Fresh Content Day 36: The Defenders Don’t Need Defending

Yesterday, we received a little teaser for the Defenders series coming to Netflix, and in its simplicity, set the stage for what Marvel has been building since Daredevil debuted on the streaming video service in 2015.

It’s hard to believe it was only two years ago next week that the Man Without Fear came to life once again.

If the teaser for Defenders is to be believed, we are a mere four and a half months away from the series dropping.

Honestly, they look exhausted. And if you remember the second season of Daredevil, you’ll remember “Midland Circle” is the organization behind the giant hole (I’m going to call it a crater) in Hell’s Kitchen.

So here’s the thing. Daredevil (both seasons), Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage are pretty well loved across the board. But Iron Fist hasn’t reached that point, and likely never will. I initially wasn’t sure what to think of the Finn Jones casting. I think that of the four, he may have been the easiest to cast away from the traditional look of the character (ie the whitewashing everyone is claiming). I believe it was Kevin Smith or Marc Bernardin on the duo’s Fatman on Batman podcast that suggested an Asian-American actor be given the chance to be Danny Rand. I don’t mind the show staying more true to the origin of the character, but I do wish the actor chosen for the role had some martial arts background. Jones has a zen-like quality about him, and aside from the fighting scenes, I don’t have any complaints.

But those fighting scenes. Yeesh!

I truly think that Iron Fist was doomed from the beginning, but not from any shortcomings it has. Rather, the almost unattainable standard set by the three previous shows put the arrival of the final Defender behind a sizable 8-ball.

So when Defenders hits in a few months, I fully expect Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) or Luke Cage (Mike Colter) to steal the show. Jessica Jones‘ first season was about a victim overcoming her past of abuse and her former abuser. We’ll get a second season of that show as well. Luke Cage was a really enjoyable show with a unique setting in Harlem. It was different to see the villain [SPOILER ALERT] die midway through only to be replaced by a more conniving, manipulative villain. And we’ll get a second season of that in the future as well.

Daredevil will also get a third season, and I’m sure we’ll see a Punisher series based on the popularity of the character from his run in Daredevil S2.

The fact is – the Marvel Netflix shows are wildly popular. Defenders will be huge when it drops, despite the lackluster reception of Iron Fist.

Now, The Defenders in the comics has a long history dating back to the 1970s, and has seen many many incarnations through the years. However, a team consisting of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Power Man (Luke Cage), and Iron Fist has not appeared in comics, based on my limited research. Marvel and Netflix announced in 2013 that the Defenders were coming, and named four characters that would make up the team.

But if you want a solid Defenders title to read, I’m going to throw out at you the 2011 series written by Matt Fraction with art by Terry Dodson.

Otherwise, we’ll talk more about Defenders when the show arrives in August.

2 thoughts on “Fresh Content Day 36: The Defenders Don’t Need Defending”

  1. Good read, and good points. I (almost inexplicably) liked Iron Fist, despite the faults you pointed out as well as others (namely I felt like a zen-like fish out of water would have been a more interesting starting point, instead we got a half-assed attempt at an innocent child in a hobo man’s body that’s almost petulant at times, and doesn’t come across like he was raised by monks to be a living weapon at all). I was hoping this show would be a throwback to kung-fu movies (or even the TV show Kung-Fu) the way Cage was a throwback to 70’s “black-ploitation” shows (in an updated, badass way) and Jones was a throwback to detective noirs…but this fell flat, namely because the “best martial artist in the world”‘s fight scenes weren’t half as good as DareDevil’s and the writing was no where as good as the previous three shows. The story was muddy as well, and there was never great explanation or reason behind the constant waffling of sides from the characters…including clear explanation of Danny’s motivations…makes everyone in the series hard to care about, in fact, I was almost more interested in Ward Meachum for some reason by the end than Danny Rand…All in all, I somehow still liked the show, although it did not even feel like the same universe as the others with the exception of Ms. Dawson tying in. But I hope the Defenders knock it out of the park, and honestly…with all the teams forming mega teams soon in the MCU for infinity war, I really REALLY hope we at least get a cameo of this team at least saving people at ground level or fighting together against lesser minions…those movies will have enough going on obviously, but at least a nod to the time and effort put in for a great story arc in the same universe would be nice…they don’t even have to speak…except maybe “Sweet Christmas” 🙂 .

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