It’s hard for us now to remember a time in which Marvel weren’t dominating the big and small screen. But not too long ago, Iron Man hit our screens and we were unaware that this set off a huge integrated universe which worked towards giving us the first Avengers movie. Giving each main member of The Avengers their own movie in which to tell their origin story was a stroke of genius, as it meant The Avengers movie wouldn’t be weighed down with having to explain who everyone was. Not only that, but each individual movie followed on from the last as they all fit together like pieces of a jigsaw.
With the huge success of the MCU on the big screen, Marvel turned its attention to the small screen to do the same thing with some of its smaller characters. With the help of Netflix, Marvel was able to put in place a similar plan for The Defenders. With Iron Fist finally out there, the four main members of The Defenders – Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Iron Fist – have all been given their own series to tell their stories as it builds up to something bigger. When Marvel announced that The Defenders was coming, we couldn’t contain our excitement. However, we also have our doubts. So here are 8 reasons to get excited for The Defenders and 7 reasons to be a bit wary.
15. The Supporting Characters
We start our list with a positive. If there is one thing that Marvel, and in particular the MCU, is very good at, it’s concentrating on the side characters. Not just content with focusing on the heroes of the story, the MCU takes care of all the minor characters that make up the heroes’ world. They have already done this expertly on the big screen, by having many characters crossover between movies and not only that, but keeping the same actor for each role. It doesn’t matter how small the role is, or if they even speak, the MCU has gone out of its way to ensure continuity.
The Netflix MCU is no different. Already having the likes of nurse Claire Temple crossing between the heroes series, other side characters such as Foggy Nelson, Karen Page, Trish Walker, and Misty Knight, to name only a few, have excelled within their shows. With reports of most of them being involved in The Defenders in some form, we can’t wait to see more from these characters.
14. But They’ve Already Messed Up One Character
With our previous entry we mentioned how good the MCU is at handling its characters, both main and minor ones. However, there is one thing, and one character, that Marvel just can’t seem to get right and that could be a worry for the Netflix MCU going forward.
Over the course of the earlier seasons of these Netflix shows, the MCU put in a few of their bigger characters to accompany the main characters in order to test them out. After all, Luke Cage started on Jessica Jones before he got his own series. The same happened with The Punisher. Having appeared in the second season of Daredevil, The Punisher will soon be off on his own journey. However, also in season two of Daredevil, we got a look at Elektra. We really don’t know why but Marvel just cannot get this character right. Whether it’s on the big screen (played by Jennifer Garner) or the small, Marvel always end up portraying Elektra badly. We hope they don’t make the same mistakes with other characters.
13. More Grounded Storytelling
Before Netflix and the MCU decided to team up, superhero and comic book movies and TV shows had to be big. After all, these are stories about super powered beings who want to save the world. So although many of them start out by simply fighting crime, they usually develop into something bigger and more spectacular. This is a necessity with movies like The Avengers, as most of them are borderline gods that they need something bigger and more threatening to fight.
However, the MCU’s decision to focus its TV shows on the minor heroes has been a revelation. Although the foursome of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist are superheroes, they are what we would call the B-list in the Marvel universe, which means there is more scope to tell “down to Earth” and more realistic stories while still keeping the superhero edge. We love that, and can’t wait for that to continue with The Defenders.
12. The Cracks Have Started To Appear
When the first season of Daredevil hit our screens, fans, audiences, and critics went crazy at how brilliantly they handled the character. Then not too long after that, Jessica Jones hit our screens and this proved to be an even bigger hit. Not being the most well known or even popular character, Jessica Jones‘ entire first season was done excellently. So with two great seasons and, two great heroes, under their belt it looked like the Netflix MCU could do no wrong. And for the most part, they can’t.
However, the more recent seasons have started to show a few chinks in the armour and maybe a few worries for the future. Forgetting for a moment about the disappointment of Iron Fist (more on him later!), it’s more with the second season of Daredevil and Luke Cage that the cracks started to appear. Problems with the pacing of the shows and the misuse of characters (Elektra and The Hand) with Daredevil, and the killing of what should have been the main bad guy Cottonmouth on Luke Cage, it showed us that the MCU can make mistakes, which is worrying!
11. Sigourney Weaver Is Involved
When you have powerful and successful heroes and shows, it can be difficult sometimes to find a big enough reason for them all to come together. Let’s face it, the likes of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist can, and have been, take care of the bad guys quite happily by themselves. So to get them all together there needs to be a big threat or reason why they can’t do it alone.
Obviously The Avengers came together because a bunch of aliens came down to destroy the world. But as we’ve already mentioned, the Netflix shows are more grounded in their story telling so the reason for them coming together must be more low key. Because of that, we need a great villain and the word is that villain will be Sigourney Weaver. We don’t know much about her character but the fact that Weaver is involved is very exciting news to us, as the queen of the science fiction/fantasy genre is always amazing in whatever she does.
10. Too Many Cooks…
Back onto the wary side of The Defenders with our next entry. While it’s true that a superhero team up in any form is a very exciting prospect, it is also a reason to be a bit concerned about how our favorite heroes will be handled and how they will work and fit together. On the big screen, the MCU has handled The Avengers brilliantly and all of them seem to have fit perfectly together and actually play off each other very well, so much so that when they go back to their individual movies, we want the other heroes with them
This is where the Netflix MCU could go differently and could be a bad thing. Because the main four heroes of The Defenders have had an entire TV series to themselves (Daredevil’s even had two!) that has given the heroes time to develop their characters on their own, so much so that having all four big characters together may be too much. Although Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, as well as Daredevil and The Punisher, have worked well together, having all of them on screen at the same time could be a huge mess as they each fight for the spotlight.
9. Daredevil Set The Standard…
When it was first announced that Daredevil would be getting his own TV show, a lot of us were wary. And that’s not all down to how Marvel handled Daredevil on the big screen! It’s more because given the family friendly Avengers that the MCU had already put together, we didn’t know how they would handle such a dark and interesting character. On top of that, Daredevil isn’t exactly an A-list hero when it comes to Marvel. How wrong we all were!
Not only did the Netflix MCU handle the character of Daredevil better than we thought possible, but the way in which they told his story, with its dark and gritty themes, completely changed the superhero genre and set the standards for what was to come next, which, incidentally, was Jessica Jones and the bar got raised even higher. Although there have been a few blips, we hope they are just blips, and that The Defenders can keep up the standard and quality of storytelling that Daredevil first showed us.
8. …While Iron Fist Lowered It
As we’ve mentioned on this list already, some cracks are starting to appear in the Netflix MCU, and unfortunately a lot of those cracks have to be blamed on Iron Fist. We know that a lot of people have slammed Iron Fist and it has become the first big failure of the Netflix MCU, and we don’t want to jump on the “we hated Iron Fist” bandwagon, but there is some truth behind it.
Yes, it’s true that Iron Fist was a different show and a lot of people missed the point of it, but the fact is that the show didn’t work overall. There were many problems with it from start to finish; the writing, editing, and pacing of the show were big problems but the other one is Iron Fist himself, Finn Jones. We’re not saying it’s all his fault but we do feel like this is the first time the MCU has dropped the ball when it comes to casting and it is a big worry when we think about a Defenders team up, as Jones could take a lot of the focus, and not in a good way either.
7. Sometimes Less Is More
As we’ve mentioned on this list, there have been a few cracks that have started to appear within the Netflix MCU. Some of those are down to individual shows while others are down to the writing and even casting of some characters. However, the biggest concern that a lot of people have had with these Netflix shows is the pacing.
Because Netflix allows more episodes for these heroes, a lot of the time the stories have dragged a bit and even had boring parts. Let’s be honest, telling a story over 13 hour long episodes can be a challenge and unfortunately a challenge that hasn’t always been met. So with that in mind, it’s very good news to hear that The Defenders’ first run will be getting 8 episodes instead of 13, which means they can tell some great, fast paced stories without room to drag or pad episodes like they have done before.
6. The Hand
As we’ve already mentioned, having a great villain is key to the success of a show like The Defenders. Although the heroes are the stars of the show, the villain is just as important, if not more important. Because of the lowkey realism injected into the Netflix shows, the villain needs to be a real threat but also have enough depth to its character that it can sustain a whole TV season. We’ve already mentioned that Sigourney Weaver is involved, which we love, but we also know that The Hand are going to be big players too.
Making their debut in Daredevil‘s second season, and then continuing in Iron Fist, The Hand are an organized group of ninja killing machines. However, for a main villain The Hand are very boring. There’s no depth to them, unlike the excellent Wilson Fisk, Cottonmouth, and Kilgrave that the MCU has already used to great effect, The Hand are nowhere near as interesting. It seems like they will be the main bad guys for the Defenders universe and that thought doesn’t excite us at all.
5. We All Love A Hero Team-up
There is one thing that still excites us about the comic book world and that’s a superhero team-up. The thought of popular heroes coming together gives us all tingles as we rush out to our favorite comic book store. In the world of movies and TV this is no different. After all, the success of the recent superhero movies is because of The Avengers. Having all our favorite heroes on the screen at the same time was an incredible joy. Because of this the superhero team-up is dangled in front of fans to make them tune into the shows and movies.
It’s one of the reasons why DC’s Arrowverse is so popular and why everyone is getting excited about a Justice League movie, even though the DCEU hasn’t exactly started on the right foot. Thanks to this, the chance to see Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist together on screen is such an exciting prospect that we almost can’t wait.
4. The MCU May be Getting Saturated
There is no denying that the MCU has been a complete revelation on how a franchise could and should be done. The forward planning and time needed to execute that plan has been truly astonishing, so much so that Marvel’s rivals, DC, are struggling to keep up and are therefore rushing out their own Justice League brand to see if they can compete with the MCU. We are not holding our breath quite yet!
However, given the scope and sheer volume of characters, movies, and TV shows that the MCU has already developed may well be getting too much. More and more comic book and superhero adaptations are coming through, and as we’ve just mentioned, DC are putting out a lot of content in order to keep up with Marvel. That makes us worried that this genre may well be saturated and by the time The Defenders hits our screens, it could be a comic book overload!
3. More Adult Themes
One of the big plus points that has come out of the Netflix MCU is that they are able to tell more gritty and adult stories that the regular MCU can’t get away with. This is not a bad thing for the movie MCU, after all they are going for the mass market and they want everyone to see their movies, which is fine, we all love a good and clean superhero romp. But while the MCU is more colorful, lighthearted, and family friendly, the Netflix MCU has more room to be grittier and edgy.
Choosing characters like Daredevil and Jessica Jones has set the tone for the Netflix MCU world, as these characters in particular are constantly struggling with their moral and ethical selves in regards to their powers and place in the world. Because of this the Netflix MCU is given more freedom with the censorship on what they can and can’t do. This is something that we love and can’t wait for it to continue into The Defenders.
2. It Could All Be To0 Much Of An Anticlimax
The very first steps of the MCU took the whole world by surprise. When it was first announced that Marvel wanted to bring The Avengers to the big screen, we weren’t sure how they would do it and if it would even work. How wrong we were. However, because of the success, intricate planning, and the sheer scale and volume of the task at hand, we’re not sure if that will become the MCU’s downfall.
Because phase one of the MCU’s plan was so successful, everything they do now is expected to be a hit and is expected to be great. When planning their Netflix MCU, the MCU did it in the same way as they did The Avengers; each of the main heroes has been given their own platform in order to tell their story so when they come together they can all just jump in. However, given that we have waited for The Defenders for so long and we’ve followed the heroes individually throughout their series, when they do all finally come together, it could be one hell of an anticlimax and let down. The expectations for The Defenders is climbing so high that we’re not sure if anything could live up to it. After all, just look at the Star Wars franchise. It doesn’t matter what they do, the movies can never live up to the hype and expectations. Unfortunately, we feel the MCU could go the same way.
1. Or It’ll Be Worth The Wait
Let’s be honest, when The Defenders hits our screens we are all going to be watching it. Not just because we love a superhero team-up but because we have spent so much time with these heroes and we are completely invested in their stories and what happens to them. Although we’ve just mentioned that the whole thing may well be a bit of an anticlimax, the fact is that no matter how bad the show is or in fact what happens over the course of the next few shows, we are still going to tune in.
The number one entry on our list is the MCU itself. While it’s true that both on the big screen and on the small screen, a few cracks and misfires have started to happen, it is still without a doubt the best, biggest and most well thought out franchise around and because of that we will stick with it and be loyal to whatever they throw our way, at least for now!
With all of that in mind, bring on The Defenders and we will love it!!!