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Why are Netflix’s Defenders called ‘The Defenders’?

When it comes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (and to a lesser extent, super-hero movies in general), I make it my mission to watch as much as possible. In the MCU, the only thing I’ve started and not finished so far is Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (I think I’m near the end of season two, but I don’t care enough to figure it out).

Marvel’s films and television (with S.H.I.E.L.D. being the exception), have high production values and for the most part, some quality storytelling. Of course, some of the films can feel a bit same old, same old at times, but they’re definitely, as a whole, progressing. Marvel is doing the best they can with the IP’s they have left, and as such, it’s (almost) always something I want to see.

The Netflix shows, if you haven’t been watching them, are especially good. The most recently, Luke Cage, premiered on the 30th. I spent my day watching it, and by 2am on the 1st, I had my review written up. You can read it here, if you’re so inclined.

Anyway, the next Netflix series due to be released is Iron Fist, which, as of today, we know will premiere on the 17th March next year.

After that, at some point we’ll be getting the Avengers-style team-up, The Defenders, along with another series of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, The Punisher and probably Luke Cage.

As I said, I’m very much looking forward to all of this. Not only am I a MCU fan, my favourite television recently has been the Netflix productions (not just Marvel, but House of Cards, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, etc.).

But there is something that bothers me, being the fussy nerd that I am, and that’s the title.

Now, this isn’t just because traditionally in the comic books, these characters aren’t the Defenders* (if anything, they’re the New Avengers, minus a couple of members, but whatever). In the comic books, the original Defenders line-up looked something like this:

The Defenders.gif

Doctor Strange, the Hulk, the Silver Surfer and the Sub-Mariner. They would often be joined by various other assorted characters across the years.

It was a powerful and pretty bad-ass line-up, who, when they stopped fighting among themselves were perhaps one of the most powerful teams in the Marvel Universe (if not THE most powerful).

Of course, the problem here is that the Silver Surfer and (probably) Namor the Submariner were part of the many film distribution rights deals that Marvel made in the nineties to get some dollar. The Silver Surfer and Namor (again, probably; I can’t think off the top of my head but it may be Universeal) are, in movie-form, owned by Fox, and thus are untouchable for Marvel unless they buy back The Fantastic Four property.

So the name’s available. Why not use it? Right?

Because there is a much better name for Netflix’s ‘Defenders’ already on the table, and it actually makes sense in the context of the shows.

Heroes For Hire.jpg

In the comics, Luke Cage and Iron Fist have long been best friends. Mike Colter (who plays Luke Cage) even acknowledged the fact in a recent interview on BBC Radio 2. They have also long operated the business ‘Heroes for Hire’. The name is fairly self-explanatory. As heroes, they would hire themselves out to people who needed their help.

This isn’t really a spoiler, but in the Luke Cage series, the character even has references to his comic-book businesses. It’s even in Method Man’s rap towards the end of the series.

Now the reason it frustrates me that they’re using The Defenders rather than The Heroes For Hire, is that even if Daredevil and Jessica Jones were never members of the Heroes for Hire in the comic books, BOTH OF THEM ARE LITERALLY HEROES FOR HIRE!

So far, out of the three Netflix shows, Luke Cage is the only lead character who hasn’t undergone heroics after being hired for his services! The original hero for hire, thus far, is the only hero who hasn’t been up for hire. What’s that about?

Across the series, Luke is continually told that if he were to start a business, people would definitely pay for his services. Now, were we to assume that at the start of the crossover series he and Iron Fist were to meet and start up that business, you’ve got your show right there, with a name that actually fits the characters.

The Defenders2.jpg

But what about Jessica Jones and Daredevil?

Well, as I said, those two are the only characters who, so far, have actually been heroes for hire in the MCU/Netflix universe. Jessica Jones is a private investigator with super-powers. Tying her into Cage and Iron Fist’s business would be a piece of cake. They get hired for a case; either they need a P.I. and Luke calls on Jessica, or she’s ALSO been hired and they cross paths. It’s so simple to play this hero for hire angle that it’s annoying that it’s not what’s going down (I mean it might be, but I am of course speculating from the title).

Daredevil could come on in much the same way. Much of his own show see’s him donning his crimson costume AFTER he’s been hired to represent someone in court. Whatever it is that draws these heroes together could at some point hire Matt Murdock, and boom, you’ve hired another hero, Daredevil.

Four heroes, who have come together, after being hired. Heroes For Hire.

The only real reason they could be called the Defenders at this point is some weak-ass promotional material Marvel put out saying these guys and gal are the ‘Defenders of New York’. If people haven’t seen that; they might wonder why these characters are called The Defenders.

Call them Heroes For Hire, and people will get it. Know why? Because being ‘Heroes for Hire’ is what all these character fucking do.


I’ll leave you with that to mull over, and then just drop this trailer for a REAL Defender, Doctor Strange, right here, because how awesome is that jazzy Tron-esque soundtrack:

* Before anyone rants at me, I do acknowledge that some of these characters have been Defenders in the comics as well, but not as a team, all four of them together, and not in a way that makes as much sense as them being ‘Heroes for Hire’.

 
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Posted by on October 4, 2016 in Comic Books, Film & TV

 

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The Marvelous Spider-Man

I had originally planned to write a post about my writing future and a series of reviews that I had planned to do, starting with a review of The Interview.

But then I did my regular morning internet rounds and discovered something beautiful.

Marvel got Spider-Man back.

For those of you who don’t waste as much of their time on these trivial little details as I do, although Marvel obviously has always owned Spider-Man, in a bid to start up their film franchises, they dished the cinematic rights of each character to various studios. Characters like Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, Blade, Daredevil, Ghost Rider and others now had a shot of having movies made.

Unfortunately for Marvel, they eventually realized they were better at making these films than anyone else, but by this point they couldn’t technically make films of any of their major characters. Hence the sudden spiking popularity of the Avengers. Now some might argue the Avengers have always been big names at Marvel. But really, unless you read the comics and  watch the cartoons, you probably didn’t have much of a clue pre-2008. I remember making a status about the death of Captain America in 2007, and all I got in response were queries of ‘Who’s Captain America?’. That response would obviously be met with some ridicule now.

Anyway, another brief bit of back-story. Sony’s been in the shitter. You may have noticed.

Not only that, but their Spider-Man franchise has not been doing nearly as well as they had hoped. We were almost forced into a Spider-Man cinematic universe, which I honestly believe may have tipped the scales towards the death of comic book movies. The characters of the Spider-Man lore are rich and varied. But lets be honest. No one gives a shit. There are tons of more interesting Marvel characters who would make better movie stars.

So they made a deal, and although they still ‘own’ Spider-Man, they’re willing to share. Fantastic.

So here are some of the places I suspect/would like to see the wall-crawler show up:

Civil_War_Vol_1_2_Wraparound

The first and perhaps most likely place is the upcoming Civil War. It was originally announced that the Black Panther would emulate Spider-Man’s role in the next Captain America flick, but seeing as he’s getting his own movie in the not too distance future and [possible spoilers] is suspected to have an appearance in Age of Ultron, I very much doubt Chadwick Boseman would scootch aside a little to give the web-slinger some space. And what with Spider-Man’s next installment having already taken the place of Black Panther, I’d say that situation is not unlikely.

This would be perhaps the best place because it would affirm Spider-Man’s position in the new Marvel Movieverse, post-Civil War, and make it believable that he could have perhaps been around but out of sight since the start of the first Avengers.

Plus, objectifying a young teen superhero to make their point would make Iron Man and Captain America’s struggle much more poignant and morally grey.

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One of the best original team-ups from Marvel has got to be Spider-Man and Daredevil. Street-savvy heroes who operate in completely different ways. One is mostly dark and brooding, the other quipping and aloof. Both love the thrill of superhero-ing. Now, Daredevil is soon to be getting his own show, that looks pretty interesting, if I do say so myself. But for the time being, he’s probably going to remain Netflix only.

Now imagine if Marvel and Netflix made another deal? A Spider-Man/Daredevil team-up movie. It would be a way of Netflix transferring their characters from big to small screen, and for Marvel to perhaps avoid the Spider-Man/Superhero over-saturation of the market.

They team-up, the fight, they reunite to battle someone like Mysterio, whilst Daredevil teaches Spider-Man how to make the streets his own, and Spidey teaches Daredevil to have a little fun. The perfect Superhero buddy cop film.

1798882-new_avengers__2005__28 (1)

 

Everyone wants to see Spider-Man join the Avengers. But if we’re honest, the Avengers have a good thing going. They’re bringing in new and interesting heroes, and they’ve already got Robert Downey Jr. hogging the limelight. They don’t need whoever is next cast as Spider-Man to do the same.

So a spin-off, much in the same vain as the aforementioned Netflix/Marvel idea. Let’s say the Avengers get taken out of the picture for a movie, but the world still needs saving. Who do you call? Looking at the above cover, you could already make a basic roster straight off the bat. Spider-Man, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and Doctor Strange are all set to join the movie-verse in the near future. Perhaps just sub Ronin and Spider-Woman for Hawkeye and Black Widow as a means linking it to the main film and you’re golden. Just a shame Marvel can’t bag Wolverine as well, but then that could allow for someone like Black Panther to take his place. Give and interesting contrast between the street-wise thug that is Luke Cage and the majestic prince known as Black Panther. Talk about diversity.

Punisher 

 

As I’ve said, Wolverine can’t be used. Unfortunately, after Daredevil, he’d be my next choice alongside the Fantastic Four or the X-Men. But alas, it is not to be. So instead, why not throw in someone like Wolverine, who has had a similar relationship with the wall-crawler.

Picture this: Spider-Man returns for his next big screen outing, where he is plagued by the menace of the Chameleon. Framed for murder or theft, Spider-Man attracts the attention of The Punisher, who has made it his mission to end crime on the streets of New York City. The two fight, the Punisher proves admirably adept, and Spider-Man struggles with the morality of the Punisher’s methods as the pair bring the villain to justice.

3173470-thunderbolts+#115+-+page+1But then again, who says Spider-Man has to feature at all? Say Spider-Man shows up in one of the aforementioned franchises, then Marvel could use it to springboard another property of theirs; The Thunderbolts. Yes, at this stage, it would look just like they were copying Suicide Squad, but the Thunderbolts would already be mostly established villains and have super-powers. Bring in someone new as Norman Osborn, his identity still in-tact, as the Thunderbolts new Director. Perhaps start the film with flashbacks to Spider-Man’s conflict with the Venom suit, introducing him as well. Follow through with Baron Zemo from Civil War in the place of Swordsman. Whack in Bullseye from his inevitable appearance in Daredevil. Then maybe finish off with assorted villains from Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Ant-Man or heck, even Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

To be honest, Marvel could just throw any random villains in, and I doubt people would complain. Not everyone can have their own solo film to start them off.

Anyway, can you tell I’m excited? I’ll be back tomorrow with a couple of reviews for you. Squee.

 

 

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2015 in Comic Books, Film & TV

 

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Cowboys and Cameramen, Part 2: A Brief Respite

It’s been a while since I last wrote anything. My five week Easter holiday started with a plan to get fit, get loads of work done, and catch up on all the films I missed. Before returning to Wales, I met with my prospective dissertation tutor, hoping to come out of our session with a definite plan for my dissertation, and the chance to submit my proposal. Since then, little has happened. My dissertation tutor just made me more confused about my whole. Now I have no idea what the correct option would be in moving forward with my dissertation. Not only that, but I ended up leaving the notes he gave me in Leicester, so now I’m stuck back at Square one.

Do I look at how the image of the cowboy has varied throughout the decades? Do I focus on how masculinity is portrayed in select western films? Where would I even start on that? Do I try and hammer down how actors like Harrison Ford seem to follow a set characterization which could be said as influenced by men of the Western Frontier? It’s a lot to think about, and has lead me to do nothing over the last two weeks.

But in focusing on other things, like the gym and catching up with friends, I’ve neglected over things that I wanted to focus on over my holiday. I haven’t written a post on WordPress in just over two weeks. I haven’t done any sketching to put on my re-started Deviant Art account. I haven’t practised any guitar songs. I have started to learn a song on the piano, but then the keyboard power cable stopped working. But such is life.

Setting myself goals was a bit unrealistic. Being on holiday, I wasn’t liable to stick strictly to many of my plans, even if I have got five weeks off. The only one I have stuck with is my exercise goal, and even then, it’s been touch and go at some points. I know I shouldn’t complain, but sometimes these holidays just feel too long. I’m happy for these five weeks off, but the summer holiday consists of four free months, which is ridiculous. Fortunately, I’ve managed to organise a trip to the United States, which is currently all I think about.

But until then, maybe I should just take it easy, as the Dude suggests. I’m lacking inspiration at the moment, but I’ve still got three more weeks of holiday, and not much work that needs to be done, so maybe I should just make use of this second Netflix Trial, do some drawing and see what happens.

And of course, as soon as I finish writing this, something more interesting comes to mind. Tomorrow, my views on Wales…

Cymru Am Byth?

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2014 in Life

 

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