Why Netflix’s ‘The Defenders’ Is Exactly What Marvel Needs

At this point, we’re all pretty familiar with the heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Already, we’ve seen three Iron Man films, three Captain America movies, two The Avengers flicks, and standalone movies for Thor, Ant-Man, and The Incredible Hulk. 

Things aren’t quite so established in Marvel’s TV universe. The heroes there lack the same name recognition as their cinematic counterparts, and in many ways, this is exactly what Marvel needs.

Marvel’s Netflix shows featured individual series for DaredevilJessica JonesIron Fist, and Luke Cage, before they all join forces for The Defenders, acting as a different brand of superhero team. For all intents and purposes, these characters will largely stay out of Marvel’s movies, while still functioning in the same universe.

The Defenders creates an intriguing dynamic, and has the potential to be the perfect yin to the MCU’s yang. Why you ask?

1. The heroes of the Defenders will provide us with more grounded storylines

Matt Murdock smiling in an interrogation room with Jessica Jones

Matt Murdock smiling in an interrogation room with Jessica Jones Matt Murdock and Jessica Jones | Netflix

The conflicts of heroes in the MCU largely consist of universe-level stakes. It’s all building up to The Avengers: Infinity War, a film with a story that will decide the fate of reality itself. As we saw in Daredevil though, lowering the stakes doesn’t have to equal a lesser product.

Throughout the show’s first season, we watched as our titular hero dismantled a local crime ring piece by piece, leading into a climactic battle with Kingpin. Our main villain’s priorities were decidedly small in comparison to that of contemporaries like Ultron, and yet still the excitement and tension ran high.

Most every description we’ve seen of the Defenders tells us they’ll be focused mainly on street-level crime, acting as the more grounded and realistic counterparts to the Avengers. The Marvel Netflix universe will function as a break from the “universe is going to explode unless we stop it” sort of stakes the MCU specializes in, honing in on character development and small-scale stories instead.

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