Netflix and Disney announced a multiyear deal under which Marvel Television will develop four original live-action series based on four of Marvel’s popular street-hero characters, set to bow in 2015.
Financial terms were not disclosed. Under the agreement, Marvel will develop four serialized programs leading to a miniseries programming event, unfolding over several years. The four series, set in the underworld of Hell’s Kitchen in New York, are to include “Daredevil,” followed by “Jessica Jones,” “Iron Fist” and “Luke Cage.”
For Netflix, it’s another foray into original TV built on established entertainment brands. This summer the company inked a deal with DreamWorks Animation, Netflix’s biggest ever for first-run content, under which the studio will produce 300-plus hours of original programming based on DWA characters.
Disney is opting to team up with Netflix after bringing Marvel properties to TV on ABC. This fall, the Alphabet net debuted “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” and ordered full 22-ep season this month after a strong initial showing; however, the show’s ratings have fallen in recent weeks.
Daredevil is a fictional character, a superhero that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character was created by writer-editor Stan Lee and artist Bill Everett, with an unspecified amount of input from Jack Kirby, and first appeared in Daredevil #1 (April 1964).
Living in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York City, Matt Murdock is blinded by a radioactive substance that falls from an oncoming vehicle. While he no longer can see, the radioactive exposure heightens his remaining senses beyond normal human ability. His father, a boxer named Jack Murdock, supports him as he grows up, though Jack is later killed by gangsters after refusing to throw a fight. After donning a yellow and black, and later a dark red costume, Matt seeks out revenge against his father’s killers as the superhero Daredevil, fighting against his many enemies including Bullseye and the Kingpin. Daredevil’s nickname is “the Man Without Fear”.
While Daredevil had been home to the work of comic-book artists such as Everett, Kirby, Wally Wood, John Romita, Sr., and Gene Colan, among others, Frank Miller’s influential tenure on the title in the early 1980s cemented the character as a popular and influential part of the Marvel Universe. Daredevil has since appeared in many various forms of media including several animated series, video games, merchandise, and a 2003 feature-length film.
About Jessica Jones
Midtown High student Jessica Campbell was present when Peter Parker was bitten by the irradiated spider that gave him his powers. She had a crush on him, and had just plucked up the courage to speak to him when he was distracted by the bite. She also had a celebrity crush on teen heart-throb Johnny Storm.
Soon thereafter, Jessica was riding in a car with her family when they collided with a military convoy carrying radioactive chemicals. Her family was killed and, after spending several months in a coma, she was placed in foster care and adopted by the Jones family. Months later she awoke, stirred by the first coming of Galactus outside her hospital room.
Jessica later discovered that her radiation exposure granted her super strength, limited invulnerability, and flight (which she never fully mastered during her superhero career). The Joneses re-enrolled Jessica at Midtown High, where she was ostracized by her classmates, especially Flash Thompson. Peter Parker (who had since become Spider-Man) sensed in Jessica a kindred spirit — someone who had also lost family due to a tragic circumstance. Jessica mistook his kind attention and lashed out at him, believing he was merely pitying her.
She later witnessed a fight between Spider-Man and the villain Sandman in her own class. This inspired her, in a way she cannot put into words, to use her abilities in a positive light.
About Iron Fist
Daniel Rand was born in New York City, the son of American businessman Wendell Rand, a wealthy entrepreneur who discovered the mystical city of K’un-L’un as a young boy. During his time in K’un L’un, Wendell saved the life of the city’s ruler, Lord Tuan, and was adopted as Tuan’s son. However, Wendell eventually left K’un L’un and became a wealthy entrepreneur in the United States. He married socialite Heather Duncan and had a child, Daniel. When Daniel was nine, Wendell organized an expedition to again seek out K’un L’un, taking his wife Heather, his business partner Harold Meachum, and Daniel. During the journey up the mountain, Daniel slipped off the path, his tie-rope taking his mother and father with him. Meachum, who also loved Heather, forced Wendell to plunge to his death but offered to rescue Heather and Daniel. She rejected his help, preferring to journey without him or die.
As explained in Marvel Premiere #15, Heather and Daniel come across a makeshift bridge that appears out of nowhere and are attacked by a pack of wolves. Heather throws herself on the wolves to save Daniel and is killed even as archers from K’un L’un attempt to save her. The archers take the grieving Daniel to see Yü-Ti, the hooded ruler of K’un L’un. When Daniel expresses his desire for vengeance, Yü-Ti apprentices him to Lei Kung, the Thunderer, who teaches him the martial arts.
Daniel proves to be the most gifted of Lei Kung’s students. Rand conditions his fists by plunging them into buckets of sand, gravel, and rock to toughen them. At 19, Daniel is given the chance to attain the power of the Iron Fist by fighting and defeating the dragon known as Shou-Lao the Undying, which guarded the molten heart that had been torn from its body. During the battle, Daniel throws himself against the scar of Shou-Lao, which burns a dragon tattoo into his chest. Having killed Shou-Lao, he enters its cave and plunges his fists into a brazier containing the creature’s molten heart, emerging with the power of the Iron Fist. It is later revealed that there have been many Iron Fists before Daniel, making him the modern member of a long lineage of Iron Fists.
When K’un L’un reappears on Earth after 10 years, Daniel decides to leave and find his father’s killer. Returning to New York, Daniel Rand, dressed in the ceremonial garb of the Iron Fist, seeks out Harold Meachum, now head of Meachum Industries. After overcoming a number of attempts on his life, he confronts Meachum in his office, only to find the man legless—an amputation carried out when, after abandoning Daniel and his mother, he was caught in heavy snow and his legs became frostbitten.
Impressed by Iron Fist’s abilities, Meachum accepts his fate and tells Iron Fist to kill him, but overcome with pity for this pathetic shell of a man, Iron Fist walks away. At that moment Meachum is murdered by a mysterious ninja and his daughter Joy blames Iron Fist for the death. Eventually, Iron Fist clears his name and begins a career as a superhero, aided by his friends Colleen Wing and Misty Knight, falling in love with the latter. Notable adversaries in his early career include the first appearance of the villain Sabretooth (who was not yet known to be connected to Wolverine), the mysterious Master Khan (whom the ninja that killed Meachum once served), and the Steel Serpent, the exiled son of Lei Kung, who coveted the Iron Fist power.
About Luke Cage
Born and raised in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood, Lucas spends his youth in a gang called the Rivals. With his friend Willis Stryker, he fights the rival gang the Diablos and commits petty thefts, often on behalf of deformed crime lord Sonny Caputo, a.k.a. Hammer. In and out of juvenile homes throughout his teens, Lucas dreams of becoming a major New York racketeer until he finally realizes how his actions are hurting his family. He seeks to better himself as an adult by finding legitimate employment. Meanwhile, Stryker rises through the ranks of crime, but the two men remain friends. When Stryker’s activities anger the Maggia (a.k.a. the Syndicate), he is badly beaten in a mob hit, saved only by Lucas’ intervention. When Stryker’s girlfriend, Reva Connors, breaks up with him in fear of his violent work, she seeks solace with Lucas. Stryker is convinced that Lucas is responsible for the breakup, so he plants heroin in Lucas’ apartment and tips off the police. Lucas is arrested and sent to prison where contact with his family is sparse due to the resentment of his brother James, Jr., who intercepts Lucas’ letters to their father James and eventually leads each to believe the other is dead.
In prison, Lucas is consumed by rage over Stryker’s betrayal and his father’s supposed death, engaging in frequent brawls and escape attempts. Eventually transferred to Seagate Prison off the coast of Georgia, he becomes the favorite target of sadistic guard Albert “Billy Bob” Rackham, whose brutality ultimately leads to a demotion that he blames on Lucas. Later, research scientist Dr. Noah Burstein recruits Lucas as a volunteer for experimental cell regeneration based on a variant of the Super-Soldier process he had previously used to empower Warhawk. Burstein immerses Lucas in an electrical field conducted by an organic chemical compound; when he leaves Lucas unattended, Rackham alters the experiment’s controls, hoping to maim or kill Lucas. Lucas’ treatment is accelerated past its intended limits, inducing body-wide enhancements that give him superhuman strength and durability. He uses his new power to escape Seagate and makes his way back to New York, where a chance encounter with criminals inspires him to use his new powers for profit.
Adopting the alias Luke Cage and donning a distinctive costume, he launches a career as a Hero for Hire, helping anyone who can meet his price. He soon establishes an office above Times Square’s Gem Theater, where he befriends film student D. W. Griffith. Burstein, aware of his friend’s innocence, also relocates to New York and opens a medical clinic, assisted by Dr. Claire Temple, whom Cage begins dating. Although Cage is content to battle strictly conventional criminals, he soon learns that New York is hardly the place to do so. Stryker himself has become a Maggia agent known as Diamondback and dies battling Cage. Subsequent opponents included Gideon Mace, an embittered veteran seeking a U.S. takeover; Chemistro (Curtis Carr), whose Alchemy Gun is a weapon later used by others, including his own brother after Curtis reformed; and Discus, Stiletto, Shades, and Commanche, all criminals with ties to Cage’s prison days who face him repeatedly over the years.
Power Man and Iron Fist
Having obtained proof of Cage’s innocence in his original drug charges, the criminal Bushmaster abducts Burstein and Temple, using their safety and the hope of acquittal to blackmail Cage into abducting detective Misty Knight, who humiliated Bushmaster in an earlier encounter. Cage’s efforts lead to a fight with Knight’s boyfriend, the martial artist Iron Fist, who had spent most of his life in the extra-dimensional city of K’un-L’un and was unfamiliar with Earth society. Upon learning of Cage’s situation, Iron Fist and Knight help him defeat Bushmaster and rescue his friends. In the course of the encounter, Bushmaster forces Burstein to mutate him as he had Cage, but is nonetheless defeated. Cleared of criminal charges, Power Man legally changes his name to “Lucas Cage”. He briefly works for Knight’s detective agency, Nightwing Restorations, but soon elects to join Iron Fist in a two-man team, Heroes for Hire, founded by attorney Jeryn Hogarth and staffed by administrative wunderkind Jennie Royce. Although the streetwise Power Man and the unworldly Iron Fist seem to have little in common, they soon become the best of friends. Cage’s relationship with Claire Temple proves less durable, and he instead begins dating model Harmony Young.
Power Man also helps Spider-Man battle a tenement fire. With Iron Fist and the X-Men, he battles the Living Monolith. Alongside Iron Fist, he travels to K’un-L’un, and battles Master Khan.
Power Man and Iron Fist achieve great success with Heroes for Hire, earning an international reputation and fighting a wide variety of criminals, including the genius Nightshade, the international crime lord Montenegro, Sabretooth and the Constrictor, the third Chemistro, Warhawk, and the drug lord Goldeneye. They have several struggles involving the nations of Halwan and Murkatesh, including incarnations of Scimitar and the Black Tiger. They occasionally work alongside fellow street-level heroes such as Spider-Man, Daredevil, and Moon Knight, but rarely participate in the larger-scale crises that occupy the likes of the Fantastic Four and the Avengers. Their partnership’s downfall begins when the mysterious government agency S.M.I.L.E. manipulates Power Man and Iron Fist into the employment of Consolidated Conglomerates, Inc.; during their first CCI assignment, Iron Fist suffers radiation poisoning. Cage takes him to K’un-Lun for treatment. Iron Fist apparently recovers, and soon after their return to the outside world, he encounters a young boy named Bobby. Bobby can change the molecular structure of his body because of a meteorite that fell from the sky, granting him superhuman powers and calling himself Captain Hero. The meteorite that gave him the powers also gave him a deadly spore that was killing him. During a painful episode caused by his illness, Bobby transforms into Captain Hero and pummels Iron Fist, apparently killing him. Cage is blamed for the apparent murder of Iron Fist and flees.