For their groundbreaking crossover miniseries, Marvel’s The Defenders, the creative team behind Marvel’s street-level heroes pulled together characters, worlds, and story elements from four separate series to craft a team-up event like nothing Marvel Television had ever attempted. But there were many steps behind the scenes, and decades worth of stories in the pages of Marvel Comics, that had to happen before the Defenders could be brought to life on film.
Across three seasons of the groundbreaking series Marvel’s Jessica Jones, the eponymous damaged heroine had to face some true demons, from a mind-controlling creep, to a full-on serial killer, to her own mom. In their own way, each of these antagonists reflects how showrunner Melissa Rosenberg and her team brought Jessica from the more heightened world of the comic book page to hard-hitting reality, dealing with serious themes while doling out crimefighting entertainment.
Marvel’s Jessica Jones was a watershed moment in Super Hero entertainment. We’d seen comic book characters tackle real-world issues before, but from its first season debut in 2015, the gritty, edgy Marvel show dug its nails deep into every piece of “reality” that could be approximated around its super-powered star.
Despite its hero’s supernatural powers and fantastical origin, the props and costumes of Iron Fist reveal how the Marvel-Netflix show stayed gritty and realistic.
When Luke Cage first appeared on the pages of Marvel Comics in June 1972, he was heralded as “A strangely unique super-hero.” By modern sensibilities this was a rather clumsy way of highlighting the fact that the brawny, bulletproof, Harlem-based crime fighter was the first African-American hero to ever be given his own title. But it also could have described the way he dressed: in a canary-yellow shirt, with a chain-link belt and a metal tiara.
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