Since the hard-hitting and gritty launch of Daredevil in April last year, Netflix users have been completely spoiled with superhero content. The MCU's exploration of the small screen has been worth the subscription fee alone, thanks to the likes of Matt Murdock, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage.
The standalone series have all garnered worthy praise, each bringing their own unique story to the captivating backdrop of New York City. Things are set to get even better next year, too, with those three joining Iron Fist/Danny Rand and collaborating superhero efforts in The Defenders. However, the idiosyncrasies that make each character great could also cause significant conflict.
In a Facebook Q&A, Mike Colter — who plays Luke Cage, the latest Netflix superhero to get his own series — expressed Cage's reaction to the Punisher, the uncompromising and brutal antihero who clashed with Murdock in Daredevil's second season. When asked if he'd stop Frank Castle, Colter said:
"No, I’m not gonna stop him. I don’t get blood on my hands but I won’t stop him from taking out dirtbags."I’d let it be. I don’t know if I have that thing in me that says I have to stop everyone from wiping out crime wherever it is… I wouldn’t care enough to stop someone else from doing it."
Will Luke Cage Clash With Daredevil Over The Punisher?
Colter's response suggests that Cage would tolerate Castle's vengeful criminal-killing sprees without feeling the need to directly become involved. This is almost the opposite stance from Daredevil, who locked (devil) horns with the Punisher over a disagreement about how to tackle the bad guys of Hell's Kitchen.
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One of the finest scenes of the second season followed the Punisher's capture of Matt Murdock. While helplessly chained to a chimney on an urban rooftop, Daredevil attempts to untangle the motivation for Castle to act out his own brand of justice by such brutal means. Castle responds:
"It can be hard? Running around the city in a pair of boy's pyjamas and a mask. You go home at night, right? Take that mask of, and maybe you think it wasn't you who did those things. Maybe it was somebody else. Soldiers, we don't wear masks. We don't get that privilege."
The argument unpicks how, deep down, the pair have more in common than they'd think; they ultimately both want to protect people from the criminal element in Hell's Kitchen. However, when Daredevil claims that "people don't need to die," Castle — who always appears to be teetering on the volatile edge of rage — responds by telling Murdock he is a coward who is only one bad day away from being the same.
A Challenge For The Defenders To Overcome
Luke Cage's stance on the moral debate on how to tackle the criminal element could have a significant impact in The Defenders. Although by the end of the second season of Daredevil Matt Murdock appears to appreciate Castle's helping Hand, the pair are still undeniably a distance apart in their approach to vigilantism.
Jessica Jones, on the other hand, lies somewhere between Daredevil and the Punisher. Although she isn't strictly no-kill, she does clearly care for victims and will try to avoid unnecessary casualties if possible. More than anything, this difference could be the biggest challenge the group have to overcome.
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Although the Punisher hasn't been confirmed for the superhero team-up, the character's popularity resulted in his own series (set for release next year) and second season showrunners Doug Petrie and Marco Ramirez are also producing the Defenders series, so Castle's inclusion would make perfect sense.
Regardless of his involvement, though, the question still remains: Will Daredevil's strict policy on avoiding deaths at all costs cause tensions in the group? If what Colter says turns out to be true, one side will have have to compromise for the benefit of New York City.
Luke Cage is available to stream now on Netflix. Unfortunately, we'll have to wait until 2017 for The Defenders.
Who has the right approach to tackling criminals?