The Defenders: Season One Review

Spoilers for season one of The Defenders

A superhero team-up used to be a special affair but with the Avengers, Justice League and Suicide Squad it’s become the mark of the genre, the world’s colliding and with Marvel that world is usually New York City.

The short description of The Defenders series is The Defenders v The Hand, a worldwide organisation whose main goal has been power, destruction for the past thousand years and now all of their energy is fallen on New York City.

Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and the Iron Fist respectively have been laying the ground work for the team-up since the get-go. This sort of groundwork makes The Defenders work as well as it does, shorter than the usual Marvel Netflix show but packs a    mighty punch all the same.

A lot of the storylines work into both Daredevil and the Iron Fist who invested a lot of their show time into creating the mythology behind the Hand. Colleen Wang and the Stick were the main secondary characters to cross over and their relationship to the hand explored as well.

Luke Cage and Jessica Jones did feel sidelined at times, Luke’s main issue was protecting Harlem and Jessica wasn’t too sure whether or not she actually wanted to be in the group. I have to say that Krysten Ritter was ultimately the scene stealer. One of Marvel’s saving graces is the dry- Whedonesque comedy that offsets the terror the characters are feeling, Jessica Jones, had that in spades and ultimately saved the show from being overwrought and ‘edgy.’

The arrival of Sigourney Weaver as one of the fingers of the hand was ultimately well played. I think I would have enjoyed her more if she’d made guest appearances in more of the shows prior to the team-up. But ultimately Weaver’s Alexandra is a deeply conflicted woman with a reason behind what she’s doing and a goal in mind.

Elektra’s return as the Black Sky with a memory is beautifully played out. Although in the same way as the rest of the Fingers of the Hand pointed out: after she hesitates once killing The Defenders wouldn’t you just find another weapon? But her relationship with Matt is explored in a way that I don’t think we got in the second season of Daredevil.

As they go down fighting in the Midland Circle building any of us who have ever watched a Marvel show before realise that the Matthew Murdock death is a fakeout….

All in all The Defenders is an ultimately satisfying look at a superhero team-up that balances as well as an eight episode season can manage. However, the world we live in now the crossover event becomes a building block to something more it’ll be interesting to see how our superheroes deal with the aftermath of these events in their respective shows.

 

Defenders trailer & release date announced

The culmination of the Marvel, Netflix crossover is set to launch on Friday, August 18th.

As Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Daredevil and Iron Fist team up to become The Defenders. The trailer shows our team in an elevator, looking to be mid-battle with Daredevil dressed in an Iron Fist like attire. Jessica Jones then proceeds to use her super-strength to wreck the CCTV camera.

Defenders look to finish this cycle of Netflix, Marvel dramas and after The Defenders premieres this summer we’ll be getting season two Jessica Jones and The Punisher spin-off before the year is out.

Iron Fist ‘Season One’ Review

The Lowdown: Not as interesting as it thinks it is, not as bad as critics say it is

Origin Stories…

Whatever sort of tracking you can use for the superhero movies that have taken over the box office can pretty much be traced to Christopher Nolan’s Batman Trilogy.

That’s not to say that the formula of the superhero wasn’t perfect prior to 2006, there was nothing compelling original about it but it sort to give iconic characters a place in the real world. Batman Begins was a gritty 21st-century superhero, done well and in a timely manner.

And thus the pattern of origin movies was born, powers were found or honed in far off lands before being unleashed on New York (Cos lbr it’s always New York) Whether you’re Daredevil, Doctor Strange or Iron Man there’s a certain pattern you’ve grown to expect from your origin story pictures.


The story…

This is the story of Danny Rand, the orphan heir to a fortune, trained by monks in an ancient temple, now he has untold power and an ancient hard fist.

Danny  Rand, our titular character comes back to New York to reclaim his family’s company. Quickly thrown into a mental institution and up against the Bateman  Meachum siblings as he returns back to his life in the city.

He quickly befriends Coleen Wing as the two bond over their shared love of martial arts and their hatred of Madam Gao and the Hand.

The two lines of conflict, surrounding the Rand company and The Hand run concurrently throughout the season with Hand Zombie Harold Meachum being the defining force marrying the two factions of the story together


The Good…

Iron Fist is an interesting story in its essence, already heavily walked ground but it looks to be a fair exploration of a man returning to his life before.

And vaguely out of step with the high-powered executive world he’s crawling back into Finn Jones does bring some stability to a character that could have felt very one note.

Coleen Wing is a wonderful addition to the Netflix-Marvel cast as she holds her own as a love interest and potential adversary. Her conflict could be one of the more interesting moments in the show, it’s a shame it’s not looked into more.

Madam Goau is enjoyably evil as the leader of the New York Hand. Learning more about her origins and watching her play our heroes was interesting af.


The Bad…

People lack defined characters, jumping from one decision to the next without any clear motivation. Danny hijacks Meachum’s car and then refuses to unveil any information about himself.

Joy Meachum pings from corporate stooge to brains behind the operation to conflicted anti-heroine within a matter of scenes. One of the many ways the Rand business side of the Iron Fist story was underplayed.

Because your saving grace in dark and gritty comic books are the Han Solo characters, the funny and sarcastic ones that are aware all of the plot drama sounds ridiculous.

In Iron Fist this was all left up to Claire Temple, although her character felt welcome within all of it this was clouded by ‘gritty’ Meachum’s plot that continued to become more and more convoluted and take center stage as time went by.

Whether it’s Froggy, Trish or Misty our last three Marvel/Netflix offerings have shown their strength inside characters. Here…not so much…


The Defenders

Danny Rand takes up the final place in the Defenders and he’s not being welcome into the fold so to speak.

I’m pretty sure that Daredevil season one would have received a lot of the same criticism if it was placed as the final of the four. Jessica Jones and Luke Cage had a fully fledged identity as a show and didn’t rely on reading the Batman Begins origin in order to create a story.

 

Defenders: Stan Lee Cameo

Where would a Marvel movie be without a cameo from Stan Lee? The King of comic books is notorious for popping up in some of his most famous creations, whether that be as an oblivious Librarian or a Hugh Hefner type of character eagle eyed search these blockbusters looking for Mr Lee.

The Defenders will see Netflix heroes: Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Daredevil and Iron Fist defending New York in an unknown plot.

Lee has already been spotted by some observant viewers in the already aired Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Daredevil as a policeman in a poster with the phrase “See a Crime? Report it” ee_stanlee.png

Sporting his iconic red sunglasses the poster has been spotted all around Netflix’s New York. And now Stan Lee is rumoured to be making an in-person cameo in the new Defenders series.

So what do you think he’ll be coming as? Stan Lee is known to switch it around from movie to movie but maybe the continuity between the Netflix verse means he’ll have a bigger part to play in the upcoming Defenders series.