- The best way to watch The Defenders and other MCU TV shows originally on Netflix is in release order for the best viewing experience.
- Characters from The Defenders, such as Daredevil and Kingpin, have already appeared in the MCU, and the upcoming series Daredevil: Born Again will feature more Defenders characters.
- No returning characters beyond the above are confirmed to return, but it’s possible Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Iron Fist will find their way back into the MCU.
It can be a chore to figure out exactly how to watch The Defenders and the related MCU TV shows that originally aired on Netflix (but are now available exclusively on Disney+), but release order matches un-universe chronology and is the best approach. Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist all received their own series to set up the characters before coming together in their entirety for the first time in The Defenders. The approach mirrored the MCU’s success on the big screen, though the Defenders Saga shows’ collective MCU canon status is still up in the air.
Following the collective cancellation of each show in the saga in 2019, it was unclear if Marvel Studios would embrace each character and story into the official ongoing MCU continuity or leave them in limbo like Agents of Shield. Now, as a few characters trickle back into the modern MCU timeline, excitement is back on the rise for these shows. Below is the best way to enjoy their stories and how to follow up with the ones who have already re-appeared after the Netflix era.
10 Defenders Saga Cliffhangers From All 6 Marvel Netflix Shows The MCU Can Solve
Marvel Studios may have just made Netflix’s Defenders Saga canon to the MCU, meaning several loose ends and cliffhangers can now be addressed.
Netflix’s The Defenders Watch Order
- Daredevil Season 1
- Jessica Jones Season 1
- Daredevil Season 2
- Luke Cage Season 1
- Iron Fist Season 1
- The Defenders Season 1
- The Punisher Season 1
- Jessica Jones Season 2
- Luke Cage Season 2
- Iron Fist Season 2
- Daredevil Season 3
- The Punisher Season 2
- Jessica Jones Season 3
The above is the Marvel Netflix shows order as originally released. While it might seem tempting to watch them out of order, binge the seasons of a particular character, or skip a character, this will have a negative impact on the viewing experience. Each of the shows includes references to the other series, and one character appears in all but one of the shows. Jessica Jones season 1 introduces Luke Cage, while Daredevil season 2 provides The Punisher’s story. Some seasons are more easily watched independently than others, but this Defenders watch order is undoubtedly the best.
It is worth noting that The Defenders and the related shows are not as light-hearted as most other MCU projects. Disney is acknowledging this, and the introduction of the Netflix Marvel shows to Disney+ has led the platform to introduce new changes to provide age-rating advisories for the series. With streaming platforms yet to adopt the practice of advising viewers on their respective sites regarding the best way to see interconnected shows, watching the Marvel Netflix shows in order of release date can fill this void.
Defenders Saga Characters Who Have Re-Appeared In The MCU Already
While anticipation is high for what will happen to the full breadth of Defenders characters in the MCU moving forward, Daredevil and Kingpin have already both appeared in multiple projects. Daredevil’s MCU journey continued with a tease as Peter Parker’s temporary lawyer in Spider-Man: No Way Home and with a short stint in She-Hulk. He then appeared very briefly to battle Maya Lopez in Echo. Kingpin has had a similar journey. NYC’s king of organized crime had an extended cameo as the secret big bad of Hawkeye, but he’s featured much more predominantly as a villain in Echo.
Will Daredevil: Born Again include The Defenders?
The currently-in-production series Daredevil: Born Again will be the first project in the modern MCU to fully feature a Defenders character as it delivers a new adventure for Matt Murdock. Other Born Again confirmed returning cast members include Vincent D’Onofrio as Wilson Fisk and Jon Bernthal as Frank Castle, aka The Punisher. Wilson’s wife, Vanessa Fisk, will also appear, but actor Ayelet Zurer will be replaced by Sandrine Holt due to scheduling issues with the former.
Beyond that, no characters have been confirmed in or out beyond unsubstantiated reports and rumors. Before Daredevil: Born Again had its creative team gutted and largely started from scratch, reports indicate that Foggy Nelson and Karen Page were not involved. However, with a significantly revamped Born Again story now in the works, anything is possible. No rumors, set photos, or leaks have hinted at other returning Defenders, but anything is possible.
The Defenders Set The Blueprint For Marvel Shows
After seeing Netflix’s Marvel shows in order, it would be even harder to imagine Disney not bringing back The Defenders, which clearly laid the foundations for the MCU’s ongoing and upcoming Disney+ shows. Serving as the blueprint not just for Daredevil: Born Again, but also shows like Hawkeye, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and other street-level Marvel series, Netflix’s Defenders proved that the format of superheroes on television works and can be wildly successful in the age of streaming. Now that the MCU has become the biggest movie and television franchise, Daredevil’s MCU future seems bright — yet, it would be a shame if the rest of The Defenders don’t get a seat at the table.