One live-action Marvel show on Netflix would be great. Two? Fantastic. Five? Five? Are you kidding me right now? I need some fresh air. In what’s being dubbed an “unprecedented deal”, Marvel and Disney are going to grant Netflix what may become some of its biggest ever content – five new shows, four of them live-action and one miniseries (which may be live-action, also). Spanning years’ worth of episodes, the four shows will cover Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage, before culminating in the miniseries dubbed “Marvel’s Defenders”.
Disney describes the Defenders as a “self-sacrificing, heroic characters”, but to be honest that narrows it down to just about every single comic book hero you’ve ever seen in your life, so we’ll go with it being another take on the Avengers concept, but with fewer A-listers.
Right, so rather than throw a bunch of unfamiliar names at you, we at TFR thought we’d give you a low-down on the sort of stuff you can expect from these four characters and their up-coming shows.
Daredevil’s not totally unfamiliar to those who’ve kept up with Marvel cinema, but for those just coming in for the Avengers-era stuff, let’s learn a little. Daredevil is the superhero alter-ego of one Matt Murdock, a blind lawyer who lost his sight in a chemical accident as a child. However, the loss of his ability to see has heightened his other senses to superhuman levels and allowed him to use sound to build a picture of his environment.
Combine that with some formidable martial arts skills and a pair of nunchucks and you’ve got one of the primary guardians of Marvel’s New York, alongside Spider-Man, Iron Man and The Punisher. Matt’s an incredibly moral, kind character, and as I personally enjoyed Marvel’s last attempt at putting him on the big screen (starring Ben Affleck as Daredevil himself), I’m all for seeing the show.
Jessica Jones is a character who’ll be interesting regardless of what stage of her storied career Marvel decides to focus on. Early on, she also got caught in a chemical accident (yeah, I know, I know), and upon waking, discovered she had super-strength, limited invulnerability, and the ability to fly.
Inspired by Spider-Man (who had actually attended her school as Peter Parker), she decided to put her powers to good use. Her interlocking story begins with her adoption of the superhero identity of Jewel Jones – who managed to suffer at the hands of one of Daredevil’s own enemies: Zebediah Killgrave. After months of harrowing torture at his hands, she emerged and became a private detective, then a journalist, then Jewel Jones again, far later on.
My money’s going on her career as Jewel Jones, as it’s there that she meets a certain character whose own show appears alongside her own, but she’s an interesting hero with an impressively varied career I’d like to see on screen.
Iron Fist is one of the coolest superheroes you can imagine. Losing his father to a cruel villain, he is taken in by an otherworldly being (no chemicals involved this time) and taught the way of the Iron Fist. Fighting a dragon, he plunges his fists into a brazier containing its heart, and is given the power of the Iron Fist.
Essentially, it’s probably unwise to face off against this guy in a boxing match. He’s a serious, committed martial artist, and fights alongside – yup – Luke Cage at one point in his career, which may be the point at which the series starts. He’s also the owner of a rather large amount of money, with no interest in it, while Cage comes from a poor background, which could be an interesting source of tension between him and Cage.
Luke Cage has a superhero name that’s either awesome or incredibly boring, and I can’t decide – Powerman. Cage is a superhero who you simply wouldn’t mess with because he comes across as a being of pure force – near-impenetrable skin, considerable physical power and of course, the fighting talents of the others in this list.
His involvement with the others has already been documented, but it’s interesting that he’s a character who’s risen up from the slums to become a force to be reckoned with. Not every superhero comes from a poor background, and I’m interested in seeing how it contrasts with Iron Fist’s story, and how they bounce off one another.
So that’s your lot, and I can imagine you may be as keen as I am to dig into this stuff. It’ll be a while, of course, but I’ll never say no to more comic-book action hitting my screen.