Monday, December 16, 2013

Brain Splatter: Characters We Could See in Marvel's Netflix Series

Marvel's deal with Netflix to deliver 4 13-episode live action series that will build up to The Defenders mini-series has been met with near universal praise and seems to be another stake in Marvel's claim to comic book entertainment superiority.

While it's still settling in that we'll be seeing some iconic Marvel characters occupying their niche corner of the MCU, it's also starting to settle in that these characters, just like the ones in the films, don't exist alone in a bubble.  Sure, they're all very likely to appear in each other's series, but there are plenty of other characters that are part of their stories too and just might show up in one way or another...

In prepping this piece I quickly realized it could get out of hand fast. Any number of characters are likely to show up in these series, some a little more well-known than others. Without overdoing it and making it into a list of everyone who has even been on the pages of these books, I tried to cut it down to those who would be most likely to appear and whose appearance would make things interesting.

Foggy Nelson

This is a guarantee, but I don't want fans to forget about Matt Murdock's partner and best friend. While man people only know Foggy as comic relief, it is worth remembering that he was Matt's roomie in law school and a great lawyer in his own right (he was a candidate for DA at one point). What Foggy really is is a wonderful foil to Matt Murdock and, in a 13-episode series, he can play that role very well.


In many ways, it's hard to imagine telling any sort of drawn out Daredevil story without Elektra Natchios especially if the Kingpin is involved. The question of Elektra's film rights certainly come into play in this conversation, however. While it was originally believed that her rights did not come back with Daredevil, Kevin Feige has recently said he believes her rights were part of the "Daredevil" package. If her rights have reverted or even if, as some have speculated they don't revert until sometime in 2015, it's hard to imagine she won't be a part of the Daredevil series.

Misty Knight and Colleen Wing

If Marvel is going to go down the Heroes for Hire and Jessica Jones, PI route, which it seems like they are, then Misty Knight and Colleen Wing are probably going to appear in these series and, possibly, in The Defenders. I suppose they could just make the Iron Fist and Luke Cage series into a modern day Riggs and Murtaugh, but I think that over some 13-episode series, these two ladies could really add to the overall flavor of these connected series. As a pair they opened their own detective agency and often helped Iron Fist and Luke Cage's Heroes for Hire business. Both played a role, with Cage, in The Immortal Iron Fist story and Misty and Iron Fist were entangled in a romantic relationship for some time. It seems that there are too many points at which these characters intersect with each of the others to not appear at some point. 

Carol Danvers

While we may not see Carol Danvers flying around and saving the world, it's almost a certainty that we will see her as a part of the Jessica Jones series. Not only is she Jessica Jones' BFF, writer Melissa Rosenberg seems pretty fond of her as well. Rosenberg has been developing this show for Marvel for some time now and back in 2011 she gave some insight into what the show, which was struggling to be picked up at the time, would entail and Carol Danvers was in the pilot and her plan has always been to have the show exist within the large MCU. Carol was, interestingly enough, a member of The Defenders for a time, so it is possible that we might see her help the group with whatever foe they find themselves up against. While many of us want to see Ms. Marvel on the big screen, and this doesn't mean we won't, it is an encouraging thought that we might see her introduced into the MCU.

Scott Lang

Given that it's expected we'll see Scott Lang, the second Ant-Man, in Edgar Wright's 2015 Ant-Man film, it may seem unlikely that we'd see him in the Netflix series. It is worth noting, however, that Lang did make an extended cameo in Jessica Jones' Alias book, in which the two dated for a while, and was a member of The Defenders. While I'm not ready to say we'll definitely see Lang in the series, I almost expect it. If Marvel can work out cameos for Samuel L. Jackson and Cobie Smulders, chances are they can work something out with the actor who steals an Ant-Man.

Jessica Drew

Another P.I. with super-powers, Jessica Drew, also known as Spider-Woman, and Jessica Jones come together while working on the case of a missing mutant girl who is being used to farm Mutant Growth Hormone. Obviously, we aren't going to have that same case in the series, but it could easily be replaced with almost anything else. One of Marvel's iconic female characters, Spider-Woman would make a great cameo in the series. 

The Other Guys

Clockwise from top left: Paladin, Shang-Chi, Moon Knight and White Tiger

Moon Knight, Paladin, Shang-Chi and White Tiger

Each of these characters have some history with either The Defenders or Heroes for Hire, or both, and fit into the mold of characters that Marvel is using in these series because their powers would not be expensive to replicate. Shang-Chi, the kung-fu master, did some work with the Heroes for Hire and teamed up with Iron Fist in the past. Having the two preeminent martial artists in the MCU together for a show would be pretty cool. Also, in the little known fact department, a Shang-Chi film was once in development. The White Tiger, whether it's the original or more modern version, has similar roots and does seem to be quite involved in a lot of Marvel properties these days, a possible sign they plan to use the character in some way.

Moon Knight was a one-time Defender and one of Marvel's cult favorites from its Marvel Knights run. It's not impossible to see him running into Daredevil on a rooftop. Paladin, possibly the least well-known character on this list, may have the best chance to appear. A member of Heroes for Hire and The Defenders, Paladin's history also intersects with those of Daredevil, Elektra, Misty Knight and the Purple Man, a favorite for the villain of at least one of the series. Paladin was also a member of the Thunderbolts and, if you don't think that's a property that Marvel may be looking to develop, you might be on the wrong track...