Marvel’s The Defenders Trailer Breakdown and Analysis

Marvel's The Defenders Netflix series looks like a lot of fun, and reminds us why we like Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, & Iron Fist.

Marvel’s The Defenders trailer is finally here! We’ve been waiting for over two years to see Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist share the screen together, and we’re finally getting that team-up — plus some bonus characters.

The Defenders trailer packs a lot into its two-minute running time, offering a lot for longtime fans of both Marvel Comics and fans who have only come to these characters via their respective Netflix series.

If you haven’t had a chance to watch it yet, you should fix that right now…

Now, I don’t think there’s a ton of unexpected Marvel Universe easter eggs to unpack in this, but it does give us a pretty good idea of what to expect. This isn’t a frame-by-frame breakdown of the trailer (those are boring), and I’m not going in order (other than the opening). Instead, I’ll just try and make some connections where they make sense, and see what reveals itself.

I love everything about this shot. For one thing, Simone Missick interrogating Jessica Jones is going to make for a wonderful scene when we see this in full. But, for another, there is nothing more Matt Murdock in the Marvel Universe than having him barge into an interrogation to take the case of a legally challenged Marvel superhero.

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Matt has represented Jessica in the comics, and while you wouldn’t know it from their interactions in this trailer, they do become good friends. Jessica and Luke Cage have even served as Matt’s bodyguards when he has run into some, ummm… public difficulties.

I also love that this trailer kicks off as if it could almost be the trailer for Jessica Jones Season 2. She’s the character we haven’t seen in the longest, so it makes sense to give her some extra spotlight here.

Incidentally, I would watch an entire episode of Jessica Jones making fun of Matt Murdock. At least one.

It’s interesting to note that there aren’t a hell of a lot of shots of Matt in full costume with the rest of the team. Probably because he’d look a little silly if he’s the only one showing up to the party in costume.

This does make me realize how much I miss the simple, black ninja costume from Daredevil Season 1, though. I never quite warmed to this one…

There has been some buzz that Daredevil has kind of gone into hiding or retirement in the months leading up to The Defenders. I wonder if the fact that this costume is in storage has something to do with that. We do glimpse Matt in costume a little later on, but I wonder how much of the red we’re going to end up seeing in the course of these eight episodes.

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It’s interesting that so many of the intro shots for the characters reflect the way they were shot and lit in their respective solo series. The chilly blues of Jessica Jones and the warmer colors of Luke Cage immediately stand out.

Speaking of Luke Cage, I’m trying to figure out the timeline here…

Is this Luke being released from Seagate? I imagine it would have to be.

I don’t think his breaking the cuffs was a prelude to an escape, but rather him showing the guards that “hey, I could have left whenever I wanted, and chose not to.” I love that.

The fact that we see him in bed with Claire Temple would seem to indicate that he isn’t rekindling his romance with Jessica anytime soon, either. Those two have a future in the comics, but it’s apparently a distant future on TV… if we ever get to it at all.

Luke’s outfit here is obviously not a costume, but the black and yellow combo is a nod to his unfortunate comic book outfit. Not as obvious a nod as what we got in the series flashbacks (which was a brilliant way to do it), but it makes perfect sense here.

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While Luke has thankfully been rocking street clothes for years in the comics, his new solo comic series is really leaning into his TV look as is the upcoming Defenders comic series.

Jessica Henwick is back as Colleen Wing, which is excellent news, since she was a highlight of Iron Fist. The fact that she’s here, along with Simone Missick as Misty Knight, means that we’re going to get a proper meeting of the “Daughters of the Dragon” as they were known in the comics (and as Colleen called herself in her fight club days). We later see her kicking the crap out of a roomful of guys I can only assume are Hand operatives.

Since, Finn Jones’ Danny Rand/Iron Fist is certainly in need of some rehabilitation with fans after the missteps of his series, The Defenders has some work to do. Putting him in a group of other weirdos who find him particularly ridiculous should make for some good moments, as the “I’m the immortal Iron Fist” exchange with Luke Cage indicates.

Finn Jones as Danny Rand, Iron Fist

We also see him wearing an awful lot of green in this trailer — whether it’s the jacket, this shirt (which almost looks like it could be a textured superhero costume), or his green suit at dinner. Of the core four Defenders, Danny is the only one who would really qualify for anything remotely like a costume, and I wonder if before The Defenders ends, Matt Murdock will introduce him to Melvin Potter for an upgrade and a mask.

It’s pretty much Marvel law that when two superheroes meet for the first time, they need to fight because of a misunderstanding. It’s a trope that dates all the way back to the early 1960s with throwdowns between The Thing/Hulk, Spider-Man/Human Torch, and Hulk/everyone.

Luke and Danny are, despite all indications to the contrary in this trailer, destined to become best friends and partners as the “Heroes for Hire.” If Iron Fist Season 2 doesn’t happen on its own, I could totally see Heroes For Hire show that focuses on Luke, Danny, Colleen, and Misty.

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Who is The Defenders Villain?

No, this is an honest question. I have no idea what’s going on in that regard. Obviously there’s more than one, so let’s start at the top…

I have absolutely no idea which villain Sigourney Weaver is playing, or if she’s supposed to be someone from Marvel Comics lore. But the fact that Sigourney Weaver is playing a Marvel villain at all is a huge deal. I have to imagine that this is somebody who may be at least partially responsible for that cliffhanger ending from Iron Fist, and there is some implication that she’s the one wielding that powerful invisible force we see in this trailer.

Unless the implication here is that the mysterious force that’s rattling cars and superheroes around New York City is somehow connected to Stick? 

Marvel has had better luck with their small screen villains (Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin, David Tennant’s Kilgrave) than they have with their big screen ones (Tom Hiddleston’s Loki notwithstanding). Sigourney Weaver’s involvement bodes well for this, though, and then we have Cate Blanchett as Hela to look forward to in Thor: Ragnarok!

Not that this should come as a surprise to anyone given the way that Daredevil Season 2 ended, but Elektra is back. Elektra has died and come back so many times in the comics that, ummm, that I can’t even think of an amusing crack about it.

Hallway fights are, of course, obligatory in these shows now, and I think they’re going to need a new gimmick when we get into Phase Two of the Marvel Netflix Universe.

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On the other hand, this one has a lot of potential, and I just love this shot of Elektra menacingly appearing in the background. I have a good feeling about this.

I have absolutely no idea who this menacing sword wielding figure is supposed to be. Could this be the return of undead ninja badass Nobu from Daredevil? Holy moley, I hope so.

My second best guess is that it’s either another villain, or perhaps a member of Stick’s mystical martial arts team, The Chaste, who have also been hinted at through both Daredevil seasons.

So what do you think, Marvel fans? Did you like the trailer? Spot something I didn’t? Drop it in the comments or hit me up on Twitter…if it checks out, I’ll update this article!

Marvel’s The Defenders arrives on Netflix on August 18.