6 Things I Want To See in the Netflix Defenders
The deal Marvel made last week with Netflix to air four separate live-action superhero shows is still a little hard to believe. I wasn’t around in the 60s and 70s, when Batman, Wonder Woman and the Incredible Hulk all had successful and popular TV shows, so the idea of actually pulling this off is still very daunting. But then, the same could have been said about The Avengers movie, and that was a clear success. So I have the utmost confidence that Marvel and Netflix are going to pull off shows for Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, and then unite them as The Defenders. They’re probably going to be awesome.
And like most forms of superhero entertainment, you know I have my own opinions. There’s still time for Marvel to hire me to be a writer on one of these shows, but until then, this blog is all I have to share with you my ideas for this bold new TV venture. So join me after the jump for the 6 things I want from these shows.
Other than a writing credit, of course.
6. Crossovers, Obviously
Let’s get this one out of the way quick, since it’s surely at the top of everybody’s list – and frankly, it’s probably already expected. All four of these series should cross over with one another, but subtly and overtly. We all know that Daredevil, Luke, Iron Fist and Jessica will team up together in the Defenders, but they should cross each others’ paths before that. Maybe Luke Cage and Iron Fist are getting a cup of coffee in the background of a scene in Daredevil, and then they show that exact same scene from Luke’s perspective on his show. Or maybe Jessica Jones goes to Daredevil’s law firm in the Daredevil show before her own show starts.
But why stop there? Bring in Agent Phil Coulson! Or Maria Hill, or just SHIELD in general. Bring on The Avengers for a few small cameos. Ant-Man comes out around the time the shows are going to start, so how about an Ant-Man cameo? Fans love this kind of stuff, and Marvel would be silly not to indulge, at least a little bit.
In the comics, Luke Cage and Jessica Jones are married and have a daughter together. So why not make that happen in the shows? Let the sparks fly between Luke and Jessica in their respective shows and have the romance simmering by the time we get to the Defenders. Plus, a nice interracial relationship will stick right in the craw of the right kind of horrible people.
4. Modern Costumes
Luke Cage and Iron Fist came to prominence in the 70s, and boy did they look it. Head bands, exposed chests, booties, giant disco collars; the list is endless. And let’s not even get started with Luke Cage’s classic ‘jive talk’. As much as everybody loves the 70s, Marvel needs to ditch those old costumes and never even consider them for the new show. In today’s comics, both Luke and Iron Fist have good-looking, modern and respectable costumes, which could easily translate to television – mostly. Iron Fist is still a green and yellow-colored ninja, so who really knows in the end?
Daredevil also needs a modern costume. I liked the Daredevil costume from the movie. The dark red leather works, whereas bright red spandex does not. So Marvel should do something similar to the movie, with a nice, muted costume. Maybe add some accessories like padding or something to make it more realistic. Whatever the case may be, don’t skimp on the costumes for the characters who wear costumes. Superheroes shouldn’t be afraid to dress like superheroes.
3. The Kingpin
All of these shows are going to need villains, and who better to use in today’s world than a rich businessman preying upon the underclass? The shows are going to focus on Hell’s Kitchen, a run down and economically suffering section of New York City. The Kingpin could easily be set up as some kind of CEO whose company is the one with the stranglehold on Hell’s Kitchen. Plus, he could easily show up in all four shows as the big bad guy who exists above the streets our heroes live and work on. The Kingpin also isn’t the kind of villain that The Avengers or the Agents of SHIELD would tackle, so he definitely works for what Marvel and Netflix have in mind.
Plus, being the Kingpin, he can hire other super-villain criminals!
I’m going to assume that Daredevil and the others will actually fight super-villains at some point, right? They’re not just going to rally against social injustice, right? So use the Kingpin as someone hiring the criminal scum of the Marvel Universe to enforce his rule. Guys like Bullseye, Purple Man, Shocker, Boomerang and even Stilt-Man could…whoa, excuse me a moment. I need to change the #1 entry on this list.
2. The Daily Bugle
This one is a bit of a stretch, since it’s probably safe to say that The Daily Bugle is part of Sony’s deal for the Spider-Man movie rights. The newspaper of record in the Marvel Universe is probably part of the bundle that Sony gets, so there’s probably little chance that it could show up in a Marvel-owned show (or movie, for that matter). But some kind of major newspaper should be a part of the show. Maybe use the name Frontline that Marvel was touting a few years ago, before Frontline was changed into the new Daily Bugle in a convoluted storyline. Marvel has the rights to Ben Urich now, and he was in charge of Frontline.
Newspapers are a different sort of reporting than television stations – and I should know, I am a newspaper reporter. Television news is great for sound bites when a character turns on a TV, with pretty anchors, fancy suits and cameras in hand. But newspaper reporters are the people who will get down and dirty in the streets looking for a story. Newspaper reporters are more down-to-Earth, which is what these kinds of shows need to re-enforce the grounded, street-level type of superheroics they’re going to be doing.
Besides, Marvel hasn’t really dealt with the media in any significant way. Sure, the TV news showed up at the end of The Avengers, and there were reporters in the Iron Man movies, but how is the media really reacting to all these large-than-life superheroes? Who’s trying to interview them? Who’s digging through their trash to get the full scoop? Newspaper reporters, that’s who!
Heroes 4 Hire Stilt-Man
There, I said it. I want Stilt-Man to show up. The #1 thing I want to see in these Netflix shows is Stilt-Man. And I want Marvel to go all out. Big metal suit, giant metal stilts walking across the NYC skyline, and Daredevil swinging after him. I don’t care if he’s used only once for a bit of comedy. Or if he gets his own subplot stretching through all four shows and the Defenders mini-series. Stilt-Man should be a household name, and this is his big chance!