Marvel’s Netflix Universe Is Waning.

If you had asked me last year what I thought of the Marvel Netflix ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ series I’d have told you it was one of the best things to happen to geek TV in history.

They’d taken Daredevil, a character who cinematic-ally was a massive flop, and turned his ‘world’ into a very cool and gritty series that built the ‘Defenders’ together over time, copying the formula for their epic cinematic universe.

I think if Daredevil was a great start, Jessica Jones was a climax, they absolutely nailed it that year. Luke Cage would’ve almost been safer coming before her, because whilst good, it did not compare to Jessica’s story.

Dare Devil Season 2 was a bit boring and plain, and whilst I quite liked Iron Fist, it didn’t live up to the hype of Jessica Jones either, let alone Daredevil or Luke Cage.

The Defenders crossover had potential to be huge, but it kind of just brought Jessica Jones down to the level of the other characters, she went from being amazing to a bit of a parody of herself.

When they announced The Punisher was going to get his own show based off the successful cameo in Daredevil, it seemed like a promising bet for a bit of blood and guts violence as he rampages through New York and the general Marvel Universe.

I’m a few episodes in though and man is it boring!

I don’t know what I really expected, but he’s upset about his family being murdered, he’s angry and in hiding after the cameo in Daredevil, then he’s dragged out to go on a murder spree that muddies the line between whether he’s doing it against his will or whether he wants to do it.

There’s not much to draw me into it. At this point I think it would’ve been better for them to take the character and place him into a dubious situation that is a little bit of a contrast to what you’d expect from mr dark and angry.

I was watching it last night thinking to myself, if Rocket Racoon appeared in this episode right now it would be so stark and unusual that it would make the series interesting.

Normal writers would ruin a series like this by trying to add in whimsy and humour, but the people who wrote Daredevil season 1 and Jessica Jones feel capable of pulling off something special if they tried. Instead they’re giving us ‘Angry man goes on kill spree against his will’ which we already saw in Rambo and 100 other clones back in the 80s.

I honestly don’t know if I can finish this, or whether I’ll bother with any future Marvel TV shows. What is the point?

Daredevil beat Kingpin, then he has become a broody moaning mess. His mates have all kind of gone their separate ways. Jessica Jones is now a bot that spews Jessica Jonesisms on demand. Luke Cage is unbreakable and that’s about it, and Iron Fist’s reason for existing has been solved between season 1 of his show, and The Defenders.

Reading about what’s next for the universe, Jessica’s new season seems to have the same villain some how.

At least as a cameo. I hope they have better plans than just rehashing the same thing again as that would be idiotic to say the least.

Daredevil seems done, Iron fist seems done. Luke Cage’s fight to clean up his home town will continue indefinitely, so where’s the incentive to watch?

The thing that separated these guys from The Avengers was the fact that they fought slightly advanced humans rather than global threat level aliens.

With the whole Kunlun story from Iron Fist it has breached that and gone into the mystical now. So if the gloves are off, they should stay off – going back down to Earth with The Punisher seems silly.

I think the best bet from here is to essentially end the ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ story and begin something new. Have the characters spread out a bit from their little box.

Luke Cage staying home makes sense because his story isn’t fully done. But Iron Fist can go global. Jessica can become a PI anywhere in America and Daredevil is already M.I.A.

I’d like to see them delve into the database of obscure Marvel Characters and pull out some sidekicks for each of them that aren’t just random solicitors, or friends from school.

They should be contrasting in more ways, take a traditionally comedic character and make them gritty and real and cool. It’s better than just playing out an angry guy as an angry guy.

I don’t know if it will ever come about now, but I used to really want to see a Night Nurse series based around the only character to have appeared in every Netflix show, but even that seems like the horse has bolted.

The star has risen and peaked on this universe now, and bringing out a series about a normal nurse who has been dragged into the world of C List super heroes wouldn’t be as entertaining as it would’ve been 2-3 years back.

Now it feels like they need to go for B List status if they’re going to maintain this story.

Someone summed it up perfectly for me on Twitter last week and I’m going to try to butcher what they said below:

The Punisher is fun and exciting because he’s an angry man on a killing spree avenging the death of his family in a world where The Avengers exist and people like him could be eliminated in a heartbeat.

In this show, they’re just on the rampage and no one is going to stop him. There are no A team or B team heroes to step in and say enough is enough.

There should be, but we all know there’s no chance of Iron Man turning up to stop him (which still baffles me, when you consider that Iron Man for the most part only needs to be a metal suit placed into the show using CGI.)

I get that you couldn’t have that every week. It would seem pretty weak if every time Daredevil was about to save the day Spiderman swooped in, but that should be the realistic nature of this universe!

Ultimately it feels like this has stagnated a fair bit now. There’s nothing interesting about what they’re currently doing with this universe.

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