It’s heeeere! Today’s the day that The Defenders finally drops on Netflix and we couldn’t be more excited! We were lucky enough to see the first episode at Comic-Con in July and rest assured, this show starts with a bang and doesn’t let up; it’s so good we’re already brainstorming about a second season!
Mind you, The Defenders is technically a miniseries event — it runs just eight episodes rather than the usual 13 for Marvel’s Netflix shows) — and a second go-round hasn’t even been announced yet. (Jessica Jones and Luke Cage‘s second seasons are filming now; rumor has it Daredevil‘s third installment starts shooting later this year. Iron Fist, which has a new showrunner, just got announced for a second run.) That said, with the breadth of action that’s expanding the world of these four street-level heroes, not to mention the mystical element that has opened up so many possibilities. (These stories have been pretty gritty and grounded, but The Hand’s supernatural origins open oh so many doors, and not just the one to K’un-Lun.)
So to have a little fun with what might be one day, our Friday Five is dedicated to five Marvel staples who we think would work just dandy if we get a sophomore showdown with Matt, Luke, Jessica and Danny… see if you agree!:
While we’ve only seen one episode so far, we can already tell it’ll be a very rough act to follow Sigourney Weaver’s antagonist, Alexandra in the first season of The Defenders. (She’s Sigourney Weaver, what did you expect?!) That said, there are lots of intimidating baddies in Marvel lore that could provide interesting inspiration for another team-up nemesis… and Mister Fear is certainly on the short list. A shrouded ghoul who employs a pheromone-based compound to manipulate his victims into a psychosis of fear, anxiety, panic and terrifying hallucinations, he’d be a terrific villain for the writers to unleash on our heroes; though he’s primarily known as a Daredevil foe in the comics, all four Defenders have plenty of baggage this no-gooder could unpack and torment them with. (Multiple characters have also taken up the mantle over the years; the most interesting for Netflix adaptation might be Larry Cranston, an unscrupulous and unstable former law school classmate of Matt Murdock.)
This one’s not so supernatural, really, but she’s unquestionably bad-ass. The daughter of a retired CIA agent, Dakota North first appeared in her own spectacular espionage-heavy series during the mid 80’s, and as a private investigator she’s crossed paths with Spider-Man, Black Panther, the Avengers and most notably, Daredevil, Luke Cage and Jessica Jones. In the comics, when Jessica Jones and Luke Cage marry and have a child, it’s Dakota North who briefly assumes duties for the under-siege Nelson & Murdock as their bodyguard in Jessica’s place. (She also had a brief fling with Matt while he was married to someone else, and they both instantly regretted it so let’s sidestep that one, shall we?) There’s definitely potential here for another powerful female presence on the investigative trail; she’d compliment the likes of Jessica and Misty Knight really well.
Without wanting to go full-tilt into complete rumor and speculation, we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out here that there was an unconfirmed report going round last year that Netflix’s next round of Marvel development would include a strongly supernatural-heavy lineup: Namely Moon Knight, Blade and Ghost Rider. Now, we’ve seen Ghost Rider emerge on TV and it wasn’t on Netflix, but the more unlikely Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. …and that was pretty terrific! So continuing the notion of a post-Season 1-Defenders Netflix realm getting to play with more mystical characters, among the top of that wishlist has to be Marc Spector: American son of a rabbi who becomes a boxer, a soldier, and later a mercenary which takes him to Egypt… where an ancient moon god resurrects him as a super-powered hero. Moon Knight was a major player in Joe Quesada’s Marvel Knights run, alongside Daredevil and Punisher, so fans would surely love to see a storyline that weaves him in here.
The White Tiger
In Marvel comics lore, the first White Tiger was Hector Ayala, a Puerto Rican emigre who during his time at Empire State University came into possession of the Amulets of Power, three jade tiger amulets which imbued him with super-human strength, speed and agility. Where oh where do these mystical trinkets originate from? Why K’un-Lun, the same place Iron Fist once punched a dragon and got his powers, don’tcha know! Which is why this storyline could certainly make a great fit for a Defenders addition. Mind you, we’d prefer if they didn’t go with Hector, but rather one of the two fierce women who took up the mantle after him. One is his youngest sister, Ava, and the other his niece Angela Del Toro (pictured above, with Matt Murdock in Brian Michael Bendis’s Daredevil run). Angela’s storylines might be somewhat more intriguing to adapt for Netflix, as she goes from FBI agent training under Daredevil to the both of them falling prey to the Hand’s corruption. (Oooh, that’d be some hardcore conflict…)
Okay, look we know… but hear us out on this one! Sure, Blade probably makes the most sense with his wildly divergent origin story and tone to be introduced in his own series, IF Netflix is thinkin’ about it. But let’s think about this for a second… we never really got the full download on just what The Hand was up to with those blood-drained zombie people who briefly terrorized Metro General hospital in Daredevil Season 2. What if… undead… blood… VAMPIRES!! Hmm… no? Okay, well then our primary justification for wanting to see the former Eric Brooks cross paths with our Netflix heroes is that, in our pal Brian Michael Bendis‘s current comics run of The Defenders, Blade makes an absolutely awesome cameo appearance and trust us, you need this in your life. 😉 Let’s put our thinking caps on again…