Disney and Netflix are having their own superhero assembly, but one with noticeably fewer capes and cowls, and more business suits and risk-assessment meetings. The two media mega-giants have come together to create not one but four Netflix original live-action series based on various Marvel properties, plus a mini series event to cap things off.
Starting in 2015, Netflix will roll out with a 13-episode Daredevil series, followed by additional series featuring Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and Jessica Jones. After this initial rush of individual series, The streaming service will finish up with a mini series event based on Marvel’s team up comic The Defenders.
For Marvel and Disney, this is a chance to expose its casual movie fans to the depths of its comic book catalogue by featuring characters that wouldn’t necessarily show up in an Avengers Initiative movie. Some of these characters have already made the jump from ink to live-action, but others haven’t seen much life outside the panels of comic books. The characters chosen for this new crop of series also have the benefit of being more diverse, but not only in racial terms, but storytelling ones as well. Characters like Luke Cage and Jessica Jones have powers and problems that differ greatly from the square-jawed sameness that fills the ranks of the cinematic version of the Avengers. Over the past 40 years, comic books have prided themselves with being one of media’s most forward thinking entertainment mediums, and it’s nice to see that their live-action offerings are catching up with the original illustrated inspirations.
For Netflix, this is just another step in their steady effort to reprogram the way people think about television. The company has shown that it is a force to be reckoned with its original series Orange Is the New Black and House of Cards. Hopefully this foray into superheroes will continue Netflix’s winning streak of crafting quality television hits tailor-made for long unproductive binge sessions.