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Marvel’s Defenders: Review

After months and months of hype and excitement, Netflix finally released the episodes of The Defenders and I couldn’t wait anymore and started streaming the episodes as early as I could.

 

The Defenders. Credits: Netflix and Entertainment magazine

 

It starts off with an action scene in Cambodia where Danny Rand has to fight a mysterious woman. This series takes place months after the happening of the first season of Iron Fist where Colleen alongside Danny hunt down clues which can lead them to the ancient organisation, The Hand. Back in New York, Luke Cage is freed from prison as his former inmates cheer. Matthew Murdock moves on with his life after Elektra’s unfortunate demise, or at least tries to. And Jessica..well, Jessica drinks. Episode 1 is spent on reintroduction of some of our favourite characters, the sidekicks, the weaknesses and the personal ties.

Now, let’s talk about the antagonists. Sigourney Weaver disappoints severely from her very first frame. The director/writer evidently try to fill up the void created by kingpin’s absence and she’s meant to be the badass of the show, but it just doesn’t come naturally to Sigourney as was the case when it was about D’Onofrio. Where is that vulnerable yet so menacing look? It made me miss Kingpin a lot more than I should’ve. It still isn’t clear to me what Alexandra (played by Sigourney) does for a living or how is she so resourceful in the first place. She is extremely rich and listens to live music and always has a handful of servants and bodyguards at her disposal. The individual scene for each defender in the making is characterized by their respective coloured background. Like for example, Matthews scenes are given a reddish touch, Jessica’s blue, Luke’s yellow..welp, you get the gist.

 

Sigourney Weaver as Alexandra. Credits: Netflix

 

Moving on, I hated how they used Madam Gao in the show. So wise, cunning and shrewd, she was once one of my favourite characters until Iron Fist happened. While that show ensured her doom and reduced her to some kind of fortune teller, this one makes her a mere secretary of Alexandra. Sure she can summon her own chi now, but where’s the wit? The intelligence? The manipulation?

Madame Gao Credits: Netflix

MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!!

 

 

So, the story goes this way, once upon a time, centuries ago, there were five disciples in the mystical place, K’un-Lun who were cast out by the elder monks for being over ambitious, as they wanted to win over death. These five ‘fingers’, Gao, Alexandra, Bakuto, Sowande and Murakami are the founders of The Hand. Now with the help of the Iron Fist, they plan their return to K’un-Lun. Stick and his army, The Chaste have been trying to stop them but all of them are now dead except our old man.

For me, Daredevil will always be the best in screenplay, action and easter eggs. Speaking of action, here the routines are pretty cool. So much better choreographed than Iron Fist, but less coordinated than Daredevil. Elektra’s action scenes are top notch.

As her comrades start to lose their faith on her, Alexandra finds herself gradually losing grip over her leadership. She is unable to manage the human weapon, The Black Sky.

Much of the main plot revolves around the Iron Fist, but Finn Jones just doesn’t vibe. I feel bad, because he tries so hard but lacks the charm to convince us just enough. The banter between our defenders serve as the much needed comic relief. When their paths finally cross, and they bond over dinner, I couldn’t be more thrilled of what was coming next. Gotta hand it to the director for not making it feel way too crowded..but the story’s way too simple and predictable and lacks the severity.

At one point, Murakami tells Alexandra that her weakness is that she never is willing to get her hands dirty. I share the same complaint, for I’d love to see Sigourney in some good old action packed scenes. How she became the leader of the pact, is beyond my understanding. She’s the least influential ‘Finger’ amongst the group or maybe it’s just my bad habit of over expecting again. Stick’s the same old, charming, necessary evil he has always been and gets a well deserved ending. It is unbelievable how a small, frail woman like Elektra is able to take over the Hand who are supposedly operating for ages. After episode 5, things seem to be a little dragged because of a baseless excuse of a story. Clair Temple is unbearable as always and Colleen is just as wasted inspite of having so much of potential. In the last episode, our beloved New York is on the edge of destruction (yes, once again!) and the defenders/heroes/martyrs make a last ditch to save the city. Finally the show picks up pace and is exhilarating! All I’m saying is, I couldn’t be happier when the defenders teamed up but the whole thing could one or two episodes fewer, and I’d not seriously mind. The last face off between Elektra and the Daredevil was much needed as it provided closure. It makes me empathize with Matt, more than ever and I close to tears when Foggy and Karen await his return..but he doesn’t. Much like in the comics, we see Misty Knight and Colleen Wing bond and hopefully, they make something out of it in the near future. Last but not the least, the chemistry between Jessica and Luke just gets hotter and hotter every second and..man, I love it.

 

 

The mystery man Credits: Netflix

 

Credits: Netflix

 

 

One thing still remains unclear to me as who was the mystery man Stick had once visited in the first season of Daredevil, consulting about The War. Who is Maggie? Is she Matthew’s mother?

 

Credits: Netflix

In the end, it isn’t as good as I wanted it to be, but it doesn’t suck either. The next time, Marvel and Netflix rush to unite the Defenders, I’d advice them to have a good screenplay and a better director.

 

 

Did you like Marvel’s The Defenders ? Tell us in the comments.

Categories
Fantasy Featured

Eastwatch – An episode of dismay

The fifth episode to Season 7 of the much-hyped HBO productions “Game of Thrones” dropped Sunday night (Monday morning for me) and when I began watching it, I had only one hope; “Eastwatch” should carry on the momentum generated by the previous episode “Spoils of War”. Unfortunately, it was mostly a disappointment.

In the beginning of the episode, we find that the entire battle has been devastated, with the Dothraki claiming the ruins. We see Daenerys give an option to all the prisoners of war; bend the knee or be executed. Randyll Tarly and his son, Dickon refuse to bend the knee and face the music. But, instead of beheading them as Tyrion had imagined, Dany utters Dracarys and they are burnt alive.

Spoils of War.

It is of importance to mention here that Drogon looks massive in these scenes, quite contrary to the Drogon we saw during the attack.

Drogon looks massive in these scenes.

 

Even Dany looks spectacular with Drogon in the back.

One of the most bizarre things to have happened in this episode was Daenerys landing in front of Jon Snow, when she returns to Dragonstone and what followed was even more strange. As soon Drogon approaches Jon, he pets Drogon, which was absolutely unmotivated and seemed way out of context. Although, one might argue that this helped to strengthen the fact the Jon is a Targaryen.

Jon Snow trying to pet Drogon.

We had seen in the trailers of this season that Bran wargs into a murder of crows and spies onto the Night King and his Army of the Dead. We get to see that in this episode and I felt that it was really a visual spectacle. Furthermore, the massiveness of the army is seen for the first time and we understand the scale of threat Westeros is facing.

Army of the Dead.

Jon gets to know by a raven that Bran and Arya are alive and are back at Winterfell. Jorah Mormont goes to Dragonstone and Daenerys welcomes him back with open arms, quite literally.

The Dothraki bring back Jorah Mormont.

Another of the weird thing to have happened in this episode is Dany agreeing to have an armistice with Cersei. It was a childhood dream of Daenerys Targaryen to go back home and reclaim her father’s throne. Of course it was highly unreasonable when she agrees to this condition on the words of a stranger a.k.a. Jon Snow that the threat of the White Walkers is real.

By the way, Gendry is back.

Gendry is back.

As expected, Sam gets frustrated by the Citadel and the stubbornness of the Maesters there, and decides that they can’t help him in his fight against the Others.

Sam leaving OldTown.

We see LittleFinger is back at his business of creating mistrust between people and this time he uses Sansa and especially Arya as his pawns.

It might be vital to note here that the much speculated “ghost of Catelyn Stark” turns out to be a common Northern girl, who incidentally, is working as a spy for Baelish.

Peter Baelish with his spy.

 

 

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Hot Topics Interviews

Brown Paperbag: One year and more

I first heard of Brown Paperbag when a friend asked me to check out this Facebook page. I was amazed by the simplicity and brilliance with which the comics were made. And Brown Paperbag was still rising in popularity then.

Meet Sailesh Gopalan, the man behind this successful venture and learn about what keeps him busy. Today, Brown Paperbag is a common name among young people.

Brown Paperbag. What was the thought behind the name?
Brown is a colour Indians associate themselves with. And a brown paper bag is typically used in cartoons to symbolise shame or embarrassment, an issue I often dabble with.

Brown Paperbag

Is Kabir inspired from you or someone you know? What about Devika? Ananya?
Kabir is the personification of the angsty teenage Indian stereotype. Of course, many of his adventures are inspired by events I have experienced or witnessed, but Kabir represents a stereotype and not a specific person. Same goes for Devika and Ananya.

How does it feel to have continued this web-comics for one year now?
It feels pretty great. I think I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that it’s not something I’m doing just for myself anymore. The people who read it and support me are wonderful, and their enjoyment is the incentive I need to keep going.

The Anniversary edition.

Who has been your strongest support?
My family, of course. And one of my closest friends, Akshat. I could confidently say I wouldn’t have managed to keep this up without their help and support.

The latest instalment to Brown Paperbag comics.

The comics have become a tad less frequent? Is it because you’re busy with something else?
Yes, I’m in my final year of college now and the amount of work keeps increasing. Brown Paperbag is unfortunately on a lower tier in the priorities list, considering there’s no deadlines I need to adhere to. But, I try and do a bit here and there whenever I can make some time.

The first Brown Paperbag comic.

How far do you think Brown Paperbag would go? Any plans for collaboration with other artists? How about similar collab with TVF Qtiyapa?
I have no idea. It’s going, and I plan to keep it going. As for collaborations, I don’t think there will be any in the near future, considering my other obligations and commitments.

I really enjoyed your “Celebratory animation featuring Ananya”. Why don’t you make the animations a regular thing?

Animation is my real passion, and I hope to some day incorporate animation into Brown Paperbag. Hopefully an animated series in the future. The reason I can’t make it a regular thing is because it’s a time consuming process, and time is something not so readily available in the market. But hey, glad you liked the animation!

Any words for our readers?
Hope you continue to read and enjoy my comics! Thank you all for your support!

All the images displayed belong to Brown Paperbag. We hold no copyright over it and the images have been used with the permission of the said owner.

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