1) Stop Killing Villains
Unlike their maligned movie fellows, Marvel’s TV villains are chillingly compelling foes. Of course, this is mainly due to them being played by titanic talents. Mahershala Ali, Sigourney Weaver, David Tennant – their craft and care ensures that Cottonmouth, Alexandra, Kilgrave et al. are fleshed out and highly memorable. Netlifx really hasn’t missed a step where their casting is concerned. However, if we reach another season’s midway point and find the villain dying, then Netflix will have made a grave mistake indeed.
Look, this isn’t to say that show execs can’t, or shouldn’t, kill villains off full-stop. Unique and unpredictable storytelling is a fantastic quality in a series. But, having villain number three die midway through a season is precisely why Netflix shouldn’t opt for it again.
Admittedly, two cases of villain-offing (Cottonmouth and Alexandra) doesn’t signify a trend in the making. However, look what happened to Luke Cage when they attempted to substitute Cottonmouth for Diamondback halfway through the show. Not only did the story lose a lot of its momentum by switching gears, but it also lost a hugely charismatic presence that couldn’t be replicated.
It didn’t help that Diamondback was a jarring and goofy replacement for the icy ferocity of Cornell Stokes. And yup, Elektra is a far more developed and interesting character than Diamondback. However, even the latter half of The Defenders takes time to recover from her sudden murder of Alexandra.
In short: keep the brilliant baddies around a little longer, and Netflix might just stick the superhero landing again.