Marvel’s Future on the Small Screen

By Joe Strange


 

Marvel hasn’t really been short of success recently, The Avengers is one of the best selling films of all time and phase 2 seems to be going strong, with all three entrants (Ironman 3, Thor 2 and Captain America 2) performing excellently at the box office.

But it’s not only the big screen that Marvel have their sights on. Agents of SHIELD came back from a rocky start to prove itself an interesting and capable part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, not only adding to plot points that we’ve already seen, but adapting well to the more extreme changes that this phase has seen. It’s done well enough in the eyes of the studio gods that SHIELD has been renewed for a second season.

Atwell in Captain America
Atwell in Captain America

Add to that the Agent Carter series that will be filling the mid season break for Agents of SHIELD and you’ve got a whole lot of Marvel on your screen next year. Agent Carter will focus on Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell), Captain America’s dancing partner and crack shot from the his first film. We’ve got to assume that the series will have some focus on the role that Peggy will have that lead to some of the events of The Winter Soldier.

So that’s two shows and a heap load of films, Marvel should be pretty content with that right? Apparently not, as they’re also planning a slew of Netflix exclusive shows focussing on the more street level crime in New York.

Obviously with Ironman flying around saving the president, Captain America going all espionage-y and Thor still flitting between Asgard and Earth, who’s around to stop the street worms that plague the big apple? (and no, don’t say Spiderman, because, umm, rights and stuff.)

That’s where, we assume, the new Daredevil series will come in. Recently announced is that actor Charlie Cox (Stardust, Boardwalk Empire) will be donning the blind attorneys cowl and stalking ground; that of Hells Kitchen.

But Marvel also have a few more heroes on the cards for Netflix; Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and Ironfist, the idea is to combine these four heroes in a Defenders series which will focus on the more grounded threats on New York. So, let’s take a look at these guys a little closer shall we?

First up is Daredevil, the flagship character for this series of series. We should all know Daredevil, he’s blind but can see thanks to enhanced senses, he’s an acrobatic crime fighter by night but a lawyer by day. He’s a man of opposites.

There’s potential for a good mix of courtroom drama mixed with night time vigilante justice here. I imagine it to work similarly to DC’s Arrow, which sees its main character using his connections to hunt down wrong doers. The difference here is that Arrow‘s Stephen Amell does a lot of his own stunts, and at first glance Charlie Cox doesn’t quite give the impression he could do this. So either they’ll have to invest quite a bit into visual effects, or completely surprise us.

Unlikely Heroes for Hire
Unlikely Heroes for Hire

Second up is Luke Cage. Cage, for those who don’t know him, was accused of a crime he didn’t commit (aren’t they all?) and chose to gamble a shorter sentence on an experimental serum modeled on the super soldier serum of Captain America fame. It paid off though as he was imbued with steel hard, nigh on impervious, skin and hardened, denser muscle.

He, like most on this roster, doesn’t have a lot to do with the superhero bigwigs, but still plays an important part of protecting New York. Powerman, as he’s also known as, has a lot of pressure on him due to his wrong imprisonment, so this could lend itself to a fugitive style series, where he helps others while avoiding the police, that is until he meets Iron Fist.

Before Iron Fist comes Jessica Jones. The really interesting thing about Jones is that, while she has super strength, is impervious to a lot of damage and can fly, her main skills are in investigation and detective. She sets up a PI company, which could very well work as the hub for the Defenders, with the team working from leads that Jones obtains from her business.

Finally, Ironfist. I saved this one for last because, much like Guardians of the Galaxy, it’s a wild card. I mean, as an audience we can buy into Steel hard skin and echolocation, but mystical kung fu powers? Not so much.

Ironfist is a zen martial arts master. After being trained in an ancient mystical city and punching the heart out of a dragon (casual), he gained the ability to focus his chi to do great things, such as decimate brick walls and heal himself and others.

If they choose to do his backstory it will be effect heavy, but it’d be a shame not to see the spiritual journey in some form as it’s such an integral part of his character. He eventually teams up with Cage to create Heroes for Hire, which I think will be under the influence of Jones’ detective company in the show.

So that’s my roundup of the small screen future of Marvel, what do you think of the Defenders? Of Agent Carter? Let us know in the comments!

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