Thoughts: The Defenders Avenge Netflix
When Marvel and Netflix first made their deal to create original content for the streaming platform, most people were very skeptical. Then the first Daredevil season came out and blew away most expectations. Then came Jessica Jones to more critical praise. That was followed up by Luke Cage and then Iron Fist, both of which were met with middling reviews. All these standalone series would come to create The Defenders, the Netflix version of Marvel's The Avengers.
While still being within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, The Defenders takes its problems to a personal level in defending the part of New York called Hells Kitchen as each hero has a stake in those living quarters. It's this personal level of interest that keeps The Defenders interesting and the audience involved as the story moves forward.
In a very creative decision, Sigourney Weaver is brought in to be the main antagonist who controls the secret organization The Hand which has been hinted at during the individual series. She brings that strong willed force of an organized leader to every scene she's in and commands attention through clever dialogue. She's the only newcomer to this world and a breath of fresh air from an antagonist standpoint as she manipulates our heroes into doing exactly what she wants. However, she isn't the only villain in town as fan favorite Electra is back, but this time as The Black Sky, the right, messy hand that does direct combat with the heroes of Hells Kitchen. This makes it great.
Since The Defenders live in a world with The Avengers, they're conflict can't involve them but has to be big enough to feel world ending. They do this through the physical use of Hells Kitchen as a character in peril that needs saving. Daredevil pulls double duty as both the hero and the lawyer Matt Murdock. He's used more than the other characters, but that's because he works both sides of the law being a vigilante and an actual lawyer. Jessica Jones is perhaps my new favorite character with her witty dialogue and hard nose detective spirit. Iron Fist is also exceptional and redeems himself from his stand-alone series. This leaves Luke Cage as the last hero and quite frankly the only one dimension hero in the bunch. His intentions are just and never waiver, but for most of the series he is pulled along and doesn't make a lot of decisions on his own. But that's just one of the few faults in this series.
The Defenders is a well done Marvel series that makes great use of its heroes and antagonists. If you haven't seen any of the series, this is still a good jumping point for the other standalone series. It can make you root for our heroes and delivers on high impact fight scenes in each episode. Give this series a chance and you will be pleasantly surprised how much you like it.