The Defenders details / Trish Walker and Jessica Jones

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 jones

Jessica 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 Fist

Iron 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.

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