x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 17 December 2017

Meet The Defenders, and see what they score from Rotten Tomatoes

We have a primer/report card on each, with approval ratings drawn from Rotten Tomatoes, the entertainment website regarded as one of the most trusted measurement of quality for television and movies today

Marvel's The Defenders
Marvel's The Defenders

The roll-out of the four series leading up to The Defenders felt deliberately slow – perhaps overly calculating in a marketing sense. It tested fans’ patience over four years of dragged-out development and two years of staggered releases. Instead of building anticipation, for many viewers, the process only fed their frustration even more.

For newer Netflix subscribers unfamiliar with the single-hero series that set the stage for the war party, and for Marvel Universe acolytes curious about what the critics think of their darlings – we have a primer/report card on each, with approval ratings drawn from Rotten Tomatoes, the entertainment website regarded as one of the most trusted measurement of quality for television and movies today.

Daredevil

Marvel's The Defenders
Charlie Cox as Daredevil

The Premise: Series star Charlie Cox, previously seen in Boardwalk Empire, fights crime by day as courtroom lawyer Matt Murdock and by night as the vigilante Daredevil. Blinded in an accident as a boy, Murdock uses his super-heightened senses to bust crooks on the streets of New York after the sun goes down. The series premiered April 10, 2015. Two seasons (26 episodes) are available for streaming on Netflix, with a third season promised for next year.

The Grade: A (very good) — Daredevil enjoys an 86 per cent approval rating among critics, with a sweeter 95 per cent from its audience. It has slipped, however, from the 98 per cent critics’ rating of its first season. Regardless, it’s a winner, with thrilling fight scenes infused with the struggles of the poor, great scripts and beautiful acting.

Jessica Jones

Marvel's The Defenders
Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones

The Premise: On Nov. 20, 2015, Krysten Ritter made entertainment history in her portrayal of the first major female character with genuine super powers, unlike Captain America’s old flame Agent Carter and The Avengers’ Black Widow, mere mortals who have none. Jones is a PTSD-stricken former superhero — and a true antihero —who tosses her costume in favour of opening up her own detective agency.

The Grade: A+ (outstanding) — Critics and viewers pretty much agree on the quality, with approval ratings of 92 per cent and 89 per cent, respectively. The series’ neo-noir tone and its approach to sexuality and darker topics make for engaging, multifaceted drama. With 13 episodes currently available, Netflix promises a second season next year.

Luke Cage

Marvel's The Defenders
Mike Colter as Luke Cage

The Premise: Mike Colter, well-known to fans of the Halo game franchise, made his debut as Luke Cage on September 30 last year. He’s proof that there’s nothing nastier than an ex-con who, thanks to a sabotaged experiment, winds up a fugitive with superhuman strength and unbreakable skin with an appetite to fight crime. Harlem hasn’t been the same since he decided to confront his past and do battle for the heart of his city.

The Grade: A+ (outstanding) — Critics slobber praise on Luke (96 per cent) while viewers hold back (79 per cent). “An immersive, socially conscious narrative and a confident, charismatic lead performance make Marvel’s Luke Cage a stellar sampling of the new Marvel/Netflix universe,” says Rotten Tomatoes. Season 2 is set for next year.

Iron Fist

Marvel's The Defenders
Finn Jones as Danny Rand/Iron Fist

The Premise: Finn Jones, best known for his role as Loras Tyrell in Game of Thrones, became the last Defender to premiere, earlier this year on March 17. As Danny Rand/Iron Fist, he’s a stunning martial arts expert with supernatural abilities. Despite series development that began in late 2013, Marvel and Netflix apparently found casting for the role a huge headache, and didn’t sign Jones until February last year.

The Grade: F (massive fail) — At a paltry 17 per cent, critics find Iron Fist just plain weird relative to Daredevil, Jones and Cage, because he’s essentially magical. Fans however, a forgiving lot, gave 78 per cent. Comments include: “laughably bad” and “a relatively drab patch in that endless Marvel tapestry”. Despite the drubbing, a second season was ordered in July, with no airdate yet.

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