The Defenders has come and gone, with the complete series having dropped on Netflix, and the Defenders-verse now looking ready to move into the next phase. Though we still have The Punisher to look forward to later this year, this will likely be the last we’ll see most of these characters — and this world — until subsequent seasons of Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Daredevil start releasing in 2018.
The Defenders had a lot of ups and downs, and everything in between, but one of the most important things it accomplished was setting up for the future. Not just in bringing the four lead characters together — creating a foundation for future team-ups — but also the relationships and storylines between secondary characters that can now be explored throughout future seasons. So with these links having been explored in The Defenders, here are three of the things we’d most like to see from the Defenders-verse going forward:
1. Single-Pairing Team-Ups
There was a lot fun to be had in seeing all four characters (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Danny Rand) come together, try to get to know each other, and fight alongside one another. Yet the series also offered some great individual pairings as well.
While Jessica and Luke re-established their rapport from Season 1 of Jessica Jones, it was really with Danny that Luke had the more interesting relationship; from Luke's scorn at Danny's bravado, to the surprising ways they found common ground. In the comics these two characters have long been established as friends, and this combined with their new relationship from The Defenders means there's now a great opportunity to do some kind of "Heroes for Hire" team-up venture across both Luke Cage and Iron Fist.
Similarly, the dynamic was equally entertaining between Jessica and Matt, with her scorn and cynicism going up against his dry wit, with endlessly entertaining results. Like Luke and Danny, it was fun just to see them go at one another (Jessica making fun of his powers and his suit) as well as them genuinely coming around to a level of friendship and trust by the end of the show.
What's more, while it was comparatively brief, there was enough of a foundation built between Colleen and Misty to suggest they may be laying groundwork for a "Daughters of the Dragon" team-up. Something that, all on its own, could do a lot for the Defenders-verse.
2. More Frequent - And Small Scale - Crossovers
The Arrowverse had its first major crossover back in 2015, when Arrow and The Flash paused in their third and first seasons for a two night event that came together spectacularly well. In addition to establishing their mutual co-existence in a connected world, it also got together many of the major characters, setting the table for more dynamic relationships between them. This meant that going forward, both series (and eventually Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl as well) could have smaller interactions that didn't merit a multi-night event. Instead, Joe could visit Star City and bond with Detective Lance, Diggle and Lyla can come by Star Labs to help fight a giant shark; and various meta-humans can work their way into the Arrow side of the universe.
Though the Defenders-verse has had these to modest degree (most notably in characters like Claire Temple, Jeri Hogarth, and Madame Gao) there's even greater potential now that so many characters have come together in one place. Perhaps Trish and Karen can spend more time getting to know one another, Foggy could make appearances in Harlem on behalf of Hogarth’s firm; and as mentioned above, Misty and Colleen have more reason than ever to appear in each other's respective worlds.
There have been modest Easter Eggs dropped already, but it would be wonderful to see more of this kind of thing as a direct result of The Defenders. Because when Arrow makes a reference to Cisco having crafted one piece of technology or another, it gives the viewer the impression that their lives interact in an ongoing capacity — we just don't need to see all of it.
3. More People To Join The Team
When the Avengers came together for their first film, it consisted of six specific people — yet the team itself has not remained static. Age of Ultron gave us Vision and Scarlet Witch, while Civil War more or less confirmed a number of de facto new additions like Ant-Man and Spider-Man, while the likes of War Machine and Falcon have been participatory across multiple films.
The Defenders-verse has a comparable roster of possibilities, and could very well chart a similar course. The team begins with those four leads, but could grow with subsequent seasons — both from the centralized show itself, as well as the individual lead-driven series.
Trish Walker was seen training in Season 1 of Jessica Jones and could emerge in her role as Hellcat. Colleen practically made herself a member of the team by the season finale, and could join in a more official capacity. Down the line, we may even see someone like the Punisher or Elektra join in, given the circumstances. And more characters from the comics could be introduced, potentially to join their ranks as the universe expands.
Whatever comes next, there’s a lot to look forward to in the Defenders-verse. And now that we’ve had the first official team-up series, things are only bound to get better from here.
What do you want to see from Defenders-verse going forward? Shout out in the comments below!