Suburban Superheroes

Marvel’s “The Defenders” released on Netflix

Story by Nick Mitchell, Staff writer

From a detective with a dark, abusive past, an indestructible Harlem man, a blind karate expert and a billionaire kung fu master, The Defenders are not your typical superhero team. No shiny suits, no magic hammers- just grit, blood and a little bit of teamwork.

Netflix’s “The Defenders” brings their collection of individual hero shows full circle, with Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Daredevil and Iron Fist teaming up to save Hell’s Kitchen from The Hand, a notorious mafia full of mystical ninjas led by Alexandra.

The beginning of the season came under heavy criticism for a slow plot and lack of a real team, but the show was praised for its later episodes. Another point of praise was Sigourney Weaver’s role of Alexandra, one of Marvel’s first lead female villains. This was not only a big step for Marvel but also set a good precedent for future popular TV and movie series.

Despite the talk from critics, Marvel fanatics Landon Durham and Mills Manthei still took the time to enjoy the series.

“The reason why I liked the show is because it took several aspects from some of my favorite TV shows made by Marvel, like Luke Cage and Iron Fist,” sophomore Mills Manthei said. “The show is very intense and the Defenders go through rigorous tasks which in my opinion makes the show more interesting.”

However, this opinion was not mutual.

“[I didn’t find it very interesting] because it was mostly character development and there weren’t many fight scenes,” sophomore Landon Durham said.

Seemingly a similar opinion to critics, “The Defenders” did not seem to click with average viewers. After watching the prequel shows, I saw “The Defenders” as an excellent team up between the very independent heroes presented. However, many people picked on the incredibly slow start and focused too much on certain characters.

Some people may see “The Defenders” as low-grade Avengers, yet Netflix did not want this to be the case. Gritty, dark fight scenes and more mature content and language at times separated the show from your friendly neighborhood Marvel flick.

“’The Defenders’ differed from other Marvel titles because of the setting,” Manthei said. “In other Marvel productions, it usually takes place in large cities, third world countries, or in a different universe. Instead, it mostly takes place in the suburbs. Also, their fight against the Hand is in the ‘shadows’ instead of the public knowing about it like other Marvel films.”

In spite of the realisticness of the show, there is controversy. From dead bodies strewn across streets, heavy amounts of blood and stronger language, “The Defenders” goes in a direction different from Marvel’s public persona. I see this as a push by Marvel to better connect with people by introducing characters that, despite having superpowers, are easy to relate to.

“One controversial issue within “The Defenders” was the fact that two of the characters are blind and there are blind jokes made toward them throughout the episodes,” Durham said. “Some people might be offended by this.”

The Defenders may not be for everyone, but for comic book lovers and die-hard Marvel fans, it should hit the spot.