The four preceding Marvel series leading up to "Defenders" - "Daredevil" season 2, "Jessica Jones", "Luke Cage" and "Iron Fist" - were among the top five most-viewed recently released Netflix originals in the first 30 days after their premieres, according to data from marketing-analytics firm Jumpshot, provided exclusively to Variety. Just a lot of build-up.
From episode three onwards, The Defenders is much faster and moves through the plot much better.
The biggest question going into this street-level hero team-up was how four shows with such different vibes would come together as one. While the second season of DAREDEVIL may be done the newest series in the Marvel world on Netflix, THE DEFENDERS premiers this Friday, August 18th.
As expected, the series starts with each Defender doing his or her own thing.
Despite previous failings, fans should also look forward to the returns of Colter's Luke Cage, and even Jones' Iron Fist.
Meanwhile, Jessica Jones reluctantly investigates a case, and finds herself in need of a lawyer. The makers on the show have also realised that Jessica and Matt are the crowd pullers and fan favourites.
In fact, even as other characters like Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson), Misty Knight (Simone Missick), and Hogarth (Carrie-Anne Moss) cross worlds, Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) is the hold-out outsider. You can expect plenty of rage, violence and guns in his series that promises to reveal much more of his dark past and the death of his family. At least for a little big longer. Brought together by Claire Temple, Rand's friend and Cage's girlfriend, the two are asked to talk their differences out while sitting in Colleen Wing's dojo. No, no, no, we know who Sigourney Weaver is. Interspersed with Castle's one man war on the floor is a series of flashbacks: Castle killing people during his tour of duty (likely in Kandahar as mentioned in Daredevil) with the US Marines, a trip on the Staten Island Ferry with his children, the assassination of his wife by a masked military man, Castle being beaten and tortured by his unit and finally the horrifying image of his children lying dead on the floor. The two never see eye-to-eye, but in the end the Punisher does help in the final fight with The Hand.
But what really separates "Defenders" from its blockbuster movie counterpart, "The Avengers", is its subtlety.
Though The Defenders is, at times, a bit hard to follow because it has so many damn characters, the sheer breadth of female characters is still extremely exciting (and so is one scene in which Weaver drops her decorum to throw a few kicks and punches herself). The show's best moments come when the characters bounce off each other in ways that pushes them ever-so-slightly out of their established lanes.
The original comic book run of Defenders saw the team fending off supernatural threats. They're pretty much all Hawkeye - but with personalities, flaws, and objective. They're much more relatable than Thor or Iron Man, with real problems and trying to make their normal lives work with saving NY. The super powers are just a sidebar.
The first teaser for The Punisher is here. Even if the action and story moving forward is a bit tiresome, these characters are worth exploring, especially when they're together.
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