Published On: Fri, Aug 18th, 2017

Marvel's The Defenders Episode 1: The H Word Review

Warning: The following review contains minor spoilers for the episode.

When it was announced that Marvel was to bring its street-level heroes to Netflix, the endgame was clear: The Defenders, an Avengers-like culmination that would unite its four heroes to face an even greater threat. Sadly, the first episode of this crossover miniseries fails deliver on that promise. What we get served instead is a slow-paced and stodgy overture that has to spend far too long putting its pieces into position.

I’m not adverse to a slow build or having these characters come together in an organic way, but I can’t help be feel The Defenders – despite always being a part of the plan – wasn’t helped by the arcs of the individual shows. Showrunner Marco Ramirez and his writers are placed in the unenviable position where they have to undercut some of those shows simply to put characters back into play. For instance – spoiler warning – the end of Luke Cage sees its protagonist sent back to prison. It was a fairly-dramatic end-of-season cliffhanger for Harlem’s Hero. But obviously this show needs Luke to be back in New York, and so Foggy is lazily dispatched to get him out of prison in less than 2 minutes and 3 seconds. (Yes, I timed it.) It just retroactively dulls that ending, robbing it of its impact. It just feels like there was a lack of planning and coordination.

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