Kingpin and Matt Murdock have made their way to the MCU and ever since then, people have been debating about their past. Some believe that their Netflix appearances were and are canon to the MCU while others believe that they weren’t. All Netflix Marvel shows were produced by Marvel TV, and they always acted as if they were taking place within a corner of the MCU. But since they weren’t produced by Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige never allowed the movies to acknowledge them. But what’s the situation now? Well, let’s try and figure it out.
The fact that Vincent D’Onofrio and Charlie Cox got to reprise their Netflix roles in the main MCU makes everyone think that their past Netflix shows are now canon too. But that may not be the case for several reasons. Firstly, we believed that if those shows would be canon, then people would go and watch them once again after the recent developments. So, Disney would actually be doing free marketing for their biggest competitor. As of now, Marvel has done nothing to confirm whether those shows were canon. And yet, Cox’s cameo in No Way Home still caused a resurgence in Daredevil’s Netflix viewership. But these shows are being taken away from Netflix as the rights that the streaming giant held are expiring now. So, the problem of free marketing has actually been canceled. But…
Transfer to Disney+
Most of you would know by now that the likes of Daredevil, The Punisher, The Defenders, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist are all moving to Disney+. So, there’s a huge chance that they’d be canonized. In fact, all these shows could be renewed for new seasons too if Disney is actually willing to go that far. But I still believe that canonizing these shows would prove to be quite problematic for several reasons. Instead, there are quite a few advantages in keeping these shows as a part of a different universe.
Why The Netflix Marvel Shows Are Still Separate
Many of these Marvel Netflix shows actually had actors who are now appearing in the MCU. Mahershala Ali played Cottonmouth on Luke Cage while Alfre Woodard was Mariah Dillard. And in the main MCU, Ali as we know is Blade, and Woodard played the character of Miriam Sharpe back in Captain America: Civil War. How is it that two different characters have the same faces? We could pretend that maybe those people were close-looking doppelgangers of Blade and Miriam Sharpe respectively. But wouldn’t it make sense if those guys would actually be variants of a separate universe instead?
Another reason is that the films never really acknowledged those shows. Even though these events took place on a street level, it’s still hard to believe that none of them showed up on the radar of the Avengers or organizations like S.H.I.E.L.D or SWORD. I mean, Luke Cage was pretty popular among the common folk. So, he should have been called into battle during events like Infinity War or Endgame. And if he would have been called in, then the rest of the Defenders would have followed. Instead of making us believe that the Netflix heroes were laying low in all the major battles on Earth, it’s easier to put them in a separate Marvel universe as an explanation for where they were during MCU’s major events.
Reason 3 – If they were canon, then Marvel would have already said so. Kingpin was put back in prison back at the end of Daredevil season 3. And this time, it seemed permanent. But in Hawkeye, he was seemingly running free the entire time and his past from Daredevil was never really acknowledged.
Reason 4 – The tone of these shows does not match anything from the MCU. Sure, we’ll soon be getting darker projects. But apart from Deadpool 3, they’d all still be PG-13 or TV-14. So, adding Netflix’s dark and violent shows to the MCU won’t really make a lot of sense.
The Pros of Keeping Them Separate
Besides the 4 aforementioned reasons, it would actually be advantageous for Marvel to give all Netflix characters soft reboots on MCU’s Earth. They’d get new starts. And most importantly, Marvel would have the choice to retain what worked in the past and discard the rest. They’ve retained Kingpin and Daredevil. The Punisher and Jessica Jones might be brought in too. But many people found Iron Fist’s casting and story weak. So, he could easily be replaced and a new actor could play the part in a project like Shang-Chi 2. They could also leave certain supporting cast members behind and bring in newer characters to tell fresh solo stories of all the Defenders.
But the biggest advantage for Marvel would be that they won’t have to explain where the Defenders were during big MCU events, or why none of the Avengers had the slightest clue about villainous organizations like The Hand.
Okay now, will the Netflix Marvel shows be canonized to the MCU? Or should Marvel use the Multiverse scapegoat and give us something fresh with the characters we loved in the past? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.