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Monday, August 21, 2017

Netflix Defenders Review From Panel to Screen

First and foremost, I'm going to get this out of the way: If you have not yet watched The Defenders on Netflix, stop reading here. The title clearly states "From Panel to Screen", so there will be spoilers.


Actually, there might be quite a few. Also, this is not speculating or specin' or whatever the terminology is that has permeated a part of the culture of our hobby. Talking about comics that inspired a show, an episode or scene isn't talking up a comic nor implying that everyone and their grandmas go out an try to fill up a short or long box full of these comics.

What you end up doing is up to you. I'm excited about the show. I actually really, really enjoyed it and thought that the chemistry of this supposed "non-team" was great.

I finally enjoyed Kristen Ritter as Jessica Jones and did like Finn Jones as Iron Fist lot better than I thought I would. I did like the Iron Fist show, but was worried when the trailer for the Defenders made him seem cringe worthy. 

It was also really cool to see these relationships start to develop finally. Ah, you know that's a definite lead in, right? 

What's the obvious budding relationship or friendship that I most likely was watching for in The Defenders?

Heroes for Hire, of course. Actually, it was the friendship between Luke Cage and Danny Rand, Iron Fist. Most comic fans should know that these two are best bros, maybe not yet on screen but in the comics they sure are best-friends.

While we all know that there partnership as Heroes for Hire hasn't played out yet live action and may not ever in the realm of Netflix, there is, of course, an element of their 1st ever meeting in comics that did somewhat inspire their on screen meeting.

Like many first meetings between comic characters, there is some sort of reason why two heroes end up going at it. Sometimes, it's a misunderstanding and sometimes it's because of foul play.

In the show, it's a misunderstanding. In the comics, it's actually foul play.

As most already know, Power Man #48 is this issue where these two meet for the first time. As the cover shows, the two do end up brawling also, and the cover is not misleading. Here's how this first meeting an battle happens in the panels and pages of Power Man #48.

Eventually, Luke Cage gets the upper hand, and later in the fight, he almost chokes Iron Fist to death.

A little side note concerning this issue is that I think it's the first published meeting between Colleen Wing and Luke Cage, Misty Knight and Luke Cage and Iron Fist and Luke Cage/Power Man. Obviously, the show doesn't quite follow the source material when it comes to this.

In the comics, Luke Cage kidnaps Colleen Wing but is looking for Misty Knight. He finds her and after a short fight with her and then Iron Fist, we later learn that Luke Cage had done all this because Bushmaster was holding Claire Temple and Noah Burnstein hostage.

This forced Cage to do Bushmaster's bidding but it ultimately just ended up having Iron Fist and Luke Cage cross paths, have their first team up, and eventually become partners and best-friends in the good ole comics.

The show has Luke Cage investigate a few local kids who seemingly work for the Hand unknowingly. When Iron Fist and Colleen Wing investigate a place where the same kids Cage has taken an interest in show up, the Fist meets the Power Man when Danny roughs up one of the kids or answers.

A cool fight between the two ensues and is very different than the actual comics. The fight between the two in the comics has Iron Fist giving Cage a pretty good whomping until Luke gets a hold of the Immortal Fist and almost chokes him out as shown in the panels above.

In the 2nd episode of the Defenders, Luke Cage pretty much hands Danny Rand his ass for much of the fight. Rand hits and kicks Cage a lot but his attacks have no effect, and for some reason, I quite enjoyed seeing Rand have a hell of time trying to hurt Luke Cage.

Only until Danny uses the Iron Fist does Cage actually get hurt in the fight. The fight ends with the arrival of the police.

So, a switch around from panel to screen concerning the first brawl between Luke Cage and Iron Fist. Was a cool fight to finally see live-action also, and I did have a geek out moment.


This was known long before the show was released. News that Elektra would return has been out for a while, and I've already talked about the comic version of this prior.

Before we get into the other important relationship that hints at developing in season one of The Defenders, the show kind of uses the Resurrection story in Daredevil #190 when it comes to the return of Elektra. I mean "kind of" as in very loosely based off that issue, and I mean very loosely.

As those who have watched the show by now, Sigourney Weaver's character Alexandra is an original creation for the show. Her and Madame Gao are both original creations for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Both characters were not in the comics prior, but in the comics, it was the Hand who tried to resurrect Elektra in Daredevil #190. Daredevil, Black Widow, Kingpin, and a Chaste character named Stone raced to keep the Hand from doing so in that issue and were successful. Sort of.

In the end, the Hand did not resurrect Elektra, but Stone ends up doing so. The Defenders definitely takes the connection of the Hand and the attempted resurrection of Elektra from the comics but has the twist of them succeeding with the interference of Daredevil, Kingpin, and, obviously, Black Widow nowhere to be found on the streaming side of live-action.

No big deal, not like I expect a literal translation from panels to screen when it comes to this. Elektra already died in the Netflix stuff before the introduction of Bullseye.

She became part of the Hand after her death and resurrection in the Netflix MCU. In the comics, she was revealed to have been a former member of the Hand prior to her debut in Daredevil #168.

So in the show, there is also sort of a ritual as well. In episode 3, the resurrection of Elektra has some kind of goop that's poured into a coffin with Elektra's dead body in it.

This somehow resurrects Elektra and she becomes a weapon for the Hand. Obviously different from the comics and no surprise.

In the actual comics, Daredevil is actually present at this ritual and so is Stone and Black Widow. They do fight off the Hand and the Kingpin's men end up getting into the fray on DD's side.

After the mayhem, they discover that Elektra's body is gone and so is Stone. Then at the very end, it's revealed that the same person climbing the mountain side in the very beginning of the comic is none other than Elektra.

Welcome back, darlin'! It was revealed that Elektra was a former member of The Hand in Daredevil #174, same issue that debuts the mystical ninja clan.

By the time she debuts in Daredevil #168, she has operated on her own for quite some time.


I've talked about Daughters of the Dragon several times and thought that it may have been inevitable. Have to admit that I thought it might not be happening after watching Luke Cage and then Iron Fist.

Bummer, I thought. I would've liked to see that. However, after season one of Defenders, it does seem that a relationship or friendship between Colleen Wing and Misty Knight is budding. 

Also, Misty Knight loses her arm in the show, and she does have a bionic arm in the comics. We know where they may be heading with that, right?

And I think it's really cool. Simone Missick is an amazing Misty Knight, and her entering the realm of superherodom and kickin' butt alongside Colleen Wing with a bionic arm in the near future does get me a bit excited. 

So, as we should expect, it is quite different from panel to screen. In her debut, I believe Misty Knight already had a bionic arm and was already friends with Colleen Wing.

Okay, since Misty Knight and Danny Rand meet for the first time in Defenders, I'll show how the original source portrays this 1st meeting. Remember I mentioned how two heroes in comics usually end up fighting during their first meet and greet and one of the reasons was because of a misunderstanding? Well, there ya go!

Once again, Misty Knights first published debut is in Marvel Premiere #21, which is the issue those above panels originate. Marvel Team-Up #1 is a retconned appearance quite a bit after.  God, I hate always having to say that but some sources out there are just noting MTU #1 as her debut and not mentioning the fact it was retconned after.

Misty Knight and Iron Fist's meeting in Defenders was not as dramatic and less confrontational. If you haven't watched it yet, you'll see what I mean. 

Sorry, got side tracked but back to Daughters of the Dragon. Actually, back to Misty Knight losing her arm which plays out both in the actual comic books and the live action show inspired by the comics.

So Misty Knight loses her arm protecting Colleen Wing in the Defenders show. In the actual comics, Misty Knight loses her arm from a bomb she comes across while on duty as a police officer.

This was first revealed in Iron Fist #6. It is a very brief origin, but it's enough to explain how she loses her arm.

From Iron Fist #6

So Daughters of the Dragon may be on the horizon as a relationship is forming. Misty Knight did save Colleen Wing in the comics also. 

Misty getting her bionic arm in a Netflix show is probably for certain. 


Major spoiler here, and the end scene of the Defenders does have a homage to an actual comic. This hints and sets up a lot for Daredevil season 3, and I'm super excited about it.

This image below sees Matt Murdock all messed up and lying in a bed with a nun beside him. The other image below shows the same but from the actual comic.

In the show, one of the nuns calls for a Maggie. In the comics, Maggie ends up being Matt Murdock's mother, and that splash page is from Daredevil #230.

This is from the Born Again story line. Go figure that it's another classic Daredevil story arc by Frank Miller.

Now, why am I personally excited about this? Okay, as much as Frank Miller's The Hand is awesome, I admit that I am tired of the Hand.

They've kept the Kingpin sidelined on the bench, and if they go the Born Again route in Daredevil season three, this will bring back Wilson Fisk as a major villain. In the comics, the Born Again story sees the Kingpin of Crime learn the identity of Daredevil. Chaos ensues for The Man Without Fear courtesy of Kingpin after that nugget of info is learned.

In my humble opinion, I liked how the Defenders show pieced all this together. It's not perfect by any means, but there were plenty of comic geekery moments.

I enjoyed Defenders, maybe a little more than I should've. I think the chemistry of Charlie Cox, Michael Colter, Finn Jones, Kristen Ritter, Simone Missick, and Jessica Henwick was great. 

What did you think of the Defenders?


  1. Hey Mayhem,

    I do like the Defenders characters by their own.
    Not really a fan of them starring as a team, cause
    in my opinion they are all Einzelgänger, and that
    makes 'em tick. Just my five cents. Let me ad one
    question. Just snagged Astonishing Tales 25 in
    7.0 for 40. Not such a big deal but first appearances
    will definitely be harder to come by cheap. What do
    you think? Could Deathlok fit into Marvels future plans
    for tv or screen? The cover says: Marvel Age of heroes
    Phase two. What does that mean? I think Deathlok
    would definitely fit into the Agents of Shield tv series.

    See ya

    Speculation Jones

    1. Hey SJ,

      It's a good book to get. Deathlok already appeared in season 1 of Agents of Shield. The character could maybe show up down the line somewhere. I've been looking to snag a high grade graded copy after I sold my VF raw copy a few years back. The book is also the 1st published artwork of George Perez. So another good reason to own one.


    2. I think Deathlok has appeared in season one and two. Would be cool to see a Deathlok version in what Netflix has going on, seems he would be better served in a back drop that's darker and more violent. I agree that Astonishing Tales #25 is still a good pick up.

  2. Watched a few episodes over the weekend and will watch a few more tonight. I never binge watch these shows. I like to enjoy the experience over a week or two.