Top 10 Facts about The Defenders

Written by Nick Spake The Man Without Fear, Power Woman, Power Man, and The Living Weapon, together at last! Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Defenders Facts. For this list, we’re taking a look at interesting trivia regarding the small screen crossover event Marvel and Netflix have been building towards, known as “The Defenders” and set to be released in August 2017. Have an idea you want to see made into a WatchMojo video? Check out our suggest page at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest and submit your idea.
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The Man Without Fear, Power Woman, Power Man, and The Living Weapon, together at last! Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Defenders Facts.

For this list, we’re taking a look at interesting trivia regarding the small screen crossover event Marvel and Netflix have been building towards, known as “The Defenders” and set to be released in August 2017.

#10: The Initial Defenders in the Comics Were Different

Fans of Marvel and Netflix’s previous collaborations already know that this miniseries assembles Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fast. In the comics, however, none of these characters were part of the original Defenders. The initial leader was actually Doctor Strange, who received backup from the Incredible Hulk, both of which have been featured in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Rounding out the classic Defenders line up was co-founder Namor the Sub-Mariner, and the Silver Surfer, both of whom, as of 2017, are MIA from the MCU. Since this franchise could potentially last forever, though, we shouldn't be surprised if they dropped by eventually.

#9: The Defenders Have Had a Rotating Roster

Many superhero teams maintain the same line-up from beginning to end. Defenders membership, meanwhile, tends to fluctuate. Between 1972 and 1986, the roster underwent multiple variations. While Doctor Strange and the Hulk were usually around, other members would come and go over time. The most heavily featured players included the likes of Nighthawk, Valkyrie, Son of Satan, Hellcat, Gargoyle, Beast, and Luke Cage. Numerous other familiar faces also dropped by, although some of them only lasted one mission. This makes sense since the Defenders don’t exactly have a set of guidelines. Perhaps that’s why they’re often described as a non-team.

#8: The Defenders Have Gone Through Different Phases

Given the loose criteria to become a member, it’s not surprising that the Defenders have gone through a few phases. After the initial series shifted into the New Defenders and wrapped in 1986, Marvel offered a new format with “Secret Defenders.” Running from 1993 to 1995, it primarily revolved around Doctor Strange and the various teams he recruited. In the early 2000s, the classic Defenders reunited for a brief run, and got together once again for a 2005 miniseries where they went up against Dormammu and Umar. Marvel introduced yet another Defenders series in 2011, which essentially ends with Doctor Strange hitting the reset button.

#7: The Defenders Were Originally More Supernatural

Given the original roster, the Defenders tended to lean more towards the supernatural and mystical side with characters like Doctor Strange and the Hulk taking center stage. Likewise, their rogues’ gallery largely consisted of gods, aliens, and other otherworldly beings. While shows like “Daredevil” and “Jessica Jones” obviously have a supernatural element as well, they also possess a gritty, grounded sense of realism, reminiscent of a classic film noir as apposed to conventional superhero fare. Because of this, the Netflix adaptation should feel less like a battle for the universe and more like a street fight… an awesome street fight!

#6: Jessica Jones Wasn’t a Defender in the Comics

At one point or another, Daredevil, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage have all been Defenders in Marvel’s shared comic book universe. However, Jessica Jones was never affiliated with the non-team, making her the only character in the miniseries that doesn’t have a connection to the original source material. Then again, it’s not like this is the only liberty Netflix and Marvel have taken here. They’re clearly aiming to re-establish the “Defenders” brand, a brand in sync with Jessica’s. Plus, if we’re going to get technical, Jessica Jones is a major player the 2017 “Defenders” comic series, bringing things full circle.

#5: There Will Be Other Familiar Faces

Actors Charlie Cox, Krysten Ritter, Mike Colter, and Finn Jones will all reprise their roles from their standalone shows, but they aren’t the only familiar faces integral to “The Defenders.” Elektra and Stick are both set to appear, as are Murdock’s associates, Karen Page and Foggy Nelson. Jessica Jones has best friend Trish and neighbor Malcolm in her corner. Luke Cage has Misty Knight, while Colleen Wing supports Danny Rand. The list goes on with lawyer Jeri Hogarth and night nurse Claire Temple onboard as well. We also just might see the Punisher pop up, along with a cameo from some guy named Stan Lee.

#4: The Beginning of Heroes for Hire

The Defenders aren’t the only group Luke Cage and Danny Rand are associated with. In the comics, Power Man and Iron Fist formed Heroes For Hire, and while both characters have starred in their own Netflix Originals, this miniseries will be what brings the two hard-hitting heroes together. Prior to its release, Luke Cage actor Mike Colter revealed that the show would pay homage to Heroes for Hire, but with a few timely twists. Luke and Danny don’t entirely see eye to eye at first, but eventually settle into a mentor-mentee relationship, as Cage takes the youngest Defender under his unbreakable wing, with Claire Temple stuck in the middle.

#3: Sigourney Weaver Plays the Villain

Marvel and Netflix have given us some pretty chilling villains over the past couple years, from Vincent D'Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk to David Tennant’s Kilgrave. In “The Defenders,” Sigourney Weaver stars as the big baddie, Alexandra. Major details about this character have been clouded in mystery, but all you really need to know for now is that she’s one of the most powerful figures in New York City. Series showrunner Marco Ramirez described Alexandra as an “utter badass” and “the smartest person in the room.” If anybody can give our four heroes a run for their money, it’s Ellen Ripley herself.

#2: The Defenders Will Connect to the MCU

Throughout the previous four Netflix/Marvel endeavors, the heroes have typically gone up against street-level criminals, making it easy to forget that these characters are part of the MCU. Compared to Iron Man and Thor, Daredevil and Luke Cage’s storylines have been smaller in scale, showing a different side of the MCU. While the Defenders does tie into this ever-expanding franchise, fans can’t help but wonder if they’ll ever meet the Avengers, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, or Guardians of the Galaxy. Marvel’s TV Head, Jeph Loeb, hasn’t shot down the possibility of even bigger crossovers, although he has stated that they will have to earn it.

#1: It’s the End of ‘Phase One’

2012’s “The Avengers” might’ve acted as a grand finale to the MCU’s first phase, but in retrospect, it was really only the beginning. The same can be said about “The Defenders,” which marks the end of Marvel and Netflix’s first phase on the small screen. There will still be plenty to stream in the future, though, with a third Daredevil season, second Jessica Jones and Luke Cage, and a Punisher series all in the post-Defenders pipeline. As for which Marvel character will get the Netflix treatment next, it could be just about anybody… well, anybody who's not in the X-Men or Fantastic Four.
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