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– by David Kozlowski

The Defenders marks something of endpoint for all of the Marvel series on Netflix. We’ve reported that the main storyline in The Defenders folds-in key plot elements from Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist. We also noted that each of the characters will grow or change, stemming from events in this mini-series. Now we’re learning that The Defenders may also launch the next phase of Marvel shows on Netflix. So, what does that mean?

As we approach the end of Phase 3 in the MCU films, there’s been a ton of speculation (some of it ours) regarding Phase 4. A good deal of this speculation has dealt with who lives and who dies, but some are wondering if Iron Man and Captain America might hand off their mantles, allowing someone else to wear the suit and carry the shield, which is an exceptionally commonplace event in the comics. Consequently, it’s not that crazy to expect comparable changes in each Netflix series (possibly adding new characters and greenlighting new shows too).

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DigitalSpy shared some insights with a series of quotes from key Defenders actors. Finn Jones, who plays Danny Rand/Iron Fist, had this to say:

“Feels like the end of Phase One, [and] the beginning of another phase. Let’s just say there are certain events that happen at the end of The Defenders which are going to rock everyone’s world. So people aren’t going to be the same after the end of The Defenders.”

One of the less-discussed aspects of The Defenders are the presence of secondary and tertiary characters from each of the aforementioned solo series. From Jones’ comments one could infer that somebody important might die or suffer a traumatic event during the mini-series. Regardless of what transpires, Jones’ suggests that it’s big and emotional.

Jones continues by describing Rand’s new relationship with Luke Cage (Mike Colter):

“Me and Mike get on really well, we have a natural good chemistry. The way that [Showrunner] Marco’s written Danny and Luke is really clever – it’s not on the nose, and it feels relevant. The pairing feels relevant, which I think is the most important thing.”

We know that a “Heroes for Hire” show — pairing Iron Fist and Luke Cage — is in the works, which was never part of the original Marvel-Netflix deal (same as The Punisher). So what other potential series or characters could be introduced following The Defenders?

We’ve hear rumors of “Daughters of the Dragon,” a Marvel comic starring Misty Knight and Colleen Wing. It’s also been reported that at least one actor read for the part of Shang-Chi, Marvel’s Master of Kung Fu, as a possible addition to Iron Fist Season 1… while Shang-Chi was not present in Iron Fist, the character who has appeared in the Hero for Hire comic books. There are also many other street-level heroes in Marvel’s canon (Moon Knight, Echo, Nighthawk, Kate Bishop). So, LOTS of other options out there to explore.

What changes do you expect in each of the Marvel/Netflix shows following The Defenders (no spoilers, please)? Let us know in the comments down below!

The Defenders hits Netflix on August 18, 2017.

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SOURCE: DigitalSpy

David Kozlowski is a writer, podcaster, and visual artist. A U.S. Army veteran, David worked 20 years in the videogame industry and is a graduate of Arizona State University’s Film and Media Studies.