Skip to main content
If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Marvel Studios' Netflix shows Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Punisher, and Defenders are back in MCU continuity says Disney+ (even Iron Fist)

We have a new official Disney answer to whether or not The Defenders existed in the MCU (and it's a yes)

The Defenders
Image credit: Marvel Studios

Consider the question of whether or not the Netflix Marvel shows count as MCU canon officially re-opened.

Just months after the release of an official Marvel Cinematic Universe Timeline book that seemed to establish, once and for all that the six shows produced for Netflix by Marvel Television — Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Defenders, and The Punisher — were not part of official MCU continuity, Disney seems to be walking that back fairly aggressively.

Not only have characters — and more importantly, actors — from those shows appeared in multiple MCU projects (most recently with both Charlie Cox’s Daredevil and Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin playing significant roles in Echo), but public statements from Marvel executives have stated that the shows are in fact part of the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe timeline. And now, Disney+ is getting in on the act.

Those perusing the Marvel section of Disney+ will see a thread of programming called “Timeline Order,” which is exactly what it sounds like: all of the MCU, in chronological order as opposed to release order. (Hey, that sounds familiar…!) But… look what shows up in that list:

Image credit: Disney+
Image credit: Disney+

Yup: that’s the Netflix Marvel series right there in the official timeline, on the official Disney streaming service. (The Punisher is also in the list, but far later in the timeline; his series fits between Spider-Man: Homecoming and Doctor Strange, apparently.) If that’s not a sign that the shows are now considered part of the MCU, I’m not sure what is — especially when other Marvel Television-produced shows like Agents of SHIELD and even the two-season Agent Carter series don’t show up in the order.

So… what gives? Did Marvel change its collective mind between the book and today? Has the MCU’s canon changed as a result of the Multiverse Saga? Or should everyone just consider the MCU canon as the Schrödinger’s Cat of narratives, at least until the end of Avengers: Secret Wars in 2027? To borrow a brand from Marvel’s comic book past, U Decide!

Depending on the state of Marvel's Sacred Timeline, we're ready to help you watch it all in order.