Marvel’s The Defenders follows Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter) and Iron Fist (Finn Jones). A quartet of singular heroes with one common goal – to save New York City. This is the story of four solitary figures, burdened with their own personal challenges, who realize they just might be stronger when teamed together.
During San Diego Comic Con in the Hall H panel, the cast and crew discussed their roles on the show and what we can expect from Marvel’s New York City based crime fighting team. There was an emotional moment when TV showrunner Jeph Loeb received an ink pot award for his work in comics. Jon Bernthal made a surprise guest appearance and we got a sneak peek of footage from The Punisher.
The big surprise to come out of the Hall H presentation was a screening of episode 1 of The Defenders. Here’s our review:
This contains mild spoilers
The opening scene begins with an intense fighting sequence within dark shadows and both fighters are silhouetted. Clearly one is male and one is female. When it appears the man is defeated and the woman who we now see is Elektra; in comes Danny to try to save the man’s life from a fatality move from Elektra. Danny’s fighting skills haven’t improved much since Iron Fist and still appear as lackluster as it was before. We’re picking up where Iron Fist’s story left off when Danny Rand paired with Colleen Wing on their mission to seek out The Hand.
The Hand and mutual foes are the ties that bind the interconnected stories of The Defenders together in this pilot episode. Jessica Jones who’s consistent brand of drinking whiskey and being the reluctant hero penetrates through in this episode and she finds herself taking on a new case that has us guessing if this is connected to The Hand or even a more sinister villain that will require some help from the other Defenders. I should add that in this pilot episode, none of The Defenders ever meet, the story building and exposition here is happening synchronously and each hero finds themselves in a situation where they ultimately need to make a choice about that is bigger than themselves. Matt Murdock is back in court again defending a young boy and settles a huge 11 million dollar settlement against a pharmaceutical company which could lead to some breadcrumbs further down the road connecting him back with Fisk…maybe.
Finally, there is Luke Cage, every scene with him shines brightly literally with the amber colors illuminated in each scene he’s in. I don’t want to give away too many spoilers in this review, but I will say there is a scene with Luke Cage and a table and it made me want to get an ice cold glass of water because a sista was THIRSTY. Misty Knight shows up immediately after the table scene, her twist out flowing and on the case to investigate a recent murder that took place in Harlem which she discusses with Luke. The music that is brought to each scene with Luke tells us that Harlem never left and the richness of why many of us fell in love with Luke Cage, remains consistent in The Defenders.
One character who we don’t know a whole lot about and not much is revealed to us about her is Sigourney Weaver as Alexandra. We learn a few things like she’s fighting a terminal illness and she has a mutual relationship with someone who was a major villain to some of our Defenders in the past. But is Alexandra working for this person? Or are they working for her?
I was concerned with the complex stories of each of these Defenders how connecting them all together and building that back story in an hour long episode would fit. I was impressed at how well it did and I can already see how future episodes will ultimately bring these characters together. The writing was solid, the pacing was excellent, and each Defender’s story was compelling and sustainable to the plot. I’ve had my criticisms of Iron Fist as many of you may know but even his contribution to this episode was interesting to watch. His story was still the weaker one of the group, but I think the other stories alone are enough to hold it to a higher standard and I’m excited to see how all of this will progress in future episodes to come. It appears that The Defenders will have their hands full with The Hand (pun intended) along with series of new and old villains as they keep the streets of New York City safe.
The cast of The Defenders also features Academy Award® and Emmy® nominee Sigourney Weaver (Avatar, Alien), Elodie Yung (Marvel’s Daredevil), Jessica Henwick (Marvel’s
Iron Fist, Game of Thrones), Rosario Dawson (Marvel’s Luke Cage, Sin City), Rachael Taylor (Marvel’s Jessica Jones, Transformers), Eka Darville (Marvel’s Jessica Jones), Elden Henson (Marvel’s Daredevil, Hunger Games), Deborah Ann Woll (Marvel’s Daredevil, True Blood), Scott Glenn (Marvel’s Daredevil, The Leftovers), Carrie-Anne Moss (Marvel’s Jessica Jones, The Matrix Trilogy) and Simone Missick (Marvel’s Luke Cage)
The Defenders will premiere on Netflix 8/18/2017. Check out the trailer below:
You can also check out Daredevil season 2 and Jessica Jones season 1 on Blu-Ray and DVD August 22nd
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Jamie Broadnax is the creator of the online community for Black women called Black Girl Nerds. Jamie has appeared on MSNBC's The Melissa Harris-Perry Show and The Grio's Top 100. Her Twitter personality has been recognized by Shonda Rhimes as one of her favorites to follow. She's the primary film critic for BGN and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critic Association