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.

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.

The Defenders news

The Netflix branch of superheroes have been the dark horse of the Marvel empire. Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and soon the Iron Fist, are banding together to micromanage the shit out of New York city.

Sigourney Weaver, touched on the show while promoting her new film When a monster calls with Monster.com.

“It has a wonderful cast, and we’re doing it right here in New York, which means a lot to me. Basically, the four heroes come up against this really nice woman, who I’m playing. It’s been a blast and I really love my character. I love the shows, too, which I wasn’t familiar with before doing this. [It’s a] real love letter to New York. To me they’re not superheroes; they’re people with a gift. It’s just a different scale, and I’m really enjoying the scale of it.”

With no word on Weaver’s role in the new series, no doubt she’ll be playing someone with a certain amount of gravitas. So whether it’s the leader of an international corporation or the united states The Defenders will have their work cut out for them

Confirmations that Elektra and Claire Temple returning to the New York based heroes alongside the Punisher, Trish Walker and Misty Knight it looks to be a jam-pack Marvel event.

Iron Fist release date announced

It must have been a busy week at the Netflix + Marvel department, with the release of Luke Cage and the subsequent server crashing, the new pictures of the Punisher series and now the first look at The Iron Fist.

Releasing this 15 second clips

Arriving 17 March, 2017, The Iron Fist tells the story of Danny Rand returning to New York city after being presumed dead in a plane crash he returns to claim his families company and his birthright. In previous trailer we’ve seen Danny (Finn Jones) locked in a mental institution and breaking out by literally breaking it.

`Danny Rand is our last piece in the Defender series which is also rumoured to feature Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange, we can’t wait to see if he lives up to the hype.

Luke Cage: Marvel finally gets some decent villains

Spoilers for Luke Cage season one

Luke Cage came with a lot to live up to, the third defender and the fifty millionth thing to come from Marvel. Luke had to find it’s place within the Marvel universe while not ignoring the current climate. Showing a fully-fledged hero without a mask, the defender of Harlem,a bullet-proof black man. Luke Cage while not without it’s problems manages to contain a complex story with thirteen episodes.

Marvel has been outstripping it’s rival DC when it comes to movie and TV success but it’s never managed to create a compelling villain. Often we have an interesting hero going against faceless armies but the stakes never felt particularly high when we knew another twelve movies are coming after.

Coming close with Loki and Kilgrave although they both draw on the same character tropes in different settings. While DC let it’s villains sit in reality and occasionally get one up on the hero and it makes infinitely more compelling viewing.

Luke Cage knows it’s hero is nearly invincible but that doesn’t mean he get’s an easier ride for it.

Cornell ‘CottonMouth’ Stokes is ruining his life and Harelm at the moment. Willis ‘DiamondBack’ Striker is his past and all the people he’s faced coming up to the moment

Jessica Jones’ story is internal, a woman dealing with past sexual abuse, she never takes the role of hero in a public setting. Luke Cage struggles with his internal story and his need to protect the place he loves are reflected back at him through the people on the other side.

The origin of Mariah Dillard sits in the background of the first half of the series. We see her through the eyes of her cousin, a politician, someone he can use and someone he resents. Cornell became the gangster and she takes her place as the councilwoman for Harlem. We get to see how both Mariah and Cornell grew up, Cornell could have been an amazing musician and Mariah was supposed to be a lawyer, her life blighted by her uncle’s sexual abuse. Mariah isn’t billed originally as a villain while Cottonmouth is highly publicised only to be murdered before the final six episodes, Mariah’s internal battle is engrossing and the haunting words she screams as she bashes her cousin’s head in.

Willis Stryker as Luke Cage’s long lost brother allows the show to address Luke’s past and his unresolved issues about growing up with a father who was kind of a dickhead.Willis is positively spine tingling in his unrelenting hatred for Luke. Watching Luke’s story unfold with Willis’ makes it all the more compelling tv.

There are so many unresolved issues at the end of season one but the metamorphosis Mariah Dillard and her ability to get out of any situation and now armed with Shades as her partner in crime means that Luke is going to have to deal with a whole different animal when he returns for season two. Alfre Woodard balances the two forces within Mariah and the fact she wants Harlem to succeed and be a successful council woman the idea she might be a better gangster than the rest of her family.

Che Hodari Coker, the creator and writer for Luke Cage has created adversaries for a man who could solidly take on an army. Luke Cage’s villains are written for his past, present and future and it makes interesting viewing.

Final Luke Cage trailer released

The anticipation for our third defender has been growing as Luke Cage- the bulletproof man gets ready to take over our weekend in this bingewatching extrangza

There are elements that are similar to Jessica Jones in this trailer as two not-really-very-good-superheroes trying to explain away their great powers and battle with their own internal demons and their villains in the real world.

Introducing the Luke Cage villain Cottonmouth

 

A first look at Mahershala Ali (House of Cards) introduced as Cottonmouth, a Harlem based gangster, the owner of Harlem Paradise nightclub  who takes issue with our hero very early on.

The beautifully shot clip by Paul McGuigan (who directed multiple episodes of Sherlock) features a large portrait of Biggie Smalls. Notably show runner Cheo Hodari Coker was a music journalist prior to his move into movies and he wrote the B.I.G biopic Notorious.

All episodes will be out on September 30th.