Marvel’s Luke Cage was one of the more intriguing programs on Netflix. Fans might be surprised at the verb “was” as opposed to “is.” Word now quickly spreads that the series suffered cancellation. The reported reason states Netflix and Marvel could not come to an agreement for a third season. So, Luke Cage — the program and the hero — ended up on the cancellation chopping block. Speculation exists regarding the cancellation decision. In most instances, television and streaming programs end their run when the audience isn’t there. Poor streaming and download figures probably forced the cancellation.
Luke Cage’s cancellation occurred one week following the non-renewal of Iron Fist. Iron Fist’s demise surprised few. The first season received terrible reviews. The second season garnered better reviews, but probably didn’t draw a huge audience. The first season of Iron Fist did achieve impressive viewership numbers. Unfortunately, the audience didn’t like what it saw.
In the comics, Luke Cage and Iron Fist teamed up for a memorable run in the late 1970’s into the mid-1980’s with the book Power-Man and Iron Fist. The two heros met in Netflix’s The Defenders TV series leading to fan speculation a team-up TV series would be forthcoming. Not only a “Heroes for Hire” team-up series highly doubtful, plans for a second season of The Defenders seem doubtful.
Both Daredevil and Jessica Jones do well with audiences, but Daredevil’s second season also suffered from declining quality. The Punisher seems to be a decent hit for Netflix, but nothing spectacular. The spate of cancellations and mediocre reviews now lead to concerns over Netflix’s long-term status with Marvel. Disney, Marvel’s parent company, announced its own future streaming platform. The platform intends to include Marvel programming. Is Disney attempting to scrap the Netflix/Marvel cooperative arrangement? The answer is “doubtfully.” Disney/Marvel can only produce so many programs per year. Licensing characters to Netflix allows Disney/Marvel to reap huge profits without producing any streaming content. Currently, Fox and Sony license several Marvel characters such as Deadpool, Spider-Man, and the X-Men. Why wouldn’t Disney/Marvel continue a licensing arrangement with Netflix?