The Defenders are ready to go to war.
The first full trailer for Marvel’s upcoming Netflix series dropped on May 3 and the reaction from fans online thus far has been overwhelmingly positive. The August 18th show brings together all four of the Marvel heroes from the network; Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist.
Marvel’s blueprint for developing these characters is the same that was used for The Avengers on the big screen. First the heroes appear independently of each other, and then they all come together in an epic event. That method allowed fans to connect to each Avenger individually, thus building them from the ground up.
It’s a method that was not used by DC Films, and that company is now struggling because of it.
Though the scale is smaller for the Netflix quartet of heroes, it’s still the same general principle and it’s worked on nearly every level. Daredevil was the first of course, and set the tone for Marvel’s Netflix universe.
The Man Without Fear was expertly portrayed by Charlie Cox, who became Matt Murdock just as much as he became Daredevil. Cox captured the essence of the character, and left no doubt that Marvel was on the right track with this new universe.
Krysten Ritter took a character in Jessica Jones that only comic book fans knew, and made her relevant for today’s mainstream audience. Jones is tough, she’s crude, and she’s unapologetically hard-edged. That kind of female character may have failed with any other actress in the role, but Ritter absolutely brought it to life.
Mike Colter is Luke Cage. Period. His work on the show of the same name did justice to the iconic Power Man, and left fans wanting more. The stylized series was brutal, over the top and fearless in its approach. The title character needed an actor that could deliver a memorable performance, and ground the entire series for the audience. Colter was definitely the right man for the job.
Finn Jones had a tough road ahead of him with Iron Fist. Some fans believed he was miscast, and indeed there were moments when his performance seemed a bit too much for the character. But Iron Fist had no real frame of reference other than the comic, so it was definitely open to interpretation. The Defenders will not be Iron Fist’s show, so he should fit into the ensemble cast quite nicely. He’s not Daredevil, and he’s not Luke Cage, but he shouldn’t be; Iron Fist may finally find his voice in The Defenders.
Perhaps the most intriguing part of the new Defenders series is the apparent return of Elektra.
Elodie Yung is seen in the trailer, so her resurrection due to The Hand is evident. She’s the perfect villain for the team, and it will obviously not be easy for Matt to fight her considering their past history together. The Hand itself is a great collection of nameless, faceless antagonists, that will give The Defenders all they can handle and much more.
Scott Glenn’s Stick is narrating the trailer of course, which means Daredevil’s former mentor will be back for the ride. Conspicuous by his absence however is The Punisher, as Jon Bernthal’s involvement has not yet been confirmed. But Rosario Dawson, the common link between all four Defenders, is back as Claire Temple.
Jessica Henwick reprises her Iron Fist role as Colleen Wing, and Carrie-Anne Moss is back as Jeri Hogarth. Sigourney Weaver is Alexandra, the new heavy for the team. While it’s unknown if she’s connected to The Hand, it’s obvious that the deck will be stacked high against the Marvel Knights.
The star power is there, the characters are there, and hopefully the story will be there as well. Marvel Studios conquered the big screen, and now the same is happening for TV. If The Defenders is successful, then there will likely be much more to come on Netflix. Let the war begin.