It Shouldn’t Matter If Daredevil and the Other Marvel TV Shows Aren’t Canon

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The continuity of select Marvel shows has been up for debate since the inception of Marvel Television nearly a decade ago. While Marvel Studios was busy fleshing out the Marvel Cinematic Universe with big-budget blockbusters, Marvel TV was left putting together offerings featuring some of the brand’s more grounded characters. Because of the differences in budgets (and subsequently quality) between the two production arms–Marvel Studios and Marvel Television–the debate of whether something was “MCU canon” was allowed to flourish, as it still does today.

Fast forward to Wednesday, and the debate is as lively as ever. Hawkeye Episode 5 reintroduced Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin to the masses, officially–without a doubt–placing the character in the MCU. The only question now is if D’Onofrio’s role is going to be an entirely new version of the character, or if it’s the character we saw throughout three seasons of Daredevil on Netflix.

And so the shot is fired that begins the debate.

The thing is, however, is that it shouldn’t matter in the slightest if Daredevil, Agents of SHIELD, or one of Marvel TV’s numerous other projects is eventually ruled to be “non-canon.” Call it MCU Legends, if you will. Just because Kingpin might be a new iteration of the character doesn’t take away the work D’Onofrio put in as the iconic Marvel baddie in Daredevil.

Should the version of Matt Murdock that appears in Spider-Man: No Way Home–allegedly–be a rebooted version, that doesn’t mean Charlie Cox‘s performance before is invalid.

No matter the case regarding continuity, Marvel Television produced some quality shows that are a still treat to watch. Even if they’re found not to be in the same world as the Marvel Cinematic Universe, that magic won’t be taken away. You’ll still be able to go back and watch 39 episodes of Daredevil, and it will still have the same storyline and cast. There will still be seven seasons of Agents of SHIELD to binge as you root for Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg), Daisy Johnson (Chloe Bennet), and the rest of the team.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is the planet’s biggest entertainment franchise ever, so I understand the desire to be a part of it. But should a show eventually be determined to not reside in that canon, doesn’t make it invalid or of lesser quality. Enjoy the show for what it is, not for what you desire it to be.

The first five episodes of Hawkeye are now streaming on Disney+.

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