George Chrysostomou on whether Marvel’s Netflix universe is heading towards Shadowland…
Now that we are just over a week removed from the release of The Defenders, pitting Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones and Daredevil against the Hand in a war for New York, we are starting to see predictions for where ‘Phase Two’ of this project is leading. Indeed, we’re already aware that Jessica Jones season 2 will see the return of Kilgrave in some form, with many believing that Season 3 of Daredevil will see the Born Again storyline adapted to the screen.
However, I believe Netflix are making it very clear as to how they wish Phase Two to play out and the true direction they are going in. It is in my opinion that Defenders Season 2 will see the culmination of a new buildup of characters and situations which will produce the much loved Shadowland storyline – a classic Daredevil piece pitting the devil of Hell’s Kitchen against New York’s other vigilantes.
So What Is Shadowland?
Shadowland is a Daredevil-centred story created in 2010, by writer Andy Diggle. The storyline sees a Daredevil who believes that the city cannot be saved the way it used to be. That stronger actions are required to keep the peace and protect New York’s citizens from the crime that the shadows of the city hold. He therefore takes control of the Hand, using them as a sort of police peacekeeping squad, armed with the power to act as judge, jury and executioner upon any criminal. He himself kills Bullseye during this time period, to prove how cutthroat he has become. Of course, many of the heroes that also inhabit this location became appalled by the Devil’s behaviour, resulting in a showdown between Daredevil and his hand allies and the heroes of New York, including Luke Cage and Iron Fist. The eventual climax sees a defeated Daredevil leave Hell’s Kitchen and his home on a mission to redemption, after it’s revealed that his actions were due to being possessed by a demon!
What Characters Does Shadowland Feature?
The comic books version of the Shadowland storyline involves multiple players from New York, including Spider-Man and Wolverine, two characters who will not be available for the Netflix series. Despite this, many characters are present in the Netflix series, can be replaced or introduced, or are simply unnecessary to the plot as a whole.
Jessica Jones does not appear in the comic series but can be introduced into the story with very little problems, teaming with Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Colleen Wing, Misty Knight and The Punisher, all of whom are present in both the source material and the Netflix shows. Hellcat could be introduced at this point, teaming with the Defenders in their battle against the hand, with Night Nurse easily able to be written into the narrative. Finally for the heroes’ side, this story heavily features Moon Knight, a character that fans have wanted for years on Netflix; this may be their opportunity to add him!
Daredevil and Elektra are also crucial to the plot, with this leading on nicely from Elektra taking control of the Hand in The Defenders Season 1, to both Daredevil and Elektra becoming the leaders of their shadow empire. The comics see Daredevil with some other allies, including Black Tarantula, White Tiger and Typhoid Mary, all of whom could be introduced into the series, with Typhoid Mary heavily rumoured for Season 2 of Jessica Jones anyway. Black Tarantula on the other hand could be easily replaced by The Bride Of Nine Spiders, a character already introduced in Iron Fist having been linked to the Hand.
Then comes the supernatural element of this narrative. During this time period Kingpin hires Lady Bullseye to retrieve a scroll that when used can take control of the Ghost Rider, using him to take down Daredevil’s Shadowland and regain control for himself. Now whilst both Ghost Rider and Kingpin exist in the MCU and this could be conceivably included in Season 2, it seems to me that this may rely on elements too mystical for the gritty Netflix shows. Having said this, the series does involve a demon possession and Netflix has already shown us resurrections so maybe it wouldn’t be so out of place.
Plus, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is not using the original Ghost Rider so he is available for use.
Is Shadowland Possible For Netflix?
Absolutely. It appears Phase Two of Netflix’s Marvel universe is heavily gearing up for this. After the Born Again storyline it may become clear to Matt what he needs to do to take back his city (or alternatively there may be a demon possession). Either way, expect Matt to take a darker turn as he falls into the same Hand hole that took Elektra. Season 3 of Daredevil may take the opportunity to introduce Bullesye, who could fill the same role he does in the comic series or perhaps replace Lady Bullseye in her work with the Kingpin. Nobu could indeed be the one to be killed by Daredevil, if this is necessary to the plot.
It appears that moving forward, both the Heroes For Hire and The Daughters Of The Dragon will be forming in Iron Fist and Luge Cage Season 2, setting up the alliance between the group further. The Punisher will also be ever-present, perhaps eventually making his way back to New York. The pieces are slowly moving into place to set up a world that would function with Daredevil acting as the big bad for a Shadowland storyline in The Defenders Season 2. It is in my opinion that Matt Murdock is perhaps the most beloved character of the entire series, suggesting that even once he chooses to try to take control using the Hand, audiences will still feel sympathy for him. In my estimation, Shadowland is not only the best choice to make moving forward but the one that Netflix has already made! The potential for this arc is endless.
What would you like to see for the second season of The Defenders? Let us know in the comments below…