Netflix has become the home of some of the very best of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While Marvel’s movies give us the big, bright adventures of our mainstream heroes, it’s Netflix that gives us the dark and gritty adventures of our more street-level characters. And despite the occasional stumble (we’re looking at you, Iron Fist), Netflix has given us consistent quality and great performances. Fans are happy to get any new episode with their favorite characters…so happy that we occasionally look over some big plot holes.
The Netflix MCU has done an amazing job establishing their own connected universe. However, Netflix sometimes drops the ball when it comes to everything from major plots to minor action scenes. And the blunt truth is that once you notice these moments, you’ll never be able to NOT notice again. We can only hope some later shows or retcons can make some of this make a little more sense. Until then, we are busy scratching our heads and trying to figure out what’s really going on. If you’d like to help us figure it out, you don’t need super-senses…all you have to do is just keep scrolling to check out these 15 Marvel Netflix mistakes you can never unsee!
15. THE WASTEFUL HAND
The Hand are the primary antagonists of The Defenders. Their central drama revolves around “the substance,” which is what helps the Hand leadership effectively live forever by resurrecting one another. On one hand, this works: eternal life is a powerful motivation! Unfortunately, there’s a bit hole in this particular plot. In short, the Hand just keep wasting this substance!
Way back in Daredevil, we see that Madame Gao has been using some of it to make the special drugs that she sells.
And in Defenders, we see that the Hand leadership have spent countless years killing and resurrecting one another. This all made sense if they had a large amount of the substance, but if they’re so low, why would they ever be so frivolous with it?
14. JESSICA’S IMMUNITY
In some ways, Kilgrave (also known as The Purple Man) was the most powerful MCU villain yet. He is like a completely amoral Professor Xavier who can make anyone do anything with a simple thought. It turns out that Jessica Jones is the only person to have ever broken free from his control, and that ends up being the key to her stopping him once and for all.
That’s all well and good. However, exactly why Jessica Jones could break his control when no one else could remains a mystery. Kilgrave controls many people with strong wills, but none of them can break free. Meanwhile, Jessica Jones (someone with serious impulse control issues) is able to defy one of the most powerful telepaths on the planet? It makes for a dramatic finale, but otherwise makes no real sense.
13. DON’T FEAR THE JAILER
Part of what makes Luke Cage such a cool MCU superhero is how unflappable he is. He seems ready to take on the biggest threats if it means protecting the lives of those closest to him. However, his series does present Luke as someone who is initially afraid of returning to prison. However, this is clearly absurd. Luke Cage is almost indestructible. Short of those favor special rounds of ammo designed by Justin Hammer, nothing can truly hurt him.
We see the man effortlessly shrug off countless bullets. What would he have to fear from a jail cell?
It seems like he could bust out before anything truly threatened him, making this a bizarre and dangling plot point. Throw in the fact that he’s willing to eventually turn himself in and it makes even less sense!
12. DAREDEVIL’S SECRET STASH?
The character of Daredevil was our first introduction to the Netflix side of the MCU. And he provides a great blend of gritty action and genuine pathos, selling us on the idea of the tortured hero. However, the real plot holes of Daredevil start when he has taken his mask off. Here is it: how can he afford anything?
We are shown again and again how Matt Murdock and Foggy Nelson are champions for the underdogs. They go as far as accepting payment in the form of food from clients who don’t have any spare money. This helps us root for the characters, but it doesn’t explain how they still have a roof over their head and food on the table. And aside from a throwaway line about an annoying neon sign, there’s not much explanation for how Matt affords his big apartment!
11. BULLETPROOF BAKUTO
One of the fun henchmen in Defenders was Bakuto. He was Colleen Wing’s former mentor and secret Hand member, and his body mysteriously disappeared over in the Iron Fist show. He pops back up in Defenders and has a new bag of tricks, including being bulletproof. That makes sense if you factor in Hand magic mumbo-jumbo, but he is later killed by a sword. Obviously, this doesn’t add up.
His magical enhancement is left deliberately vague, but why would his skin now be tough enough for high-velocity bullets to bounce off of him but a much slower sword can now run through him?
10. THE BLANK SLATE ASSUMPTION
Elektra ended up being the reluctant big bad of The Defenders. This happened after The Hand brought her back to life. Their plan counted on her memory being a blank slate so they could shape her into a weapon, but her memories of (and love for) Matt Murdock kept getting in the way. So far, so good: this is “star-crossed lovers” 101.
However, the Hand never offer a reason for why Elektra would come back as a blank slate. All of the other resurrected people we see come back with some semblance of memory, even Meachum over in Iron Fist. All of a sudden, The Hand assumes this resurrection will work differently than all of the others? It makes no sense, and it’s puzzling enough to make you think a lost scene or two must be floating around to explain it.
9. DIAMONDBACK’S RISE TO POWER
Perhaps the biggest surprise in Luke Cage was the arrival of Diamondback. Previously, Cottonmouth seemed like he’d be our big bad guy, and later, Black Mariah. Diamondback swoops in as the real big bad, and he’s packing the right kind of firepower to actually harm Luke Cage.
Here’s the thing, though: Diamondback and his rise to power make no real sense.
He is a relative newcomer to Harlem, moving there from Savannah, GA. Despite this outsider status, he seems to outrank Cottonmouth, who has been part and parcel of Harlem since he was a small child. Overall, Diamondback is just a two-dimensional sketch of a villain, and his sketchy origin story is part of his status as a flat character. Perhaps there were just too many villains in the stew?
8. KILGRAVE’S GRAVE MISTAKE
If we’re being honest, the death of Kilgrave is one of the most crowd-pleasing moments in the entire MCU. After all of the death and destruction he causes, it’s genuinely exhilarating to see Jessica Jones snap his neck. She is able to get close to him because he is convinced he can now control her mind again. We’re forced to ask: why didn’t he more thoroughly test that control?
He basically asks Jessica Jones to move and to smile, giving her a perfect excuse to get closer to him. Why not try to force her to attack a friend or kill an innocent bystander? Something like this would have been almost impossible for her to take. Instead, the typically very smart Kilgrave puts his life in her hands just because he thinks he can force her to smile once again.
7. BODY WORK
There were a lot of things that were weird about Iron Fist. However, there was one plot point that really stretched our credulity to the limit. After his father kills people, Ward Meachum is forced to dispose of the bodies. At first, this seems like typical henchman stuff…until it hits you.
Did no one see Meachum personally dragging dead bodies (in body bags or not) from his penthouse to his car and to a dump spot?
It seems like he is putting himself at extraordinary risk of being discovered. This is basically like if Patrick Bateman put no effort into hiding the dead bodies around him and simply assumed his fellow rich elites would never notice. Maybe Meachum should focus more on feeding cats to an ATM like Patrick and less on body disposal?
6. PRISON TAKEOVER
By the end of the first season of Daredevil, we see that Kingpin has been hauled away to prison. The good guys have won: the world knows what Fisk has done and his assets have been seized. However, as the second season goes on, we see that Kingpin effectively takes over the prison, and the primary thing that gives him power is bribing the guards.
Wait, what? Yes, as it turns out, despite having his assets frozen, Kingpin somehow has an endless amount of money left to bribe guards. It doesn’t make any sense, and the real shame is that this is the kind of thing that could have been cleared up with a line or two of dialogue. Instead, we are left to assume that produces money from nothing is Kingpin’s true superpower.
5. CELEBRITIES GONE WILD
When Danny Rand shows back up, the Meachums do a lot to keep him out of the spotlight and keep him from gaining power. One of the biggest instances of this is when they have him committed to a mental hospital, but Danny is eventually able to use the power of the Iron Fist to punch a hole in the wall. That leaves us with some big questions.
We can clearly see that Danny’s escape is caught on video, so hy does no one ever follow up on this video?
They have incontrovertible evidence that one of the richest men in the world has superpowers. It seems like someone (either the Meachums or the hospital staff) would have found a way to capitalize on that, but it never happens.
4. LUKE: ONE KICK MAN?
With Elektra being the big bad of the Defenders, she has multiple clashes with our heroes. In one of these clashes, she kicks Luke Cage…and somehow knocks him out! It’s a really surreal moment, and it makes less sense the more that you think about it.
Luke Cage is virtually indestructible. That’s his whole thing: bullets bounce right off him, and we’re treated to slow-mo shots of people breaking their hands as they punch him. Now, a single kick from a resurrected ninja lady can put him out of commission? The only possible explanation is that The Hand made her super-strong somehow, but if she’s now strong enough to knock Luke out, then every one of her punches should be knocking people’s heads off! Ultimately, we’re just not convinced.
3. LUKE: BARKEEPING FUGITIVE
The Luke Cage series helped flesh out his origin and backstory. We see that he’s a man on the run from something, which is why he’s forced to take jobs that pay under the table — so he staffs off the radar of the authorities. This all makes perfect sense until you remember the Jessica Jones series.
In that series, Luke owns and operates a bar when Jessica first meets him, and his doesn’t fit with what we learn later on.
Why is a man on the run actually running a business and obtaining a liquor license? And he’s also the public face of the business, making him likelier to be identified by someone. Let’s face it: the Luke Cage series felt like a big retcon of this character.
2. KILGRAVE AS A VIRUS
One of the many things that made the Jessica Jones series so great was watching out characters try to figure out Kilgrave’s powers. They didn’t just throw their hands up and say “telepathy” because they saw him as a problem they had to solve. Our heroes eventually determine that his mind control is a kind of side effect of some air-transmitted virus that he emits.
This is an explanation that works right up until you think about it. For instance, there are times that he seems to be able to mind control people he is nowhere near (like, dozens of people scattered throughout a building). And this doubles down on the problem of Jessica becoming immune: how did her body suddenly flip a switch and make her immune to this virus? To be honest, “Kilgrave as a virus” is pretty nonsense.
1. BLACK SKY NONSENSE
The biggest unexplained plot point and huge letdown of the Netflix MCU is the Black Sky. Back in Daredevil, this was described as an apocalyptic “bringer of shadows,” and Stick thought it was worth doing anything to stop the Black Sky, including killing a child he thinks is going to become one.
Later, in The Defenders, Elektra is supposed to be the Black Sky and after we saw her in action, we’re comfortable saying that this Black Sky business makes no real sense.
As near as we can tell, “Black Sky” is just code for an enhanced warrior. And The Defenders were able to contain her all on their own — how did The Hand think such a warrior would do against someone like Thor or Hulk Ultimately, this is like all of the other Hand plans: hasty nonsense.
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