The first teaser trailer for Marvel’s Defenders dropped at San Diego Comic-Con and it doesn’t disappoint.
Oh sure, there’s not much in the way of actual footage (pretty much none at all). But there’s plenty of killer atmosphere to go around — and just a few hints of what’s to come.
So what can we glean from that morsel of Marvel goodness?
Actually, maybe, the entire story.
Quick note: While this is all speculation, there may be enough "there" there to call for a spoiler alert. Spoiler alert!
The Team Is Probably Battling ‘The Hand’
A lot of headlines suggest the teaser trailer gives away the series’ Big Bad by showing the patchwork title in the grip of an ominous hand. This, we can assume, suggests The Hand — the creepy, evil ninja organization purportedly led by a demon that battles Matt Murdock in the first and second season of Daredevil — takes on our heroes throughout Netflix’s team-up series.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Marvel is employing the same story structure with Netflix’s Defenders as it did with its big screen Avengers. Rather than individual movies, our heroes get individuals series before coming together to battle a common enemy. And, through those individual series, a subplot brews that will call our heroes to action.
In this case, it’s The Hand and its search for Black Sky, a living weapon destined to lead The Hand on its quest for world domination. Elektra was identified as Black Sky in Daredevil Season 2. And, if you believe in cliffhangers, could be again.
Stick, whose voice we hear in the teaser trailer, pretty much confirms that The Hand is on hand (pun intended) for Defenders. Stick, as you recall, is Matt Murdock’s secret sensei. He is also the former leader of The Chaste, a group of ninja dedicated to defeating the Hand.
If Stick is around, The Hand is around.
These Defenders Are Really The New Avengers
Back in 2005, writer and sometimes artist Brian Michael Bendis created The New Avengers for Marvel Comics. The team consisted of Marvel heroes who hadn’t really aligned with a team before. Folks like Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Daredevil. All four served on the team together for a short period of time.
Unlike the Avengers, this group is a ragtag underground team of heroes, originally brought together after they refused to register with the government as super-powered beings following the passage of the Superhuman Registration Act in Marvel’s Civil War.
Side note: I hope we get a “What are we? The friggin’ New Avengers?” line from Krysten Ritter’s Jessica Jones.
Why is this important? Well, because there was a story arc in New Avengers that feels really familiar to where we’re headed.
This 'New Avengers' Story Sounds Really Familiar
Readers of New Avengers might recall a story arc titled “The Revolution.” During that string of issues, The Hand resurrects Maya Lopez, a martial arts hero and former Daredevil sidekick code-named Echo, who bears a striking resemblance to Netflix’s version of Elektra. In the comic, she is under The Hand’s control.
Matt Murdock finds out about Lopez’s resurrection when a package is delivered to his home. That package contains Echo’s costume and a request to “save” her. The New Avengers manage to save Echo, who awakens from her “death” (mistakenly attacking the Avengers at one point) only to face off against an army of Hand ninjas and their leader.
Echo’s mind must be wiped clean before she can once again be trusted.
The first two seasons of Daredevil have set up this exact arc, only replacing Echo with Elektra. At the end of Season 2 (spoiler alert), we see The Hand attempting to resurrect Elektra, who we assuming will be under The Hand’s control.
It would require a team of heroes to defeat an all-powerful Elektra with a demon sidekick and an army of ninjas. And it would take someone with some mystical powers — say a blonde martial artist trained in the lost city of K’un L’un — to help coax Elektra’s mind out of The Hand’s control. (Iron Fist is the Defenders Doctor Strange.)
If they’re not out to save Elektra, then who? And can they even manage this task?
After all, as Stick says in the teaser, they can’t even save themselves.