Oh boy. Are we reaching the saturation point yet? So I was all set to do weekly recaps of Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. when it premiered. Joss Whedon coming back to the Marvel universe with a ground-level show about the ordinary Joes that keep things under control when superheroes go buckwild.
Well, we all saw how that ended up. The show’s pretty shoddy and I lost interest after the second episode. Ratings are also doing a nosedive after the strong premiere as most of America agrees with me. It looked like Marvel’s domination of the movie world wasn’t going to extend to the small screen (which is ironic, as DC is doing great with Arrow and planning more shows on the CW).
And now, enter Netflix. The DVD delivery service turned streaming entertainment hub has scored big with original programming in the last year (Orange Is The New Black and Arrested Development being the two biggest examples), and they just announced they’re partnering with Marvel for no less than four original series set in the Marvel universe, followed by a miniseries that brings them all together. Here’s the rundown:
Daredevil is probably the best known character of the lot, having been played by Ben Affleck in a dud movie. He’s a blind lawyer who has superhuman senses to compensate. The most recent run of his comic has been a critical hit, and the character has tons of depth, an interesting rogue’s gallery and a hip street-level setting.
Luke Cage, formerly known as Power Man, started in the 70s as a Blaxploitation character, a super-tough ex-con who worked as a “Hero for Hire” in sleazy Times Square. Since then, he’s become an Avenger, dropped the chain belt and high collar and is one of Marvel’s best-loved African-American superheroes.
Iron Fist was Cage’s partner in the “Hero for Hire” business but has since stepped out on his own. A white guy who was raised in a mystical Asian mountain city, he has the power to harness his chi to really wreck shop.
Jessica Jones, the most recently-created character on the list, was made up by Brian Bendis for his Alias series. She used to be a generic superheroine known as Jewel until she quit the game to start a private detective firm. She has a baby in the comics with Luke Cage, but I’d expect the Netflix show to predate that.
All of this is allegedly leading up to The Defenders, a miniseries that will bring all four shows together and hopefully create a new franchise operation for Marvel. No casting or studio announcements have been made yet, but we’ll keep our ears to the ground. What do you think? Will this work out better than S.H.I.E.L.D. or are we in for four more flops?