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The Defenders – Fish in the Jailhouse (Review)

The second season of Daredevil hangs over The Defenders.

This is not a surprise. Daredevil was the first Marvel Netflix show, and so it occupies pride of place in the line-up. It was the only series to get a second season before the release of The Defenders. More than that, the showrunners in charge of The Defenders are the same showrunners who oversaw the second season of Daredevil. It makes sense that Matt Murdock would find himself cast as the protagonist of The Defenders, and that the show would like a logical continuation of his arc.

Apparently the Dutch settlers made the mistake of building Manhattan on a load-bearing dragon skeleton.

In many ways, the story of The Defenders is the story of Matt Murdock. In fact, Matt Murdock is the only character to end The Defenders in a markedly different place than he began. He begins the show having retired his costumed life following the death of Elektra in A Cold Day in Hell’s Kitchen. Over the course of the show, he embraces his status as hero. He comes to don the costume again and to lead the nascent team in Take Shelter, just over half-way through the season. He ends The Defenders sacrificing himself to save the city, only to narrowly survive.

While the stars of Iron Fist, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage are all returned to a position where their first and second seasons might flow organically into one another, The Defenders almost feels like a truncated blockbuster season of Daredevil.

“Yeah, Thor: The Dark World did this gag first, but let’s just go with it.”

This is not a bad thing. Charlie Cox is one of the stronger actors in the ensemble; only Krysten Ritter can claim to have a similar range. Although The Defenders was always going to build on the mythology of Iron Fist, it is a lot more satisfying to watch Charlie Cox go through the emotional wringer than it is to watch Finn Jones forrow his brow and lower his voice. Cox plays Murdock as a fundamentally tragic figure, a character who could very easily live a happy and meaningful life, but is so fundamentally broken that he can envisage such a possibility.

To be fair, The Defenders makes sure that its characters all get important moments and beats. Luke gets to lecture Danny on privilege in Wrong Behaviour. Jessica gets to leave the group and come back in Royal Dragon. Danny gets to remind the other characters (and the audience) that he is “the Immortal Iron Fist” several times in a given episode. However, it is Matt Murdock who provides a sense of momentum to the season. It is Matt Murdock who is changed by the experience. It is Matt Murdock who faces his fears and grows through that process.

Things are Luking up.

Trying to explain how the creative team envisaged The Defenders, Marco Ramirez invited the audience to imagine the event miniseries as a mini-season that might be tacked on between the various seasons headlined by the major characters:

Even beyond the timeline stuff, what’s really important to all of the writers on this was we were basically telling a version of Daredevil season 2.5, a Luke Cage season 1.5, a Jessica Jones 1.5, and Iron Fist 1.5, so it felt like we had to tell the story that came after their immediate seasons and before their next ones.

So, you know, what was important was emotionally, we were picking people up exactly where they were and telling a story that would get them to where they needed to be. It was really about tracking emotions and motivations more than it was about tracking events or dates. That goes for everyone, all the protagonists and the [supporting] members of our cast.

Of course, in most cases, that meant putting the characters back where they found them, as Melissa Rosenberg obviously wanted to pick up after the first season of Jessica Jones and Cheo Coker would want to pick up after the first season of Luke Cage.

Devilishly good.

There was one big exception, of course. Marco Ramirez and Doug Petrie had written the second season of Daredevil, and would would also be writing the third season to boot. As a result, they had much greater freedom to manoeuvre Matt over the course of the eight episodes. As Petrie explained, “We don’t have to get our own approval.” As a result, The Defenders feels like cul-de-sac between season for Luke Cage and Jessica Jones, but feels more like a bridge for Daredevil.

The Defenders carries over a lot of baggage from Daredevil. More supporting cast members on The Defenders can trace their roots to Daredevil than to any other Marvel Netflix series; Elektra, Foggy, Karen, Marci, Josie, Father Lantom, Madame Gao, Stick, Claire. Even Murakami can trace his origins back to Daredevil, with Stick identifying him as the man behind Nobu in Royal Dragon. Ellison gets referenced. There major characters from all of the other shows, but not so many and rarely so central. Only Misty and Colleen come close to the plot relevance of the more major characters.

Keeping Karen in the dark.

More than that, the plot of The Defenders owes a lot to Daredevil. Once again, the Hand is obsessed with “the Black Sky.” That ominous concept was first teased in Stick, a mid-season breather episode of the first season of Daredevil obviously intended to seed plots that could be developed further down the line. The plot point was reintroduced in The Dark at the End of the Tunnel when Nobu identified Elektra as the object in question. “You are the Black Sky. Our greatest living weapon.” In The Defenders, Alexandra shares that obsession.

However, there is more to it than that. The teaser sequence to Fish in the Jailhouse is quite pointedly a flashback designed to fit within the context of Daredevil. Set “some time ago”, the flashback sequence finds Elektra meeting with Stick following the flashback sequences of Kinbaku. It is reminder of the times that Elektra attempted to corrupt Matt, providing a dramatic contrast with the times that Matt has attempted to redeem Elektra. The teaser to Worst Behaviour recreates the closing scenes of A Cold Day in Hell’s Kitchen. All of this is very familiar.

The last temptation of Elektra.

The second season of Daredevil already waged a war over the soul of Elektra Natchios, as the character pondered her place in the world. In late second season episodes, Elektra doubted that she had any goodness within her, while Matt never lost faith in the idea that she could be saved. This arc played out over the second season of Daredevil, through countless overwrought exchanges between the two characters. The second season culminated in Elektra’s decision to stand with Matt against the Hand, losing her life in the process. She found some redemption in death.

The Defenders essentially repeats this arc. Elektra is resurrected by the Hand. She is used as an international assassin, to varying degrees of success. There is blood on her hands.However, over the course of the season, she comes to wonder whether she was ever anything more than just an unstoppable killing machine, culminating in a decision to go off the reservation in Take Shelter, and return to the apartment where she was (briefly) happy with Matt Murdock. Ashes, Ashes even features a brief flashback to their (brief) domestic bliss during the second season.

Elektra makes her mark.

Once again, Matt believes that he can save her. The dialogue is decidedly repetitive. “This is not who you are,” he assures her as they take the fight outside in Take Shelter. “I know you.” He makes a similar appeal one episode later in Ashes, Ashes. During the fight over Danny, Matt assures her, “You don’t have to do this. All right? You don’t belong to them. This is not who you are.” This basic conflict would get boring if it were confined to the final four episodes of The Defenders. It is insufferable stretched over two whole seasons of television.

There is a sense that The Defenders doesn’t only rhyme or echo the second season of Daredevil, it repeats it almost verbatim. The audience has already seen Matt Murdock fight for Elektra’s soul. The audience has already seen their love affair end in tragedy. There is something clever in the reversal of the dynamic in the closing scenes of The Defenders as compared to the closing scenes of A Cold Day in Hell’s Kitchen, having Elektra begin a new life in the latter and having Matt start over in the former. However, that is not enough to justify such obvious repetition.

Police help.

To be fair, it could reasonably be argued that repetition is a staple of the comic book superhero genre, one that can be traced back to the origins of the genre. As Terrence R. Wandtke argues in The Meaning of Superhero Comic Books, this sense of rhythmic repetition can be traced back to the thirties and forties:

Regardless of whether or not the audience was a subcultural youth demographic, the narrative experience was one that was often characterized as adolescent because the stories never developed beyond a certain point. Despite the factt hat they were published serially throughout the 1 940s, there seemed to be no larger story arc, and every segment within the series seemed to be a self-contained story that repeated the same story elements established in previous issues. For instance, Clark Kent, reporter, would receive a Daily Planet assignment and uncover some nefarious villain with a world-threatening plot; Lois Lane, fellow reporter, would become embroiled in the same investigation and find herself in a compromising situation that required Clark to quickly become Superman, defeat the villain, and rescue Lois; they would return to the Daily Planet, and Lois would rebuff some romantic overture made by Clark because Lois was truly in love with Superman. This repetition with slight differences represents the early comic book experience of the superhero.

Of course, this sense of repetition within superhero narratives continues to the present day. Even Matt’s temporary renunciation of his secret identity in Daredevil is part of a long narrative tradition of heroes rejecting the weight of the obligations placed upon them; Spider-Man II, Superman II.

Leaping fist-first into danger.

Charlie Jane Anders has argued that, within the superhero genre, “the same stories are told over and over again with the details slightly changed each time.” The comic book superhero is engaged in a constant loop, recycling many of the core ideas replayed through infinite cycles and variations. The genre seems to be trapped in something akin to a perpetual ragnorok, and that extends even beyond the obvious parallels with attempts to reboot continuity in stories like Crisis of Infinite Earths, Flashpoint or Secret Wars.

How many times has a reader or viewer been treated to Batman’s origin? Year One, Year ZeroEarth One, Batman, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, Batman Begins, Batman vs. Superman. How many times have movie studios rebooted Spider-Man so that the audience can get variations on the same story? Spider-Man, The Amazing Spider-Man, Spider-Man: Homecoming. How many times have writers told the familiar story of Superman falling to Earth? All-Star Superman, Secret Origin, Birthright, Secret Identity, Earth One.

Going over all of this again.

Origin stories are an easy example; they can be readily recognised. However, they are far from the only case. How many times have Batman and Superman come to blows? The Dark Knight Returns, Hush, Endgame, Batman vs. Superman. How many times has Batman been cast down and broken, only to claw himself up from the jaws of defeat to vanquish his foe? Blind Justice, Ten Days of the Beast, Knightfall, No Man’s Land, Batman R.I.P., Superheavy, The Dark Knight Rises. These story beats are these characters, so it makes sense to return to them.

However, it is more than just those big familiar beats playing out over and over again for the same character within different stories. How many superhero origin stories follow the same familiar template, over and over again just with different characters? Iron Man, Ant Man, Doctor Strange. How many films put their villains in glass cages during the second act? X-Men II, The Dark Knight, The Avengers, Skyfall. These stories resonate and exert a certain gravity that reaches beyond individual stories.

No support.

This is part of the reason why death is so impermanent in comic book stories, because audiences and writers inevitably feel the urge to return to particular concepts and characters. It is frequently joked that death is a revolving door in the world of comic books, which is a fair assessment. Bucky came back. Jean Grey came back. Gwen Stacey came back. Sure, there are asterisks applied to each of those examples, but the truth is that death in comic books is more of a temporary inconvenience than a permanent limitation.

There is something almost poetic in this, something that feels both reassuring and horrifying in equal measure. Even as the audience grows old and days, Peter Parker will stay young and vital. Nobody reading this review will ever live long enough to see a definitive “last” Batman story, as much as various promotions might tease “out of continuity” examples. Steve Rogers is no more a man out of time than any other super hero. Like Tony Stark or Bruce Banner, he lives in a perpetual “now”, a moment that stretches almost from his creation until a point far in the future.

Iron Miffed.

As Glen Weldon argues, this turns superheroes into something bigger than just pulp fiction, positioning them as immortal icons frequently dying only to be reborn:

In lieu of an ending, then, superheroes go on adventures, endlessly iterating the same spandex Ragnaroks over and over. They can change, albeit in carefully proscribed ways (I’m evil now! I’m good again! I’m dead! I’m back!) but they can’t grow, they can’t learn, they can’t emerge from an adventure wholly and permanently different from how they were before.

Writers of corporate-owned superhero comics make their peace with this: They know their tenure with these characters is finite, that they are essentially taking Daddy’s precious vintage toys off the shelf and playing with them for a period of months or years. They know, too, that when they finally, gingerly return those toys to the shelf, they must ensure that they remain unscathed, unchanged, pristine.

By this point, most major characters have died and been reborn several times, even discounting continuity-resetting events that periodically erase and reinvent these superheroes.

Giving her Stick.

The impermanence of comic book death is less of a problem in superhero movies, given that movies tend to be two-hour units of (relatively) self-contained story with a beginning, middle and end. More to the point, since there was only on Batman movie every couple of years in the nineties, and so many classic villains from which to choose, there was understandably less of an urge to resurrect dead characters. Why bring back Jack Nicholson as the Joker when Danny DeVito was ready to play the Penguin? Why resurrect Danny DeVito as the Penguin when Jim Carrey is the Riddler?

However, it looks like the impermanence of comic book death might also pose a problem for television adaptations. This makes sense. While there is only one Captain America movie every couple of years, television shows are expected to produce dozens of episodes of television in a given year. It is entirely possible for a television show to blow through more concepts in one season than a feature film could get through in an entire franchise. While Joss Whedon could kill off Agent Phil Coulson in The Avengers, the character inevitably returned in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

A good ribbing.

It also looks to be developing into a problem with the Marvel Netflix properties. Characters who have effectively been killed off seem destined to return, unkillable because the story inevitably gravitates back towards them. Elektra’s death in A Cold Day in Hell’s Kitchen is robbed of meaning, because her resurrection was foreshadowed as early as the closing scene of that very episode. The Defenders was never going to kill off the character of Matt Murdock, but it can’t even leave the possibility of his demise hanging past the final scene of the season.

However, The Defenders has embraced the impermanence of comic book death so readily that it cannot resist the impulse to bring back other characters who have passed away. Bakuto was hardly the most memorable or distinctive supporting character to appear in Iron Fist, and was killed off at the end of Bar the Big Boss. However, The Defenders insists on resurrecting the character. Alexandra teases his return in Royal Dragon, before he makes a surprise reappearance in Take Shelter. It all adds up to a sense that The Defenders unfolds in a world where death holds no sway.

“So, character development. How do you guys feel about divvying that up?”

After all, the production team have been quite candid about the fact that the Hand could easily come back for another appearance even after their seemingly decisive defeat in The Defenders. The fact that Matt explicitly survives the collapse at the end The Defenders implicitly confirms that both Madame Gao and Elektra could potentially have survived the disaster. As a result, it seems like the collapse accomplished relatively little beyond denying the Hand this one particular victory. That possibility hangs over the end of the story, severely undermining the gravity of this particular tale.

There is a sense that The Defenders is a story that seeks the comforts of the familiar. Instead of pushing its characters forward, it traps them within cycles of repeat behaviour. What has Danny learned over the course of the season that will make him a better Iron Fist? What has Matt learned since the last time that he tried to save Elektra’s soul? The show makes a half-hearted attempt to suggest that Jessica has been changed by her experiences, that it has convinced her to reopen her private investigator’s office, but that development is hardly a radical change and barely feels earned.

Drinking it all in.

This is the infamous “illusion of change.” Indeed, Daredevil as a intellectual property has long been defined by a certain type of story built from a template established by Frank Miller during his run on the title. When writer Mark Waid took over Daredevil, he admitted some anxiety about the shadow that certain creators and styles cast over certain characters:

No one will ever do Frank Miller’s Daredevil better than Frank Miller could. Why bother? Why are you wasting your time? Why keep following that same drumbeat? The number of times I’ve been asked to do a Spirit story? The number of times I passed on it. Surprisingly large. Why would you want to do a Spirit story? What are you gonna do? Be almost as good as Will Eisner? “Do you want to do Swamp Thing?” No, I don’t want to do Swamp Thing! What am I gonna do? Be almost as good as Alan Moore?

Mark Waid took over Daredevil almost as a response to and rejection of “the grit and street-level feel the book has had since Frank Miller redefined Matt Murdock’s world all those years ago”, a texture and storytelling style that defined the work of many of the writers who followed Miller; Brian Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Kevin Smith.

Masking his true self.

It makes sense for superhero stories to fall back on these familiar patterns, to play out the same beats over and over again. In some ways, Matt’s arc in The Defenders is the ultimate expression of this tendency. Matt’s vigilantism is treated as an addiction, particularly by those around him. The H Word suggests that Matt has tried to give up being Daredevil, but Mean Right Hook reveals that he is only one bad night away from a relapse. Foggy checks in on him after the earthquake. “You don’t have to say it. Your knuckles speak volumes.”

Matt and Foggy treat this compulsion as an addiction that can be managed. In Mean Right Hook, Foggy even tries to off-load some casework on Matt to keep him occupied. “It’s not a solution, not long term,” Foggy suggests. Matt replies, “What if it doesn’t work?” Even Karen recognises the self-destructive pattern of Matt’s behaviour in Fish in the Jailhouse. She protests, “You were finally rebuilding your life.” Matt responds, “Karen, this is my life.” Karen mournfully reflects on this to Foggy, “He was so close to getting out.”

Cleaning up her act.

Addicts will always feel the pull of their addiction, will always exist in danger of a relapse. Perhaps superhero stories face a similar dilemma, also feeling the gravity of their history and their continuity. No matter how many writers and artists might try to pull characters and concepts in new directions, there will always be a pull back towards the safe and the familiar. Mark Waid might offer a reprieve from decades of darker and edgier Daredevil stories by providing a bright and colourful iteration, but that is inevitably followed by a return to grim and gritty aesthetic with Charles Soule.

Much like Elektra exerts a strong pull over Matt, the Elektra mythology established by Frank Miller exerts a strong pull over the larger Daredevil mythos. Although Frank Miller intended to leave Elektra dead, he was convinced to resurrect her for Marvel. Although Frank Miller originally intended for Elektra to remain his and his alone, it was only a matter of time before later writers reincorporated her into the mythos. She was added back into the fold in Fall from Grace, as part of D.G. Chichester’s run. To be fair, she was absent for more than a decade.

Sticking it to Stick.

In The Meaning of Superhero Comic Books, Terrence R. Wandtke suggests that this sense of formal and plotting repetition elevates superhero storytelling to an epic in the oral tradition:

Together with Lord’s assertion that the epic is developed in segments that make use of formulaic repetition over long stretches of time, the stories of superheroes seem especially well designed as epics. Staying with this discussion of the superhero narrative in abstract terms, this provides an explanation for the acceptance of the most recent version of a superhero story as the authoritative story (Earth-1 versus Earth-2). Through the policy of corporate ownership, the industry erased the individual author (and past versions of the superhero’s story) and created a sense of collective ownership that stresses currency over primacy. In fact, even when variations are recognized as such,they are often valued by the public as much as the “official” version (with “imaginary” stories of superheroes in the 1960s culminating in the Ultimate and All Star lines of comic books). Consumers of comic book stories demonstrate tendencies characteristic of people within an oral culture through their almost pathological desire to return to the superhero’s origin;repetition is privileged and this repetition reinforces the basic truths of the story and the fan community.

It is certainly an interesting argument, one that makes a certain amount of sense. If superheroes are a modern corporate mythology, it makes sense for those story beats to be repeated and reworked over time. (The repetition within The Defenders is still deeply frustrating though.)

The Defenders.

Indeed, it could reasonably be argued that one of the great repeated narratives of the modern blockbuster and superhero saga is that of 9/11. The terrorist attacks upon New York City shape and inform a lot of the imagery and iconography of the superhero era. In abstract terms, the War on Terror defined a wealth of early twenty-first century comic book events like Civil War, Secret Invasion, Dark Reign and Siege. These stories naturally fed into a wave of superhero blockbusters like Captain America: The Winter Soldier or Captain America: Civil War.

Some of these repeated story beats are more visceral. The destruction of Metropolis at the climax of Man of Steel captures the horror of the attack upon the World Trade Centre, the imagery evoking the coverage on cable news. The suicide attack against Asgard in Thor: The Dark World represents another iteration of that tragedy. Holes appear in the sky in movies like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. Even “the Incident” depicted in The Avengers becomes a superheroic 9/11 incorporated into the backstory of the Marvel Netflix shows.

Narrative collapse.

The Defenders even closes with a bizarre appropriation of 9/11 imagery by the heroes, which feels like something of a structural bookend. The Marvel Netflix shows are very firmly rooted in New York City, with “the Incident” serving a defining trauma for the urban environment. The heroic conclusion to The Defenders represents the strange comfort that might be found in repetition, the desire to reappropriate horrific imagery and work through it by suggesting a sanitized (and even justified) reimagining of the horror.

At the same time, The Defenders is somewhat hobbled by many of the problems that affected the second season of Daredevil. Quite simply, Marco Ramirez and Doug Petrie are not particularly strong writers, in terms of plotting or characterisation or dialogue. The sense of repetition over the course of The Defenders might be forgivable, were it executed in a clever and self-aware manner. Instead, the familiar beats feel tired and hackneyed. This is not poetry, it is self-plagiarism.

Another brick in the wall.

The Defenders suffers from terrible writing. There are all manner of poor storytelling decisions, when the plot moves in a given direction simply because it will get the show to the next big action beat. The Hand has great difficulty tracking Danny in The H Word and Mean Right Hook, despite the fact that he is still using his private jet and his phone and his credit card. Colleen is able to break into an evidence locker in a crowded police station without any bother in Fish in the Jailhouse. Elektra’s coup happens in Ashes, Ashes, because that is a convenient place for it to occur.

This is to say nothing of the fundamentally absurd premise upon which the season is based. Fish in the Jailhouse reveals that the Hand plan to live forever by harvesting the remains of an ancient dragon. However, for reasons that are entirely unclear, removing that substance will cause the entire island of Manhattan (if not greater portions of New York) to collapse into itself. The death toll will be catastrophic, but the Hand do not care, because they are evil. Madame Gao seems reluctant in The H Word, but she might be wary of discovery.

Card-carrying heroes.

It is worth pausing to dwell on the absurdity of this premise. After all, comic book stories tend to lean into crazy ideas. Look at any of the back stories of any of the major characters on The Defenders. Look at the alien invasion at the climax of The Avengers. Consider the fundamental ridiculousness of the genre as a whole. There is a very high threshold for absurdity within the superhero genre, given the suspension of disbelief required to get on board with these stories in the first place. Even allowing for that, the premise of The Defenders is just too much.

How exactly does a dragon skeleton prop up an entire island, which by most conservative estimates weights two-and-a-half million tonnes? More than that, given the empty cavern space occupied by the dragon fossil, couldn’t the Hand just fill those caverns with rock and cement to shore up the city? While destroying cities sure is fun, and while Stick makes a point to explain in Royal Dragon that the Hand have done it before, destroying New York seems like a reckless move for the Hand. It seems sure to attract the wrong kind of attention.

Underground movement.

Of course, Gao acknowledges as much at the start of Fish in the Jailhouse, wondering how exactly Elektra plans to maintain the careful web of alliances and dependencies cultivated by Elektra. Elektra handwaves that with a reference to how power exercised in secret is not really power. Still, it feels like a desperate handwave designed to dismiss legitimate questions about a plot that does not make a damned bit of sense. How does the Hand plan to deal with the Avengers? What about all the resources that the Hand has invested in New York? Isn’t there a way to do this without resorting to mass murder?

Events that occur on screen are frequently markedly different from the narratives that characters craft around them. Most obviously, the end of The Defenders crafts an epic narrative about how Matt Murdock gave his life to protect the city. This seems very much at odds with the sequence as it plays out on screen, where Matt makes a conscious decision to stay behind with Elektra as part of a weird suicide pact that suggests he does not want to live without her. This is a perfectly valid character beat for Matt, but The Defenders seems to misread its own climax.

This season sure does drag on.

The dialogue is decidedly cringe-inducing. Characters talk in clichés. “Realise you’re only at mile one of the marathon,” Matt tells a kid in a wheelchair in The H Word. In Worst Behaviour, Stick promises Alexandra can’t have the Iron Fist, “I’ll let him die before I let him join your army.” In Royal Dragon, Matt warns Stick, “I’m done taking lessons, Stick.” Stick responds, “Lessons ain’t done with you.” Similarly, every interaction between Matt and Elektra seems contractually obliged to include some variation on the “this is not who you are” template.

Indeed, The Defenders suffers from a common problem with many superhero adaptations, an over-reliance on the definite article. This is most obvious in the subplot involving the Hand, in which it is revealed that the criminal organisation is scheming to recover a stockpile of the substance that has allowed them to live forever. It is called, rather uncreatively, “the substance.” This makes any of the exposition scenes involving the master plan sound ridiculous. Similarly, the show leans far too heavily on the “my/our/their/the city” as a dialogue crutch.

Locker up.

More to the point, there is something deeply frustrating in the way that The Defenders is structured to build upon the second season of Daredevil and the first season of Iron Fist, the two weakest seasons of the Marvel Netflix shows by some considerable distance. Those seasons were poorly plotted and poorly executed, and The Defenders is hobbled by virtue of having to take so much of their baggage on board. The Defenders should be a celebration of the best of the Marvel Netflix universe, but it winds up just regurgitating the worst of it.

Much like the architects of Manhattan in this fictional universe, it really feels like the creative team could have built The Defenders on a sturdier foundation.

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6 Responses

  1. On the upside, I liked that opening with the ‘Where Did You Sleep Last Night’-guitar bit. Maybe not terribly original, but clever enough.

    I haven’t actually seen Iron Fist, and don’t think I will now too. Going the Batman Begins/Arrow route for a kung fu hero with a glowing fist who punches dragons is such an odd choice. It seems like they’re going into a Daughters of the Dragon-direction with season 2, that might work.

    • It might. Personally, if we have to have Iron Fist, just fold him into Luke Cage and let Cheo Coker do whatever the hell he wants with the character.

  2. The whole thing strikes me as seedy. Remember the fleeting demographic rule (also known as the “two year rule”): Coming up with new material is hard, viewers have the attention span of a goldfish, therefore any storyline can be revived from dormancy.

    Except in this case they didn’t even wait the full two years. And they’re giving us an abridged version of a mere13-episode season.

    Doug Petrie is somehow lazier than Brannon Braga.

  3. >For reasons that are entirely unclear, removing that substance will cause the entire island of Manhattan to collapse into themselves.

    Well, if he’s played Mother 3, than Marco can’t be all bad.

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