Marvel's Netflix shows have been a tremendous success, and this year, they're taking things to a whole new level. The Defenders will unite four street-level superheroes — Charlie Cox's Daredevil, Krysten Ritter's Jessica Jones, Mike Colter's Luke Cage, and Finn Jones's Iron Fist — in battle against a threat to the whole of New York City. But what will that threat be? Today, Marvel dropped a tantalizing teaser — one that may have revealed the Hand's deadly plan...
The Lost City
Sometimes #Marvel's Easter Eggs are so subtle that they need to point them out to us. In this case, the official #Daredevil Twitter account shared an image from Daredevil Season 2, hinting that this season contained a hidden clue to the future of the Netflix shows. As you can see, the image is a screen-shot of the New York Bulletin, an in-universe paper; and take a look at the headlines.
"New Theories Shed Light On Lost City"
On the face of it, this Easter Egg hints at the mystical city of K'un L'un, to appear in #IronFist. But here's the catch; K'un L'un is situated in China, and we've yet to see any evidence that the New York Bulletin pays much attention to international news. In fact, even if we assume it does, this story still looks out-of-place; most newspapers are divided into sections, and you'd hardly expect an obscure foreign affairs story to be on the same page as a major local event and discussion of local gangs.
No; I think this 'Lost City' is somehow bound to New York.
The Hand's Quest
Now let's circle back to Daredevil Seasons 1 and 2, which established that the Hand are inordinately interested in New York. They've had two obsessions: first, to acquire their Black Sky, a mystical being who they consider their leader; and secondly, to dig a mysterious hole deep, deep into the ground — deeper than even Daredevil's radar senses can fathom.
But why are the Hand digging this tunnel? My suggestion is simple; they're trying to find a way into the Lost City buried beneath New York.
K'un L'un isn't the Only Heavenly City
Although K'un L'un is typically referred to as the 'Lost City', it's actually one of seven mysterious Heavenly Cities, each of which is championed by an Immortal Weapon. Significantly, though, there's actually an Eighth City, one whose existence has been lost in the mists of time. Back in 2007, Marvel writer Duane Swierczynski revealed that the Eighth City is a Hellish place, used by the other Cities as a prison for terrible, demonic forces.
Now here's where things get interesting; in the run-up to the tremendous "Escape From The Eighth City" arc, Swierczynski pitted Iron Fist against an ancient creature that had been responsible for slaughtering almost every Iron Fist in the past. Known as the Ch'i-Lin, it possessed the human form of a man named Zhou Cheng, who systematically infiltrated Danny Rand's company in order to leave him vulnerable. Cheng was ultimately exposed, and Iron Fist was left no choice but to kill him. Significantly, though, Iron Fist's allies found a map in Cheng's apartment — one that showed them the way to the Eighth City.
And here's the interesting thing; the major villain of Iron Fist will be Zhou Cheng, played by Lewis Tan. It certainly seems as though Iron Fist could be setting up the Eighth City — especially when you remember Finn Jones's comment that Iron Fist will play a particularly important role in The Defenders:
"So Danny Rand is... He's the one that knows really what's going on. He knows how serious the situation is [...] He's the one who kind of drives the group to get sh-- done."
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If I'm right, then the Daredevil Season 2 Easter Egg isn't a nod to K'un L'un at all; it's a hint at the overarching narrative of the Marvel Netflix shows, tipping us off that — in the #MCU at least — the gateway to the Eighth City is beneath New York. If I'm right, then the Hand's goal is literally to open the gates of Hell, and unleash the monsters within. With Marvel having taken a decidedly supernatural turn after the success of Doctor Strange, this seems distinctly possible.
Do you think the Hand are trying to unlock the gates of the Eighth City?
[Poll Image Credit: Netflix / Entertainment Weekly]