Marvel’s Defenders hit Netflix on August 18th, and I was one of many who were looking forward to seeing this comic book property brought to the big … well, little screen. I couldn’t wait to see the Netflix Avengers because let’s face it, they are the Avengers just with the Netflix based series characters, face off in their own cross over series, The Defenders! Or Marvel’s Defenders, whatever. The point is they are finally here!
I have been closely following the Netflix Marvel properties since Season One Daredevil, it and Jessica Jones are two of my favourites right now. Luke Cage …. was okay, a bit more holy crap brutal, but good nonetheless. Cottonmouth was an awesome villain and I would have been happy with just that, but what are you doing to do, we got what we got. Iron Fist, on the other hand, annoyed me. It was just so frustrating to watch, the fight scenes surrounding Danny weren’t great and while I enjoyed Colleen’s scenes, they should have just called it the Marvel’s Colleen Wing, Oh, but the biggest sin was having Danny be with Colleen Wing? Come on people, Danny Rand and Misty Knight forever.
But I digress, we are here to review Marvel’s Defenders, so that is what we will do.
The evil, secret, criminal organisation, The Hand, is finally ready to strike. All its planning running over Daredevil Seasons 1,2 and to a lesser extent Iron Fist, has finally culminated into an actual life changing, city destroying plan and it’s up to the only four heroes in New York, ignoring Spiderman and the Fantastic Four who are both based in New York, who can save the city! They are the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen, Matt Murdock aka Daredevil, Super powered PI Jessica Jones, the Bulletproof …kind of …Power Man, Luke Cage, and the Immortal Iron Fist, who can only kind of fight, with the aid of poor lighting and Liam Neeson Taken 3 level jump cuts, Danny Rand. Okay, maybe not that bad. I mean that was 14 cuts to get over a fence. And those cuts got a lot better in the Defenders, but I digress. These heroes of New York, minus Spiderman and The Fantastic Four, have come together to take on The Hand. Yeah!
There are four different storylines to follow here, you are simply following the characters before they come together and become their super team. Ultimately the Defenders ties mostly into Daredevil season two, so you should watch it to fully understand what is going on. It also ties in to Iron fist but to a lesser extent. It mostly focuses on Colleen Wing and the concluding of her storyline but the Iron fist part of the plot is just in the Defenders. Jessica Jones and Luke Cage’s part of the story line doesn’t really there to be part of the plot, it’s more that certain situations put them in place, much like moves on a chess board. Luke Cage is being his normal, Hero of Harlem self, trying to be a helpful good guy, while Jessica Jones is investigating a missing person’s case. Danny and Collen become part of the main storyline through their mission for searching for The Hand, Daredevil becomes part of the main plot through Jessica Jones, having to become her Lawyer when she is arrested for…something.
We have our main Heroes, let’s talk about our villains, boy the villains have some very shallow reasons to be evil. I mean fair enough, some of them dabble in drugs, turning run away kids into basically cult members, is basically a murdering warlord and…. actually, I don’t know what Murakuri’s deal was other than being the mind behind Nobu from Daredevil Season 2. The head …uh…Finger …thumb of the Hand, (Trying so hard not to make finger and thumb based puns right now.) Is Alexandra played by the legend that is Sigourney Weaver, who was a very interesting villain, she had a pretty good enough reason to want their big main evil plan to succeed, and I could kind of relate to her. I enjoyed every scene she was in, I loved it. I enjoyed Bakuto, the cult leader another finger of the Hand, and his storyline with Colleen, which was wrapped up really nicely in this series, It comes back to Marvel’s Defenders being more interlinked with Daredevil and Iron Fist, I really enjoyed that part of the storyline.
Speaking of storylines, the structure of the overall series flowed very well, I loved that they touched on everything, we caught up with Matt Murdock and what he’s been going through since the end of Daredevil season 2, we had some resolution with Luke and Jessica since the end of her season, and while Luke and Danny didn’t really have a good focus outside of The Hand. Colleen and Misty were able to develop a little more as characters. I loved that. I loved that each character had their own colour, Luke Cage was Yellow, Jessica Jones was Blue, Danny Rand was Green and Matt Murdock was Red. I loved that those colours were visible within the scenes that belonged to those characters. Even when their side characters were on screen, you could see the corresponding colour for their series. I loved that when two heroes were going to cross over into a scene you saw their colour crossing over in the background. I loved that! I can’t say it enough, I LOVED that. The scene in which Matt Murdock comes into the interrogation room, meeting Jessica Jones for the first time, reminded me of the art of a comic book. The room was a light blue and white and the hallway through where Murdock entered had a black and red lighting. It felt like he literally crossed over from his universe to hers. I LOVED THAT!
Speaking of things I loved, now for things that I hated. Oh, there are so many things that I hated. They brought back the aid of darkness during the fight scenes from Iron Fist. I hated that because I wanted to see what was happening and all I remember was a lot of cutting, a lot of darkness and a lot of up close shots. There were some good shots, the scene within the clear, bright, white corridor, where I could see the action, where the camera had long panning shots was awesome. It was used a lot in Daredevil and you could see the action. It’s like they used a mix of the shots from Daredevil and Iron Fist. Daredevil’s were great, Iron Fist’s were just annoying.
Why was Stick even in this series? Oh man, don’t get me started on what they did to Stick. At no time at all did I feel the villains could beat Stick, it was like having an amateur basketball team play a real basketball game against the Harlem Globetrotters, like seriously. I kept making up little theories as to way Stick behaved in a which a way because the man is OP a hell. There is no way I can believe that Alexandra got the drop on Stick, I honestly believe that he allowed himself to get caught so he could find out what The Hand wanted because I just can’t suspend my disbelief that much. It wasn’t going to happen. What happened after that is pretty much…’because the script said so’ moment. I can’t even. There is a reason why he disappears in the comic books.
Iron Fist is pretty much an idiot in this series. Yes, I get that Danny just came back from Kun Lun and has a lot to learn. The way they made the series of ‘Iron Fist’ basically said he just left Kun Lun, and was very naïve of the outside world, but he’s not that much of an idiot. I’m pretty sure the monks teaching him to fight didn’t make him a fool. I also get that he’s very dedicated to fighting the Hand, but for goodness sake, Danny, they have an army and you could barely get through Bakuto much less an army, maybe having two super powered people and another person who has first-hand experience with the HAND (sorry for the bad pun) could help you? Hell, you just found out that Matt Murdock was trained to become one of the Chaste, another organisation trained to defend the Hand.
Luke Cage chewing out Danny because of his skin colour and Danny believing him and feeling guilty about it. What? Where did that come from? The scene was Luke Cage and Danny Rand meeting for the first time, a scene I was very excited about and it made Danny look like an Idiot and made Luke Cage into a judgemental asshole. The scene comes after Luke Cage and Danny Rand battle each other, Luke was following a kid who was hired by the Hand to their dirty work, Danny was looking for the Hand, they met, fight, it was exciting …kind of. If you found that exciting, let’s get awkward with a rant from Luke Cage about how Danny was born with Privilege because he’s white, just because Danny saw a few guys who were hired by the hand to clean up bodies, and decided to do what he was trained to do.
Well, a couple of things, there Luke. Danny might have been born into a wealthy family but he didn’t grow up with that. Danny’s life is not about money, yes, he does own a share of a company but he doesn’t live in that life style, he lives in a Dojo somewhere in the Bronx, dude don’t even wear shoes. Oh, yes there is one more thing, He doesn’t know anything about money because he grew up some frosty hills, being trained for one thing, for his life to be one thing and that isn’t to be a rich white man, it’s to defeat the Hand. That was a lifestyle, much like his wealthy family, that wasn’t chosen by Danny it was thrown onto him when his parents were killed and he was living in an icy tundra to die. Fair enough, call him on attacking the guy with no previous information about the person and automatically believing that he was part of the Hand, but calling him out on something so shallow and superficial, just makes Luke Cage look like an asshole. Plus, I’m pretty sure that Luke Cage had a much better start to life than Danny Rand did, it was so much better than his own brother tried to kill him over it, so yeah, people in glass houses there Luke. Also, having Danny become guilty over it, instead of arguing that Luke doesn’t know anything about what his life has been just made him look like a moron, once again. Once more thing Luke, what about those people in Cottonmouth’s gang, you know, the ones that you stormed and beat the crap out of because you ‘were doing good’, Weren’t they trying to earn money to feed their families before you came over and bust down their door? Are is it okay for you because you grew up on their street?
I think that’s enough ranting from me today, there is quite a bit more that I could find wrong with the Season and I could go on forever but I’m going to stop here and let you watch Marvel’s Defenders and see yourself.
Overall it was an enjoyable series, not up there with Jessica Jones and Daredevil but not worse than Iron Fist and not as bad, I’d put it around middle just under Luke Cage. If you’d like to see Marvel’s Defenders for yourself, it’s now on Netflix, enjoy it!7
Oh, one more thing. Where the hell is Frank Castle? What the hell Marvel?