For those who don’t know, Oscar-winning actor Nicolas Cage took his name from a comic book character, Luke Cage, from “Power Man and Iron Fist,” who is essentially bulletproof and very strong. To put it into perspective, he is like “Superman,” sans the flying around the world scenario.
Going back to my youth, the 1980s, the comic book “Power Man and Iron Fist” was among my favorite reads. My friend Mike was more a fan of “Daredevil,” as I was too, but for me the stylings of Luke Cage (Mike Colter) and Danny Rand (Finn Jones) were more in my wheelhouse. The duo had little in common, but were both residents of the Big Apple.
“The Defenders,” now streaming on NetFlix, is another in the line of Marvel-based tales that work on every single level. The Netflix-produced shows spare no expense at putting money on the screen. As I have said in the past, I’m almost at the point of superhero fatigue, but so long as the quality is outstanding, I will keep watching what is put out there.
“The Defenders” finds Cage (Colter) facing off against The Hand, a group of antagonists who are pure evil. Their leader is Sigourney Weaver’s Alexandra Reid, a wealthy socialite who has enough money power to facilitate her own private orchestra.
The pacing on all the episodes results in worthwhile characters and story arc. It is really cool to see how strong Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) is when she carries an elevator with both Cage and Iron Fist with very little effort. In fact, she hardly breaks a sweat doing it.
It is also interesting to see the fight sequences. The fight choreography amazes, since a bunch are set up in well-lit sequences. They are not just showcased on dimly lit soundstages, but in wide open hallways and corridors.
Also important to the story are Stick (Scott Glenn) and nurse Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson). They each serve a purpose in the total tale of “The Defenders,” since Stick deals with both former pupils with Daredevil (Charlie Cox) and Elektra Natchios (Elodie Young). Claire is involved because she has a relationship with Cage and thinks a partner and friend would do him some good.
This show works because it fleshes out the characters and identities. Of course there are motivations. Each saga and character has their own resolution in the end.