The Marvel Netflix universe is a gift from the heavens. It's different from the MCU, which gives us variety, but it's not as campy as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. There’s a binding, tonal consistency that constitutes the anatomy of a Marvel Netflix show. So, why does every Marvel Netflix show feel the same? Because Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist are the Defenders and they absolutely should share themes and tropes across their individual stories. That way, when they come together it will (hopefully) create this beautiful, symbiotic cohesiveness.
But it can also be reeeeal funny sometimes. There are things that happen in every Marvel Netflix show that are just kinda like, “Okay, guys, we get it,” and yet apparently they really want to hammer those ideas home. So, they show up again and again and again. Sometimes it's good storytelling, and sometimes you start to wonder if every fight needs to happen in a hallway.
Some of it is appropriate. Some of it is understandable. Some of it is forgivable. And some of it is none of those things. Let’s take a look at all of the shared tropes in Marvel’s Netflix shows: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Hallways Are The Only Appropriate Venue For Fighting, Kung Fu Or Otherwise
Okay, so the hallway fight scenes are awesome (well, in most cases), but it is pretty weird they have somehow become a "thing" in the Marvel Netflix universe. They've become the thing, really. When we were graced with the first one in Daredevil, we were just tickled, right? Fast forward to Iron Fist, where we had to watch Danny and worst-BFF-ever Davos try to match it. Not even close.
Of course, the trailer for The Defenders has already confirmed another hallway fight (as if we couldn't have predicted that), so let's hope they can recapture the magic.
Oh, Cool, Let's All Talk About The MCU In Oblique Ways
Season 1 of Daredevil had a reference to Thor's hammer, bootlegged videos of the Battle of New York were being sold on the corner in Luke Cage, Iron Fist mentions "the incredible green guy," and they all refer at one point or another to "the incident." Jessica Jones went above and beyond, and had an entire episode that dealt directly with the aftermath of the Chitauri invasion of New York. In "AKA 99 Friends," a girl named Audrey Eastman tries to lure Jessica into death because Eastman's mother was killed in the Battle of New York, and she blames all super-powered people.
It's kind of crazy how each show mention the events of the MCU way more than they reference the goings-on of the other Defenders, considering they all virtually operate in the same freakin' neighborhood.
Nobody Turn On Any Lights!
The world of the Defenders is dark. Like, seriously, in terms of lumens. No, there's nothing wrong with your TV (or, more likely, laptop), the lights are just turned off in almost every scene. We get it. It's dark and gritty. Now can you please turn on some lights so we don't have to turn the brightness up to 100 just to see what's happening? Come on, Netflix, we're not all Matt Murdock. You have to give us some visuals to work with.
We're Different Because We Have Gruesome Violence, Remember?
The Marvel Netflix universe is different from other superhero properties, and it will never let you forget it. The intense, brutal violence of Daredevil Season 1 felt appropriate because that was as much a crime drama as it was a comic book adaptation.
But Netflix doesn't want you to forget they're different, so every show has a couple instances of gratuitous violence because look how edgy we are! Yeahhh, that's a compound fracture. Check that bone out. Oh sick, watch Harold Meachum mutilate this guy's face with a hammer. Don't worry, we're gonna show you the cavity that was once his head. We took your Tyrell, Game of Thrones, and now we'll take your very identity!