WARNING: The following article features spoilers for Season 1 of The Defenders.
The Defenders has launched on Netflix, and you can read our review of the first season here. But what of the future of each Defender? Showrunner Marco Ramirez recently told Entertainment Weekly that having defeated The Hand, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist would go back to their ‘normal’ lives.
“I think of them mostly as like people who were on the same bus when it got in an accident, and then they all filled out paperwork together, and they all went to the hospital together, and now they’re going home,” he told EW. “And it’s kind of like, ‘This was a great adventure to have with you, I’d be okay with seeing you again, I’d also be okay with never seeing you again.’ It’s more like a bond that happens in a crisis. People are intimate now, but it’s not like you’ll be inviting them over for dinner every Tuesday. [Laughs] We designed it so they could go back to their individual worlds, but it’s not like they’re apart permanently in any way.”
With each of the character’s standalone shows in various stages of development, we look ahead to what’s next for the Defenders…
The Defenders does not end well for Matt Murdock. Realising that he has to do battle with Elektra to save her, and/or save New York, he stays underground when his cohorts depart. And pays the price when the building blows up.
Matt is presumed dead by the rest of The Defenders, and we watch them grieve. But Daredevil is getting a third season, so it can’t stay that way. And wouldn’t you know it – the final shot shows a battered and bruised Matt lying in bed, a rosary by his side and a cross above his head. A nun sits at the end of the bed, and says, “Get Maggie – tell her he’s awake.”
Maggie who? Maggie Murdock – Matt’s missing mother. Which paves the way for an adaptation of one of the great Daredevil storylines – and the one in which Maggie first appeared – Born Again. Written by Frank Miller and published in 1986, Born Again sees Kingpin systematically destroying Matt Murdock’s life, freezing his assets, ruining his career, blowing up his apartment, and beating him to near-death.
He’s rescued by his missing mother – now a nun – who nurses him back to health, but Kingpin isn’t done there, and sets out to end Daredevil once and for all. This might not be the storyline that Marvel choose to adapt, but it certainly looks like they are setting up elements of that narrative, and it would make sense both thematically and emotionally.
And should they go in that direction, Daredevil actor Charlie Cox is onboard, telling The Hollywood Reporter: “That’s such an amazing story. Everyone who loves Daredevil loves Born Again. You can’t not. And if that’s the case, then the implications of that would be very exciting to me. That would be great.
“Having said that, I know we don’t tend to follow any story blueprints too closely, because if you do, then you become a foregone conclusion. There may be elements from Born Again, but I’m sure there will be elements that are unfamiliar and surprising and different in order for the show to be compelling to fans who know the comics very well. If we start making Born Again page-for-page, then the people who have read it and loved it — the hardcore fans — they won’t have too much drama.”
— Entertainment Weekly (@EW) August 15, 2017
Jessica Jones’ penultimate scene in The Defenders features her drinking in a bar. Predictably. But then she returns to her office, and it seems like things are looking up for the private eye. Malcolm is fixing the place up, which Jessica admits she doesn’t hate. The glass in her door is fixed. And Alias Investigations is pretty much back in business.
Which we kind of expected as Season 2 of Jessica Jones is currently shooting. But the big news on that front is the return of villain Kilgrave. Who was very much dead at the end of Season 1.
Which begs the question – how does he return? We reckon The Hand brings him back to life, or Kilgrave brings himself back from the dead, or he simply appears via flashback or hallucination.
Whatever the case, David Tennant will once again be chewing up the scenery as Kilgrave, and we can’t wait.
There isn't a huge amount going on with Luke Cage as the end of The Defenders. He seems to be living with Claire Temple, so it looks like that relationship is working out. But he also hangs out with Jessica in a bar, where they talk about grabbing coffee. In The Defenders universe, we know what "grabbing coffee" means, and it ain't going to Starbucks. But in the comics, Luke and Jessica get married, so perhaps the seeds are already being sown for that union.
As for Season 2 of his solo series, star Mike Coulter says he's looking forward to playing a Luke that is no longer living in the shadow of his dark past. Speaking to Moviefone, Coulter said, "What I want to explore, and what's going to be really interesting for the second season, is seeing how he handles these newfound freedoms. What does it open up for him? How does his life change from now on moving forward? And what is it like to sort of be a person that when you walk down the street, everybody knows who he is?"
But maybe the most exciting development in The Defenders - and something we'd love to see continued in a future team-up show - is the friendship that's blossoming between Luke Cage and Iron Fist. In the comics, they got together way back in December 1978 as Power Man and Iron Fist. And in the TV show, they are starting to get along, and make a formidable team when fighting together. So we reckon there's a strong chance that these 'Heroes for Hire' will get their own spin-off show.
Danny Rand seems to grow up over the course of The Defenders, so much so that come the end of the series, when Matt Murdoch realises he might not make it, he tells Iron Fist to "protect my city." A huge responsibility. But one that Matt clearly thinks Danny is ready for. And Danny sitting on the top of a building at the end of the series - looking out across the city Daredevil-style - suggests he's stepping up and taking on that mantle.
But what of Season 2 of his solo show? Well, it will doubtless revolve around the search for K'un Lun. But the question of what Danny will wear during that search seems to be the one that's most bothering fans. The closest we've come to Rand donning an Iron Fist costume is his wearing a green hoodie, but that might be about to change.
"Towards the end of Defenders, Danny has certainly become a lot more grounded, and driven, and a more purposeful character," actor Finn Jones told Comic Book Resources. "And I certainly think, moving forward into Season 2, that superhero outfit would be something that Danny Rand finds extremely alluring, and cool, and after seeing Daredevil in his getup, I definitely think he may be persuaded to find one himself. What it looks like, who knows? I’d like to see a mashup of all of the kind of outfits."
Daredevil Season 3 and Jessica Jones Season 2, Luke Cage Season 2 and Iron Fist Season 2 are all set to hit Netflix in 2018, while The Punisher's solo show drops later this year.