Summary

  • Marvel Studios has hinted that the
    Defenders Saga
    is now canon to the MCU, allowing for the resolution of loose ends and cliffhangers.
  • Several unresolved storylines from the
    Defenders Saga
    , such as the fate of Elektra and what happened to K’un-Lun, could potentially be addressed in future MCU projects.
  • Villains like Bullseye, the Hand, Typhoid Mary and Kilgrave may make a comeback in the MCU, potentially as soon as
    Daredevil: Born Again
    .

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Many loose ends and cliffhangers from Marvel Television’s Defenders projects can now be resolved in the MCU as Marvel Studios has hinted at the Defenders Saga officially being canon. While Marvel Television shows such as Agents of SHIELD, Agent Carter and Runaways appealed to a family-oriented audience, the Defenders Saga, which aired across six series between 2015 and 2019, told more grounded and mature stories. The Defenders Saga’s shows were canceled in 2018 and 2019 ahead of Marvel Studios developing its own TV shows for Disney+, but the six Netflix series may now be a crucial part of the MCU.

In conjunction with the release of Marvel Spotlight series Echo in January 2024, Marvel Studios integrated the Defenders Saga’s six series into the MCU’s official timeline on Disney+. This places Daredevil and Jessica Jones after Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, while Luke Cage, Iron Fist and The Defenders follow Ant-Man, with The Punisher coming later between Spider-Man: Homecoming and Doctor Strange. While Marvel Studios hasn’t commented on the matter, this suggests the Defenders Saga may now be canon to the MCU, which means previous heroes and villains can return, and unresolved storylines and major cliffhangers can finally be addressed.

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10 Benjamin Poindexter Officially Became Bullseye

Daredevil Season 3 (2018)

Benjamin Poindexter's eye as Bullseye in Daredevil season 3

Daredevil season 3’s cliffhanger is one of the most likely to be resolved, as Wilson Bethel could return as Benjamin “Dex” Poindexter, a.k.a. Bullseye, in the MCU’s Daredevil: Born Again. Following his battle with Daredevil and Kingpin, Poindexter was paralyzed, but experimental surgery may have made him much stronger. In Marvel Comics, Bullseye’s spine is enhanced with adamantium, so Poindexter’s return to the MCU could even hint at Wolverine’s upcoming debut. Bullseye is one of several villains who’ve been rumored for Daredevil: Born Again, but would create a strong connection to Charlie Cox’s previous stint as the Man Without Fear.

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9 What Happened To K’un-Lun?

Iron Fist Season 1 (2017)

The alternate dimension of K’un-Lun wasn’t only the location of Danny Rand’s ascension to Iron Fist, but was also the birthplace of the villainous Hand, yet Iron Fist season 1 ended with K’un-Lun revealed to have been mysteriously lost. Iron Fist’s second season didn’t answer what happened to K’un-Lun, so Marvel Studios now has the perfect opportunity to answer this question, while also expanding the world of the MCU. There is speculation that Marvel Studios’ Shang-Chi 2 will feature K’un-Lun and the Iron Fist, after Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings introduced the similar realm of Ta Lo.

8 Elektra’s Body Wasn’t Recovered From Midland Circle

The Defenders (2017)

Elektra Natchios as the Black Sky in The Defenders

Elektra Natchios was a brilliant addition to Daredevil season 2, and while the season ended with her apparent death, she returned as the Hand’s powerful weapon, the Black Sky, in The Defenders. The Defenders saw Elektra assume control of the Hand, though she was still trapped inside Midland Circle with Matt Murdock’s Daredevil as the building imploded. While Murdock made it out alive, Elektra’s fate has never been revealed, though with no body recovered, it’s possible she has returned to her vigilante antics. Élodie Yung has expressed interest in returning as Elektra, so this loose end could be resolved soon.

7 Is The Hand Still A Threat To The MCU?

The Defenders (2017)

Sigourney Weaver's Alexandra Reid as the leader of the Hand in The Defenders

By the time of the Defenders Saga’s cancelation, the Hand was thought to have long been extinguished, as most of its members died during the events of The Defenders. However, it’s possible Marvel Studios could retcon this ending to bring the villainous organization back, or Elektra, Madame Gao and Murakami could be revealed to have survived the destruction of Midland Circle. The Hand returning to the MCU would introduce a powerful and practically-unstoppable force for Marvel Studios’ street-level heroes, and since Gao and Murakami were two of the Hand’s original founders in ancient K’un-Lun, it’s likely they would have rebuilt.

6 Typhoid Mary’s Third Personality Hasn’t Been Revealed

Iron Fist Season 2 (2018)

Typhoid Mary with a gun in Iron Fist season 2

Alice Eve was introduced as private investigator and mercenary Mary Walker in Iron Fist season 2. Throughout the season, Mary Walker’s dissociative identity disorder is revealed, presenting itself as two distinct alters: naive Mary and ruthless Walker. However, a mysterious message reveals that Walker has a third alter, and though not much is known about this identity, the massacres she leaves in her wake prove her to be the most brutal and aggressive of the trio. It would be great to see Typhoid Mary achieve her full potential in the MCU, though it’s unclear when or if she will return.

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5 Luke Cage May Be Building A Criminal Empire

Luke Cage Season 2 (2018)

After Mariah Dillard’s death in prison in Luke Cage season 2’s finale, Luke Cage himself inherits Harlem’s Paradise, the hub of crime in Harlem. While some expressed concerns that Mike Colter’s Cage could transform into Harlem’s new crime lord, he assures them he is only setting himself up as the new “sheriff” of Harlem, but his actual ending is left very ambiguous. It’s possible that, particularly without the influence of Claire Temple, Cage could build a criminal empire with Harlem’s Paradise at the center, which would be a great narrative to explore if Luke Cage returns in the MCU’s future.

4 Dinah Madani Tried To Recruit The Punisher For The CIA

The Punisher Season 2 (2019)

Frank Castle firing his guns at the end of The Punisher season 2

The Punisher season 2 was one of the final Defenders Saga series to release, concluding with Jon Bernthal’s Frank Castle continuing his crusade against crime. Bernthal has been confirmed to be returning as the Punisher in Daredevil: Born Again, though it’s possible he might not be simply a vigilante, as Dinah Madani made an attempt to recruit Castle into the CIA in The Punisher season 2. Even though he initially refused, Marvel Studios could make the Punisher a CIA operative, which would be great as the organization is becoming more significant in the MCU and with Thunderbolts on the horizon.

3 Colleen Wing Became The New Iron Fist

Iron Fist Season 2 (2018)

Colleen Wing with his Iron Fist sword in Iron Fist season 2

Iron Fist is widely regarded as the weakest project in the Defenders Saga, but Iron Fist season 2 took huge strides in setting up exciting storylines for the future. Specifically, Jessica Henwick’s Colleen Wing found her own power as a new Iron Fist, and vowed to protect Chinatown with her new gifts. Jessica Henwick has said she’d return as Colleen Wing, and recent speculation has suggested this may be happening, though nothing has yet been confirmed. Since Finn Jones’ depiction of Danny Rand received some criticism, it might be better for Marvel Studios to develop Colleen Wing’s Iron Fist instead.

2 Diamondback Was Treated By Noah Burstein

Luke Cage Season 1 (2016)

Diamondback hunting Luke Cage in Luke Cage season 1

The final episode of Luke Cage season 1 not only features the epic battle between Luke Cage and his half-brother, Willis Stryker, a.k.a. Diamondback, but also teased a superpowered future for the small-scale villain. Luke Cage season 1 saw a hospitalized Stryker visited by Noah Burstein, the man whose experiment had given Luke Cage his abilities, hinting at Diamondback getting a major upgrade – though this never came to pass. Jessica Jones season 3 teased Stryker now being imprisoned in the Raft, and since this is a pre-established location in the MCU, it’s possible he could return as a supervillain.

In the MCU, the Raft is an underwater prison that has the sole purpose of containing enhanced and superhuman individuals. Since Luke Cage suggested he’d sent Willis Stryker to the Raft, this implies that Stryker has seen some superpowered upgrades, though they haven’t actually been seen on screen.

1 Kilgrave May Still Be Alive

Jessica Jones Season 3 (2019)

One of the Defenders Saga’s most popular villains was David Tennant’s Kilgrave, who debuted opposite Krysten Ritter’s Jessica Jones in her self-titled Marvel Television series. With the ability to control anyone’s mind just by standing near them, Kilgrave is an incredibly threatening and sinister villain, but his journey seemed to end with his death in Jessica Jones season 1’s finale. However, Jones was plagued by visions of Kilgrave, even hearing his voice in Jessica Jones season 3’s finale, hinting at his influence persisting. There have been calls for Kilgrave to return to the MCU, though only time will tell.

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