For many Marvel fans out there, the first thing they probably thought about when the latest trailer for Netflix’s Luke Cage dropped was how Thanos’s actions in Avengers: Infinity War could impact this. These days, half the population of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been reduced to dust. So how is that going to influence the next year of Marvel shows before Avengers 4 shakes things up again?
The short answer is that it probably won’t influence these shows at all, because everything in the next year of Marvel programming will probably take place in the past.
Besides, other than randomly referencing the Battle of New York and the occasional Easter egg, the Netflix Marvel shows basically exist in their own universe. And the timeline of Luke Cage Season 2 makes it seem like this takes place shortly after Defenders, perhaps even at the same time as Jessica Jones Season 2. Even if any of the Defenders are around in southern Manhattan when Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Wong, and Spider-Man fight Ebony Maw and Cull Obsidian, there isn’t enough time for them to do much of anything. Integrating this event with the shows would be pointless.
After Luke Cage, we might only get Daredevil Season 3 and Iron Fist Season 2 before Avengers 4 is released in May 2019. Who knows what the future of Marvel’s Netflix series looks like after that (although The Punisher is confirmed for a Season 2 and a second season for Defenders seems inevitable.) One seemingly popular theory is that the post-credits scene for every Netflix show this year should end with the Snap, offering a scene reminiscent of the Infinity War post-credits scene where half of everyone just disintegrates.
Boldly, the current Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episodes directly address Thanos and his attack on Earth, even calling him by his name. Based on contextual clues, the show’s internal timeline is setting up to conclude Season 5 right around the time that the Mad Titan delivers his epic snap. S.H.I.E.L.D. might go there on May 18, but will any of the other Marvel shows?