Originally, superhero stories employed simple themes of good versus evil while showcasing the main hero’s abilities. But that was a long time ago. Nowadays, writers and producers are using superheroes to tell nuanced stories about flawed characters more suited for an older audience. Nowhere is this more obvious than Netflix’s Marvel series, which are darker and grittier in tone, and much more violent.
With Jessica Jones season 2 released last March and Luke Cage season 2 due this June, we rank the Netflix Marvel shows.
It is fair to say that Iron Fist got off to a bad start, with many criticising the fact that Marvel missed an opportunity to cast an Asian-American actor in the title role. Unfortunately the show didn’t managed to brush the criticism aside, and the final result was a slight disappointment compared to Marvel’s previous outings, with the character of Danny Rand (Iron Fist) and the show’s plot not living up to expectation. Yet, every cloud has a silver lining and Jessica Henwick as Colleen Wing steals the show by bringing grit and character to the series.
The Netflix equivalent of The Avengers combined Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Daredevil, and Iron Fist. Mirroring The Avengers films, the real pleasure from this mini series is watching the four characters interact with each other. While The Defenders is enjoyable and engaging, it does drag whenever the focus is taken away from the four heroes. Jessica Jones herself has recently revealed via Collider that The Defenders isn’t slated for a second season.
Luke Cage tells the story of an escaped convict with extraordinary powers who strives to help Harlem as it struggles to thrive in the face of crime and abuse of power. This show is a strong outing for the Marvel character, with the writers creating an interesting and gripping storyline, despite the fact that Luke Cage is practically indestructible. The musical action scenes are some of the best out of all the Netflix series.
Jon Bernthal shines as the guilt-ridden, grieving, brutal, and uncompromising portrait of PTSD that is The Punisher. After three failed attempts by other production outfits at translating this character to the screen, Netflix finally got it right. The Digital Hash has already confirmed that this show is currently busy making its second season.
Although it’s almost perfectly cast and very well written, the real star of Daredevil are the fight scenes. Fight choreographer Philip Silvera went to great lengths not just to make the fighting believable, but also to use every fight as a way to reveal the character’s mind. That’s why we see Daredevil getting exhausted during and after difficult fights, and why his strikes aren’t telegraphed due to the fact that he doesn’t need to look at who he’s fighting. A must see for fans of the character and The Raid.
The booze-loving ass-kicking Jessica Jones is every bit the antihero in what some critics are calling Marvel’s strongest series effort to date. If you like noir, 70s American crime movies, and witty off the quip remarks, you must watch this show. It also features one of Marvel’s strongest villains (in both the films and shows) in the character of Kilgrave.
This decade is without a doubt a highly influential time for the superhero genre, which is quickly taking over the world of entertainment. ICV2 reports that in 2017, superhero movies raked in the biggest box office earnings out of any other Hollywood genre or franchise.
The genre’s current success is just a continuation of the world’s love affair with super-powered characters, which, beyond the movies and shows, is also highly apparent in the number of video games inspired by superheroes. There’s the action-RPG Marvel Ultimate Alliance that allows players to control a team of Avenger members and other notable Marvel heroes. Game developers from different mediums are making sure they get in on the action. Slingo allows gamers to get their superhero fix online with genre-inspired games like The Dark Joker Rizes, Asgardian Stones, Superheroes, and Hellboy. The online games take cues from many of the genres most popular heroes. Even the world of virtual reality is taking its cut via Marvel Powers United, a VR game that allows players to take control of their favourite characters’ powers from a highly immersive first person perspective.
With DC’s owners creating its own subscription channel to rival Netflix in the future, we could be on the last run of Marvel shows on the streaming channel. If you are a fan of the comics you owe it to yourself to watch these 6 shows.