Since the debut of Marvel’s Netflix series, which started with the first season of “Daredevil” in 2015, there has been a lot of anticipation for the end goal of these series: an inevitable meeting between these lone wolves to form the group known as The Defenders. After months of teasers and mystery, an official trailer was recently released, giving viewers their first real look at how this four-person team of lost souls and street-level heroes come together to take on the criminal organization known as The Hand.
The trailer provided a glimpse of team dynamics, sharp wit and action-packed scenes that have defined Marvel’s Netflix series. With the series set to debut on August 18, the time has come to unpack the trailer for the latest on what viewers can expect from “The Defenders,” as well as the questions that have arisen from the latest footage we’ve been graced with.
15. LIGHTER TONE
One of the immediate things that stuck out about the trailer was its lighter tone. Of course, the brutal nature of the fights and blood were common, but so too was the fact that there was a bit of light-hearted brevity in the trailer that wasn’t really prevalent in any of the series thus far.
Of course, that’s not to say that it didn’t have its more serious moments, but certain aspects (like Stick referring to Jessica Jones as the “smart-ass detective” or Luke Cage dogging Danny Rand’s title) make it seem as though this team-up will be one that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Given the heavy nature of their individual titles, this could be for the best, as it allows for the actors to better play off of each other as they adjust to sharing the spotlight and having to work together for the first time. In fact, there are certain character dynamics, in particular, to watch for once “The Defenders” officially makes its debut in August.
14. MORE HALLWAY FIGHTS
If there’s ever something Marvel’s Netflix series will be remembered for, it’s their iconic hallway fights. Daredevil had his share of hallway fights in his first two seasons, while Luke and Iron Fist did the same in their respective debuts. This time around, four of them will be crammed into a hallway fighting off what is likely more Hand subordinates.
This culminates in the climax of the trailer in which the four heroes are fighting down the hallway, each showing off their various feats viewers should be all too familiar with. Glimpses of Daredevil’s acrobatic, back-flipping action and Iron Fist’s martial artist kicks, coupled with the more brawling, enhanced strength of Luke and Jessica’s own fighting styles are all seen. Such hallway fights are indicative of each of their own unique journeys and how they tend to overcome their various obstacles. Fight scenes are often major parts of storytelling, and this hallway fight seems to tell a major story of these once-lone wolves learning how much stronger they are as a pack.
13. ELEKTRA RETURNS
Revealed to be the coveted “Black Sky” in the second season of “Daredevil,” Elektra was thought to have been killed by Nobu as she attempted to save her former lover from getting killed. However, numerous hints seem to confirm that she will be resurrected in some way, as a recent teaser showed The Hand in possession of her body in some sort of ancient container. As viewers learned from “Daredevil” and “Iron Fist,” their ability to resurrect or extend life is clear, though their exact methods are unknown.
During the trailer, it appears Elektra is alive and well, as there is a brief glimpse of her punching Daredevil through some sort of glass window in what appears to be the same building the four-way hallway fight takes place in. She was revealed to be this “Black Sky” Stick often alluded to that The Hand wants so badly, though exactly what its nature or purpose are remains unknown. Regardless of her purpose, Elektra’s return can only make for a solid plot twist for Marvel’s street level heroes, especially when it comes to Matt’s character arc as Daredevil.
12. MORE HAND NINJAS
It’s hard to mess up ninjas. After all, they wield all matter of weapons, from swords to shuriken, and they’re master hand-to-hand combatants to boot. The Hand also has a seemingly endless number of them, as we learned from “Daredevil,” and their source to potentially resurrect them only makes it harder to take them down. If you’re a fan of Hand ninjas, “The Defenders” will have plenty of them in spades.
Several fight scenes in the trailer featured ninjas, one of which showed them getting taken down by a female dressed in black that appeared to be Collen Wing. There also comes a scene in which men in suits seated at a long table with Sigourney Weaver’s character all take swords of some kind (if that doesn’t scream Hand ninja, we don’t know what does). There will be plenty of action to go around for everybody, and if you were a fan of The Hand’s swarm of ninjas in “Daredevil,” “The Defenders” should provide plenty of sword-wielding, body flipping fun.
11. RETURN OF STICK
For all intents and purposes, it seems as though Stick has become the de-facto Nick Fury of the Marvel Netflix Universe up to this point. Being a member of the Chaste, sworn enemies of the Hand, it makes sense for him to play an integral role to help galvanize the team, though his personality is certain to rub a couple members the wrong way.
Stick is certainly good at giving labels, as the trailer reveals his monikers for each team member, the most notable of which include the “smart-ass detective” and “the kid with the glowing fist.” Based on his apparent knowledge of the other heroes besides his former student, it’s safe to say that Stick has likely been keeping an eye on these special individuals for the Chaste until the time came when they were needed. The meeting of the four at the restaurant could have also been organized by the old man, who seeks to use their skills together to eradicate The Hand and drive them out of New York.
10. LUKE/DANNY DYNAMIC
As soon as it was announced that Luke Cage and Iron Fist were getting Marvel Netflix series, fans were immediately clamoring for the inevitable meeting of the two, who share a long history in the comics. It appears that the showrunners are answering their prayers, as the two officially cross paths with one another, likely due to the courtesy of Claire Temple.”The Defenders” seem primed to explore the emerging dynamic between the two very different heroes, and it’s not exactly smooth sailing.
The trailer features them trading a few blows, as Danny attempts to fight Luke and is immediately put on his back. He then proceeds to use his Iron Fist technique to punch Luke in the face, harkening back to season one of “Luke Cage” when someone attempts to strike him in the face. Luke also makes sure to throw a wrench in Danny’s “Immortal Iron Fist” title, which is sure to get smiles out of everyone given how the latter’s solo first season performed (spoiler: not very well). This is a long-awaited meeting that is sure to get fans of the vaunted “Heroes for Hire” comic very excited as the two finally cross paths.
9. PUTTING TOGETHER THE TEAM
Of course, the whole point of “The Defenders” is to bring the team together to unite against a common threat. Viewers have seen several supporting characters like Claire or Jeri Hogarth cross over into over series, but the heroes (with the exception of Jessica and Luke) haven’t really met each other up to this point.
Daredevil is obviously at the center of this construction, positioning himself as Jessica’s lawyer when she is apparently arrested by Misty Knight for tampering with a crime scene and getting her lead killed. Claire also mentioned Matt’s lawyer skills at the end of “Luke Cage,” which is likely what leads to his release from Seagate prison during the trailer as well. It’s hard to gauge exactly when Danny enters the fray, though it can’t be too hard to miss “the kid with the glowing fist,” especially if Stick is also involved. Four heroes who normally work alone (and like it that way) isn’t exactly a formula they’re going to like, but this is part of what will make “The Defenders” so compelling, especially given the various nature of their respective journeys they each had to go through.
8. GUEST APPEARANCES
One of the biggest strengths of Marvel Netflix television has been its supporting cast. From Claire and Hogarth to Colleen and Misty, all of them have helped boost the quality of their respective heroes and continue having the opportunity to play respective roles moving forward.
In the trailer, we catch Misty, Claire, and brief glimpses of Colleen, with the latter having perhaps the most active role when it comes to combat. In addition, supporting characters like Hogarth, Trish Walker, Karen Page and Foggy Nelson are all slated to appear in “The Defenders.” As the four heroes’ paths converge, so too will the people near them, which could make for some rather intriguing dynamics as The Hand’s influence continues to grow. This could make for more interesting subplots as these supporting characters are brought together, especially given what they know about their respective hero’s identity and secrets.
7. DANNY RAND REDEMPTION?
At this point, it’s very well documented that “Iron Fist” didn’t quite pan over well with fans or critics, and the titular character in Danny was one of its weakest elements. Now, as “The Defenders” prepares to place him alongside the other New York heroes, might it be possible for the young martial artist to redeem himself?
Based on the trailer, it’s apparent that no one, especially Luke and Stick, is quick to praise or be enamored with Danny’s fancy title. It also appears to address the fact that Danny, as the youngest and most financially privileged of the group, will be challenged by those like Luke, who has not had the same opportunities. Encountering fellow skilled fighters like Matt Murdock should also show that he has his own shortcomings. Danny was already a character that was challenging enough to write a solo series for, due to its history and how to approach it in a thought-provoking manner. While it can’t completely smooth over the mistakes made in “Iron Fist,” “The Defenders” could prove to be just what Marvel needs to get the character on the right path.
6. DAREDEVIL AS LEADER?
From the outset of “The Defenders,” it’s been made clear the leader of the group is set to be Daredevil, which is only proper. Out of everyone in the group, he’s been the one most willing to do whatever it takes in order to keep people safe. While these lines often blur, Matt is, by comparison, the most responsible and best suited to lead.
The question then becomes this: just what kind of leader will he become? How can he make these very different people work as one cohesive unit? As well suited as he is to lead them, Daredevil has been taking on his crusade alone, putting his own life on the line while keeping himself distanced from those he cares about. If he’s going to be an effective leader for these street level heroes, Matt has to realize that he can’t keep himself distant and must find different ways to reach out to his fellow Defenders to get the best out of their various talents and abilities. By the same token, he’s also got a learning curve when it comes to working within a team structure and must figure out the value of depending on others as well.
5. ELEKTRA: FRIEND OR FOE?
Over the last few weeks, it’s been made pretty clear that Elektra will play an integral role in “The Defenders,” specifically when it comes to The Hand’s overall plans in New York. Though she appeared to be an ally, it seems rather likely that she could become an enemy for Matt and the others to handle.
This brings up several questions in regards to her character: What are the exact qualities of Black Sky? How could The Hand brainwash her into fighting for them? What are their means of resurrecting her? As we saw with Nobu and Harold Meachum, they have some means by which to bring people back from the dead and/or cure incurable diseases. As was seen in “Daredevil,” Elektra has a very complicated past and relationship with both Matt and Stick, finding herself caught between good and evil. Now in the “employ” of The Hand, it now seems rather likely that a more evil and darker side of Elektra will be on the front lines.
4. MORE OF THE CHASTE?
Up to this point, Stick has been the only member of the Chaste. A group still shrouded largely in mystery, their only claimed goal is to eradicate The Hand and keep them from gaining possession of a mysterious weapon known as Black Sky, which has yet to be clearly defined aside from the mysterious young boy and Elektra.
Viewers did catch a brief glimpse of Stone in season one of “Daredevil” where he conversed with Stick about Matt and his role in the events to come. It is possible that “The Defenders” could provide more insight into the Chaste and provide another glimpse of Stone, given that the battle with The Hand is culminating in this moment. Now could be the perfect time for them to make their move against their main adversaries, and seeing other Chaste members besides Stick would provide a breath of fresh air to a group still shrouded in mystery.
3. OTHER SUPPORTING CHARACTERS?
Over the course of the last year, it’s been confirmed that a bevy of supporting characters from the four main titles will appear in “The Defenders.” Given that the crossover has a length of eight episodes, one has to wonder just how large of a role they will play in the events.
Given that much of the spotlight will be placed squarely on the four Defenders themselves and their fight against The Hand, it could be a case where they just make select appearances here and there. However, given the roles these characters played in the first four Netflix series, it seems unlikely that they would be completely sidelined only for brief cameo appearances. Characters like Trish and Colleen have a perfect opportunity to showcase their combat skills against some Hand adversaries, while Misty’s detective work and connections could prove instrumental in weeding out key locations for the Defenders to hit. Even in this world of bulletproof convicts, glowing fist kids and blind acrobatic Devils, there are plenty of opportunities to keep these supporting characters relevant in this crossover.
2. JUST WHO IS SIGOURNEY WEAVER?
One character in particular that has been shrouded in mystery is being played by Sigourney Weaver and has only been named as “Alexandra.” Outside of her name, next to nothing is known about her other than the fact that she is the main threat the Defenders must face. The trailer shows several shots of Alexandra, one of which includes her at a long table as people in suits brandish weapons and gear up for a fight. Whoever this character is, she must be a big enough threat that it takes the likes of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist just to bring her down.
Based on what’s been seen, she hasn’t been shown engaging in any combat, but that hasn’t made her any less intimidating, as she clearly looks like the one calling the shots. Every Marvel Netflix series has had a villain that challenges its heroes in unique ways. How does Weaver’s character intend to challenge all of four them? Out of all the questions surrounding “The Defenders,” Weaver’s character is perhaps the most intriguing aspect of all.
1. CAN THE HAND BE COMPELLING VILLAINS?
The Hand has been an organization that, in its first run, the Marvel Netflix series has had brewing for a long time. Not fully coming to fruition until the second season of “Daredevil” and “Iron Fist,” they’ve gradually lost some of the intrigue and mystery that they originally started out with. Can they regain their threat level and become suitable villains for the Defenders?
Marvel’s Netflix series have set a rather high bar when it comes to its villains. The likes of Wilson Fisk, Punisher, Kilgrave, Cornell Stokes and the Meachums (coupled with Davos) made for some engaging, emotional and brutal moments. After a less than stellar performance in “Iron Fist,” there might be concern over how compelling The Hand can be as villains. Given how menacing and merciless they were in “Daredevil” alongside Nobu, they’re more than capable of expanding that threat level in “The Defenders.” The key to doing so relies on just how compelling Weaver will be in her lead role and how they use their forces, as throwing endless ninjas at the Defenders doesn’t make for compelling villains.
What are you most looking forward to in The Defenders? What questions do you still have? Let us know in the comments!