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How to watch Marvel’s Netflix shows in order in 2021

Whenever we talk about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we are reminded of superheroes clad in tight spandex suits, fighting villains and saving the day as well as unexpected Stan Lee cameos. While heroes like Iron man, Captain America, Thor and more already have their stand-alone live-action films, with Black Widow’s on the way, there remains a lot of ancillary characters who have not featured in the films. Such characters have received their own Marvel TV Shows. While WandaVision has recently taken the world by storm, rumour mills are abuzz with the news that all Marvel content shall soon be restricted exclusively to Disney+. 

Netflix already has a wide selection of Marvel TV shows which are streaming right now. However, not all of them have been released in order and need to be watched following a particular pattern to make sense of contemporary events. 

To help you understand the Marvel-verse better, we have listed the correct order you should follow while watching Marvel’s Netflix shows: 

Marvel’s Netflix shows watch order:

Daredevil (Season 1) (Steven S. DeKnight, Drew Goddard, 2015)

Costumed vigilante Matt Murdock was also known as “the man in black” who lost his eyesight to a tragic radioactive accident as a child which resulted in his heightened senses and reflexes. Murdock had lost his father to mob violence as the father had refused to comply with their demands of match-fixing. This lawyer-turned-vigilante was trained in hand to hand combat as he wanted to fight on the streets of Hell’s Kitchen while continually delivering justice to those who needed it, using his hooded self as a cover for his identity. The first season deals with him making new allies and discovering Wilson Fisk, a cold and ruthless villain. 

According to DeKnight, the name of the series was derived from “one of the versions in the comics where when he [Matt Murdock] was a kid, people used to taunt him with the name Daredevil”. Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock shines amidst an ensemble, but Vincent D’Onofrio as Fisk is probably the showstopper as the merciless villain. While the first season of the series is grappling and filled with action where the Russian brothers attempt to destroy Daredevil amidst Fisk’s exponential power rise, the abrupt end leaves the audience craving for more. 

Jessica Jones (Season 1) (Melissa Rosenberg, 2015)

Jessica Jones has too many demons from her past. After having lost her family to a tragic car accident and being the lone survivor, she discovers her innate superhuman abilities. However, her superhero career suffers due to her alcohol-fuelled life. She runs a private investigation agency and suffers from extreme PTSD which resulted from the mind control by Kilgrave. Although she tries to lead a normal and subdued life, she is forced to come face to face with her inner demons as a new case compels her to re-examine her life and identity. 

With an intricate character study accentuated by brilliant performances, this show delves into serious issues that are often neglected by superhero TV shows, namely PTSD, assault, sexual violation and more. This series also introduces the character of Luke cage thus paving the way for the introduction of his action series. Both Krysten Ritter and David Tennant as Jessica Jones and Kilgrave respectively, deliver mindblowing performances.  This is arguably one of Marvel’s best Tv franchises with an anti-hero as a protagonist who blends the noir with the psychological horror and trauma. 

Daredevil (Season 2) (Steven S. DeKnight, Drew Goddard, 2016)

The second season begins with the downfall of Fisk as well as the Russian Mafia. When everything is seemingly normal, Murdock and his partner Nelson receive a plea of protection from Grotto. Soon the Daredevil is forced to have an altercation with another deadly vigilante Frank “Punisher” Castle. As the Daredevil and the Punisher debate over the morality and ethics of vigilante justice, Murdock’s world is turned further upside down by the arrival of his former flame, Elektra Natchios.

The second season has a round-up of darker and more riveting characters. With the arrival of Elektra and Punisher, the series teases the viewers by showcasing Punisher’s lethal modes of seeking justice. The Punisher is present as a perfect foil to the Daredevil and compels the latter to question everything he knows to date. In the second season, the Daredevil got an upgraded suit. While the first season was good, the second season was an upgrade- evolved, improved and more visually stunning as well as challenging.    

Luke Cage (Season 1) (Cheo Hodari Coker, 2016)

Set in a realistic premise, the show features around a well-built Luke Cage who has superhuman strength and somewhat unbreakable skin. An ex-convict framed lawlessly for murder, he keeps a low profile to lead a peaceful life. However, he is always followed by trouble and soon gets tired of the upsurge in corruption and crime.  It is a story of Luke’s redemption as he takes it upon himself to serve justice on the streets of Harlem.

Mike Colter as Luke Cage delivers a power-packed performance. However, Mahershala Ali, as the villainous Coppermouth is the real showstopper. While the series is not as layered as its predecessors, it has more gravitas due to its realistic setting of a vigilante cop on his way to avenge the city people against a crime lord. The absence of psychotic supervillains makes the series a gripping watch. 

Iron Fist (Season 1) (Scott Buck, 2017)

A billionaire Buddhist monk Danny Rand survived a plane crash that orphaned him. Raised by the Monks of K’un-Lun, he became the Immortal Iron Fist and later felt the growing interest to reconnect with his past. He discovers that his family business is now in the hand of his deceased father’s business partner. He is interested to restore the family legacy. Iron Fist features in The Defenders as well. 

Played by Finn Jones, the character has been well-portrayed with sufficient depth. Jones identifies well with this character as he too was orphaned at a young age and struggled to find his identity while dealing with his loneliness. Jones prepared a lot for his role by learning kung fu, wushu, tai chi, meditation and more. The show did not fare well as it did not resonate with the audience due to the weak plotline and slow pace.  

The Defenders (Limited Series) (Douglas Petrie, Marco Ramirez, 2017)

Great things could have been done with the premise and the lineup this show was provided with. However, The Defenders became a big let down and will always be overshadowed by their more prominent and entertaining cousin, MCU’s Avengers. Comprising the eponymous team of superheroes who became the defenders of New York, namely the Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and the Iron Fist, the series saw them teaming up to fight against a common enemy that threatened the peace and sanctity of their city. 

The series failed as a whole due to its snail pace. It took nearly three episodes for the four heroes to come together and the story was a bit of a stretch. However, the on-screen camaraderie was interesting with Iron Fist and Luke Cage’s bromance being the highlight of the show. The brilliantly choreographed fight sequences and the scope of characters make us sigh in despair at all the could-have-beens. 

The Punisher (Season 1) (Steve Lightfoot, 2017)

Frank Castle, also known as the Punisher, adopts lethal methods to hunt down the people who killed his family and obliterate them. He soon stumbles upon a conspiracy that is more dangerous than mere New York City criminals. He promises to go to any length to punish those who were involved in the conspiracy whale battling with his inner demons resulting from PTSD surrounding his family’s tragic demise. This character-driven “slow burn” show features Jon Bernthal as Frank Castle. 

The grief and suffering the Punisher faced keeps him confined in the memories of the past. After the popularity of Daredevil, The Punisher was a good Netflix addition due to its intense character portrait and study.  Cold, ruthless and brutal, this show does not romanticise the Punisher and embraces his flaws by making the viewers embark on a complex psychological horror story and is arguably one of Marvel’s best shows on Netflix. 

Jessica Jones (Season 2) (Melissa Rosenberg, 2018)

David Tennant left an everlasting impact on the minds of the audience with his brilliant portrayal of the notorious mind-controlling Kilgrave. His notable absence in this season served a huge blow as viewers were disgruntled over the lack of competency in the villains replacing him. Although ritter delivered a power-packed performance once again garnering critical acclaim, overall, the season was somewhat let down due to the absence of a Kilgrave-esque villain. 

Having killed Kilgrave who tormented her for quite some time, Jessica Jones tries to leave her past behind. However, confronted with a new case that shatters her idea of peace, Jones has to delve deep into her past as well as how she got hold of her powers.

Luke Cage (Season 2) (Cheo Hodari Coker, 2018)

After having cleared his name in the first season, Luke Cage is now hailed as a hero and a defender of the city and its people. As life starts getting better for Luke, he is confronted with new dangerous threats. Heroin is being smuggled using his name as a brand and as he tries to battle such issues that come with his growing fame, Luke realises that it is difficult to stay on the moral lane while combatting dangerous foes including the notorious Black Mariah. 

This season left fans visibly surprised due to the massive degree of improvement from the previous season.  Exploring the characters to their core was a brilliant idea and the presence of Bushmaster added to the magic on-screen. The presence of two vicious villains adds a sprinkle of entertainment to the already well-developed premise. 

Iron Fist (Season 2) (Scott Buck, 2018)

Danny Rand lives in his girlfriend’s Chinatown apartment and functions as a vigilante at night, fighting criminals on the street utilising his power of the Iron Fist. Danny’s girlfriend Colleen is intrigued to find out about her family history. Danny is forced to confront dangerous criminals to protect the civilians of New York City.

Although the first season received negative criticism, the second season received somewhat better acclaim. However, the response has not been enough to get the show to be renewed for the third season as the show did not receive as positive a response as Daredevil, Jessica Jones and more.  

Daredevil (Season 3) (Steven S. DeKnight, Drew Goddard, 2018)

After a building collapsed on him and left him severely injured, Daredevil recuperates and trains to fight again. As he slowly returns to his civilian life, he is once again seriously assaulted for trying to prevent a kidnapping. His associates Karen Page and Foggy Nelson lose hope regarding him being alive. Meanwhile, the notorious criminal Wilson Fisk, who was in prison, strikes a deal with the FBI and is thus released from prison. Enraged and disillusioned by the lack of morality in the justice system, Daredevil unleashes his rage by going on a warpath where his ultimate weapon seems to be death for Fisk. 

Daredevil had an amazing and exhilarating three-season-run after which the show got cancelled, leaving fans heartbroken. As the third and final season of the series, it is an intensely phenomenal finale given the layered characters. The ultimate fight of Cox’s Daredevil against the ethicality of justice is further imbued by D’Onofrio’s brilliance and notoriety; overall, the element of the omnipresent thrill is what makes this a fulfilling end to a fan-favourite. 

The Punisher (Season 2)  (Steve Lightfoot, 2019)

Following the first season, the Punisher returns bigger, better, bloodier and more lethal, and we are not complaining. The pure rush of adrenaline resulting from the violence unfurling on-screen is unavoidable. Bernthal is incredible in his portrayal of the melancholy, blood-thirsty hero. While the fans are left grumbling for more, it is a pity to see how under-developed the character still remains. Bernthal is enigmatic and could have done wonders to the character had he been allotted that space. 

Frank Castle meets a girl at the bar who insults him. This girl later gets embroiled in a vicious circle involving Russian gangsters and is saved at an opportune moment from being shot by the Punisher. Having saved her, the Punisher goes on to re-examine his life as a vigilante. 

Jessica Jones (Season 3)  (Melissa Rosenberg, 2019)

In the third season of the series, the cynical Jones is back helping the people of New York City. she teams up with Trish Walker aka Hellcat to pursue and defeat a dangerous psychopath. However disturbing revelations cause the two to fall apart and confront each other. Stay tuned in to hear Tennant’s voice make a sudden magical appearance on the show.

Loss and psychological trauma gain upper hand as it has in other seasons of this show. Although the series ended with a somewhat subdued finale, not living up to the audience expectations, Ritter shone through as the complex Jessica Jones, dealing with the complicated issues strewn all over her path. This season concluded the saga of the Marvel universe on Netflix.

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