It seemed like years ago that we heard about Marvel teaming up with Netflix to make a series of live-action shows featuring other characters in the Marvel Universe and bring them together in a limited-run series The Defenders. Five years after that announcement, Netflix finally released The Defenders. Some of the reception online has been mixed, but I found it thoroughly enjoyable and gave me enough exciting moments than even the Arrowverse crossover events.
The series begins with each character dealing with the events from their previous seasons. Keep in mind, that you do not truly have to view the previous shows, as I have missed some episodes, I knew that I had seen those episodes it would have given me more information but much of it doesn’t impact the show and its story.
At this point, Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) has given up being Daredevil and much of his life has fallen apart. Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) has closed business after the events of her season. Luke Cage (Mike Colter) is released from prison and Danny Rand (Finn Jones) is returning to New York because the Hand is planning something in the city. Each of those characters are carrying a lot of baggage and it takes them some convincing to get involved in separate cases that will bring them together.
The series takes its time to set up the story, unfortunately for people online which thought of it as too slow, worked and didn’t rush into getting them together. In fact, by the time we reach the third episode, they are finally together. However, it isn’t until the fourth or fifth episode that they are together with Daredevil in his costume.
One of the major benefits of the series were the secondary characters from the other shows that were used in this story. From Daredevil, you have Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson), Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll), Stick (Scott Glenn) and Electra (Elodie Yung). From Jessica Jones, you have Malcom Ducasse (Eka Darville), and Trish Walker (Rachael Taylor). Luke Cage brought over Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson) and Misty Knight (Simone Missick). Iron Fist brought over Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick) and Bakuto (Ramon Rodriguez).
I found the series entertaining and well-paced with the action. The series felt like a comic mini-series, which has much of the same qualities so I was used to it. Seeing the characters interacting with one another made the universe seem whole and complete, something we do not get in the ABC series and the cinematic universe.
For whatever reason many of the online sites had to not like the series, I think this is a payoff to the collection of shows as a whole. I enjoyed Iron Fist even though the internet kept telling me not to like it. I felt that the online reviews failed to realize where these shows came from and that they somehow felt they are now above it. Given that online reviews seem to be fickle about the DC shows, while I liked many of them, just shows that they are trying to get like movie reviews from the printed age. They need to calm down.
In the end, if you think you are too sophisticated for these shows, then you will not enjoy them. If you enjoy them as a comic fan, you will have a good time and enjoy the run. It has the feel of a traditional comic book event with all universes crossing over, which is something that is lacking in the DC television universe. The series closes out the storylines from all four shows previous seasons and sets them up for their upcoming seasons. In the end, its eight-episodes and very easy to binge. Enjoy yourself.