Marvel's Netflix shows have been taking the world by storm ever since last year's Daredevil Season 1, and are one of Marvel Entertainment's greatest successes. Until now, they've only ever been available to Netflix subscribers; but now, over a year later, Marvel and Netflix are releasing that first series on DVD and Blu-Ray.
Comicbook.com spotted that British website Zavvi.com is offering pre-orders for Daredevil Season 1, including limited edition "Steelbook" and "Steelbook Deluxe" versions that feature art by Joe Quesada. All editions will be released in October. Let's face it, it's pretty likely this will roll out in the US as well, although we've not heard anything yet.
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT?
Naturally, we can expect to see all 13 episodes of the phenomenally successful first season of Daredevil. But we can also assume there are special features. As Comicbook.com observe:
"There are no special features listed, but they do list the Blu-ray editions as coming on four discs; seeing as there are only 13 episodes in the first season of Daredevil and blu-rays typically hold up to four a piece, that gives room for at least around 3 hours of special features - that doesn't mean they'll have that much, but there's potential, at least. With the entire first two seasons available at no extra cost for Netflix subscribers, special features will be key in making it a value-add for fans and collectors."
WHY WOULD MARVEL AND NETFLIX DO THIS?
It's a year since Daredevil Season 1 was released, and the reality is that most Netflix subscribers who are interested in it will have watched the series at least once. Although there'll likely have been a spike in viewing again just before Daredevil Season 2, that will only have been temporary. Now, Daredevil Season 1 views will have settled down to background levels.
Meanwhile, there's always been a demand for the Netflix series to come to DVD and Blu-Ray. Many superhero fans are what I call 'collectors' - we have an urge to complete our collection, and can't abide gaps in the shelf. So X-Men fans will still buy X-Men: The Last Stand, even though Fox disliked that film so much that they rebooted the entire timeline in order to wipe it out. For MCU fans, the fact some of the MCU can't be put on their shelf is a real source of frustration.
Given those two factors, it's perfect timing to start releasing Daredevil Season 1 on DVD and Blu-Ray. There'll be some fans who don't have Netflix, and they'll go for this straight away; there'll be some fans who just want to have a hard copy; and special features (which I'm sure we'll hear about soon) will add to the potential audience.
From a financial perspective, this is a smart move. Distribution is where the big money's at for films and TV series, and this should provide a nice bit of revenue for Netflix.
WILL WE SEE THIS WITH OTHER MARVEL NETFLIX SHOWS?
This isn't the first time a Netflix original series has been released on DVD and Blu-Ray, so that's entirely possible. This is likely something of an experiment, to see how much demand is really there, and if Daredevil Season 1 sells well, then I expect to see this approach continued. The one-year-plus time-gap is a smart way of ensuring the maximum benefit is still felt by Netflix before the shows go to DVD and Blu-Ray, though.
I admit, I'm delighted to hear this. Like many superhero fans, I'm a collector; I've always been mildly annoyed at the gap in my MCU shelf. Meanwhile, that time-gap will mean I still need to keep Netflix in order to stay up-to-date. Yeah, Marvel and Netflix have hooked me good. But what about you?