When Marvel teamed up with Netflix in 2013, the most popular streaming platform, it led to creating a new franchise within the MCU. Netflix produced a series of interconnected shows with the common theme of street fighting ensembles. Between 2015 and 2019, Netflix launched shows like Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, Punisher, etc. But the Marvel – Netflix partnership was doomed to fail.
With the entry of new players in the market, Marvel sought out Disney+ as its new streaming platform, leaving Netflix high and dry. Despite their critical acclaim, the shows have no connection to the OG MCU. So what lies ahead for them? Will they be incorporated into mainstream MCU or is it too late for them?
Fit – Add them to the Avengers: In the comics, each member of Netflix’s lineup has been part of the Avengers. Punisher, for example, joins the Avengers in the comics. So it’s only logical to add them to a future lineup, especially since the new movies aren’t in the works yet.
Don’t Fit – They don’t fit the MCU’s Plan of Action: Marvel doesn’t plan on introducing any street-fighting quartet anytime soon. Especially since fans now expect bigger, better, and flashier.
Fit – They can be a part of Phase 5: Although they are part of the MCU, The Defenders have always been in their own world. But these characters have the potential to take the lead in MCU’s Phase 5, if written properly.
Don’t Fit – Retcon is Impossible: Creators can’t cater to each fan base individually. If they were to introduce these characters, it would require a separate production to link the stories together, drawn from a version of the characters that will bring in audiences. This might anger fans awaiting the return of these characters and looked forward to seeing their darker personas on screen.
Fit – They are part of the MCU: Having acknowledged the events of the movies, the Marvel Knights stand an excellent chance to fit into Marvel’s current narrative. Their encounters with the Snap and Blip are a great way to add them to the storyline gradually.
Don’t Fit – They’re too dark for the MCU: While Thanos erasing half the population with a snap might not make for the most cheerful plot for a movie, however, the plotline in itself is appropriate for family viewings. In addition, Marvel is trying to gain viewership across several age demographics, and these shows revolve around darker themes, primarily suitable for adult audiences, like Marvel Knights.
Fit – Introduce them as a new set of streetfighters: This concept is similar to productions like Hawkeye or Ms. Marvel. So they might be introduced through them.
Don’t Fit – They don’t fit into Marvel’s current theme: Avengers Endgame and other new productions point toward expanding the MCU into the galactic era, focusing more on mystical elements and exploring alternate realities. That makes it impossible for Marvel Knights to fit in.
Fit – What if Dr. Strange leads this team of heroes: Since Dr. Strange seems to be the new Marvel lead, it makes sense for him to lead this new band of fighters, maybe as a spin-off of The Defenders.
Don’t Fit – There’s no way to turn back: Unfortunately, with Marvel’s current goals, it’s hard to fit these characters with their unique personas and powers, all while achieving a seamless flow. Ultimately, either these shows run on the side, or fans have to say goodbye forever.
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