Title: The Defenders
Release Dates: 2017
Number of Episodes: 8
Following up on watching Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, I decided to watch this crossover miniseries because Marvel requires you to watch every single damn thing to have the background for the next thing. It’s good to see Jessica and Luke working together, although a little disappointing that they seem to be supporting characters to the other two members of the team. One of them is Danny Rand, a.k.a. Iron Fist, who is a rich kid with a bad tattoo. He seems to be a dumb character with a dumb superpower and every time he’s on the screen the script gets dumber. Much more interesting is Matt Murdock – a.k.a. Daredevil – a blind lawyer and devout Catholic with a ambiguous relationship to his superpowers. I might look into watching his show.
The funny thing about this series is that it seems to pick up for Jessica Jones just after her struggle with Kilgrave, with her apartment still severely damaged and her not taking on private detective work. Meanwhile, Luke has had time to move to Harlem, have everything that happened to him in season 1 of his own series, and spend a not insignificant time in prison. Despite these inconsistencies and the shortness of this series, the show is brave enough to set up the plot for each of the four characters to naturally get involved in the mystery and only come together to fight their foe at the end of episode 3. Then they spend much of episode 4 getting to know one another over a meal at a Chinese restaurant.
The villain in this series is well cast, Sigourney Weaver playing Alexandra, the leader of the Hand, a group of people seeking immortality. Weaver is always calm and measured with impeccable fashion sense and even her hair is never out of place. This sets her apart from the more cartoonish villains of other Marvel stories, and when she finally gets angry, it really means something. The other great part of this series is the way in which the supporting characters of the four individual series are brought in to work together. Sometimes they commiserate over dealing with a super person in their life, sometimes their complementary skills work together to advance the plot.
This series is no masterpiece of television and it has a lot of flaws, but it is a fun gathering of local superheroes saving their city with their combined abilities in a series of action sequences, and sometimes thoughtful, quieter scenes.