The main problem with Defenders is that it focuses on the white straight men
Oh yes, I’m going there: Full on pandering to the Tumblr crowd. But it’s not like it isn’t true.
First of all, Defenders is indeed the story of the two white men. For both Matt and Danny, this story is the culmination of major plot points and character arcs. Meanwhile, for Jessica and Luke, this plot is basically the monster of the week. The whole story with the Hand and Electra does not tie into either one’s mythology at all, neither has any motivation beyond “these are some bad dudes that need punching”, and they get all their motivation from events that happen in Defenders and are fully resolved in Defenders.
And here lies the fundamental problem of the show: Luke and Jessica are clearly the most interesting characters. Daredevil is well done, but fundamentally a Batman where you replace money with blindness. Iron Fist shouldn’t be boring, but somehow Marvel made it possible. Meanwhile both Luke and Jessica are well written, multi-layered, and both shows clearly have unique styles and very deliberate messages they want to get across. For a while, near the start, Defenders even tries to mimick these points, up to where everybody meets.
But when the plot takes over, it’s Matt’s and Danny’s plot, and that plot has no message beyond “deathless ninja cults trying to destroy major cities for their own benefit is bad”. I’m not saying I disagree with this point, it’s just not something that feels quite as relevant to today as racism and police brutality or sexism and rape culture. This is how I justify this headline: The problem is not (only) that it focuses on the boring characters who happen to be white men; it’s that the show generally ignores the innovative and great ways in which the two other characters broke out from the white-men-dominated mainstream.
Of course we can extend this further: The most interesting character from Iron Fist in this is clearly Colleen Wing, who gets all the depth and development. Misty and Colleen are also welcome additions.
On the other hand, if you want to deconstruct my thesis, it’s not like it’s hard:
- Wilson Fisk is a far more interesting villain than Alexandra, no matter how well Sigourney Weaver played her.
- Electra has not yet become awesome here (but mind you, just like in Daredevil season 2, it’s still a story about which white person gets to define who she is)
- The scenes between Daredevil and Jessica Jones as well as Jessica and Luke show that a teamup with the three of them could have worked really well, if it treated them all as equals and gave them a new bare-bones adventure with high stakes, but not much to think and plenty of time for bonding. Say, aliens invading New York.
- I am ignoring the fact that Matt is blind and thus outside the white men mainstream as well. This is because the show generally tends to forget about it as well and uses lots of handwaving to make him functionally seeing.
- There’s plenty of other structural issues as well, like how all conflict between the core team or the core team and the police feels entirely manufactured.
Still, at the end of the day, the interesting Marvel shows are about structural racism and sexism and the consequences thereof, while the less interesting ones are about punching ninjas in the face. And this is a TV show all about punching ninjas in the face.
ask:@bonjour-je-mappelle-fuckyou: “Hey so I just read your poly!defenders hc that you posted back in April and IT WAS AMAZING! I just finished the Defenders so now I’m on a fic binge, I was wondering if you could write some more hcs??? Maybe just about domestic life with them 😊”
a/n: i hate my biology class so much it’s so boring and i understand like… One thing i’m so bad at science lmao
for the most part, y’all are pretty well off. mostly because of danny, though. he’s rich so therefore he buys a pretty HUGE house. + even so, you guys have a thing though, whenever y’all go out, one of you claim it’s your birthday to get a free meal/dessert (however generous the restaurant is). + you and matt also regularly get free wedding cake by claiming you guys are going to get married so you both can get free tastings of it.
when you guys do cook, jessica is not under any circumstances allowed in the kitchen (not that she’d cook, anyways. she has “better things to do”). luke can cook better than everyone (save you if you’re a good cook). danny is alright but his food is pretty plain tasting. matt can’t see so he gets ingredients confused so someone has to help him. though when that happens, he gets distracted by them and him and whoever he’s cooking with usually end up making out.
you and luke both want a dog so bad, but matt and jess are so against it. since it’s two vs. two, and it technically is danny’s house, he’s the tiebreaker. + he puts off answering because he doesn’t want to be on anyone’s bad side, but he secretly wants a dog too so he’ll just take you and luke to the humane society so you can find one (bc #AdoptNotShop). + jess almost throttles you guys because she doesn’t want a dog barking at all times of the day (she’s the definition of a cat person, but it slowly grows on her). matt’s fine with a dog as long as he doesn’t have to clean up after it.
sleeping is a situation (to say the least) because literally all four of them are usually gone out most of the night working on some case. (jess, doing her p.i. work, danny and luke being heroes for hire, and matt who’s patrolling hell’s kitchen). + on normal nights, you fall asleep on the couch waiting for them, danny and luke coming home first and taking you to bed. you three usually share a bed, and jess passes out on the couch and matt goes to sleep in the other bedroom. + other times, when jess doesn’t have work you and her will watch crappy reality tv until you both fall asleep on each other, danny and luke will find you guys and leave you alone, deciding it’s too adorable to move you two (of course, they’ll take a picture of it because it’s cute af). and matt comes in in the morning and joins luke and danny in the main bedroom.
It means, that we’ll be offering college events for a ‘verse’ type of situation for ya’ll to claim and write. We’ll give you character specifics for this universe (which I’ll have typed up here.) that you can reference. (We’ll be including most everyone from the Marvel Netflix series so you can write them!)
What are the rules?
It’s simple, message me @nxtyourfirstrodeo if you’d like a specific event/fic you want to write & I’ll add you to that. Just write it! It’s first come first serve though, if you’d like to attempt to do a joint effort with the person who got first dibs, you’re welcome to do that. Otherwise, pick something else! You can write smut or fluff. It’s up to you. You’re also welcome to do something angsty, but we figured Kastle is angsty in canon so fluff would be more fun in an AU setting. ;-)
Where do I post updates of it?
You can post it both here & on A03. The special tag we’re going to give it is: U Never Lie To Me. Get it? U as in…. University? We’re so clever. ;-) So you can post anything on the series to that tag. Hell, make fanart or something if you’re inspired. I’m sure we’d all love it!
@thesandwich-savedme will update more/new events you can claim as she comes up with them so keep an eye on this post, I’ll reblog it as often as I remember! There might be more added depending on the interest of this! :-)
Setting: Columbia University
Karen Page: Sophomore. Journalism major. Works for the school paper, Overachiever. Matt Murdock’s ex. Jessica Jones’ roommate. Probably in too many clubs on campus.
Frank Castle: Junior. ROTC. Tight End for the Columbia University football team. (Nickname is The Punisher) Undecided major. Loves dogs and coffee. Has a dog named Max. (Who may or may not have been swiped from & been a rival teams mascot…) Plays guitar and sings but literally no one knows about that.
Matt Murdock: Junior. Pre-law. Karen’s ex. Elektra’s new boyfriend. Foggy’s best friend. Doesn’t like Frank Castle. Has ‘spidey senses’, according to Foggy, despite being blind. Is in (or founded, it’s unclear) the Parkour club on campus.
Foggy Nelson: Junior. Pre-law. Matt’s best friend. Karen’s friend. Marci’s boyfriend. Kills it on the dance floor. National Honor Society. Obsessed with the Drama department.
Elektra Natchios: Junior. International Affairs major. Diplomats daughter. Filthy Rich. Member of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. Bitchy and ambitious. #HeadBitchInCharge.
Marci Stahl: Junior. Pre-law. Not super rich, but well off family. Member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority. Foggy’s girlfriend since Freshman year. Takes sorority rivalry with KAT seriously. (Aka nemesis to Elektra) Also in the National Honor Society.
Claire Temple: Senior. Pre-med. #SoDone with these kids and their shit. Mother Hen. Patches up too many people when she should be sleeping or studying. Science tutor for extra cash. Pretends she’s not into Luke Cage. (But totally is)
Luke Cage: Junior. Humanities major. Defensive end for the Columbia University football team. Close friends with Frank. Super into Claire and hits on her a lot.
Jessica Jones: Sophomore. Photography major. Karen’s roommate. Pretends she hates her, but secretly cares about her. Best friend to Trish Walker. Goes to all the campus parties for the free booze. Life motto: ‘Messy hair. Don’t care’ and owns a coffee mug with that on it unironically. Baggy sweatshirt connoisseur.
Trish Walker: Sophomore. Mass Communications major. Best friend to Jessica Jones. Works at the University radio station. Member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority. (Much to Elektra’s dismay) Is on Elektra’s ‘shit list’ because of that.
Danny Rand: Junior. Business major. Richer than Elektra. It’s debatable if he ever even attends classes. Is that weird kid who does meditation and yoga on the lawn a lot. Everyone mocks him until they need his help getting their stress levels down during finals. Dresses like a hippie a lot. Hacky sack enthusiast. Voice of zen and calmness.
Colleen Wing: Junior. Business major. Too nice. Probably helps everyone else before doing anything for herself. Danny’s high school sweetheart. Founded and runs the Women’s Self-Defense club on campus. Don’t hurt any of her friends or she’ll hunt you down. Is nice till you piss her off. Lacrosse team. (Postion Defender)
Your URL will be added next to the event you want to claim. :-)
Karen interviews Frank for the school paper
Karen turns a study session into stalking Frank of FB (or visa versa)