The MCU and Marvel's Netflix output feel like separate entities, but one man is doing his utmost to hold them both together. First launching in 2015, Daredevil kicked off Marvel's string of Netflix shows in impressive fashion, helping to wipe the painful memory of the last live-action interpretation of the character with an R-rated style and critically acclaimed story. Daredevil was confirmed by Disney CEO Bob Iger and Marvel TV's Jeph Loeb to be set within the same Marvel Cinematic Universe as the movie series and Agents of SHIELD, but told a story confined to a New York City still reeling from the aftermath of Loki's attack seen in The Avengers.
With Daredevil a success, more Marvel/Netflix ventures arrived, with Jessica Jones, The Punisher, Luke Cage and Iron Fist culminating in a team-up venture, The Defenders. As Marvel's streaming world expanded, however, the connections to the wider MCU became even less prominent than they already were and, for all intents and purposes, the Netflix properties currently exist separately from the main MCU timeline - especially after their mass cancellation. This was arguably part of a general attempt to separate Marvel's TV and movie products, with even ABC's Agents of SHIELD (which once guest-starred Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury) feeling incompatible with the MCU in later seasons.
Nevertheless, fans of the Marvel Netflix shows have often sought out connections to other, non-streaming, MCU properties to try and tie the likes of Daredevil to the same world inhabited by Captain America, Thor and Iron Man. This can often be a tricky endeavor, but one man is striving to bridge the gap between the main MCU and Marvel on Netflix. As pointed out by Comicbook, NY1 news anchor, Pat Kiernan, has filmed news bulletins for movies such as Iron Man 3, Doctor Strange and The Avengers, and was also the guy who helped break Spider-Man's identity to the world in Spider-Man: Far From Home. But Kiernan has also appeared in Daredevil, The Punisher and The Defenders.
Although Pat is obviously playing himself in these roles, the fact that both the MCU movies and Marvel's Netflix shows have the same news outlet starring the same lead news anchor does provide one of the few connections between the two entities. All of these characters are technically supposed to exist within the same continuity, of course, but this is rarely exhibited on Netflix.
Unfortunately, this theory is somewhat undone by Pat Kiernan's selection of other appearances reporting the end of the world or similar events in a selection of other movies or TV shows. Specifically under the Marvel umbrella, Pat can be spotted in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 reporting on the destruction at Times Square during Spidey's battle against Electro. Therefore, if Pat is going to be used as a yardstick for canon, welcome to the MCU Andrew Garfield. Interestingly, Pat has also featured in the likes of Night at the Museum and 2016's Ghostbusters reboot, neither of which fit neatly alongside the MCU (although the Golden Tablet of Akhmenrah would account for a lot).
Perhaps if Pat Kiernan's fictional appearances were limited strictly to Marvel fare, his presence could be used to tie certain properties into one singular universe, but the anchor has earned a reputation as being Hollywood's go-to guy when a fictional disaster needs reporting on. While he alone may not be enough to bring together the MCU and Marvel's Netflix shows, Pat's work in the franchise does deserve recognition, with his scenes regularly adding real-world gravity to major story moments without taking any attention away from the superheroes themselves.
- Black Widow (2020) release date: May 01, 2020
- Eternals (2020) release date: Nov 06, 2020
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) release date: Feb 12, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2021) release date: May 07, 2021
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2021) release date: Nov 05, 2021
- Spider-Man: Homecoming 3 (2021) release date: Jul 16, 2021