For an incredibly long time there has been debate as to whether or not Marvel’s Netflix offerings, the Defenders series of shows, are canon within the MCU. When they aired, they did extremely Aside from hinting at the events of the films, they never really crossed paths, and an alleged rift between Marvel TV and film led many to think they weren’t part of official MCU canon.
I’ve been hearing this for years now, but at this point the debate is over. Not only has Disney Plus now added Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, and The Punisher to its catalog, but these characters are also beginning to appear in official MCU properties. And to combat another common argument about canon, these are indeed the same versions of these characters. They are not alt-universe reboots played by the same actors who previously erase their history.
We heard this from Wilson Fisk’s own mouth when actor Vincent D’Onofrio said yes, this is the same version of Kingpin from Daredevil that appeared in Hawkeye. But it’s not just him and it’s not just his own head canon.
On Marvel.com, which I’m not sure how to get any more official, pretty much every MCU character has a fully-written character section. If you go there, both Kingpin and Matt Murdock have their full bios from their time on the Netflix show, and they continue by including their new forays into Hawkeye and Spider-Man: No Way Home as part of the same timeline.
These are the same characters.
The former Netflix shows are canon in the MCU.
The characters are not rebooted alternate universe versions of themselves. They retain all of their storylines and memories and events from their old series.
Now I’m a little less sure about Agents of SHIELD, or at least its later seasons. The ABC show, which recently left Netflix for Disney Plus, had more direct ties to the MCU in its early seasons, but the longer the show lasted, the freer it became to do its own thing. SHIELD had global events like Inhumans awakening across the planet, which we never saw in the MCU, and it never addressed the implications of the Thanos snap.
But SHIELD was also pretty heavily about time travel, so you could argue that it eventually branched into an alternate timeline or multiverse-type situation, so it’s possible those characters could still re-enter the MCU at some point. I know everyone is dying to see Quake return in some corner of the MCU. But “is everything canon in Agents of SHIELD?” is a more complicated question than the Defenders Netflix series, I’d argue, and is probably a debate for another day.
But yes, the defenders are canon. Expect to see many more of them in the future.
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