The Defenders have finally come home. As of this March 16, Daredevil and the rest of the Defenders Saga can now be streamed on Disney Plus alongside the vast majority of the MCU. These mature-leaning Marvel series previously dwelled on Netflix, which distanced them somewhat from the rest of Marvel Studios’ offerings, but now that they’re available on Disney Plus, their place in the universe is solidified ⏤ especially after both Charlie Cox’s cameo in Spider-Man: No Way Home and Vincent D’Onofrio’s role in Hawkeye last year.
Now that fans can watch Daredevil as part of a massive Marvel binge on Disney Plus, here’s the big question we have: where does the show take place in the MCU timeline? Unfortunately, Disney has yet to update its official MCU chronology, so there’s not a hard-and-fast rule at this point. However, we can work out its placement ourselves thanks to hints and clues hidden in the series.
When does Daredevil take place in the MCU timeline?
Daredevil season one is actually more closely connected to the wider MCU than you would expect, as Matt Murdock’s hometown of Hell’s Kitchen is in a poor state following what the characters refer to as “The Incident,” which fans will know better as the Battle of New York, as seen in The Avengers. Hell’s Kitchen was decimated in the Chitauri Invasion, which has left it primed to be taken over by the Kingpin.
An exchange in the pilot episode confirms that the show opens two years after The Avengers (released in 2012), which must mean it takes place in spring/summer 2014. So that slots season one in between Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Age of Ultron in the Earth-based timeline, or between Cap 2 and Guardians of the Galaxy if you’re including cosmic films. Likewise, that puts the beginning of DD concurrent with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s first season.
As for season two, a newspaper headline glimpsed in episode five reads “CyberTek Settles,” referencing the fall of Deathlok creators CyberTek in the AoS season one finale. That tells us that DD season two again matches up with S.H.I.E.L.D. season two, which places it after Age of Ultron, or maybe Ant-Man, and before Captain America: Civil War.
The third season, meanwhile, is the hardest to place. Released in late 2018, you might expect it to follow Avengers: Infinity War, but there’s absolutely no reference to Thanos or the Blip. Therefore it can probably be viewed alongside the other pre-Infinity War prequels like Black Widow and Ant-Man and the Wasp.
How does Daredevil fit in the Defenders Saga timeline?
On a more self-contained level, you might also be wondering where the various seasons of Daredevil slot in with the rest of the Defenders Saga. We have you covered with a full timeline of the shows if you want to watch the entire 13-season arc from start to finish, but here’s the relevant info you need to know about Daredevil.
Its first season kicked off the Defenders Saga, so watch that first and then move on to Jessica Jones season one before returning to DD for its second run. After catching up on the first seasons of Luke Cage and Iron Fist, you should then check out The Defenders miniseries. Upon completing The Punisher season one and the second seasons of both Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, you can then finish Matt Murdock’s journey with season three. And, if you want to be a completist, feel free to follow that up by renting No Way Home for Cox’s brief cameo.
All three seasons of Daredevil are streaming now on Disney Plus.