who could play these roles any better. For the fans who watched these shows, anybody else coming in and trying to take over is going to have quite a hill to climb.
If there is ever any plan to bring these characters back, it only makes sense to use the amazing cast that you already found, and if you're doing that, it makes more sense to continue the story as opposed to rebooting it. Since it seems that even under the best circumstances, a Jessica Jones or Luke Cage movie is unlikely, then another season on Disney+ is exactly where the characters need to be.
All The Netflix Marvel Shows Ended On A High Note
All the Marvel series were entertaining at one time or another, and while each series certainly has its low points, most of the Marvel shows ended strong; or, at least, in the case of Iron Fist, stronger than it started. I'd argue that, maybe with the exception of The Punisher, every final season of the five character-focused shows is better than the previous season of that series. Even in the case of The Punisher, that's only because Season 1 is one of the best and Season 2 is still good.
Shows like Daredevil, Jessica Jones and The Punisher end in ways that make you wonder if they knew the shows were ending during production. For the most part, all loose ends are tied up, and the heroes essentially find a new status quo. In Daredevil, Nelson, Murdock & Page is informally created, allowing our three main protagonists to work together to try and help Hell’s Kitchen. Jessica Jones briefly considers running away before making a final decision to stay in New York and use her abilities to help people. The Punisher is working solo to take out bad guys wherever he finds them.
All three of these shows could essentially start new seasons without viewers needing to watch (or at least without them needing to remember) what happened in the “Netflix years.” These shows could just pick up where they are with new stories. The previous seasons can still be canon, and they’re there for the fans who want to watch them, but they don’t need to be necessary.
Alternatively, Luke Cage also ended its run strongly, but for the opposite reason. Cage has essentially become the King of Harlem, filling the power vacuum he helped create by making deals with criminals in order to keep his home safe. It’s an incredibly compelling place to leave the character, and it would make for a potentially incredible Season 3 if we were ever to get one.
The same thing is true with the most struggling show on this list. Iron Fist had a lot of issues, and while most would agree that Season 2 was an overall improvement compared to Season 1, that’s not saying much. However, Season 2 ended with an entirely new Iron Fist taking up the mantle in Jessica Henwick’s Colleen Wing, and I think a lot of people want to see where that goes in a new season.
The Defenders Need A Second Chance
The original concept behind these Marvel series was a pretty simple idea: to recreate the MCU’s Phase One on a smaller scale. Four heroes would be introduced in Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist, and then they would come together in a Defenders miniseries. As mentioned above, I didn’t care for Defenders, so much so that I stopped watching all the other shows for a couple of years. But The Defenders could have been good, and it still can be.
There were a number of issues with The Defenders, but ultimately it was just the wrong story for these characters. These actors and these characters are so good that they can obviously be great together, so another run at The Defenders could really shine with the right people behind the camera as well as in front of it.
There have been rumors and rumblings that the MCU is far from done with Charlie Cox, and some of those rumors even include some sort of reboot for Daredevil. There have also been rumors that Krysten Ritter might appear as Jessica Jones in the upcoming She-Hulk series, though at this point that seems less likely. Hopefully these rumors turn out to be true, but they should also be true for everybody else that helped build the Marvel series on Netflix.
There’s far more good than bad here. These are excellent characters with more stories to tell. A whole host of new people are probably discovering, or rediscovering these shows now that they’re on Disney+, and let’s use that momentum to get into revivals.
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