Marvel confirmed earlier this week that the Netflix TV shows of Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and Jessica Jones will actually take place in the same universe at the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Currently, the Marvel Cinematic Universe includes the Avengers movies, a couple “one-shots” to connect the story, and Agents of SHIELD. The inclusion of this series will help expand the MCU in a way that makes me very excited.
One of my favorite things about the Marvel Comic Universe is that there are literally hundreds of characters with complicated personalities and story arcs. Marvel has done a wonderful job of replicating this in the Avenger movies, at least with seven or eight of their recurring characters. Say what you will about the quality of Agents of SHIELD, it does expand the universe further, adding depth.
Now, with these four TV shows and the miniseries of the Defenders, we add yet another level to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, taking it a step closer to the complexity of the comic universe.
Also, they are being smart about having two different scenes in the same universe. The Avengers have proven capable of defending Earth from an alien invasion, or separately with other villains. No Avenger has gone to the streets with it, however. At no point did we see Iron Man stopping a carjacker or Captain America stopping a purse-snatcher.
This, however, is exactly what we will see the members of the Defenders doing. Instead of fighting big, bad villains, Daredevil and friends will be taking superheroes back to their origins, fighting crime.
As both the Avengers and the Defenders will serve different purposes, there is no obligation to include one group in the territory of the other. It would be possible to drop Luke Cage in Captain America 3, but by no means necessary, because Luke Cage fights crime, not Hydra.
It expands the universe in such a way that does not obligate Disney to spread the characters across other media. Sure, there will be name drops and events that are referenced across the medias, but the universe is expanded in a smart way.
I am very excited to see the cast released. You will definitely hear from me when it is announced. I am craving more details on the Defenders, but for now, only time will tell.