Years after the series was originally announced, Marvel Television and Netflix have debuted the first full trailer for the superhero ensemble series, “Defenders.” The eight-episode series will see the street-level superhero stars of “Daredevil,” “Luke Cage,” “Jessica Jones” and “Iron Fist” come together to battle the mysterious Alexandra, played by Sigourney Weaver.
Each hero’s solo series provided viewers an opportunity to learn the ins and outs of their respective stars, so the real fun will be seeing how these loners, along with a number of supporting cast members, adapt to working in a group environment. From resurrections to internal conflicts to new threats, a ton of ground was covered in the trailer.
Right from the start, we see three characters from three different series (Misty Knight, Jessica Jones and Matt Murdock) interacting on screen for the first time. The bewildered looks on Misty and Jessica’s faces after Matt introduces himself as Jessica’s lawyer offers a hint of the humor we’ll likely see in “Defenders,” a Marvel Studios trademark when it comes to having its characters interact on screen. Watching their solo journeys has been entertaining by itself, but once the heroes are put in a situation where they must be a cohesive unit, we’ll discover how their personalities work, and don’t work, together.
Other interactions that stand out include what’s presumably the first meeting between Luke Cage and Danny Rand (more on this in a bit), and the return the romantic pair of Luke and Claire Temple.
Rocky Start For The Heroes For Hire
Claire and Luke’s scene has Claire state to Luke that there’s someone he needs to meet — someone who just so happens to be Danny Rand, aka the Immortal Iron Fist. We see Danny confront an individual wearing a gas mask in an alley, when Luke stops him from throwing a vicious punch. Not knowing who Luke is, Danny strikes at him with a kick-and-punch combo that does nothing to the man with unbreakable skin. Luke quickly finds out what the deal is with Danny’s glowing fist, however, as he takes a right cross square in the jaw; Luke’s skin may be unbreakable, but when hit hard enough, it’s certainly pliable! Later, we see Claire joining the two in what looks like a gym, proclaiming that they need each other, a sign that the pair’s comic book-established friendship is in the cards for televion.
Luke Cage has the benefit of guest-appearing in the first season of “Jessica Jones” as well as headlining his own titular series, while Iron Fist is the last show to air before “Defenders” launches in August. As such, he comes across as a more seasoned hero than Danny, offering what looks to be the rock-solid friend Danny needs to build on and come into his own.
Stick: The Netflix Equivalent Of Nick Fury
The enigmatic Stick features heavily in the trailer, providing a voiceover to introduce our four heroes: Daredevil as the devil of Hell’s Kitchen, Jessica Jones as the smart-ass detective, Luke Cage as the righteous ex-con, and Iron Fist as… the kid with the glowing fist. Following up on his role in “Daredevil” Season 2, Stick appears to be the only one aware of the larger threat looming in the shadows. If he truly is the driving force to unite the Defenders, it would be a nice street level counterpoint to superspy Fury assembling Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye to become Marvel’s Avengers. There’s also the question of how involved will Stick be once the team faces off with Alexandra and presumably the Hand — we’d assume he’ll be a little more hands-on than Fury was pre-Winter Soldier.
The teaser trailer alluded to it, and finally, we see the body of Daredevil’s former lover Elektra revealed inside a tomb. In the comics, of course, she’s no stranger when it comes to being resurrected from the dead by the Hand. If the ninja cult is behind her return in “Defenders,” as it appears to be, will that make her an ally or an enemy to our heroes? Action scenes near the end of the trailer show Elektra walking in the background of the Defenders and striking Daredevil through a hallway wall, though it’s unclear whether it’s the result of intentional video editing meant to trick us, or an indication that her allegiance is fluid.
Rocking the Streets of NYC
While not knowing directly what threat lies in store for the Defenders, we get a glimpse that it’s apparently bigger than the threats the heroes have faced in the past. We see some form of shockwave send parked street cars and our heroes flying in the air, which is an impressive feat when you consider Luke Cage’s strength. Again, the trailer is cut so we see the villainous Alexandra after both scenes, making us believe she is the one behind the attacks, though whether it’s some sort of terrorist attack she orchestrates, or the indication of her having superpowers is (likely deliberately) left unclear.
Hallway Fight Scene!
It wouldn’t be a Marvel Netflix show without an epic hallway fight scene, now would it? The fan-favorite sequence returns, except this time, rather than just one hero taking on a gang of thugs, we get all four Defenders in a slightly-wider hall for extra combat. The setup for the throwdown even includes a humorous moment between Jessica Jones and Daredevil, in street clothes, as the Man Without Fear borrows Jessica’s scarf to create a makeshift mask. The characters may be new to one another, but they display that they can work as a team when called upon.
Humor leads into our last big takeaway from the trailer…..
Defenders Doesn’t Appear To Be As Dark As Past Netflix Shows
Though it’s only a few minutes of footage, the “Defenders” trailer gives off the vibe that the eight-episode season will not be as dark as some had feared, especially since the show is borrowing a showrunner from “Daredevil.” Both of its seasons had some pretty gritty moments and wasn’t afraid to flash some blood on the screen, but “Daredevil” also had some of the best action moments out of all the shows.
Add in the lighthearted moments mentioned earlier, and a final scene of the four characters having a quiet, relaxed dinner together, and you find the sort of fun audiences normally associate with the Marvel Cinematic Universe of the films. There’s a lot to love in Danny pointing out what a great team they make and Jessica’s rebuttal that she’s the classy one of the bunch.
Executive produced by Douglas Petrie, Marco Ramirez, Drew Goddard and Jeph Loeb, “Marvel’s Defenders” arrives on Netflix August 18 2017 and stars Charlie Cox, Krysten Ritter, Mike Colter, Finn Jones, Simone Missick, Elodie Yung, Deborah Ann Woll, Elden Henson, Carrie-Anne Moss, Eka Darville, Rosario Dawson, Rachael Taylor, Scott Glenn, Jessica Henwick and Sigourney Weaver.