Marvel/Netflix: A Super Team-Up

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Posted November 7, 2013 by Guilherme Jacobs in Comic Books

I like to think and theorize about where companies are taking comic book properties when it comes to live action products. I think we all do. These are some of our favorite characters, favorite stories, and right now, they’re at the center of pop culture. Let’s put things on perspective, we live in a world where there are two Quicksilvers on movies, a TV show about Hourman on the works, and everyone knows the meaning of S.H.I.E.L.D. Well, now, Marvel is going to be a big part of the world’s biggest video streaming service: Netflix.

Daredevil-with-Luke-Cage

Yes. Please.

This morning, it was announced that Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and Jessica Jones would be getting their own TV series, on Netflix. That was a huge face palm, of course Marvel would go to Netflix, how did I not think of this in my many moments lost in theories about what were the 4 TV shows they were developing? After you take over the box office with your movies, and get huge numbers on your TV show, where do you go? Streaming services. On regular TV, this characters might not have enough influence to hold their own shows, hell, after discussing this announcements with my father, he asked “Who’s Power Man? And Jessica Jones?”. Your regular Joe doesn’t know who these guys are, but when you put them on Netflix, and you make them Netflix exclusives, that’s a different story altogether.

House of Cards, the first Netflix exclusive, was a huge success, with subscribers consuming every episode, making it the most watched Netflix show for a good time after its debut. Same happened with Orange is the New Black. It’s almost a guarantee at this point, that any Netflix exclusive will get great numbers on the service, on top of that, add the power of Marvel, and you get a recipe for success. Marvel movies such as The Avengers, Captain America and Thor are often among the most popular movies on the service, why not extend that to the shows as well? Today Marvel answered: “Why not indeed“.

The great thing about this announcement is that it brings the Marvel Universe to a whole new scale; Much like the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. announcement, it means there is more on the table. If the series are indeed successful, this may give Marvel the proof they need to go ahead with more shows, expanding the universe. Think about it, how many comic books could easily become great shows? Runaways come to mind, a comic book that highlights the children of Marvel’s villains, and how society looks at them. And though Jeremy Renner would not be my first choice for it, a Hawkguy show! I mean, come on you guys, imagine a Pizza Dog episode. The fact that the shows won’t be on networks is also a good thing, it’s very possible that it will give the writers more creative room, since they won’t have to deal with any kind of burocracy from network TV. Sure, they still have to be approved by Netflix and the producers, but still, this means that there won’t be any unwanted changes due to the channel’s politics, Marvel has control, like it had in the movies.

Besides all of that, this announcement brings the universe to a new audience, meaning every person that favors internet streaming over TV, and there are plenty of them, will be introduced to great characters that probably, are unknown to most of the public. This is how you expand a universe, by taking very dedicated audiences and introducing them to characters that showcase just how much variety there is on the Marvel U. As I previously said, it’s basically guaranteed that these shows will be watched by most of Netflix’s subscribers, even if by mere fact that they are exclusives.

STK472414The potential of movies, or shows, featuring the street-level heroes of Marvel has always been discussed, they all fit together, they have their own corner of the universe. Cage and Iron Fist are best buddies, and they’re often contacted by their big bro Daredevil, on top of that, Jessica Jones is Luke’s wife, so there’s that. And of top of that, why not repeat the Avengers strategy, by making it all one big serialized epic, with each story connected to the next one, all working together with the purpose of building hype and setting up the canvas for the big team-up. The Defenders, a mini-series that will bring all of these heroes together, is the gran finale for what we may call, Marvel/Netflix’s Phase One. That is how you take potential, and transform it into a concept.

It’s worth noticing, too, that these are being produced by Marvel Television, alongside ABC Television Studios, the same duo of studios that produces Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., does this mean the Netflix shows will be tied to the cinematic universe as well? If that’s the case, it’s scary just how smart Marvel is.

That’s it Marvel, all eyes on you again, you’ve proved your point with great movies, hell, even the not so good ones did a pretty good job, setting up the big picture, now the question is, can you do the same with 13 episodes of non-network TV shows for 4 street-level heroes from the troubled city of New York? We’ll find out, in the already very anticipated year of 2015.


About the Author

Guilherme Jacobs