Did Marvel get a little too antsy after dropping that small Elektra tease? Well, thank god for those ants because we now have our first Defenders trailer to devour. There’s a ton to discuss here so let’s break down what we learn from the trailer.
First, let’s delve into where the trailer finds each of our Defenders. There’s some interesting coupling of our principal team so I’m going to do the same here.
Daredevil & Jessica Jones
The trailer picks up with Jessica being held in an interrogation room and subsequently getting questioned by none other than our very own Misty Knight. Apparently would be superheroes meddling in her investigations and getting lead suspects killed is not something Misty is particularly fond of. She seemed especially annoyed here, though in retrospect it tracks with her feelings on vigilantism in general as expressed during Luke Cage. Luckily for Jessica, that thing that we always want to happen when anyone in Marvel’s Netflix Universe gets into some legal trouble happens: attorney Matt Murdock takes the case. It makes a ton of sense to pair up Daredevil and Jessica Jones. They have so much in common and their banter in the trailer is simply amazing. (Spoiler alert: Hopefully you’re a fan of bulleted lists…)
Alright, so similarities:
- They will likely be the most reluctant in joining a team, preferring to work alone.
- Both operate in a similar fashion: low key, preferring the cover of darkness and rooftops.
- Gained their abilities in a similar accident.
- A profound struggle with identity and purpose (I guess this could apply to everyone on the team but humor me for a bit.)
I’m sure there are more but I think the key factors in determining if this relationship is mutually beneficial will be in their ability to notice those similarities and overcome their reluctance in working together. Their dynamic will provide for the best avenue towards them being a part of any sort of team (at the very least we’ll be getting some hilarious one liners out of the deal.) Danny and Luke are just ill suited for the job of ensuring the sort of introspection needed for JJ and DD to learn how play well with others.
Speaking of our Heroes for Hire, let’s look at our next pairing.
Luke Cage and Iron Fist
We catch up with Luke seemingly after being released from prison, on a bus heading back to New York. For all you Luke and Claire shippers, it looks as though things are still on. After failing to convince Luke to give up on the Hero of Harlem shtick if he indeed wants to lead a normal life, Claire tells Luke about Danny. The meeting between the two is great. Fans of the comic will certainly know that the Luke Cage and Iron Fist team up has been written in the stars, fated to happen since before the concept of these Netflix shows was even sketched into existence. It’s not just the comic book history that makes this pairing works so well. It’s always been their differences that make the characters compatible.
- Danny is desperate to be a hero, to find purpose. Luke is your classic reluctant hero, opting to mostly stay out of things if he can.
- Danny has an irrational and overly emotional approach to most things. Luke is a calm and rational actor. (Wait…which one is the monk again?)
- Danny is classically and strictly trained in the art of kung fu. Luke is a brawler with no real need for form.
Again, there’s surely a lot more but it’s pretty clear where Defenders is heading with this pairing. Essentially, Luke needs Danny to push him and Danny needs Luke to hold him back. It’ll be interesting to see where that theme takes them and how their dynamic meshes with the rest of the team. More importantly, I hope Luke reins in the amount of times Danny needs to refer to himself as “The Immortal Iron Fist” (by the way, Luke’s reaction to that is priceless.)
It’s interesting, what will likely bring Daredevil and Jessica together are their similarities but it’s the differences that will bind Luke and Danny. What we’ll discover throughout the course of the season is that the smaller relationships being built outside of the main team are critical in forming what will ultimately become The Defenders. Honestly, could you really imagine just Danny and Jessica working together?
Whatever their differences or similarities, the fate of New York is on the line (as ever) and, to paraphrase the enigmatic Stick, they’ll need to get their “shit” together if they hope to save it. I expect a lot of The Defenders will be spent getting said “shit” together, which honestly is a good thing. It’s actually one of the reasons I’m so excited for this series. After spending so much time with these characters in their respective solo series, you already understand where they’re coming from (well…except Danny. I kid, I kid!) and the baggage that they have to deal with in The Defenders before they can effectively take on the Hand.
Speaking of the Hand, our main villain we assume is their leader (perhaps primary leader?), Alexandra, played by Sigourney Weaver. And, my god, is she fierce. Doesn’t look like she’ll spend much time playing games, either. In fact, the first words we hear her speak are to issue a threat to our heroes. We know from the last teaser trailer that a key part of the Hand’s plan is wrapped up in whatever is being constructed at the Midland Circle location. What’s unclear, however, is what’s actually being constructed, what it’s being constructed for, or what Elektra is doing creepily stalking our heroes down a hallway. So much is held back here in terms of story, it’s actually pretty refreshing not knowing what to expect. I really hope it stays that way.
If you couldn’t tell, I’m completely enthralled with this trailer. It’s action packed, introduces a sinister villain, there’s an awesome score, and it managed to include a little bit of flavor from all of the solo series, which is a pretty impressive feat inside three minutes. If this trailer is any indication, the show runners at least understand the importance of maintaining the spirit of each respective solo series within The Defenders. The part I’m most excited for is seeing how they merge those worlds together and still manage to tell a compelling story. And of course, there’s that glorious hallway fight scene. As the Marvel Netflix Universe scripture states, “Where doth a way of halls exists, one must engage in fisticuffs.”
I’m sure I’ll be back soon with anything new Marvel drops on the Defenders series before its release on August 18, 2017. Until then, feel free to weigh in on my list of lingering thoughts from the trailer.
- Why is Daredevil not suited up really at any point in the trailer?
- What the heck is going on with Elektra? Why is she on the dark side now? Brainwashing? I know she’s been brought back to life and all, but what is compelling her to fight Matt and the other Defenders?
- Alexandra, who is she? I assume the leader of the Hand, but will she have any connection to any comic book characters or is this just an original character created for the series?
- Why is Matt helping Jessica? Does he know who she is or what she can do?
- What is that force that knocks everyone back and lifts the cars? Alexandra?
- How did Luke get released? Did Matt help him?
- I hope Danny takes a cue from Matt and puts on a damn mask at some point in the series.
- Iron Fist punching Luke mirrors the failed punch in Luke Cage’s series.