UPDATED, 7:02 PM with video: After the debut episode of The Defenders was played at Comic-Con, Marvel TV boss Jeph Loeb and the cast came out and showed a new trailer for the full series, which is being called “the war for New York.”
PREVIOUSLY, 6:12 PM: Set in the huge Hall H, the San Diego Comic-Con debut of Marvel’s The Defenders was always going to be a big deal, but the upcoming Netflix series’ panel went massive with a new Punisher clip, an Iron Fist renewal and the whole first episode of the August 18 launching show.
The dark Defenders episode opened with a fight scene in a wet tunnel as Iron First and Jessica Jones try to save an injured Punisher from the villianous Hand — and that’s all before the opening credits. Needless to say, the crowd loved it from the beginning.
There certainly is a underdog quality to The Defenders that may work to the eight-episode series’ advantage.“Let’s face it — we have a guy who was in a bad Ben Affleck movie, a character no one had ever heard of who drinks a lot, the first black superhero and a guy with a glowing first,” pointed out Marvel TV head honcho and Defenders EP Jeph Loeb of the sum of the show’s parts today earlier in the panel.
With a tormented Danny Rand on his private jet, the trippy and inventively shot Season 1 opener from director S.J. Clarkson also saw each of the other major characters introduced picking up from their respective season finales. Weaving the set-up together, there was a hungover Jessica Jones; a just-out-of-prison Luke Cage, who had a very well received carnal reunion scene with Rosario Dawson’s Claire; and Matt Murdock, who seems to have given up being Daredevil. We also saw that Sigourney Weaver’s antagonist Alexandra is suffering from a fatal disease that is causing her organs to collapse at a rapid rate — a condition that leads the wealthy character to speed up her allegiance with The Hand. And, because this is a superhero-filled New York City of the Marvel Universe, something like an earthquake rocks the metropolis and we see Alexandra telling Elodie Yung’s resurrected Elektra, “it’s just a city.”
Daredevil‘s Deborah Ann Woll (Karen Page), Iron Fist‘s Jessica Henwick (Colleen Wing) and Luke Cage‘s Simone Missick (Harlem NYPD Detective Misty Knight) also made appearances in The Defenders’ first episode.
Even before stars Charlie Cox, Krysten Ritter, Mike Colter and Finn Jones and others stepped onstage this evening, a new one-minute countdown teaser was played for the team-up series. After we heard Scott Glenn’s Stick say “the war for New York is here” and other audio, Loeb came out to cheers from the multitudes.
Calling Defenders “the culmination of a dream,” Loeb teased “sticking around to the end,” surprise guests and more, similar to what he did for the sister panel that was held at New York Comic-Con when Weaver was announced as joining the series. Like at NYCC, Punisher star and The Walking Dead alum Jon Bernthal came onstage, but this time to introduce a a new clip from his series.
“The most interesting thing about The Defenders to me is the relationship between the people,” Colter told the crowd, fresh from filming Season 2 of Luke Cage in NYC.