Like two superheroes fighting an archvillain, Marvel and
The partnership, which will bring four 13-episode series and a miniseries about the "Flawed Heroes of
Just this week, Netflix announced the acquisition of two documentaries,
Having established itself as a destination for "quality," Netflix now appears to be getting into the tent-pole business, too.
In contrast, Marvel's first foray into live-action television, "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," has met with more mixed results. The series, an "Avengers" spin-off created by Joss Whedon, was one of the best-reviewed new dramas of the fall when it premiered on
Some viewers have grumbled that the series is little more than a procedural with cooler gadgets, a criticism unlikely to be faced by the upcoming Marvel-Netflix collaborations, which will center on characters (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage) equipped with genuine superpowers, unlike the mere mortals in "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."
Thursday's news release also described the upcoming series collectively as a "serialized epic" that will take viewers "deep into the gritty world of heroes and villains of Hell's Kitchen, New York." Netflix's binge-viewing model, which places less importance on the episodic storylines characteristic of network television, could prove more conducive to the elaborate mythology of the superhero universe.
As Alan Fine, president of
What's more, there may be less ratings pressure at Netflix, which so far has steadfastly refused to disclose how many people have watched its original series.