THE DEFENDERS Pilot (Friday – Hall H) – Oh, my dear GHG congregation, it is I, “Cardinal” Robert de Bexar coming to you from beautiful San Diego with AMAZING, albeit slightly jealously-inducing news: those fortunate enough to be in The Defenders panel (which, if you actually waited in line for, you got in) got to see Episode One of the series and it. Was. Stunning. The premiere is a literal comic book come to life, with the various color tones that each hero signatures to the blocking of scenes that look like comic panels to the different tones and feelings that each hero gets. Showrunner Marco Ramirez does an absolutely bang-up job bringing four separate television series together and, simply, just makes it work.
We pick up where each series leaves off; Luke Cage is in jail, Iron Fist is tracking the hand (and a mysterious woman) in Cambodia, Jessica Jones and Patsy Walker are still dealing with the effects of the Purple Man and Foggy and Murdock are no more — and neither, (DUN-DUN-DUUUUUN!!) is Daredevil. That’s right. When we pick up in the Defenders, Matt Murdock has given up Daredevil for Karen Page, but that doesn’t mean he is entirely happy. He’s also kinda sorta still reeling from the death of Elektra. (hey, it wouldn’t be Murdock/Daredevil if there wasn’t a ton of conflicting feelings and emotions). We’re also introduced to Sigourney Weaver who, let’s face it, just takes control of any screen she is on, whether it be big or small, and you can just feel the power she wields. When Madam Gao (Wai Ching Ho) is nervous around someone, you know they have some empirical clout.
The ending of the episode still has the heroes separate, but that certainly won’t last. The only characters not included in this first episode were Stick, the Punisher, and maybe the kitchen sink (nope–it’s there). We got all the main heroes and all their secondary characters. Even after the slight misstep of Iron Fist, The Defenders takes us back into that gritty world of New York and Hell’s Kitchen. When you see how many Bibles I give the show, you might think “oh geeze, it can’t be that good! … Can it?” Yes, yes it can and yes it was. 4.5/5 Bibles.
Catch The Defenders on Netflix on Augist 18th.
Panel highlights from Marvel Television:
- As soon as the lights went down in Hall H, nerds laid witnessed to a gigantic ticking countdown to the Defenders popping up on-screen. With Marvel TV head Jeph Loeb in tow as moderator, this was a first time ever for Marvel Television in the Big Room at SDCC. During Loeb’s opening introduction he was also graced–and surprised–with the Inkpot, which Comic-Con International awards to individuals for their contributions to the worlds of comics, science fiction/fantasy, film, etc. Loeb took it like a humbled champ. “Take note Marvel and Netflix, you found a way to shut me up. I love this genre and what it is that I do. Don’t ever give up on your dreams. If someone is going to wake you up, tell them to wake you up from a nightmare — not a dream.”
- After singing “happy birthday” to a friend of his (yes, we all sang), Jon Bernthal, the Punisher himself, showed up. Bernthal stated “Frank is very much in my heart.” He then thanked the armed forces and law enforcement and said that he hoped to show the respect of the world that Frank Castle comes from (i.e. the Marines and vis-à-vis the armed forces).
- We then saw a few quick clips of The Punisher that shows the state of mind he is in, including him playing the guitar with his daughter junxtaposed with playing it alone, killing bikers in Alabama, taking a sniper rifle and shooting a cartel figure in the head in Juarez, Mexico all the way from El Paso, TX and then killing someone in the JFK Airport bathroom. Tight.
- We also found out that Daredevil Season 3 is in Pre-Production (finally!!), Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist all got Season 2 pick-ups and Misty Knight will be in Season 2 of Iron Fist.