After an overwhelmingly positive first round for Netflix and Marvel's Daredevil, which saw Matt Murdock reclaim set out to save Hell's Kitchen, dawn the traditional red costume, and completely reinvent shared universe franchising, the blind hero certainly has a lot to live up to for season two. Luckily, he isn't alone in the ring.
Before Foggy or Ben Urich joined his crime fighting crusade, Daredevil first received medical help from a kind-hearted and brave nurse by the name of Claire Temple. Played by Rosario Dawson, Claire is supposedly based on Linda Carter - aka Night Nurse - a comic book character known for her willingness to help injured superheroes. A mission apparently also at play in this version, as Claire may be playing a larger role in the MCU going forward.
Today, Marvel officially confirmed the character's return, announcing Dawson will not only reprise her role for the second season of Daredevil, but may also appear in any of Marvel's other Netflix original series as part of a larger contract deal.
Considering Night Nurse's comic book ties to other superheroes aside from Daredevil - including Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and even Doctor Strange - this announcement comes as no surprise and implies the character's growing importance in Marvel's shared universe. With AKA Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist all coming to Netflix very soon - and her "professional" and romantic connection to Matt left as a 'see you later' rather than a 'good-bye' - Claire's after-hours schedule is about to get a lot busier.
If you ask us, "Private Superhero Nurse" would look impressive on a resume.
Ever since Night Nurse and Luke Cage were confirmed for the same Netflix roster (to be played by Mike Colter, who will first appear in AKA Jessica Jones), Marvel fans have debated the likelihood of a love connection, as the two residents of Hell's Kitchen have had more than a professional relationship in the past. Marvel has yet to detail "all the plans we have for her next," but expect a Luke Cage appearance to be one hotly-debated answer.
Ultimately, Dawson's expanding role and crossover potential is only one example of how Marvel aims to capitalize on its complex, interconnected universe. With a Defenders television event in the works, rumors that Doctor Strange will appear in Iron Fist before his own film, and the recently announced superhero line-up for Captain America: Civil War (Avengers 2.5?), the possibilities are endless in terms of how the studio can further coalesce its characters and story lines to create a truly comic book experience.
That being said, what does this mean for individual character development? Will a greater emphasis on the 'crossover' only blur the distinct lines between the individual movies and series, stripping them of their autonomy? Granted, the Night Nurse is a small character who is likely to appear only occasionally, but in the event Marvel begins crossing over larger characters - Doctor Strange - it could prove tempting to trade character for spectacle.
Plus, once you become used to seeing heroes onscreen together, the thrill of seeing them alone admittedly falls flat in comparison. When Marvel commences Phase 3 in 2016, launching several new, individual franchise films, we'll start to see if such an effect starts to occur.
Are you excited for Claire Temple's inclusion in several Netflix original series? And what do you think of Marvel's growing emphasis on the 'crossover'? Drop a line in the comments.
Daredevil is currently available on Netflix. AKA Jessica Jones premieres this fall, followed by Luke Cage and Daredevil season 2 in 2016.