Series Review: The Defenders

Elodie Cure Elodie Cure
Expert Contributor
September 1st, 2017

French aspiring writer and interviewer. TV shows and films connoisseur. Overpowered by curiosity.

Series Review: The Defenders
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The wait is finally over! Netflix has released its long-awaited series: The Defenders, a Netflix version of the Avengers. Under the leadership of showrunners Marco Ramirez and Doug Petrie, Matt Murdoch, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Danny Rand come together and fight for New York City’s survival.

For more than two years, Marvel superheroes have populated Netflix in greater and greater number. Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter) and Iron Fist (Finn Jones) have all had at least one full series of their own to introduce themselves to audiences. All operate in different areas of New York so it was only a matter of time before they met to fight a common opponent: The Hand.

Defenders

Credit: Marvel Studios

In the first episodes of The Defenders, each of the characters is introduced separately and contextualized in their familiar setting. Each is marked by their commonly associated setting and color scheme: red for Matt, blue for Jessica Jones, yellow for Luke, and green for Danny Rand. As the plot develops and the independent stories converge, these visual and geographical divisions dissolve.

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The brutal and action set pieces audience have come to expect from Marvel’s Netflix shows are present in The Defenders too. In a succession of fights, the different combat styles of the characters are displayed.

Defenders

Credit: Marvel Studios

While the main characters are well established and their chemistry together is, for the most part, delightful, the petulant Danny Rand is the weakest member of the group. Just as dull and irritating as in his own series, seeing him maintain his immature and boring attitude while in the company of more interesting and more capable heroes is tiresome. Alongside those with powers, are their respective allies and friends. Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick) and Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson) are part of the central storyline, the other sidekicks like Foggy Nelson and Misty Night are often, unfortunately, sidelined for episodes at a time.

The show explains some of the origins of the Hand and gives particular attention to the Sigourney Weaver’s character, Alexandra. She is revealed to be the leader of the hand; the person who has been pulling the strings all along.

Defenders

Credit: Marvel Studios

As with the solo adaptations before, The Defenders offers a refreshing and engaging view on the superhero genre. These crimefighters are not all powerful beings; they are not gods. Instead, each of them, in addition to their modest powers, possesses many weaknesses. They are all motivated by the desire to defend the city they all call home.

The atmosphere of the solo Marvel Netflix shows is respected. The Defenders is a strong first team up series for Marvel’s Netflix heroes even if it fails to expand upon what has come before.. The experienced producers have played it safe. Rather than taking risks, they have followed the existing recipe for success. As a result, The Defenders  misses some of the risk-taking that could have rendered it as surprising and audacious as the second season of Daredevil or the first season of Jessica Jones.

Elodie Cure is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow her on Twitter @Elodie_Cure.

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