The former Netflix Marvel shows have found their way to Disney+, where they’ve been labeled “The Defenders Saga” – here’s how that links to the MCU.
Netflix’s Marvel shows have been renamed The Defenders Saga, providing them with a perfect link to the MCU. Initially made specifically for streaming giant Netflix, Marvel’s Defenders shows—Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Punisher, and The Defenders—were originally conceived as part of the wider MCU. However, after the introduction of Disney+ to the equation, their place in Disney’s canon began to appear murky. This continued until Charlie Cox’s Daredevil appearance in Spider-Man: No Way Home and Vincent D’Onofrio’s in Hawkeye clarified that the characters will carry over in some capacity to the MCU.
The Defenders shows originally airing on Netflix allowed for a slightly darker tone than that of the MCU, seemingly setting the two franchises apart. However, as the latter has continued to mature and tell darker, grittier stories, it began to seem as though The Defenders may well slot easily into its canon. While their exact status in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is yet to be fully confirmed or denied, their new place on Disney+ offers an added insight into just how the Defenders shows fit into the behemoth cinematic franchise.
Disney+ has labeled the shows The Defenders Saga, and currently is keeping them in a separate section from other Marvel offerings—most notably those of the MCU’s continuity. Whether The Defenders actors will return in the MCU or not isn’t entirely clear, although the name Disney+ gives to the shows may well be relevant. By labeling the collection of shows The Defenders Saga, it seems that Disney may have deliberately likened them to other MCU entries, which is surely an encouraging sign for those hoping to see the return of their respective actors.
The Defenders Saga is an interesting name for the collection of former Netflix shows, as it draws a distinct comparison to the Infinity Saga (the name for the first three phases of the MCU). This is pertinent as it implies that the former Netflix shows are separate, but the use of the same terminology is a solid indication that Disney doesn’t want to consider them altogether apart from the MCU. With Daredevil‘s place in the MCU’s timeline relatively straightforward to pinpoint, it seems that Disney isn’t entirely willing to rule out making The Defenders Saga canon, even if they have branded Daredevil season 4 a reboot as opposed to a continuation. The use of the word Saga draws a parallel between the Defenders shows and the MCU proper.
Marvel has yet to confirm their specific plans for either making The Defenders Saga canon or disregarding it from the MCU, but its official titling indicates that their plan is already firmly in place. Exactly what the shows’ billing as The Defenders Saga means is up for debate, but the parallels it draws between the shows and the MCU were likely instrumental in choosing the former Netflix shows’ official name. Exactly how many of The Defenders‘ characters will make their way into the MCU remains to be seen, but their new home on Disney+ makes it seem more likely that the two sagas will cross over.
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