Review: Marvel’s The Defenders – Episode 1


Written by Emily Sayers – Student Pages Journalist

The much anticipated mini-series brings together Marvel’s Netflix heroes, in an Avengers-esque set up which finds them teaming up against the shadowy ancient supervillain organisation, The Hand. The first episode works mainly to catch-up with characters where we left off, while introducing the threat that will eventually bring them together. Some have argued the episode feels slow and clunky, and spends too much time introducing characters and wrapping up loose ends. However some re-introduction is partly necessary and it doesn’t feel overly focused on this, or on tying up too many loose ends.  And, ultimately it does satisfy cravings for new Marvel material.

Each character is introduced (or re-introduced if you are a Marvel aficionado) almost as separately styled slices of the same cake. Daredevil is ultimately recognisable by its red colour palette, Luke Cage by its warm browns, oranges (and signature hip-hop), Jessica Jones has the same cold palette and general bleakness, and the Iron Fist has the same gold/green hue.

Each show maintains its characteristic style, while the scenes setting up the main threat of the series seem to exist outside of these stylistic planes, allowing for a feeling of unity between the separate sections. In a sense they are all melded together by this impending threat, while each character follows individual threads. Luke Cage is busy being a hero (not his words), Jessica Jones follows leads, Matt Murdock tries to reconcile two incongruent sides of himself, and Danny Rand attempts to find focus amongst the chaos of The Hand.

Overall the series begins fairly slowly, though definitely rewarding and succeeding in filling a gap for those aching for more action from the Marvel heroes.  The first episode definitely feels as though the pieces of the story are being put into place, though not overwhelmingly so, and not in a way that makes it feel dull. It is an interesting format for any followers of the Marvel Netflix series, and the joining of the four worlds alone feels exciting enough at this point that masses of conflict and violence at such an early point would feel slightly too loud.

The show also features a pretty cool opening sequence that carries the dark, broodiness of Daredevil and showcases the location specific feel of Luke Cage, while focusing on the characteristic use of colour across the different shows.  This is a promising opener from the highly anticipated series, and all 8 episodes are now available to watch on Netflix.


Follow Emily at @emilysays_stuff