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Everyone Relax, We Summarized All The Netflix Marvel Shows So You Can Skip Right To The Defenders

The Defenders Netflix series is a culmination of four distinct shows, one of which has two full seasons. With that being the case, you're probably looking desperately for a Jessica Jones summary, or one for any of the Marvel shows to refresh your memory on where exactly things left off. After all, a lot has happened, but there are a number of unifying elements across the different series that, not surprisingly, come back in a big way in The Defenders.

The Hand pops up in Daredevil and Iron Fist, Luke Cage has a few different romances in a couple different series, and Claire Temple appears in all of the characters' standalone shows. So you don't need just a Jessica Jones or Luke Cage summary, but a complete Netflix Marvel shows recap.

Here's everything you need to know to center your qi and get you ready for The Defenders limited series. Warning: there are spoilers for each individual Marvel show on Netflix. Do your best Matt Murdock impression if you haven't watched them yet. If, however, you are all caught up, you may be interested in our list of other shows like Daredevil if you're looking for something new to watch.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY

  • Daredevil: We First Hear Of The Black Sky

    Daredevil: We First Hear Of The Black Sky
    Photo: Netflix

    Season 1 of Daredevil revolves around Matt Murdock's efforts to take down crime-lord Wilson Fisk, AKA Kingpin. However, halfway through the season, there is something of a one-off episode in which Matt's old master, Stick, emerges, enlisting Matt's help to take out a weapon called the Black Sky. It turns out the Black Sky is a kid in chains who Stick murders, causing Matt to freak the F out. At this point, we don't know much about the Black Sky except that it's some sort of mystical human weapon that the Japanese crime syndicate is after, and more than one can exist. 

  • Daredevil: A Weird Old Lady Named Madame Gao Is Up To No Good

    Daredevil: A Weird Old Lady Named Madame Gao Is Up To No Good
    Photo: Netflix

    One of Wilson Fisk's crime associates is an old lady named Madame Gao who has a vaguely mystical sense about her, although it's some time before we get to see the true extent of her nature. She has her hands in many illegal pots, including a heroin operation that Matt shuts down in Season 2. 

  • Daredevil: The Hand Emerges

    Daredevil: The Hand Emerges
    Photo: Netflix

    Daredevil Season 2 splits its time between the storyline of the Punisher, AKA Frank Castle, and Daredevil dealing with The Hand. Although Jon Bernthal's portrayal of Castle is stunning, mesmerizing, unbelievable, he's not in The Defenders, so he's not relevant. The Hand, however, is, and we learn that they're an ancient organization, the organization, that is seeking the Black Sky to further their dastardly ambitions. It is revealed that they have the ability to bring people back from the dead using their dark arts. 

  • Iron Fist: We Learn About The Hand's Purpose

    Iron Fist: We Learn About The Hand's Purpose
    Photo: Netflix

    Madame Gao pops up again in Iron Fist, running shady deals out of the Rand Enterprises building. Danny explains to everyone all the time that The Hand's goal is to break into K'un-Lun, and his role as Iron Fist is to stop them. A little confusingly, Madame Gao is imprisoned by a different faction of The Hand, but there's never really an explanation for it. Regardless, we begin to see that there's a little more to Gao than meets the eye - she has some kind of mystic power.

  • Daredevil: Elektra Is The Black Sky

    Daredevil: Elektra Is The Black Sky
    Photo: Netflix

    Elektra Nachios is an anti-hero, raised and trained by Stick, Matt's mentor. We discover that she is the Black Sky, which Stick had always known, but he tried to control her for his own purpose, which is to fight The Hand. The Black Sky is just a powerful entity with somewhat of a bloodlust, explaining why Elektra is so murder-y. She dies protecting Matt at the end of the season, but is resurrected in one of The Hand's blood coffins. 

  • Daredevil: The Hand Is Digging A Big Hole

    Daredevil: The Hand Is Digging A Big Hole
    Photo: Netflix

    As Matt and Elektra pursue The Hand, they come to a construction site operated by the evil organization in the heart of New York City, in the middle of which is an enormous pit, so deep Matt can't even assess it with his super senses.