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Never-Ending Superheroes: Here Come the Defenders and the Tick

Meanwhile, “The Tick” is fundamentally a satire, one that pokes fun at the conventions of comic-book narratives and the many media spinoffs they’ve spawned.

But in its latest incarnation, “The Tick” — which is coming to TV for the third time — is also trying to see how much of the gravity in modern comic-book adaptations it can incorporate without losing its sense of humor.

“To do a superhero comedy now and make it worth its salt, it had to matter to itself,” said Ben Edlund, the creator of “The Tick.”

“That’s what we’re doing,” he added. “We’re aggressively mattering to ourselves, and I recommend it.”

Mirroring the strategy that Marvel used for its “Avengers” movie franchise, “The Defenders” draws from the previous Netflix shows “Daredevil” (starring Mr. Cox), “Jessica Jones” (starring Krysten Ritter), “Luke Cage” (starring Mike Colter) and “Iron Fist” (starring Finn Jones).

Marvel’s The Defenders | Official Trailer 2 [HD] | Netflix Video by Netflix

All set in a version of New York where its characters cross paths, do battle and (occasionally) have sex with each other, these shows have been rolled out at a breakneck pace since Marvel and Netflix announced them in 2013.


Mike Colter, center.

Sarah Shatz/Netflix

Each has its own creative team and varying narrative tones: For example, “Daredevil,” now approaching its third season, is a neo-noir about a blind lawyer turned costumed vigilante; while “Jessica Jones,” heading into its second season, has offered a rugged redemption story about a private investigator haunted by past trauma.

“Bringing these characters together into one world is going to require a dramatic shift from all of their individual shows,” Mr. Cox said. “That has made this show feel very different.”

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