Is There Hope of Seeing Netflix’s Marvel Superheroes Again?

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If Netflix’s cancellation of Iron Fist, Luke Cage, and Daredevil last fall was a critical hit to fans of Marvel TV shows, its cancellation of Jessica Jones and The Punisher this week was a kill shot.

The streaming service has now axed all of its Marvel shows, ending an empire it announced with great fanfare in 2013. But just like their Avengers counterparts, these Marvel heroes may be primed for a comeback.

It’s possible, after all, that Marvel’s parent company, Disney, might revive the characters on its own forthcoming streaming service, Disney+, “They are very high-quality shows,” Disney+ chairman Kevin Mayer told The Hollywood Reporter in December, after Netflix announced the first three cancellations. “We haven’t yet discussed that, but  I would say that’s a possibility.”

Both Marvel’s small-screen stars and the company itself have given fans reason for hope. “We look forward to more adventures with the Man without Fear in the future,” Marvel said in a statement after Daredevil’s cancellation in November. And in January, when The Punisher’s fate was still up in the air, star Jon Bernthal told THR that “there will be more Frank Castle one way or the other.”

Jon Bernthal as Frank Castle in Marvel’s The Punisher (Netflix)

But if some or all of the Defenders do make the leap to Disney+, it won’t be until 2020 at the earliest. Netflix’s original deal with Marvel forbade the characters from “appearing in any non-Netflix series or film for at least two years after cancellation,” as The A.V. Club reports.

In the meantime, Marvel fans can still look forward to a third season of Jessica Jones, which will still air on Netflix at some point, despite the cancellation.

Eka Darville and Krysten Ritter in Marvel’s Jessica Jones (Netflix)

And for the long-term? Heed the words from Jeph Loeb, head of Marvel TV. “Our network partner may have decided they no longer want to continue telling the tales of these great characters — but you know Marvel better than that,” Loeb said in a February 18 statement. “As Matthew Murdock’s dad once said, ‘The measure of a man is not how he gets knocked to the mat, it’s how he gets back up.’ To be continued.”