The Defenders Trailer: Excitement, Concerns, and Hopes

*If you’re wanting to go into The Defenders blind of any spoilers, read on at your own risk.*

The first full-length trailer for Netflix and Marvel’s upcoming series The Defenders dropped this morning, and – holy crap – it looks awesome. If you haven’t seen it, check it out below.

It looks like good ol’ Jessica Jones has been getting herself into more trouble since the first season of her solo show ended (like we expected anything less of her), since the trailer opens with her handcuffed to a table in an interrogation room. Misty Knight (a.k.a. one of the best parts of Luke Cage) enters and accuses Jessica of tampering with crime scenes and endangering lives. Is Jessica somehow obstructing the case against Mariah Dillard? Or is she trying to keep the lives of her fellow superheroes away from the public eye? She did say that she was trying to help “him”, most likely meaning Luke Cage, as he was imprisoned at the end of his solo series. Or maybe she is conducting an investigation concurrent to Misty’s, but, in true Jessica Jones fashion, messed it up with her bull-in-a-china-shop methodology?

Before we can get more information, Matt Murdock, in full lawyer mode, burst in and tells Jessica to stop talking. This is it, folks. This is all we wanted out of a crossover. Forget epic fight scenes and building on the mythology of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, what we really wanted was for Matt Murdock to start representing superheroes in court, as he does in the comics. To be fair, we got a small taste of this in Daredevil’s season two when Matt defended The Punisher, but now we know the Matt will be defending his friends both in the courtroom, where his snark and smarts can shine, and on the streets, where he is a damn good martial artist. They are brewing Grade A Matt Murdock material, guys. I can feel it.

A montage follows of the team being assembled. It doesn’t look like these four people, who have been solo acts thus far, will get together overnight (or in the first four episodes). I, for one, am looking forward to more of Luke Cage taking Danny Rand down a few pegs. The hinted at fight between the two of them looks like it will be hilarious. Following that, there’s a roll call with epithets and badass moments for each of the Defenders. And then…

The big bad is revealed. We all knew The Defenders would be facing off against the mysterious and mystical organization known as The Hand. However, we didn’t know that the supposed leader of The Hand would be Sigourney freakin’ Weaver! I am beyond ecstatic that Weaver will be lending her talents to this series. She lends a calm sophistication to any villain she portrays, and I can’t wait to see that kind of character juxtaposed against the snarky and unpolished heroes that Marvel has brought together for this series.

Yet, Marvel has seemed to be casting a lot of white actors to portray leaders of Asian groups. Tilda Swinton and Finn Jones faced a lot of ire for playing The Ancient One and Danny Rand, respectively. As excited as I am about seeing Weaver play a villain in a highly anticipated show, I’m wondering if Marvel is making any strides toward more positive Asian representation. Sure, these are fictional groups that are being portrayed, but they are based on hundreds of years of actual Asian culture. Marvel seems to be picking and choosing which parts of this culture they deem “cool” and slapping them onto white characters. Maybe maybe this wouldn’t be a problem if Marvel had a plethora of Asian characters for their audience identify with. But they don’t. And don’t tell me that representation in pop culture isn’t important because you will be slapped with so many peer-reviewed research studies, essays, videos, and personal anecdotes that you won’t know what to do with yourself. So, to sum that whole topic up: Sigourney Weaver = good, Sigourney Weaver possibly playing a role that should have been portrayed by an Asian actor = not good.

All in all, this trailer has gotten me excited for the series. It’s raised my expectations and my interests, and it’s made me realize things that I’ve wanted from this series that I didn’t know that I wanted before. So I’ll leave you with my Defenders wish list.

Things I Want to Happen in The Defenders

  • Matt Murdock somehow representing everyone on the team in court. Representing Luke for his exoneration, Jessica for whatever trouble she got herself into this week, and Danny for taking back Rand Enterprises.
  • Misty Knight and Claire Temple to the max. These ladies don’t mess around. They’ve been the voice of reason and logic when no other character has.
  • In a similar vein, I want for all of The Defenders to crash at Claire’s after a big fight with her doctoring all their wounds at once and bemoaning how she once used to be a regular nurse and didn’t have to deal with this. I lived for these moments in the previous series.
  • Nobody buying Danny’s “I am the immortal Iron Fist” bullcrap. Luke already shot him down once in the trailer. I want Jessica and Matt to also be like, “Dude, we live in the real world. We get it that you’re mystical and oh so special, but all we really care about is that you can punch really hard.”
  • Elektra NOT being a zombie or brainwashed or whatever. She was a confused psychopath and watching the layers of her mind unfold was incredibly interesting. Now that she’s resurrected, I hope that she still gets to be herself, terrible moral compass and all.
  • Foggy Nelson. Somewhere, anywhere. The world needs more Foggy.
  • Long take fight scenes. Daredevil mastered this. Iron Fist shunned it to its own detriment. Give me well-choreographed, long take fight scenes so that I can watch these characters, all who are brawlers, do what they do best.
  • All four defenders sitting around, eating delicious fried rice (as they do in the trailer), and just shooting the breeze about their lives. These four have been alienated by the rest of the world for using their extraordinary abilities for the greater good. For the first time, it looks like they will have a support system of people with similar experiences. I’m a sucker for found-family stories, and each of the four Defenders have been so alone and beaten down thus far. I want them to come together, find strength and love in each other, and then kick some criminal butt as a tight-knit family. Give me all the scenes of them just being in the same room and enjoying one another’s company.

What did I miss that is on your wishlist for The Defenders? Leave it in the comments section!

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