Warning: SPOILERS ahead for The Defenders
Marvel’s The Defenders was a superhero smackdown worth waiting for. The hotly anticipated team up of Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter), and Iron Fist (Finn Jones) delivered on its promise of the four superheroes combining their powers and abilities to save New York City from the ancient criminal empire known as the Hand. Meanwhile, their distinct personalities made for entertaining and illuminating clashes of their differing philosophies regarding street-level superheroics. There were plenty of witty barbs being traded as well.
Of course, this team-up was only designed to be temporary. The Defenders never attempt to form a permanent unit, much less call themselves by that team moniker, though their friendships were forged and solidified in the crucible of their war against the Hand. In the end, the Defenders go their separate ways, with the next seasons of all four of the heroes’ individual series either announced by Netflix or already in pre-production. Whether or not The Defenders proves successful enough for a second get-together down the road, the series leaves our heroes and their supporting casts primed to resume their individual heroic adventures.
The series that started it all, Daredevil will look to begin its third season coping with tragedy: the apparent death of Matt Murdock. When The Defenders began, Murdock was a recovering superhero; he had retired as Daredevil and was trying to find personal satisfaction doing legal pro-bono work while ignoring the constant calls for help his super hearing would pick up. Murdock is pulled back into action as ‘the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen’ when he assigns himself as Jessica Jones’ attorney. Once they meet Luke Cage and Iron Fist, with the four of them fighting their way out of the Hand’s Midland Circle skyscraper, Murdock is reluctantly pulled back into his old life as a costumed crime fighter.
As ever, for Murdock, this is personal and it comes down to his former love Elektra (Elodie Yung), resurrected by the Hand’s leader Alexandra (Sigourney Weaver) as her greatest weapon, the Black Sky. Murdock’s friends Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson), who’s now a successful corporate attorney, and Karen Page (Deborah Ann-Woll), now an ace reporter, are also pulled into the fray, but Matt’s working with the Defenders and war with the Hand once more turned into a fight for Elektra’s soul. In the end, the Defenders blew up the Midland Circle Tower, with Matt staying in the bowels of the building fighting Elektra. Both seemingly died during the explosion, though a coda revealed Matt somehow survived and was rescued – he awoke in a familiar convent with the nuns calling for “Maggie,” the name of his mother.
It doesn’t look like there’s a resumption of the old Nelson & Murdock law firm in the offering for Daredevil season 3. Foggy and Karen don’t even know Matt survived; all of the Defenders think he’s dead and Matt even passed on his mission to protect the city to one of his new super friends. Still, we’ll soon see Daredevil rise again. And if Matt Murdock survived, it’s reasonable to assume Elektra did as well, so their deadly romance is poised to resume in Daredevil season 3.
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