Why Now Is the Perfect Time for Netflix’s First Marvel Series


We’ve all been patiently waiting, but we are finally less than a week away from the release of Marvel’s Daredevil on Netflix. Back in November 2013, only a few months after the ABC premiere of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Marvel and Netflix announced an ambitious plan to release five new series over the course of just a few years based on Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist, with the fifth series being a miniseries team-up of the characters as the Defenders. As ambitious as this plan was, it is also important to remember that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was, at the time, considered by even the most dedicated fans to be lackluster. 2013 was also the year that saw the theatrical releases of the divisive Iron Man 3 (which, for the record, I loved) and the often criticized Thor: The Dark World (which I enjoyed). So, while the Netflix/Marvel announcement was definitely exciting, many didn’t know for sure if the Marvel Cinematic Universe was heading in exactly the right direction.

Luckily, this worry proved to be unnecessary. In the 17 months since the announcement, Marvel has shown that things are all good in the universe. Theatrically, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy have become two of the most popular and most successful entries in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. On television, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. completely turned itself around, largely thanks to the events of Winter Soldier, with a fantastic run of episodes at the end of Season 1 and a much improved Season 2, and Marvel’s Agent Carter proved to be a critically acclaimed period piece that could potentially open the door for a plethora of stories to be told in that time period. People are once again (if they ever even weren’t) completely on the Marvel bandwagon, and the time is finally right for Netflix’s entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Here are the reasons why:

Genre Diversity

Confidence in Marvel is currently at an all-time high, and they are taking advantage of this confidence by allowing themselves to diversify more with genres. Agent Carter presented itself entirely as a period piece, and fans, for the most part, loved it. Guardians of the Galaxy was full of comedic elements, and it has become one of the most well-loved Marvel films ever. Daredevil looks to continue this diversity as it has been described as a street-level crime drama. Early reviews of the series stress how dark it is, making it potentially the most “adult” chapter in the MCU to date. Early hints about Marvel’s AKA Jessica Jones imply that the upcoming series will continue this trend, allowing for a more mature level of storytelling than the type that is frequently presented theatrically by Marvel.

Casting Decisions

While there is still plenty of time before casting on all five shows is anywhere close to being complete, the timing of the launch has allowed for the casting of actors and actresses that seem to be perfect fits for the characters that they’ll be portraying. Casting on the subsequent series are already well underway, with Krysten Ritter and Mike Colter playing the leads, respectively, in AKA Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, with Colter also confirmed as a main cast member on the former series. Jessica Jones has also landed David Tennant for the role of Kilgrave and has snagged Carrie-Anne Moss for a major role. The casts that have been assembled for these Netflix originals would not have been entirely possible before right now, and it is truly a credit to the strength of the brand that Netflix and Marvel have been able to lock them down.


Netflix’s Track Record

Since the launch of House of Cards in February 2013, Netflix has (for the most part) consistently delivered quality original content in the form of the previously mentioned House of Cards, Orange Is the New Black, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and, most recently, Bloodline. These series have lead to multiple Emmy and Golden Globe wins and nominations for Netflix, and confidence in the streaming service is at an all-time high. It seems that almost every major release on Netflix becomes more quickly popular than the last, and the time has never been more perfect for Marvel to make their first play in this continuously growing medium.

Civil War

This is more broad and less set-in-stone than anything else, but, from a storytelling position, the timing for new, “street-level” heroes couldn’t be more perfect. The events of this summer’s upcoming Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron seem to be setting the stage for new heroes to step up more prominently in the MCU, and the rumored storyline of next year’s Captain America: Civil War only adds to the anticipation of the Defenders potentially playing a major role in the universe moving forward. Add to that the fact that Kingpin is almost as equally a prominent antagonist to Spider-Man (a character that will soon appear in the MCU) as he is to Daredevil, and the hype over an even more populated universe than there already is becomes greater than it has ever been.

Marvel’s Daredevil premieres its entire first season on Netflix on Friday, April 10. Marvel’s AKA Jessica Jones will debut in late 2015, and the subsequent series will air at a later time.

[Photos via Netflix]

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