Among the plethora of movies like "The Avengers," "Iron Man," and "Thor" that garner the interest of passionate Marvel fans, what is often understated is the Netflix realm of Marvel Cinematic Universe content.
Marvel has spent the last two years building up its street hero world with characters like Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist. After the five seasons released (two for Daredevil, and one each for Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist), the four heroes united in an epic mash-up in the eight episode series “The Defenders.”
"The Defenders" picks up after the events of Iron Fist with Danny Rand still investigating his discovery in the finale. However, we see each individual character still dealing with the effects of their most recent season as well. The plot is essentially the culmination of the intricate plan The Hand has been working on since season one of "Daredevil."
The series introduces some interesting new characters and brings in previously established ones. Of course, we have Matthew Murdoch/Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Danny Rand/Iron Fist. However, we also see the return of Stick, Matt’s trainer and, at times, Matt’s “no killing” reminder. Claire Temple makes her return, as well as Trish Walker, Foggy Nelson, Karen Page, Misty Knight, and Colleen Wing, among others.
The series offers a great selection of villains, including a blend of new and old characters. We see the return of both Madame Gao and Bakuto who reprise their roles from “Daredevil” and “Iron Fist,” respectively. But we are also introduced to some intriguing newer villains with Alexandra, Sowande, and Murakami. Together they make up the five leaders of The Hand. Through them, we begin to learn the origins of The Hand in their quest to obtain The Black Sky.
The most impressive aspect of this show has to be its star-studded cast. Not only were the actors known for portraying their roles so well (Charlie Cox as Daredevil, Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones), but Alexandra is played by none other than Sigourney Weaver. An icon in the action genre, often believed to have portrayed the greatest female heroine in film history (in the “Alien” series), Weaver does an excellent job of portraying an elegant, ruthless, and complex villain with mysterious origins.
The cinematography is extremely unique in this show. The use of colors and lighting was a masterful and inventive way to illustrate the characters. For example in one scene, we see a red light in the room, signifying that Daredevil would soon arrive. It was a very interesting theme that occured throughout the show, so be sure to pay attention to the lighting that represents each character.
Overall, Defenders was an excellent culmination of the buildup from the Netflix world. It’s truly remarkable to see all the characters unite on screen, and see their chemistry form. Even a character like Iron Fist, who is often viewed by fans as the black sheep of the group, has given many hope after seeing his arc in "The Defenders."
The show proved to be a satisfying end to the first round of Netflix shows, while providing an excellent jumping off point for events in the aftermath of the finale.