‘It’s too late for heroes…’ ‘Hero’s your word, not mine’ – Netflix’s Marvel’s The Defenders

The Librarian’s juggling a lot at the moment and because she’s so busy and I was around, she asked me to come and take care of you guys for this week. So, hi, it’s me again, the Man on the Silver Mountain and I thought we’d take a look at something this week which has turned out to be kinda divisive; Netflix’s Marvel Cinematic Universe series, The Defenders.
The Defenders is the culmination of two seasons of Daredevil, and one season each of Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Ironfist. It’s essentially the ending of phase one of the Marvel Netflix shows. So to discuss the ending of this part of the MCU we will be discussing the previous shows as well so consider this a spoiler warning for all the Marvel Netflix shows from this point onwards.

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The corridor fight scene, a staple of all Netflix Marvel shows – The Defenders, Netflix, 2017

So, since it aired The Defenders has had both positive and negative reviews as did Ironfist, the series that came before it and which leads directly into this show by providing the main antagonists for the majority of the show. I feel though that whilst these shows have their flaws they’ve been slightly blown out of proportion by the expectations people had for the show. It seems like a lot of people were expecting this team up series to be more similar to the Avengers team up movies but in a different format. Some people have felt let down though by the fact that it’s less Avengers and more Law and Order: Superhero Unit.

 

The story in broad strokes is this; The Hand (the bad guys from Ironfist and Daredevil season two) are continuing to cause more trouble but after everything that’s happened so far in the other shows they’re consolidated their forces in New York and they start making waves. This draws Ironfist back to New York and gets Daredevil to return to the streets as a costumed hero, which he’d given up after Daredevil season two and the not-quite-end of Elektra. Thanks to the power vacuum in Harlem that after Luke Cage took out Cottonmouth in his show and Jessica Jones’ role as a private investigator they also get caught up in the web of shady dealings the Hand have laid out across the city. After a little bit of investigating by all heroes they end up meeting up and finding out that they are ultimately the only thing that stands between New York and the collapse of the entire city, including the deaths of many of the inhabitants and they take the fight to the bad guys.

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What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. Ironfist punching Luke Cage – The Defenders, Netflix, 2017

Let’s talk about the good stuff first before we get into the weaknesses the show has and some of the complaints that have been voiced.
First big positive for me is where some of the fights in the previous shows have been a little wonky, either clunky in their choreography or inconsistent in regards to how strong the two super strong characters have been, but in The Defenders they actually seem to have finally found the best balance between letting the brute force heroes do their thing whilst letting our more agile, martial arts-based heroes do theirs without problems occurring or it pulling you out of the action.
Next big positive was the slow build up, which I know not everyone will agree with, the way they let the characters develop and bump into each other over time was interesting to me, it let the mostly isolated shows we’ve had so far overlap organically and gave us, what I feel was, a good way to see how Ironfist’s Danny Rand is still the naïve rich kid on a mission, Luke Cage is not the well-meaning guy with a more street level view of the world but who has no real idea on where to start making things better for those around him, Jessica Jones is still showing the world nothing but a hard exterior whilst tackling her post-Purple Man trauma but her caring nature gets the better of her and how Matt Murdoch is trying to return to his live as a lawyer and not let down the people he loves and cares about whilst haunted by the ghosts that keep coming back to him again and again. After they all get together and agree to take the fight to the bad guys the chemistry between the characters and the way each character grows from the experience of being on a team is something I really liked and I’m looking forward to seeing where those developments take them in the next seasons of each of their respective shows.
The last big success for the show was the cast of villains they had in the show led by the ever-awesome Sigourney Weaver as Alexandra who I thought was a really great villain to stand up alongside the other leaders of the hand that we’ve seen a fair bit of in the other shows like Madame Gao and Bakuto.

 

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A picture of Sigourney Weaver because she’s glorious – The Defenders, Netflix, 2017

Okay, with the good stuff out of the way, let’s talk about where the show fell down a little. First and foremost, as much as Alexandra was a great villainess as a character, both she and Sigourney Weaver’s considerable talent as an actress don’t seem to be put to the best use, often having her float around in the background as a puppet master without actually giving her many puppets to play with. I wouldn’t have wanted to see her be a brawler like some of the other leaders or a mystic like Madame Gao but at times she just seemed to be there without an awful lot to do besides quietly hope her plan worked.
Also relating to villains, this show seems to suffer from the same problem that almost the entire MCU both TV shows and movies has; they kill off all their villains way too fast. I kind of understand why, these aren’t comics, the movies and the actors that star in them have finite amounts of time that they can really continue for, so in killing off a villain completely it counts a story as complete and the franchise can move onto the next thing without loose ends being left around. With all the hand gone though, it means greater instability for some heroes which will breed interesting stories in the future I’m sure but it also just leaves some characters without much direction and whilst being with direction could be a really interesting story in and of itself I don’t feel it would be a story that would complement the other things that have happened throughout all shows thus far.
My last negative point; where are all the other heroes? Yes, I understand the separation between the movies and the TV shows due to filming times and trying to organise between the two but in The Defenders there’s hardly even a reference to the Avengers, something the previous Netflix shows have at least included a little. Even though the Avengers aren’t based wholly in New York anymore you do still have the likes of Spider-Man or Doctor Strange around and both the street level organised crime and mystical activities of The Hand would surely draw their attention as well. Whilst I don’t expect to see Spider-Man and Daredevil working together closely as we’ve seen at various times in the comics, I would like to know what the Avengers and the other heroes in and around New York were doing both at the beginning and end of the season where earthquakes were happening or entire skyscrapers were collapsing.

I realise this is getting to be a pretty long post here but there’s one last thing I want to address and that’s the criticism Ironfist has gotten, both from his own show but also in this one. Lots of people were annoyed at Finn Jones being cast in the role, which personally, I don’t think he’s a bad actor and I don’t think he’s been bad in the role. Other folks have been annoyed at how out of his depth the character seems to have been but and how childish he is in his pursuit of his goals. I feel like that’s pretty much who the character of Ironfist was at the beginning, from the comics I’ve read it seems reasonably in keeping with the way the character started out in at least a couple of iterations. Finally, the thing I’d like to bring up is that being the only character with powers that aren’t always easy to explain but that also come with a duty attached to them, I feel like The Defenders does a good job of dragging Danny Rand as a character kicking and screaming towards at least trying to be more of the character people want him to be. Between the continuous jokes and sarcasm from the others around the origins of his powers to the ending of the season that seems to have the most substantial effect on Danny more so than the other heroes, they’ve started pushing him towards being more grown up about the way he sees the world and maybe more enjoyable to watch as a character for those who were disappointed previously. Maybe we’ll even see him in an costume in Ironfist season two, who knows?

Catch the trailer below!

Either way guys, let us know what you guys think of the show down in the comments and thanks for reading. Your Librarian should be back next week with something good for you but for more from me you can find me on YouTube at Man on the Silver Mountain.

What did you think of Marvel’s ‘The Defenders’? Are you for or against Iron Fist, or wish it was just Jessica Jones? Man on the Silver Mountain would love to know and start a heated debate in the comments! Leave a comment below! 

(Header Image: The Defenders, Netflix, 2017)

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‘Wubba Lubba Dub Dub!’ – Rick and Morty, Season 1-3

I don’t know about you, readers, but I love Rick and Morty, and have done ever since it came out. It’s like all the fun of The Simpsons or Family Guy plus science! When I attended university, I was told to watch it by a lecturer and I can say I have never turned back!

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A family photo – Rick and Morty, Adult Swim, 2013-Present

Rick and Morty is an Adult Swim production, based loosely on Back to the Future, Rick being Doc and Morty being Marty. It’s a very obvious link between them, crazy scientist and rather lackluster kid who ends up becoming the sidekick. Season 2 introduces another sidekick in the form of Summer, Morty’s older cool-girl sister, who is actually quite naive inside. Beth, their horse-heart-surgeon mother and daughter of Rick, and Jerry, his really bland and useless dad, have a very tumultuous relationship which has now ultimately (since S3 – SPOILERS) lead to a break up of the marriage. This has had a profound affect on Morty and Summer, and it’ll be interesting to see how that plays out in the end of the season – but hopefully there’s another 20 episodes before that happens!

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Let’s get Swifty! – Rick and Morty, Adult Swim, 2013-Present

Rick and Morty is 100% adult, and it’s important to not show it to your kids without at least being there! Not only will they not appreciate all the butts and rude jokes, they probably won’t get the references – link to some you probably missed here!

I really suggest watching Rick and Morty, even if it’s for a good laugh and a wonder about what on earth is going on.

What do you think about Rick and Morty? Did you watch Back to the Future and love it? Want some more crazy Doc shenanigans ahead? Did you expect Beth to divorce Jerry? Leave a comment below! 

(Header Image: Rick and Morty, Adult Swim, 2013-Present)

‘We spent the next three days together. I didn’t want it to end’ – The Beauty, Volume 2

Sorry for no post last week! I was away in the middle of Wales, with really bad internet (just my luck). Fear not though, I am back and ready to get cracking with a tonne of comic reading!
Those of you that have known me long enough know that at university I wrote for the newspaper there, and reviewed the first issue of The Beauty (which I am sure is one of my first ever reviews) – Link found here!

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Gorgeous and very, very dead – The Beauty, Image, 2015-Present

As you can see from my original review, I really loved the first issue and when I was gifted the second issue for Christmas of 2016 (where has time gone?!) I was over the moon! As I’ve previously stated; the premise of The Beauty – what happens when a sexually transmitted disease becomes desirable? Well, attainable beauty is one sexual encounter away. Issue #1 was very interesting – Two police officers, one with the beauty, looking for a way to stop it and halt anyone getting it again. After it basically heating people from the inside out – causing them to explode – has suddenly caused a panic in the public. This disease just seemed to go from amazingly desirable to unwanted in a split second.

 

 

 

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The lady that exploded on the tube! – The Beauty, Image, 2015-Present

Issue #2 was very different to #1. We have said goodbye to our police officers and hello to Timo, a man who gives himself the Beauty to leave his former life and Bonita, born Isaiah who takes the Beauty to feel fully herself in her new skin. Both work for a man called Parks, who I never really understood as a character, but that’s probably just me – they are basically his hitmen. There’s less sexual content in the new issue, though there is a couple full-frontal shots. But there’s much more blood and violence!
I don’t want to give too much away (with it being a 2nd issue) but I didn’t find it is interesting as the first. This issue seemed to drag on and could really have been 5 separate stories – that’s how it felt anyway – only the last two seemed to connect to each other.

I am excited for Issue 3 to come out, purely because I love the idea of a wanted STI that isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I just hope that it brings back our lovely police officers from the first issue.

Have you read any of The Beauty? Would you get the disease to be glamorous even if it might blow you up in the end – or are you happy in your own skin? Leave a comment below! 

(Header Image: The Beauty, Image, 2015-Present)

 

‘You also enslave women. This is not illegal but is displeasurable to me’ -Kill Six Billion Demons

One good thing about the internet is the webcomic. No longer does an avid comic book reader need to venture out of their house; they can get a free, indie comic right from their bed. There are quite a few around – for instance, I avidly read Questionable Content, a webcomic about a group of friends with their robotic/AI companions or Alfie, a completely NSFW comic about a halfling leaving home for the first time. But today I wanted to bring you a review of one I had never heard of until just now; Kill Six Billion Demons, by Abbadon (Tom Parkinson-Morgan). Due to it’s popularity, you can now buy a copy of Tom Parkinson-Morgan’s comic, which you can purchase with your local comic book shop. 

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Our protagonist, Allison, being changed so she can travel through dimensions – Kill Six Billion Demons, Image/Abbadon, 2013-2017

Kill Six Billion Demons takes the reader on a rollercoaster of a ride, even within its first chapters. The story begins in our universe, and Allison is about to have sex with her creepy boyfriend (trust me, he is really into weird things). All of a sudden a demon turns up next to her bed, kidnaps her boyfriend and transports her to another universe via the key in her forehead. I never said that any of this story made sense when written down. When she is transported to the other dimension she obviously has no idea where she is – nor what anyone is saying.
For some reason, mostly because I am unsure it was actually explained, but she can suddenly understand what they’re all saying via her head-key.
Even though this mini-explanation makes it sound pretty confusing (I seem to have lost the ability to explain things this week); it’s really interesting! I love the ideas of travellers from other worlds getting stuck and wanting to get home.

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Throne, the epicenter of the universes – Kill Six Billion Demons, Image/Abbadon, 2013-2017

I felt like there could have been a bit more character development for Allison before throwing her into a situation like that. Normally you want to be able to attach yourself to a character before bad things happen to them, and because if this I kind of felt like perhaps Allison deserved all that’s happening to her? I don’t know any better to assume otherwise.

All in all I recommend it for a free read. What do you have to lose? If you love it you have years worth of comics to catch up on – if you don’t then you’ve wasted no money!

What do you think of Kill Six Billion Demons? Love it? Hate it? What other free webcomics do you read? Leave a comment below! 

(Header Image: Kill Six Billion Demons, Image/Abbadon, 2013-2017)

‘I have allergies’ – Snotgirl Volume 1

Hope you enjoyed our guest blog last week! The Man on the Silver Mountain loved giving his review of the new Mummy movie, and I hope you’ll be hearing more from him in the future.

Onto this weeks review – Snotgirl! Lottie Person – a girl after my own heart; A blogger (like me), a girl with allergies (like me) and dyes her hair cool colours (like me… ish). Bryan Lee O’Malley, who you may know from film and graphic novel character Scott Pilgrim. I loved Scott Pilgrim, though I must admit I watched the film first (and own but haven’t read the books – I know… naughty me!), and couldn’t wait to see what characters O’Malley had created next.

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Lottie Person, aka Snotgirl. A world renowned fashion blogger – Snotgirl, Image Comics, 2017

Snotgirl is someone I felt like I could really relate to – I too am a snotty and itchy wreck when my allergies (pollen and dust mites). I too am chugging pills to get rid of my stuffy, itchy nose and watery eyes. I really felt her pain – Lottie wants for no more than for someone to recognise her as she wants to be, not who she really is. I think she’s a character that everyone can relate to. As you can see she wishes to be ‘effortlessly chic’, but deep down she’s just a persona – this isn’t the real Lottie. In real life she’s a snotty 20-something year old, who’s ex-boyfriend is dating her old intern .

 

 

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Lottie showing you how much effort goes into making her persona – Snotgirl, Image Comics, 2017

I do have a couple of issues with the story line, however. It seems to be (minor spoiler alert) that Lottie thinks she’s a murder, she’s killed the only friend that she feels like she can rely on. But at the end this new friend turns back up, and then disappears again. Lottie’s crazy behaviour seems to be a side effect from her new allergy medication; the bottle advises not to operate heavy machinery or ‘make important life decisions’. It seems like these drugs are giving her hallucinations. However, her descent to madness is too fast and sudden, it’s jarring.

 

But, other than that one small hiccup, I would suggest reading it. It’s funny and lighthearted, but there’s still a sense of danger.

Have you read Snotgirl? Are you like Lottie – a snotty person just trying to be amazing? Did you think it was too jarring at the end? Leave a comment down below! 

(Header Image: Snotgirl, Image Comics, 2017)