With Captain America: Civil War currently igniting the box office, many can barely contain themselves for the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War 2-Parter. At the same time, Marvel is also readying its Luke Cage series on Netflix for a late September release. With these stand alone Hell's Kitchen Avengers shows carving out a niche for its characters, it was also recently announced that there will be The Defenders miniseries coming to Netflix. This will feature Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and the aforementioned Luke Cage.
It's no secret who The Avengers will be battling in the Infinity War films. Having appeared in The Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Avengers: Age of Ultron and now the Infinity War movie, everybody's favorite villain Thanos looks like he is going to push The Avengers farther than they have ever gone before. As such, they are most likely going to need some help and this is where Netflix's The Defenderswill come in.
Known for handling everyday crimes, The Defenders are no strangers to people with otherworldly powers. If it isn't Matt Murdock battling The Hand or Jessica Jones ridding herself and the world of the mind controlling Kilgrave, The Defenders always have their hands full with somebody. While not much is known about the direction of both the Luke Cage and Iron Fist shows, it seems apparent that Luke Cage will at least pick up where the first season of Jessica Jones left off. As for Iron Fist, the thinking here is that, like the other shows, we will see an origin story and then slowly see how he ties in with the other Defenders.
All of this is great, but where does that leave the Defenders regarding Marvel's Civil War, The Sokovia Accords and The Avengers: Infinity War? As this article is largely speculative, all we have to go on is the films we've seen and comments made by those involved. One of the most telling might be from Anthony Russo (co-director of Captain America: Civil War). To paraphrase, he says that the Marvel films are controlled by Marvel. Having characters like The Avengers and The Defenders crossover is difficult due to entities (other than Marvel) controlling certain characters.
While all of this is very important and very real, money talks. Marvel (and Disney) have loads of it so they can make just about anything happen. Which leads us back to the characters. Instead of giving you a list of speculative thoughts, we have decided to give you a list of speculative action based on characters we are familiar with. While an article could conceivably be written on any character from the Marvel universe, the focus has been narrowed to "7 Ways Civil War Affects The Defenders."
If the Defenders had a leader it would most probably be Matt Murdock. With his ability to think during the toughest situations (thus far Luke Cage and Jessica Jones don't seem able to exercise such restraint), it makes sense that he would be the one that Captain America or Iron Man would deal with. At the same time, if The Avengers remain as splintered as they are when Civil War ends, even The Defenders will be forced to pick sides. Matt Murdock seems clearly like a superhero that would side with Captain America. Given how involved Murdock gets in everybody's life in Daredevil, he shares the Captain's desire to try and end suffering. As for his role in a crossover Avengers film or TV show, Matt Murdock seems most likely to run The Avengers ground game. Despite how much he may not want that role, Murdock has shown that, try as he might, being Daredevil (like Steve Rogers being Captain America) isn't something he can turn away from. With incredible fighting skills and an ability (through his heightened senses) to always be one step ahead of his adversaries, Murdock is at point C while his opponents are still at point A. As such his skills would best be served battling those who seek to hurt the public at large on the streets. Since Daredevil is unable to fly or fall from buildings that are too tall without getting seriously hurt, this seems to be where he would be most effective.
Okay, for a dynamic woman who turned back the season one challenge of Kilgrave, and who also went even up against the nearly invincible Luke Cage, Thanos can't be too much worse can he? First off, Jessica Jones is a very reluctant hero. This is apparent by how much time she spends running away from her "gift." It isn't until she eventually embraces it that she is ultimately able to render Kilgrave powerless. Does this mean that she would be useless in a battle with Thanos? Hardly. The reality is that she would probably side with Iron Man and her snarky personality might be just the thing to make him forget Pepper Potts. As for what her role would be? Jones would have to get over the fact that her gift isn't a curse. There could be no room for self-doubt. Like Murdock, she would be taking up for the people that couldn't take up for themselves. If The Avengers remain a public entity with a private one in the shadows, Jones seems best served doing community outreach. While not wholly effective convincing people of the dangerous Kilgrave in the first season of Jessica Jones, she did ultimately get her point across and convince those who mattered. If she could achieve that in some crossover film or TV show with The Avengers, she might go a long way toward getting the Sokovia Accords abolished. (This of course presupposes that anybody still wants them in the Infinity War films...)
Matt Murdock spends his days trying to redeem Hell's Kitchen. Luke Cage spends his time doing everything he can to defend Harlem. While nothing is set in stone obviously, it seems like Luke Cage would most likely side with Iron Man. Again, if The Avengers have two faces (a private and a public one), it would probably be hard to find a better ambassador than Mr. Cage. Add to this that by the time Civil War ended, about the only person who still really seemed to side with Iron Man was Vision. Even Iron Man seemed to be re-thinking his whole "we need to be kept in check" idea. As somebody on the ground in the battle vs. Thanos, Luke Cage would no doubt be going up against Loki, the Chitauri and anyone else who got his way. What Cage has going for him that a lot of the other people on this list do not is his strength and unbreakable skin. This will certainly pay dividends as it would give him longevity in any war. So strong is Cage's presence that it wouldn't be surprising if he found himself bouncing between the TV show, The Avengers films and The Defenders series. In fact, imagine his skills being supplemented by the likes of Hawkeye or even Vision? Awesome, indeed!
While the origin story of Iron Fist will most likely take up the bulk of his stand alone Netflix show, it is 100% possible that this Defender could take up with The Avengers at some point. Daniel Rand, whose wealthy father was murdered, is taken in by the K'un-Lun and ultimately vows to avenge his family. He studied combat techniques under Lei Kung and ultimately earned the power of the Iron Fist. Later, Rand heads to New York to take out Harold Meachum, his father's former business partner and the one responsible for his death. Mixing aspects of Iron Man and (and a certain Knight who prefers Darkness), Iron Fist seems like a natural to join The Avengers. Something tells us he would probably work better with Iron Man than with Captain America. Given Captain America's world view, it seems like Iron Fist would relate to Iron Man simply because both men lost their parents in similar circumstances. With the power of the Iron Fist at his disposal, it seems like this Defender would be a natural to take on Thanos co-conspirator Loki. At present, we don't know if Loki is going to make an appearance in Infinity War, but does that preclude an appearance on the Netflix show? Wouldn't that be an awesome way to shake-up all these series by putting one of the films evilest guys in against a Defender?
The Punisher was such a well conceived character, and so brilliantly played by Jon Bernthal that he is getting his own show. The best part is that he is truly a free agent. By this we mean that, while he isn't completely morally bankrupt, he isn't a Defender and he certainly isn't an Avenger (not by the mandates of the Sokovia Accords or accords of any kind). Armed with his gun and an incredible fighting heart (just watch the prison scene where he gleefully engages an entire cellblock and then stands toe-to-toe with Wilson Fisk), this is a character that will add both nuance and a deeper complexity to the Defenders and, hopefully, The Avengers. One thing Civil War made clear was that bad people sometimes do good things, and good people can become blind to the good that they are able to achieve. Frank Castle doesn't seem to be on any mission other than to confront evil with his own evil. Online the theory seems to be that The Punisher will come after Luke Cage, Iron Fist and The Defenders series. What seems plausible is that The Punisher could very well appear in Iron Fist and The Defenders series and then segue into his own show. It also seems that if Marvel really wanted to add to the body count of Infinity War, Frank Castle could certainly get involved there. Whose side would he be on? Something tells us he would lean toward Captain America but it isn't clear that Cap and Co. would want his services. As for Iron Man, Frank Castle doesn't appear like he would be a big fan of Tony Stark at all.
If the end of Season 2 of Daredevil is any indication, Elektra is going to return a much darker, sinister person. Why? In the second season, both she and Matt Murdock are battling The Hand who are looking for the Black Sky. The idea is if they can contact this being, humanity as we know it is doomed. The problem? Elektra is the Black Sky. At the end of Daredevil she seems dead, however, she is getting a ceremonial bury by The Hand. So, it stands to reason that in Season 3 of Daredevil, Matt Murdock is going to know the true meaning of "hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." (Okay, we know that Elektra wasn't really scorned BUT we're speculating on everything else so lets just go with it). As for who Elektra might side with? At present it seems inconceivable that she would choose Iron Man or Captain America. Which seems to leave the door open to Thanos. Now, this most likely wouldn't happen in the first Infinity War film, but whose to say she and the big, bad purple guy couldn't hook up in the second one.?Also, given that some of The Avengers might shuffle the mortal coil as Marvel heads deeper and deeper into its phases, it seems only fitting that if Elektra could potentially team up with Loki and Thanos, why wouldn't some of the Defenders pick up a bit of The Avengers slack? If the world is really going to hell, The Avengers (supercharged humans but humans nonetheless) are going to need all the help possible to save humanity. This says nothing of where this might go on Daredevil or The Defenders show.
The Minds of Scarlet Witch & Jessica Jones
A big wildcard in this Defenders/Avengers potential mash-up are the mind abilities of Jessica Jones and Scarlet Witch. I say this because of Thanos quest to capture the Infinity Stones. With the mind stone currently being held by Vision, it is easy to image some odd scenario where this falls into the hands on Thanos. Should that happen, Jessica Jones ability to both resist mind control and control things with her mind, mixed with Scarlett Witch's similar ability will be super important. Remember what Scarlett did to Vision in Civil War? And she liked him. In fact, one could see their mind abilities becoming the saving grace of this whole Marvel culmination. The Russo Bros. have made no bones about the fact that an era of The Avengers will be ending with Infinity War parts one and two. Given how Disney seems to be creating female heroes that are truly their own (Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Jyn in Rogue One), would it be entirely inconceivable to see both Infinity War movies and The Defenders show ultimately saved by these well crafted characters? Okay, Is what has been proposed here completely insane? Did we not go far enough? What characters did we leave out? What would you like to see happen?