For fans of on-screen Marvel entertainment, March of 2022 looks to offer more options than ever. In addition to Spider-Man: No Way Home's new digital release date of March 15, as well as Oscar Isaac's Moon Knight Disney+ debut on March 30, Marvel's string of Netflix series, and ABC's Agents of SHIELD, are set to arrive on Disney+ on March 16.
While the home release of a record-breaking film, and the first MCU Disney+ series of 2022 is significant news, the latter additions have been making waves of their own.
Since these Marvel-based shows were largely produced independently of Marvel Studios, the question of their canonicity within the MCU has long been a source of debate amongst fans. The fact they will now stream on the same platform as the MCU's roster of Disney+ series has only added a new layer to those discussions.
Also, since these shows contain adult themes and violent content, Disney+ has to update its parental controls ahead of their release. And, while groups have praised Disney's proactivity, the Parents Television Council has spoken out against the move on the grounds that Disney+ was intended as a family-friendly platform.
In preparation for the arrival of Marvel's Netflix library, Disney has shared a guide for watching these new additions; but interestingly enough, not all the coming shows were recommended by their new platform.
Disney Doesn't Recommend All of Marvel's Netflix Shows?
For D23's "Five Fantastic Things to Watch This Week," Disney shared that seven new Marvel titles are coming to Disney+ on March 16 but only offered a summary and pitch for five of them.
The article started with one of the better-known shows: ABC's Agents of SHIELD.
While the other titles coming to Disney+ this week were made for Netflix, Agents of SHIELD is different in that it was made for ABC and starred Clark Gregg as the MCU's Phil Coulson, as well as The Book of Boba Fett's Ming-Na Wen as Melinda May.
The seven-season series followed the missions of SHIELD agents tasked with investigating strange happenings around the world and in the fight against HYDRA.
Disney's next recommendation is Netflix's Daredevil, which happens to star Charlie Cox as Spider-Man: No Way Home's "really good lawyer" Matt Murdock.
This series, which follows the blind lawyer by day and vigilante by night, is all the more interesting in the wake of No Way Home's release, especially since Marvel Studios has intentions of using the actor and his character in future MCU projects.
The third show D23 suggested is Jessica Jones, starring Krysten Ritter.
This three-season series follows Jessica Jones' attempts to open her own detective agency, all while coping with her failed superhero career and post-traumatic stress syndrome. Disney noted that this show is intended for mature audiences.
Another series Disney states is for mature audiences is Luke Cage.
Starring Mike Colter, Luke Cage is a two-season drama that explores Cage's call to defend New York City after a sabotaged experiment leaves him with super strength and unbreakable skin.
D23's fifth recommendation is The Defenders, which is basically the assembling of Marvel's Netflix heroes in a single series.
In this eight-episode event, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage assemble and form "The Defenders" to save New York City.
The two Netflix-Marvel shows coming to Disney+ that were not included in Disney's recommended list are Iron Fist and The Punisher.
Iron Fist starred Finn Jones as Danny Rand or Iron Fist, a martial arts expert possessing a mystical power called the "Iron Fist." Meanwhile, The Punisher followed former Marine Frank Castle, played by Jon Bernthal, on a quest for revenge against the conspiracy that killed his family.
How Will Disney+ Promote Marvel's Netflix Shows?
So why didn't Disney recommend all of the Netflix-Marvel series coming to its streaming service? Well, it's worth noting that this D23 column always keeps to five recommendations only.
Therefore, the absence of Iron Fist and The Punisher is not as blatant as it might seem. However, it's still notable that they weren't among the five recommendations; and it's also not the first time Iron Fist was shut out of a Disney promotion. In fact, in a video Disney+ shared promoting the Netflix-Marvel library coming to the platform, Iron Fist was, yet again, MIA.
The real question is to what extent Disney plans to market these new additions to its platform, and will they promote all of them? Considering the backlash and need to educate consumers on parental controls, the arrival of these Marvel programs may prove to be a bit of a headache for the company.
As for fans, having Marvel content on a single platform won't just be convenient, but also revealing. How Disney and Marvel Studios will organize and display these shows on Disney+, particularly in regard to Daredevil, will imply how Marvel Studios views their respective statuses in terms of canon.
Whether having these series on Disney+ will clear up confusion and satisfy fans, or produce more backlash from consumers, remains to be seen.
ABC's Agents of SHIELD, as well as Marvel's Netflix shows, are set to be released on Disney+ on March 16, 2022.