Review: Marvel’s The Defenders ssn 1
Netflix surely has a hit with its Marvel TV shows, but that doesn’t mean they have all been great. Daredevil season 1 and 2 as well as Luke Cage were outstanding. Iron Fist started strong, but underwhelmed in the latter half of the season. Jessica Jones had a great concept, but could have been done in 4 episodes because 13 was much too long and drawn out. So with the Defenders coming out I had a bag of mixed emotions. How did it fare?
The Defenders had an amazing first two episodes. They filled in the gap of what was happening with each character after we last saw them all. It was story building at its finest. People complained that they all don’t even meet until episode 3, but they obviously have no desire for substance. It is well worth the wait.
At that point I was worried that with such a great buildup, that the last 4 episodes would fall short. They did not. The action sequences and story held up to standards, and even though the post climax was drawn out, the 8 episodes made for in my opinion the best Marvel Netflix show yet. Even at the end of the credits we get a surprise teaser trailer for the Punisher coming later this year.
There were plenty of twists and turns, and a few things left unsaid. The ending left me wondering whether the Hand was done, and who survived of the four stuck at the bottom of the shaft? Surely Matt Murdock could not have escaped on his own. So, who got him to the surface?
As for the characters individually here’s how I see them:
Luke Cage & Daredevil were as expected. I think both were flawless and exactly how portrayed before. Jessica Jones was still herself at the core, but her interactions with the other characters, in particular Matt Murdock, were so much more likeable. She worked better with a team than alone. Iron Fist finally made that transition to hero. He was much more deserving of the title in this than his own show, making it more exciting anticipation for his next season. Colleen Wing, Misty Knight, Karen Page, Foggy, Trish, and Stick were all used sparingly enough to not overcrowd the plot.
Overall it was an enjoyable and fun ride. I’d call it the Avengers for adults, and am eager to see them all team up again. I’ll give it 4.5 out of 5 sCrypt ratings. What did you think?
Review: Marvel TV shows 2015-2016
Since I did the DC post it’s time to review the Marvel TV and Netflix shows for the 2015-2016. Like all of my reviews I will break it down by character giving my honest thoughts as a comic fan and viewer. There will be spoilers, so if you want my rating on each show scroll down to the final paragraph of each section (which ends with a solid line).
Feel free to comment and add your own thoughts below. I will be reviewing Jessica Jones season 1, Daredevil season 2, Agent Carter season 2, and Agents of SHIELD season 3.
First up Jessica Jones season 1:
Jessica Jones – She’s raunchy, she’s a drunk, she’s sexual, she’s got a bad attitude, she’s everything that a superhero isn’t, but she leaves her mark as one. Jessica is the most interesting character to watch as of yet. My only problem with this show was the extreme amounts of sexual scenes. I’m no prude by any means, but by the fourth gratuitous softcore porn scene I was tired of it. It’s as if there was nothing else that the writers had to do with their time. We get it. We get the type of character she is, but seriously it was overkill.
Luke Cage – was one of the two best things about this show. Casting was perfect and his acting superb. I actually got chills during the first bar fight scene that made me want to skip right to his show coming this fall. I found it predictable that he’d be controlled by Killgrave at one point, so I wasn’t surprised. I WAS however shocked by the shotgun blast to the face. That part of the story was intense and brought in the help of Claire Temple who made reference to Daredevil.
Kilgrave – The Purple man was an absolutely delightful villain to see. He is right up there with villains you want to hate but love (like Loki, the Joker, and Hannibal Lecter). He’s downright creepy and his ability to control others actions adds to that. By far he was one of the top villains in Marvel live action. It’s just a shame that he’s now dead.
Trish “Patsy” Walker – I loved her in the show, and she’s another perfect casting. In fact all of the cast was perfectly picked. They obviously are building her up to become Hellcat at some point, so we shall see what they do in season 2.
Simpson / Nuke – The officer gone rogue was basically an abusive addict by season end. He really embodied the rage that his comic book counterpart portrayed and the viewer is left really wanting him to be hurt for his actions.
Jeri Hogarth – I feel this part of the show could have been better written. We get that she likes women, but we don’t need a reference every two seconds. None of the straight characters are doing that, so it seems forced a bit. I’m all for equal portrayal of characters, but it got a bit over the top in parts… then again most of this show was over the boundaries. Regardless of my opinion she served a great purpose to the narrative, and I hope we see more of her.
In conclusion: Season 1 of Jessica Jones frustrated me not on the soft core porn sense, but it could have been just as effective if it were 4 episodes shorter. It was drawn out to a point where I was yelling at the tv for her to finish the job already. Other than those two complaints I really did enjoy it, and it brought a new feel to the Marvel cinematic universe. I give the show a 3 out of 5 sCrypt Coffins
Daredevil Season 2:
Daredevil / Matt Murdock – To me DD took a back seat this season as Castle was the highlight of the show, but that doesn’t mean he was bad by any means. We got to see a conflicted side of Matt Murdock, and while he mostly stuck with his own judicial and moral code he waivered at times making him unpredictable. This was a great decision on the writing end.
Foggy and Karen – I put them together because they each had their own equally interesting story arcs. Foggy is even going to work for Jeri Hogarth now, so I’m sure we will see him crossing over into the other shows. The trio is no longer a team, but each has their own little corner in the story. I’d like to see Karen and Matt work on their relationship because it left in a strange place.
Melvin Potter and Claire Temple – again I had to put these together as they were very small roles as opposed to the pair above. I’d like to see Potter become the Gladiator and I think they are building it towards that. He would be an excellent villain as he knows DD’s weaknesses. Claire is just Claire. She’s doing what she does best and it should be kept that way. Rosario Dawson can do no wrong here.
Elektra – Why Matt ever was attracted to her other than looks is beyond me. She’s clearly got little morals. But her beauty and bad nature clearly had its wrap on him. Elektra was great. I’ve no complaints other than I’m kind of hoping she’s brought back somehow. To me it made no sense to kill her off. I’d have rather seen Karen or Foggy wiped out instead.
Stick and the Hand – Both the old man and the ninjas were completely badass. There isn’t much more to say other than I’m hoping everything established in season 2 with these will bring about Daredevil in a Shadowland story. Him in charge of the Hand would be very interesting to see.
Kingpin – Wilson Fisk’s role is small, but that’s all it needed to be. Even behind bars he clearly has control of everything. His manipulation of Punisher and no fear of Murdock puts him in a place where you know he’s coming back better and badder than ever.
Frank Castle / The Punisher – He is my favorite comic book character of all time, and he was done so right here that there’s no way it could get better other than seeing his own series next year. From his brutality to his purpose he had it all nailed. Kudos to Jon Bernthal for kicking ass and taking names.
In Conclusion: DD season 2 was by far my favorite of the Marvel seasons to watch. Perhaps even more so than the movies as well. I am rating it with a full 5 out of 5 sCrypt Coffins.
Agent Carter Season 2:
Peggy Carter – It’s always a delight to see Hayley Atwell do anything, so I feel bad for how this season turned out. I don’t think it was the worst it could have been, but it lacked heart. Peggy was one of two parts that were good about it. Everything else really didn’t work for me.
Black Widow (Dottie Underwood) – was underused. Jarvis – was all over the place with who he was in love with and his own morals. Howard Stark – was no way near as good as he was in season 1 and it almost didn’t even feel like his character.
Joseph Manfredi – was decent enough, but never felt like a true threat, while constantly being overthrown by the Zero Matter plot.
Whitney Frost / Madame Masque – was the other part I felt was worth seeing. She played the villain role well and it made sense. I just feel as though it could have been better.
In conclusion: I said at the end of Season 1 (which I liked) that season 2 would not be needed. It should have stayed that way. We had a great hero and a great villain, but everything else was forgettable. If a show can’t hold my interest I’m out, but I forced myself through this entire season only to be sorely disappointed at my wasted hours. I have to rate it with a 1.5 out of 5 sCrypt coffins. It wasn’t quite a 1, but didn’t deserve 2.
Agents of SHIELD season 3:
The agents: Phil Couson continues to be a pleasure to watch, though his constant smirk makes it difficult at times to take him seriously. Hunter fell flat this season due to his relationship with Mockingbird / Bobbi Morse. The pair worked great together, but individually only she worked. I realize they were written off of the show due to a potential spinoff, but now that that isn’t happening I hope we still get to see Bobbi’s return in some manner. Fitz/Simmons became slightly less annoying as the season went on and for the first time in the series I actually didn’t mind both of them. I still feel as though Fitz is better when he’s driven to make solo decisions, and that Simmons acts exactly the same no matter what situation she’s in. That’s good for him, but bad for her. Melinda May continues to be a badass, but we got to see a softer side of her which was nice for a change. It enabled viewers to see that she isn’t all work. At least she didn’t used to be anyway. Mack by far is my favorite agent to watch. He’s the perfect embodiment of what an agent should be, although he does tend to have issues with authority at times. All around the entire SHIELD team are like pieces of a puzzle. They are great as a whole, but individually have flaws.
Secret Warriors: Daisy Johnson / Quake – Well she finally took on her codename by season end, but I was left confused. She is on the run or running solo? Why is SHIELD hunting her? She was obviously left scarred by her actions against the team, but if SHIELD is after her to make her accountable for what she did, then how did she escape in the first place? There is too much left unanswered. Lincoln on the other hand had a surprising fate. I did not for one second believe he’d be the one to die. I really grew to like him throughout the season so it makes sense as he said he didn’t want to be an agent after all. Despite that statement he still died a hero. Meltdown was underused in my opinion. The first episode was great when they hunted him down, but after that he didn’t get used nearly enough. I’m hoping this changes. Yo-Yo was great as well but I think they are rushing with her and Mack’s “relationship” if that’s what you want to call it. It is possible however that they are gearing up for her to be Mack’s new partner in place of Daisy on the team. The question then is… What happened to the Secret Warriors? Are they now defunct?
Lash was great until the reveal of his true identity. I feel he lost some bit of mystery there, but it was redeemed when he fully became Lash again. The fact that he saved Daisy makes me believe he was a combination of both personalities and that in the end the decision was made by his human half and not his bestial one.
Hive – What makes Agent Ward even better? Make him a heartless alien bringer of death. Everything from his powers to his true appearance looked superb. I’m glad he was destroyed as I didn’t want this story to drag on, but it makes me wonder who could possibly be brought in to be a great villain for next season. His deformed lackeys were terrible looking thugs with no purpose other than to be henchmen. That part I’m not sure I liked too much.
Talbot and Absorbing Man – I love the recurring presence of Talbot, and the smart use of Crusher Creel. I could see this whole thing leading into a “Dark Warriors” storyline, something akin to what the comics did with the Avengers, only having Talbot in charge.
Hellfire was great though I’m not sure I like his origin. My pickiness aside he was fun to watch and had a lot of character to him.
Holden Radcliffe was as the Machine Teen in the comics, and I’m glad to see they changed this for the show. He works better as a man with age and wisdom. I can see how his creations could prove to be a future threat, even if he did leave on good terms with SHIELD. I wouldn’t mind seeing him as a more significant villain.
Other references/characters: Werner Von Strucker was no way near as threatening as his father, and for that reason I’m glad he was only a small role. Manifold was referenced quickly for any comic fan who may have picked up on it. Civil War had also affected the show on a minor level but then it was left to hang. There was no real reveal as to whether Coulson’s team would be forced to sign the accords or not.
In Conclusion – Agents of SHIELD season 3 was the best season of the show yet, but still had some irritating qualities. It was a good build up for a season 4 that could potentially be really great. Still, despite what it lead into it fell flat enough to make it less than great. Overall I’m rating it with a 3 out of 5 as it has established itself as a fun show that can exist successfully without relying on the much better films in the same universe.
So there’s my take. What did you think? This gives Marvel TV 2015-2016 an average sCrypt rating of 3 out of 5. Clearly aside from Netflix DC rules the contest with their TV shows, but Marvel’s strong suit remains on the big screen leaving DC in the dust. I only want both to succeed and am happy for what we get, so here’s hoping it all gets better.
Editorial: Overwhelming Comic Movie News
This has been a week of news that may even surpass that of comiccons. Fox, Sony, Marvel, and Warner Brothers continue to compete with each other to see who can get the most news to us, and most memorable. Here is a quick summary of what we know about the upcoming films/shows, and my own speculation/suggestions as to how it should happen or may happen.
X-Men Days Of Future Past: The Wolverine leads directly into this (you’ll know what I mean if you saw the end credits scene). The cast of the original cast (well most of them) and the First class cast (most of them as well) will be taking on the classic story from my child hood. We know that Bolivar Trask and the Sentinels are the main villains. We also know that newcomers Bishop, Sunspot, Warpath, Quicksilver, Ink and Blink will be in it. Wolverine will be sent back in time to “possess” his younger self, and try to prevent the events that lead to mutant prejudice. This event is probably the assassination of JFK, which Magneto is assumed to have been responsible for, and mystique having some sort of role in it. —— This will be a reboot, sure, but what will it mean for the past cast? Will they kill off Logan? He’s not getting any younger.
X-Men Apocalypse: All we know now is that Apocalypse will be the villain. —— They should bring back Angel for this story. It’s only logical. I believe that the events in DOFP will change the future in a way where Age of Apocalypse will begin. A darker present will emerge, with the first class characters and possibly a recasting of some of the veterans. Cyclops should be brought back. We never saw a dead body in X-3. He could have been taken by Mr. Sinister and made into one of the horsemen along with Archangel, and two others.
X-Force: All we know at this point is that the writers like the current run in the comics, and are working on it. —– Who should be involved? I personally want to see Domino, Psylocke, Cable, Deadpool, and Archangel. Maybe even fantomex or a cameo by logan, but I really think this should be fresh and not use Wolverine.
Wolverine 3: Hugh Jackman is back with the same director who did an outstanding job on The Wolverine. He’s now got bone claws, which may be corrected by magneto being an ally in DOFP. Either way, it’ll be fun. I want to see Alpha Flight and Logan going up against Omega Red and Department H. I can’t think of a more fitting storyline for them to tackle, and they can end his run here respectfully. Unless they want to do an old man logan storyline, which would be awesome.
Fantastic 4: It will be a reboot, and exist within the same universe as the other Fox owned Marvel properties.
The Amazing Spider-man 2: Electro is the main villain. Gwenn Stacey dies. Rhino and Hobgoblin (Ultimate versions) are in it. Doctor Octopus, Vulture, Venom and Morbius were all hinted at in the trailer. —- This needs to be done VERY carefully. As much as I want to see Sinister Six on screen, and Venom done right, I can’t see how they can cram it all. If (Mecha)Rhino and Hobgoblin are in it as small roles, then it’ll work. Having it set up for the third film, which is planned already with Rhino at least returning, and introduce Black Cat would make the most sense. Then they can taper off into 4, which is also confirmed as in the works and bring in Mysterio as a singular menacing villain. There are various spinoffs in the works too… I can only assume (and hope) that one of these is Venom, and will feature Carnage as the villain. Make it dark and gritty.
Thor 3: It is all but confirmed. The Dark World has grossed over 600 million worldwide, so it’s inevitable. —– thoughts? I believe Loki died in 2, and made a deal with Hela for Odin’s soul, so that he could come back and assume the throne. Loki teaming with Enchantress and Executioner and a reference to Surtur and Hela would be a great way to keep it going.
Guardians of The Galaxy: What we know is that it might take place slightly in the future, that the Collector is the villain, that Adam Warlock’s cocoon was in Thor 2. We also know that The Mind, Space and Soul gems have all been used in the movies, and that there is a good possibility we will see the Time gem, and maybe another gem make their debut, setting it up for Avengers 3 with Thanos.
Avengers Age Of Ultron: Quicksilver and Scarlet witch are new additions with Ultron as the villain, and the original cast returning. —- This will probably be an epic movie, though I’m a little leary about not being about to call Pietro and Wanda mutants. I have faith though, and am interested in seeing Ultron on screen and how they will transition from phase 2 to 3.
Captain America The Winter Soldier: Bucky survived the fall, and we all knew it was going to happen. Crossbones and Falcon also will make their debut on the big screen. I’m excited to say the least —– I believe that Robert Redford’s character is actually the Red Skull in disguise (or perhaps Baron Zem0), and other than the SHIELD characters involved, I dont think it will really tie into the other movies, and will seem more stand alone.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ——- all I can say is this…. I enjoy it, but have many issues with it. In order to survive as a series, they really need to start adding people from the comics. This half assed SHIELD team just isn’t going to cut it for long. The ONLY reason I’m hanging on at this point is because I want to know what Coulson’s deal is… is he an LMD? Did Magic ressurect him? They are hinting at both robot and magic, so I’m interested. I want to see it survive, but even I am having a hard time staying.
Marvel Miniseries’: Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, and Daredevil are all getting their own thirteen episode series’ where they will then tie in to forming a Defenders type group. —- I’m all for this, but wish they’d do heroes for hire instead of Cage and Rand separately. Jessica Jones holding her own will be tricky; however I do think that by using the Kingpin as the main antagonist for ALL of these, it would be fun and exciting.
Phase 3: Dr. Strange and Antman are the only two confirmed to lead into Avengers 3. Rumors of Black Panther and Inhumans still circulate. — Make it happen and add a new Hulk movie in there. We never got to see the Leader, despite the setup.
Batman vs Superman: Batman’s costume will be more like the traditional black and grey and less armored. Lex Luthor is one of possibly 2 villains (the other being Metallo). Wonder Woman has been cast. There will be cameos by other JLA members. ——- I’m dying to see Affleck in his role, and I think Gal Gadot is beautiful, but she really needs to gain a few pounds. I don’t want Wonder Woman as a main character. Instead, I’d love to see Diana Prince as a potential love interest for Bruce Wayne. Her role could be as simple as observing the other two Trinity heroes and deciding whether to trust man or not. In the end, revealing her true identity would be a great way to kick off JLA. The cameos by other heroes is nice, but I’m hoping it is a quick reference to other people with abilities, and that is all. maybe a flash (pun intended) shown on a monitor or something quick in a news feed.
Justice League: —– not much is known. Please, for the love of God, have Stephen Amell’s Green Arrow and Gary Gustin’s Flash in it. learn A lesson, DC. Superman Returns would have been better with Tom Welling in a Smallville spinoff. Not that Smallville was perfect (it was far from it) but it was established. No one wanted to see someone else in the role. Arrow is doing EVERYTHING right. Tie it all together; otherwise you will have some seriously confused audiences, and countless irritated fans.
Arrow: What’s to come? Clock King, Ra’s Al Ghul, Solomon Grundy, Flash, possibly the real Black Canary, references to AMAZO, Red Arrow donning the hood, Oliver finally using an eye mask, Deathstroke, Suicide Squad…. the list continues to grow. It’s established. It’s having a Flash spinoff…. Make it part of the movie universe. I can’t stress this enough. Oh, and one other thing. Get rid of Laurel (Dinah) Lance’s sister. Laurel needs to be likeable again, get her crap together, and become the real Black Canary.
There you have it. My two-cents, and hopefully someone will listen out there. Bring me in as a writer or consultant. What do you think? Which movies are you looking forward to? What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree with my comments? Chime in. The bottom line? I’m a comic book fan. I want to see both DC and Marvel succeed. I want the best of both worlds.