With Jessica Jones season 2 now available on Netflix and a new season of Luke Cage due out in the summer, the characters who make up Marvel’s New York based superpowered team The Defenders are all now well embedded into the universe in their modern incarnations. Netflix is doing an amazing job of expanding the Marvel content out there with some top quality shows, which give you a lot of viewing pleasure for your buck compared with the movies (though it is still nice to have your favorite Marvel adventures on DVD or Blu-Ray hence the popularity of services like burnworld.com – possibly the only way Netflix series are inferior to movies these days!). But which of the four heroes had the most compelling start on Netflix – Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, or Iron Fist?
These shows all had a strong first season, and really, a lot comes down to what you look for in a hero, their antagonists, and how their story plays out. Each series had a different feel to it, and so opinions obviously vary depending on what plays well with a given viewer, but here is one ranking:
1 – Jessica Jones
With Jessica Jones’ first season, Netflix gave us a lot of cool ideas. Jessica Jones was far more of a gray area as a hero than Daredevil who came before her – reluctant to get involved unless she already was, and vengeful, even resorting to torture once she had her hands on her enemy. A complex character played brilliantly by Krysten Ritter, Jessica Jones is a refreshing change from ‘role model’ type female heroes, with her hard drinking and aggression, and also from the kind of sexy superhero clichés seen with characters like Elektra and, in the cinematic universe, Black Widow. It also helps that the villain in this season, Kilgrave was the first villain we saw with his own superpowers, and very interesting ones at that.
2 – Luke Cage
When Luke Cage first appeared in Jessica Jones, fans definitely wanted more of him, and his own first season did not disappoint – despite moving him to a new location and not featuring any of the characters we’d seen him with thus far except the ubiquitous Claire Temple. This show really established Cage as Harlem’s own superhero, much as Daredevil belongs to Hell’s Kitchen, and the intrigue around the gang and political situation was gripping. The only thing letting this season down was really that the early antagonist, Cottonmouth, was a lot more compelling than the ‘big bad’ Diamondback, so the last few episodes lost something.
3 – Daredevil
Daredevil was the first to introduce us to this new, street level style of live action Marvel outing, and was outstanding in everything from its well-balanced group of characters to its fight choreography. The only reason it isn’t higher on this ranking is that if anything, Netflix took what was great about it and expanded on it in the other seasons.
4 – Iron Fist
Poor old Iron Fist – he always seems to come last on everybody’s rankings, but that really isn’t a massive criticism given how well loved the other three are! Perhaps it is the character’s less relatable back story, or the fact that this show kept on with the decidedly less ‘street level’ thing with the Hand introduced in Daredevil season 2, but despite some good points, it just didn’t capture the imaginations of the audience like the other three.
Do you agree with these rankings, or do you rate these shows differently? Let us know in the comments!