Recently, Fisk and Murdock have returned to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. First, we saw Kingpin in Disney+’s Hawkeye show and now the real Matt Murdock is appearing in Spider-Man: No Way Home. With two of the main characters from Daredevil making a return, it seems like no better time to revisit some of the best of Netflix’s original shows and their complex characters. With that being said, the Netflix Marvel Cinematic Universe has been massive – including Luke Cage, Daredevil, The Punisher, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and The Defenders. And these are the five best Netflix Marvel characters of all time, ranked in ascending order –
Initially introduced to Netflix’s Daredevil, Karen went on to play a key role in other shows (and their spin-offs) including The Punisher, finally landing her own show where she could explore her storylines in unprecedented depth. A constant source of support for Matt and Foggy, the intensity of their friendship often spectacularly revealed itself. Her determination to see justice done propelled the series’ story, though it often landed her in complicated situations. Precisely, Karen’s devotion to truthfulness was evident in all she did and her journalistic integrity characterized her as an active character throughout the plot.
Elektra is perhaps one of the Marvel Universe’s most loved and hated comic book characters of all time. In season 2, Daredevil introduces Elektra to audiences as a classic love interest – but not for Matt. She begins as an assassin with ties to Murdock’s past, and later becomes the villain in The Defenders. And while she eventually put her faith in Matt’s capabilities as both a vigilante and a lawyer, she manages to become fiercely independent throughout the series.
Before having his own Netflix series, Luke Cage was introduced in Jessica Jones as the neighbor of the lawyer-turned-vigilante. A love affair later developed between them which ended up him leaving when he found out that she was not actually interested in a committed relationship. Despite losing Jessica, Luke continues to fight for his community, often avoiding the heroic limelight sought by other Heroes for Hire members despite having shown many times what he can do. Although he is always willing to help those around him, he slowly gets immersed in an underground conflict that slowly consumes him.
Wilson Fisk, also known as Kingpin, was a horrific street-level threat in Daredevil throughout the show’s three-season run, who grew an impeccable reputation as one of the most dangerous criminal beings of New York. Fisk’s immense strength, coupled with his fierce cruelty – both politically and physically – made him a hard man to outmaneuver. The character also made an appearance recently in Marvel and Disney+’s show, Hawkeye.
Last but not least, the hero who started it all for Marvel’s range of Netflix shows was relatively basic when compared to his more recent adaptations. Matt Murdock wasn’t a bad lawyer but he did need help, especially regarding the justice system that didn’t treat him very well (although it does get better in season 2). His portrayal of Daredevil as a conflicted character expands quite a bit into The Defenders with many morally complex elements to follow like the way of life and dealing with people during the day versus at night. Matt deals with complications in both vigilante worlds while trying to fight crime against criminals without jeopardizing his career as a defense attorney; ultimately his desire for justice will always leave an impact on any given situation making him just one of those characters whose story feels like it should never end.