Posted by Emily Browne @emilyRB
[email protected] Twitter: @emrbrowne
Emily Browne

Hype for #Netflix's gritty crime-fighting team-up #TheDefenders has been steadily growing ever since the project was announced in 2014. So far, we have seen two seasons of Daredevil, and one season of Jessica Jones and Luke Cage apiece. #IronFist will be released in March 2017 and will form the final piece of the puzzle in setting up The Defenders, which will also hit Netflix next year.

Aside from the key players, Netflix is bringing in a plethora of characters from Jessica Jones, Daredevil and Luke Cage. The official Defenders Twitter account has been teasing us mercilessly with the return of some much-loved characters:

The first announcement is bringing back everyone's favorite sapphic hard-ass Hogarth (played by Carrie Anne Moss), Daredevil's best friend and partner-in-justice Foggy (Elden Henson) and junkie with a heart of gold Malcolm (Eka Darville).

The second announcement brings in Hellcat Trish Walker (Rachael Taylor), night nurse to the heroes Claire Temple (Rosario Dawson) and mysterious martial arts expert Stick (Scott Glenn).

Half of the characters announced — Hogarth, Trish and Malcolm — all form part of Jessica Jones' core supporting cast. Foggy will join fellow Daredevil cast mate Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll) — which could mean we see Daredevil's legal dream team back together again, despite how Season 2 ended.

Netflix
Netflix

Want more Defenders?

Where Are They Now?

There is still enough time to binge-watch the standalone series' several more times before the Defenders are unleashed, but here's a quick rundown of where these characters were at at the end of their respective seasons:

Jeri Hogarth (Jessica Jones)

Netflix
Netflix

Who is she: JJ's HBIC lawyer

Where is she now? At the end of Jessica Jones Season 1, Hogarth's professional and personal life had fallen apart thanks to Jessica and Kilgrave. She decided to hire Foggy Nelson at the end of Daredevil S2 to help deal with vigilantes. She will also have an important role in 2017's Iron Fist.

Foggy Nelson (Daredevil)

Netflix
Netflix

Who is he: Daredevil's best friend, and the partner in his law firm.

Where is he how? Season 2 saw Foggy at a crossroads. His frustration with Matt Murdock's double life fuelled his decision to leave Nelson and Murdock, and take a job at Hogarth, Chao and Benowitz.

Malcolm Ducasse (Jessica Jones)

Netflix
Netflix

Who is he: Jessica's troubled friend and neighbor

Where is he now? After fighting the effects of Kilgrave's influence and his own drug addiction, Malcolm decided to try and help others who had been affected by the Purple Man.

Trish Walker (Jessica Jones)

Netflix
Netflix

Who is she: Jessica's best and oldest friend

Where is she now? We last saw Trish in the back of an ambulance after her throw down with Will Simpson. She also briefly appeared talking on the radio in an episode of Luke Cage.

Claire Temple (Daredevil/Jessica Jones/Luke Cage)

Netflix
Netflix

Who is she: A former night-shift nurse who now takes care of enhanced individuals.

Where is she now? Temple is the only character to appear in all three of the released standalones, so it's no surprise that she's joining the Defenders. We last saw her in Luke Cage, where she helped Luke take down Harlem's prolific crime lords and help him survive a near-fatal wound. Sparks flew between her and Cage, but they never got the chance to be together, as the series ended with Luke Cage/Carl Lucas in the back of a police van.

Stick (Daredevil)

Netflix
Netflix

Who is he: A blind martial arts expert, and mentor to both Daredevil and Elektra.

Where is he now? After witnessing Elektra's death by the Hand leader Nobu Yoshioka, Stick stabs him through the heart.

With such a large and interesting cast, speculation is rife as to how each of these chess pieces will move within the Defenders' universe. We will likely see Hogarth, Chao and Benowitz (plus Foggy) protect the team in legal matters, and perhaps see Trish and Claire begin to adopt their comicbook alter egos. Iron Fist will likely introduce even more players, and the jury is still out on Sigourney Weaver's villain and the Punisher's role in it all — if he has a role at all. On top of all this there's still Daredevil Season 3 and Jessica Jones Season 2 — it's a damn good time to be a Netflix/Marvel fan!

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Which character return has got you hyped?