For most of the geeks at The Geekiverse, E3 is the holy grail of annual events. For me, San Diego Comic Con is my Christmas in July, and thus far, this pair of trailer and featurette for The Defenders has been my favorite gift yet.
I have been a huge fan of Marvel’s endeavors on Netflix. That little microcosm of the MCU has really shone in the overall grand scheme of things. The shows are much better than the other small screen offerings, and one of the nice things is that after every episode, entire neighborhoods of skyscrapers aren’t decimated (I’m getting a little superhero induced urban renewal fatigue). The term “street level” is used to describe these four heroes as they work hard to protect the neighborhoods, not the entire world. They’ve carved out a nice little niche for themselves, in a world filled with villains that are both interesting and exciting, but not aliens or renegade androids. They have built an excellent stable of baddies to draw from, including The Kingpin, Diamondback, Black Mariah, and, of course, Madame Gao, The Hand, and Elektra, the latter three all appeared in the recently released trailer.
Here’s the first trailer for The Defenders, and then we’ll chit chat.
Lots to see in there, as Netflix and Marvel weave the four heroes together into one crossover event. First and foremost, the thing I was struck by is the appearance of all of the ancillary characters. In the montage where Danny says, “They’re hunting our friends, our families…” and we get to see brief glimpses of friends from each of the individual series including Claire, Foggy and Karen, Trish Walker, and Colleen Wing, and we see a beat up Stick, on a couple of occasions, even hearing him narrate a bit of the trailer. We also know from the Official Trailer that dropped back in May that Simone Missick will appear as Detective Misty Knight again.
On the villain side, the two big news items are the inclusion of Sigourney Weaver as the season big bad, Alexandra, who appears to be leading the enemy’s side of “The War for New York” as she calls it. She figures prominently in the trailer, and even has a line about getting used to seeing cities fall, is her character far older than she appears? The second noteworthy item is the resurrection of Elektra, who was killed at the end of the second season of Daredevil. Elektra, it seems, also figures very heavily into the overall plot, as we see her multiple times, including once as she has just massacred a group of warriors that I assume are from The Hand. We also see her standing alone atop a skyscraper, looking over the city as Alexandra says “The war for New York..is over”. There is even a moment between her and Matt. We also see Madame Gao (the greatest villain in this Netflix universe) and Bakuto, both members of The Hand.
In this trailer we also see some dynamics as Matt, Luke and Jessica all resist both Chinese food and the idea of teaming up. At one point we even see Danny and Matt, in his Daredevil costume sans mask, mixing it up.
It’s hard to tell from a sub 3 minute trailer, but the fight scenes look more reminiscent of Daredevil than of Iron Fist, where sadly, Finn Jones and sloppy fight choreography really dragged the series down. Here’s hoping that Marco Ramirez as The Defenders, showrunner, does a better job of recognizing the importance of those scenes than Scott Buck, who helmed the first season of Iron Fist, a job he will not be returning to for season 2.
The other video that dropped this week featured the 93 year old Stan Lee riding in the back of a car extolling the virtues of these heroes (most of which have their deep flaws). “Heroes show us we don’t have to be perfect to do what’s right.,”he says as his car moves through the dark New York streets as The Defenders fight around him.
“…because even though they are heroes, they’re still human,” he finishes, right before the the big reveal. “Looks like I got here just in time,” says Frank Castle, beaten up, carrying his gun and in his Punisher costume. Will Bernthal reprise his role as The Punisher in The Defenders, or is that a nod to his upcoming solo series which is set to release later in 2017? Good question.
Again, it is hard to tell much from trailers, but so far, so good on the material released by Netflix. It will be a challenging job for showrunner Ramirez to weave these properties together, as the individual shows had such unique individual personalities. From the trailers and featurette we’ve seen so far, it looks like The Defenders will have a light side, with some nice humor, to balance the generally darker tones of the Netflix Marvel series. A little humor is never a bad thing. The Defenders hits Netflix on August 18.
What’d you think of the videos revealed this week? Are you looking forward to The Defenders? Leave a comment below.
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The Grumpy Geek, Pete Herr is the author of “10 Things We Should Teach You In High School and Usually Don’t”. He is the oldest geek in the Geekiverse by a factor of two. Follow Pete Herr on Facebook, Twitter,and Instagram . If you don’t he gets Grumpy. You don’t want to see him Grumpy.
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