Introduction to ‘The Defenders’ 101
By JERMAINE McLAUGHLIN and L.A. WILLIAMS | 8/31/2017, 3:37 p.m.
The righteous ex-con
Each hero’s Netflix series has a “flavor” or bend. If you like social commentary with your super-heroics, “Luke Cage” is the series to watch. Cage debuted in comics in 1972 as a super-strong, bulletproof “brother trying hard to make it right” after a frame had him locked up for years. Cage lives by a code of personal honor, and events in his show inspired him to make a difference in Harlem. “The Defenders” have some common friends and foes, but Luke and Jessica are the only two with direct history before the new series launches.
The kid with the glowing fist
Debuting for Marvel in 1974, “Iron Fist” tells the story of Danny Rand, heir to a vast fortune whose parents were killed before him during an expedition when he was a child. Taken on by monks from the mystical hidden city of K’un Lun and trained in the martial arts to be their greatest warrior,(…complete with an actual glowing magical “iron fist”), he returns home to New York, intent on using his new skills to avenge his parents’ deaths—but at what cost to K’un Lun?
Danny, played by “Game of Thrones” alum Finn Jones, is a petulant man-child, still overwhelmed with the issues stemming from the death of his parents and reacclimating to the modern world.
There are plenty of other supporting characters and references, but those are your key basics (without spoilers.) It’s beautifully shot, well-paced and fun to watch. Expect R-rated martial arts action, humor, intrigue, romantic entanglement(s) and a reminder of why these characters—while fairly new to TV—have been in print since 1964.
Jermaine Mclaughlin is a 15-year veteran of the comic book industry and a lifelong fan of all things comic book, anime and general geekdom.
L.A. Williams is a former comic editor who runs AquaBabyBooks.com online comic shop. Wisely mention this article to get a free comic with any order made by Aug. 31.