After nine years, there’s still a huge appetite for all things Marvel. Every movie since The Avengers in 2012 has been a comfortable-to-massive hit, and (some quibbling here and there aside), every film in the franchise has received middling-to-great reviews.
2013 also saw the beginning of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s incursion into television. Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. had a slow start, but Marvel’s deal with Netflix saw 2015’s Daredevil and Jessica Jones take a more adult and grounded approach to the Marvel model, to huge success.
In a way, it’s all been downhill from there. While Daredevil’s second season received much the same acclaim as the first, last year’s Luke Cage saw dubious looks mingle with the applause for the first time.
Then, earlier this year, Iron Fist outright tanked, the first genuine critical misfire on the MCU’s books. August’s The Defenders - supposedly event television, the TV equivalent of the Avengers crossover smash - failed to live up to anyone’s expectations. The Inhumans, a multimedia crossover on ABC and IMAX, is so far meeting with howling derision.
With The Punisher and Runaways arriving in weeks, Cloak & Dagger and New Warriors in production and more in development, it’s time to look at how to fix the ongoing issues with the MCU on TV… before it’s too late.