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.

This scene verbatim

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


Somebody make this picture a live action reality

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.


5. Romance


The nice way of suggesting Marvel recreate their first ever scene together

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


Yesssssss

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?

Noooooo

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


RIP Michael Clarke Duncan

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!

These guys need steady work

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


Newspapers are still a thing

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.

Not all reporters make that noise

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!


1. Heroes 4 Hire Stilt-Man


The tall, the proud, the stilted

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!

——————

About Sean Ian Mills

Hello, this is Sean, the Henchman-4-Hire! By day I am a mild-mannered newspaper reporter in Central New York, and by the rest of the day I'm a pretty big geek when it comes to video games, comic books, movies, cartoons and more.

Posted on November 13, 2013, in Lists of Six!, Marvel, Television and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. Ha, knew this was coming. But sadly I was not prepared. I honestly have no idea what I want from these shows. But I’ll take a stab at it.

    6. Humor – Jessica Jones has plenty of dry sardonic wit. And Luke Cage was written with some humor by Bendis. Iron Fist is pretty light on the humor, but he’s also not a super serious Batman either. And Daredevil….well….I guess I don’t want a silly Daredevil like Stan Lee wrote. And I hear Mark Waid lightened him up a lot. But I’m really torn. Daredevil is certainly one of the most crapped upon characters in fiction. And in response, he tends to be (justifiably) pretty dour. The movie was wicked sad and angry. And with Arrow never smiling when the costume is on, I fear that the brooding anger is going to wind up par for the course. So I don’t know….just take it easy on ‘em Netflix. Have some fun.

    5. Iron Fist’s fist glowing – For money purposes, this seems like something that could be dropped without losing anything. He would just punch people and have them go flying without any visual cues to the actual fist. Or maybe they dumb him down to just a guy who’s really good at martial arts. But I don’t want that. I want his origin to be steeped in mythical eastern fantasy and for his hand to glow in a fantastic and bizarre way. He has a real super power and that kinda sets him apart from everything else Live-Action Marvel has done so far. Aside from Thor, everyone is a technological Marvel (YEEEEAAAH!) But Iron Fist isn’t. And that’s pretty awesome.

    4. Bullseye – But not Colin Farrell. Make him as far removed from Colin Farrell’s performance as possible. I didn’t really hate the Daredevil movie, but I hated Colin Farrell in it. Make Bullseye a terse professional, yet also a bit sadistic when pushed too far. You don’t necessarily have to give him a mask, but do not carve a bullseye into his forehead and pretend it is the same. Bullseye can probably work sans-mask, but at least put a bullseye on the back of his trench coat or something.

    3. Do not spend more than one…maybe two episodes in Kun’Lun – Look, I love the mystical cool stuff involved with Iron Fist, but for whatever reason, that city just ticks me off. It seems so cliché to me. The wise old masters all see something within Danny Rand that perhaps even he can’t see. And then you got the stereotypical bully (whose name I forget…Thunder-something I think) who is just jealous that an outsider got the Iron Fist instead of him. Like this guy trained his whole life in a mystical city of kung fu to reach master-level martial artistry and presumably enlightenment…and he’s still a jealous douche. I know Iron Fist doesn’t have a lot to work with in the way of memorable villains. But I hate Thunder-Douche and the city he lives in.

    2. Introduce a comic book superhero, then kill him/her – Patsy Walker, Moon Knight, Ronin, Shang Chi, White Tiger, Night Thrasher, Speedball, Misty Knight, etc. are all perfectly good characters that would fit in these street level superheroic adventures. And they’re all decent characters with their own fan-bases. But these shows need stakes and they can build them up in a way that the movies and Agents of SHIELD can’t, they can kill some known comic book characters. Thor and Iron Man will never die. And for whatever reason Ward and Skye won’t die. But put Patsy Walker in the Defenders team-up, make us fall in love with her, then take her away. And no one could whine about it because they did that very thing in the comics.

    1. Make it kinda dark. Throw in Purple Man somewhere. That’ll darken the mood right away.

    • I was tempted to add K’un Lun and that whole mythology to my list, but then I decided that I didn’t want it at all. It worked great in those comics, but I’d rather see this Iron Fist remain as street-level as possible.

  2. Kingpin should be there, and he should be massive. He needs to be a huge, imposing figure, who still seems highly intelligent. Michael Clarke Duncan really was perfect for the role. I don’t know who they could use now. But they need to be scary big, and be able to pull off scary smart.

    Stilt-Man would be awesome. The guy’s such a goofy character.

    Iron Fist could probably use a race lift. Make him Asian-American, maybe.

    Jessica Jones should be a bit darker and more cynical, a noir feeling, with a lot of sarcastic humour.

    Luke Cage should be a little less dark, but still dealing with some fairly serious issues, balanced with some occasionally goofy humour (Mr. Fish!). Maybe throw in the running gag with a coffee machine from the comics.

    Daredevil should probably be a bit of a mix of Mark Waid and Frank Miller. Plenty of noir elements, but also plenty of fun. Miller had one of my all-time favourite running gags in a comic, with the character of Turk – a small-time hood who kept getting beat up by Daredevil. Throw that in. But don’t let the series get too dark; keep the Scarlet Swashbuckler there, too.

    Iron Fist should be martial arts comedy. Lots of “fish-out-of-water” stuff, with Iron Fist returning after spending the past 10 years in another country. And get a good martial artist to play the lead.

    • An Asian-American Iron Fist? Doesn’t that kind of defeat the purpose of the character?

      • I don’t really think so. The concept of the character is an American raised in a hidden city. The fact that he’s white kinda falls into the Mighty Whitey trope – white people are better than other races at the things those races invented. We make better Native Americans, better samurai, better ninjas, better everything.

        Making Iron Fist Asian-American keeps the important part – that he’s torn between two cultures – while dropping the Mighty Whitey aspect. I guess he doesn’t need to be Asian-American. He could be black, or Hispanic, or Arab. I just think they should try to not make him white.

      • You make a very good point. Perhaps he would be better as an Asian-American. I’d still want the dichotomy of he and Luke Cage being different races.

      • I agree. All fans of Iron Fist in the comic books know he is Daniel Rand, and Daniel Rand is as white as it gets. To change his ethnicity in the show wouldn’t be the first time that’s happened but i don’t think it’s necessary, or right. Besides, if they did that, then it might lessen the likelihood of Shang-chi – Master of Kung-Fu showing up. And i’d love to see that dude put in an appearance.

      • A Shang-Chi cameo would be neat. But then, there are a ton of minor Marvel street-level characters who could show up if I had my way.

  3. It would be hard for them to have a romance between Luke Cage and Jessica Jones, since they will both be the stars of their own shows, without having both characters basically starring/co-starring in both of those shows. I mean, people in a relationship spend a lot of time together right, especially so if they were both crime fighters, and they would have to reflect that, as well as the relationship development, in both of the shows. At least i think so.

    • I think they should build up the relationship over the course of both shows. Maybe they first meet in one of their respective shows, and it grows from there. I have no problem with them co-starring or guest-starring in each others shows at all.

  4. This is a nice idea! I think Luke Cage old costume is cute. Tiara and silver bracelet. I wonder if he’s a huge fan of Wonder Woman. *cough*

    It seems there’s campaign to change Iron Fist race. It will be like this:
    1) Make him white and he’s “might whitey”. Isn’t it American wet dream to be better at being Asian rather than the Asian?
    2) Make him Asian, it will be ‘racist’ because Asian superhero must be the master of martial artist.

    So whatever Netflix do, people will complain anyway. I’m saying this as Asian person, just let Iron Fist stay white or…. cast Amadeus Cho, Nico Minoru, Shang-Chi, etc etc.

    • I’ve heard that argument as well, about Iron Fist. I’m all about adding diversity when adapting to TV or movies, but who knows what to do about this one. You have the right idea though: just introduce some Asian characters. There are more than a few who would be perfect in comics.

      • Same. I’m Chinese-Indo myself and all happy for diversity. Put Shang-Chi on screen and have him team up with Iron Fist. Who don’t want to see two of the greastest martial artist sparring and beat up villain?

      • Exactly! Heh, I was about to say that it would underline the point of Iron Fist, that he’s a white man who ventured into an Asian culture to learn martial arts…but that’s also the cliche of Iron Fist. Still, Shang-Chi is just as good as Iron Fist!

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