Marvel's 'The Defenders' Reveals A Couple Of New Photos And A Lot Of New Details

After literally years of hype, Netflix has finally started pulling back the curtains on The Defenders, the crossover series that brings together Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter), and Iron Fist (Finn Jones). Last week we got our first official look at the heroes all together and our first glimpse of Sigourney Weaver's villain; today we have still more new photos plus a whole bunch of new details about the characters, their relationships to one another, and how The Defenders will tie them all together. 

The latest issue of Entertainment Weekly is a The Defenders bonanza, complete with in-depth interviews with all four leads and co-showrunner Marco Ramirez. It's worth poring over them yourself if you really want to know everything there is to know about The Defenders. But to start, we've compiled some of the most interesting passages and quotes below. (Note that there are spoilers for Daredevil seasons 1-2, Jessica Jones season 1, and Luke Cage season 1 below.)

But first, here are a couple of The Defenders images just released by Marvel. The one on the left, featuring Trish Walker (Rachael Taylor) and Jessica Jones, looks like it could be straight out of, well, Jessica Jones. The other shows Iron Fist in fighter mode.

the defenders director

Where are our heroes at the start of The Defenders?

Daredevil is still reeling from the death of Elektra

Charlie Cox indicated that Matt Murdock might be a bit reluctant to get back into the vigilante game after the events of Daredevil season 2:

Well, it's been a few months since the end of season 2. I think it's been quite a challenging few months for him. He took the death of Elektra very badly —I think he feels responsible for that. One of Matt's big things is trying to protect the people he loves, which is why he keeps his identity hidden, and he's failed. He's left holding the dead body of a loved one, and so I think he's tried to turn a corner.

It's almost like quitting an addiction in the hope that it will get easier. He's perhaps a little bit lost, and the best he can do for now is to not engage in his vigilante activities. When we meet him at the beginning of The Defenders, I'm not sure he's completely found peace with that idea. I think he's doing the best with what he can at the time. He finds himself between a rock and a hard place, which is the crux of his issue really from the beginning of season 1. "Should I or shouldn't I? What is more beneficial to society?"

ranking marvel heroes jessica jonesJessica Jones is grappling with newfound popularity

Meanwhile, reluctant superhero Jessica Jones isn't quite sure how to deal with the fact that everyone suddenly wants her help. Krysten Ritter explained:

She's still dealing with the aftermath of Kilgrave, and now she's dealing with 'success' — and not well. People want her to work for them, she's getting a lot of business, and she's not ready for any of that. She hasn't changed, but her environment has, and there's no handbook for how to exist in a world where you are now popular.

The Defenders - Luke Cage (Mike Colter) (header)Luke Cage is stuck in prison, for now

The first season of Luke Cage ended with the unbreakable superhero being brought back into custody at Seagate Prison. But he won't stay there for long, confirmed Mike Colter:

It's safe to say Cage is not going to spend the entire season of The Defenders behind bars. He's been able to come clean and deal with his past... The difficulty with Cage [in the first season] is that he has this secret, he has this thing that he's been trying to run away from and deal with, and that's a big burden to bear. That weighs on you, that changes who you are as a person. Now that that's out of the way, I think we can give him a different approach to life.

Iron FistIron Fist is getting comfortable

And our newest and so far most mysterious Defender, Iron Fist, is growing into his role as a superhero. Said Finn Jones:

What we're seeing [in The Defenders] is Danny is definitely becoming more at ease, I'd say, and more comfortable with his environment because he has others around him, because he's not going at it alone anymore. You get to see Danny's brighter side coming out, and he's not so tormented by this, but also because he's found his purpose.

The Defenders - Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick) and Iron Fist (Finn Jones)

How does each individual superhero fit into the Defenders?

Jessica Jones is reluctant and distrusting

Would you expect anything less? "She's gloriously the most reluctant hero in the world," said Marco Ramirez. "She's going to have to let three men into her life who she doesn't 100 percent trust." Surely this can't be helped by the fact that she and Luke Cage do know each other... and did not exactly part ways on the best of terms.

Luke Cage is "the conciliator" of the team

In a way, Luke Cage might be the most mature and the most even-tempered of the Defenders. That makes him a natural fit to be the "conciliator" among them. "Luke is someone who's, in a very mature way, compartmentalized his life," said Ramirez. Colter added, "I'm the guy, the wisdom. If you want to make sure something works, run it up the flagpole." And not for nothing, Luke is also the most publicly known of the four Defenders. "He's openly walking around as a hero. There's a lot of pressure that comes with that," said Ramirez.

Iron Fist brings everyone together

Iron Fist may be the newest and youngest of Netflix's four Marvel superheroes, but he's the only one that "knows really what's going on," and therefore the one that winds up bringing them all together. Jones explained:

In Iron Fist, he's so unwound, because he doesn't know who he is, there's always so much confusion, and he's always on the brink of a total meltdown, or totally annihilating something, someone, mainly himself. There's always this high energy frenetic tension, but in Defenders, he's definitely more responsible. He has ground, has drive. I'd say that's the key word for Danny in The Defenders. He drives all of the Defenders to get behind him to solve this... [Pauses as the publicist looks up] issue.


What are the Defenders' relationships like with each other?

Luke Cage is like Iron Fist's mentor

Luke Cage and Iron Fist are a classic pairing in the comics, and The Defenders will be their first time standing together onscreen. Mike Colter teased the mentor-mentee dynamic between the two characters:

He's a young guy. There's an exuberance that Iron Fist comes with that Luke Cage wants to temper a bit. It can't help but have a wisdom-versus-youth quality... Danny comes out like a bull in a china shop in some ways, and I think Luke has seen the world and knows certain things. It's a cool combination that'll work out. We definitely want to pay homage to the fanboys, but we want to make it make sense in this time period.

The Defenders - Misty Knight (Simone Missick) and Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter)Jessica Jones and Daredevil have a "cat-and-mouse" dynamic

In real life, Hell's Kitchen is so tiny it's a wonder Jessica Jones and Matt Murdock don't shop at the same grocery store. But in the Defenders TV universe, they've never met. When they do, Ritter teased, they'll have a sort of "cat-and-mouse" dynamic. Though who's the cat and who's the mouse will depend on the situation. "It switches back and forth, to be honest," she said. "No one's best friends in all of the Defenders. This is a reluctant team-up."

luke cage daredevil comicsDaredevil and Luke Cage might recreate a comic book moment

Although Cox didn't say too much about how Daredevil and Luke Cage might bounce off of each other, he did mention a specific image from the comics that he'd like to see recreated or at least referenced in The Defenders. "One of my favorite images is from a Daredevil issue with Luke Cage and Daredevil on a rooftop eating cheeseburgers," he said. "I love that."

The Defenders - team

How do all the Defenders work together?

The Defenders is a crime drama as much as a superhero showThe Defenders might be a Marvel series, but that's not all it is. According to Ramirez, it owes as much to crime dramas as it does superhero adventures:

I mean, you don't have to have seen any of the other shows to come to this. We're not entering the world of capes and superheroes. We're taking our cues from shows like The Wire and The Shield. This is about what happens in the back alleys of New York City, and how people have to rise to the occasion. It's for a fan of good crime TV as much as it is for a fan of superhero TV shows.

The Defenders are forced together by "something big"The Defenders team is continuing to play coy about the big bad, whom we know will be played by Sigourney Weaver. "Alexandra" has been described in intriguing but vague terms as "everything Sigourney is: sophisticated, intellectual, dangerous." And Ramirez would really, really like you to know that she's a "massive" threat:

I can't describe too much, but I can say that we knew it had to be something big. We knew it would take something massive to pull these four characters from their individual worlds to work together, but also small enough that it felt like it existed in our world. It needed to be a crisis that brought these people together, but it still needed to be a very street-level crisis. That's the world we're dealing with, so it couldn't be anything too sci-fi or too supernatural or big. That's the stuff of the movies.

The Defenders will juggle the characters' different fight styles

Not only do each of the Defenders have a different personality and power, each of them also has their own distinct fighting style. In The Defenders, we'll get to see all four of them work in concert. Here's Ramirez on how they all fit together:

It's kind of like imagining a musical composition, and everyone has their own instrument. We have to work our way for Matt to do some cool parkour-y stuff, Danny to use his fist in some awesome way, Luke to use his strength and invulnerability in some cool way, and Jessica to just be a badass brawler. Coming at them from an emotional perspective is how we write those fight scenes, so Luke ends up being the protector, and Danny and Matt end up becoming the offense. Jessica is kind of the reluctant punk rock member of the band who doesn't want to be there, but who's really awesome. It's making sure each of the characters can really pop.

The Defenders hits Netflix this summer.