Back in 2015, Daredevil opened up a new era for the MCU as marked its first foray into mature content and kickstarted a multi-year and multi-project collaboration between Marvel and Netflix. The production deal went on to spawn solo series for Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, and The Punisher, along with the blockbuster Defenders crossover event.
Unfortunately, as Marvel Studios looked to turn its attention towards streaming productions as Disney+ plans kicked into gear, all six series were gradually canceled one by one after a combined total of 13 seasons between them.
With the Netflix licensing deals at an end, all six series have now shifted onto Disney+, marking the streaming service's most mature content yet domestically. On the run-up to the move, many were curious as to how Disney+ would categorize the street-level projects among the MCU.
Disney+ Gives Defenders Series Special Collection
Disney+ added a new collection for "The Defenders Saga" featuring the former Marvel-Netflix series including Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Defenders, and The Punisher.
Despite receiving their own special recognition on the streaming service, the six series were not included under the MCU or timeline order categories.
Marvel Studios Adds Its Second Saga
Disney and Marvel categorizing the former Netflix series under the umbrella of "The Defenders Saga" mirrors a naming convention only used before with "The Infinity Saga." In some way this decision makes sense, after all, the six street-level stories don't tie into the Thanos-centric era they came out of, instead, they build towards their own climactic crossover in The Defenders.
Marvel has used several other collection names to describe other groups of films and series on Disney+. Fox's X-Men and Fantastic Four movies now slot under the "Marvel Legacy Movies" umbrella, while the "Spider-Verse" collection is packed with the wall-crawler's many animated projects and MCU appearances from over the years.
As many continue to debate the canon status of these and the other Marvel TV series, their absence from the official "Marvel Cinematic Universe" collections will be seen as a smoking gun by some. But with obviously non-canon comedic shorts such as Team Thor now integrated into these collections, Disney+ shouldn't be taken as an authority as to the MCU's canon.
With Daredevil, The Punisher, and more having finally arrived on Disney+, the doors are more open than ever for Marvel Studios to resurrect any of the mature projects for further seasons, new spin-offs, and more blockbuster crossovers.
All six entries in "The Defenders Saga" are streaming now, exclusively on Disney+.