New fan art gives Netflix’s The Defenders comics accurate costumes. The Defenders was a miniseries airing in 2017 that brought together Marvel Television and Netflix. It also united the Marvel comics heroes Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Daredevil, and Iron Fist. At that point, all four characters also led their own series, with Daredevil coming first in 2015. The Defenders are sometimes described as a grittier version of the Avengers, often referred to as the Marvel Street-Level Heroes. The partnership between Netflix and Marvel was a success initially. However, Marvel parent company Disney planning a streaming service of its own (Disney+) soured the relationship, leading Netflix to cancel all of its Defenders series.
Many fans are hoping there may be a silver lining, as Marvel can now introduce the Defenders to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Though the shows take place within the MCU’s continuity, none of the characters have appeared in MCU movies. Unfortunately, fans will have to wait awhile longer for that, as the original Netflix/Marvel deal reportedly prohibits Marvel from using the Defenders without Netflix for two years after cancellation. However, that hasn’t stopped fans from discussing the recasting of the heroes for the MCU, which seems likely to happen at some point.
In the meantime, artist Nicolas Tetreault-Abel has shared a poster for The Defenders featuring the characters in comics accurate costumes. The image includes the original actors, but adds Iron Fist’s traditional mask from the comics, for example. Check out the poster showing all four Defenders below:
The Netflix/Marvel shows took a different approach to superhero costumes than most have in the past. Instead of flashy looks, the Defenders favored civilian wear. For example, Jessica Jones’ leather jacket became an iconic part of her wardrobe on her standalone series. The Defenders costume designer Stephanie Maslansky has spoken about this in the past, saying the character’s “leather jacket and her clothes protect her from having to deal with the outside world.” Notably, Jessica Jones doesn’t have her usual jacket on in this fan art. Luke Cage is also missing his hoodie, which Maslansky has said has a cultural significance, explaining, “We knew that making a black man wear a hoodie, especially a bullet-ridden hoodie, was going to have a lot of resonance. It did, and it still does.“
All told, the fan poster for The Defenders is a fascinating exploration of what the characters might have looked like if Marvel took a more comics accurate approach. However, there’s no denying the impact the modern looks had on the Defenders series, which were often praised for their more grounded approach to superhero storytelling. It will also be interesting to see how the Defenders look when they inevitable show up in the MCU. It’s possible they may look something like the way they do in this poster.