After watching all eight episode of the Defenders and knowing that we’ll be getting new seasons of The Punisher, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist… it’s time to start thinking about what Marvel/Netflix Phase 2 could really be. Phase 1 was well received overall, and whether or not you liked all of the different components, Jeph Loeb and crew successfully created 73 episodes of television.
The first thing they need going forward are great villains. Daredevil Season 1 and Jessica Jones Season 1 were the best critically received of the series, in part due to the incredible performances of Vincent D’Onofrio as Wilson Fisk and David Tennant as Kilgrave. Luke Cage started out well with Mahershala Ali as Cornell Stokes, but dropped considerably when the focus turned to to the more over-the-top Erik LaRay Harvey as Willis Stryker. Daredevil Season 2 was stronger with Jon Bernthal as Frank Castle when he was the villain, but when he moved to anti-hero and the Hand took over, the series lost its focus. Iron Fist was all over the place with villains, none really shining through — though I did like David Wenham as Harold Meachum. The Defenders got the right idea with Sigourney Weaver as Alexandra, but that lost its way about halfway into the eight episodes. It’s time to put that Hand away and tap into some of the great Marvel villains.
Secondly: they should expand the universe. There are some awesome street-level heroes that will never appear in the films, but could easily find a home here. Moon Knight is the first one that comes to mind, and I honestly think he should have his own series. Other characters that could pop up are the White Tiger, Shang Chi, and Hellcat (who is already in the universe). Another name that comes up a lot — but I’d prefer they’d stay away from it — is Blade. I like Blade, I loved the movies… but introducing vampires into this area of the MCU just seems like a bad idea to me. Think about how White Tiger would interact with Luke Cage. Danny Rand could go to Shang Chi to finish his training and Trish Walker could easily tire of seeing Jessica Jones having all the fun.
Hellcat carries over to the third thing: pay off the setups. Give us Hellcat, Heroes for Hire, and the Daughters of the Dragon. We see Marvel moving in those directions with each series. It’s time to pay them off. It seems obvious that we’re going to get Born Again for Daredevil Season 3… and Jessica Jones has her origin to still figure out. But we want to see Power Man and Iron Fist together… and seriously, you established the mask in Iron Fist Season 1 — it’s time for Danny to wear it. Oh, and we want to see the freaking dragon.
And don’t shy away from doing another Defenders series. Just go bigger.
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