With the launch of Daredevil, Netflix is moving in to a corner of the Marvel Universe. The series has gotten great reviews, and within two weeks of the thirteen episode season one being released, they’ve announced plans for season two. I have to admit I’m excited by this, as I’m loving the first season and the ties to the larger Marvel Universe. Daredevil has a 97% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which if nothing else is generally a good sign.
The other series that are coming to Netflix are AKA Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist. All four are low-level heroes in New York City, and they all have ties in the comics. Cage eventually marries Jones. Iron Fist and Luke Cage have one of the most unlikely but deepest friendships in Marvel comics. Iron Fist stepped in as Daredevil to protect Hell’s Kitchen during one of Matt Murdock’s times out of costume. You get the idea. While none of those stories are guaranteed for the shows, they are characters linked by being the same city with potential to meet each other at the very least.
In addition to the solo series, all four are going to unite after the end of Iron Fist. They are using the name Defenders, one of Marvel’s long-running and most unusual teams. In the comics, the Defenders were never a real official team. Their headquarters was usually the house of any of the well off members, and membership was very fluid. They were often called a “non-team” as members came and went. The Defenders had a lot of obscure heroes, loaners who generally weren’t part of big groups, and some pretty weird villains. The core of the team was usually the same “big four” characters. Those four were:
The Incredible Hulk- He’s been in two solo movies, and two Avengers films, as well as a cameo in Iron Man 3 (or the Banner side was, anyway). It’s possible he’d show up for the Netflix series, but I find it unlikely. Then again, Samuel L Jackson did a guest spot as Nick Fury on Agents of SHIELD, so who knows?
Dr. Strange- The Sorcerer Supreme has already been announced as a Marvel feature film, starring Benedict Cumberbatch. I’d bet against him showing up on these shows. However, there is a rumor floating around that Dr. Strange, in some form or other, shows up in the Iron Fist series, so I suppose it’s possible.
Namor the Sub-Mariner- I’d have to say this one isn’t going to happen. While Marvel has done a great job of getting back many of their character rights, as Marvel Studios does better and better at the box office, they haven’t gotten them all. Namor, last I read, was held by Universal. Unless Marvel has reacquired the King of Atlantis, I don’t think he’ll be turning up as a Defender.
The Silver Surfer- Definitely one of Marvel’s strangest characters, he’s also one of the more powerful. But the former Herald of Galactus is part of the deal that gave Fox the rights to the Fantastic Four. Since that property is being rebooted (again) this summer, I’d bet heavily against the Surfer being part of the team.
Based on Daredevil, I’d be satisfied with just the four heroes we know about. But wouldn’t it be cool if some of the big guys from the comics were part of the team, too?