A major deal was struck between online streaming service Netflix and the Disney-owned comic book publishing house Marvel this week, securing the website's rights to four new superhero-based programmes and a mini-series. Described as an “unprecedented deal” and “Marvel‘s most ambitious foray yet into live-action TV storytelling,” the deal will see the programmes come to life beginning in 2015, Deadline reported on Thursday, 7 November.

Netflix are quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with

A live action series is to begin based upon the heroes Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage, culminating in a mini-series The Defenders, which probably means we'll have a couple of inter-twining story-lines between shows. The four heroes are all to be based in the gritty setting of Hell's Kitchen, New York, and Netflix have initially signed on for at least four, 13 episode series over “multiple years,” beginning in 2015. The introduction of the heroes will then lead to the spin-off mini-series, The Defenders, which according to Netflix/Disney “reimagines a dream team of self-sacrificing, heroic characters.”

The arrangement has arisen from the deal set up between Netflix and Disney last year, one which guaranteed Netflix exclusive rights to Disney films in the premium TV window starting in 2016. The deal has been described as “unparalleled in its scope and size, and reinforces our commitment to deliver Marvel’s brand, content and characters across all platforms of storytelling,” by Marvel Entertainment President Alan Fine.

Taking on 60 episodes in one go is not light commitment, yet it is one that could further Netflix's domination of the online streaming market, not to mention one that can further stretch the reach of the Marvel Universe. Following the success of the ABC series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on online streaming services, Netflix have tapped into a market with huge potential here and could benefit immensely if they do it right.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has found a solid audience base online and on TV, prompting Marvel to move ahead with the deal