With the arrival of “Iron Fist” on Netflix, we have now been introduced to all four members of “The Defenders” team. While we have yet to see them share the screen, we can’t wait to see them assemble in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But there is also another super-team out there in the MCU, filled with characters we know and love. A team that has grown, that was broken, and that will face the greatest threat in the universe very soon. A threat so big that it could require the Avengers and Defenders worlds to collide.
However, even with these productions all under the same Marvel Studios banner, this is all much easier said than done. With logistics in the way, not to mention a much longer shooting period for movies than television shows, a meeting between these two teams is something that the powers that be are telling us not to expect. But here at CBR, that hasn’t stopped us from dreaming of what could be. Here are the 15 meetings between members of the Avengers and the Defenders we would love to see on our screens.
15. DANNY RAND AND TONY STARK
Danny and Tony have a lot in common. They both inherited multi-billion-dollar companies from their fathers, and they both had an experience far away from home that fundamentally changed them. Upon their return home, they both looked to change the direction of their companies and steer it in a different, more humanitarian direction. As both of their company towers are located in New York, it would surely go without saying that Stark is aware of Rand, both as a company and as a person.
With Danny having lost his family in a tragic plane crash, one that everyone thought left him dead as well, his return to life in the business world would be one that Stark would undoubtedly be aware of, and it would be interesting to see Tony pay Danny a visit over at Rand, to talk about a solid relationship he had with his father and how he remembered him as a young child. To see the two men connect over a shared past and similar ordeals would be one fascinating talk to watch between the two superhero businessmen.
14. DAREDEVIL AND CAPTAIN AMERICA
Over on Netflix, we are still unsure who the better fighter is between Iron Fist and Daredevil – something that will no doubt be put to the test once “The Defenders” series hits our screens – but there is no doubt about who the best fighter in the Avengers is. As a super-soldier, we have watched Steve Rogers evolve his fighting style over the course of several movies to the point that he has become a formidable fighter. The comic books have shown us that these two characters can be friends just as easily as obstacles standing in each other’s way.
Since both Matt and Steve have a strong personal code regarding fighting crime, a strong belief system that holds them in place when others wish they would move, Daredevil and Captain America could find themselves on opposite sides of a conflict. But just as their moral code defines them, so too would it allow them to find common ground, and respect one another. No matter the era, both of them are kids from the hard streets of New York, and that is something that they should both recognize in one another.
13. BLACK WIDOW AND COLLEEN WING
Colleen Wing may not be an official member of the core cast of “The Defenders,” but over her tenure at Danny’s side during the course of the “Iron Fist” series, there is little doubt that she has earned her place. She is a strong female character that has as much heart as fighting skills. Her personal story showed us her own dilemma, and her own code. Colleen has a strong will, and she will fight for what she believes in. If that sounds familiar, it’s because Natasha Romanoff may have similar qualities.
As both the fiercest ladies on their respective teams, it would be great to see a meeting between the two. Natasha could share some strong words of wisdom to help Colleen along her new path. Getting away from an organization that created her to be something else for them is something that Natasha understands all too well, and she has come out the other side stronger for it. It’s something she could very well inspire Colleen to do. And this is all without mentioning how spectacular it would be to see these two warriors fight off an army of villains side-by-side, with stick and sword.
12. HULK AND LUKE CAGE
One has indestructible skin and a calm demeanor. The other is an uncontrollable, nigh unstoppable, incredible rage monster. Luke Cage may be a reasonable man, one that will always talk before throwing a punch, a man always willing to give people a second chance — a chance to reconsider, to walk away — but the Hulk isn’t the most reasonable creature around. Faced with the jade giant, Luke would try to calm the beast down, to reach the man inside, to try and inspire them both to find some sort of peace. And the Hulk just wouldn’t listen.
“Sweet Christmas!” Luke would exclaim, after a punch that would send him traveling through five brick walls. But Power Man would get up, and he would fight to protect those around, and the man inside the monster. Both very powerful characters, a fight between the two is something that every fan would love to see, and one where both participants would not have to pull their punches. Both would have a rare opportunity to cut loose, and it would make it all the more captivating when Luke would, through his words more than his fists, find a way to finally calm the Hulk, and bring Banner back.
11. THE WINTER SOLDIER AND JESSICA JONES
Bucky Barnes has been through a lot, from the war to being turned into a mind-controlled assassin for Hydra, to a haunted man on the run from the law. While he may currently be back in the ice over in Wakanda, there is little doubt that the Winter Soldier will surface once more, keeping a low profile from the government. As a private investigator, how great would it be to have Jessica Jones be hired by parties unknown to locate him.
With Jessica believing Bucky to be a bad guy, she could come in swinging, but Bucky would stop her easily, simply stating that he isn’t the person she thinks he is. Jessica would probably have a hard time believing him, but once Bucky would tell her all about his Hydra-influenced control, Jessica would understand exactly the hurt in his eyes. She would recognize it as her own. As a victim of mind control, Jessica is herself haunted by her time with Kilgrave, and both she and Bucky could find a bit of solace in each other, and come to an understanding.
10. THE PUNISHER AND CAPTAIN AMERICA
In the comic books, Frank Castle and Steve Rogers have a very complicated relationship. On the one hand, both greatly respect each other. As veterans, they both recognize the work and the service of the other, something that sets them apart from other heroes out there. But on the other hand, with The Punisher essentially a serial killer, Steve cannot fully get behind the idea of Frank Castle. He understands his meaning and his point of view, but this kind of killing is something that Steve can simply not condone.
Jon Bernthal absolutely nailed the psychology of Castle in the second season of “Daredevil,” depicting him as a haunted and damaged character. With Chris Evans’ strong and inspiring turn as Rogers, it would be an absolute treat to see the actors share the screen, and have the good Captain try and reason with the soldier who has lost everything. Seeing Cap trying to bring Frank back from the brink is something we would all love to see, something that would be all the more heartbreaking to see fail. But with Castle being the way he is, he would leave not with a bang, but a salute.
9. IRON MAN AND LUKE CAGE
Tony Stark and Luke Cage might as well be polar opposites. One hailing from high society, incredibly rich and arrogant, the other residing in Harlem, with barely any money to his name and who prefers to keep a low profile. But both, in their own way, are men of the people. They wish to fight for what’s right, and make the world a better, safer place. Having these two men come together with a heated conversation about how they are trying to save a world they don’t really know would be fascinating to watch.
Where Tony and Steve Rogers would often butt heads over their difference of opinions, so too would he with Luke. But the difference here would be that Luke could prove to be a more patient man with Stark, one not so quick to raise his fist at the first sign of trouble. And besides, the two of them share an enemy in HAMMER. The company is not only responsible for the attack on Iron Man in “Iron Man 2,” they also created the piercing bullets that almost killed Luke Cage in his own series. Perhaps then could Iron Man and Power Man team-up to take them down.
8. HAWKEYE AND DAREDEVIL
Little is known about Hawkeye’s past prior to S.H.I.E.L.D., but we do know of his life outside of the Avengers: family. With a wife, three children and a nice farmhouse, Clint is the only Avenger who has managed to obtain a life outside of the mask. And that is something that, were the two to meet, Matt Murdock could aspire to. As Daredevil, Matt has always had a hard time finding a balance between man and hero. Both of these aspects often seem to impede on the other, with his close ones always in the middle.
Whereas, Clint’s life seems effortless. He finds the time to be a father, husband, and superhero. Family might not be what Matt wants the most, but he does wish to find a balance in his life, and love, whether with Karen or Elektra or someone else entirely. It would be great to see Clint have a heart-to-heart chat with Matt, where they to talk about women, fighting, doing the right thing and a life outside of the mask. A talk that could inspire Matt to become not only a better hero, but a better man to his loved ones.
7. JESSICA JONES AND TONY STARK
Few take the toll of everything that happens on their shoulders like Jessica Jones and Tony Stark. As we’ve seen in the first “Iron Man,” “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and “Captain America: Civil War,” Stark sees the horrors of the past and bears them on his soul, and then, with the best intentions at heart, he’ll try to fix them by causing even more problems. For her part, Jessica Jones has been through a lot and it weighs heavily on her. She’s haunted, and she’s trying her damnedest to be better, but somehow things always end up worse.
But if there is one thing that both of these characters know how to do well, it’s to have a drink. A quiet, self-reflective moment between the two in the Avengers tower over a bottle of whiskey would have the potential to not only give them a chance to wallow in their self-pity and loathing, but they could find some odd support in each other. It would be an interestingly deep conversation that could both start them off on a new path, where they would try to make amends and changes that would benefit their respective lives.
6. BLACK PANTHER AND LUKE CAGE
As characters, T’Challa and Luke Cage both have a strong sense of community and a respect for the heritage that precedes them. Whether it’s the soul of Harlem or the fate of Wakanda, both characters stand strong for their people. The two of them come from very different walks of life, one of royal descent while the other an escaped convict that gained super-powers in prison, and yet both have the same sense of leadership and responsibility.
These common traits would bring T’Challa in closer with the rest of the Avengers, considering that his closest relationship is with Captain America, a man he spent the better part of “Civil War” running after. At best, T’Challa doesn’t seem to care about any of the Avengers, and a character like Luke, a man closer to the real world and outside of Wakanda could help make the Black Panther a better part of the group. With a quick friendship forming between the two, we could see more of T’Challa the man, and not the king.
5. THE PUNISHER, SPIDER-MAN AND DAREDEVIL
There’s a trio that most comic book fans can’t wait to see together on-screen. All of them street-level heroes, all of them very different, all of them just as easily screaming at each other as fighting side-by-side. We’ve seen Daredevil and Punisher share the screen together over in “Daredevil.” We’ve seen their difference in methods and ideologies, and where that lead them as enemies and reluctant partners. They may not agree with each other, but they respect one another.
Throw in the Spider-Man card to add a bit of levity to that duality. Spider-Man is by far the brighter, much lighter hero out of all the three, one who would even look at Daredevil as being pretty brutal. His much younger attitude, coupled with his sense of humor and earnestness to be good would add a flaring contrast to these two heroes who see themselves as so different. Spider-Man is the real opposite of them, and he could help Matt and Frank realize that they are not so different after all. But what we all really want is to see these three engage in an epic fight against hordes of enemies for them to take down.
4. IRON FIST AND DOCTOR STRANGE
Danny Rand and Stephen Strange have very similar origin stories. Both wealthy, they found their way in a mystical place where they learned to fight and how to access extraordinary abilities. One deals with alternate realities and dimensions and demons, and the other fought a dragon and came out of the other side an immortal weapon. They might not both face the same dangers, but they both hail from a new spiritual understanding of the world.
With the “Iron Fist” series ending with the disappearance of K’un-Lun, much like Thor in search of his father in the “Doctor Strange” after-credits scene, it would make sense for Danny to seek out the Master of the Mystic Arts in the hope of finding his home. Doctor Strange is an expert when it comes to other dimensions, and K’un-Lun is that exactly. His help would not only be organic but essential, and it would give us a team-up that would surely find trouble. Trouble that could only be solved with fists, both iron and magic.
3. BLACK WIDOW AND JESSICA JONES
As both the resident female leaders of their teams, a meeting between Natasha and Jessica would be something every interesting to watch. Both are completely different and deal with things in very different ways. It wouldn’t be hard to imagine that Jessica could feel quite inferior to Natasha, and see her as the hero she never could be, but rather the hero she always wanted to be. Natasha would respond in kind, saying she is not a hero at all. “Bull–” Jessica would answer. “You’re an Avenger.”
The two would bond with being women in men-focused teams, and they would poke fun at the constant bickering and in-fighting that comes from the egos in one room. These two wouldn’t have disputes or disagreements, they would find support in each other, and maybe even a kindred spirit in a friend that never thought they could make it as a hero, and yet somehow always end up in that position, whether they want to or not. Because, at the end of the day, both of them are essential to their teams.
2. SPIDER-MAN AND THE DEFENDERS
Marvel Comics readers know that one of the most memorable comic series was Brian Michael Bendis’ run on “New Avengers.” Under his pen, the New Avengers were a whimsical, down-on-their-luck team that counted among them characters like Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Spider-Man. With all of these characters now part of the MCU, we would love to see Spider-Man join the ranks of the Defenders after he is finished playing his part with the Avengers.
More at home swinging in the streets of New York than in space battles, Spider-Man could become the newest addition to the Defenders who protect the city they live in. His struggle to balance his super-life with that of homework, school and girl troubles fits right in with Daredevil’s struggles and Jessica Jones’ bad habits. The trademark witty banter from comics could be on full display here, made all the more hilarious with Luke’s more stoic nature, Jessica’s dry remarks, Matt’s seriousness and Danny’s wonder. The New Avengers were a family, one that we would love to see develop on screen.
1. AVENGERS AND DEFENDERS TEAM-UP
Sure, all of these different meetings between characters is something we would all want to see. Talks, bonds and friendships forming, to solidify the ranks of both teams. But as awesome as all of these team-ups would be, none would be as exciting as seeing everyone from these two teams assembled together, all fighting against one common enemy too big for either team alone to stop. A threat so large, so devastating that all of these characters would share the screen together at the same time.
From Captain America throwing his shield to Danny Rand, to Daredevil and Iron Man helping each other out, to Jessica Jones being barely strong enough to fight only to have Hulk come to her rescue, there are so many possibilities for interactions and powered team-ups. The marriage of these two teams would be a visual delight, and it is something that fans of both the “Avengers” movies and the Netflix series can only hope to see on screen one day.
What other MCU movie and Netflix team-ups would you like to see? Be sure to let us know in the comments!