The Marvel Cinematic Universe is showing no signs of slowing down its expansion. One of the biggest questions people are still wondering about is when the Netflix characters will make their way on to the big screen. Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and The Punisher all take place in the same universe as the movies anyways. Wouldn’t that be the next logical step? Marvel has made many great decisions with crafting the movie universe but having these Netflix characters jump into that larger pond could be a mistake. Below are five reasons why the Marvel Netflix characters should stick to their small screen adventures instead of booking a room in Avengers tower.
Grounded Heroes and Stories
You won’t find any dancing trees in these Netflix series because they take a realistic, boots on the ground approach to the shows. These are first and foremost human characters dealing with very human problems. They don’t worry about saving the universe. Their fights take place in the streets while juggling their personal lives with their superhero duties. Grounding the stories and characters like this makes the audience feel connected to them because they are more real and relatable.
Yes, they have superpowers, but Matt Murdock still has to work day-to-day as a lawyer to pay his bills just like an average person. It’s hard for people to relate to a god of thunder or a super soldier in a realistic way. It’s easier for people to connect with a man wanting vengeance for his family’s murder or an ex-con cleaning up his neighbourhood. Those kind of down to earth characters and stories are what set these shows apart from the big screen tales.
The Netflix series can be pretty dark and brutal at times. Remember in Daredevil when Wilson Fisk used a car door to “solve an issue” he had with an associate? The movies have had their share of darker moments, but they still have a lighter tone compared to the Netflix shows. Shows like Daredevil don’t shy away from elements like physical violence and the consequences that come from those violent actions. These shows are also used to explore darker issues such as PTSD, abuse, anger, grief — all topics people deal with in the real world.
The shows explore flawed characters dealing with dark issues that can cause them to make questionable choices. These gritty, mature characters would seem out of place next to someone like The Hulk or Iron Man. A similar issue happens in the comic universe; that’s why a special Marvel Knights and MAX line of comics exist. They could take characters like Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and The Punisher and tell their stories free from restrictions and keep them separated from the larger Marvel universe.
Pick on Someone Your Own Size
So much emphasis goes into making characters like Jessica Jones as human and grounded as possible. If you put them in the ring with a big screen baddie like Thanos or Loki, it wouldn’t be a fair fight. These are street-level characters fighting crime and corruption on rooftops and in back alleys. There is no way they would survive a title fight with a big bad. Every day criminals can be challenging enough to fight — that’s why Claire Temple jumps between shows patching up all the injured heroes.
It also wouldn’t make sense for these Netflix characters to go up against those types of cosmic villains. Could you see Jessica Jones fighting aliens? She was fed up just dealing with immortal ninjas, never mind alien invaders. It would be better if the aliens and mad titans only traded punches with the heroes more suited to guarding the galaxies against big-time threats.
Building Their Universe
These shows have been able to carve out their little corner of the Marvel universe by focusing on their unique stories and strong characters. If they forced larger connections to the movie universe, it could interfere with and disrupt the flow of their world. There are hints and easter eggs littered throughout, tying the shows to the movie universe, but they are kept minimal to keep the attention on their world.
What makes their world so unique is how fully fleshed out the heroes and villains are, which is an aspect lacking in the movies. Underdeveloped characters have been a problem for the movies, especially when it comes to the villains. Some of the best developed Marvel villains like Wilson Fisk and Kilgrave have come from this Netflix world. The same goes for heroes like Frank Castle. His introduction and character arc from Daredevil was so strong that they gave him a solo series. This kind of world-building and character development allow their universe to stand on its own.
Don’t Make Things Complicated
The Marvel cinematic universe is enormous. Look at Avengers: Infinity War, which had over forty characters in that movie. These movies, which started out as standalone features, have become increasingly more complicated with each passing film. Every new entry introduces new characters and new storylines, further expanding the connections between all the big screen heroes. That’s where the Netflix shows keep things easy because they are standalone stories.
You don’t have to watch any of the movies to understand Iron Fist or Daredevil, which is great. That simplicity goes away when the TV heroes start popping up in the films, and their big-screen adventures begin affecting the shows. What would happen if Daredevil appeared in a movie and Doctor Strange cures his blindness? That would drastically alter the character and the TV show. Incorporating a change like that would feel forced and out of place, and it’s not something they could completely ignore either. It’s better for viewers if these shows stay separated from the movies instead of creating a complicated mess.