One of the biggest questions with the Daredevil Netflix show was who in the hell was Rosario Dawson playing. She was one of the biggest names to be included in the cast and yet she was the only cast member that didn’t really have an attached role announced. So naturally, us geeks did what we do best. Speculate.
“She’s playing Elektra!” everyone thought. “Typhoid Mary! Maya Lopez!” others said. A lot even said that she could even play Jessica Jones herself, which I thought was a great idea by the way. Who better to play Jessica Jones than a very well known actress that had the chops and star power to properly introduce the most obscure character of the Defenders bunch? Of course that role was eventually announced as the Night Nurse.
If you closely watch the Daredevil panel at the 2014 New York Comic Con, you could hear a lull after it was hinted that this would indeed be her role. It came as a surprise to me as well. I didn’t know exactly how to react about it since I was really hoping her role would be announced as Elektra or Jessica Jones but I wasn’t disappointed either. The footage description of her scene with Matt Murdock and the transcript of their dialogue sold me on the idea that it might not be so bad after all. After all, she could very well be the connecting character for all 4 shows – aka the Coulson slash Nick Fury character of the Defenders.
The whole Night Nurse character concept began as a comic book in the 70’s that was created to cater to female audiences. Instead of superheroes, the book focused on self-contained character drama and the like. The book was very short-lived since it only lasted for four issues and it practically disappeared into oblivion.
The book featured three main characters. One of which would eventually surface in modern times, particularly Brian Michael Bendis’ Daredevil run and a few others. This nurse in particular was named Linda Carter (not that Linda Carter). Her appearance was the official appearance of a character specifically code-named Night Nurse (since the book only used that name as a book title).
Bendis rewrote Linda Carter into something grittier that fit very well in that grim world. Instead of a simple practicing nurse foiling crime, this character was rewritten into a mysterious woman that happened to set up a clinic deep within the heart of New York City, assisting heroes such as Daredevil. Luke Cage, Danny Rand and Jessica Jones have all crossed paths with her one way or another.
Rosario Dawson’s role however isn’t named Linda Carter but instead named Claire Temple, another existing character out there. So how does that exactly work? It’s simple. With the things they’ve hinted, its fair to assume that this MCU version of Claire Temple could be written in the vein of what Bendis did to the modern Night Nurse character, considering also that Claire Temple in the books was eventually obscured into oblivion.
Claire Temple however is a former love interest of Luke Cage who happens to be a nurse as well. Could she be established as someone who once dated Luke Cage? Assuming that a Luke Cage and Jessica Jones romance would be included, it would be fun to see how that dynamic plays on screen with those three in the same room together.
So how does this all fall into the Nick Fury/Coulson/connective tissue role I’ve been blabbing about? This is a character that has been known to crossover and mingle with several characters, particularly the Defenders bunch and also at one point with Doctor Strange in the well received story arc Doctor Strange: The Oath. She has appeared side by side with them in the comics so who’s not to say that this isn’t likely. Even though her role and presence in the comics wasn’t exactly as expanded as others, it is looking to be the opposite in the MCU and that’s definitely an exciting thing.
All in all, it makes a lot of sense for the Rosario Dawson’s Night Nurse to have the Nick Fury role. An actress with that gravitas and caliber is a perfect choice to show up in all the Netflix shows and round them up for the Defenders.