Netflix released the whole Defenders mini-series on the 18th of this month and I decided to try a full series single session binge. Well, I failed; I watched the first six and then finished up the next day. The series is eight episodes and they refer to it as a mini-series which to me implies it’s a one-off. Yet the ending, which I will not spoil today, is nebulous enough to suggest more Defenders could be in the future.
Now comic fans may take some exception to this cast of heroes since the original “Defenders” in the Comics were Doctor Strange, Hulk, Namor, and Silver Surfer. According to sources at Marvel, quoted by a number of news outlets, “there was no apprehension..” regarding the change in lineup. It could be that Silver Surfer and Namor are controlled cinematically by 20th Century Fox which would make a Defenders movie or TV series more challenging to tie in with the MCU. That said this group of New York City based characters made sense. Marvel and Netflix meshed them together brilliantly and made enough references to the Avengers events in NYC to blend it all quite well.
Netflix delivered amazing content with Daredevil and Jessica Jones. These two series were absolutely fantastic. They followed with Luke cage and Iron Fist which were also very good, but somehow they were a notch under the first two efforts. All four of those series were well tied in and this has become a trademark of all things Marvel. They are really good at tying together the whole Marvel Universe across all media platforms. I think that is a large piece of the reason they have become one of the heaviest hitters in Hollywood.
The Defenders could have been, and may actually be the culmination of the overarching evil plot that was permeating the background in Daredevil and Jessica Jones and moved to the foreground during the Iron Fist. I’ll have to assume that readers have seen the four series leading up to this new Defenders show. The Hand is veiled in mystery during the bulk of the first three shows and becomes the primary antagonist in Iron Fist. This was done brilliantly as the Iron Fist gives us an origin story for the title character and an origin story for the mysterious Hand.
I said I would not offer spoilers but I will say this, Madam Gao is just one finger of the Hand. This show will provide us with a view of the other four ‘fingers’. Compared to the two seasons of Daredevil and the one full season of Jessica Jones, I am not convinced this show has bested them but it is nearly as good and is certainly an equal to Luke Cage and Iron Fist.
There is a great deal of satisfaction having a crescendo to all the weaving of story lines and seeing the plots of four shows and some 65 episodes of content come together. I am quite pleased with the secondary characters in this show. Jessica Henwick is outstanding as the Colleen Wing. I have mentioned that Misty Knight and Claire Temple are excellent supporting characters in these shows and again in Defenders.
I was disappointed in the lack of screen time for Foggy Nelson and he was a much more serious character and lacked the ‘Foggy Funny’ comic relief we got in Daredevil. They underplayed him as well. I love Hogarth, the character is classic American lawyer and played by Carrie-Anne Moss.
We have a newly introduced Character, Alexandra that is absolutely brilliant. She is portrayed by Sigourney Weaver who is nothing short of excellent in giving us masterful peek into the mind of a diabolical villain that she makes almost likable. At 67 years old, Ms. Weaver still has the chops to pull off a lead role. She was solid in this eight episode series.
The nagging question I have is simply this: Will we get more ‘Defenders’?
We will get a third season of Daredevil which is filming now. It’s good to be a fan these days 🙂
Here is the trailer just in case you haven’t… wait: seriously, you haven’t started watching this yet?