When it was announced that The Defenders would be making an appearance at San Diego Comic Con in it's massive staple Hall H, fans instantly were clamoring to make it to the panel. For those of us who managed to make it to the event, I can confidently say that there wasn't a single person who was dissapointed by it. Initially, the cast came out which included the four heroes of Netflix shows (Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, Luke Cage and Daredevil) but there were others such as the characters of Elektra and Karen who also joined the Marvel team for the panel and official cast of The Defenders. One of the most exciting reveals however had to be that the timeless action hero Sigourney Weaver would be a cast member as she entered the crowded room that boomed with excitement. Initially fans were just excited to be in the presence of a newly formed powerhouse, but as they prepared to debut footage it was said that it would be as long as the first episode of the series - yes, they in fact debuted The Defenders to SDCC before anyone else and it was purely marvelous.
As someone who hasn't seen all four of the Marvel series in their entireity (I have seen a fair amount of them) I was curious to see how accessible the series could be to other viewers. It began with Iron Fist debuting some intense fight sequences to wash away anyones issues with the most recent hero that had mixed reviews but still managed a large following. While being a risky decision, it benefitted The Defenders to prove that there was some progression in terms of production because his introduction to the team series is memorable to say the least. As we begin to switch back and forth with all four of the primary heroes, we see that they are all still very much handling their own issues - but that there may be something looming that ties the team together eventually. One major important quality to The Defenders is this feeling of rising tension and seriousness that each of the Marvel heroes can tell is coming.
Jessica Jones (probably my favorite character of the Marvel shows aside from Elektra) makes a glorious return with her trademarked bluntness and hidden compassion that I didn't realized I had missed so much until seeing her return to screen. Her storyline offers up the most creepy elements to the premiere which makes me feel fairly certain that the super-powered woman will be a beacon for The Defenders moving forward. After the character Daredevil's rough patch in his series, the hero seems fractured - or uncertain of what his future holds, making his character progression immediate and powerful after the conclusion of his previous story and loss of the woman he was so connected to. Luke Cage returns as well, meeting a few familiar faces and setting up for a local based conflict that begins to seem as if it will be something more dangerous than he could have anticipated. The characters don't actualy need to come into contact in episode 1, taking the time to establish them individually as a reminder to their strengths or a nice introduction to anyone unfamiliar with prior characters. There is however, a character that we meet (played by Sigourney Weaver) named Alexandra who even with brief or subtle scenes, reeks of power (and fierce fashion) that will largely impact the direction of the series. She has aready been toted as The Defenders antagonist and a connection she brings to one character in particular by the end of the episode can be semi-predicted, but the reveal still leaves a strong impact and adds excitement at the chance of seeing someone that I've been dying to see once again in the Marvel universe. (I so badly want to say who or how, but you'll just have to wait and see what Alexandra has up her sleeve.) Elektra will make her return to the series in some capacity (as confirmed previously) but to what extent I'll just have to leave up to the imagination; I will just say that Elektra fans like myself will be excited to see what this means for the deadly fighter.
By the end of the episode, something potentially drastic occurs to setup conflict for The Defenders and could be part of why they feel the need to team up - within that moment I was eagerly awaiting the next episode and the entire season. The Defenders pilot is one of the strongest examples of how Marvel can impact television, yes there may be instances of plot build-up or character re-introduction, but the overall energy of the series sent a ripple of excitement throughout the entire crowd in Hall H. As the episode came to a close, all I could think about was that it felt like something crucial was coming from the Marvel series that was needed to keep the studios reputation for crafting essential viewing. When Marvel's Defenders make their presence known in Auguest you won't want to miss a single moment of this incredibly compelling series. The Defenders will be available for binge-streaming on August 18 so cancel any plans that day because it'll be worth the watch.