"Never take off the mask."
"Never take off the mask."

Top 5: Series not in MCU

Here we are again after we quickly looked at what the MCU has accomplished so far and now it’s time to take a look at things that fall under the jurisdiction of someone else’s studio, things that more or less preceded the comic book based series and evolved either somewhere in between, in some other parallel universe within the multiverse (I’m almost certain that if they ever get integrated, they’ll be presented in this way), or simply in the past relative to the main, let’s even call it “sacred” timeline.

This time I’ll be shorter with the introductory words (and I’ll just leave you with a few reminders (or perhaps introductions) of several productions that, although not officially MCU canon (at least not all or not yet), definitely deserve your attention. And again, I’ll be happy to hear your opinion (and your personal ranking on the subject, if you have one at all) down in the comments and discuss everything related to Marvel cinema. Anyway, under Disney’s hat I no longer expect (or if there are, they’ll be significantly fewer) productions that aren’t somehow connected to the MCU while they can still make solid profits from the universe, so, honestly, I don’t think this ranking will undergo any major changes anytime soon.

5. „Agent Carter

Long before there was even talk of series in the MCU, there were attempts at spinoff stories from the original films in the universe and I would say that the one about Captain America’s better half is definitely the most successful for me. Hayley Atwell has always been great in the role, even as a supporting character, and a solo superhero series set after the end of World War II was definitely her element. It’s a shame we didn’t get more than 2 seasons, I would happily watch more of the same again. The reassuring news is that Atwell still rightfully gets the lead role, as much as it exists, albeit animated, through “What If” and I’m definitely interested to see what fate awaits Agent Carter in the multiverse.

4. „The Punisher

Jon Bernthal has been a favourite of mine ever since “The Walking Dead” and I had no doubts that the role of the Punisher would suit him perfectly. Starting off as a somewhat secondary character in another series which we’ll talk about a little later, Frank Castle got his own production, even with a second season, which should give you a clear indication of how popular the character has become in recent years and how well he fit into the darker tone of the Netflix mini-universe. Comparing it to the films about the same character from about 20 years ago, the series is simply a gem and although the second season was admittedly weaker for me, Bernthal is uncompromising in his role and together with Deborah Ann Woll, Ben Barnes and others, they made an intriguing story of revenge out of what seemed like a rather ordinary tale at first glance. Personally, I can’t wait to see Jon in the role again and everything seems to indicate that we won’t have to wait so long for that to happen.

3. „Iron Fist”

This might be the strangest and most illogical presence in the ranking for you, but for me Danny Rand deserves this position, if only because I’m slightly biased. The truth is that I had the opportunity to meet Finn Jones in person and talk to him about his role and the potential future of Iron Fist (I even got an autograph with exactly that picture above – Defenders 1/4). Well, it’s quite possible that this will not happen when having in mind the reviews of the solo series and Marvel’s overall policy for these productions (which is quite unfortunate, considering they were preparing “Immortal Iron Fist” for the third season which is perhaps the best comic for the character) but on the other hand, Finn is exceptionally cool and dedicated to his roles and although he was indeed a bit stiff in the first season, the second season was definitely a step in the right direction for me. Not to mention that the supporting cast here is among the strongest of all the productions and Misty and especially Colleen were phenomenal supporting roles and could easily carry the series themselves, so in that respect there’s still hope that we’ll at least see an adaptation of “Daughters of the Dragon.”

2. „Jessica Jones

Certainly the most niche and non-standard series of all the superhero ones released so far, perhaps that’s why it managed to impress me and earn the second spot. Krysten Ritter is the perfect choice for the role of Jessica Jones and is definitely the main driving force, although the people around her are not to be underestimated (let’s be honest, Netflix has no weak productions from their Marvel series in terms of casting). And the three seasons are a mix of less super heroism and more mystery, suspense and detective work. All the villains are psychos in one way or another and are wonderfully portrayed as such. Perhaps the key thing in this series is that it’s much closer to reality or at least to a realistic crime series than the others, which makes it quite understandable and comprehensible even for those unfamiliar with comics or superhero fans. In any case, “Jessica Jones” deserves your attention and it’s just a bonus for us as viewers that it’s one of the two series that managed to get 3 full seasons.

1. „Daredevil”

Undoubtedly. I hope Ben Affleck will forgive me, I grew up with his role and was super impressed by the movie as a kid (it’s no coincidence that I know and like the character since then) but Charlie Cox knocked it out of the park with his portrayal. The first Netflix series on the topic, the first of the two that made it to 3 seasons, the only one (at least for now) that will receive new life within the MCU, even though they’ve all already been declared canon. Comparing it to all the other series on the topic, the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen is definitely the best of the best. Even the fact that I managed to meet Charlie Cox in person a few years ago and exchange a few words with him (Defenders 2/4, halfway there) doesn’t influence my objective assessment that much, simply because the series is so good. I might sound cliché already but here the best of the best are actually gathered in terms of casting and I’m glad that perhaps all the key players will return to some extent for “Born Again.” “Daredevil” as a series and as a success is the reason why all subsequent productions exist at all and in my eyes, the future of the character, and it seems in the eyes of Kevin Feige as well, is bright so it’s entirely fitting that the lawyer-superhero and his array of comic book sidekicks occupy the top spot in my sort of ranking.

P.S. And here I can’t help but add a few honorable mentions, although they actually cover almost all the productions that remained outside those mentioned above. The more observant among you might notice the two distinctive “franchises” mentioned earlier (i.e. let’s be direct – ABC and Netflix) and how specific parts of them are missing. Well, I’ve mentioned some of them below and the reasons they don’t appear above are simple – I just didn’t like the characters and the way they were presented as much:

– “Luke Cage” – one of the reasons this project isn’t included above is simply because I didn’t want the Top 5 to be dominated solely by Netflix productions. More importantly, though, Luke Cage was a great character in the stories of others or in the collective ones (I still secretly hope we’ll see “Heroes For Hire” with Mike Colter and Finn Jones someday) but somehow he didn’t win me over as much in his own production. However, the villains in both seasons were fantastic which earns it an honorary spot after the others.

– “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” – initially, the adventures of Coulson and company were included in the top five and rightly so, as some of the characters from there actually started directly through the MCU, not vice versa, and the first seasons were quite successful and entertaining. However, I gradually lost interest as a fan and didn’t even bother to watch the last few seasons. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll give it another chance and catch up on the development of the characters who have evolved over the latest seasons.

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