The Marvel Cinematic Universe is huge. Not only does it have several tie-in comics and short films, November’s Doctor Strange is set to be the 14th MCU blockbuster film. By the time Luke Cage premieres in September, they will have almost 140 episodes of television under their belt – with many more on the way.
We have lost the fallen agents Agent Carter and Most Wanted, but there is a lot more coming up. Let’s take a look at the television side of Marvel, and what you should look out for.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4 (September 20) on ABC
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is entering it’s fourth season! Previous seasons have tackled issues like Cybertek, Secret Warriors, HYDRA, Inhumans, Darkforce, and Coulson’s post-Avengers resurrection. Countless classic comic characters have shown up, including Mockingbird, Deathlok, Hive, Lorelei, Mr. Hyde, Angar the Screamer, Lash, Quake, Slingshot, Absorbing Man, General Talbot, Blizzard, Blackout – and even MCU cameos from Maria Hill, Jasper Sitwell, Felix Blake, Lady Sif, and Nick Fury.
The new 22 episode season will air in a later timeslot, and is using this to explore darker material. After being re-legitimized and peeking out of the shadows for the first time since the HYDRA uprising, Coulson – presumed dead by the world – is forced to step down as director. The new director is putting all their resources into tracking down dangerous former teammate, the vigilante Quake. Meanwhile, Dr. Fitz and Dr. Radcliffe have completed work on their new project that could use robotics to effectively clone agents: The Life-Model Decoy project. The team will also encounter a deadly new character in their search for Quake; but will Robbie Reyes – the Ghost Rider – be an ally or foe?
Luke Cage Season 1 (September 30) on Netflix
Quiet, stoic Luke Cage doesn’t want to be a superhero – he just can’t help doing what he feels is right. Straight from the first season of Jessica Jones, the unbreakable Luke is back in his own adventure, one that puts him in the hot seat to defend Harlem from crime boss Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes, who is trying to pass as a legitimate businessman, and his cousin “Black” Mariah Dillard – a politician with a sense of familial duty. Featuring appearances from Daredevil’s Claire Temple and Turk Barrett, as well as classic comic characters Misty Knight, Shades Alvarez and Diamondback, the 13 episode Luke Cage will be the third show in the “Defenders” series, culminating in an Avengers-level TV event.
Iron Fist Season 1 (2017) on Netflix
Heir to the powerful Rand Corporation, Danny Rand has been missing since he was a boy. A decade or so later, he is mysteriously back. He claims he was training in martial arts to become the legendary warrior “The Iron Fist” in the mystical mountains of K’un-Lun, and that he can summon his chi into his fist, but that’s crazy…..right? Danny is joined by the iconic character Colleen Wing, and Jessica Jones’ Jeri Hogarth, as he tries to regain control of his father’s corporation from the Meachum family – and take down corruption in New York with his new abilities. Iron Fist will be the 13 episodes, and the fourth and final show before the Defenders miniseries.
The Defenders Season 1 (2017) on Netflix
What do we know about The Defenders? Not much. We know that it is 8 episodes. We know that Matt Murdock and Danny Rand, the respective Daredevil and Iron Fist, will join forces with Luke Cage and Jessica Jones to defend New York. We know that Stick and Foggy Nelson from Daredevil are set to appear, and so is Malcolm Ducasse from Jessica Jones. The teaser trailer seems to hint that our heroes will face off against the Hand and possibly even their new Black Sky, a resurrected Elektra Natchios – but that is all speculation.
Cloak and Dagger Season 1 (2017) on Freeform
Aside from what we can glean from the comics, we know next to nothing at all about Cloak and Dagger – except that it has received a full-season order on Freeform. Cloak is Tyrone “Ty” Johnson, a boy from Boston who ran away from home after his terrible stutter failed to prevent his friend from being mistakenly shot by police. Dagger is Tandy Bowen, a runaway from Shaker Heights who left home after a lifetime of neglect from her rich supermodel mom. The two become friends and lovers – which they have to balance with their newly awakened drug-induced superpowers, which they use to start a war on drugs.
Jessica Jones Season 2 (2018) on Netflix
I know it feels like such a long wait, but we will get our fix when Jess appears in The Defenders. The 13 episode second season of Jessica Jones is currently not set to arrive until 2018. The first season dealt with Jessica facing off against a monster from her past – the charismatic mind-controlling rapist Kilgrave. We don’t know much about the second season, aside from the fact that it will take place after the Defenders and largely focus on the relationship between Jessica and her adoptive-sister-turned-best-friend, former child star and radio host Trish Walker (who, in the comics, is the crime fighter Hellcat).
Daredevil Season 3 (2018) on Netflix
The first season of Daredevil saw blind lawyer and vigilante Matt Murdock squaring up against Kingpin and his upper echelon of crime bosses, cleaning up the streets of Hell’s Kitchen. The second season featured Matt struggling to balance his job of defending The Punisher in court with defending the streets of New York at night, with his sociopath partner-in-crime Elektra. What does the third, post-Defenders season have in store? We will have to watch and find out.
Damage Control (????) on ABC
Damage Control is a put pilot in place at ABC. What does that mean? It means that the pilot legally must be aired, or ABC faces financial penalty. Damage Control was name-dropped in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but so far nothing has been cast or filmed. Damage Control will be the MCU’s first full foray into comedy, with this half hour Parks and Rec-style send-up featuring the grumpy, underpaid problem solvers that have to reschedule weddings after Thor destroys a wedding hall, or try to restore a prized parrot back to health after an amateur villain turned it to stone.
The Punisher Season 1 (????) on Netflix
The Punisher’s 13 episode first season is rumored to come in 2017, but a date has not officially been set. Spinning off from Daredevil’s second season, this series will focus on ex-soldier and ex-convict Frank Castle and his violent war on crime. As teased in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Daredevil, The Punisher will reportedly feature his sidekick, the hacker David “Microchip” Lieberman. It will be set after The Defenders, but nothing else is known at this time – including if Frank will appear in The Defenders at all.
The Runaways (????) on Hulu
One of my favorite comics of all time! Years after being scrapped as a movie, The Runaways was picked up for a filmed pilot and full season’s worth of scripts on Hulu. The comic stars a group of kids – Alex, Karolina, Molly, Gertrude, Nico and Chase – who find out their parents are secretly a cabal of super-villains known as The Pride. Trying to discover their parents’ secrets, the teens uncover their “birthright”: gadgets, unlocked superpowers and a genetically engineered telepathic time-traveling dinosaur, which they use to fight back – but the rest of the world is on their parents side. This comic features appearances from The Punisher, Spider-Man, Cloak and Dagger, Captain America and more – so cross your fingers!
John Ridley Project (????) on ABC
You may know John Ridley for writing Oscar-winner 12 Years a Slave. What you may not know is that he is working on a Marvel TV project, one he is reportedly very excited about. Ridley says he hopes to use the show to tackle issues, much like Luke Cage and Jessica Jones. He has denied reports that the show will be based on Ms. Marvel, The Runaways or Cloak and Dagger – any ideas?
Untitled Comedy (????) on ABC
We know nothing at all about this upcoming show – only that it sounds like it will proceed if Damage Control is a success. Office-style Daily Bugle show, anyone?